Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

Upset Bid Falls Short vs. No. 3 Houston


Wichita State University Athletics


WICHITA, Kan. ( – Wichita State matched No. 3 Houston’s energy, toughness and physicality but couldn’t keep pace with its three-point shooting in 70-61 loss at Charles Koch Arena.

Jaykwon Walton matched a personal-best with 24 points for WSU (11-11, 4-6), which shot 38.9% for the game and made just 3-of-20 attempts from beyond the arc.

James Rojas added 15 points and Kenny Pohto secured a career-high 12 rebounds.

Jarace Walker and Marcus Sasser scored 15-each and Jamal Shead added seven assists to lead Houston (21-2, 9-1) – the highest-ranked visiting team to play at the Roundhouse in 32 years.

The visitors made 6-of-12 second-half treys and shot 44.6% overall from the field.

The Shockers outrebounded the Cougars, 35-30, and outscored them 34-30 in the paint and 17-15 on second chances to put themselves in position for the program’s highest-rated home win since a Feb. 25, 1967 victory over No. 2 Louisville.

The hosts led as late as the 6:25-mark of the second half before a miserable seven-minute stretch that saw them miss six-straight shots and 4-of-8 free throws.

Houston’s Walker hit back-to-back triples to set off an 11-1 Cougar run. The first tied the game with 6:12 to play and the second put UH in front for good with 4:20 left.


Walton was an early catalyst for WSU, scoring 12 points in his first 11 minutes of action. He dunked and made back-to-back threes during a 10-2 Shocker run to start the game.

Walton added a fastbreak layup and two free throws on the back end of another 9-0 push that gave WSU a 19-12 advantage with 8:03 to play in the opening half.

Seconds later, the junior wing picked up his second foul and spent the final 7:18 of the half on the bench.

Houston used a 9-0 run to forge in front just before halftime and led 30-29 at the intermission on Walker’s reverse dunk with 26 seconds to play.

Walton’s return for the start of the second half paid immediate dividends for the Shocker offense. He made another triple and converted a pair of three-point plays before picking up his third personal foul.

Walton went the bench at the 13:25-mark with WSU leading 47-40 and returned four minutes later to a one-possession game. He drove for a layup and a 53-49 lead with 8:15 left and made a free throw for a 54-51 advantage with 6:25 to go.

Not much went right after that.


WSU hosted an AP top-3 team for only the 12th time in its history. Shockers teams are 6-6 all-time in those games. The last of those contests was against No. 2 Kansas on Jan. 4, 1990.

The Shockers dropped to 1-4 in American Athletic Conference home games but are tied for the league’s second-best road mark at 3-2.

Walton’s fourth 20-point performance of the year matched his career-high (24) set last Wednesday against Tulane in overtime. The junior is averaging a team-high 15.9 points in conference games.

Rojas tallied his seventh straight double-figure scoring game. He’s averaging 13.9 points and 7.9 rebounds over that stretch (up from 6.6 points and 4.9 rebounds).

Big 12-bound Houston won its final American Athletic Conference era visit to Wichita and evened the all-time series at 18-18. The teams meet again Mar. 2 in Houston.


The Shockers are back on the road Sunday to face Tulsa (2 p.m. CT, ESPN+) then return home next week to take on UCF (Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.) and SMU (Sunday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m.).