No. 2 Baylor is 10-0 after 76-61 win over Oklahoma

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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WACO, Texas — No. 2 Baylor is a perfect 10, pushing Scott Drew past his father.

MaCio Teague scored 17 points, Matthew Mayer had 16 and both keyed significant runs in the first half as the Bears improved to 10-0 for only the fifth time in team history with a 76-61 win over Oklahoma on Wednesday night.

Drew got his 372nd career victory victory, one more than his father, former Valparaiso coach Homer Drew, had in his 22 seasons as a head coach. Scott Drew has 352 wins in 18 seasons with the Bears, after 20 wins in one season at Valpo.

“He’s a coach, he knows who deserves the credit, and that’s the players and the staff, administration,” Scott Drew said after a congratulatory video message from his father was played after the game. “Head coaches get to benefit from that.”

The Bears’ season-opening, 10-game winning streak, all by at least 11 points, includes their first three Big 12 games. It is their third 10-0 start in 10 seasons (2011-12, 2016-17) after the previous two came in 1911-12 and 2000-01.

Teague had eight points with two 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the game, helping push Baylor to an early 16-2 lead. Mayer had consecutive baskets 33 seconds apart to ignite a half-ending 14-2 run after the Sooners (6-3, 2-2 Big 12) had moved within five late in the first half.

“Obviously got off to a horrible start. … They made a bunch of shots and obviously we weren’t getting into them enough to make those shots more difficult,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “Definitely disappointed by the way we finished the first half.”

Austin Reaves had 19 points and Alondes Williams 11 for the Sooners, who played their third consecutive Top 25 opponent after beating then-No. 9 West Virginia 75-71 on Saturday. They next go to sixth-ranked Kansas.

Brady Mannex, in his 100th career start for Oklahoma, had all 10 of his points after halftime. He was 0-for-4 shooting in the first half when he took a hard fall onto his lower back that left him on the floor for several minutes.

Kur Kuath’s third basket in less than 2 1/2 minutes – two dunks and a tip-in – got Oklahoma within 28-23 with five minutes left in the first half. After Drew called timeout, the Bears finished the half with a 14-2 run.

“Basketball is such a game of momentum and spurts. Sometimes you just need to get in a timeout … and come back a little more focused,” Drew said. “We did that, and the substitutions gave us new energy, new life.”

Mayer had quick back-to-back baskets that were followed by freshman LJ Cryer’s deep 3-pointer. Both had entered on the timeout.

“I’ve entered every game with that mindset so far this season,” Mayer said of his aggressive approach.

NOT THE BIG SCORE

The game matched the Big 12’s top two scoring offenses. Baylor, second nationally with 92.9 points per game, matched its season low for the second game in a row. Oklahoma was 20 points below its season average.

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma: There was a stretch when the Sooners won 30 consecutive games against Baylor (1979-2009), but they have now lost six in a row in the series for the first time.

Baylor: The 10 consecutive double-digit victories is a school record for the Bears. … Adam Flagler finished with 15 points, the sixth time in his eight games he had at least 10 points off the bench.

TOUGH HOMECOMING

Sooners junior guard Umoja Gibson, who is from Waco, was coming off a 29-point game against West Virginia when he was 8-of-11 on 3-pointers. Back at home, all five of his points came on free throws while going 0-for-7 shooting, four of those 3-pointers.

“The shots he got were not as good of shots based on what Baylor did. Baylor was aware of what he did the other night,” Kruger said. “I’m disappointed for him. He wanted to come here and play well, and he didn’t have one of his better nights.”

UP NEXT

Oklahoma plays its third consecutive Top 10 opponent Saturday at No. 6 Kansas, which lost by 25 in its last home game.

Baylor travels about 90 miles north to play at TCU on Saturday.

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.