WICHITA, Kan. -- One of these days Wichita State will catch a break in a close game against Cincinnati.
Sunday wasn't that day.
The visiting Bearcats scored the last five points to leave Charles Koch Arena with 61-57 victory.
David DeJulius scored 18 points, including the go-ahead basket with 2:18 to play for Cincinnati (13-5, 3-2 American).
The Bearcats have won eight of the 10 AAC era meetings between the teams. Six of those UC wins have come down to the final possession.
Tyson Etienne had 14 points and six assists to lead the Shockers (9-7, 0-4) who were playing without starting point guard Craig Porter Jr. (health & safety protocol).
Morris Udeze put up 12 points and 11 rebounds and Ricky Council IV added 11 points.
WSU dropped a third-straight game at home for the first time since the 2007-08 season and dipped to 0-4 in league play for the first time since an 0-6 MVC start in 2008-09.
The Shockers surrendered just 12 points in the paint and out-rebounded the visitors 39-32.
The Bearcats converted just 6-of-21 attempts from inside the lane but atoned by knocking down jump shot after jump shot -- 6-of-10 from mid-range and 10-of-26 from three.
Cincinnati's 10 triples were the most by a Shocker opponent all season. WSU had limited foes to conference-best 28.7 percent coming in.
DeJulius (3-for-4), Hayden Koval (3-for-5) and John Newman II (2-for-3) did much of the damage for the Bearcats.
WSU led by 10 points after just 11 minutes of play. Etienne hit a three to snap a 7-all tie and assisted two Kenny Pohto baskets during a 7-0 run.
Qua Grant's three made it a 20-10 game.
The Shockers were 9-of-16 (.563) from the field up to that point but made just 13-of-43 (.303) thereafter, beginning with a stretch of six-straight misses.
Cincinnati spanned halftime with a 9-0 run to tie the game. Koval and DeJulius made consecutive threes to whittle WSU's lead to 31-28 halftime.
Jeremiah Davenport opened the second half with a three to make it 31-all with 18:39 to play.
The Shockers responded with an 8-0 push.
Udeze scored twice inside. Council juked his man and converted a tough reverse layup and Pleasant stuck a putback for a 39-31 cushion at the 14:58-mark.
It was 42-34 with 13:56 to go after Udeze's three-point play, but the Shockers finished on a 5-for-20 shooting slide.
Cincinnati scored 27 points over the final 13:32, converting 10-of-16 shots.
A Mika Adams-Woods jumper tied the game with 8:31 to play and Davenport put the Bearcats in front for the first time since early in the first half with another jumper at the 6:36-mark.
Etienne scored the final eight Shocker points over the last 7:28, capped by a circus layup with 2:34 to play that gave the hosts a 57-56 lead.
DeJulius wriggled to the rim for a layup with 2:18 to play for a 58-57 Bearcat advantage.
Cincinnati got a stop and added two more Adams-Woods free throws to make it a three-point lead with 1:45 left.
Etienne missed a driving layup and – after Udeze's offensive rebound – a step-back jumper.
Cincinnati ended its next possession ended with a shot-clock violation but also bled 43 seconds off the clock.
Dennis missed a game-tying three from straight away with 14 seconds remaining and DeJulius iced the game with a free throw.
- Cincinnati now leads the all-time series 26-13 (11-9 in Wichita).
- WSU's 10 three-point attempts was its lowest total since making 3-of-8 in a Nov. 25, 2013 win over DePaul in Kansas City (90-72).
- The Shockers have held double-digit leads in four of their seven losses.
- Udeze's double-double was his first of the season and the second of his four-year Shocker career. It was his third time with double-digit rebounds. His 11 boards were on shy of his career high (12), set Nov. 13 against South Alabama.
- Dexter Dennis grabbed seven rebounds to move over 500-mark for his career. He's the 43rd Shocker to reach that milestone. Sunday was Dennis' 100th game in a WSU uniform.
- With Porter out, Etienne ran the point for the majority of the day. Etienne matched his career-high with six assists while committing just one turnover in 36 minutes.
- With a 2-for-5 effort from three, Etienne moved into sole possession of sixth-place on WSU's all-time three-point field goal chart (166). He had entered the day tied with Conner Frankamp. The third-year guard needs just 30 more to match Jason Perez (196) for fifth-place.
- Etienne has scored in double-figures in five-straight games and in 11 of his 15 games this season. He's made at least one three-point in 13-straight contests.
- Joe Pleasant matched his season-high with seven rebounds
- The Shockers hit the road for back-to-back games: Wednesday at Temple (6 p.m. CT, ESPN+) and Sunday at SMU (4 p.m. CT, ESPN2).
- WSU is winless in two trips to Temple's Liarcouras Center (0-2) but last played there in January, 2020. The Shockers won the lone meeting last season in Wichita.
- WSU is 4-0 at SMU's Moody Coliseum since joining The American.