COLLEGE BASKETBALL REPORT

NCAA hoops: TCU and UH keep rolling

TCU's Desmond Bane and Vladimir Brodziansky helped the Horned Frogs get wins over SMU and Nevada last week. TCU/Facebook

TEXAS LONGHORNS (6-2)

Last week (1-0): W-@ VCU 71-67

This week: Tuesday vs. Michigan, Saturday vs. Louisiana Tech

Texas is already a better road team than they were last season. After going winless in true road games last season, this was Texas’ first win on an opponent’s court since March of 2016. It didn’t come easy, as Shaka Smart’s former team charged back from a 19 point deficit to take a lead with under 5 minutes to play. The Horns stiffened though, and got out with a 71-67 win. Andrew Jones had 19 and Mohamed Bamba filled the box score with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks. Texas has home games against Michigan and Louisiana Tech this week. 

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (8-1)

Last week (1-1): L- Arizona 67-64, W- Prairie View A&M 73-53

This week: Wednesday vs. Savannah State

Texas A&M ran into their first diversity of the season, losing 67-64 to Arizona on a neutral court, albeit in Phoenix. The Aggies struggled defensively in the 2nd half, but were able to take advantage of sloppy passing by Arizona to keep it close. They missed a long chance to tie at the buzzer. Tyler Davis had 21 points and 10 boards in the loss. It looked like the loss could have sent the Aggies into a tailspin, as they were struggling with Prairie View A&M early in the 2nd half, but they were able to pull away on the strength of a 48-34 rebounding edge. Robert Williams had 8 points and 16 rebounds in the win. This should be a light week, with only Savannah State on the schedule. 

HOUSTON COUGARS (8-1) 

Last week (2-0): W- Fairfield 88-66, W- @ Saint Louis 77-58

This week: Wednesday @ LSU, Sunday vs. Prairie View A&M

The train keeps rolling for the Cougars, picking up a win over Fairfield at home and a win against Saint Louis on the road. The Cougars dominated Fairfield from start to finish, paced by Rob Gray’s 20. More impressive was the winner over Saint Louis. While they aren’t having a great season, it was a convincing road win against an Atlantic 10 opponent. The Coogs won the rebounding battle, as they have in every game this season, 37-24. Gray led the team in points and rebounds, putting up a 24-6 line. A road trip to LSU and a home game against Prairie View await this week. 

RICE OWLS (2-7)

Last week (0-1): L- Stephen F. Austin 81-62

This week: Thursday vs. Saint Edwards, Saturday @ Texas Tech

The Owls only played one game this week, and they weren’t competitive in it. The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks dominated the Owls, and while there are plenty of reasons they lost, the 1-17 shooting performance from 3 point range and the 27 turnovers stand out. Kevon Harris put up 31 for the Jacks in the win. Robert Martin and Connor Cashaw each had 13 for the Owls in defeat. Rice gets mixed competition this week, taking on a Division II team(albeit a good one) in Saint Edwards, and a ranked Texas Tech squad on the road. 

BAYLOR BEARS (7-2)

Last week (2-0): W- Sam Houston State 84-56, W- Randall 105-82

This week: Thursday vs. Texas Southern, Sunday vs. Savannah State

Baylor got back on track after losing their first two of the season with a couple of blowout wins. Baylor got double-digit efforts from 6 players in an 84-56 drubbing of Sam Houston State. The Bears hit 10 3-pointers in the effort. Randall University didn’t provide much competition for the Bears either, falling 105-82. The Bears only dressed 6 scholarship players, but had no problem with the much less physical Randall. Nuni Omot led the way with 30 points. Baylor gets Texas Southern and Savannah State in the week to come.

TCU HORNED FROGS (12-0)

Last week (2-0): W- SMU 94-83, W- Nevada 84-40

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

TCU stayed unbeaten with two solid wins over SMU and Nevada last week. The Frogs beat SMU 94-83 in a physical game between cross-Metroplex rivals. Kenrich Williams continued his outstanding season with 27 points in the win. TCU hit 12 of 24 from deep. The Frogs then got an 84-80 win over a tough Nevada team. TCU cruised early on, and Nevada made it close in the 2nd half, but were never able to take a lead. Jaylen Fisher led the Frogs with 20 points. 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 (7-1)

Last week (0-1): W- Nevada 82-76 (OT)

This week: Wednesday vs. Kennesaw State, Saturday vs. Rice

The Red Raiders bounced back from their first loss of the season by beating the 22nd ranked Nevada Wolfpack 82-76 in overtime. Texas Tech didn’t make a shot in the last 5 minutes of regulation, but hit their free throws and forced overtime. Keenan Evans scored 8 of his team-high 32 points in extra time to seal the win. Tech should continue their strong non-conference run against Kennesaw State and a struggling Rice team this week. 

SMU MUSTANGS (7-3)

Last week (0-1): L- @ TCU 94-83 

This week: Wednesday vs. New Orleans

SMU couldn’t put out the TCU fire from 3-point range en route to a 94-83 loss. The backcourt that had SMU riding high last week, struggled in this game, with Shake Milton making just 1 of his 8 3-point attempts on the day. The Ponies kick off their 5-game homestead with New Orleans on Wednesday in their only game this week.

LSU TIGERS (5-2)

Last week (1-0): W-UNC Wilmington 97-84

This week: Wednesday vs. Houston, Saturday vs. Stephen F. Austin 

Duop Reath stayed hot, leading LSU to a 97-84 win with a 30 point performance that saw him make 13 of 17 attempts from the field. LSU took a 16 point lead into halftime, and were able to hold off UNCW in the 2nd half. This week will be tough for the Tigers, as they get matchups against the 8-1 Houston Cougars and the 9-1 Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks.

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Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

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