Zubia, Williams power No. 8 Texas past third-ranked TCU, 9-3

TCU fans showed up at Lupton Stadium Sunday hoping to see their team deliver a knockout blow to the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 regular-season title race.

They left unfulfilled as the Longhorns romped to a 9-3 victory to win the series, two games to one. Jumping out to a 9-0 lead, Texas pulled to within one game of first-place TCU.

Zach Zubia smashed two home runs and Cam Williams added another in a 12-hit attack as Texas silenced the TCU faithful and kept Texas’ championship hopes alive, with one series remaining for each squad before the Big 12 tournament.

Regardless of what happens in the race, Texas left-handed pitcher Pete Hansen sent a message that he is primed for the postseason.

Hansen (6-1) pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits while striking out four in a game that carried NCAA playoff implications.

Backed into a corner after losing 2-1 to TCU on Saturday, Texas played as well in a big-game road atmosphere as is has all season, likely bolstering its hopes for a top-eight national tournament seed.

Records

Texas 15-6, 38-12
TCU 16-5, 34-12

Coming up

Texas plays a couple of non-conference games before closing out Big 12 play May 20-22 with three at home against West Virginia (17-23, 7-14).

TCU will be much busier in coming days. The Frogs play five non-conference home games between now and March 18. They also finish conference May 20-22 but they will be on the road at Kansas State (28-18, 7-11).

Former Flying Chanclas spark TCU’s 2-1 victory over Texas

Two former Flying Chanclas de San Antonio were flying high in Fort Worth on Saturday afternoon.

With Porter Brown producing a two-RBI single and left-hander Austin Krob surviving some shaky moments to emerge as the winning pitcher, the third-ranked TCU Horned Frogs protected their lead in the Big 12 baseball race with a 2-1 victory over the Texas Longhorns.

Both Brown and Krob played in San Antonio last summer with the Flying Chanclas, a first-time entry in the wood-bat Texas Collegiate League.

Playing on a bigger stage Saturday, both helped lift the Frogs one step closer to a conference regular-season championship.

In the second inning, Brown hit a two-out single up the middle off Texas starter Tristan Stevens to score Tommy Sacco and Elijah Nunez.

Brown is a redshirt freshman from Reagan High School. He finished 2 for 4 at the plate to increase his batting average to .359. He also hiked his RBI total to 17 in 25 games played.

Krob, a sophomore from Lisbon, Iowa, ran his win-loss record to 7-0. He worked 5 and 2/3 innings and allowed one run on six hits. Krob walked four and struck out three.

Marcelo Perez and Haylen Green each pitched 1 and 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to nail down the victory.

If the Longhorns come up short in the title race, they may look back on three base-running issues in Saturday’s game, one in each of the first three innings.

In the first, Zach Zubia was thrown out by a wide margin as he tried to go first-to-third on a single to right field. In the second inning, Cam Williams was on third base and strayed too far off the bag on a chopper back to the mound. He was caught in a run-down and tagged out.

In the third, Texas had a rally going and scored its only run of the game on a play that started with Texas runners on first and second and a fly ball to center. It ended on an error, an errant throw that came in from Nunez in center and allowed Mike Antico to race all the way around from second to score.

But on the next play, the Longhorns helped kill the rally when Mitchell Daly was caught in a run-down between second and third base.

Records

TCU 34-11, 16-4
Texas 37-12, 14-6

Notable

Marcelo Perez, from Laredo, was also a member of the Flying Chanclas last summer. On Saturday, he allowed one hit and no runs in 1 and 2/3 innings. A big moment came in the sixth when he struck out Texas’ Trey Faltine to end the inning with two runners on base. Both Krob and Perez worked under Flying Chanclas pitching coach Calvin Schiraldi, a former star at Texas in the early 1980s.

Brown sat out most of last summer’s games with an injury. Nevertheless, he had drawn the praise of manager John McLaren after getting off to a hot start as a hitter. Brown has spent some time on the bench with the talented Horned Frogs this season, including Friday’s series opener against Texas.

Out of TCU’s 44 games, he has played in 25, with 16 starts. But when he has played, he has produced, driving in 17 runs and hitting for a .359 batting average.

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.