The final dress rehearsal before conference play begins for all college basketball teams.

College basketball report Week 8: Conference play looms

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TEXAS LONGHORNS (10-2)

Last week (1-0): W-HPU 89-58

This week: Saturday vs. Baylor

The Texas Longhorns came away victorious in an 89-58 win over the High Point Panthers, Monday night, inside the Frank C. Erwin Jr. Center in Austin. Junior guard Jase Febres scored a game-high 16 points, as sophomore guard Andrew Jones added in 13 points and four assists in his first start following a battle with leukemia.

Winners of six of their last seven, the Longhorns will open their Big-12 schedule with a Texas Showdown against the Baylor Bears.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (6-5)

Last week (1-0): W - Texas Southern 58-55

This week: Saturday vs. Arkansas

In a surprisingly competitive contest, the Texas A&M Aggies outlasted the Texas Southern Tigers in a three-point victory, Monday night, inside the Reed Arena in College Station. While recording 10 points, senior forward Josh Nebo was a dominant force in the middle for A&M as he tallied 15 rebounds and four blocks in the win.

After losing four straight, the Texas A&M Aggies will enter the SEC conference play riding a three-game winning streak ahead of their match against Arkansas on Saturday.

Houston Cougars (10-3)

Last week (1-0): W - Washington 75-71

This week: Friday vs. UCF

The Houston Cougars closed out the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic with a Christmas Day victory over No. 21 Washington Huskies Wednesday night. It was a come from behind win for the Cougars, as Houston trailed by 14 points early in the 1st half.

Behind a 19-point performance from both Caleb Mills and Fabian White Jr., UH went on to outscore the Huskies 44-35 in the second half to complete the comeback win.

With the upset over Washington, the Cougars won the mid-season Hawaiian tournament with White taking home Most Outstanding Player honors after averaging 14.6 points and 5.6 rebounds during the three-game tournament.

As they head back to Houston riding a four-game winning streak, the Cougars will open their American Athletic Conference play with a showdown against UCF on Friday.

RICE OWLS (8-5)

Last week (0-1): L - Sam Houston 75-61

This week: Thursday vs. Marshall, Saturday Western KY

The Rice Owls closed their non-conference schedule with a 75-61 loss to the Sam Houston State BearKats, Sunday afternoon inside the Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston. The Owls struggled out of the gate on the offensive end, and had no answer on the defensive end giving up 27 points (11-17 FG & 13 Rebs) to Kai Mitchell, Sam Houston's senior big man who scored a game-high in the win.

Following the loss, the Rice Owls will open their conference play against Marshall on Thursday, inside the Cam Henderson Center in West Virginia.

BAYLOR BEARS (10-1)

Last week (1-0): W - Jackson State 83-57

This week: Saturday vs. Texas

The sizzling No. 6 Baylor Bears continued their early-season success with an 83-57 win over the Jackson State Tigers, Monday night, in Waco. After coming out of the gates missing their first six shots, Baylor closed out the first half on a 32-6 run to take a 48-24 by halftime.

Four players scored in double figures for the Bears, as Jared Butler recorded 18 points while MaCio Teague finished the night with 16 points and Davion Mitchell had 14. Closing out their non-conference schedule on a nine-game win streak, the Baylor Bears will host the Texas Longhorns on Saturday to begin their conference play.

TCU HORNED FROGS (9-3)

Last week (1-0): W - George Mason 87-53

This week: Saturday vs Iowa

Desmond Bane proved to be too much for the George Mason Patriots to handle, as the senior guard scored a season-high 30 points in an 87-53 win for the TCU Horned Frogs. It was a wire-to-wire victory for TCU with Bane scoring 21 points in the first half shooting 5-for-7 from behind the arc.

