WICHITA, Kan. (Wichita State Athletics) – Wichita State held off a late fourth quarter rally to pick up its third straight win to start the season, defeating Southern, 57-53, Friday night in Charles Koch Arena.
Wichita State is 3-0 to begin the season, marking the second time under head coach Keitha Adams the Shockers have won three straight to start a campaign.
Seraphine Bastin and DJ McCarty scored a team-high tying 11 points. McCarty dished out six assists, tying her career high, which she set last game. Asia Strong tallied her third straight game to start the season with 10 or more points, finishing with 10 on just 4-of-13 shooting.
The Shockers shot just 38 percent in the second half to finish at 44.7 percent for the game, and connected on only 2-of-10 attempts from three-point range. Wichita State also struggled at the line, going 13-of-25. All were season lows, along with being outrebounded by seven.
Genovea Johnson led all players with 23 points for Southern. Amani McWain added 14, but need 20 attempts to get there.
After the first 10 minutes of play Wichita State held a slight 17-15 lead behind 54 percent shooting and five Southern turnovers. Neither team led by more than four in the first quarter, which saw five ties and three lead changes.
McCarty scored five of the team’s first nine points to open the second quarter, helping the Shockers take their largest lead, 26-17, with 4:30 left until halftime.
The Shockers would then score only four points over the final 4:30, but would still take a 30-24 lead into the locker room. Southern was just 1-for-11 over the final 4:08. McCarty and Colbert had a team-high eight points in the first half.
Wichita State finished the half shooting 50 percent, but was only 1-for-4 from beyond the arc. The Jaguars were 4-of-14 from long range, but only 30 percent overall. Both teams took care of the ball with Wichita State only turning it over three times and Southern six.
Both teams came out sluggish to start the second half. Neither team had more than four points over five minutes in, as Wichita State held a 34-28 lead with 4:35 remaining. Southern went more than five minutes without a score after pulling within four 1:25 into the period.
The Jaguars’ drought finally allowed Wichita State to grab a double-digit lead, 39-28, with 3:17 to go in the third. Just when it looked like the Shockers were going to pull away, Southern clawed back. Wichita State’s 11-point lead was cut to five at the 1:19 mark before a Rachel Johnson three-pointer pushed it back to eight.
Southern would score the final bucket of the period, making it 44-38 through three quarters.
The sloppy play continued in the fourth quarter, as the two teams were still searching for their first points for more than four minutes. A Carla Bremaud layup finally put the Shockers in the scoring column at the 5:38 mark.
The Jaguars finally scored with 4:13 to go on a pair of Genovea Johnson free throws. Bastin would score four straight points, extending the margin back to double digits at the 2:30 mark, but Southern would not quit.
A 7-0 run for the Jaguars saw them creep back within five and 41.4 seconds remaining. Southern would come as close as four before McCarty iced it at the free throw line with 11.8 seconds left.
A quick turnaround will see Wichita State host Northern Iowa for a 5 p.m. tip on Dec. 6. The Shocker women will follow the Wichita State men’s game against Missouri at 1 p.m.