Shake Milton wasn’t around to save Southern Methodist against Wichita State this time.
Milton led the charge with 33 points in SMU’s upset of the then-No. 7 Shockers on Jan. 17 in Wichita, Kan., but the junior guard sat out with an injury for Saturday’s rematch at Moody Coliseum in Dallas.
Wichita State took full advantage of Milton’s absence, with Markis McDuffie matching a career high with 26 points to lead the 13th-ranked Shockers past the Mustangs 84-78 in a late-season American Athletic Conference matchup.
Shaquille Morris had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds for Wichita State (23-5, 13-3 AAC), which earned its sixth straight victory and has won eight of nine since back-to-back losses in late January — the first of which came against SMU.
Milton, the Mustangs’ leading scorer averaging 18 points per game, missed his seventh straight game with a right hand injury. In his absence, Jahmal McMurray led SMU with a game-high 28 points and Jimmy Whitt added 16, six assists and five rebounds.
Southern Methodist (16-13, 6-10) returned to the loss column after last Wednesday’s 77-58 victory at East Carolina snapped the Mustangs’ season-high, five-game losing streak.
The win improved Wichita State’s to 48-8 in road games since the start of the 2013-14 season, a total that leads the nation.
The Shockers led 37-35 at halftime.
After McMurray’s 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer brought SMU within two, McDuffie’s three-point play to open the second had the Wichita State lead up to five. The Shockers’ lead swelled to 11 after a 17-8 run to open the period.
Wichita State led by as many as 17 after that.
A 3-pointer from Ben Emelogu with 19:21 to play in the opening half gave the Mustangs their largest lead at 3-1.
A pair of Whitt free throws had SMU up 19-18 with 9:27 on the clock, but Conner Frankamp’s trey at 8:48 put Wichita State ahead for good.
SMU faces No. 23 Houston in its final home game next Wednesday. Wichita State plays its final road game Thursday against Central Florida.
—Field Level Media