Texas Tech routs Texas, 70-51, to stoke Big 12 title hopes

The eighth-ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders will win at least a share of their first Big 12 basketball title if they can beat Iowa State on the road Saturday.

Can they do it?

“That’s the plan,” Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver told ESPN’s Holly Rowe after Monday night’s 70-51 home victory over the Texas Longhorns.

The Red Raiders won their eighth straight game with dominant defense, holding the Longhorns to 29.6 percent shooting.

Sharp-shooting guard Jase Febres couldn’t get many open looks and finished 1-for-10 from the field, underscoring Texas’ struggles against one of the best defensive teams in the nation.

On the other end, the Red Raiders patiently picked apart the Longhorns with 50 percent field goal accuracy.

Six different players hit at least one three-pointer for Tech, led by Davide Moretti’s 3 for 3.

Culver scored 16, Matt Mooney 15 and Moretti 11 for the Red Raiders, who are tied for first with the Kansas State Wildcats leading into the final weekend.

Kansas State beat TCU 64-52 in Fort Worth to keep pace in the race. Kansas State plays at home Saturday in its finale against Oklahoma.

Big 12 standings

Texas Tech 13-4, 25-5
Kansas State 13-4, 23-7
Kansas 11-5, 22-7
Baylor 10-6, 19-10
Iowa State 9-7, 20-9
Texas 8-9, 16-14
TCU 6-10, 18-11
Oklahoma 6-10, 18-11
West Virginia 3-13, 11-18
Oklahoma State 3-13, 10-19

No. 8 Texas Tech puts winning streak on line against Texas

The Big 12-title contending Texas Tech Red Raiders have moved up to eighth in the weekly Associated Press Top 25 leading into tonight’s game in Lubbock against Texas.

The Red Raiders have won seven straight, averaging 81 points per game during that stretch.

Last week, they kept the streak alive with victories over Oklahoma State and TCU.

Playing at home, Tech went to overtime last Wednesday to subdue Oklahoma State, 84-80.

On Saturday, the Red Raiders traveled to Fort Worth and blew out the Horned Frogs, 81-66.

Heading into the final week of the regular season, Tech and Kansas State (both 12-4) lead the Big 12 standings, with 14-time defending champion Kansas (11-5) trailing by one game.

Baylor (10-6) is fourth.

Notable

Former Jefferson High School star Rick Bullock is one of seven individuals set to be honored in Lubbock tonight as an inductee into the Texas Tech Athletics Ring of Honor.

Bullock is known in San Antonio for leading Jefferson to the 1972 state tournament championship game.

The 6-foot-7 center went on to play at Texas Tech, where he scored 2,118 points and pulled down 1,057 rebounds in his career.

Bullock led the Red Raiders to Southwest Conference titles in 1973 and again in 1976.

Texas Tech played in the NCAA Tournament both years. The 1976 team reached the Sweet 16.

Others set for induction are Marsha Sharp, Sheryl Swoopes, Andre Emmett, Dub Malaise, Carolyn Thompson and Jim Reid.

AP Top 25
1. Gonzaga 29-2 West Coast
2. Virginia 26-2 ACC
3. North Carolina 24-5 ACC
4. Duke 25-4 ACC
5. Tennessee 26-3 SEC
6. Kentucky 24-5 SEC
7. Michigan 26-4 Big Ten
8. Texas Tech 24-5 Big 12
9. Michigan State 23-6 Big Ten
10. LSU 24-5 SEC
11. Purdue 22-7 Big Ten
12. Houston 27-2 American
13. Kansas 22-7 Big 12
14. Florida State 23-6 ACC
15. Virginia Tech 22-6 ACC
16. Marquette 23-6 Big East
17. Nevada 26-3 Mountain West
18. Kansas State 22-7 Big 12
19. Buffalo 26-3 Mid-American
20. Cincinnati 25-4 American
21. Wisconsin 20-9 Big Ten
22. Wofford 26-4 Southern
23. Villanova 22-8 Big East
24. Maryland 21-9 ACC
25. UCF 22-6 American

Texas Longhorns continue to search for consistency

Inconsistency continues to plague the Texas Longhorns leading into a Saturday afternoon home game against Oklahoma State.

When the Longhorns tip off against the Cowboys at noon, the Longhorns will try to gain some traction after having lost seven of their last 11.

Their latest stumble?

