The college basketball report

The week in college basketball: UH and Tech continue hot starts

Kelvin Sampson and the Coogs had a big week. UHCougars.com

TEXAS LONGHORNS (7-3)

Last week (1-0):
W- Grand Canyon 98-60

This week: Friday vs. Providence

Texas finally found their range from 3 against Grand Canyon. The Horns shot 53% from distance in a dominant performance against the Antelopes. Jase Febres and Eli Metro-Long were at the forefront of the explosion, tying for the team lead with 16 points a piece. Kerwin Roach had 15 off the bench, since he was not starting due to a team rules violation. Texas was +15 in rebounding and +11 in assists. The Longhorns have one game this week, Friday against a strong Providence team.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (4-4)

Last week (1-0): W- Oregon State 67-64

This week: Wednesday vs. Valparaiso, Saturday vs. Marshall

The Aggies were able to overcome any rust that they had picked up from their near two-week layoff and hold on for a 67-64 win against Oregon State. TJ Starks led the way with 18 points and 8 assists for the Aggies. Defense was key for Texas A&M, as they forced 19 turnovers and held the Beavers to 34% from the field. Texas A&M was able to hit 41% from long range in the win. The Aggies are home for Valparaiso and Marshall this week.

HOUSTON COUGARS (10-0)

Last week (2-0): W- LSU 82-76, W- Saint Louis 68-64

This week: Thursday vs. Utah State, Sunday vs. Coppin State

Houston was pushed by the best competition they have seen so far this season, and were able to persevere and walk away with a 2-0 week. They first took an 82-76 win over LSU, overcoming a 15 point deficit in the second half. Galen Robinson, Jr. sparked the comeback, and led the Cougars with 18 points and 6 assists in the win. On a night where the 3-point shot wasn't dropping for Houston (4-20), they were able to pull down 18 offensive rebounds to make up the deficit. They were able to keep the momentum rolling against Saint Louis, coming back in the final minutes to take a 68-64 win over the Billikens. Corey Davis had 17 points to lead the Cougars, including the tiebreaking 3-pointer with :29 seconds on the clock. Robinson and Armoni Brooks added 13 a piece in the victory. The two wins pushed UH to No. 21 in the pools. They get Utah State and Coppin State this week.

RICE OWLS (4-7)

Last week (1-1): W- Saint Edwards 78-73, L- UC-Santa Barbara 99-89

This week: Tuesday vs. UT-Rio Grande Valley, Friday vs. Omaha

Rice was able to get a win in a back and forth game with Division II St. Edwards, 78-73. Chris Mullins had 24 points in the win. Rice was playing behind for a 10 minute-plus stretch in the second half, but Mullins turned it on late to get the lead and eventually the win. Jack Williams added 17 in the win. Fouls were the story in the game. Rice hit 21-of-26 from the free throw line, while St. Ed's only had 8 attempts, hitting 5. Things didn't go as well for Rice against UC-Santa Barbara, as the Owls fell 99-89 to the Gauchos. Robert Martin scored 24 to lead the Owls in the loss, and Mullins added 21. Santa Barbara shot 48% from long range and hit 23 of their 24 free throw attempts. The Owls were -12 in the rebounding department. Rice goes to UT-Rio Grande Valley and hosts Omaha this week.

BAYLOR BEARS (6-3)

Last week (1-0): W- @ Arizona 58-49

This week: Tuesday vs. Stephen F. Austin, Friday vs. Oregon

Baylor had one of the best wins of the season, breaking a 52-game home non conference win streak for Arizona, 58-49. Makai Mason led the Bears with 22 points in the win. Baylor was a remarkable +31 in rebounding for the game. Mark Vital had 16 of Baylor's 50 rebounds on the night. Baylor hosts Stephen F. Austin and Oregon this week as they prepare for their Big XII opener on January 5th.

TCU HORNED FROGS (8-1)

Last week (1-0): W- Indiana State 90-70

This week: Saturday vs. Charleston

The Horned Frogs had just one game this week, but were impressive in a 90-70 win against Indiana State. Desmond Bane led the way for the Frogs with 17 points. The difference-makers in the game were the 3-pointer, which TCU won 40% 19%, and the turnover battle, which favored the Frogs 20-10. TCU had 4 players reach double-digits in scoring. TCU has just one game this week, a Saturday home game against Charleston.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (10-0)

Last week (2-0): W- Northwestern State 79-44, W- Abilene Christian 82-48

This week: Thursday vs. Duke

Texas Tech had another 2-0 week, starting with a dominant 79-44 win over Northwestern State. Defense again paved the way for Tech, who led 53-10 at halftime. Northwestern State shot below 25% for the game and turned the ball over 19 times. Jarrett Culver led the way offensively for Tech with 15 points. Tariq Owens was right behind him with 14. Tech then blew out Abilene Christian, 82-48. Culver scored a career-high 30 points and added 7 boards and 4 assists in the win. He hit 12 of his 13 shot attempts, and the Red Raiders shot 56% for the night last a team. The victory moved Tech to 10-0 on the season, and they have won every game by double digits. Their toughest test comes Thursday night, as they will take on Duke in Madison Square Garden.

