College Basketball Report Week 9: Conference play begins

The No. 4 Baylor Bears and Houston Cougars keep their winning streaks alive during the opening week of conference play

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TEXAS LONGHORNS (10-3), (0-1)

Last week (0-1): L - Baylor 59-44

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

It was not the greatest offensive performance as both teams shot under 35.0% from the field, but the Texas Longhorns could not overcome their struggles with a 59-44 loss to the streaking No. 4 Baylor Bears to open their Big 12 Conference schedule. After shooting 34.6% from the field, and an unpleasant 18.8% from 3-point range, the Longhorns scored a season-low 44 points in Waco on Saturday.

Texas' junior forward, Jericho Sims, posted a double 13 points and tied a career-high with 15 rebounds, but UT still lost the battle of boards 48-35 and allowed 21 second-chance points to the Bears.

Following the loss, the Longhorns will look to right the ship on Wednesday, in a home match against Oklahoma before taking on Kansas State on Saturday.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (6-6), (0-1)

Last week (0-1): L - Arkansas 69-59

This week: Tuesday vs. Ole Miss, Saturday Vanderbilt

After riding a three-game win streak into the SEC Conference play on Saturday, the Texas A&M Aggies came up short in a 69-59 defeat to the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Ark.

It was a solid outing for freshman Andre Gordon in his first conference game, as the guard out of Ohio scored 15 points while shooting 58.3% from the field. He had some help for his frontcourt mate, Josh Nebo, who tallied his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

Unfortunately, the Aggies' defense was a no-show, as four of the Razorbacks' starters scored in double digits, led by Isaish Joe who scored a game-high 17 points (6-14 FG, 5-12 3PT) in the win. Following a disappointing outing, the Aggies will return to their home floor on Tuesday for a match against Ole Miss before traveling to Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Houston Cougars (11-3), (1-0)

Last week (1-0): W - UCF 78-63

This week: Tuesday vs. Temple, Saturday vs. Tulsa

In their first game back following the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, the Houston Cougars opened their American Athletic Conference play with a 78-63 victory over the UCF Knights, Friday night, inside the Fertitta Center in Houston.

Sophomore guard Nate Hinton led the Cougars to their fifth straight win with 20 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and three assists — his seventh double-double of the season.

Houston will look to continue its hot streak against Temple on Tuesday prior to taking on Tulsa on Saturday. Both games will be on the road for the Cougars.

RICE OWLS (8-7), (0-2)

Last week (0-1): L - Marshall 89-69, L - Western KY 68-61

This week: Thursday vs. Florida Atlantic, Saturday FIU

The Rice Owls did not get off to a good start to open their CUSA Conference play in the past week. Following a 20-point defeat to the Marshall Thundering Herd, Rice dropped their second consecutive conference game in a seven-point loss to Western Kentucky.

Against the Hilltoppers, the Owls missed nine of their final 10 shots in the last five minutes, as Western Kentucky went on a 10-3 run to end out the game. After a slow start to the year, the Owls will look to end their three-game losing streak in a home match against the Florida Atlantic Owls on Thursday.

BAYLOR BEARS (11-1), (1-0)

Last week (1-0): W - Texas 83-57

This week: Tuesday vs. Texas Tech, Saturday Kansas

It was not the greatest offensive performance as both teams shot under 35.0% from the field, but the No. 4 Baylor Bears overcame their struggles to take a 59-44 win over the Texas Longhorns to open their Big 12 Conference schedule with a home victory.

Junior guard, Macio Teague, scored a game-high 21 points (5-16 FG, 9-9 FT) and six rebounds in the win, as Baylor won the battle of the boards 48-35 and tallied 21 second-chance points.

Following their 10th straight victory, the Bears will take their winning streak to Lubbock for a Texas Showdown against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Tuesday.

TCU HORNED FROGS (10-3), (1-0)

Last week (1-0): W - Iowa State 81-79

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

Winners of four out of their last five, the TCU Horned Frogs began their Big 12 Conference play with an 81-79 overtime thriller against the Iowa State Cyclones, Saturday night, inside the Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth.

RJ Nembhard proved to be too much for Iowa State, as the sophomore guard scored a career-best 31 points, which included a game-tying 3-point field goal with 1.7 seconds left in the game. In addition to Nembhard, Desmond Bane followed up his career performance with 16 points shooting 6-for-13 (46.1%) from the floor, 4-for-6 (66.0%) from deep.

Following the win, TCU will continue their conference play against Kansas State on Tuesday.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (10-3), (1-0)

Last week: (1-0) W - Oklahoma State 85-50

This week: Tuesday vs. No. 6 Baylor, Saturday vs. West Virginia

The Texans Tech Red Raiders won their fifth consecutive game in a convincing 85-50 victory over the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday. Despite a mediocre performance from behind the arc (36.3% 3PT), the No. 22 Red Raiders stayed hot with their inside game, as Texas Tech shot 50.0% from the field and scored 28 points in the paint.

With four players scoring in double digits, star guard Jahmi'us Ramsey scored a game-high 18 points with Ty Holyfield adding in 17 points in the win.

Following the win, The Red Raiders will welcome the hot No. 6 Baylor Bears to their home floor on Tuesday, for a Texas Showdown inside the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, TX.

SMU MUSTANGS (11-2), (2-0)

Last week: (1-0) W - USF 82-64

This week: Wednesday vs. UCF, Saturday ECU

After opening the American Athletic Conference with an 18-point win over USF, the SMU Mustangs won their third straight game with a 92-81 overtime victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday.

It was a come from behind victory, as SMU erased a 15-point deficit with six minutes left in the second half. After two made 3-point field goals in the final nine seconds of regulation, the Mustangs outscored Vanderbilt 15-4 in overtime. With the Mustangs connecting on 10 of their 19 attempts from behind the arc, Kendric Davis led SMU in scoring with 24 points while shooting 8-for-15 (53.0%) from the field.

Up next, the Mustangs will look to keep UCF winless in conference play on Wednesday in a home match inside the Moody Coliseum in Dallas TX.

LSU TIGERS (9-4), (1-0)

Last week (1-0): W - Tennessee 78-64

This week: Wednesday vs Arkansas, Saturday Mississippi State

The LSU Tigers opened their SEC Conference schedule with a 78-64 win over the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday. Sophomore guard, Javonte Smart, scored a game-high 21 points, while Skylar Mays added in an additional 17 points in the win.

Following the win, the Tigers will welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks to Baton Rouge to begin a two-game homestand that will end with Mississippi State on Saturday.

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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