College basketball area roundup

Houston, Texas Tech and Texas shining in early conference action

Shaka Smart and UT picked up a big win. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

TEXAS LONGHORNS (10-4) 2-0 Big XII

Last week (2-0):
W- @ Kansas State 67-47, W- West Virginia 61-54

This week: Tuesday @ Oklahoma State, Saturday vs. Texas Tech, Monday @ Kansas

Texas couldn't have asked for a better start to Big XII play, winning in a rout at Kansas State against a Wildcat team that was without a couple of key players due to injury. You'd be hard-pressed to convince me that it would have mattered. Texas shot 52% from 3-point range and held Kansas State under 33% shooting from the field. The Horns had just a 3-point lead at halftime, but Jace Febres scored 15 of his team-leading 23 points in the second half, and Texas ran away with the win. Febres was 7-9 from 3-point range. Texas then defended their home court in their second conference game, defeating West Virginia 61-54. Matt Coleman had 17 points to lead the Horns. The Texas point guard also had 0 turnovers in his 35 minutes of play. Dylan Osetkowski had 14 points and 7 rebounds in the win. Texas plays at Oklahoma State on Tuesday, then get the top two teams in the conference in Texas Tech and Kansas.

TEXAS A&M; AGGIES (6-6) 0-1 SEC

Last week (0-1): L- Arkansas 73-71

This week: Tuesday @ Kentucky, Saturday @ Alabama

The Aggies can't be pleased with their start to the season in non-conference play, and Arkansas made sure that SEC play didn't make them feel any better. The Hogs knocked off the Aggies 73-71 in the conference opener. The poor shooting for A&M; from long range did them in, with the Aggies hitting just 5 of their 24 3-point attempts. TJ Starks and Sauvion Flagg provided the only offense for the Aggies, scoring 43 of their 71 points. The future schedule won't get easier this week, with road games on tap against Kentucky and Alabama.

HOUSTON COUGARS (15-0) 2-0 American

Last week (2-0): W- Tulsa 74-56, W- Memphis 90-77

This week: Wednesday @ Temple, Saturday vs. Wichita State

Houston has placed themselves in the argument for the best team in the state with another 2-0 week. The Cougars started with a 74-56 win over Tulsa. Corey Davis, Jr., as he has done much of the year, led the way for UH, scoring 21 points and hitting 6 3-pointers. A +12 rebounding edge helped the Cougars overcome a poor shooting night (36% from the field). Houston continued their best-ever start with a 90-77 win over Memphis, extending the nation's-best 28 game home winning streak. A major factor for the Cougars was their 18 offensive rebounds, allowing them to have 21 more shot attempts than Memphis. Armani Brooks paced UH with 22 points on 8-14 shooting. The Cougars will look to continue the best start in school history, taking on Temple and Wichita State this week.

RICE OWLS (7-9) 2-1 CUSA

Last week (2-0): W- Southern Miss 73-65, W- Louisiana Tech 78-66

This week: Thursday @ UTSA, Saturday @ UTEP

Rice used a strong second half performance to pick up their first of two conference wins this week. The Owls trailed by 9 at the half, but Ako Adams and Jack Williams combined for 22 points in the 2nd half en route to a 73-65 win over Southern Miss. The Owls were +10 in rebounding and hit 17 of their 20 free throw attempts. Rice kept it rolling against Louisiana Tech, with a 78-66 win. Rice again trailed at halftime, but rallied behind Williams and Adams to get the victory. The duo combined for 31 points in the victory. Rebounding was again a deciding factor for Rice, as they had a +13 edge in boards, including 13 offensive rebounds. The back to back wins was a first for the Owls since February/March of 2017. The Owls travel to UTSA and UTEP this week.

BAYLOR BEARS (8-5) 0-1 Big XII

Last week (0-1): L- @ TCU 85-81

This week: Tuesday vs. Iowa State, Saturday vs. Kansas

Baylor dropped their conference opener against TCU, 85-81. Baylor led 2-0, then TCU went on to lead by as many as 17. Baylor clawed back to cut the Frog lead to two with 30 seconds left, but TCU was able to hang on for the win. Tristan Clark led the Bears with 18, and freshman Matthew Mayer added 17 off the bench. Baylor shot just 25% from distance in the loss. Baylor has 2 matchups with ranked teams this week, as Iowa State and Kansas come to town.

