USC wins team title; Baylor finishes eighth in 4×400 relay

The Southern Cal women knew they had to win the 4×400 relay to win the NCAA team title on Saturday, and that’s exactly what they did in a stirring finish at Hayward Field.

USC’s Kendall Ellis came from behind in the last 50 meters to edge Purdue for first place in the relay and the accompanying 10 points necessary for the team championship.

A protest that could have scuttled the USC relay title and altered the team point standings was denied.

The drama unfolded in the final event of the NCAA Track and Field Championship in Eugene, Oregon. Rain fell for most of the last day of the meet.

Horton earns All-American honors

Baylor, with former Judson star Kiana Horton running the anchor leg, came in eighth place in the 4×400. Horton, a Baylor junior, claimed her first All-American designation outdoors.

Devin Clark finishes 11th

Devin Clark, an Arkansas sophomore from Smithson Valley, placed 11th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She crossed the line in 10 minutes and 3.7 seconds.

A&M’s Watson wins 800

Texas A&M freshman Sammy Watson patiently stalked the leaders in a driving rain and then came from behind to win the title in the 800 meters.

UT Arlington’s Henry claims high jump title

UT Arlington junior Alexus Henry won the championship in the high jump with a clearance of 5 feet, 11 and 1/2 inches.

Texas to host in 2019, 2020

The NCAA outdoor track meet will be staged in Austin for the next two years. The meet will be held at Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus in 2019 and 2020.

Hayward Field will undergo a major re-construction for the next two years in anticipation of the 2021 IAAF World Outdoor Championships.

Women’s team scoring

1, Southern Cal, 53
2, Georgia, 52
3, Stanford, 51
4, Kentucky, 46
5, Florida, 42
6, LSU, 41
7, Oregon, 39
8, Purdue, 34
9, Arizona State, 22
10, Virginia Tech, 21.5

Six teams in the state alive in NCAA baseball playoffs

Six of the seven Texas-based teams in the NCAA baseball tournament remain alive through three days of regional play. Texas and Texas Tech are 2-0 in their regions. Here’s the breakdown leading into Sunday afternoon competition:

Texas — In the drivers’ seat in the Austin Regional. The No. 13 overall seed in the NCAA tournament is 2-0 and will play at home tonight against either Indiana or Texas A&M. This is a hot team. Might be tough to beat them two straight in Austin. So far, Texas has hammered Texas Southern 10-0 and beat up A&M 8-3.

Texas A&M — The Aggies are 1-1 in the Austin Regional and will play this afternoon to stay alive against the Indiana Hoosiers. A&M needs a quality start to steady the team. Will it be freshman lefthander Asa Lacy from Kerrville Tivy?

Texas Southern — The Tigers were swept out of the tournament in Austin, losing 10-0 to Texas 6-0 to Indiana. Texas Southern is a program on the rise, having played in NCAA regionals at College Station in 2015, at Baton Rouge in 2017 and now in Austin, all under coach Michael Robertson.

Texas Tech — The Red Raiders are 2-0 and playing for the regional title tonight in their own Lubbock Regional. Kent State and Louisville will meet this afternoon to determine Tech’s opponent. Either way, the No. 9 national seeded Red Raiders appear to be in good shape after beating New Mexico State 9-2 on Friday and Louisville 10-4 on Saturday.

Baylor — The Big 12 tournament champions are 1-1 and facing long odds in the losers’ bracket at the Stanford Regional. They’ll play the host and No. 2 overall seed Cardinal this afternoon in an effort to stay alive. Baylor needs to beat Stanford and Cal State Fullerton twice to win the regional. The Bears lost to surprising Fullerton 6-2 on Friday and then bounced back to defeat Wright State, 11-5, on Saturday.

Houston — The Cougars are 1-1 and facing elimination Sunday afternoon against Purdue in the Chapel Hill Regional. Houston must win three straight to advance. It must beat the Boilermakers and the host North Carolina Tar Heels twice. Houston started fast in the regional, knocking off Purdue 9-2 on Friday. The Cougars hit two home runs in their second game but fell to the Tar Heels 4-3 on Saturday.

Dallas Baptist –The hard-hitting Patriots slammed Oral Roberts 18-9 on Saturday to even their record to 1-1 in the Fayetteville Regional. They’ll take on Southern Miss, the Conference USA champions, on Sunday afternoon. If Dallas Baptist can win, it would move into the championship round against host Arkansas Sunday night. One of the hidden gems in NCAA sports in Texas, Dallas Baptist has played in four NCAA regionals since 2011.

UT’s NCAA Regional includes an old rival — Texas A&M

The possibility of a playoff game — or games — between the rival Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies loomed Monday as the NCAA baseball tournament’s 64-team bracket was unveiled.

Texas will host a regional starting Friday that will include A&M, Indiana and Texas Southern University.

On opening night in the double-elimination format, No. 2 seed Indiana will play third-seeded A&M at 4 p.m. and top-seeded Texas will play No. 4 Texas Southern at 8.

If the Longhorns and Aggies both win — or, if they both lose — they would play Saturday.