Well, let’s just say the Kansas State Wildcats thoroughly enjoyed themselves Tuesday night in downing the ‘Horns 71-64 in Austin.

Big 12-leading Kansas State shot 54.9 percent from the floor and held Texas to 25 points in the second half.

Maddening stuff for Longhorns fans after watching their team chalk up non-conference victories over Arkansas, North Carolina and Purdue in November and December.

On the strength of its non-conference schedule and some solid efforts during that stretch, forecasters still believe Texas is an NCAA Tournament team.

But how many more times can it afford to score 61 points at home and still be regarded as worthy of an NCAA at-large bid?

Records

Kansas State 19-5, 9-2
Texas 14-11 6-6

Texas takes down 11th-ranked Kansas, 73-63

The Texas Longhorns emerged from a funk that lasted for more than three weeks with a 73-63 home victory Tuesday night over the 11th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks.

The Longhorns entered the game on a two-game losing streak. They had lost five of their last six.

But they registered their best win in Big 12 play by holding Kansas star Dedric Lawson to 13 points on 4 of 14 shooting.

Combined, Lawson and Marcus Garrett went 5 for 18 as Kansas, a 14-time defending conference champion, lost its second straight game.

On the other end, Texas played patiently and forced Kansas into too many fouling situations.

Taking advantage, the Longhorns hit 21 of 23 from the free-throw line.

Dylan Osetkowski scored 16 points to lead four Texas players in double figures.

Kerwin Roach II had 15, Jase Febres 13 and freshman center Jaxson Hayes 12 for the Longhorns.

With the win, Texas snapped a 10-game losing streak in the series against Kansas.

Records

Kansas 16-5, 5-3
Texas 12-9, 4-4

Seventh-ranked Kansas holds on to beat Texas, 80-78

Seventh-ranked Kansas held on for an 80-78 victory over the Texas Longhorns Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Longhorns had a chance to win on the last play, but Jase Febres missed a contested 3-point shot at the buzzer.

Late in the game, Kansas was up by 10 and was threatening to blow out Texas.

But the Longhorns retaliated, first with a Jaxson Hayes dunk on a lob and then a Kerwin Roach three.

After that, Febres started to hit from seemingly everywhere, raining three consecutive 3-pointers, with the last one tying the game, 73-73, with 2:15 left.

Trailing by two points at intermission, the Jayhawks came out firing in the second half, with Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes nailing threes back-to-back to fuel a 13-4 spree in the first four minutes.

Two more threes by Lagerald Vick boosted Kansas into a 51-44 lead with 15:54 left.

Texas never got closer than four in the next 10 minutes, with the Jayhawks moving in front by 10 twice, including 69-59 on a Dedric Lawson dunk at the 5:10 mark.

Records

Texas 10-7, 2-3
Kansas 15-2, 4-1

Individuals

Texas — Matt Coleman III, 16 points, 8 assists. Kerwin Roach II, 13 points. Dylan Osetkowski, 11 points, 9 rebouds. Off the bench, Jase Febres, 12 points. Courtney Ramey, 10.

Kansas — Lagerald Vick, 21 points, 5 threes. Marcus Garrett, career-hiigh 20 points, 3 assists, 3 steals. Dedric Lawson, 17 points, 8 rebounds.

Notable

The Longhorns have lost three straight in the Big 12 by a total of 11 points.

They lost by three at Oklahoma State, by six at home against eighth-ranked Texas Tech and now by two on the road at Kansas, one of the toughest places to play in the nation.

Texas freshman center Jaxson Hayes fouled out in 17 minutes. He finished with 8 points and 4 rebounds.

Quotable

“I thought our overall effort was very good most of the time. I thought, obviously, the way Kansas started the second half was big for them. And I told the guys at one point in a timeout, ‘We’ve got to make them miss, they aren’t going to miss on their own.’ And to our guys’ credit, we got down 10 (points) a couple of times and they fought to cut that lead down and bring us back. We were just a play away from being able to win tonight’s game.” — Texas coach Shaka Smart, in comments posted on the Kansas website

A victory over Purdue was nice, but UT needs more from Roach

Coach Shaka Smart has stocked the Texas Longhorns with enough talent that senior guard Kerwin Roach II doesn’t necessarily need to lead the team every night.

But for the Longhorns to reach their potential this season, Roach will need to play better than he has been playing lately.

Which is to say, not all that great.

Roach is at the center of one of the early mysteries to the new season.