TCU HORNED FROGS (12-1) 1-0 Big XII

Last week (1-0): W- Baylor 85-81

This week: Wednesday @ Kansas, Saturday @ Oklahoma

The Horned Frogs had just one game this week, taking an 85-81 win over Baylor. They dominated for most of the first half, but had to fight off a strong push by the Bears late in the game. Desmond Bane led the charge with 22 points on an efficient 8 of 11 shooting. The Frogs as a team shot 57% from the field and 43% from long range. TCU has two road trips coming up this week, to face Kansas and Oklahoma.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (13-1) 2-0 Big XII

Last week (2-0): W- @ West Virginia 62-59, W- Kansas State 63-57

This week: Tuesday vs. Oklahoma, Saturday @ Texas

A rough start for Texas Tech had them trailing at halftime, but a late push brought them back for a 62-59 road win over West Virginia. Jarrett Culver led the comeback, scoring all of his team-leading 18 points in the 2nd half. Tech shot 38% from the field and 17% from 3-point range in the win. They were also -10 in rebounds. Defense ruled the day, though, and Tech forced 22 Mountaineer turnovers in the game. The Red Raiders then took a 73-67 win over Kansas State to move to 2-0 in conference play. This time it was Tech holding the Wildcats to 33% shooting for the game. Davide Moretti led Texas Tech offensively with 19 points. Tech gets Oklahoma and a trip to Texas this week.

SMU MUSTANGS (10-4) 2-0 American

Last week (1-0): W- East Carolina 82-54, W- @ Tulane 74-65

This week: Thursday @ UConn, Saturday vs. Tulsa

SMU started 2-0 in American Conference play. They led off with an 82-54 drubbing of East Carolina, in a game that was competitive until about the 6:30 mark of the 1st half. Jahmal McMurray led the way for the Mustangs with 20 points in the win. SMU shot 49% from the field and held the Pirates to a feeble 34%. They followed it up with a 74-65 win at Tulane. McMurray continued to be the top contributor, pouring in 25 more points. Defense was key again, as they held their opponent to 34% for the 2nd straight game. The Ponies get a road trip to UConn and a home tilt with Tulsa this week.

LSU TIGERS (10-3) 0-0 SEC

Last week (0-0):

This week: Tuesday vs. Alabama, Saturday @ Arkansas

LSU hasn't played since handing UL Monroe an 81-69 defeat on December 28th. The Tigers open conference play this week, with a home game against Alabama and a road trip to Arkansas.

College basketball week in review

Houston gets back on track, Texas Tech stumbles

Kelvin Sampson and the Coogs had a big week. UHCougars.com

TEXAS LONGHORNS (11-7) 3-3 Big XII

Last week (1-0):
W- Oklahoma 75-72

This week: Wednesday @ TCU, Saturday @ Georgia

Texas finally won a close game, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The Horns pulled out a 75-72 win over their biggest rival, Oklahoma, ending a 3-game losing streak. Kerwin Roach II led the Horns offensively with 23 points on 9-16 shooting. It was a balanced offensive effort, with Texas also getting 15 points each from Jaxson Hayes, Dylan Osetkowski and Matt Coleman III. Texas struggled from 3-point range, going 5-of-22, but made up for it with a 20-of-25 showing at the free throw line. Texas has a road game against TCU on Wednesday and a non-conference test at Georgia on Saturday.

TEXAS A&M; AGGIES (7-9) 1-4 SEC

Last week (0-2): L- Auburn 85-66, W- Mizzou 66-43

This week: Tuesday @ Florida, Saturday vs. Kansas State

Texas A&M; is getting to the point of panic. If they aren't they should be. The Aggies now find themselves the only team in the SEC with a sub-.500 record. In a conference that will probably put 5-6 teams in the tournament, the Aggies need to go on a tear. This week showed no signs of a turnaround. The Aggies started with a loss to Auburn, 85-66. Auburn jumped out to an early lead and never slowed down. The Ags shot 38% from the field and just 29% from 3-point range. Sauvion Flagg and Wendell Mitchell were the only real bright spots offensively. They combined for 44 of the 66 Aggie points, putting in 22 a piece. Auburn dominated turnovers, rebounding and had a 27-5 advantage in points off the bench. Things go no better against Mizzou, where the Aggies lost 66-43. The 43 points scored is the lowest Aggie total of the season by 21 points. They had only 13 made field goals in the entire game, shooting at a 26% clip. Josh Nebo led the Aggies with 12 points, and was the only player who made more shots than he missed in the game. A&M; goes to Florida before getting a weekend matchup at home against former Big XII counterpart Kansas State.

HOUSTON COUGARS (18-1) 5-1 American

Last week (2-0): W- @ SMU 69-58, W- @ USF 69-60

This week: Wednesday vs. East Carolina, Sunday @ Tulsa

Houston got two road wins this week, and were moved up to 17th in the polls for their effort. They started with a 69-58 win at SMU, in a game many thought could be a tricky one for the Coogs. Houston handled SMU's big, athletic backcourt with relative ease. They held Jahmal McMurray to just 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting. Corey Davis, Jr. paced the Cougars with 20 points in the win. UH only turned the ball over four times in the game. They then took a 69-60 win over South Florida, though the Cougars wouldn't be quite as efficient in this one. Houston turned it over 16 times and shot just 3-of-13 from the 3-point line, but were able to hold on for an ugly win. Breaon Brady led the Cougars with 13 points. The two teams combined for 76 free throw attempts on the day. Houston should stay hot this week, with games against East Carolina and Tulsa, both teams in the bottom half of the conference.

