The RoundHouse | 2/12/2022 5:29:00 PM
By Paul Suellentrop
coach Keitha Adams watched the foul shot bounce off, considered the trend and looked at the bench. Time to shake it up.
“When things aren’t working – one, you’ve got to find some fun and . . . you’ve got to create some energy,” Adams said. “There was a stretch in the third quarter, and we weren’t scoring, and I turned around and I looked at everybody and said ‘Change seats.'”
The Shockers shuffled. Soon after, the offense returned to life and they dominated in the fourth quarter to defeat SMU 58-47 on Saturday afternoon at Koch Arena.
“We’re going to have to do some crazy things to create some energy and karma and chemistry and vibe,” Adams said. “We’re going to do some wacky stuff in the third quarter. We’ve got to get ourselves through the third quarter.”
Wichita State (12-11, 3-7 American Athletic Conference) snapped a four-game losing streak in which it was outscored in the third quarter in all. On Saturday, the Shockers kept it close enough that they quickly tied it in the fourth and pulled away from there.
They outscored SMU (11-9, 5-3) 22-8 in the final period to bounce back after an overtime loss at ECU on Wednesday. Wichita State held the Mustangs to three baskets and forced six turnovers in the fourth.
“We knew we needed this,” center Asia Strong said. “We had to come hard. We had to bust down the door and finish, get the win, so in practice we upped our intensity.”
— Wichita State Women’s Basketball (@GoShockersWBB) February 12, 2022
The Shockers trailered 39-36 to start the fourth. They responded with a 12-2 run that gave them the lead for good. Forward Trajata Colbert, who scored seven of her 11 points in the fourth, produced a 7-0 run that put the Shockers up 48-41. A clear-out for Strong, off a baseline inbound play, stopped a Mustangs run and made it 52-47 with 59 seconds to play.
Seraphine Bastin made all four of her foul shots in the final minute to seal the victory. Wichita State made 14 of 17 free throws, 12 of 15 in the second half and all seven in the fourth.
“We’ve had a one quarter hiccup that’s really been hard on us,” Adams said. “Our third quarter, it wasn’t great, but we maintained and we got through it.”
Wichita State’s front-court did much of the work to put the Shockers in position to win. They grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and scored 10 second-chance points, which also helped put the Mustangs in foul trouble. Wichita State outscored SMU 30-10 in the paint and by 10 points at the line.
“We had to get more boards,” Strong said. “If we’re not scoring, crash the boards. We got into an offensive rhythm.”
Guard Mariah McCully led the Shockers with 13 points and she added six rebounds and four assists. Forward Jane Asinde grabbed four offensive rebounds, seven total, and scored 10 points. Strong pitched in 12 points, highlighted by an 8-0 run to close the first half and give the Shockers a 25-23 lead.
“We really played well down the stretch,” Adams said. “I just kept saying ‘Pursue the ball. Pursue the ball.’ We needed those second-effort shots and I think that helped us get over the hump and it gave us added offense.”
Paul Suellentrop covers Wichita State Athletics and the American Athletic Conference for university Strategic Communications. Story suggestion? Contact him at [email protected]