SMU MUSTANGS (7-4)

Last week (1-0): W- @ Georgetown 81-73

This week: Sunday vs. Cornell

SMU picked up a solid road win this week, taking a win over Georgetown, 81-73. It was a balanced attack offensively for SMU, with four players in double digits. Jahmal McMurray led the way with 19, including four 3-pointers in the win. 3-point shooting hurt Georgetown, who could only manage 22% from distance. The loss was the first at home for the Hoyas this season. SMU has a home game against Cornell on Sunday.

LSU TIGERS (8-3)

Last week (1-1): L- @ Houston 82-76, W- Saint Mary's 78-74

This week: Friday vs. Furman

LSU almost broke out this week, but Houston decided that it was just their night. LSU dominated for most of the game, but fell 82-76 to the Cougars. Their dynamic pair of freshmen, Naz Reid and Ja'Vonte Smart combined for 31 points in the loss. Tremont Waters again struggled with his shot, getting 10 points on 3-13 shooting. The Tigers as a team shot just 19% from 3-point range. Things went better for LSU against Saint Mary's. Waters came back strong, scoring 18 points on 7-12 shooting. Reid added 14 in the win. LSU was +8 in turnovers, which was a huge factor in the victory. LSU gets a matchup against a ranked Furman team on Friday.

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Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and blogger. Check out her new blog, HTown Run Tourist. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @HTownRunTourist. Facebook @jovanabernathy. Join her facebook group: H-Town Run Tourist

Six years ago, I got this great idea to become a tourist of Houston on foot. I had no idea what I was doing or where it was going. All I knew was to put on my running shoes, walk out the door, and just go. Go learn, go talk, go ask without judgements. What I found is that Houston was full of diversity. We all knew that. However, let yourself be immersed in it. Look and listen to the sounds of different languages being spoken around you. Smell the scents of the different cuisines. You would think you were in a foreign country. This made me more curious.

As I explored the emotion of curiosity, it led me to change my behavior. Where I might have rushed to this place and to the next, I took it slower. Where, usually, I would have just assumed that I already knew, I found myself asking more questions. When I asked more questions, I had to acknowledge that I did not already know, so I practiced listening. As I listened more, I felt compelled to show more appreciation to the person who interrupted their busy day to educate me. This made me feel grateful.

I took that gratitude and wanted to share with others. It blew my mind when people would say that they hated Houston. It was boring. The people are mean and it was ugly. And even more shocking was Houston is not walkable. Instead of getting offended, I decided to do my part in brightening up the day of the Houstonians who were stuck in a rut. Who saw and did the same things day after day. I didn't judge because I knew they could get out of that rut by simply deciding that today they do something different. I braced myself for rejection, but put myself out there to share the wonderful things that I had learned about Houston. Given the chance, the vast majority, was ready to learn a different way. This made me proud.

It is true that 2020 has been full of disasters. These are opportunities if we choose to see them that way. If anything that COVID-19 taught me the answer was not MORE, but it is LESS. We have the tendency to take on too much, we had the unique opportunity to take on less. Thus, instead of going to exhaustion, we had the opportunity to rest.

Then, the tragedy of the death of Houston's own George Floyd happened. It could not have happened at a worse time. My heart goes out to his family. Some might use it as an opportunity to work out their own frustrations by causing more problems with violence and looting. My hope is that whatever happens will be an expression of appropriate sadness, but with Houston's best attributes; curiosity, gratitude, and pride. Instead of LESS it is time for MORE. MORE curiosity. To see if Houston's law enforcement cares about the well-being of Houston's black community and make changes in protocols. MORE gratitude. For the opportunity to express the frustration in a peaceful way. MORE pride. To not destroy this city and give it over to violence possibly doing more damage to the economics of business owners. We can see this as the opportunity to take time to heal.

Houston has changed. As I restart my exploration, I'm not looking for LESS. I'm looking for MORE this time. I'm looking with MORE curiosity. Because I know that we have even MORE to show each other. I'm looking with MORE gratitude because we have endured so much already and there are better times ahead. And, I'm looking with MORE pride because just as we did it before, we still have it in us to do it again. I have one request: if you see me in the streets, promise me that you will say hello.

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