EUGENE, Oregon. Senior point guard Markus Sasser scored 16 points to lead third-place Houston to a 66-56 win over Oregon on Sunday night.
Freshman Terrence Arceno scored a career-high 15 points, while Jamal Shed added 13 points and Jaras Walker added 10 for Houston (5-0) for 11 of 22 on three-pointers.
“Great road win,” said Houston coach Calvin Sampson. “It’s still early and there’s not a single part of the game where we’re not going to get better. It was our fifth game, not the 25th. . We didn’t play great, but now is not the time to play great, it’s November. November is victory and support, and that’s what we did tonight.”
Arceneau and Walker are real freshmen, having played their first real road game.
“It was very exciting,” Arsenault said. “I’m glad I can do it with these guys. It’s a great experience for me to learn from the older guys. I hope we can continue this streak and get better as a team.”
Senior center N’Fali Dante led Oregon 2-2 with 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. Will Richardson added 13 points and Quincy Guerrier added 10.
The Ducks shot 38.8% from the field, including 3-of-22 on 3-pointers.
“When one team is shooting 11-of-22 on 3-pointers and the other team is shooting 3-of-22, it’s not hard to tell the difference in the game,” said Oregon coach Dana Altman.
Oregon lost junior guard Kishon Barthelemy to a left leg injury in the first half, and Altman said he was unsure of the severity of the injury. The 6’2″ Colorado transfer averaged 10.7 points and 2.7 assists in his first three games.
Houston led 31–24 at halftime before Guerrier scored seven points in the first five minutes of the second half to take Oregon to 36–33. The Ducks trailed 41–38 after Dante’s five runs in a row, but Houston followed with a 14–2 record.
Oregon went up to 60–54 on two free throws from Richardson, with 2:36 left in the game, before Sasser hit a three-pointer for the Cougars.
“Our defense was outstanding,” Sampson said. “Every time you go on tour and keep the team at 38% shooting in the gym, that’s very good. We had good ball movement in the second half and we took care of the ball. Ten assists on the road, when you defend and take care of the ball and the offensive rebounds were good in the second half, we had a lot of opportunities for a second chance.”
THE BIG PICTURE
Houston: The Cougars could move up to No. 2 in the nation after Gonzaga lost to Texas earlier in the week. Houston will go home for the next four weeks after playing five of six home games plus a neutral game against St. Mary’s in Fort Worth, Texas.
Oregon: The Ducks missed the opportunity to beat the Cougars, but they should have other important opportunities ahead of them. The Ducks head to Portland for the Phil Knight Invitational, where they open against UConn and could also face No. 1 in North Carolina, No. 18 in Alabama, or No. 25 in Michigan State. Oregon will likely be left without transfer guards Brennan Rigsby and Jermaine Quisnard, who are both potential players yet to play this season due to injury.
Houston: The Cougars are returning home to face Kent State on Saturday.
Oregon: The Ducks will face Connecticut in the first round of the Phil Knight Invitational on Thursday.
Virginia faced the difficult task of playing two ranked teams while mourning the tragedy that rocked the Cavaliers and the rest of their campus.
Playing a week after three football players were shot on the bus, Virginia won the Continental Tire Las Vegas Main Event over No. 16 Illinois after defeating No. 7 Baylor. The wins propelled the Cavaliers from No. 16 to No. 5 in the Associated Press Top 25 released Monday.
“At the moment it’s great, but now we know what really matters,” said Virginia coach Tony Bennett. “When you have such an instant holiday, it allows you to enjoy it, and it seems important, but in general it is not.”
A series of big games in the second full week of the college basketball season caused a stir in the AP top 25.
North Carolina remained at the top of the poll, receiving 47 first-place votes from a media group of 63. Houston moved up to 2nd place and received nine first place votes. Kansas No. 3 got one first place, No. 4 Texas got five and Virginia one.
The Cavaliers (4-0) made their biggest jump in a week, rising to their highest ranking since finishing 4th in the 2020-21 season.
Virginia decided to cancel a game against Northern Iowa last week after Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry were fatally injured after a field trip to Washington.
The Cavaliers wore sweatshirts in honor of the victims during warm-ups before the Baylor game and pulled out in the second half with an 86–79 win. The Cavaliers used another run in the second half to beat Illinois 70–61 for the therapy title to take with them to Charlottesville.
