College Basketball Week In Review
Coogs move into top 10; Horns heating up
TEXAS LONGHORNS (14-10) 6-5 Big XII
Last week (2-0): W- Baylor 84-72, W- @ West Virginia 75-53
This week: Tuesday vs. Kansas State, Saturday vs. Oklahoma State
Texas wrapped up a 2-0 week, and ESPN's Joe Lunardi placed them as a 9-seed in the latest "Bracketology" update. Texas started with an 84-72 win over Baylor, breaking a six-game winning streak for the Bears in that matchup. Texas got a great game out of Kerwin Roach II, who put up 21 in the victory. The whistles favored the Horns, who took 34 free throws compared to Baylor's 15. Dylan Osetkowski was the only Texas starter not in double digits, and he posted 9. The Horns followed that up with a 75-53 drubbing of West Virginia in Morgantown. Freshman Courtney Ramey led Texas with 19 points, but Shaka Smart was able to get minutes for 13 players in the blowout win. Texas shot 39% from 3-point range and held West Virginia to 19%. Texas will look to carry the momentum into this week, when they get Kansas State (whom they already beat in Manhattan) and cellar-dwelling Oklahoma State at home.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (8-12) 1-7 SEC
Last week (0-2): L- @ Ole Miss 75-71, W- @ Mizzou 68-59
This week: Tuesday vs. Georgia, Saturday @ South Carolina
After suffering back to back blowout losses to LSU and Tennessee, the Aggies looked like they were on their way to a solid road win against Mississippi. After falling behind 19-6 early, A&M rallied and actually had a nine point lead in the second half. The Aggies couldn't hold on, though, and lost 71-75. The Aggies turned it over 18 times in the loss. Ole Miss was 18-19 from the free throw line, helping them to get back in the game. Wendell Mitchell scored 23 to pace A&M, but the rest of the Aggie starters combined for just eight points. Texas A&M did get its second conference win this week, and this time it was the Aggies playing catch-up. The Aggies were down 12 in the second half, but came back to beat Mizzou 68-59. Mitchell again led the charge with 20 points. The Aggies had nearly a double-digit edge in rebounding. Texas A&M has two winnable games this week, home against Georgia and a road game at South Carolina.
HOUSTON COUGARS (23-1) 10-1 American
Last week (2-0): W- @ UCF 77-68, W- Cincinnati 65-58
This week: Thursday @ UConn, Sunday @ Tulane
If you didn't take Houston seriously before last week, you basically have to now. They passed the two toughest conference tests to date with flying colors, and moved to ninth in the polls. Lunardi has the Coogs as a No. 3 seed right now. First, a 77-68 win on the road against Central Florida. The teams were pretty even in most statistics, but a nine rebound edge and a better percentage of free throws made sealed the win for UH. Corey Davis, Jr. led the Cogs offensively with 26 points and 5 assists. Houston then came back home to play Cincinnati in a matchup of the two first place teams in the conference. Houston proved that they are the team to beat in the AAC, winning 65-58. The teams were evenly matched throughout, until Cincinnati was held scoreless for the last six minutes. Davis and Dejon Jarreau both had 16 points in the win. Houston has a little easier week ahead, with road games at conference bottom-feeders UConn and Tulane.
RICE OWLS (10-15) 5-7 CUSA
Last week (1-1): L- Western Kentucky 92-85 2OT, W- Marshall 74-69
This week: Thursday @ FIU, Saturday @ FAU
Rice nearly had the perfect week. Up 13 with seven minutes left, they let Western Kentucky come back and beat them in two overtimes, 92-85. A dunk that would have won it for WKU at the end of the 1st OT was called off for basket interference. The Hilltoppers heated up in the second OT and Rice couldn't hold on. Not surprisingly, Ako Adams led the Owls with 23 points, including 7 made 3-pointers. The Owls followed it up with a home win against Marshall, 74-69. The Owls got a solid effort across the board, getting double digits from five different players. They held Marshall to just 32% from the field.
