Nov 27, 2022

Shockers Defeat Tarleton 83-71

Posted Nov 27, 2022 11:59 AM
Wichita State Athletics
Wichita State Athletics

Gus Okafor busted loose for 27 points to help Wichita State fend off Tarleton State, 83-71, and put an end to a dubious shooting streak.

Okafor, a graduate transfer from Southeastern Louisiana, averaged less than five points in his first five games as a Shocker before Saturday's break-through performance in which he made 9-of-11 shots from the field and grabbed eight rebounds.

WSU (4-2) likewise found the cure for its offensive ailments, sinking 24 of its 50 field goal attempts (.540) to break the 50-percent barrier for the first time in 48 games (Jan. 2, 2021 at Ole Miss).

Kenny Pohto added 13 points and nine rebounds to go with Craig Porter's 11 points and five blocks.

Jakorie Smith put up 19 points for Tarleton (3-3), which was coming off a win over Boston College in last weekend's Paradise Jam.

WSU cashed in 24-of-29 free throws to Tarleton's 15-of-18. The Shockers lost the turnover battle 12-5 but out-rebounded the smaller Texans 40-29 and held them to 36.8 percent from the field.

WSU created separation midway through the first half with a 7-0 run, fueled entirely by Okafor. Over a span of 43 seconds he tallied a three-pointer, a transition layup and a stick-back to give the Shockers a 27-19 lead.

Okafor scored the last of his 14 first-half points on a tip-dunk ahead of the buzzer as WSU took a 44-32 edge into the intermission.

The Shockers led by as many as 17 points early in the second half.

Tarleton closed the gap to seven with 1:20 to go, but Okafor answered with a timely alley-oop slam.

Wichita State entertains unbeaten Missouri (7-0) on Tuesday night. The 7 p.m. CT tip off airs on ESPN+. Tickets are available online at goshockers.com/tickets, by phone at 316-978-FANS or weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Shocker Ticket Office, located in the southwest corner of Charles Koch Arena.