McClung leads No. 18 Texas Tech to 81-54 rout of Iowa State

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LUBBOCK, Texas – Mac McClung and Texas Tech are on a three-game winning streak again – just as the No. 18 Red Raiders were the last time they played third-ranked Baylor.

Now the school that reached the championship game in the most recent NCAA Tournament two years ago gets a rematch with this year’s Big 12 favorite for a deep postseason run.

Coming off an 81-54 rout Thursday night that dropped Iowa State to 0-17 in conference, coach Chris Beard just wants the Red Raiders to savor Sunday’s visit to the Bears, who have already wrapped up their first Big 12 regular-season championship.

“I want to see a confident, aggressive team, a team with joy, a team that is looking forward to playing one of the best teams in the country on the road,” Beard said. “It’s a great opportunity to see where we stack up before March Madness starts.”

McClung scored 20 points as Texas Tech kept rolling in the aftermath of a three-game losing streak, the longest of the season, by pulling away from Iowa State in the second half.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 14 points and seven rebounds as Texas Tech (17-8, 9-7 Big 12) wrapped up its home schedule with a fifth consecutive victory over the Cyclones, the longest winning streak for either team in the series. Terrence Shannon Jr. and Micah Peavy scored 12 points apiece, and Kyler Edwards had 11.

With their 16th consecutive loss, the Cyclones (2-20, 0-17) clinched the most Big 12 losses in a season since TCU went 0-18 in 2013-14. Iowa State will try to avoid matching that dubious record in the regular-season finale against Kansas State on Saturday.

Jalen Coleman-Lands and Tyler Harris each scored 15 points for Iowa State, which already had the most conference losses in school history and now has a second consecutive 20-loss season overall.

After trimming an early 16-point deficit to 31-27 late in the first half, Iowa State was still within nine with 13 minutes remaining when McClung, the No. 5 scorer in the Big 12, scored seven points and Santos-Silva had six on a 15-2 run for a 67-45 lead.

The Cyclones shot a season-worst 31%, making just 18 of 58 shots while going 8 of 27 from 3-point range.

“Against them when you have a good shot, you’ve got to make them,” coach Steve Prohm said. “When you have shots around the rim, you’ve got to make them because they make it hard in every aspect to score against them.”

Texas Tech, which lost to Virginia in overtime in the 2019 NCAA title game, still has a chance to climb out of seventh place and avoid a first-round game in the Big 12 tournament. If Texas Tech has to play one, it will be a quick rematch with 10th-seeded Iowa State.

“Everybody kind of has an opinion, rest versus momentum,” Beard said. “I’m just looking forward to playing, whatever time, whatever day.”

BIG PICTURE

Iowa State: The Cyclones were NCAA Tournament regulars when coach Chris Beard took over at Texas Tech in 2016. Now they’re going to miss a second consecutive March Madness while the Red Raiders for a third straight NCAA trip. The past four Texas Tech wins over Iowa State have been by at least 20 points.

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders shot a season-best 62%, while Edwards was 3 of 4 from beyond the arc to put him at 7 of 9 over the past two games. McClung was 7 of 12 from the field while Peavy and Santos-Silva each went 6 of 8.

STUDENT MANAGER-PLAYER

Texas Tech student manager Ty Lawson entered the game in the final minute, drawing a charging call against Iowa State’s Javan Johnson. Lawson, a former junior college player in Wyoming, joined Beard’s program with plans to become a coach.

“Talked to him a couple of years ago about trying to get him in the game senior night if that opportunity presented itself,” Beard said. “It’s not like we’re just putting guys out there. Ty was a good player in junior college and has done a great job in his role here.”

UP NEXT

Iowa State: The originally scheduled trip to Kansas State Jan. 13 was the first of four consecutive Iowa State games postponed because of COVID-19 issues. One of three Big 12 victories for the Wildcats was 74-65 at Iowa State in the conference opener for both teams in December.

Texas Tech: Both of the three-game winning streaks going into the Baylor games included victories over No. 15 Texas. Texas Tech scored just 18 points in the first half to fall behind by eight and lost by that margin (68-60) after briefly taking the lead in the second half.

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.