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MAVS 111 HOUSTON 100
Chandler Parsons had to leave the game and was reportedly wearing a boot afterward, but x-rays were negative; it is currently uncertain if he will play in Dallas’ next game. Dirk Nowitzki hurt his elbow but said afterward that everything is fine and he will not miss any time.

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Roster turnover coming at a bad time for the Legends

LEGENDS 94 OKLAHOMA 102

FRISCO – The NBA D-League may still be developing itself, but the quandary teams have to face with their best players is the same as with minor league baseball: If your best becomes too good, he may soon be gone.

The Texas Legends felt it big time last year, and the depletion of talent mid-season led to them missing the playoffs. Now they may be at risk of it happening again, as Eduardo Najera once again is seeing starters departing from his roster.

One of the biggest losses has definitely been Damion James. After dropping 40 points against Rio Grande Valley on Feb. 7, the Texas alum, who was averaging 18.3 points per game for the Legends, accepted a $10,000 per week offer to play for the Alaska Aces in the Philippine League.

Also gone is Ricky Ledo, who was waived by the Mavericks on Wednesday so they could sign and activate Amar’e Stoudamire. It is possible that Ledo could re-sign should he clear waivers.

The most recent departure is Doron Lamb. The Kentucky product, who averaged 16.5 points in 21 games, was traded to Westchester for the returning player rights to Luke Harangody and Jeff Adrien along with a second-round draft pick.

With those moves, the Legends currently had only nine players on their roster going into Friday’s game with Oklahoma City. The depleted roster showed, as the Legends were unable to contain Maurice Sutton or Marquis Teague in losing 102-94 to Oklahoma City at the Dr. Pepper Arena. It was definitely a tough one to lose, as a win over the Blue would have vaulted the Legends back into second place in their division.

To be fair, the Legends struggles started before even James departed. Texas has now lost six of its last seven, leading to its drop into the Southwest cellar.

The one person who has been succeeding at least for the time being has been Renaldo Balkman, who did score 21 tonight – the fifth time in his last six games that he scored at least 20 points.

It will be wait and see as to whether or not Harangody and Adrien can fit in and replace the talent they lost. Texas is still only two games out of second with plenty of time to spare. But they are still facing an uphill climb without many of the players they succeeded earlier with.

STARS 2 SAN JOSE 5

MAVS 89 @ OKLAHOMA 104

Injury-plagued UTA survives one battle

UTA 81 APPALACHIAN STATE 68

The schedule may get easier for the UTA Mavericks down the stretch, but things are still looking tougher.

Fortunately, for one night, the Mavs were able to hold their own. With Greg Gainey and Lonnie McClanahan combining for 40 points, UTA used a 49-point second half to power away from Appalachian State 81-68 at the College Park Center.

They’re going to need more performances like that with a team that has become depleted very quickly. The Mavs, who were once deep at point guard, have suddenly become very thin as both Johnny Hill and Drew Charles are out for the rest of the season Hill is having surgery on his wrist while Charles has suffered a broken hand.

Charles may be the biggest loss for Scott Cross. The redshirt sophomore was not only the Sun Belt’s best three-point shooter but was essentially the floor general on defense.

This is likely going to mean even more minutes for freshman Erick Neal. The Dallas Lincoln product has shown flashes of being a great shooter and ballhandler, but it will be wait-and-see if he can show consistency at this young point of his collegiate career – especially on defense, where Cross will want to see it the most.

SMU shows toughness in beating Temple again

SMU 67 TEMPLE 58

UNIVERSITY PARK – For the first 25 minutes of game time, nothing was going right for the SMU Mustangs. They turned the ball over. They missed free throws. They allowed easy three pointers to the worst shooting team in the conference. A late-arriving crowd seemed to not be in the game at all either.

And then… everything changed.

It started with something as innocent as Ben Moore becoming the first SMU player to hit both free throws in one trip to the line. Then three turnovers sparked an SMU 7-0 run that got the Moody Coliseum crowd into a frenzy. They forced Devontae Watson and Obi Enechionyia into foul trouble. Ryan Manuel, who had only hit one three pointer all season, hit two big ones. Then Nic Moore, who had been 2-6 shooting with six turnovers in those first 25 minutes, absolutely exploded, scoring 13 of his 18 points in that final 15 minutes.

It all resulted in SMU rallying from down 10 early in the second half to a thrilling 67-58 win over Temple, in which they outscored the Owls 40-21 in the final 15 minutes of the game.

Temple did take the lead back 50-49 on a Jesse Morgan with 4 1/2 minutes to go, but by that time, the Mustangs were on a stampede that could not be stopped. They outscored the Owls 18-8 the rest of the way.

It’s the second time the Mustangs have rallied from a double digit deficit to beat Temple this season.

“For some reason, they just bring out the best in us,” coach Larry Brown said.

There were definitely still emotions flaring after the game, as there was a scuffle near center court as Temple was preparing to leave. Cannen Cunningham said it was instigated by Temple.
“Someone pushed Jean-Michael (Mudiay) in the back, and you don’t push Jean-Michael.”

LEGENDS 107 SANTA CRUZ 110
Every time it looked like they were out of it, they kept storming back. But ultimately, the Legends’ attempts at a final comeback fell short when Mike James inexplicably chose to drive to the basket with seconds ticking down when his team needed three points, allowing the Santa Cruz Warriors to hold on at the Dr Pepper Arena.
It was a strange end to what was a crazy night on the Ah Chihuahua court, where the Legends erased a 100-89 deficit with just over six minutes to go to lead 103-101 with 38 seconds left, only to see Santa Cruz score six straight.
Elliot WIlliams proved too much for the Legends, leading the Warriors with 33 points.
Renaldo Balkman, Eric Griffin and William Buford all scored more than 20 for Texas.

TCU 67 KANSAS STATE 53
With another amazing win, TCU basketball suddenly has some legitimate things to celebrate.
A winning season clinched and the guaranteed best season in the program’s history in the Big 12.
Granted, three wins in conference is not much to speak of, and the winning season was helped solely due to TCU’s non-confernece performance.
But to win two straight games after having previously never even won two total in this stacked conference is another sign that, ever so slowly, Trent Johnson may very well be starting something that just might work.
It’s working now because the Frogs are finally being efficient on offense to go along with the tough defense they have showed for much of the year. A 53 percent shooting clip while holding the Wildcats to only 15 points in the first half helped them to charge to a 20 point lead. Kansas State was able to cut that lead down to six with less than 12 minutes to go, but TCU then countered with a 10-0 run.
CHris Washburn led the way for TCU with 17 points as three TCU starters finished in double figures and Kyan Anderson was one point shy of making it four.