DES MOINES — The road finally caught up to Wichita State. Fouls. Hot shooting by the home team. Missed free throws. Fatigue. Bad bounces. It happens.
Drake knocked the Shockers out of a first-place tie in the Missouri Valley Conference with an 93-86 win in triple overtime. WSU (18-4, 9-2 MVC) lost its first road game in seven trips. Drake (13-9, 6-5) snapped a two-game losing streak and their students stormed the court. One fan took a picture of the scoreboard.
The Shockers led in the first overtime, but couldn’t put the Bulldogs away. They rallied from a six-point deficit in the second overtime. Drake took over in the third and refused to let WSU back in it. The Bulldogs went up 87-82 after WSU missed two three-pointers early in the overtime. Then the Bulldogs made enough free throws to force WSU into three-pointers that wouldn’t fall. The Shockers played most of the final two overtimes without Toure Murry, who fouled out. Center Garrett Stutz fouled out in the third overtime.
Without Murry and Stutz, the Shocker offense limited itself to three-pointers. WSU missed 10 of 11 threes in the extra period and made 6 of 10 two-point shots.
Drake’s Ben Simons scored a career-high 29 points, making 11 of 22 shots. Rayvonte Rice scored 19 points, but made 5 of 23 shots. Kurt Alexander scored six of Drake’s 11 points in the third overtime and finished with 17.
Stutz led WSU with 27 points and committed seven turnovers. Joe Ragland scored 25 and handed out six assists. Murry added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
WSU committed 18 turnovers, most painfully giving away three straight possessions with a 65-63 lead in the first overtime. Drake also out-rebounded WSU 48-46 and outscored it at the foul line 24-17.
WSU rallied from a six-point deficit in the second overtime. It trailed 82-79 when Ben Smith made a three to tie. Rice’s jumper bounced away to send the game to a third overtime.
Drake forced the first overtime after WSU’s Demetric Williams missed the front end of a one-and-one with 12.6 seconds to play. He almost grabbed his own rebound, then lost it. Drake sped up the court and Simons missed a heavily contested layup. That allowed Kraidon Woods to grab the rebound and score with 1.5 seconds remaining, tying it at 63-all. WSU didn’t get a shot off in the final second.
The Shockers took a 65-63 lead in overtime and then turned the ball over three straight times, missing a chance to build a cushion. Drake took a 68-67 lead. Murry grabbed it back with a spectacular drive underneath the rim for a three-point play through three defenders.
Rice tied it at 70 on two free throws with 41.8 seconds remaining. Murry missed a long jumper in the final seconds and Rice’s desperation shot bounced away to force a second overtime.
WSU built seven-point leads three times in the second half and couldn’t extend them. Stutz’s dunk made it 49-42. After two Bulldog free throws, he made a long jumper trailing on a break for a 51-44 lead. Drake responded with a Simons basket. Ragland pushed the lead to 53-46 with a bank shot over two defenders. WSU missed a chance to make it nine when Ragland’s lob to David Kyles sailed too high. Drake ran off four points to cut WSU’s lead to 53-50.
WSU started the game with four shots at the rim. Stutz laid in two and dunked. Murry missed a layup. WSU led 6-0, forcing a Drake timeout. WSU led 9-0 before Simons scored wtih 16:50 remaining in the half.
The Shockers continued to let Stutz lead the way, sprinkling in three-pointers, on their way to a 24-14 lead. They led 30-22 after a three by Ragland when the Bulldogs changed the momentum. WSU turnovers helped the Bulldogs rally. Then they started beating the Shockers downcourt for easy baskets. Rice’s layup, after a WSU miss, gave Drake a 33-32 lead. After a turnover, Simons got loose on a fast break for a three-pointer and a 36-32 lead.
WSU regained the lead briefly, 37-36, on Toure Murry’s three from the corner. Simons scored to make it 38-37 at halftime.
WSU tried Williams, David Kyles and Carl Hall on Simons, a 6-foot-8 forward who can shoot over smaller players. He ran defenders through a maze of screens on his way to 17 first-half points. Simons made 7 of 10 shots in the first half, all three of his three-point shots.
Stutz made 6 of 9 shots and scored 15 points in the first half. Ragland also went 3 for 3 from three-point range and he scored 12 in the first half.