College Basketball Week In Review

A&M struggling; Baylor heating up

Billy Kennedy's Aggies are struggling. Getty Images

TEXAS LONGHORNS (12-10) 4-5 Big XII

Last week (1-1):
W- Kansas 73-63, L- @ Iowa State 65-60

This week: Wednesday vs. Baylor, Saturday @ West Virginia

Texas knew they needed a big week to remain in contention for a tourney bid, and it started off on the right foot with a 73-63 win over Kansas. The Horns hadn't won a game against Kansas since 2014. Defense carried the Horns in the first half, and offense in the endgame. Dylan Osetkowski put up 16 in the win, and Kerwin Roach added 15. Jace Febres hit 4 3-pointers, all seemingly at a point where Kansas was poised to make a real run to get back in the game. Texas followed that up with a strong effort at Iowa State, but fell short, 65-60. Roach led the way offensively, scoring 19 in the loss. Texas struggled from distance, hitting only 6-23 from long range. Texas, down by as many as 14 points, cut the Cyclone lead to 1 with under 2 minutes left, but couldn't get over the hump. The Horns get Baylor and West Virginia this week.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (8-12) 1-7 SEC

Last week (0-2):
L- LSU 72-57, L- Tennessee 93-76

This week: Wednesday @ Ole Miss, Saturday @ Mizzou

The woes continue for Texas A&M, with a two-loss week. They started off getting blown out 72-57 by LSU. The Aggies struggled to put anything together offensively outside of TJ Starks, who scored 21 points despite going 2-10 from 3. The Aggies shot 14% from distance as a team, and only 33% from the field. Those numbers, compounded by 16 turnovers, made for a long night. The Aggies then took on the number 1 team in the country, falling 93-76 to Tennessee. Different story, same result in this one as the Aggies woes came on the defensive end in this one. Tennessee shot 65% from the field and 45% from 3-point range in the game. Wendell Mitchell had 18 for the Aggies in defeat. Texas A&M gets Ole Miss and Mizzou on the road this week.

HOUSTON COUGARS (21-1) 8-1 American

Last week (1-0): W- Temple 73-66

This week: Wednesday @ UCF, Saturday vs. Cincinnati

Houston got its revenge. The Cougars got back their only loss of the season, taking down Temple 73-66. Defense won the day for UH, holding Temple to just 34 percent shooting. Corey Davis, Jr. led the offensive attack for the Cougars with 24 points in the win. There was a massive discrepancy in free throws, with Temple shooting 14 and UH taking 36. The coming week is clearly the toughest run of schedule for Houston, with a road game against third place UCF and a home game against the conference co-leader Cincinnati.

RICE OWLS (9-14) 4-6 CUSA

Last week (1-1): W- @ Charlotte 65-61, L- UAB 89-86

This week: Wednesday vs. Western Kentucky, Sunday vs. Marshall

Rice did something they haven't done much this season, winning a game on the road, 65-61 at Charlotte. The Owls weren't great, shooting just 38% from the field and turning the ball over 15 times, but the 3-point shooting puled them through. Rice hit 11-22 from distance, including 3 from Ako Adams, who led the Owls with 16 points. They followed that up with a valiant effort that came up just short, falling to conference-leading Old Dominion 80-76. This time it was the opposition getting hot from deep. ODU shot 57 percent from 3-point range in the game. Adams struggled, shooting just 3-10 from the field. The Owls were paced by freshman Chris Mullins' 14 points. Rice is back at home this week for games against Western Kentucky and Marshall.

BAYLOR BEARS (15-6) 6-2 Big XII

Last week (1-0): W- TCU 90-64

This week: Wednesday @ Texas, Saturday vs. Kansas State

Baylor is making their case for being the team to beat in the Big XII. They only played one game this week, but made a statement, destroying TCU 90-64. Makai Mason had a career night, scoring 40 points in the victory. Mason was 14-20 from the field, and hit 9-12 3-pointers. The Bears pulled away early and never looked back. Rebounding was a key factor for Baylor, as they had a 40-26 advantage on the boards. The win was Baylor's 6th straight. Baylor has Texas and Kansas State this week.

TCU HORNED FROGS (15-6) 3-5 Big XII

Last week (0-1):
L- @ Baylor 90-64

This week: Wednesday vs. Oklahoma State, Saturday @ Iowa State

Like Baylor, the TCU-Baylor matchup was the only one this week for the Frogs. Baylor dominated TCU 90-64. TCU shot just 4-14 from 3, and were dominated statistically in basically every metric. Senior JD Miller had 17 to pace the Frogs. Desmond Bane, who the Horned Frogs need to get a boost from, was on the floor for 30 minutes, but held to just 5 points and 2 rebounds. TCU will look to get things back on track with a game against Oklahoma State followed by a road trip to Iowa State.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (18-5) 6-4 Big XII

Last week (1-1): L- @ Kansas 79-63, W- West Virginia 81-50

This week: Saturday @ Oklahoma

Texas Tech continued its struggles away from Lubbock, dropping a 79-63 decision at Kansas. Tech was down by 20 at halftime, and never recovered from the slow start. Tech's defense wasn't itself, as the Jayhawks shot 46% from the field and 43% from 3-point range. Davide Moretti led the Red Raiders with 14 points in the loss. Tariq Owens had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Things got better back at home, with an 81-50 drubbing of West Virginia. The defense was back on track, with WVU shooting only 23% from the field (9-39). The Raiders also forced 26 turnovers. There was an ugly moment where WVU reserve Logan Routt tripped Matt Mooney from the bench and was ejected. Brandone Francis led the Red Raiders in scoring with 16. Texas Tech has just one game this week, a road game against Oklahoma.

SMU MUSTANGS (12-9) 4-5 American

Last week (0-2): L- @ Wichita State 85-83, L- @ Cincinnati 73-68

This week: Wednesday vs. USF, Sunday vs. UCF

SMU dropped a heartbreaker at Wichita State, 85-83. Samajae Haynes-Jones hit a game winning layup for Wichita with 1 second to play in a game that SMU led for the majority. Isiaha Mike led the Mustangs with 25 in the loss. All 5 starters for SMU were in double digits, which was good because their bench was outscored 15-0. The Ponies then went to Cincinnati, where they lost a tightly contested 73-68 game to the Bearcats. Again, the Mustangs got good output from their starting lineup, but saw their reserves outscored 20-1. Jahmal McMurray led the way for SMU, scoring 21 in defeat. SMU is back at home this week against South Florida and Central Florida.


LSU TIGERS (17-4) 7-1 SEC

Last week (1-1):
W- @ Texas A&M 72-57, L- Arkansas 90-89

This week: Wednesday @ Mississippi State, Saturday vs. Auburn

LSU started off with a dominant road win over Texas A&M, 72-57. It didn't exactly come easy for the Tigers, who shot just 37% from the field. Naz Reid, Marlon Taylor and Skylar Mays shot just 6-31 combined, but Tremont Waters dominated. Waters had 38 points and 5 rebounds for the Tigers, essentially carrying them single-handedly to a win. LSU then dropped their first SEC game of the season, 90-89 against Arkansas. LSU missed 3 chances at a game winner. LSU dominated the boards 44-20, but Arkansas hit 58% from the field and 54% from 3. LSU turned the ball over 21 times. Nad Reid led the Tigers with 19 in the loss. LSU has a road game at Mississippi State and a home game against Auburn this week.

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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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