Iowa State upsets No. 8 Texas Tech 70-52

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AMES, Iowa (AP) — After a lofty start this season, No. 8 Texas Tech was humbled this week.

The Big 12 has a way of doing that — even ones as experienced and talented as the Red Raiders.

Freshman Cameron Lard scored 18 points and Iowa State cruised past Texas Tech 70-52 on Saturday, its first win over a ranked opponent this season and its biggest win over a Top-10 team in terms of margin of victory.

Nick Weiler-Babb, Lindell Wigginton and Donovan Jackson each added 13 points for the Cyclones (11-7, 2-5 Big 12), who handed the Red Raiders (15-4, 4-3) their second straight loss to an unranked opponent on the road.

“We’re going to have to fight and get back up. That’s life in the Big 12,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said.

The Cyclones were ready for the Red Raiders from the opening tip, jumping ahead 31-18 late in the first half. That seemed to wake up the Red Raiders, who responded with a run to go up 35-34.

But Iowa State answered with a 13-1 burst capped by Wigginton’s jumper that gave put the Cyclones ahead 47-36, and Tech ran out of answers.

Weiler-Babb’s desperation 3 to beat the shot clock made it 57-40 with 7:26 left. He buried another clock-beating 3 on a turnaround to push the lead to 69-49.

“I was really proud of the way they competed,” said Iowa State coach Steve Prohm, who challenged his team this week after they lost at No. 24 TCU 96-73.

Zhaire Smith had 10 points for Tech, whose leading scorer Keenan Evans was held to seven points on 2 of 12 shooting.

“We got a lot of good shots … we just weren’t really hitting them — and on the defensive end we weren’t playing great defense,” Tech’s Justin Gray said.

THE BIG PICTURE

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders were sluggish in the first half, and Evans didn’t get his first basket until nearly 18 minutes had gone by. But even though Iowa State is in a rebuilding season, the Cyclones can play with anyone in the league when they’re on like they were on Saturday. “When they make shots like that, they’re a very good team,” Beard said.

Iowa State: The Cyclones more than made up for an embarrassing effort against the Horned Frogs. Lard was at times the best player on the floor, again showing he’s an important building block for Iowa State. Lard also had six rebounds and three blocks.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Red Raiders will likely take a big tumble Monday. They also lost at Texas, 67-58, this week.

TECHNICAL ISSUES

Texas Tech couldn’t buy a basket outside of its one run. The Red Raiders finished 20 of 59 from the floor and 6 of 26 from 3-point range. Tech’s nationally rated defense disappeared as well, allowing an up-and-down Cyclones attack to shoot 47 percent. The Red Raiders also committed 15 turnovers — with six players losing the ball more than once.

NOT TOO BAD, WEILER-BABB

Weiler-Babb has been a revelation after moving from small forward to point guard in November, and this might have been his signature effort. He added seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks to those two marvelous 3s. But Weiler-Babb gave the energetic Lard credit for helping Iowa State respond to that loss to the Horned Frogs. “He’s our emotion. He’s the guy that gets us going,” Weiler-Babb said of Lard, who was 9 of 11 from the field.

HE SAID IT

“It’s a like a coaching cliche, but the league is very good. Every team has NBA prospects. Every team is well coached,” Beard said.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

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SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.