COLLEGE BASKETBALL REPORT

NCAA hoops: Texas Tech keeps rolling along; A&M bounces back

Keenan Evans and Tech went 2-0 last week. Texastech.com

TEXAS LONGHORNS (15-8, 5-5 BIG XII)

Last week (1-1): L-@ Texas Tech 73-71 OT, W-Oklahoma 79-74

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

Texas had a chance to make this a massive week, but it started with them coming up just short on the road against the top-10 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. Keenan Evans hit a shot at the buzzer to give Tech the 73-71 victory in overtime. The game had two consistent factors throughout: Evans was going to be amazing and the Horns were going to struggle from the line. In a tightly called game that saw 52 foul whistles, the Horns shot only 13-of-26 from the charity stripe in the loss. Kerwin Roach led the Horns in scoring with 20, while Mohamed Bamba had a 12 point, 10 rebound, 7 block performance. Texas was back at home on Saturday to face Oklahoma and their freshman sensation, Trae Young, who came in averaging over 30 points per game. Luckily for Texas, Young wasn’t himself, and scored only 19 on 7-of-22 shooting. The Sooners struggled from 3-point range, going only 3-of-22 from deep. Freshman Matt Coleman led the Horns with 22 points in the win. Texas gets a solid Kansas State squad at home before hitting the road again to face TCU.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (15-8, 4-6 SEC)

Last week (2-0): W-Arkansas 80-66, W-South Carolina 83-60

This week: Wednesday @ Auburn, Saturday vs. Kentucky

Texas A&M, on life support a week ago, may have taken a breath this week. They started out with a dominant win over Arkansas, 80-66. The Aggies took advantage of an Arkansas team that struggles mightily on the road, led by freshman point guard TJ Starks, who put up 16 points and 5 assists in the win. All five Aggies were in double digits scoring, and as a team they dominated the glass by a 45-30 margin. The Aggies kept the momentum going against South Carolina, getting another balanced offensive attack in an 83-60 victory. Admon Gilder led the Ags with 15 and Robert Williams was perfect from the field en route to an 11 point, 9 rebound, 5 block performance. The Aggies were brilliant defensively, holding the Gamecocks under 28% shooting for the day. This week will be huge for A&M’s tourney hopes, as they have a trip to Auburn and a home game with Kentucky on the schedule. 

HOUSTON COUGARS (17-5, 7-3 AAC) 

Last week (1-1): L-@ Cincinnati 80-70, W-@ UCF 69-65

This week: Thursday vs. SMU, Sunday vs. Tulane

Houston looked on its way to a massive road win that would have broken the nation’s longest home winning streak and all but locked up a bit in March Madness, but a furious Cincinnati comeback knocked the Cougars off by a score of 80-70. The Cougars led by 18 points in the 1st half, but gave nearly all of that lead away before halftime. Rob Gray, who led the AAC in scoring with 18.7 points per game, struggled to 9 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Corey Davis, Jr. led the Cougars with 18 points. Gray bounced back on Saturday, scoring 20 in a 69-65 win at Central Florida. UCF pushed for a comeback in the second half, but the Coogs stiffened late and held off the charge. The Cougars are back at home against SMU and Tulane this week. 

RICE OWLS (5-18,  2-8 CUSA)

Last week (0-1): L-@ North Texas 74-70

This week: Thursday @ Middle Tennessee, Saturday vs. UAB

Rice lost its only game of the week, dropping a 74-70 decision at North Texas. Rice led by nine with under 9 minutes to play, but couldn’t hold off the Mean Green. Once again, turnovers were the culprit, as the Owls had a -10 turnover margin. Connor Cashaw led the Owls with 18 points in the loss. Rice will hit the road to take on conference-leading Middle Tennessee before returning home to take on UAB. 