In the state of Texas, few players have the athleticism that Roach can bring to the floor every night.

His skills were on full display on Nov. 22 when he scored 32 points to help the Longhorns defeat the seventh-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels.

In addition to his 12 of 15 shooting against the Heels, he also produced seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.

Since then, his offensive efficiency has declined dramatically.

Over the past four games, including Texas’ 72-68 home victory over Purdue on Sunday night, Roach has hit only 21 percent of his shots from the field.

Yes, Matt Coleman, Dylan Osetkowski and freshman phenom Jaxson Hayes can, and should, be leading on a nightly basis.

The Longhorns can win their share of games in the upcoming Big 12 race with those three playing well.

But, no matter how you slice it, 9 of 43 from the field from Roach over a four-game stretch is not going to inspire much confidence leading into conference.

Shooting 80 percent shouldn’t be expected every night. But, some consistency would be a welcome sight for the fans.

Texas moves up to No. 17 in AP Top 25; Texas Tech is 20th

The Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Red Raiders have moved into the Associated Press Top 25 in college basketball for the first time this season, according to the poll released Monday.

Texas (5-1) is ranked 17th after knocking off North Carolina by three points last week in Las Vegas. The Longhorns let a 19-point lead slip away the following day in falling to Michigan State.

Texas Tech (6-0) climbed into the No. 20 position following double-digit victories in Kansas City over Southern Cal and Nebraska. The Red Raiders followed on Saturday night by routing Northern Colorado, 93-63, in Lubbock.

The TCU Horned Frogs had been ranked in the first three polls of the new season but fell into the ‘others receiving votes’ category following a 73-64 loss to Lipscomb, (Tenn.) of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

AP Top 25
Week 4
1. Gonzaga 6-0 West Coast
2. Kansas 5-0 Big 12
3. Duke 5-1 ACC
4. Virginia 6-0 ACC
5. Nevada 6-0 Mountain West
6. Tennessee 4-1 ACC
7. Michigan 6-0 Big Ten
8. Auburn 5-1 SEC
9. Michigan State 5-1 Big Ten
10. Kentucky 5-1 SEC
11. North Carolina 6-1 ACC
12. Kansas State 6-0 Big 12
13. Virginia Tech ACC 5-0
14. Iowa 5-0 Big Ten
15. Florida State 5-1 ACC
16. Ohio State 6-0 Big Ten
17. Texas 5-1 Big 12
18. Oregon 4-1 Pac 12
19. Purdue 5-1 Big Ten
20. Texas Tech 6-0 Big 12
21. Buffalo 5-0 Mid-American
22. Wisconsin 5-1 Big Ten
23. Villanova 5-2 Big East
24. Maryland 6-0 Big Ten
25. Mississippi State 4-1 SEC

Forward Rui Hachimura and Gonzaga leaped from third to No. 1 in the rankings after winning the Maui Invitational.

The Bulldogs capped the tournament with an 89-87 victory over previously top-ranked and undefeated Duke. In the new poll, Kansas of the Big 12 remained in second, while Duke tumbled to third.

Michigan State rallies past Texas, 78-68

Trailing by 19 points after nine minutes, the 11th-ranked Michigan State Spartans settled down and then roared from behind to beat the Texas Longhorns 78-68 Friday to win the championship in the Las Vegas Invitational.

Guards Joshua Langford and Cassius Winston led the comeback with a remarkable perimeter shooting display.

Langford scored 29 points and Winston added 20 points and 10 assists.

Combined, the two hit nine three-point baskets. The Spartans (5-1) erased what had been a 25-6 deficit.

The Longhorns (5-1) shot 34.4 percent from the field a night after they hit 52 percent in upsetting the seventh-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels.

UT guard Kerwin Roach II, who scored 32 on North Carolina, was held to 15 and 4 of 14 shooting. Forward Dylan Osetkowski and point guard Matt Coleman III had 13 points.

Freshman Jaxson Hayes produced 11.

Texas upsets seventh-ranked North Carolina, 92-89

Guard Kerwin Roach soared for slams. He glided inside for floaters. He sank rainbow jumpers.

He did a little bit of everything in scoring a career-high 32 points as the unranked Texas Longhorns stunned No. 7 North Carolina, 92-89, Thursday night in Las Vegas.

“Happy Thanksgiving, Longhorn nation,” Roach told the FoxSports1 television audience. “This is for ya’ll.”

