College basketball report Week 14

The Baylor Bears keep rolling as the LSU Tigers experience their first loss in nearly two months

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TEXAS LONGHORNS (14-10), (4-6)

Last week: (0-2): L - Texas Tech 62-57, L - Baylor 52-45

This week: Saturday vs. Iowa State

Before becoming Baylor's latest victim, the Texas Longhorns dropped a winnable game on Saturday in a 62-57 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Overall, it was a tale of two halves for the Longhorns as the Red Raiders trailed by as many as 16 points during the first half. After a nearly perfect half, UT allowed the Red Raiders to outscored them 43-26 in the second period, as Texas Tech shot 54.5% from the field, 42.8% from behind the arc.

Up next, the Longhorns will look to end their two-game skid on Saturday in a road game against the Iowa State Cyclones.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (11-11), (5-5)

Last week: (1-1): W - Missouri 68-51, L - South Carolina 74-54

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

The roller-coaster season continued for the Texas A&M Aggies. They started the week taking a 68-51 victory over Missouri, in a game in which four players scored in double-figure with Josh Nebo led the way with 18 points, six rebounds and two blocks in the win. It was a night the Tigers struggled offensively with Xavier Pinson leading the way with nine points.

Following the win, the Aggies suffered one of their worst defeats in conference play in a 20-point loss at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Up next, the Aggies will return to the court on Wednesday to take on the Florida Gators.

Houston Cougars (19-5), (9-2)

Last week: (2-0): W - Tulane 75-62, W - Wichita State 76-43

This week: Wednesday vs. USF, Saturday vs. SMU

After a disappointing loss to Cincinnati which ended their five-game win streak, the Houston Cougars bounced back with back-to-back wins against the Tulane Green Waves and Wichita State Shockers.

As they look to stay atop the American Athletic Conference, the Cougars will hit the road for a showdown against the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday before taking on the SMU Mustangs on Saturday in Dallas.

RICE OWLS (12-13), (4-8)

Last week: (2-0): W- UAB 86-72, W - Middle Tennessee 91-83

This week: Thursday vs. Old Dominion, Saturday vs. Charlotte 49ers

Currently, in the midst of riding their longest winning streak of conference play, the Rice Owl extended their win streak to three picking up victories against UAB and Middle Tennessee.

In a win against the Blue Raiders, the Owls went 12-of-12 from the free-throw line in the closing minutes as Rice held off Middle Tennessee, 91-83. In addition to picking up their fourth win of conference play, Rice earned its first-ever win in Murfreesboro, Saturday inside the Murphy Center.

Up next, the Owls will return home to take on Old Dominion in Houston.

BAYLOR BEAR (21-1), (10-0)

Last week: (2-0): W - Oklahoma State 78-70, W - Texas 52-45

This week: Saturday vs. West Virginia

The Baylor Bears survived a hard-fought battle against Oklahoma State on Saturday, as the ball club came away with an eight-point victory. As one of five players to score in double-figures, sophomore guard MaCio Teague recorded four made 3-point field goals to score 24 points and seven rebounds to lead the way for the Bears.

As the nation's top-ranked school, Baylor will put their 21 game winning streak on the line on Saturday, in a home Big-12 showdown against West Virginia inside the Ferrell Center in Waco.

TCU Horned Frogs (13-11), (4-6)

Last week: (0-3): L - Oklahoma State 72-57, L - Kansas 60-46, L - Texas Tech 88-42

This week: Saturday vs. Kansas State

By far their worst week of the season, the TCU Horned Frogs lost by an average margin of 25 points with their worst coming in an 88-42 loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. In an attempt to end their six-game losing streak, the Horned Frogs will return to the court on Saturday to take Kansas State inside the Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (16-8), (7-4)

Last week: (3-0): W - Oklahoma 69-61, W - Texas 62-57, W - TCU 88-42

This week: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State

Before handing the TCU Horned Frogs a 46 point defeat, the Texas Tech Red Raiders won two close back-to-back games against Oklahoma and Texas this past week.

Their best win came in a 62-57 victory over the Longhorns, in a game in which the Red Raiders fought back from 16 points down to take the dub. Freshman guard Jahmi'us Ramsey led the way with 18 points (6-7 FG, 2-2) and two steals in the win.

Following a near-perfect week, Texas Tech will look to make it four straight wins in a road game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday.

SMU MUSTANGS (16-6), (6-4)

Last week: (1-0): L - Temple 97-90

This week: Wednesday vs. Connecticut, Saturday vs. Houston

With one game on the schedule, the SMU Mustangs dropped a heartbreak loss to the Temple Owls on Saturday.
After leading 48-31 at the half, the Mustangs had no answer for the Owls in the second half and overtime, as Temple outscored SMU 66-42 to take the comeback victory. Temple's Quinton Ross scored a game-high 25 points, as the senior guard registered 10 during the extra period.

Up next, the Mustangs will take on Connecticut on Wednesday before going to war in an in-state battle against Houston on Saturday.

LSU TIGERS (17-6), (8-2)

Last week: (0-2): L - Vanderbilt 99-90, L - Auburn 91-90

This week: Tuesday vs. Missouri, Saturday vs. Alabama

The LSU Tigers' 10 game winning streak came to an end on Wednesday after dropping a nine-point defeat to the Vanderbilt Commodores. While Trendon Watford led the way with 26 points (8-13, 9-10 FT), the freshman forward from Birmingham would be outplayed by Vanderbilt's Saben Lee, who recorded 33 points (13-20 FG), six assists, and four rebounds in the win.

After an overtime loss to Alabama, the Tigers will look to keep their place atop of the SEC in a home match against the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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