WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State struggled on the offensive end for much of the night, shooting just 34 percent and missing 18 of its 22 attempts from beyond the arc in Memphis’ 69-60 win over the Shockers Wednesday night in Charles Koch Arena.
Wichita State (13-11, 5-6) missed 15 of its first 20 attempts to start the game and never truly found a rhythm on that end of the court. The Shockers grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, but only translated to 15 points, while Memphis recorded 21 second chance points on 14 offensive boards.
Mariah McCully returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games due to injury and tallied a team-high 17 points, making it 15 straight games in double figures. She also grabbed a team and season-high seven rebounds. Shyia Smith added 13 and Carla Bremaud scored eight of her 10 points in the third quarter.
Memphis (13-11, 4-7) entered the matchup with only seven available players and managed to shoot 43 percent overall, led by Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu’s double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds. Madison Griggs added 11, while Keke Hunter and Alana Davis chipped in 10 apiece.
The first 10 minutes was a mixed bag for the Shockers. They held Memphis to 38 percent shooting and outrebounded the Tigers by six, including six offensive rebounds, but offensively Wichita State was just 3-of-16 from the field.
Memphis grabbed its largest lead in the first 1:05 of the second quarter behind back-to-back three-pointers, making it 20-11 in favor of the visitors.
Midway through the second, Wichita State trailed 24-18 behind 20 percent shooting from the floor, but found momentum behind an 8-0 run to tie the game at 26 with 2:50 left in the half. A corner trey from Smith, Raven Prince layup and three McCully free throws made up the run.
Wichita State managed to erase a nine-point second quarter deficit to go into halftime tied at 32. McCully scored six of her team-high 10 points at the free throw line where the Shockers went 9-for-10 as a team.
Memphis connected on 41 percent of its first half attempts to Wichita State’s 34 percent. The Shockers were plus-6 on the glass thanks to 10 offensive rebounds, resulting in 10 second chance points.
The two teams traded the lead back and forth seven times in the third quarter until the Tigers put the final six points on the board to take a 53-48 lead into the final frame. Bremaud had the hot hand in the third period, scoring eight points, including a pair of three-pointers on the first two possessions.
The Tigers then opened with scores on its first two trips to go up by nine. After McCully split a pair at the free throw line, Memphis grabbed a 10-point lead, its first double-digit lead of the game.
Both teams went through a scoring drought covering more than three minutes, allowing the Tigers to keep its lead at 10 with 3:15 remaining.
Wichita State pulled within seven, but only 48 seconds were on the clock. Memphis sealed the win with two free throws.
Wichita State visits Tulane on Sunday for a 2 p.m. tip in the Big Easy. The Shockers will look to avenge an earlier season loss to the Green Wave back on Jan. 5 in Wichita.