Jan 13, 2020 12:43 AM

Shockers turn back UConn in double overtime

Posted Jan 13, 2020 12:43 AM

HARTFORD, Conn. – No. 23/23 Wichita State let a nine-point lead slip away in the final minute of regulation but regrouped to beat UConn in double-overtime, 89-86, on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center.

Jaime Echenique scored 19 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for Wichita State (15-1, 3-0), which won its ninth-straight game and now sits alone in first place as the American Athletic Conference’s lone unbeaten.

Erik Stevenson (16 points), Dexter Dennis (16) and Jamarius Burton (13) joined him double-figures.

The Shockers will take the nation’s second-longest true road winning streak (8) to Temple on Wednesday night (8 p.m. CT, ESPNU).

Christian Vital finished with 25 points, five rebounds and five steals to pace UConn (10-6, 1-3), which trailed 69-60 with 1:05 to go but rattled the Shockers with a full-court press and scored the last nine points of regulation. Sidney Wilson’s corner three tied the game with 1.4 seconds remaining.

WSU had gone the first 15 games without a player fouling out but lost its top-two scorers during overtime. Stevenson was whistled for his fifth foul with 2:43 remaining in the first OT period. Echenique joined him on the bench just over a minute into the second.

The Shockers had a chance to win it in the first overtime segment. A Josh Carlton free throw knotted the game at 77 with 32 seconds to go. WSU played for a last shot. Burton’s jumper missed the mark, and Tyson Etienne’s leaping tip try spun out.

Etienne gave the Shockers the lead for good with a three-point play just three seconds into double-OT. Buckets from Burton and Grant Sherfield helped maintain it.

Vital’s three cut the Wichita State lead to 87-86, but Sherfield calmly sank two free throws with 26 seconds left to make it a three-point game.

UConn had two chances to score an equalizer, but Morris Udeze drew a charge and Vital’s long three-pointer with two seconds to play bounced off the rim.

KEY STATS

The Shockers committed a season-high 21 turnovers – 19 in regulation but only two in the 10 minutes of overtime.

UConn attempted 42 free throws to WSU’s 24 and outscored the Shockers 29-19 at the line.

WSU has held 13 of its 16 opponents under 40-percent from the field. UConn shot 38.2 percent, including 5-of-19 from distance. The Shockers hit just under 43 percent of their shots and were 6-of-19 from deep.

Dennis scored in double-figures for the first time since Nov. 9 against Texas Southern. 13 of his 16 points came after halftime.

WSU has lost the rebounding battle on all three American Athletic Conference games – a rarity under Gregg Marshall. UConn led 48-46 on the glass Sunday. Its 19 offensive rebounds were the most by a Shocker opponent this year.

ALSO NOTABLE

The Shockers’ loss at UConn on Jan. 26, 2019 was a low-point in the 2018-19 season, dropping them to 8-11 (1-6). What a different a year makes. Since that game, Wichita State is 29-5.

WSU (2-0 on the road this year) won its last six road games in 2018-19, including three-straight in the 2019 NIT at Furman, Clemson and Indiana.

The Shockers are 93-50 on the road in 13 seasons under Marshall. That includes a 58-15 mark (.795) since the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

WSU has won seven-straight AAC games going back to last year. The Shockers are 27-12 in three seasons as a member of the league.

WSU leads the all-time series with UConn, 4-2 (4-1 AAC era) and improved to 2-0 at the XL Center.

UP NEXT

The Shockers continue on to Philadelphia for a Wednesday night date with Temple (9-6, 1-3). The 8 p.m. CT tip airs nationally on ESPNU.

Temple is one of just three AAC schools that the Shockers haven’t beaten on the road: Temple (0-1), Houston (0-2), USF (0-1).

WSU lost its Liacouras Center debut in overtime on Feb. 1, 2018. The Owls were a home-only opponent last year, due to the league unbalanced schedule.

The Shockers won the most-recent meeting in the quarterfinals of last year’s American tournament, 80-74.

--goshockers.com--

Continue Reading Salina Post
Jan 13, 2020 12:43 AM
Chiefs rally from 24-0 hole to beat Texans 51-31 in playoffs

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo.— Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are back in the AFC championship game.

How they returned to the brink of their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years was unlike anything anybody could have imagined.

After digging a 24-0 hole against Houston early in the second quarter Sunday, Mahomes and the rest of the high-flying Chiefs embarked on the biggest comeback in franchise history. Their young superstar proceeded to throw for 321 yards and five touchdowns, Travis Kelce and Damien Williams reached the end zone three times apiece, and Kansas City reeled off 41 consecutive points in a 51-31 victory over the Texans in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The Chiefs are the first team in NFL history to win a playoff game by at least 20 points after trailing in that game by at least 20 points. And Mahomes is the first player in NFL history with at least 300 passing yards, at least five TD passes and at least 50 rushing yards in a playoff game.