In defeating one of the blue-blood programs in college basketball, the Longhorns offset a team rebounding disadvantage (43-32) with season-high shooting of 52.5 percent from the field.

Texas also forced 17 North Carolina turnovers and turned them into 31 points.

Several players had key roles, including Matt Coleman III, Dylan Osetkowski and Jaxson Hayes, but Roach served as the maestro in orchestrating the Longhorns’ biggest victory of the season.

Roach filled up the boxscore with seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.

Furthermore, he shot 12 of 15 from the field to meet the challenge of negating a standout performance by North Carolina freshman guard Coby White, who scored 33.

North Carolina charged to a 17-4 lead, but Texas would not back down.

“We just stayed resilient,” Roach said on the FS1 broadcast. “We stayed within each other. We just played our game, and it came to us. We didn’t force anything. We played great defense and we played great offense.”

As a result, the Longhorns rallied to take a one-point lead at halftime and then extended it to 11 points in the second half.

The Tar Heels rallied to within two twice down the stretch, the last time when Nassir Little hit a three-pointer with four seconds left.

On the next possession, Longhorns guard Jase Febres was fouled and hit one of two free throws to account for the final score.

Texas deflected the ensuing inbounds pass on the last play, denying North Carolina a shot as the clocked ticked to 0:00.

Records

Texas 5-0
North Carolina 5-1

Coming up

Texas vs. Michigan State, at Las Vegas, 5:30 p.m.

Quotable

“(Roach) gave us everything he had tonight. At the four-minute media (timeout) I turned to our strength coach and said, ‘I hope he’s got four minutes left.’ Because he did look winded. But he’s really fought, battled, got himself in unbelievable shape. Obviously he was everything for us in terms of creating offense.” — Texas coach Shaka Smart. (Interview with FS1)

Notable

In the past 15 seasons under coach Roy Williams, North Carolina has won three national titles. The Tar Heels’ last championship came in 2017. They were knocked out in the round of 32 last year by Texas A&M. In three seasons under Smart, Texas has reached the NCAA tournament twice but hasn’t won an NCAA game. The Longhorns, despite what was then a career-best 26 points from Roach, were ousted by Nevada in the first round last year.

Florida wins 6-1 to eliminate Texas from the CWS

Jonathan India and Nick Horvath both smashed home runs Tuesday afternoon to support a strong pitching effort as the Florida Gators defeated Texas, 6-1, ousting the Longhorns from the College World Series.

With the victory, the defending national champion Gators bounced back from a CWS-opening loss to Texas Tech and improved to 1-1 in Bracket 2.

Texas’ tournament run is over after an 0-2 showing in losses to Arkansas and Florida.

Texas Tech and Arkansas were scheduled to play later Tuesday in a winners’ bracket showdown, but the game was postponed because of weather concerns in Omaha, Nebraska.

It is now scheduled to be played at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Florida starter Jackson Kowar and relievers Jordan Butler and Michael Byrne combined to strike out 15 Longhorns. Kowar fanned 13 in 6 and 2/3 scoreless innings.

India slammed a three-run homer in a four-run sixth inning as the Gators built a 5-0 lead. Horvath added a solo shot to lead off the eighth.

Despite the loss, Texas enjoyed a strong season with 42 victories, a Big 12 regular-season title and its first trip to Omaha in four years.

Kody Clemens slammed five of his team-high 24 home runs as Texas advanced through the regional and super regional playoffs with a 5-1 combined record.

Starting pitching also had been a strength of the Longhorns on the first two weekends of the playoffs.

In Omaha, however, UT’s starting pitching was rocked in both games.

Nolan Kingham gave up five runs on nine hits in five innings against Arkansas, in an eventual 11-5 loss. Blair Henley lasted only 2 and 2/3 innings against Florida.

The Gators punched four hits against Henley, who also walked four before he was pulled in the third, trailing 1-0.

Chase Shugart pitched well in relief until the sixth inning, when the Gators erupted for four runs. The big blow was India’s 21st homer of the season.

Shugart yielded five runs on six hits in 4 and 1/3 innings. He struck out six.

Clemens also struggled in two CWS games.

He went 1 for 4 against the Gators and flied out to end the game with two runners on base. In Omaha, the son of UT legend Roger Clemens was 2 for 9 and did not drive in a run.

Records

Florida 48-20
Texas 42-23