College Basketball Report: Week 7

The Baylor Bears extend their winning streak to eight while the Texas Longhorns drop an unexpected game to Providence

twitter.com


TEXAS LONGHORNS (9-2)

Last week (0-1): L - Providence 70-48

This week: Monday vs High Point Panthers

The Texas Longhorns' five game-winning came to an unexpected end in a 70-48 defeat to the Providence Friars on Saturday. The Longhorns failed to score 50 points in the loss, as Providence held Texas to 31.7% shooting from the field, and an unpleasant 14.3 % from behind the arc — UT's lowest shooting percentages of the season.

Sophomore guard Courtney Ramey led the way for the Longhorns with 12 points, as Jase Febres added six points in 33 minutes. Following the loss, the Longhorns will return to action on Monday for a home showdown against the High Point Panthers.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (5-5)

Last week (1-0): W - Oregon State 64-49

This week: Monday vs. Texas Southern

The Texas A&M Aggies won their second consecutive game in a 64-49 victory over the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday. It was Deja VA for the Aggies as it was their second come from behind win after trailing at the half by 11. A&M outscored Oregon State 42-19 in the final 20 minutes while shooting 13-for-27 (48.1%) from the field.

Senior forward Josh Nebo led the Aggies in scoring with 15 points and seven rebounds in the win. With one game on the schedule, the Aggies will look to make it three straight wins on Monday when they take on the Texas Southern Tigers.

Houston Cougars (9-3)

Last week (3-0): W - UTEP 77-57, W - Portland 81-56, W - George Tech 70-59

This week: Wednesday vs. Washington

Following a loss against the OSU Cowboys, the Houston Cougars are currently riding a three-game win streak after a perfect 3-0 week. The Cougars picked up a 20 point victory over the UTEP Miners, a game in which Houston recorded a season-high 11 blocks — with big man Brison Gresham leading the way with a career-best six rejections.

Following the win, the Cougars hit the road to participate in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, where UH opened the tournament with back-to-back wins against Portland (81-56) and George Tech (70-59).

After going scoreless in the win against the Miners, Quentin Grimes has been on fire in Hawaii averaging 22.0 points on 64% shooting from the field. The Cougars will face off against the Washington Huskies for the tournament championship in a Christmas Day showdown.

RICE OWLS (8-4)

Last week (1-0): W - St. Thomas 103-70

This week: Sunday vs. Sam Houston

The Rice Owls took a wire-to-wire 33-point victory over the St. Thomas Celts on Thursday inside the Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston. The Celts allowed 12 of the Owls 15 man roster to score, with Trey Murphy III leading the way with 21 points (8-14 FG, 5-10 3PT), 10 rebounds and a block.

Following the win, the Owls will return to Tudor Fieldhouse for a Sunday showdown against Sam Houston State.

BAYLOR BEARS (9-1)

Last week (1-0): W - Tennessee-Martin 91-63

This week: Monday vs. Jackson State

Following a one-point victory against the Butler Bulldogs, the Baylor Bears won a convincing 91-63 victory over the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks Wednesday night. While leading the Bears to a win, Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell each scored 19 points apiece, while sophomore guard Flo Thamba added 11 off the bench.

Win the win, Baylor has extended their winning streak to eight ahead of their home match against the Jackson State Jaguars on Monday.

TCU HORNED FROGS (8-3)

Last week (0-1): L - Xavier 67-59

This week: Monday vs George Mason

This game was the first meeting between TCU and Xavier since December of 1980, and it took the Musketeers nearly 40 years to seek their revenge.

After winning two games in a row, the Horned Frogs suffered a 67-59 loss to Xavier on Sunday. An enormous portion of TCU's defeat came due to the lack of production off their bench, as the Musketeers' second until outscored TCU 20-5 in bench points.

In addition to the lack of bench production, TCU gave up nine offensive rebounds that converted into 17 second-half points for Xavier. Following the loss, the Horned Frogs will return to action on Monday to face off against the George Mason Patriots.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (8-3)

Last week: (1-0) W - UTRGV 68-58

This week: Sunday vs. CSU Bakersfield

After a slow start to the game, the Texas Tech Red Raiders capitalized on a 42-point second-half performance to take a 68-58 victory over Texas–Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros on Saturday. With the win, the Red Raiders moved up one spot to No. 23 in the Associated Press Top 25 College Basketball rankings.

Freshman guard Jahmi'us Ramsey led the Red Raiders in scoring with 15 points (6-12 FG, 2-7 3PT), while his backcourt mate Terrence Shannon, Jr added in 14 points (5-9 FG, 4-4 FT) in the win. Following their third straight win in a row, Texas Tech will return to the court on Sunday for a showdown against the CSU Bakersfield.

SMU MUSTANGS (9-2)

Last week (1-1): L - Georgia 87-85, W - Georgia State 85-76

This week: No game schedule

The SMU Mustangs dropped their second consecutive game in an 87-85 double-overtime loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. SMU put up a good fight but was not enough to overcome Georgia's Sahvir Wheeler layup in the final two seconds of the game.

After the loss, the Mustangs bounced back with an 85-76 victory over Georgia State. Feron Hunt and Kendric Davis scored 18 points apiece, as SMU shot 52% from the floor.
With no games on the schedule, the Mustangs will return to the court on Wednesday, Jan. 1st in a conference showdown against USF.

LSU TIGERS (7-4)

Last week (0-2): L - East Tennessee 74-63, L- USC 70-68

This week: Sunday vs Liberty

After heading into their break on a four-game win streak, the LSU Tigers' winning ways came to a halt with a 74-63 loss to the East Tennessee State Buccaneers Wednesday night. In the loss, the Buccaneers won the battle of the board as they outrebounded the Tigers 40-29 and recorded 15 second-chance points.

