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Wichita State leads big early, falls late in OT loss to Tulane


WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) — The Wichita State men’s basketball team was shooting and building a lead that grew to an 18-point halftime lead against Tulane. Wednesday night at Koch Arena, the Shockers came out strong and were playing arguably their most complete game of the season, but failed to sustain production in a heartbreaking home loss to Tulane, 95-90 in overtime.

The problem: The strong lead was built before halftime and wasn’t insurmountable for a Tulane team capable of shooting at high percentages and cashing in on free throws. The Green Wave trailed by 13 at the break, came back, and even built some slight leads in the second half before taking control in overtime, escaping Wichita with the win by five points.

A three-pointer by Gus Okafor in the closing seconds of the first half extended the Shocker lead to 13 from 10, but the Green Wave went on a break and faced a manageable deficit. A 9-0 Tulane run out of the gate in the second half forced a Wichita State timeout into 16½ minutes to play. For the remainder of the regulation game, the Shockers led by as many as six points and trailed by as many as four.

The Shockers trailed by three, 74-71 in stoppage time. A three-pointer by Jaykwon Walton with 10 seconds left eventually sent the game to overtime. In those final five minutes, Wichita State couldn’t stop and was unable to match Tulane shot for shot.

Wichita State (10-10, 3-5 American Athletic Conference), rolled at times, led by three strong scoring performances by Walton, Jaron Pierre Jr. and Kenny Pohto with 24, 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Jaylen Forbes scored 25 points and Jalen Cook scored six of his 20 points in overtime for Tulane, now 13-7 overall and 6-3 in the AAC.

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