WICHITA, Kan. – Wichita State let an eight-point halftime lead get away in a 65-58 loss to Tulsa Sunday afternoon in Charles Koch Arena.
Wichita State (11-10, 2-6) suffered its third straight loss in the process and gave Tulsa just its fifth win all-time vs. the Shockers (21-5).
Asia Strong poured in 13 of her 15 points before halftime to lead Wichita State. Trajata Colbert added 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Seraphine Bastin chipped in 12 points and five boards in her first game back from injury. She had missed the previous five games.
Jane Asinde was held to just two points but made her presence known, finishing with 11 rebounds and three blocks. Nhug Bosch Duran dished out a season-best eight assists.
An even contest saw Tulsa knock down 10 three-pointers compared to just four in 19 attempts for Wichita State. The Golden Hurricane attempted 39 three-pointers – the most by an opponent this season.
Temira Poindexter scored a game-high 22 points for Tulsa to go with nine rebounds. She was 4-of-11 from beyond the arc.
The opening quarter wasn’t exactly a work of art for either team. Wichita State was just 3-of-12 with six turnovers and scored only six points. Tulsa was 1-for-10 from three-point range and 4-of-19 overall but held an 11-6 lead after 10 minutes.
Wichita State’s six first quarter points tied a season low, which they set just last game at Temple in the second quarter.
Tulsa pushed the margin to seven to open the second quarter, but Wichita State scored 13 straight to take a 19-13 lead at the 4:55 mark. Keyed by the 13-0 run, the Shockers would outscore Tulsa 24-11 in the second quarter. Wichita State led 30-22 at the half.
The Golden Hurricane entered the game as the league’s best shooting team, but was just 8-for-36 (22 percent) from the field and 1-for-19 from beyond the arc.
Strong was perfect from the floor in helping Wichita State build a double-digit lead in the period. She was 4-for-4 from the field and 4-for-4 at the line to finish with a game-high 13 first half points – 11 of those in the second quarter.
The second quarter was all Wichita State, but it was Tulsa who came out of the locker room on a mission. The Hurricane hit back-to-back triples to immediately cut the lead to two. They would outscore the Shockers 18-4 over the first 5:30 to retake the lead, 40-34.
Tulsa made it 43-36 before six straight cuts the deficit to a single point. Colbert scored four of the six sandwiched around a pair of Mariah McCully free throws.
A McCully trey from the corner put Wichita State back on top with only 20 seconds left in the period, but a Tulsa last-second jumper tied it up at 45 with play moving to the final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw the lead trade sides over the first couple minutes until Tulsa grabbed a 59-56 lead with 2:08 remaining. A minute later, the Hurricane pushed it to a five-point game, but a pair of Bastin free throws cut it to 61-58 with 1:05 left. Those would be the final points of the game for Wichita State.
Tulsa iced the game at the free throw line in the final minute, going 4-for-4 to pull out the road win.
Wichita State and East Carolina square off for a second time this season on Wednesday, Feb. 9 in Greenville, NC