No. 11 Wichita State rallies past Detroit
Ron Baker came into the game shooting 54 percent from 3-point range, so when he missed nine in a row from beyond the arc during one frustrating stretch, there was no reason to panic.
"It's just part of the game. It's not like I was missing horrifically -- most of them were in and out," the Wichita State guard said. "I've been in a pretty good groove."
Baker kept on shooting, and his 3-pointer with 2:44 remaining helped the 11th-ranked Shockers outlast Detroit 77-68 on Saturday. The Titans led by 10 in the second half before Wichita State rallied.
Baker led the Shockers with 19 points, and Darius Carter added 18 points and 11 rebounds. Wichita State (7-1) went on a decisive 15-3 run in the final minutes.
Juwan Howard Jr. scored 27 points for Detroit, but the Titans (6-4) fell short in their upset bid.
"I thought we were in great shape when we were up 10. Juwan had an unbelievable run to take us to that point," Detroit coach Ray McCallum said. "Once they became the aggressor we got back on our heels."
Carter had five of Wichita State's 18 offensive rebounds. The Shockers eventually wore Detroit down with their rebounding and defensive pressure.
Wichita State has won three in a row since a Dec. 3 loss at Utah that snapped its 35-game regular-season winning streak.
The Shockers made their first four 3-point attempts Saturday, including two by Baker, but Wichita State followed that with a 1-for-15 stretch from beyond the arc that allowed Detroit to rally.
After jumping out to a 20-9 lead, Wichita State led 35-31 at the half. The Titans then went on a 12-2 run to start the second.
Howard made three 3-pointers early in the second half, and Brandan Kearney's 3 made it 54-44.
But Wichita State's full-court press began to affect the Titans. The Shockers scored six points in 16 seconds to cut the deficit to four, and Fred VanVleet eventually tied it at 60 with a free throw.
Tekele Cotton's 3-pointer gave Wichita State the lead, and Baker finally ended his long dry spell from 3-point range, connecting from the left wing to make it 68-62. Detroit could get no closer than five the rest of the way.
Howard went 11 of 23 from the field, including 5 of 12 from 3-point range. Matthew Grant and Paris Bass added 12 points apiece for Detroit.
VanVleet had 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Shockers.
Wichita State scaled back its offensive rebounding efforts a bit, out of concern over Detroit's transition game. But the Shockers finished with a 12-5 advantage in second-chance points.
Wichita State also had 26 points off turnovers to only 10 for the Titans.
"We got some deflections," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "I don't know, that's kind of what our guys do. When they get down like that, they have a renewed sense of urgency, and tonight they certainly needed it."
Howard scored 13 points in the first 7:31 of the second half, but the Titans couldn't hold on to their lead. Anton Wilson, who like Baker came in shooting 54 percent from 3-point range, missed all three of his attempts from long distance.
Wichita State: The Shockers swept the five former Missouri Valley Conference rivals on their nonconference schedule. Wichita State already beat Memphis, New Mexico State, Saint Louis and Tulsa this season before outlasting Detroit.
Detroit: Howard surpassed the 1,000-point mark for Detroit. He now has 1,023 points for the Titans after scoring 316 in one season at Western Michigan.
Wichita State hosts Alabama on Tuesday night.
Detroit plays at Central Florida on Wednesday night.