ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Markis McDuffie scored a career-high 32 points and sparked a second-half run that carried Wichita State past Providence 83-80 Friday night.
Playing at the Naval Academy in the opener of the Veteran's Classic, the Shockers (1-1) bounced back from an early 10-point deficit to avoid their first 0-2 start since 1990.
Alpha Diallo had a career-high 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Friars (1-1), who trailed the entire second half.
Wichita State was clinging to a 51-49 lead before McDuffie made a four-point play. That launched an 11-2 spurt for an 11-point cushion with 12:55 left.
After Providence closed to 76-72, McDuffie made a layup to thwart the comeback bid.
McDuffie went 12 for 19 from the field, including 6 for 9 from 3-point range. His previous career high was 26.
The 6-foot-8 forward is one of two seniors on a team that lost nine players after going 25-8 and reaching the NCAA Tournament for a seventh consecutive season.
The other senior on the current squad, Samajae Haynes-Jones, had 15 points and eight assists.
A.J. Reeves scored 19 for Providence, a solid encore to his 29-point performance against Sienna in his college debut.