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.

College basketball week in review

Houston gets back on track, Texas Tech stumbles

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

TEXAS LONGHORNS (11-7) 3-3 Big XII

Last week (1-0):
W- Oklahoma 75-72

This week: Wednesday @ TCU, Saturday @ Georgia

Texas finally won a close game, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The Horns pulled out a 75-72 win over their biggest rival, Oklahoma, ending a 3-game losing streak. Kerwin Roach II led the Horns offensively with 23 points on 9-16 shooting. It was a balanced offensive effort, with Texas also getting 15 points each from Jaxson Hayes, Dylan Osetkowski and Matt Coleman III. Texas struggled from 3-point range, going 5-of-22, but made up for it with a 20-of-25 showing at the free throw line. Texas has a road game against TCU on Wednesday and a non-conference test at Georgia on Saturday.

TEXAS A&M; AGGIES (7-9) 1-4 SEC

Last week (0-2): L- Auburn 85-66, W- Mizzou 66-43

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

Texas A&M; is getting to the point of panic. If they aren't they should be. The Aggies now find themselves the only team in the SEC with a sub-.500 record. In a conference that will probably put 5-6 teams in the tournament, the Aggies need to go on a tear. This week showed no signs of a turnaround. The Aggies started with a loss to Auburn, 85-66. Auburn jumped out to an early lead and never slowed down. The Ags shot 38% from the field and just 29% from 3-point range. Sauvion Flagg and Wendell Mitchell were the only real bright spots offensively. They combined for 44 of the 66 Aggie points, putting in 22 a piece. Auburn dominated turnovers, rebounding and had a 27-5 advantage in points off the bench. Things go no better against Mizzou, where the Aggies lost 66-43. The 43 points scored is the lowest Aggie total of the season by 21 points. They had only 13 made field goals in the entire game, shooting at a 26% clip. Josh Nebo led the Aggies with 12 points, and was the only player who made more shots than he missed in the game. A&M; goes to Florida before getting a weekend matchup at home against former Big XII counterpart Kansas State.

HOUSTON COUGARS (18-1) 5-1 American

Last week (2-0): W- @ SMU 69-58, W- @ USF 69-60

This week: Wednesday vs. East Carolina, Sunday @ Tulsa

Houston got two road wins this week, and were moved up to 17th in the polls for their effort. They started with a 69-58 win at SMU, in a game many thought could be a tricky one for the Coogs. Houston handled SMU's big, athletic backcourt with relative ease. They held Jahmal McMurray to just 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting. Corey Davis, Jr. paced the Cougars with 20 points in the win. UH only turned the ball over four times in the game. They then took a 69-60 win over South Florida, though the Cougars wouldn't be quite as efficient in this one. Houston turned it over 16 times and shot just 3-of-13 from the 3-point line, but were able to hold on for an ugly win. Breaon Brady led the Cougars with 13 points. The two teams combined for 76 free throw attempts on the day. Houston should stay hot this week, with games against East Carolina and Tulsa, both teams in the bottom half of the conference.

RICE OWLS (7-12) 2-4 CUSA

Last week (0-1): L- @ North Texas 76-75

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

Rice was seconds away from getting their biggest win of the season, but fell just short, dropping a 76-75 tilt with North Texas. The Owls had a 16 point lead with seven minutes remaining, but the Mean Green were able to mount a miraculous comeback and sink the game winner as time expired. The Owls outshot and out-rebounded the Green, but their 18 turnovers proved costly. Senior Jack Murphy led the Owls with 20, and freshman Trey Murphy added 18 in the loss. After a disastrous start to the season, the Owls are playing better of late. They have two wins and two 1-point losses in their last 5 games. Rice gets two home games this week, against Middle Tennessee and UAB.

