COLLEGE BASKETBALL REPORT

NCAA hoops: Big weeks for UH, A&M, TCU

Kelvin Sampson and the Cougars had a nice week. UHCougars.com

TEXAS LONGHORNS (5-2)

Last week (1-0): W-Florida A&M 82-58

This week: Tuesday @ VCU 

Texas overcame a horrible 3 point shooting effort in the first half and took their game inside against Florida A&M in the second half en route to a convincing win over the Rattlers. Dylan Osetkowski scored 19 and pulled in 8 rebounds in the effort. Texas plays only once this week, a homecoming for Shaka Smart in a road trip to VCU. 

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (7-0)

Last week (1-0): W- UT-Rio Grande Valley 78-60

This week: Tuesday vs. Arizona, Saturday vs. Prairie View A&M

The Aggies looked sluggish in their lone game last week, a 78-60 win over UT-Rio Grande Valley. The game was close until the last few minutes before the Aggies pulled away. DJ Hogg and Admon Gilder scored 17 points each. The Aggies get a good test this week in Arizona, who is still dangerous despite their slow start. They play Prairie View A&M on Saturday. 

HOUSTON COUGARS (6-1) 

Last week (2-0): W-New Orleans 75-66, Arkansas 91-65

This week: Wednesday vs. Fairfield, Saturday @ Saint Louis

A strong week for the Cougars, opening with a 75-66 win over New Orleans. Rob Gray paced the Coogs with 23 points. More impressive was the crushing of a solid Arkansas team. Devin Davis, who was injured in the Arkansas game last year, had a career-high 28 points in the 91-65 victory. Corey Davis, Jr. had 17 in the win. This week should be a light one for Houston, who starts with Fairfield and finishes the week at Saint Louis, who currently rides a 4 game losing streak. 

RICE OWLS (2-6)

Last week (0-2): L-UT-Arlington 69-49, L-UT-Rio Grande Valley 69-67

This week: Saturday @ Stephen F. Austin

It was another rough week for the Owls. They started out getting drubbed by UT-Arlington, in a game where Rice shot 24.5% from the field. Saturday’s game was closer, but again ended with a loss against UT-Rio Grande Valley. Rice had two attempts from deep for the win, but missed both. Malik Osborne led the Owls with 14. Things won’t get easier for the Owls this week, as they hit the road to take on a stout Stephen F. Austin team on Saturday. 

BAYLOR BEARS (5-2)

Last week (0-2): L- @ Xavier 76-63, W-Wichita State 69-62

This week: Monday vs. Sam Houston State, Saturday vs. Randall

Baylor lost their first game this season at Xavier on Tuesday, and followed it up with their second loss later in the week. Xavier continued it’s home non-conference winning streak with a 76-63 win. Baylor fell behind early and could never recover. Terry Maston led the Bears with 15 in the loss. Baylor fell again on Saturday, this time at home against a very strong Wichita State team. The Shockers beat the Baylor zone-defense with a 10 of 16 shooting performance from 3. The Bears should rebound this week, with home games against Sam Houston and Randall. 

TCU HORNED FROGS (8-0)

Last week (2-0): W-Belmont 87-76, W-Yale 92-66

This week: Tuesday vs. SMU, Friday vs. Nevada

TCU stayed unbeaten with wins over Belmont and Yale last week. The Frogs currently have the longest win streak in the country at 13. Vladimir Brodziansky let TCU with 22 in their 87-76 win over Belmont. The Frogs dominated the boards with a 37-23 rebounding edge and took 19 free throws to the Bruins’ 6. TCU followed that up with a 92-66 drubbing of Yale. Desmond Bane led the Frogs with 18 points and Kenrich Williams had his fourth straight double-double. This week will present a tougher test for the Horned Frogs, as they get SMU and a ranked Nevada team. 

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (6-1)

Last week (0-1): L-Seton Hall 89-79

This week: Tuesday vs. Nevada

The Red Raiders suffered their first loss of the season against Seton Hall in New York. The Red Raiders, who have built their season on defense, played little of it against the Pirates. Seton Hall shot 11-20 from 3 and scored 50 points in the 2nd half. Keenan Evans scored 21 and Jarrett Culver put up 17 in the loss. The Raiders get a solid Nevada team on Tuesday evening. 

SMU MUSTANGS (7-2)

Last week (2-0): W- UT-Rio Grande Valley 95-64, W- USC 72-55

This week: Tuesday @ TCU

SMU’s backcourt torched Rio Grande Valley with Shake Milton, Jimmy Whitt and Jarrey Foster combining for 59 points en route to a blowout win. Milton led the way again against USC later in the week. The Mustangs got revenge for last year’s 1st round tournament exit with a 72-55 win over the Trojans. The Ponies travel across the Metroplex to take on TCU on Tuesday.

LSU TIGERS (4-2)

Last week (1-0): W-UT-Martin 84-60

This week: Sunday vs. UNC Wilmington

LSU got a good showing from their bench in their lone game this week, a 84-60 win over UT-Martin. Duop Reath and Daryl Edwards combined for 30 points off the bench. Skylar Mays led the Tigers with 18. LSU has another low-volume week with just 1 game in the upcoming week against UNC-Wilmington.

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Houston couldn't keep up

Astros fall to Blue Jays as Toronto gets homer-happy

Houston's bats couldn't keep up with Toronto's Saturday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive clinic in the opener on Friday night, which helped them handily defeat the Blue Jays, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Saturday with a chance to secure another series. Toronto had other plans, though, reversing roles with Houston by getting big home runs to even the series.

Final Score: Blue Jays 8, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 17-16, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Steven Matz (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-1)

Toronto flips the script and turns on their offense against Javier

Toronto flipped the script from the night before early in this middle game of the series, dealing damage to Cristian Javier, who so far in 2021 had been able to limit his amount of earned runs. After retiring the first four batters he faced, a one-out walk in the top of the second set up the Blue Jays' first hit of the night, a two-run home run by Cavan Biggio, giving them a 2-0 lead over Houston.

After a leadoff home run made it a 3-0 score, Javier would deal with the fallout of more walks in the top of the third, issuing two to set up a two-out two-RBI double to give the Jays a commanding 5-0 advantage. Javier would battle back and complete five full innings, getting one out into the sixth before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to make the call to the bullpen. His final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 91 P.

Alvarez keeps mashing as Houston tries to claw back into it

Javier would exit with at least some runs on the board in support of him, with Yordan Alvarez hitting a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three runs. Alvarez accounted for another run in the next inning, coming through with an RBI-single to make it 5-3, which is where the game stood as Andre Scrubb would take over in the top of the sixth.

Scrubb finished that inning for Javier and returned for a 1-2-3 seventh to keep it a two-run game. Bryan Abreu was the next reliever, and he, too, was able to retire the Blue Jays in order in the top of the eighth. The Astros continued to chip away at Toronto's lead, getting another run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4 heading to the ninth.

Toronto evens the series

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a one-run game with a clean inning, but instead, two runners would reach on a walk and error before Joe Smith would enter to try and strand them. Instead, a two-out home run put the game back out of reach at 8-4, with Houston coming up empty in the bottom of the inning, setting up a rubber match in the finale.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will be an afternoon start of 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76 ERA) will try to add more wins to his record for Houston, while Nate Pearson will be making his 2021 debut for Toronto.

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