Wichita State’s players looked stunned against California’s defensive pressure, throwing errant passes easily picked off, casting up rushed shots as their deficit climbed.
The Final Four? The Shockers didn’t look like they could get out of the first round in Maui.
With one necessary, tactical switch, Wichita State looked more like one of the nation’s best teams over the final 15 minutes, leaving the Bears wondering what happened.
Forced into a full-court press to lengthen the game, No. 6 Wichita State hit the Bears with a barrage of traps and layups to turn an 18-point deficit in a wild, 92-82 victory on Monday at the Maui Invitational.
“We kind of looked like the Bad News Bears for the most part,” Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. “But things that made this program pretty good over the years has been our grit and determination, and we certainly showed that in the second half.”
Cal (2-2) used its pressure to harass the Shockers into mistakes and missed shots, building the lead 18 within 4 minutes of the second half.
The Shockers (3-0) turned the game around by turning on their own pressure cooker, revving up the crowd by speeding up the young Bears with their full-court press. Cal handled it poorly, leading to a string of turnovers and transition baskets that allowed Wichita State to pull even with 5 minutes left.
Wichita State snatched the lead with a late 8-0 run and pulled away from there.
Shaquille Morris scored 25 points and Landry Shamet added 23 to lead the Shockers into Tuesday’s semifinals against Marquette.
at No. 1 Duke 92, Furman 63: Marvin Bagley III scored 24 points and the Blue Devils beat the Paladins (2-2) in the on-campus round of the PK80.
Trevon Duval had a season-best 18 points, Wendell Carter Jr. added 14 and a fourth freshman — Alex O’Connell — scored 10 for the Blue Devils (5-0).
at No. 8 Kentucky 70, Troy 62: Kevin Knox scored 17 points andthe Wildcats built a big lead in the second half before having to withstand a late rally by the Trojans.
No. 9 North Carolina 96, at Stanford 72: Joel Berry II scored 29 points, Kenny Williams posted career highs with 20 points and six three-pointers, and the Tar Heels (3-0) beat the Cardinal (3-2) in a matchup of Roy Williams against his former player-turned coach, Jerod Haase.
No. 22 Baylor 70, Wisconsin 65: Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Manu Lecomte poured in 25 points and the Bears held on after blowing most of a 19-point lead to beat the Badgers in the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Classic.
at No. 23 West Virginia 91, Long Beach State 62: Lamont West was a point shy of a career high with 22 and the Mountaineers (3-1) overcame a slow start to beat the 49ers (2-2). Gabe Levin had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the 49ers.
UC Santa Barbara 92, at Pepperdine 84: Max Heidegger scored 24 points and the Gauchos (2-2) led the entire second half in a victory over the Waves (1-3) in the Progressive Legends Classic sub-regional.
at USC 75, Long Beach State 60: The Trojans pushed their record to 4-0 will a win over the 49ers (0-4). Sadie Edwards led USC with 25 points. Kristen Simon had 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Cal State Northridge vs. Southeast Missouri State, Noon
UC Santa Barbara vs. Montana, 5 p.m.
Oral Roberts at Pepperdine, 7:30 p.m.
No. 1 Connecticut at No. 5 UCLA, 7:30 p.m.