The tournament games will be held in Austin on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and, if necessary, also Monday, at the UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Other teams from the state that made the tournament include Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston and Dallas Baptist.

Texas Tech is the only other program in the state that will host on opening weekend.

The TCU Horned Frogs, who have played in the past four College World Series, were left out of the 64-team field after they made it to the Big 12 tournament title game and lost to Baylor.

Sam Houston State and Rice were among other notable programs missing from the national bracket.

Last year, the Bearkats made a surprise run to the NCAA Lubbock Regional title and advanced to play Florida State in the Tallahassee Super Regional.

This year, they won the Southland Conference regular-season title but failed to win the SLC tournament.

Rice, under outgoing coach Wayne Graham, posted a losing record in the regular season and failed to win the Conference USA tournament title for the automatic bid.

Thus, Rice had its streak of 23 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances snapped. It was the third-longest streak in the nation.

In Austin, fans will get to see NCAA tournament baseball live for the first time since the Longhorns hosted a Super Regional in 2014.

It’s the first time Texas has hosted on the first weekend of the tournament since 2011.

Tournament time in Texas

Regional openers are set for Friday

Texas — No. 13 national seed, No. 1 regional seed, hosts in Austin and opens against Texas Southern

Texas Tech — No. 9 national seed, No. 1 regional seed, hosts in Lubbock and opens against New Mexico State

Baylor — No. 2 regional seed at Palo Alto, Calif., plays opening day against Cal State Fullerton

Texas A&M — No. 3 regional seed at Austin, opens with Indiana

Houston — No. 3 regional seed at Chapel Hill, N.C., opens with Purdue

Dallas Baptist — No. 3 regional seed at Fayetteville, Ark., opens with Southern Miss

Texas Southern — No. 4 regional seed at Austin, opens with Texas

Kansas holds off top-ranked Texas 3-2 at Big 12 tournament

Jackson Goddard pitched into the seventh inning Wednesday to lead eighth-seeded Kansas past No. 1 Texas 3-2 on opening day at the Big 12 baseball tournament at Oklahoma City. Kansas piching held the regular-season champion Longhorns to only four hits.

Records

Kansas 27-28
Texas 37-20

Baylor blanks Oklahoma

Earlier in the day, Cody Bradford struck out 11 batters in 7 and 2/3 innings as fifth-seeded Baylor shut out No. 4 Oklahoma, 4-0. It was Baylor’s first victory at the Big 12 tournament under third-year coach Steve Rodriguez. Baylor hadn’t won at the tournament since 2015.

Records

Baylor 33-29
Oklahhoma 34-20

Big 12 baseball tournament

Wednesday’s scores

Kansas 3, Texas 2
Baylor 4, Oklahoma 0
Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia
Texas Tech vs. TCU

Thursday’s games

Texas vs. Oklahoma, 9 a.m.
TBA, 12:30 p.m.
Kansas vs. Baylor, 4 p.m.
TBA, 7:30 p.m.

Baylor rallies from slow start to win 16 out of its last 18

The Baylor Bears didn’t crack the latest installment of the Baseball America Top 25.

But after winning 16 of their last 18 games, they definitely have emerged as a team to watch leading into the final week of the regular season.

Steve Rodriguez-coached Baylor (30-18, 11-10) travels to play at West Virginia (26-23, 8-13) this week, with the two squads opening a three-game series Thursday in Morgantown.

At one point this year, the Bears were floundering at 14-16 under the Bears’ third-year coach.

But they have since caught fire, winning 13 in a row at one point.

Last week, they won two of three in Waco against Big 12-leading Oklahoma State.

As noted, the Bears didn’t move into the Top 25 when the new rankings came out Monday, but they did drop the Cowboys from 20th to 25th.

This week, they’ll take a shot at the Moutaineers in hopes of finishing with their first winning record within the conference since 2013.

Next week, the Bears will try to complete a little more unfinished business at the Big 12 tournament.

In each of the previous two seasons, Baylor has bowed out with an 0-2 record in Oklahoma City.

Last season, the Bears won 34 games and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012.

But in the Houston regional, they dropped their first two, falling to Texas A&M and Houston.

Here’s a look at the Bears’ record under Rodriguez, who came to Waco after working 12 seasons as head coach at Pepperdine.

Baylor’s Steve Rodriguez
Year by year record
2016 — 24-29, 10-14, sixth
2017 — 34-23, 12-12, fourth, NCAA regional
x-2018 — 30-18, 11-10, fifth

x-season in progress

National rankings
Baseball America

1. Florida 41-12 SEC
2. Oregon State 38-8-1 Pac-12
3. Stanford 39-8 Pac-12
4. Mississippi 39-13 SEC
5. Arkansas 36-15 SEC
6. North Carolina 34-16 ACC
7. North Carolina State 39-12 ACC
8. Duke 38-12 ACC
9. Clemson 39-13 ACC
10. Texas Tech 35-15 Big 12
11. Minnesota 34-13 Big Ten
12. Georgia 35-16 SEC
13. East Carolina 37-13 American
14. Florida State 37-16 ACC
15. Texas 33-18 Big 12
16. Coastal Carolina 36-16 Sun Belt
17. UCLA 31-16 Pac-12
18. Southern Miss 36-14 Conference USA
19. Kentucky 33-18 SEC
20. Houston 31-20 American
21. Stetson 40-11 Atlantic Sun
22. Tennessee Tech 44-6 Ohio Valley
23. South Carolina 30-21 SEC
24. Auburn 35-17 SEC
25. Oklahoma State 29-19-1 Big 12

Baylor beats Texas, 74-73, in double OT for fourth straight win

Forward Terry Maston scored 26 points Monday night as the Baylor Bears beat the Texas Longhorns, 74-73, in double overtime.

