Rick Barnes (AP Photo)

Javan Felix leads No. 24 Texas to a win over Baylor

Leave a comment

Javan Felix led four scorers in double figures with 21 points as No. 24 Texas survived a second half surge from Baylor, winning 74-69.

All 21 of Felix’s points came on three-pointers, as he finished the night 7-for-9 from beyond the arc. Isaiah Taylor added 13 points and seven assists, but the real difference-makers for the Longhorns were along their front line. Cameron Ridley and Jonathon Holmes finished with a combined 34 points, 18 boards — nine of which came on the offensive end — and five blocks while holding Isaiah Austin to just 1-for-10 shooting from the field.

Texas needed this win to bounce back from an embarrassing loss at Kansas over the weekend, but they’re solidly in the NCAA tournament field at this point. Baylor? Not so much, and that’s why they’re going to regret missing out on a chance to steal this win late.

The Longhorns were up by as much as 18 in the first half, but the Bears stormed back to cut the lead to one at one point in the final minutes. They couldn’t close out the win, however, and are now in a position where they probably cannot afford another regular season loss. Losing at Texas isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you lose eight out of ten games in the middle of the season, any loss becomes a bad loss.

Here is the rest of Baylor’s schedule: Texas Tech at home, Iowa State at home, at Kansas State. Win two and feel comfortable. Win all three and they should be safe.

And while we’re here, it’s worth making a note: Baylor is in a position to survive a disastrous stretch of bad basketball during league play because they picked up neutral court wins over Kentucky, Colorado and Dayton in non-conference play. Hopefully, the some of the high-major programs that like to schedule cupcakes will take notice and challenge themselves in November.

USC athletic director Pat Haden to step down in June

Getty Images
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES (AP) University of Southern California athletic director Pat Haden says he will retire on June 30.

USC President Max Nikias made the announcement Friday.

Haden has run the athletic department for 5 1/2 years, leading the Trojans through a multiyear stretch of NCAA sanctions against its vaunted football program. He created a large NCAA compliance program and improved graduation rates and grade point averages across the athletic department.

The former USC quarterback also received criticism for the football program’s relative underachievement and for his handling of coach Steve Sarkisian, who has sued the school over his termination last year.

Nikias says Haden’s department also raised over $400 million during his tenure.

Nikias says Haden will start a one-year job guiding the renovation of the Coliseum after he retires.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Ivy League’s best meet in New Haven

Columbia guard Maodo Lo, right, steals the ball from Northwestern forward Aaron Falzon, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Evanston, Ill.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Columbia at Yale, 5:00 p.m.

The two best teams in the Ivy League, with matching 4-0 league records, meet for the first time this season. The Lions were close to suffering their first loss last weekend, but an Alex Rosenberg jumper as time expired gave the Lions the win at reigning champion Harvard. Rosenberg’s one of four players averaging at least 12.2 points per game for Kyle Smith’s team, with senior guard Maodo Lo leading the way at 15.8 per contest.

They’ll face a Yale rotation led offensively by point guard Makai Mason (15.7 ppg, 4.1 apg), and the front court tandem of Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod has been outstanding. The winner get a leg up in the Ivy race, with the rematch scheduled for March 5 in New York City (regular season finale).

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: Central Michigan at Akron, 8:00 p.m.

Two of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference meet at the JAR, as Akron looks to extend its win streak to six straight. The Zips’ balanced offensive attack has been led by forward Isaiah Johnson (12.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg), who currently leads the team in both scoring and rebounding. As for the visiting Chippewas, guards Braylon Rayson and Chris Fowler combine to average 32.7 points per game, with Fowler also responsible for a MAC-best 6.3 assists per contest. CMU’s had some struggles on the defensive glass in league play, ranking 11th in that category, but they’ve done a better job defensively than they did in non-conference play.

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • MAAC leader Monmouth is back in action, as they host a Fairfield team led by one of the conference’s best players in senior forward Marcus Gilbert. The Hawks have a deep lineup led by junior guard Justin Robinson, who at this point in time is the likely frontrunner for MAAC Player of the Year honors.
  • Looking to catch Monmouth is Iona, which is a game behind the Hawks at 9-3. A.J. English and the Gaels visit Canisius in a matchup that should not lack for offense. Iona’s more inclined to run, but Canisius doesn’t lack scorers either with guard Malcolm McMillan leading four players averaging double figures.
  • Given the fact that they’re 1-3 in Ivy League play, Harvard’s essentially in the spoiler role unless some chaos breaks out at the top end of the standings. The Crimson can help in that regard with a win at Princeton, with the Tigers (2-1) a game behind Columbia and Yale in the loss column. Princeton’s been the better offensive team this season, thanks in large part to junior forward Henry Caruso who leads the team in both scoring and rebounding.