COLLEGE BASKETBALL REPORT

NCAA hoops: Aggies keep rolling; tough loss for UH

The Longhorns picked up a win and a loss. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

TEXAS LONGHORNS (7-3)

Last week (1-1): L-Michigan 59-52, W-Louisiana Tech 75-60

This week: Monday vs. Tennessee St., Friday vs. Alabama

The root of the problems with last season’s Texas basketball team was poor shooting. The Horns had a nightmarish flashback to that in the Michigan game on Tuesday, shooting 36.5% from the field in a 59-52 loss. The offense struggled in their first game without leading scorer Andrew Jones, who Shaka Smart hopes to have back before the New Year. Dylan Osetkowski led the Horns with 17. Osetkowski would also lead them on Saturday, scoring 22 points and pulling down 7 rebounds in a 75-60 win over Louisiana Tech. Texas shot 42%  from 3-point range in the win. Texas finishes their non-conference schedule this week hosting Tennessee State on Monday and a solid Alabama squad on Friday.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (9-1)

Last week (1-0): W-Savannah State 113-66

This week: Tuesday vs. Northern Kentucky, Thursday vs. Buffalo 

Texas A&M had a memorable performance against Savannah State in a 113-66 win. The 113 points were the most put up by an Aggie team since 1989, and they also set a school record for made 3-pointers in a game with 16. DJ Hogg hit 5 3-pointers as part of his team high 18 points. The Aggies should go into SEC play with a strong 11-1 mark, assuming they take care of business this week against Northern Kentucky and Buffalo. 

HOUSTON COUGARS (9-2) 

Last week (1-1): L-@ LSU 80-77, W-Prairie View A&M 92-72

This week: Wednesday vs. Providence

Houston had one of their most disappointing performances of the season, and still almost pulled out a victory against LSU, dropping to the Tigers 80-77 in Baton Rouge. Rob Gray put up 20 points, but shot only 1-6 from 3-point range. The Cougars were out-rebounded for the first time this season. Houston got back on track against Prairie View A&M, with a crushing 92-72 win. Armani Brooks scored 24 in the win, and the Cougars shot better than 50% from 3 in the game. Houston only has one game this week, taking on a strong, but injured Providence team.

RICE OWLS (3-8)

Last week (1-1): W-St. Edwards 91-86, L-@ Texas Tech 73-53

This week: Tuesday @ New Mexico. Friday vs. Texas State

Mixed results for the Owls this week. They got a win over St. Edwards, 91-86, but edging out a lower division school isn’t exactly screaming that things are getting better. Connor Cashew matched his career-high with 27 points in the win. Cashaw had 21 points and 12 rebounds against Texas Tech, but the Owls got hammered 73-53 in Lubbock. The Owls lost the turnover battle 26-9 and were dominated on both ends. Rice travels to New Mexico and hosts Texas State before starting a potentially rough Conference-USA schedule. 

BAYLOR BEARS (9-2)

Last week (2-0): W-Texas Southern 99-68, W-Savannah State 118-86

This week: Wednesday vs. Southern

Baylor continues to punish inferior competition this season, pulling in 2 more blowout wins last week. The first was a 99-68 win over Texas Southern, that saw the return of Manu Lecomte who put in 22 points after missing a game with a sprained thumb. Nuni Omot also had 22 in the win. Sunday’s 118-86 dismantling of Savannah State was the Jo Lual-Acuil show. The Baylor center had a career high 31 points and 20 rebounds in the win. Lecomte added 25 points. The Bears just have one game left before Big XII play starts up, Wednesday night against Southern. 

TCU HORNED FROGS (12-0)

Last week: IDLE

This week: Monday vs. Texas Southern, Friday vs. William & Mary

Jamie Dixon’s team will look to finish the non-conference season unbeaten with games against Texas Southern and William & Mary this week. 

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (9-1)

Last week (0-1): W-Kennesaw State 82-53, W-Rice 73-53


This week: Tuesday vs. Florida Atlantic, Friday vs. Abilene Christian

The Red Raiders had little trouble this week, with blowout wins over Kennesaw State and Rice. 14 players got time on the floor in the 82-53 win over the Kennesaw State Owls. Keenan Evans led the Raiders with 16 and they doubled up Kennesaw on the glass. The Rice Owls didn’t fair much better, as the Raiders smashed their former Southwest Conference opponents 73-53. The Red Raiders shot 49% from the field and forced 26 turnovers. Wins over Florida Atlantic and Abilene Christian would send Tech into conference play with a top 20 ranking. 

SMU MUSTANGS (8-3)

Last week (1-0): W-New Orleans 79-66

This week: Monday vs. Boise St., Tuesday vs. Cal Poly

Jimmy Whitt led the Mustangs with 19 points and 8 assists en route to a 79-66 win over New Orleans, improving SMU to 7-0 at home this season. The guard-heavy Ponies shot 11-22 from 3-point range. SMU will look to extend their home winning streak with back to back games against Boise State and Cal Poly on Monday and Tuesday before starting up AAC play. 
 

LSU TIGERS (6-3)

Last week (1-1): W-Houston 80-77, L-Stephen F. Austin 83-82

This week: Tuesday vs. Sam Houston State, Friday vs. North Florida

LSU impressed with a big win over a strong Houston Cougar team, 80-77. Aaron Epps had a career-night, setting personal highs in points (26) and rebounds (16). Tremont Waters had 17 points and blocked the game-tying 3-point attempt with seconds remaining. Epps followed up his hero performance with a rough finish in a 83-82 loss to Stephen F. Austin. Epps missed a game-winning layup at the buzzer for a disappointing finish to a 16 point, 10 rebound effort. The Tigers get Sam Houston State and North Florida this week. 

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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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