Shockers fall to Northern Iowa for 2nd straight loss
FEB 02, 2013 4:50p ET
Tuttle got the block and the board -- then finished off the 15th-ranked Shockers with a victory-clinching dunk 11 seconds later.
Anthony James scored 16 points and Northern Iowa beat 15th-ranked Wichita State 57-52 on Saturday, sending the slumping Shockers into their first losing streak of the season.
Wichita State scored a season low and is averaging 53.5 points in their last two games, both losses. Carl Hall led the Shockers (19-4, 8-3) with 20 points -- just two less than the starting lineup had.
"We've got to play better," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "We're having a hard time scoring."
Tuttle had a lot to do with that.
He had eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Panthers (12-11, 5-6 Missouri Valley Conference). They took control with a 14-0 run in the second half and became just the fourth Valley team in the last 23 games to beat Wichita State at home.
The Shockers pulled within 52-50 on Hall's steal and bucket with 1:18 left. Tuttle blocked the Wiggins try that would have tied it with 15 seconds left and then sealed the win with a breakaway dunk after a Malcolm Armstead turnover.
"It was a good play, and we were fortunate enough to grab it," Tuttle said of his rebound.
The Shockers, who lost to Indiana State on Tuesday, have dropped a game behind league-leading Creighton in the Valley race.
They gave up sole possession of first place in the Valley when they lost to the Sycamores, snapping a 19-game home winning streak.
Wichita State started and finished this one in much the same manner.
The Shockers went over seven minutes without scoring in the first half, allowing Northern Iowa to take an early edge. But Wichita State steadied itself long enough to pull even at halftime, 23-all.
The Shockers then jumped on the Panthers with seven quick points, which can be huge against a slow-paced team such as Northern Iowa. But the Panthers responded behind a pair of Marc Sonnen 3s, jumping back ahead 37-36.
Sonnen had three 3s and James had 13 in the second half for Northern Iowa, which scored 23 of the game's next 29 points after falling behind 30-23.
"Anthony James got hot," Marshall said. "It's hard to win on the road."
The Panthers, who earned national acclaim with their stunning upset of top-seeded Kansas in the NCAA tournament in 2010, will almost certainly miss the tourney for the third year in a row.
Northern Iowa played a brutal non-league slate that included losses to Louisville, Stanford, Memphis, Iowa and UNLV, and it opened Valley play with a 25-point loss at Wichita State.
The Panthers have been unlucky of late. They lost their last home game when Indiana State drew contact on a desperation heave and hit free throws just before the final buzzer. They also lost in overtime at Evansville, 54-51, on Tuesday.
Northern Iowa didn't need much luck against the Shockers, whose offense went into a funk for the final 12 minutes.
"We have some close games not go our way lately," Tuttle said. "We had to keep battling to get this one tonight."
Wichita State finished with 13 turnovers and finished 5 of 15 from 3-point range.
"We had a couple of chances at the end," Marshall said. "I tell them if they're open to shoot it."
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