Van Vleet scored 12 points as the Shockers (30-8) followed up last week’s win over top-ranked Gonzaga with a nail-biting victory over the second-seeded Buckeyes (29-8), whose 11-game winning streak ended one game short of their second straight Final Four.
Wichita State roared to a 20-point lead with 11 minutes to play after Ohio State played an awful first half, but LaQuinton Ross scored 15 of his 19 points after halftime, leading a ferocious rally to within three points in the final minutes.
FINAL: Despite building a 20-point advantage, Wichita State needed to hang on for a 70-66 upset victory over Ohio State on Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles in the Elite Eight. Ohio State (29-8) struggled shooting the ball in the game, shooting 31 percent from the field (19-of-61). Deshaun Thomas went for 23 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Buckeyes. Cleanthony Early sparked Wichita State (30-8), as he contributed 12 points, pulled down seven rebounds, and went 5-of-9 from the field in the victory. The Shockers struggled from the floor, shooting 37 percent (22-of-59), but it shot 40 percent (8-of-20) from distance. Wichita State also got solid contributions from Tekele Cotton (10 points), Fred Van Vleet (12 points), and Malcolm Armstead (14 points). The Buckeyes also got a double-digit effort from LaQuinton Ross (19 points).
HALFTIME: Wichita State has the lead at the break, 35-22, thanks to its ability to hold Ohio State to 24 percent from the field (8-of-33). The Shockers also used a 28-21 rebound margin to jump out to the 13-point lead. Deshaun Thomas leads all scorers with nine points, however they came on just 4-of-13 from the field. Wichita State hit five threes in the first half, shooting 42 percent from deep. Cleanthony Early leads eight Wichita State scorers with eight points. Aaron Craft went for three points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal in the first 20 minutes.
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