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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.

STARS 4 @ ST LOUIS 1

Mavs pursuit of Stoudamire – big risk for chance at big reward

It’s said that you can never have too much talent. But what happens when does chemistry taking a back seat to talent turn out to be a bad thing?

For several weeks, it was believed that current free agent Jermaine O’Neal was the Mavs’ big target. But now, with the weeks winding down and New York’s Amar’e Stoudamire suddenly available, Dallas has changed plans. Stoudamire joining the Mavs is reportedly all but a done deal, needing only to wait until the forward officially clears waivers at 4 pm CT on Wednesday.

Any boost to the Mavs frontcourt to take pressure off Tyson Chandler has to be viewed by many as a welcome addition. But is it too late in the year to be making such a move, and will this just prove to be even more of a challenge for Rick Carlisle to get this roster to mesh?

The big thing to remember here is that basketball is a lot more different than baseball or any other sport where late-season additions are more common. With only five players on the court at a time, chemistry and cohesion are as important as anywhere else, and disrupting that chemistry with more and moor new players can backfire greatly.

I keep looking back to 2010, when the Mavs shook up their roster at the trade deadline, trading Josh Howard and Drew Gooden to Washington for Caron Butler, Brendan Heywood and DeShawn Stevenson. While they still cruised their way to the Southwest Division championship, the lack of chemistry had to play a part in them getting embarrassingly bounced from the playoffs in the first round by San Antonio.

This was why I was glad that The Mavs grabbed Rajon Rondo earlier in the season – to give more time for such a needed adjustment process. Granted, that process has now been delayed greatly by Rondo’s broken orbital bone still keeping him out of action with the team still hoping surgery is not the needed option, since that could likely mean Rondo would be done for the year by now, and then you can pretty much kiss this season goodbye.

These worries are not set in stone, especially since there have been exceptions. After all, the Rockets shook things up 20 years ago when they grabbed Clyde Drexler from Portland and his combination with former Phi Slamma Jamma teammate Hakeem Olajuwon drove Houston to a second straight championship.

And at least the Mavs are adding just one player instead of changing up so many other components like they did five years ago.

Hopefully won’t result in a similar end, because a presence like Stoudamire can greatly benefit the Mavs – if they can get everything to work in time.

EDIT: Since this article’s posting it has been reported that Rajon Rondo is expected to start on Thursday against Oklahoma City.

SMU dominates for the ESPN cameras

SMU 73 UCONN 55

The next time the Connecticut Huskies come to Dallas, perhaps Kevin Ollie should ask Larry Brown if the game can be at AT&T Stadium.

The Huskies may have won the national championship last season at Jerry Jones’ house, but Moody Coliseum remains a house of horrors for them. They were the first team SMU beat in the renovated building, and this night was an even more dominating win for the Mustangs.

It was definitely an emotional week for SMU, as Brown was dealing with the loss of one of his mentors in Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith, followed by the aura of ESPN coming to Dallas for this game. But the Mustangs rose to the challenge, motivated by the fan turnout for the entire day which culminated in setting Moody attendance records for both a single game and the season.

“I started thinking about Matt Doherty, who I saw on Thursday,” Brown said about seeing the crowd that arrived early, “it was a lot because of him, he started this thing.. then we get this new building… but today – today was the best; to see our students here early, to see the school spirit.. I hope this is an annual thing because we have a program that’s worthy of it.”

“A few years ago, we didn’t have this,” guard Sterling Brown said, “so to see the fans out here having fun, just felt real good.”

It led to a complete game SMU hadn’t had in a while. The Mustangs pushed the tempo, attacked the basket and were all over the offensive glass – a far cry from what the Moody crowd saw last week when Cincinnati came to Dallas. The Ponies have now won three straight since that loss to the Bearcats – the only AAC team to beat SMU so far.

Most important of all, the Mustangs maintained the hold on first place in the AAC they grabbed earlier in the week as well as (likely) their spot in the Top 25. The former of those two may be the most important; with the American not as dominant as last year (SMU is currently the only ranked team), a regular season championship may be SMU’s best chance of getting an NCAA berth outside of winning the conference tournament.

Shocking TCU win may be biggest ray of hope

TCU 70 OKLAHOMA STATE 55
If there was any hope that maybe, just maybe, TCU basketball can compete in the Big 12, it may have come today.
The home crowd in Fort Worth finally got to see a Horned Frogs win for the first time since the 2013 season finale as TCU knocked off No. 21 Oklahoma State 70-55 at the Wilkerson Greines Center.
It may be hard to describe, but the operators of the TCU sports blog Frogs O’ War may have summed it up via Twitter.
“Folks that’s what happens when your shots fall, your free throws fall, and you rebound like you’re capable. Hopefully we see more of that.”
Indeed, the Frogs shot 52 percent from the floor and 78 percent from the line, with Kyan Anderson’s 14 points leading a balance attack that saw four Frogs in double figures and Kenrich Williams falling one basket short of becoming a fifth.
If TCU could have only had more efficiency on offense, this season might have been different to this point. The Frogs have the fourth-best scoring defense in the conference and are third in defensive field goal percentage. But they are in the bottom three in most offensive categories, including last in free throw percentage.
Today, though, it was seen what Trent Johnson’s squad is capable of when they score.
It’s not like the Frogs haven’t recently seen an upset of a ranked opponent. After all, their first ever Big 12 win came against a top-ranked Kansas team in 2013.
But facing ranked opponents is common in these conference to say the least. Eight of the 10 Big 12 school have seen a ranking at some point.
If TCU wants to stop being an also-ran in this sport, they need to prove hay can beat these opponents regularly. Today may have been the first step toward doing that.

UTA 91 @ SOUTH ALABAMA 97