Following the loss against East Tennessee State, The Tigers suffered a heartbreak 70-68 defeat to the USC Trojans on Saturday. Senior guard, Skylar Mays nearly carried LSU to a victory with a game-high 21 points (6-14 FG, 8-10 FT), to go along with six rebounds, three steals and a block in the loss.

In the midst of a two-game skid, the Tigers will return to the court on Sunday for a match against the Liberty Flames.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Mattress Mack and the Astros host Pearland Little League at Wednesday night's game. Photo by LittleLeague.org

Sure, it’s impressive that the Astros have made four World Series appearances in recent years, but they’re not alone. There’s another baseball team around here that’s also headed to its fourth World Series since 2010.

Pearland defeated Oklahoma, 9-4, on Tuesday to win the Southwest Regional and qualify for the Little League World Series starting Aug. 17 in South Williamsport, PA.

Most fans and media say the Little League World Series is held in Williamsport, but it’s South Williamsport, just a 5-minute stroll across a bridge over the Susquehanna River in north central Pennsylvania.

Pearland is on a torrid 13-game winning streak that swept through district, sectional, state and regional tournaments to earn the Little League World Series bid.

Here’s how difficult the road to the Little League World Series is. There are 15 teams in MLB’s American League. If the Astros finish with one of the two best records, they’ll have to win two playoff series to play in the World Series.

Little League is a little bigger than MLB. Little League is the largest youth sports organization in the world, with 2.5 million kids playing for 180,000 teams in more than 100 countries on six continents.

Pearland, representing East Texas, had to defeat All-Star teams from West Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas and Colorado to win the Southwest Regional. The Little League World Series will host 20 teams - 10 from the U.S. and 10 from international regions.

If you have children that play Little League, or you’re just a fan, attending the Little League World Series should be high on your baseball bucket list.

I covered the Little League World Series in 2010 when Pearland made its first appearance and made it all the way to the U.S. championship game. It may have been my most fun assignment ever.

The Little League World Series is played by 11 and 12-year-olds in Little League’s major division. When ESPN and ABC air these games, they’ll present the players as innocent little kids, like Beaver and Wally or Tom and Huck. They’ll show the kids playing Simon Says with the Little League mascot called Dugout. They’ll ask the kids who’s their favorite big leaguer.

I was a Little League coach. I followed Little League All-Stars across Texas all the way to South Williamsport. These kids are absolute baseball maniacs with $400 gloves, $500 bats and Oakley sunglasses. I thought the Astros might call and ask where they got their super neat equipment.

Especially in Texas, these kids are built tough with long ball power and play year-round travel baseball with high-priced private coaches. This isn’t a choose-up game in the park where kids play in their school clothes, one kid brings a baseball and the players share bats. I looked at some of the Little Leaguers and wondered if they drove to the stadium.

I half-expected, when ABC asked who their baseball idol was, they’d answer “me!”

Here’s how seriously good these kids can play the game. Justin Verlander throws a 97-mph fastball. That’s pretty fast. It’s not rare anymore for a Little League pitcher to reach 70-mph on a fastball. The Little League mound is 46 feet from home plate. A 70-mph pitch in Little League gets to home plate in the same time as a 91-mph pitch from 60 feet 6 inches in MLB.

In 2015, a pitcher named Alex Edmonson fired an 83-mph heater at the Little League World Series. The reaction time a Little League batter had against Alex’s pitch was equal to a Major Leaguer trying to hit a 108-mph fastball. Good luck with that. Alex pitched a no-hitter and struck out 15 batters in six innings at the Little League World Series. Now 20, Alex is a relief pitcher for Clemson.

The Little League World Series is a trip. The easiest way to get there is to fly into Philadelphia and drive to South Williamsport. I sat next to CC Sebathia’s mother on the plane.

Admission to all Little League World Series games is free and snack bar prices are reasonable. A hot dog is $3. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited.

The first Little League World Series was held in 1947. Only 58 players have played in the Little League World Series and later played in MLB. The most famous are Cody Bellinger and Jason Varitek. Only two players from the Houston area made the leap: Brady Rodgers and Randal Grichuk both played on the 2003 team from Richmond, about 30 miles from Houston in Fort Bend County.

While you’re in South Williamsport, you should visit the Little League museum and Hall of Excellence. Among the inductees: Presidents Joe Biden and George W. Bush, Astros manager Dusty Baker, Kevin Costner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dick Vitale, Rob Manfred and someone who’d later play stadiums in a different way, Bruce Springsteen.

Speaking of Springsteen, I shattered a record at the 2010 Little League World Series. The record was Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. I was talking to a Little League executive while teams were warming up on the field. Born in the U.S.A. came over the stadium loudspeakers.

I told the executive, I’m a big fan but maybe this isn’t the best song you should be playing. The executive asked why not? Well, you might want to listen to the words. Born in the U.S.A. is a depressing song about a U.S. soldier who is sent to Vietnam and can’t find a job when he gets back home. It’s not exactly Yankee Doodle Dandy. You have teams from Asia here (Japan won the tournament that year). The executive said, please tell me you’re kidding. Here’s one verse:

Got in a little hometown jam

So they put a rifle in my hand

Sent me off to a foreign land

To go and kill the (what is considered a slur for Asians).

Later I got an email from the president of Little League International.

“Quite honestly, I've never listened closely to the words of Born in the USA. I see clearly how it is offensive to our Little League friends from Asian nations. I have directed our folks who coordinate the stadium music to discontinue playing it in the future.”

Play Centerfield by John Fogerty instead. The message of that song is, “put me in coach.” Little League couldn’t say it any better.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome