Big 12

Baylor forward Rico Gathers, far left, and Baylor guard Lester Medford, center left, struggle with Texas Tech center Norense Odiase for possession in the first period during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Lubbock, Texas. (Mark Rogers/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Mark Rogers/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal via AP)

Texas Tech loses starting big man Odiase for up to 6 weeks

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Texas Tech took a huge blow to its interior depth this week as head coach Tubby Smith confirmed on his radio show that starting big man Norense Odiase is expected to miss the next six weeks with a broken bone in his foot.

The 6-foot-9 Odiase broke his fourth metatarsal in a win over TCU this week and he is expected to spend the next three weeks in a cast before being reevaluated. Starting in all 17 games for the Red Raiders this season, Odiase averaged 9 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest in 19.5 minutes per game. Although he doesn’t put up huge numbers, Odiase has been a steady interior presence for a Texas Tech team that doesn’t have much depth up front.

Without Odiase in the lineup, head coach Tubby Smith will likely rely on reserves like junior forward Matt Temple or other options that have seen more regular rotation minutes like sophomore forward Zach Smith and junior forward Aaron Ross.

Texas Tech sits at 12-5 and is hoping for some upsets in Big 12 play to spring an NCAA tournament bid, this is not a good sign of the Red Raiders making that postseason run happen.

No. 11 West Virginia upsets No. 1 Kansas

West Virginia guard Tarik Phillip (12) fouls Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
(AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
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West Virginia pressed and physically beat down No. 1 Kansas on Tuesday night as the No. 11 Mountaineers pulled off the 74-63 upset at home. Always a tough matchup for the Jayhawks, West Virginia now owns three consecutive wins over Kansas in Morgantown.

Jumping out to an early lead and never relenting, West Virginia was simply the more aggressive team on both ends of the floor. The Mountaineers crashed the offensive glass for a 15-7 advantage in that category and forced 21 Kansas turnovers. As the No. 1 team in the country, the Jayhawks were thought to have a strong backcourt with veteran leadership but Frank Mason and Wayne Selden combined for 13 turnovers and looked shaky against West Virginia’s guards.

West Virginia (15-1, 4-0) had a strong efforts from Jaysean Paige (24 points, four rebounds, four steals) and Devin Williams (17 points, 12 rebounds) as they looked like a potential threat in the Big 12. Their press is obviously difficult to handle, but this team really plays well together and has a tremendous attitude at all times.

Early in the game, the Mountaineers set the tone by constantly attacking the basket and drawing fouls. It helped West Virginia win the free-throw battle, as they were 32-for-46 from the charity stripe while Kansas was only 13-for-21

Perry Ellis was the leader for Kansas, as he finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. But credit has to go to West Virginia’s defense with making it difficult for Ellis to get touches so the Kansas offense could not go through him. With guards like Mason and Selden forced to make plays off the dribble, it made it difficult for the Jayhawks offense to function and they looked disoriented. Mason finished with 12 points while Selden added 11 points.

The Jayhawks (14-2, 3-1) still have plenty of time to fix their press break and re-tool their offense to face a pressure-oriented defense, but this loss was still a bit concerning. Their veteran guards looked flustered, and although Kansas has barely seen any press situations this year, they should have handled it better.

West Virginia has a chance to make another statement later this week when they take a trip to No. 2 Oklahoma. They’re already at 4-0 in the Big 12 with two road wins and a win over Kansas, so that’s certainly as good of a start as Bob Huggins could have hoped for. Paige is a major sparkplug off the bench and Williams continues to be one of the more underrated big men in the country on a national level.

UConn snaps Texas’ six-game winning streak 71-66

Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie has a word with guard Rodney Purvis (44) during an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Paradise Island, Bahamas. (Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
Associated Press
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Rodney Purvis scored 16 points and led a second half rally as Connecticut beat Texas 71-66 Tuesday night, snapping the Longhorns’ six-game winning streak.

Shonn Miller and Daniel Hamilton added 13 points apiece for UConn (9-3) and former Longhorn Sterling Gibbs scored 12.

Freshman Tevin Mack led Texas (8-4) with a season-best 20 points, and Isaiah Taylor scored 19.

Texas led 53-52 after Mack made his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 8:18 remaining. Then Purvis asserted himself with two driving shots, an assist on a basket by Jalen Adams, and a 3-pointer that gave UConn a 61-55 lead with 4:27 left.

After Taylor missed the front end of a one-and-one with 3:49 remaining, Purvis made another basket.

Six straight points by Taylor pulled Texas within two, 65-63, with 33 seconds left, but UConn made six throws in the final 27 seconds, four by Gibbs.

Hip issues end Iowa State guard Mitrou-Long’s season

Naz Mitrou-Long, Anthony Clemmons
Associated Press
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Not the deepest team by any stretch of the imagination, Steve Prohm’s Iowa State Cyclones took a personnel hit Tuesday afternoon as it was announced that senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long would miss the remainder of the season. Mitrou-Long, a starter for the Cyclones, underwent arthroscopic procedures on both hips this summer and the recovery process has been slow enough to require that he sit out.

Mitrou-Long didn’t play in Iowa State’s game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff Sunday in hopes that some extra rest would prove beneficial, but the issues remain the same.

“Naz came to me recently and explained his desire to sit out the remainder of this season and seek a medical hardship,” Prohm said in the release. “We support his decision as he works to get back to where he was physically prior to the injury. Naz is a terrific person and an important part of our team both on and off the court. I’m confident his teammates will come together and respond to this in a positive manner.”

Mitrou-Long averaged 12.0 points per game in eight appearances this season, all starts. With him no longer in the rotation Iowa State will need more from guards Matt Thomas and Hallice Cooke moving forward. Thomas, who’s averaging 8.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in 26 minutes of action per game, has played well of late. In the last two games he’s shot 11-for-17 from three, scoring 19 points in the Cyclones’ comeback win over Iowa and following that up with a 17-point performance against UAPB.

Cooke, who began his college career at Oregon State, is currently averaging 5.4 points and 14.9 minutes per game and he went scoreless on Sunday. Iowa State will add forward Deonte Burton (transfer from Marquette) to the mix at the end of the week when they take on Northern Iowa, but to lose Mitrou-Long hurts given the spark he provides the Cyclones in the energy department as well as being a capable perimeter shooter.

No. 4 Iowa State beats Arkansas-Pine Bluff 78-64

Chauncy Parker, Jameel McKay
Associated Press
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AMES, Iowa (AP) Jameel McKay scored 18 points with eight rebounds, and No. 4 Iowa State held off Arkansas-Pine Bluff 78-64 Sunday for its ninth straight win.

Matt Thomas had 17 points in his first start of the season for the Cyclones (9-0). They rested guard Naz Mitrou-Long, who is still working his way back from offseason surgery to repair both hips.

The Golden Lions (2-8) hung around for about 35 minutes against an Iowa State team three days removed from an emotional 83-82 win over rival Iowa. But Monte Morris’ alley-oop to McKay gave the Cyclones a 70-54 lead with just more than 5 minutes left.

Ghiavonni Robinson scored 15 points for Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which lost its third straight.

This was Iowa State’s second-to-last game against a low-major opponent. Arkansas-Pine Bluff caused more problems for the Cyclones than most thought it could.

Iowa State was sloppy from the outset, turning the ball over seven times in the first 10 minutes. It didn’t take its first double-digit lead until late in the first half, when a pair of free throws by Abdel Nader put the Cyclones up 33-23.

The Golden Lions played at times as well as they have all season, and some defensive lapses kept Iowa State from making the kind of big run that would’ve put them away earlier. The Cyclones also committed 13 turnovers, but the game was never really in doubt.

Morris, whose floater with 9 seconds left beat the Hawkeyes, had 12 points and 11 assists for his third double-double this season.

TIP-INS

Arkansas-Pine Bluff: The Golden Lions have been beaten by at least 14 points in each of their losses. … Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s first home game isn’t until Jan. 16 against Southern. … Arkansas-Pine Bluff hit just two free throws.

Iowa State: Mitrou-Long started the first eight games, averaging 12 points. Thomas started in place of Long. … Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register missed the game after breaking his leg when fans stormed the court following Thursday’s win over Iowa. Peterson told The Associated Press he hopes to cover Iowa State’s next game, Saturday in Des Moines against Northern Iowa.

UP NEXT

Arkansas-Pine Bluff plays at Santa Clara on Tuesday.

Iowa State plays Northern Iowa in Des Moines on Saturday.

Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LukeMeredithAP

Carter scores 21 as No. 14 West Virginia routs ULM 100-58

Nick Coppola, Daxter Miles Jr., Jevon Carter
Associated Press
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Jevon Carter scored 21 points and No. 14 West Virginia reached triple digits for the third time in nine games this season, rebounding from its first loss with a 100-58 victory Sunday over Louisiana-Monroe.

Daxter Miles Jr. added 18 points for the Mountaineers (8-1), who set a season high with 15 3-pointers following a 70-54 loss to No. 10 Virginia on Tuesday night at the Jimmy V Classic in New York.

West Virginia used a flurry of 3s to open a 31-11 lead in the first half and was never threatened. The Mountaineers went 15 for 36 from long range and held Louisiana-Monroe to 1 for 8. Carter, Miles and Jaysean Paige each hit four 3s.

Devin Williams had 12 points and 10 rebounds for West Virginia. Paige scored 14, and Tarik Phillip added 10.

Jamaal Samuel scored the first 15 points for the Warhawks (4-5) and finished with 19. He made seven of his team’s 10 field goals in the first half.

Travis Munnings added 12 points for Louisiana-Monroe, which was outrebounded 48-27.

West Virginia forced 21 turnovers. The Mountaineers entered leading the nation in steals, 3-point percentage defense and forced turnovers.

CHART CLIMBING

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins is fourth among active Division I coaches with 773 wins. He needs six to tie Lou Henson for 12th place on the career list.

LOUISIANA-MONROE

The Warhawks finished 24-13 last season. But their best player, 6-foot-10 Majok Deng, missed another game with a lingering leg injury. … The Warhawks have lost to Minnesota, Houston, Kent State and Penn State on the road.

UP NEXT

West Virginia plays Marshall on Thursday in Charleston, the state capital.

Louisiana-Monroe hosts Central Baptist on Friday.