"Yeah, I mean, obviously we didn't start the way we wanted to, but all we were preaching — offense, defense and special teams — is let's do something special," Mahomes said. "Everybody's already counting us out, let's keep fighting and just go one play at a time, and we found a way. Obviously, this is a huge win and now we've got the AFC championship game at home."

The Chiefs (13-4), who lost to the Patriots in overtime in last year's conference title game, will play Tennessee next Sunday for a spot in Miami. The Titans stunned Lamar Jackson and the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night.

"We've already played them and we know they're a tough team," Mahomes said of the Titans, who beat Chiefs in November. "They're a team that battles all the way until the end. They're a team that's really hot, playing really good football right now, so we know it's going to take our best effort. And, whatever way, we've got to find a way to win. That's the biggest thing you saw here today was we've just got to find a way no matter what."

Kelce finished with 10 catches for 134 yards, Williams ran for two scores while catching a TD pass, helping the Chiefs win their seventh consecutive game and reach back-to-back AFC title games for the first time.

Watson, meanwhile, threw for 388 yards and two touchdowns while running for another, but not even his heroics could bail out the Texans (11-7) after they were outscored 28-0 in the second quarter. They continued to allow Kansas City to pull away during a dismal third, their epic collapse leaving the reborn Houston franchise 0-4 in the divisional round.

The Chiefs certainly gave them the perfect opportunity to finally break that streak in the first quarter.

On defense, Kansas City blew overage on Kenny Stills on the opening possession, allowing him to walk into the end zone from 54 yards. On offense, they wasted timeouts, dropped a series of easy passes and managed just 46 yards. And on special teams, the Chiefs had a punt blocked for a score and fumbled a return that set up another touchdown.

Indeed, the Texans were humming right along after finishing on a 22-3 run to beat Buffalo last week, while the mountain of miscues made by the Chiefs made them only the fourth home playoff team to trail 21-0 after the first quarter.

Then it was the Texans' turn to struggle.

They had stretched the lead to 24-0 before the Chiefs, whose largest deficit overcome had been 21 points, put together a comeback for the ages. Mahomes hit Williams with a quick touchdown toss to begin it, then Houston curiously faked a punt at its own 31-yard line and was stuffed, giving the Chiefs a short field and another easy touchdown.

On the ensuing kickoff, Texans return man DeAndre Carter had the ball pop loose and into the arms of Darwin Thompson, whose return set up a second Mahomes-to-Kelce touchdown in a matter of seconds. And a third came after the Chiefs forced a punt — a successful one, for a change — and they drove 90 yards to take a stunning 28-24 halftime lead.

"I mean, it was amazing," Mahomes said of Kelce. "The first thing I said to him when I saw him there at the end, I was like, 'Man, I mean, you're a monster, man. You are.' I mean, the way he was fighting through injury and still making plays all day long."

The comeback became a clobbering by the time the third quarter ended.

The Chiefs' breezed downfield to start the second half, and Williams finished the drive with his first TD run. Their overhauled defense under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sacked Watson on fourth down to get the ball right back, and Mahomes and Co. required just six more plays to position Williams for another TD run and a 41-24 lead.

It was the most unanswered points in a playoff game since the Jets had 41 against the Colts in the 2002 wild-card round.

Even when the Texans finally cracked the scoreboard, when Watson scrambled to his left and dived over the pylon, the Chiefs rendered the touchdown moot. In four plays they went 72 yards to set up the fifth TD pass by Mahomes, the strike to little-used tight end Blake Bell giving coach Andy Reid's team a postseason-record seven straight TD drives.

It also gave a festive crowd that turned out early in freezing weather and a slight drizzle a chance to celebrate early.

INJURIES

Houston played without S Jahleel Addae (hamstring) and TE Jordan Akins (hamstring). They also lost RT Chris Clark to a knee injury early in the game, and backup Roderick Johnson struggled against the Chiefs pass rush the rest of the game.

Kansas City sat defensive tackle Chris Jones, who strained his calf muscle late in the week and couldn't make it through pregame warm-ups. WR Tyreek Hill left briefly after a hard hit but eventually returned to the game.

UP NEXT

The Texans will spend the offseason wondering how they let a 24-0 lead slip away, and the Chiefs will begin preparing for the Titans in the AFC title game. Kansas City lost lost 35-32 at Tennessee in Week 10, when Derrick Henry ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns against them. It was the most recent time the Chiefs lost a game.