No. 9 Baylor doesn’t trail in another win vs. No. 13 Texas

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

WACO, Texas – One thing hasn’t changed for the Baylor women in their first season since the departure of longtime coach Kim Mulkey.

The Bears still know how to take care of Texas.

NaLyssa Smith scored 25 points and ninth-ranked Baylor beat the No. 13 Longhorns for the 12th consecutive time, never trailing in a 75-63 victory Friday night.

It was the first of two meetings over three days between the Big 12 rivals, and it makes first-year coach Nicki Collen feel comfortable since she arrived from the WNBA.

“To me, this is playoff basketball,” Collen said. “It’s play a game, see what you did well, see what you’ve got to improve on, see what you can maybe take advantage of when you didn’t and do it all over again Sunday. It just feels like a two-game series. I know this isn’t normal for them, but this is normal to me. Or at least it has been for five years.”

Ja’Mee Asberry had all 15 of her points in the first 12 minutes for the Bears (16-5, 6-3 Big 12) in a game originally scheduled for Jan. 9 but postponed because of COVID-19 issues in the Baylor program. The rematch is Sunday in Austin.

Aliyah Matharu scored 17 points for the Longhorns (15-5, 5-4), who haven’t beaten Baylor since Feb. 6, 2017. Both teams were coming off losses to No. 18 Oklahoma – both on baskets in the final seconds from Liz Scott.

Texas, which trailed by 14 in the first half, pulled within 48-45 in the third quarter. But Sarah Andrews’ three-point play on a driving layup restored the Bears’ double-digit lead at 55-45 in the final minute of the quarter. Andrews had 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

“Basketball is a game of runs, and we knew they were going to pressure us,” Andrews said. “They didn’t quite capitalize on some of the turnovers, and I think we capitalized more off of theirs. We just pushed through it.”

Smith, Asberry and Andrews accounted for the first nine points before a bucket from Queen Egbo capped an 11-0 run in the first quarter after the Longhorns had pulled even at 7. Egbo fouled out in the fourth quarter with six points.

“There’s just certain things that we just did not do well in the first half that we know better,” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. “Sometimes when you’ve got a young team, an inexperienced team, maybe some immaturity, these things happen. We got some really good shots, y’all. We just can’t make a shot.”


Texas: The Longhorns had passes knocked away on consecutive turnovers on their first two possessions and finished with 20 turnovers. That was after committing a season-high 24 turnovers in the loss to Oklahoma. Baylor was sloppy, too, finishing with 19 turnovers.

“Yes, it was a bad start,” said point guard Rori Harmon, who had 10 points, six assists and two turnovers. “Yes, it can set the tone, but we shouldn’t let it set the tone.”

Baylor: Smith, among the national leaders in double-doubles with 14, didn’t get her first rebound until late in the first half but managed to finish with eight to help keep the Bears from getting dominated on the boards. Texas had a 34-30 rebounding edge.


The Bears will have a chance to solidify their spot in the top 10 despite the loss to Oklahoma if they can sweep the Longhorns. Texas probably won’t move much either way regardless of the rematch outcome.


Asberry opened her scoring with a three-point play on a layup, and the remaining 12 points came on her four 3-pointers. She missed her first two 3s but hit four of the next five, capped by her final points for a 29-17 lead with 7:49 remaining in the second quarter.


The Longhorns haven’t beaten the Bears in Austin since Jan. 31, 2010. With this loss, that 2009-10 season will remain the most recent time that Texas won both regular-season games against Baylor.

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

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

Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times/USA TODAY NETWORK

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.