BAYLOR BEARS (16-8) 7-4 Big XII
Last week (1-1): L- Kansas State 70-63, W- Oklahoma 59-53
This week: Saturday @ Texas Tech
Baylor started the week with a 70-63 loss to Kansas State. Baylor was without Makai Mason and King McClure, arguably their two best players, and the K State depth wore them down after a tightly contested game. Baylor was just 6-24 from distance in the game. Junior guard Devonte Bandoo led the Bears with 15 points in the loss. Baylor followed it up with a 59-53 home win against Oklahoma. Baylor got some separation in the second half, but a 10-0 Oklahoma run tightened it up. Offensive rebounding and clutch free throws sealed the win for the Bears. Mason was 2-14 in his return for just 6 points, but Bandoo again picked up the slack with 19 points. The Bears have just one game next week, Saturday at Texas Tech.
TCU HORNED FROGS (17-7) 5-6 Big XII
Last week (1-1): W- @ Iowa State 92-83, L- Kansas 82-77 OT
This week: Wednesday @ Oklahoma State, Saturday vs. Iowa State
TCU got their biggest road win in a long time, knocking off Iowa State in Ames, 92-83. TCU was 1-84 in their previous 85 road games against ranked teams. TCU shut down the Iowa State offense in the first half, and the Cyclones never recovered. TCU shot just under 45% from 3-point land in the win. Freshman guard Kendric Davis led the Frogs with 22 points. TCU erased a second half deficit to send their game with Kansas to overtime, but the Jayhawks were too much in the extra frame, dropping the Horned Frogs 82-77 in overtime. Desmond Bane led the way for the Frogs in the loss with 18 points. Kouat Noi had 14 points, but went a rough 1-9 from 3-point range. TCU has Oklahoma State and Iowa State this week.
TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (19-5) 7-4 Big XII
Last week (1-1): W- @ Oklahoma 66-54
This week: Saturday @ Oklahoma
Texas Tech got a much needed road win in their only game last week, 66-54 at Oklahoma. Davide Moretti led the Red Raiders with 14 points. The defense was strong, as it typically has been for Texas Tech, but Tech's 3-point shooting led the way. The Raiders hit 10 of 22 from deep in the win. Texas Tech missed the committee's initial top 16, but currently sit 15th in the AP poll. Tech gets a road game at Oklahoma State and a home game with Baylor this week.
SMU MUSTANGS (12-11) 4-7 American
Last week (0-2): L- South Florida 67-66, L- @ Central Florida 71-65
This week: Wednesday @ Temple
The losses continue to pile up for SMU, who has now dropped 6 of the last 7 after a 3-1 start to conference play. They lost a tough one against USF 67-66. A 3-pointer with 6 seconds left gave the Bulls the lead, and SMU couldn't get a good shot off before the buzzer. SMU lost this one behind the arc. USF hit 44% and SMU was held to just 29%. Isiaha Mike led SMU with 18 in the loss. The Ponies followed that up with a 71-65 loss to Central Florida. Again the Mustangs lost the 3-point battle, 44%-27%. Jimmy Whitt, Jr. led SMU with 23 points in the game. SMU has just one game this week, a road trip to Temple.
LSU TIGERS (19-4) 9-1 SEC
Last week (2-0): W- @ Mississippi State 92-88 OT, W- Auburn 83-78
This week: Tuesday @ Kentucky, Saturday @ Georgia
LSU continues to find ways to win games, despite slow starts. LSU got a 92-88 win at Mississippi State in a game that MSU led by eight at halftime. The Tigers roared back to send the game to overtime, where Naz Reid hit a decisive 3-pointer to finish it off. Reid led the Tigers with 29 points, despite only having 4 points in the first half. Tremont Waters came up big as well, adding 26. LSU got the win despite only making 3 of their 11 3-point attempts. LSU then got an 83-78 win against Auburn, after trailing by 16 in the 1st half in large part to letting Auburn have their way from 3 early. LSU cut the deficit to 3 at halftime, and dominated the pacing in the 2nd half to get the win. LSU won the turnover battle 19-11. Waters had 19 points and 10 assists in the win. LSU moved up to 19th in the polls with the 2 wins. The Tigers get their toughest test of the season on Tuesday, when they travel to 5th ranked Kentucky. They also have a road game against Georgia.