BAYLOR BEARS (12-6) 4-2 Big XII

Last week (2-0): W- Texas Tech 73-62, W- @ WVU 85-73

This week: Saturday vs. Alabama, Sunday @ Oklahoma

Baylor got a huge win over Texas Tech, 73-62, showing that there is still life in this team. Top freshman recruit Jared Butler came up big for Baylor in the win, dropping 19 points while racking up 5 assists and 3 steals. While Baylor shot only 41% from the field, they found some success from 3-point range, knocking down 11 shots from distance. The Bears then got an 85-73 win over West Virginia on Monday night. Makai Mason was a force, scoring 29 points on 10-16 shooting. The Bears shot 50% from the field. They overcame an 18 turnover night with a particularly strong showing on the boards, with a +10 rebounding advantage. The Bears get a road game at Oklahoma and a home game with TCU this week.

TCU HORNED FROGS (13-4) 2-3 Big XII

Last week (1-1):
W- West Virginia 98-67, L- @ Kansas State 65-55

This week: Wednesday vs. Texas, Saturday vs. Florida

TCU was up and down last week. They started off well, breaking a 2-game losing skid with a blowout win over West Virginia, 98-67. Desmond Bane dominated, posting a 26 point, eight rebound line. The biggest difference between the two teams was behind the 3-point line, where TCU shot 43% and held West Virginia to 17%. Of the eight Horned Frogs who played in the game, six of them reached double digit scoring. Things took a turn for the worse on the road, where TCU dropped a 65-55 decision to Kansas State. Alex Robinson had 17 in the loss, and Bane added 16 more. The 3-pointers didn't fall for TCU in this one, hitting just 6 of 24 from deep. Turnovers also killed the frogs, who gave it away 18 times on the night. TCU gets home games against Texas and Florida this week.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (15-3) 4-2 Big XII

Last week (0-2): L Iowa State 68-64, L- @ Baylor 73-62

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

Texas Tech is going to have to prove they can bounce back from adversity, as they are facing it for the first time this season after back to back losses. First, they dropped a nail biter against Iowa State 68-64 at home. Jarrett Culver was the high man for Tech, posting a 20 point/16 rebound line, but shot just 33% from the field and had five turnovers. In such a close game, free throw shooting cost the Raiders. They hit only 6 of their 15 freebies, while the Cyclones hit 13 of 19. Things went from bad to worse against Baylor, who beat the Raiders 73-62. Culver led Tech again with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists. On the downside, he turned the ball over seven times. Tech will look to get back on track, but have a tough road game at Kansas State before getting Arkansas at home.

SMU MUSTANGS (11-7) 3-3 American

Last week (0-2):
L- Houston 69-58, L- @ Memphis 83-61

This week: Saturday vs. Tulane

SMU got a massive game from Jimmy Whitt, Jr. against Houston, but it wasn't enough to pull out a win. Despite 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting, the Mustangs fell to Houston 69-58. The Ponies struggled from distance, hitting just 21% from long range. Things got worse on the road, where Memphis throttled SMU 83-61. SMU trailed wire to wire, and it was easy to understand why. The Ponies shot just 36% and had 21 turnovers in the loss. Whitt's 12 points led the Mustangs in their most lopsided loss of the season. SMU has now dropped three of their last four. They get Tulane at home on Saturday.

LSU TIGERS (14-3) 4-0 SEC

Last week (2-0):
W- @ Ole Miss 83-69, W- South Carolina 89-67

This week: Wednesday vs. Georgia, Saturday @ Mizzou

LSU is really rounding into form since conference play started. They started the week with an 83-69 drubbing at Ole Miss. The Tigers had 4 players in double digits, led by Tremont Waters' 20 points. LSU was on fire from distance, going 9-19 from 3. The Tigers then rolled on to an 89-67 win against South Carolina. The 3-point shooting couldn't have been much worse in this one, with the Tigers hitting one 3-19 from deep. They made up for it at the free throw line (32 of 35) and on the boards, where they had a 49-29 advantage. LSU is one of only 2 SEC teams (Tennessee) who have yet to lose a game in conference. LSU gets Georgia and Mizzou this week.

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