EVANSVILLE, Ind. - With considerable help from turnover-prone Wichita State, Colt Ryan shot Evansville to an upset Sunday.
Ryan's 24 points, combined with an uncharacteristic 21 turnovers from the No. 23 Shockers, lifted the Purple Aces to a 71-67 Missouri Valley Conference win at the Ford Center.
Ryan also doled out eight assists, the last coming on Ned Cox's 3-pointer with 1:47 left that gave Evansville (11-6, 4-1) a 64-58 advantage. The Aces survived 7-of-12 foul shooting in the final 85 seconds to earn their fourth straight win. The Aces came into the game shooting 75 from the foul line.
Malcolm Armstead paced Wichita State (15-2, 4-1), which fell out of a first-place tie in the Valley with Creighton, with 21 points. Cleanthony Early, who fired in a career-high 39 points in a Wednesday night win over Southern Illinois, added 13 before fouling out with 31.9 seconds left.
But the Shockers, who have survived the loss of three starters during a six-game winning streak that pushed them into the top 25 for the second time this season, couldn't overcome sloppy ballhandling. Armstead and Demetric Williams each committed five turnovers, and Evansville cashed in, racking up a 25-9 margin in points off turnovers.
Wichita State had a chance to force overtime, but reserve forward Jake White missed a long 3-pointer from the right wing with less than 10 seconds left. Lewis Jones wrapped it up with a foul shot with four seconds remaining, and Aces players shook hands with some of the crowd of 5,485 as they walked off the floor.
The first half turned into a shootout between Ryan and Armstead, who took up the slack for Wichita State after Early picked up two early fouls and played just 10 minutes.
Ryan worked around a series of screens, running curl after curl en route to 13 points. Armstead, an Oregon transfer, lit it up for 15, including three 3-pointers.
But it was a slick Ryan pass to freshman center Egidijus Mockevicius for a layup with 9.8 seconds remaining in the half that sent Evansville to the locker room with a 32-31 lead.
Notes: Wichita State hasn't been outrebounded in a game this season and wasn't again in this one, owning a 36-22 advantage. The Shockers have won the board battle in 66 of their last 76 games ... Ryan became the 27th player in Valley history to go over 1,800 points for his career in Wednesday night's win at Northern Iowa ... Wichita State forward Carl Hall, the team's second-leading scorer who's been out nearly a month with a thumb injury, could return next week.