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The late ride catapults Wichita State to Temple

PHILADELPHIA – Summary from GoShockers. com

Jaykwon Walton scored a season-high 21 points and a Wichita State team having trouble shutting down opponents slammed the door on Temple for a 79-65 victory Thursday night at the Liacouras Center.

Walton and Craig Porter Jr. combined for 18 points during a 21-3 Shocker run to finish the game. It was the fourth straight road win for WSU (14-12, 7-7) as they moved to .500 in the league for the first time after an 0-3 start. It was also the Shockers’ first Liacouras Center win, albeit only in a third try, due to a combination of unbalanced schedules and COVID-19. Nationally ranked WSU teams fell in 2018 and 2020. Temple (14-13, 8-6) used a 13-0 run to go ahead 62-58 at 6:23 of the second half, but missed eight consecutive nines of his last 10 shots. The Shockers scored the next 15 points to take control. Walton hit 5-of-7 3-pointers on the night to post his second straight 20-point performance and sixth overall this year.

James Rojas secured his third double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and five steals. Porter finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists on just one turnover. Porter missed long stretches after picking up three fouls in the first half, but he made his presence felt at critical moments. His three from the top of the key put WSU ahead for good with 4:32 to play. Lui pitched to Pohto for a dunk on the next drive down, then nailed another pitch back three and short jumper in the lane to put the Shockers in the drive. The Shockers shot 46.6% for the night and made 10 of 26 threes (.385). They posted their best rebounding margin of the year (42-26) and limited the Owls to just 18 points in the paint. The temple was better from beyond the arch (10 of 24, .417) than inside (13 of 32, .406). The first half featured nine lead changes before the Shockers finally took control. They outscored the hosts 13-2 in the final 3:31 to take a 41-33 lead into the locker room. The teams traded more runs in the second half. Temple used a 7-0 spurt to tie even with 14:50 to play.

Xavier Bell was the catalyst in an 11-2 Shocker counterattack. Drexel’s transfer scored seven points in just under two minutes to help WSU rebuild its lead to 58-49 going into the half. The Shockers went scoreless in the next four minutes, and Temple capitalized with 13 straight tallies, capped off by a pair of Damian Dunn treys. The last one was a 62-58 game with 6:23 to play.

The Shockers are out this weekend before returning to the floor Thursday night against the Memphis Tigers (6 p.m. CT, ESPN2).

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