Wichita State drops home heartbreaker to Tulane

Photo courtesy WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY

Wichita State freshman guard Ricky Council IV soars through the paint for a dunk with two seconds left in the first half Wednesday night against Tulane at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita.

WICHITA (WSU) — Ricky Council IV’s would-be game winner wasn’t to be.

Wichita State fell 68-67 to visiting Tulane on Wednesday evening at Charles Koch Arena after Council’s driving layup at the buzzer was negated by a charging foul.

Jaylen Forbes scored 20 points and Jalen Cook added 18 points and five assists for Tulane (4-1), which overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to claim its first victory over the Shockers in seven tries.

Tyson Etienne had 20 points to pace short-handed WSU (9-6, 0-3), which played without starters Morris Udeze and Dexter Dennis.

Craig Porter Jr. established new career-highs with 18 points and nine rebounds to go with four assists and four steals.

WSU had entered the day as one of just 15 teams without a double performance but got one, at last, from Council who finished with 12 points and career-high 15 boards.

The Shockers scored the game’s first 11 points and led 42-28 at halftime after converting 8-of-18 first-half threes.

Council’s emphatic tip-dunk with two seconds remaining capped an eight-point, 10-rebound half.

Tulane’s offense came to life, coming away with points on 17 of its first 24 possessions to start the second half.

The Green Wave used a 14-3 run to take their first lead of the night with 7:20 to play on a pair of Cook free throws.

The lead changed hands four more times.

Porter’s basket with 2:48 to play gave the Shockers a 67-66 advantage, however those were their last points.

Tulane regained the lead, 68-67, on Cross’ post-up and the teams spent the final 1:55 trading defensive stops.

James missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity, giving the Shockers the ball with 17 seconds remaining.

WSU had two chances to go in front in the closing seconds. Etienne slipped while driving the lane, but the possession arrow favored the Shockers after a tie-up.

Council caught an inbound pass at the top of the key with three seconds remaining and dribbled into the heart of the lane before barreling into Tulane’s Nobal Days. Council absorbed the contact and converted a tough layup as time expired, but officials waived off the basket.

The Shockers have lost three-in-a-row for the first time since February, 2020 and back-to-back home conference games for the first time since dropping the 2017-18 finale to Cincinnati and their 2018-19 opener against Temple.

Etienne topped 20 points for the fourth time this season and for the 16th time in his WSU career. The six triples matched Etienne’s career-high, set four times previously, most recently against Nevada-Las Vegas at the Roman Main Event in Las Vegas.

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