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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Elijah Joiner caught an inbounds pass with 3.3 seconds left and raced from one key to the next, connecting on a 3-pointer as time expired to give Tulsa a 54-51 victory over No. 23 Wichita State on Saturday.
Hundreds of fans in the near-sellout crowd of 8,089 stormed the court in a wild celebration after Tulsa toppled another ranked visitor. In its previous home game, the Hurricane routed then-No. 20 Memphis 80-40.
Joiner shot 5-for-6 on 3s and scored 22 points for Tulsa (15-6, 7-1 AAC), which won its sixth in a row. Martins Igbanu, who tied the score at 51 with two free throws with 43 seconds left, had 10 points.
Jaime Enchinique scored 15 for Wichita State (17-4, 5-3), but only two in the second half.
Erik Stevenson missed a 3-pointer for Wichita State with 22 seconds left and teammate Jamaris Burton snared the rebound. The Shockers went for the last shot but never took it, incurring a shot clock violation with 3.3 seconds left, setting up Joiner’s play.
The contest was tight, physical and hotly contested throughout. Wichita State’s largest lead was six while Tulsa never led by more than three.
Wichita State held Tulsa leading scorer Brandon Rachel to two points on 1-of-10 shooting. The Shockers limited Tulsa to 37.2% shooting (16-43) but made just 34.5% of their own (20-58).
The game may have rekindled the long rivalry in the 131st meeting between the schools. Wichita State brought at least 2,000 fans and had won 13 of the previous 14 meetings. The Shockers lead the overall series 69-62.
Tulsa: The Hurricane, picked to finish 10th in the 12-team league, has only a blowout loss at Cincinnati as a blemish on its league record. The Hurricane held firm against a physical Wichita State team.
Wichita State: The Shockers failed to get the ball inside in the second half against Tulsa’s matchup zone defense, instead settling for a 31 3-point attempts, only six of which went in.
Wichita State: Returns home to face Cincinnati on Thursday.
Tulsa: Hosts UConn on Thursday.