In a hotly-contested Big 12 Conference game played at Austin, Texas guard Kerwin Roach II scored on a layup with 21 seconds left, lifting the Longhorns into a 73-72 lead.

But Baylor answered on the other end, with guard Manu Lecomte driving and missing a layup that 7-foot center Jo Lual-Acuil, Jr., followed with a dunk for the game-winning points.

With the win, the Bears improved to 16-10 and 6-7 in the Big 12 to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive.

The Longhorns, alternately, fell to 15-11 and 5-8 after a performance regarded as damaging to their NCAA chances.

Baylor built an eight-point lead with four minutes left in regulation and couldn’t hold it.

With 12 seconds left, Matt Coleman knocked down two free throws to cap a UT rally and tie the game, 56-56.

Baylor, on the last possession, passed it to forward Nuni Omot, who missed a wide-open, off-balance three.

Lual-Acuil’s follow shot from close range bounced off the rim at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.

In the first OT, Maston produced two quick baskets and hit two free throws in the opening minutes.

A jumper by Lecomte gave the Bears a 64-60 lead with 45 seconds left.

But once again, Texas didn’t flinch.

The Longhorns rallied to tie on two free throws each by Coleman and Roach.

When Lecomte missed a long three-pointer with two seconds left, the game moved into the second OT tied, 64-64.

Quotable

Baylor forward Terry Maston said the Bears are “just clicking right now on offense and defense.”

“Our zone has been really tough and Manu (Lecomte) is really leading us,” Maston said in comments posted on the UT website. “He’s hitting big shots and Jo (Lual-Acuil Jr.) is getting big rebounds. Me, Nuni (Omot) and Mark (Vital), I mean everybody, is just really playing well.”

As Texas players held a post-game meeting in the dressing room, Longhorns coach Shaka Smart described the mood as angry.

“They’re really, really upset and some of those guys are really angry, because it was a game that they really put their egos aside and really came together in terms of attacking and hanging in there together,” Smart said. “But obviously, we came up one stop short or one basket short depending on how you’re looking at it. The guys are really upset.”

Texas notes

The Longhorns have lost three straight and four of their last five. Four of their losses in conference have come by three points or less.

Texas freshman center Mo Bamba produced 16 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. He hit 7 of 17 from the field.

Dylan Osetkowski, Coleman and Roach all scored 15 for the Longhorns, who shot poorly as a team at 36.1 percent.

Baylor notes

Baylor’s Terry Maston, a senior from Desoto, is the nephew of former Texas Tech star Tony Battie.

Bears guard Jake Lindsey is the son of Dennis Lindsey, the general manager of the Utah Jazz. Dennis Lindsey worked as assistant general manager of the Spurs from 2007-12.

Lecomte finished with 16 points and 7 assists. He struggled shooting the ball, hitting only 5 of 15.

Lual-Acuil had a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards.

Baylor swept two games from Texas this season, both in grind-it-out fashion. The Bears won 69-60 in Waco on Jan. 6.

,

Baylor beats No. 10 Kansas, keeps NCAA hopes alive

Guard Manu Lecomte scored 11 points in a late surge Saturday as the Baylor Bears pulled away for an 80-64 victory over the 10th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.

Playing at home, Baylor (15-10, 5-7) won its third game in a row to keep alive hopes for a fifth straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

Kansas (19-6, 8-4) whittled a 13-point deficit to two in the second half but couldn’t sustain the momentum in falling out of first place in the Big 12 conference.

The Jayhawks have won 13 straight Big 12 titles.

Seven-foot center Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. led Baylor with 19 points. Lecomte heated up late and finished with 18. Nuni Omot came off the bench for 17.

Devonte’ Graham paced Kansas with 23 points. But backcourt mate Svi Mykhailiuk was held to only 2 points on 1 of 8 shooting.

Mykhailiuk entered the game averaging 16.4 points.

Big 12 standings

Texas Tech 20-4, 8-3
Kansas 19-6, 8-4
West Virginia 18-7, 7-5
Kansas State 17-7, 6-5
Oklahoma 16-8, 6-6
TCU 17-8, 5-7
Baylor 15-10, 5-7
Texas 15-10, 5-7
Okla. State 15-10, 5-7
Iowa State 13-11, 4-8

Saturday’s scores

Baylor 80, Kansas 64, at Waco
Iowa State 88, Oklahoma 80, at Ames, Iowa
Oklahoma State 88, West Virginia 85, at Morgantown, W.Va.
TCU 87, Texas 71, at Fort Worth
Texas Tech at Kansas State, 7 p.m.