Landry Shamet scored 24 points, Rashard Kelly had 16 and No. 11 Wichita State beat Temple 89-81 on Friday night in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
The Shockers (25-6) also got a strong performance from their reserves, including 13 points from Austin Reaves. Next up is the winner of the Houston-Central Florida game.
Quinto Rose led Temple (17-14) with 25 points. Shizz Alston and Josh Brown each had 15 points for the Owls, who didn’t have enough depth to keep pace with Wichita State in the final four minutes.
The Shockers were clinging to a 63-61 lead with eight minutes to play when Reaves, fellow reserve Markis McDuffie and Kelly powered a key 13-3 run. The three combined for 11 points in the surge and helped cool off Rose while leading Wichita State to a 76-64 advantage with just over four minutes remaining.
Shaquille Morris made two foul shots to put the Shockers up 55-45 early in the second half, but the Owls rallied behind Rose. The sophomore guard scored 12 of his team’s next 14 points to cut the deficit to 61-59 with 9:10 left. That was as close as Temple could get in the second half.
The Owls closed to 78-75 on a three-point play by freshman J.P. Moorman with 2:23 to go, but Wichita State made 10 free throws in the final two minutes and played just enough defense to seal the win.
Temple: The Owls had some nice early season wins — Wisconsin, Clemson, Auburn, South Carolina — but need to take the next step in the conference season. The Owls were only 8-10 in AAC play.
Wichita State: The Shockers are aching for a rematch with top-seeded Cincinnati, but first they’ll have to get past the winner of the Houston-UCF game and they’ve struggled with both. Houston handed Wichita State its worst loss of the season, and UCF took the Shockers to overtime before losing in the second-to-last game of the regular season. Wichita State will need another good night from its reserves to reach the finals.