Saturday afternoon on the college hardwood and a pair for teams from the Merican Athletic Conference will square off as the Houston Cougars grapple with the Wichita State Shockers at Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kansas. These teams met once last year and the Cougars won that game at home by a score of 79-70. Houston enters this game at 13-4 on the year while the Shockers are 15-2. Both teams are 3-1 in league play.
Cougars Top Ponies To Get Back On TrackThe Houston Cougars have had a fine season so far as they enter this game at 13-4 overall, including 3-1 in league play. Houston recently had a six-game win streak going but that came to an end in a 63-61 loss at Tulsa. the Cougs were then able to bounce back with a 71-62 win over SMU at home on Wednesday night. The Offense was rolling as Houston had scored 75 points or more in five of the six games during their win streak but they have now put up just 66 ppg in their last two games. Getting their offense going in this one will not be all that easy as the Shockers have played very good defense so far. Houston enters this game ranked 29th in the nation by KenPom and they have faced the 75th rated schedule.
Back to the victory over the Ponies. Houston shot just 43% from the field overall, including 32% from long range (6/19), but they did knock down 17 of their 22 free throw attempts. Leading the attack was Fabian White Jr., who had 17 points and 10 boards while Caleb Mills had 15 points and Nate Hinton had 14. the defense stepped up in a big way as the Mustangs shot just 40% from the field overall, including 24% (6/25) from beyond the arc. the Cougs were aided by the fact that SMU was just six of 13 from the charity stripe.
Houston enters this game ranked 81st in the nation in scoring at 75.9 ppg, 175th in field goal percentage at 43.8%, 126th in three-point shooting at 34.4% and 148th in free-throw shooting at 71.1%. On the defensive end of the floor, they are ranked 87th in points allowed at 65.5 ppg, 37th in defensive FG% at 38.8% and 162nd in three-point defense at 32.5%.
The Shockers Are Off To An Impressive StartPrior to last year, the Shockers had been ranked at one point or another in the top 25 for seven years in a row. Last year, they went just 22-15 overall and were never ranked in the Top 25. The Shockers are back on track as they enter this game at 15-2 overall, including 3-1 in league play. They come in ranked 16th in the nation in the AP Poll while KenPom has them at 36th. Wichita State has faced the 147th ranked slate of games in the nation. The Shockers enter this contest off a bad 65-53 loss to the Temple Owls on the road and that loss broke a nine-game winning streak that State was on. The offense just wasn't there against the Owls and after averaging 78.4 ppg during their winning streak.
Their offense could have a tough time getting back on track as the Cougars have played solid defense this year. Wichita State shot a pathetic 30% from the floor against the Owls and they were just three of 21 from beyond the arc. Those numbers will not get it done at any level. Leading their attack was Jaime Echenique, who had 20 points and 13 boards while Jamarius Burton had 16. The defense played well as they held the Owls to 46% shooting overall, including just 25% (3/12) shooting from long range. This has been a very solid defensive team overall this year but the Cougars are a solid offensive team.
Final from Philly. pic.twitter.com/87LfnLThee— Wichita State Men's Basketball (@GoShockersMBB) January 16, 2020
The Shockers enter this game ranked 77th in the nation in scoring at 76.1 ppg, 288th in field goal percentage at 41.5%, 183rd in three-point shooting at 33.2% and 187th in free-throw shooting at 69.8%. On the defensive end of the floor, they are ranked 66th in points allowed at 63.9 ppg, 31st in defensive FG% at 38.6% and 59th in three-point defense at 30.0%.
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Houston is: None Available
Wichita State is:
- 15-4-2 ATS in their last 21 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss