NCAA Basketball Recap

Houston stumbles, Tech dominates as season winds down

Kelvin Sampson and UH took a tough loss. Jackson Gatlin/SportsMap

TEXAS LONGHORNS (16-14) 8-9 Big XII

Last week (1-1):
L- @ Baylor 84-83, W- Iowa State 86-69, L- @ Texas Tech 70-51

This week: Saturday vs. TCU

Texas lost a heartbreaker to Baylor to start the week. The Horns led by as many as 19 points in the second half, and Baylor stormed all the way back and sent the game to OT, where Texas finally fell 84-83. Texas had a run in the second half where they scored only 4 points in nearly 8 minutes. Texas shot the ball well from outside (56%), but were out rebounded 42-29. Jase Febres led Texas in the loss, scoring 23 points (including 7 3-pointers) in 43 minutes. Texas then came up big against Iowa State, taking an 86-69 win in Austin. Febres had 26 points, and 8-more 3-pointers, in the win. Freshman Courtney Ramey added 18 points. The Horns were 15-25 from behind the arc. Things went back downhill for the Horns at Texas Tech, losing a 70-51 tilt. Texas, who had been hot from outside, was held to just 4 of 18 from 3. Matt Coleman III led the Longhorns with 16 points. Febres unraveled, shooting just 1-10 from the field and 0-5 from deep.Texas closes out their season at home on Saturday against TCU.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (13-15) 6-10 SEC

Last week (1-1):
L- @ LSU 66-55, W- Vanderbilt 64-57

This week: Tuesday South Carolina, Saturday @ Mississippi State

Texas A&M was a mixed bag this week, going 1-1. It started out on a rough foot, getting crushed at LSU, 66-55. The final score was closer than the game, as the Aggies were down by as many as 21 in the first half and never got back closer than 9. Wendell Mitchell led the Aggies with 14 points in defeat. TJ Starks went to the hospital with a shoulder injury he suffered in a collision under the basket. The Ags shot just 4-22 from 3. They did get a win on the board against Vanderbilt, 64-57 in College Station. Sauvion Flagg paced the Aggies with 22 points and 12 rebounds. The Aggies out rebounded the Commodores by 10 in the victory. Texas A&M finishes up the regular season this week with South Carolina and Mississippi State.

HOUSTON COUGARS (27-2) 14-2 American

Last week (1-1): W- @ East Carolina 99-65, L- UCF 69-64

This week: Thursday vs. SMU, Sunday @ Cincinnati

Houston started out the week as expected, blowing the doors off a bad East Carolina team, 99-65. Corey Davis led the four Cougars in double digits with his 26 points. Davis was 6-11 from 3-point range. ECU was 5-13 as a team. The Cougars then came home, and had their 33-game home win streak snapped by Central Florida, 69-64. Houston struggled from the free throw line particularly, making just 12 of 24 freebies. Davis again led the Coogs with 19 points in the loss. The loss likely ends any hope of a 2-seed for Houston, who finishes up the regular season with SMU and a trip to Cincinnati this week.

RICE OWLS (12-17) 6-9 CUSA

Last week (1-0): W- Middle Tennessee State 67-61

This week: Wednesday @ Charlotte, Saturday vs. Charlotte

Rice clinched a spot in the Conference USA tournament with a 67-61 win over Middle Tennessee. The Owls led by 13 at the half and coasted to their second win over the Blue Raiders this season. Freshman Drew Peterson led the Owls with 16 points. Rice held MTSU to just 1-15 from behind the 3-point line. The Owls get a home and home to close out the regular season with one of the conference's worst teams, Charlotte.

BAYLOR BEARS (19-10) 9-5 Big XII

Last week (1-1): W- Texas 84-83, L- @ Kansas State 66-60

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

Baylor got a wild win over Texas, 84-83. Mario Kegler scored 24 points, including the go-ahead free throws in the final seconds of overtime. Baylor was down 19 in the 2nd half, and came all the way back to send it to extra time. Baylor hit 20 of 24 from the line. Devonte Bandoo also had 18 points in the win. The win guaranteed Baylor a top-six tournament seed, which gets them a first round bye in the tournament. Baylor had another slow start against Kansas State, but were unable to overcome it this time, falling 66-60. Baylor was behind 24-9 in the first 10 minutes of the game, and clawed back to take a lead early in the 2nd half. K State got it back to 12 and held off another comeback attempt to get the win. Kegler scored 13 in the loss and Makai Mason added 11. Turnovers killed the Bears, as they gave it away 19 times. Baylor has a home game against Oklahoma State before closing out the regular season at Kansas.


TCU HORNED FROGS (18-12) 6-11 Big XII

Last week (0-3):
L- @ WVU 104-96, L- Texas Tech 81-66, L- Kansas State 64-52

This week: Saturday @ Texas

TCU continues to fade down the stretch, going 0-3 this week. They lost 104-96 at West Virginia in 3 overtimes. The game was tight throughout, and Desmond Bane turned it over with 4 seconds left in a tie game tied at 68. JD Miller let the Frogs with 24 in the game, and Kouat Not had a double double, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. TCU then fell to Texas Tech, 81-66, giving the Frogs 5 losses in their last 6 games. Miller led the Frogs again in the loss, posting 18 points and 8 rebounds. Things only got worse against Kansas State, with the Frogs losing 64-52. Kevin Samuel led the Frogs with 17 points on 8 of 11 shooting. The rest of the Frogs shot just 12 of 37 from the field. TCU will close out the regular season on Saturday at Texas.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (25-5) 13-4 Big XII

Last week (3-0): W- Oklahoma State 84-80, W- @ TCU 81-66,

This week: Saturday @ Iowa State

The battle for the regular season Big XII title rages on, with Texas Tech at the forefront. Tech may have sleepwalked into the game against Oklahoma State. The Raiders struggled, particularly on defense, but still got the win, 84-80 in overtime. The three-point shot wasn't dropping for Tech, either, hitting just 3 of 19. Davide Moretti scored 20 on a night where Jarrett Culver was inefficient, getting his 19 points on 7/22 shooting. Things were back to normal for Tech against TCU, where the Red Raiders took an 81-66 victory in Fort Worth. Culver and Moretti shared the lead with 15 points in the win. Tech had 8 steals in the game. The Red Raiders then got a 70-51 win over Texas. The Red Raiders shot 9 of 18 from 3-point range. Tech held the Horns to under 30% from the field. Jarrett Culver scored 16 points and pulled down 7 boards in the win. Tech closes out the season at Iowa State on Saturday.

SMU MUSTANGS (13-15) 5-11 American

Last week (0-2):
L- Cincinnati 52-49, L- Wichita 67-55

This week: Thursday @ Houston, Sunday @ South Florida

SMU's season is mercifully entering into the final week of the regular season, coming off another 2-loss week. They dropped a tough one, 52-49 against Cincinnati. SMU held the Bearcats to just 27% from the field, but SMU only got to the line three times (hit 2). Jahmal McMurray scored 27 of the 49 total Mustang points. No one else made more than three shots for the Ponies. SMU followed it up with a 67-56 loss to Wichita State. SMU never had a lead in this game. The Mustangs shot just 11% from 3-point range. Freshman Feron Hunt led the Mustangs with 14 points in the loss. SMU has Houston and South Florida on the road this week to wrap up the regular season.

LSU TIGERS (24-5) 14-2 SEC

Last week (2-0):
W- Texas A&M 66-56, W- @ Alabama 74-69

This week: Wednesday @ Florida, Saturday vs. Vanderbilt

LSU is back in business, winning two games this week, and remaining in a tie for 1st in the SEC (LSU holds the head to head win over Tennessee). They started with a 66-55 win over Texas A&M. Nad Reid, who did basically nothing against Tennessee last week, dominated the Aggies, scoring 18 and grabbing 11 rebounds. Javonte Smart added 17 points in the win. The offense is still not firing on all cylinders, hitting just 2 of 19 from 3-point range. LSU then took a 74-69 road win over Alabama. Tremont Waters returned after missing 2 straight games, but only posted 5 points. Skylar Mays scored 20, and Smart added 19 in the win. The Tigers grabbed 48 rebounds in the game. LSU finishes the season with a revenge game against Florida and a home game against Vanderbilt, who is winless in SEC play.

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After a rough, disheartening loss the night before to even the series at one game apiece, the Astros tried to shake it off and regroup for a win on Thursday to get the series win against the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Here is a quick recap of the finale:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 5, Astros 4.

Record: 6-6, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Junior Guerra (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Ryan Pressly (0-1, 40.50 ERA).

Bielak tosses an impressive start as Houston puts him in winning position

After both teams finished the first three innings scoreless, the Astros were able to get a little bit of good luck on their side, unlike the night prior. Jose Altuve started the inning with a much-needed single, stole second, then moved to third on a groundout for the second out. That set up Yuli Gurriel, who hit a ball down the third-base line that would strike the bag and bounce away from Arizona, allowing Altuve to score and put Houston up 1-0.

Though he likely would have preferred more run support, Brandon Bielak made do with that one run in his first career MLB start. He was able to complete five innings of work, holding Arizona scoreless over that span despite allowing a runner in each inning. He left in line for the win, with a final line of 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR.

Altuve extends the lead, then Diamondbacks go ahead

Jose Altuve helped double the lead in the top of the sixth, connecting for a one-out solo home run to make it 2-0. With Bielak's night over at five innings, Cy Sneed took over in the bottom of the sixth and allowed back-to-back one-out doubles to cut Houston's lead in half. He allowed a single to put runners on the corners before Dusty Baker would move on to another reliever to try and preserve the lead. Blake Taylor would enter but allowed the tying RBI-single to take Bielak out of winning position. Taylor would go on to allow a go-ahead run before getting out of the jam.

In the bottom of the seventh, Taylor was still on the mound but would only get two outs before another call to the pen. Andre Scrubb would enter and get the final out of the inning. In the top of the eighth, Jose Altuve would improve to 3-for-4 on the night with a two-out double, setting up Alex Bregman for a go-ahead two-run home run to make it 4-3, Houston.

Ryan Pressly allows the walk-off

Scrubb went back to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and was able to record a 1-2-3 inning to move the game to the ninth. After a scoreless top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly would attempt to get the save in the bottom of the inning. Instead, he would allow the walk-off, loading the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles before a two-RBI single to give Arizona the win and the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Oakland to kick off a three-game weekend series with the A's on Friday at 8:10 PM Central. The A's will send Chris Bassitt (1-0, 0.93 ERA) to the mound while Houston will turn to Zack Greinke (0-0, 5.00 ERA) to help cut down Oakland's division lead.

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