BAYLOR BEARS (13-10, 3-7 BIG XII)

Last week (1-1): L-@ Oklahoma 98-96, W-Iowa State 81-67

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

Baylor had no answer for Trae Young, and the freshman scored 44 points in a 98-96 Oklahoma win. Manu Lecomte was strong for Baylor in the loss, scoring 29 points including seven 3-pointers. Nuni Omot was 6-of-6 from deep for the Bears as part of his 23 points. Young dominated though, including a 16 of 19 performance from the free throw line. He also had nine assists for the Sooners. Baylor was able to snap their four game losing streak against Iowa State, taking an 81-67 win over the Cyclones. Terry Maston led the Bears with a career-high 23 points in the win. The game was back and forth in the first half, but Baylor took control in the second half and never looked back. After the 3-point shot was so kind to Baylor against Oklahoma, it failed them against Iowa State. The Bears had to focus their attack on the inside, as they shot only 2-14 from deep. The Bears travel to Oklahoma State in search of their first road win of the season this week before heading back home to take on Kansas. 

TCU HORNED FROGS (16-7, 4-6 BIG XII)

Last week (1-1): W-@Oklahoma State 79-66, L-Texas Tech 83-71

This week: Tuesday @ Kansas, Saturday vs. Texas 

The Horned Frogs picked up their second road win of the season, and their first since Jan. 2, with a 79-66 win at Oklahoma State on Tuesday. The Frogs shot the lights out, going 56% from the field and 67% from distance in the win. Kenrich Williams and Alex Robinson led the Frogs with 13 points each in the win, and TCU had five players in double digits for the game. The good fortune did not follow the Horned Frogs home, as they were blown off the court by Texas Tech 83-71. The final score was closer than the game. The Frogs trailed by 24 at half and were never close in the 2nd half. Vladimir Brodziansky led TCU with 18 points and 3 blocks in the loss. TCU will likely have 3 more shots to get a road win over a ranked team, and the first chance comes Tuesday at Kansas. The Frogs go home on Saturday to take on Texas. 

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (19-4, 7-3 BIG XII)

Last week (2-0): W-Texas 73-71 (OT), W-@ TCU 83-71


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

Texas Tech has worked its way into a 1st place tie in the Big 12 with another 2-0 week. The Raiders started off with a 73-71 overtime win over Texas that was essentially the Keenan Evans show. Evans had a career high 38 points on 9-13 shooting and 18-20 free throw shooting in the victory. He also hit the game winner as time expired in overtime. No other player for the Red Raiders had more than 3 made field goals in the win. The Raiders kept their momentum rolling against TCU, taking an 83-71 win over the Frogs. Evans put up 17 in the win, and Jarrett Culver led the Red Raiders with 20. Texas Tech gets Big 12 cellar-dweller Iowa State at home before hitting the road to take on Kansas State. 

SMU MUSTANGS (15-8, 5-8 AAC)

Last week (0-1): L-@ Tulsa 76-67

This week: Thursday @ Houston, Sunday vs. Cincinnati

SMU played just once this week, and suffered a damaging blow, falling 76-67 at Tulsa. SMU played without Shake Milton, and struggled from the field without him, shooting 38% from the field and 33% from three. Ben Emelogu led the Mustangs in scoring, putting up 24 points in the loss. The Mustangs find themselves firmly on the bubble for March, and have a rough week ahead of them with a road trip to Houston and a home game against Cincinnati. 

LSU TIGERS (13-9, 4-6 SEC)

Last week (1-1): L-@ Tennessee 84-61, W-Arkansas 94-86

This week: Wednesday @ Florida, Saturday vs. Ole Miss

LSU lost for the fifth time in six games, dropping an 84-61 game at Tennessee. LSU suspended two players before the game, and had only seven scholarship players available. Duop Reath led the Tigers with 21 points. Tremont Waters struggled mightily, going only 1-of-9 from the field in the loss. The Tigers were only 3-19 from long range in the game. Waters was much better against Arkansas, putting up 27 in a 94-68 LSU win. The 3-point shooting woes were gone at home as well, as the Tigers hit 15-30 from deep against the Razorbacks. LSU gets a road trip to Florida and a home matchup against Ole Miss in the coming week. 

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Houston loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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