RICE OWLS (7-12) 2-4 CUSA

Last week (0-1): L- @ North Texas 76-75

This week: Thursday vs. Middle Tennessee, Saturday vs. UAB

Rice was seconds away from getting their biggest win of the season, but fell just short, dropping a 76-75 tilt with North Texas. The Owls had a 16 point lead with seven minutes remaining, but the Mean Green were able to mount a miraculous comeback and sink the game winner as time expired. The Owls outshot and out-rebounded the Green, but their 18 turnovers proved costly. Senior Jack Murphy led the Owls with 20, and freshman Trey Murphy added 18 in the loss. After a disastrous start to the season, the Owls are playing better of late. They have two wins and two 1-point losses in their last 5 games. Rice gets two home games this week, against Middle Tennessee and UAB.

BAYLOR BEARS (12-6) 4-2 Big XII

Last week (2-0): W- Texas Tech 73-62, W- @ WVU 85-73

This week: Saturday vs. Alabama, Sunday @ Oklahoma

Baylor got a huge win over Texas Tech, 73-62, showing that there is still life in this team. Top freshman recruit Jared Butler came up big for Baylor in the win, dropping 19 points while racking up 5 assists and 3 steals. While Baylor shot only 41% from the field, they found some success from 3-point range, knocking down 11 shots from distance. The Bears then got an 85-73 win over West Virginia on Monday night. Makai Mason was a force, scoring 29 points on 10-16 shooting. The Bears shot 50% from the field. They overcame an 18 turnover night with a particularly strong showing on the boards, with a +10 rebounding advantage. The Bears get a road game at Oklahoma and a home game with TCU this week.

TCU HORNED FROGS (13-4) 2-3 Big XII

Last week (1-1):
W- West Virginia 98-67, L- @ Kansas State 65-55

This week: Wednesday vs. Texas, Saturday vs. Florida

TCU was up and down last week. They started off well, breaking a 2-game losing skid with a blowout win over West Virginia, 98-67. Desmond Bane dominated, posting a 26 point, eight rebound line. The biggest difference between the two teams was behind the 3-point line, where TCU shot 43% and held West Virginia to 17%. Of the eight Horned Frogs who played in the game, six of them reached double digit scoring. Things took a turn for the worse on the road, where TCU dropped a 65-55 decision to Kansas State. Alex Robinson had 17 in the loss, and Bane added 16 more. The 3-pointers didn't fall for TCU in this one, hitting just 6 of 24 from deep. Turnovers also killed the frogs, who gave it away 18 times on the night. TCU gets home games against Texas and Florida this week.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (15-3) 4-2 Big XII

Last week (0-2): L Iowa State 68-64, L- @ Baylor 73-62

This week: Tuesday @ Kansas State, Saturday vs. Arkansas

Texas Tech is going to have to prove they can bounce back from adversity, as they are facing it for the first time this season after back to back losses. First, they dropped a nail biter against Iowa State 68-64 at home. Jarrett Culver was the high man for Tech, posting a 20 point/16 rebound line, but shot just 33% from the field and had five turnovers. In such a close game, free throw shooting cost the Raiders. They hit only 6 of their 15 freebies, while the Cyclones hit 13 of 19. Things went from bad to worse against Baylor, who beat the Raiders 73-62. Culver led Tech again with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists. On the downside, he turned the ball over seven times. Tech will look to get back on track, but have a tough road game at Kansas State before getting Arkansas at home.

SMU MUSTANGS (11-7) 3-3 American

Last week (0-2):
L- Houston 69-58, L- @ Memphis 83-61

This week: Saturday vs. Tulane

SMU got a massive game from Jimmy Whitt, Jr. against Houston, but it wasn't enough to pull out a win. Despite 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting, the Mustangs fell to Houston 69-58. The Ponies struggled from distance, hitting just 21% from long range. Things got worse on the road, where Memphis throttled SMU 83-61. SMU trailed wire to wire, and it was easy to understand why. The Ponies shot just 36% and had 21 turnovers in the loss. Whitt's 12 points led the Mustangs in their most lopsided loss of the season. SMU has now dropped three of their last four. They get Tulane at home on Saturday.

LSU TIGERS (14-3) 4-0 SEC

Last week (2-0):
W- @ Ole Miss 83-69, W- South Carolina 89-67

This week: Wednesday vs. Georgia, Saturday @ Mizzou

LSU is really rounding into form since conference play started. They started the week with an 83-69 drubbing at Ole Miss. The Tigers had 4 players in double digits, led by Tremont Waters' 20 points. LSU was on fire from distance, going 9-19 from 3. The Tigers then rolled on to an 89-67 win against South Carolina. The 3-point shooting couldn't have been much worse in this one, with the Tigers hitting one 3-19 from deep. They made up for it at the free throw line (32 of 35) and on the boards, where they had a 49-29 advantage. LSU is one of only 2 SEC teams (Tennessee) who have yet to lose a game in conference. LSU gets Georgia and Mizzou this week.

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