Jamarius Burton scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half to help No. 23/23 Wichita State to a 76-67 American Athletic Conference victory over No. 21/22 Memphis, Thursday night in just the sixth head-to-head matchup between AP top-25 teams in Charles Koch Arena’s 65-year history.
The Shockers (14-1, 2-0 American) extended their winning streak to eight games and kept pace with Houston and SMU (both 2-0) as the league’s only remaining unbeatens.
Memphis (12-3) fell to 1-1 in conference play.
The Shockers improved to 3-0 this year against top-25 teams from the USA Today Coaches Poll, having previously beaten No. 25 Oklahoma State and No. 25 VCU.
The victory was Wichita State’s first over an AP nationally-ranked team since winning at No. 5 Cincinnati on Feb. 18, 2018.
In clash of highly-rated defenses, Wichita State shot 32.8 percent from the field but held the visiting Tigers (12-3, 1-1) to 35.7 percent. Memphis missed 17 of its 21 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Shockers committed only three second-half turnovers and finished the game plus-eight in takeaways (18-10).
Eight Shockers scored at least six points in a balanced effort. Burton sank 6-of-11 shots and dished out a team-high three assists in 30 minutes. Erik Stevenson added 12 points to go with 11 points and four steals from Tyson Etienne Dexter Dennis paired eight points with a team-high eight rebounds off the bench.
Previous Achiuwa paced Memphis with 22 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Tyler Harris tacked on 17 points.
The Shockers fed off an energetic crowd and raced to a 17-4 lead.
After Memphis pulled to within 37-31 at the break, Wichita State scored the first five points of the second period to go back up by double-digits.
A pair of Stevenson three-pointers keyed an 8-0 run that gave the hosts their largest lead of the evening, 56-37, with 12:00 to play.
Achiuwa’s late flurry helped the Tigers claw to within six points with just 3:00 remaining, but the Shockers eventually restored order. Stevenson fed Jaime Echenique for a dunk to set off a 5-0 Shocker spurt.