Following the win, the Horned Frogs will open their Big-12 schedule on Saturday against Iowa State inside the Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (9-3)

Last week: (1-0) W - CSU Bakersfield 73-58

This week: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State

The Texans Tech Red Raiders won their fourth consecutive game in a convincing 73-58 victory over the California State Roadrunners on Sunday. As a whole, the Red Raiders stayed hot throughout the game, as Texas Tech shot 49.0% from the field, and a blazing 53% from behind the arc. Both Jahmi'us Ramsey and Kyler Edwards registered 20 points apiece, as the only players to score in double digits for Texas Tech.

Following the win, The Red Raiders will open their Big-12 Conference play against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Saturday, inside the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, TX.

SMU MUSTANGS (9-2)

Last week (0-0): No Games Scheduled

This week: Wednesday vs USF, Saturday Vanderbilt

With no games on the schedule, SMU will return to the floor on Wednesday, January 1st, for a New Year showdown against the University of South Florida Bulls.

LSU TIGERS (8-4)

Last week (1-0): W - Liberty 74-54

This week: Saturday vs Tennessee

Following back-to-back losses to East Tennessee and USC, the LSU Tigers closed out their none-conference games with a 74-57 win over the Liberty Flames on Sunday. Behind a 14-point performance from Darius Day shooting 54% from the floor, and a dozen coming from Skylar Mays, the Tigers handed Liberty their first loss of the season.

LSU will prepare to open the SEC play on Saturday in a match against the Tennessee Volunteers inside the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN.

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TEXAS LONGHORNS (14-11), (4-8)

Last week: (0-1): L - Iowa State 81-52

This week: Wednesday vs. TCU, Saturday vs. Kansas State, Monday vs. West Virginia

In one of their worst performances of the season, the Texas Longhorns dropped their fourth consecutive game in an 81-52 loss to the Iowa State Cyclones, despite a 21 point outing by Courtney Ramey. Texas defense was a no-show in the loss, as the Longhorns allowed the Cyclones to shoot 57.7% from the floor, to go along with 40.0% from behind the arc.

Texas will look to end their losing skid in a home match against the TCU Horned Frogs on Wednesday, before taking on Kansas State on Saturday.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (12-12), (6-6)

Last week: (1-1): L - Florida 78-61, W - Georgia 74-69

This week: Wednesday vs. Alabama, Saturday vs. Mississippi State

After dropping a close game against the Florida Gators on Wednesday, the Texas A&M Aggies pulled off a much-needed victory against the Georgia Bull Dogs, Saturday afternoon, inside the Reed Arena in College Station.

Against one of the nation's top freshmen in Georgia's Anthony Edwards (6 points), Emanuel Miller shined in the Aggies' win with a career-best 21 points and 10 rebounds on the night. Texas A&M erased a 12-point halftime deficit, as the Aggies outscored the Bulldogs 45-31 in the second period.

Following the win, Texas A&M will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide on Wednesday, prior to their home match against Mississippi State on Saturday.

Houston Cougars (20-6), (10-3)

Last week: (1-1): W- USF 62-58, L - SMU 73-72

This week: Wednesday vs. Tulsa, Saturday vs. Memphis

After recording their third victory in a win over the USF Bulls, the Houston Cougars dropped a heartbreaking loss to the SMU Mustangs in a 73-72 overtime loss Saturday evening.

In the best performance of his collegiate career, Houston's freshman guard Marcus Sasser scored a career-high 26 points (8-15 FG, 5-10 3PT) in the loss. With the game on the line late in the second half, Sasser stepped to the charity stripe to hit three free throws to send the game into overtime.

Unfortunately, Sasser fell short of becoming the Cougars' unsung hero, as SMU's Emmanuel Bandoumel connected on an off-balance 3-point field goal to give the Mustangs the win. Up next, the Cougars will look to return to their winning ways on Wednesday, in a home match against the Tulsa Hurricanes.

RICE OWLS (13-14), (5-9)

Last week: (1-1): L- Old Dominion 73-70, W - Charlotte 70-54

This week: Saturday vs. UTEP

The Rice Owls longest winning streak of conference play came to an end in a 73-70 loss to the Old Dominion Monarchs.

