Young’s 44 help No. 12 Oklahoma top Baylor 98-96

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Only one thing was going to slow Oklahoma point guard Trae Young’s offensive onslaught Tuesday night.

“He got subbed out,” Baylor coach Scott Drew quipped. “Put up the white flag, and they took him out for a second.”

Young scored 31 of his 44 points in the second half to help No. 12 Oklahoma hold off Baylor 98-96. The freshman, who leads the nation in scoring and assists, scored at least 40 points for the fourth time this season and the third time in the past six games.

Young, just 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, is best known for making deep 3-pointers and highlight-reel passes. Against Baylor, he focused on attacking the basket and made 16 of 19 free throws.

“Trae Young is a special player,” Drew said. “His 3-point shot is obviously elite. What we tried to do was not get him on the free-throw line. As you can see, we weren’t effective there.”

Young made 11 of 20 shots from the field, including 6 of 11 3-pointers, in one of his best shooting games of the season. He was criticized by some for his 48-point outburst against Oklahoma State because he took 39 shots and the Sooners lost. He learned his lesson and has been more selective with his shots since, though he wowed the crowd with several deep 3s against Baylor.

“I don’t think you can say I was inefficient tonight,” Young said. “I remember against Oklahoma State, I had a lot of points but wasn’t efficient. But I was glad that I was very efficient and my teammates did a great job of scoring as well.”

Rashard Odomes scored 18 points, Brady Manek had 16 and Khadeem Lattin added 15 for the Sooners (16-5, 6-3 Big 12).

“When they’re knocking down shots, it’s a lot easier for me to score, and they did a great job of that tonight,” Young said.

Young was more effective closer to the hoop than he had been in recent games. Against Oklahoma State, for example, he made just 6 of 19 shots inside the 3-point line.

“I’m just wanting to make the right play,” he said. “I saw some gaps early on in the game. Got the bigs involved off some pick-and-rolls and things like that. Just wanted to be aggressive and make the right play.”

Oklahoma played short-handed — guard Christian James was out with the flu, and forward Jamuni McNeace played limited minutes because of an ankle injury.

Manu Lecomte scored 29 points and Nuni Omot scored 23 for Baylor (12-10, 2-7), which lost its fourth straight.

Oklahoma led 97-96 when Baylor’s Jake Lindsey was fouled with 4.7 seconds remaining. Lindsey missed the free throw and Oklahoma rebounded. Odomes was fouled with 3.9 seconds to play. He made the first free throw and missed the second, but Baylor’s King McClure missed a wild shot at the buzzer.

“Jake is crying in the locker room thinking that he cost us the game,” Drew said. “He didn’t cost us the game. Everybody misses free throws. But he is a winner. He is going to take it hard, but that is what you expect from winners.”

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: The Bears missed a chance to revive a season that had been falling off the rails. They did a lot of things right but could not handle Young in the second half.

Oklahoma: The Sooners bounced back from a loss to Alabama on Saturday and remained within striking distance of Big 12 leader Kansas.

STAT LINES

Young’s season scoring average jumped from 29.6 to 30.3. He joined Wayman Tisdale and Jeff Webster as the only freshmen in school history with at least 600 points.

QUOTABLE

Drew, on what worked for Young: “The free-throw line worked for him. He got to the line more than our whole team. There was no defense there. He did a great job getting fouled. That was the best thing he did.”

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.