“For the community, I felt like they needed it,” said Virginia defenseman and tournament MVP Reece Beekman.
Michigan State has been out of the AP preseason poll for consecutive seasons for the first time since 1996-97 after losing the top three scorers a year ago.
Due to a tough early schedule, it took some time for the Spartans to establish themselves. Tom Izzo makes them move at an accelerated pace. Michigan State lost to Carrier Gonzaga by one, eliminated Kentucky in double overtime, and survived a late comeback attempt to defeat Villanova.
A solid performance over a tough stretch of the road put Michigan in 12th place in this week’s poll.
“That’s all we thought about,” Michigan State Guard A. J. Hoggard said. “This is what we signed up for, this is what we wanted.”
Houston opened the season in 3rd place, their highest preseason ranking since 1983. The Cougars hit yet another high since Phi Slama Jama, climbing to #2 this week.
Houston opened the season with four straight breakouts and made a statement in its first big test of the season, winning 66-56 in Oregon on Sunday night.
The Cougars hold teams with 46 points per game and have four players averaging double figures, led by preseason All-American Markus Sasser, who scored 16.8 points per game.
Virginia had its biggest jump of the week in the poll, followed by Texas at number four, up seven points after Gonzaga’s rough treatment.
15th at Kentucky and 19th at UCLA lost 11 spots. The Wildcats lost to Michigan State and followed up with a 16-point win over South Carolina State to Gonzaga. The Bruins lost to Illinois and Baylor in Las Vegas.
No. 23 Maryland is in first place this season after three wins last week, including an 88-70 win over Miami to win a Basketball Hall of Fame tip.
Purdue will debut in the AP Top 25 this season at No. 24 after beating Marquette 75-70.
Iowa’s No. 25 also ranked for the first time in 2022-23 after a 16-point win over Seton Hall.
South Carolina remained No. 1 in the Associated Press Women’s Basketball Poll Monday after a chaotic week with half of the top 10 teams losing at least one game.
The Gamecocks were again unanimously selected with all 29 votes from the national media group after beating No. 2 Stanford in Sunday’s overtime thriller. South Carolina has won 16 straight games against ranked teams since losing the 2021 Final Four to Stanford, who were second in this week’s poll.
UConn moved up two positions to third after defeating then-number. 3 Texas and North Carolina, ranked 10th last week. Ohio is ranked fourth and Iowa is fifth.
The top 10 teams have already suffered eight losses this season, according to ESPN, the biggest pre-Thanksgiving loss since 2000. Of the eight losses, three were to unranked teams. Seven top 10 teams lost before Thanksgiving last year.
Husky coach Geno Oriemma believes that the defeat of the best teams is good for the sport.
“That’s a great sign for women’s basketball, I think now you can’t just walk into the gym and, you know, roll it in there and say, ‘Yeah, well, we’re in the top 10 teams in the country and we might just flip (you ). Just because you don’t have a rating,” he said. “I think those days are over.
Auriemma believes this trend will continue as the season progresses.
“I think that if this continues, then this will become the March madness,” he said. “Madness is on the male side, right. And we need some of this madness on the part of women. More about it.”
Indiana moved up six places to No. 6, with Notre Dame, North Carolina, Iowa and Louisville rounding out the top ten.
The Longhorns lost three games in a row and dropped 16 spots to 19th, one of the biggest drops since the AP Top 25 became a writers’ poll in 1994-95. Tennessee, 2-3, dropped 12 places to 23rd for the first time since the 1981-82 season.
Lady Vols lost two games last week, including losing to UCLA in the semi-finals of Battle 4 Atlantis. The Bruins finished 19th in the poll.
Like many teams around the country, Texas and Tennessee have welcomed several new players from the transfer portal and they need to adapt.
“Now you have a lot of teams that are getting really good players because of the transfer portal. But they’re trying to find out how this new school plays, what the standards are,” said Louisville coach Jeff Walz, who has two transfers already. “And that makes it different, in my opinion.”
The state of Kansas entered the poll at number 25 after defeating then-number one. 4 Iowa last week. Oklahoma and Nebraska dropped out of the poll.
BEST TEAMS IN RANKING
This season, the Big East improved to 6-0 against top 25 opponents. Connecticut and No. 16 Creighton each have two, and No. 23 Villanova and Marquette each have one. The Golden Eagles are located near the Upper…