Aaron Ellis capped his Senior Day with a lay-up with 1.5 seconds left, lifting Wichita State to a 67-65 win over Creighton on Wednesday night in Wichita, Kan., before a sellout crowd of 10,506 fans at Charles Koch Arena.
Creighton is now 17-13 on the season, and in fifth place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 9-8 league mark. Wichita State is 23-6 overall and 14-3 in Valley play. The Shockers can clinch the top seed for next week’s State Farm MVC Tournament on Saturday afternoon with a win at Valley co-leader Missouri State (22-7, 14-3 MVC).
The first half featured six ties and 10 lead changes before a 7-2 run in the final two minutes capped by Antoine Young’s fallway jumper gave the Jays a 35-32 intermission edge. Creighton was paced by nine points in the first half from Young and led the glass by a 16-13 margin.
Wichita State scored the first five points of the second half on a David Kyles three-pointer and a JT Durley lay-up to take a lead just one minute into the half. Just when it looked like Wichita State might pull away up five with the crowd back into it, CU got scores from Kenny Lawson Jr. and Young to get within one, and Gregory Echenique found a cutting Wayne Runnels a short time later to knot the score at 52 with 9:54 to go. A three-point play with 8:06 remaining by Echenique gave Creighton a 55-54 lead, its first since the opening moments of the second half, and the teams were tied at 57 with six minutes to go.
WSU led 60-59 at the final media timeout, but Echenique sank two free throws with 3:31 to go up 61-60. WSU’s Joe Ragland followed with corner trey with 3:05 left to give the hosts the two-point lead. Echenique answered with two more foul shots with 2:49 left. WSU’s Toure’ Murry was then fouled and hit two at the line for a two point Shocker lead with 2:36 left.
After both teams traded scoreless possessions, CU would call timeout with the ball down 65-63 with 1:29 left. The Jays scored on a hoop inside by Echenique. After a WSU miss, CU’s Doug McDermott was fouled with 33.1 seconds left. He missed the front-end of a bonus situation, and WSU snared the rebound.
WSU went without a timeout and milked most of the clock, before Joe Ragland drove baseline and found a cutting Ellis, who converted the lay-up with 1.5 seconds left. After a full timeout, Creighton’s Runnels threw it 60 feet to McDermott, but his game-winning three-pointer from 30 feet bounced off the rim, much to the elation of the sellout crowd.
Creighton had four men in double-figures, led by 15 from Young, who also had a team-best four assists. Echenique had 14 points, while McDermott added 11 and Jahenns Manigat 10. Cerghton shot 53.3 percent for the game (24-45), including 4-of-11 from downtown (36.4 percent) and 13-of-18 at the line (72.2 percent).
WSU was led by 16 points from Durley, while Ragland had 14 points, nine assists and four steals. WSU shot 40.7 percent from the field (22-54), 40 percent (6-15) from long-range and 81.0 percent (17-21) at the line.
Creighton returns to action on Saturday, when it closes the regular-season with a 1:05 pm game against Northern Iowa.
Story courtesy of Creighton athletics