In a loss, Ako Adams registered 22 points while shooting 46.6% from the field, as the rest of his team shot 32% as a whole. Adams would also be outshined by the Monarchs' Malik Curry, as the junior guard scored 25 points (8-19 FG, 8-11 FT), nine rebounds, five assists and three steals in the win.

The Owls would go on to bounce back in a blowout victory over the Charlotte 49ers. Rice will hit the road on Saturday to take on the UTEP Miners.

BAYLOR BEAR (23-1), (12-0)

Last week: (1-0): W - West Virginia 70-59

This week: Tuesday vs. Oklahoma, Saturday vs. Kansas

After a series of single-digit wins over the past two weeks, the Baylor Bears picked up an 11-point victory over West Virginia on Saturday. As always, sophomore guard Jared Butler led the Bears in the win with 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

As the nation's top-ranked school, Baylor will put their 22-game winning streak on the line Tuesday, in a showdown against the Oklahoma Sooners inside the Lloyd Nobles Center in Norman, OKLA.

TCU Horned Frogs (14-11), (5-7)

Last week: (1-0): W - Kansas State 68-57

This week: Wednesday vs. Texas, Saturday vs. West Virginia

After dropping six games in a row, the TCU Horn Frogs ended their losing streak in a 68-57 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday. TCU connected on 15 3-point field goals while shooting 45.5% from behind the arc.

Three players scored in double-figures with Desmond Bane leading the way with 17 points (6-14 FG, 5-10 3pt), eight rebounds and eight assists. Both RJ Nembhard and Jaire Grayer scored 15 points apiece shooting a combined 50% from behind the arc. TCU will return to action on Wednesday in a match against the Texas Longhorns.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (16-9), (7-5)

Last week: (0-1): L- Oklahoma State 73-70

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

Winners of four of their last five games, the Texas Tech Red Raiders suffered a three-point defeat in a road match against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

In a surprising turn of events, Oklahoma State missed its final eight shots from the field, but made its free throws in the closing seconds to secure a 73-70 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. The Red Raiders' loss was a result of their rebounding issues, as the Cowboys outrebounded Texas Tech 37-22, as well as giving up 15 offensive rebounds which converted into 12 second-chance points.

Texas Tech will return to the court on Wednesday for a BIG 12 showdown against the Kansas State Wildcats, before taking on the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday.

SMU Mustangs (18-6), (8-4)

Last week: (2-0): W - Connecticut 79-75, W - Houston 73-72 OT

This week: Wednesday vs. Tulane, Saturday vs. Tulsa

After recording a four-point win over the Connecticut Huskies, the SMU Mustangs survived a 73-72 overtime victory over the Houston Cougars, Saturday night, inside the Moody Coliseum in Dallas.

Despite a career-best performance by Houston's guard Marcus Sasser (26 pts), Tyson Jolly scored 20 points (5-7 FG. 10-10 FT) to lead the way for SMU. Emmanuel Bandoumel became the unsung hero for the Mustangs, as the sophomore guard connected on an off-balance 3-point field goal to give SMU the win.

Up next, the Mustangs will look to make it three straight wins on Wednesday, in a road match against the Tulane Green Waves.

LSU Tigers (18-7), (9-3)

Last week: (1-1): W - Missouri 82-78, L - Alabama 88-82

This week: Tuesday vs. Kentucky, Saturday vs. South Carolina

Following a 10 game winning streak, the LSU Tigers are in their worst slump of the season. After coming away victorious in an 82-78 win over the Missouri Tigers, LSU dropped their third loss in four outings in an 88-82 defeat against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Down 40-29 at the half, the Tigers scored 53 second-half points and shot 56% as LSU tried to rally from an 18-points deficit. With 1:35 left in the game, LSU came within a point but was unsuccessful to slow down the Crimson Tide on the defensive end.

Up next, LSU will return to the court on Tuesday to face off against the Kentucky Wildcats.

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