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No. 25 Texas Tech looks to end skid vs. Kansas

No. 25 Texas Tech looks to end skid vs. Kansas

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Kansas coach Charlie Weis is tweaking a couple of routines heading into the Jayhawks' game against No. 25 Texas Tech this weekend.

It couldn't hurt to try something different. The Jayhawks are winless in Big 12 play and have just one win overall this season, so Weis is taking the team to Lubbock earlier and holding practice where they will play the Red Raiders on Saturday.

``We're not just going to go there to take a look at the wonderful stadium they have,'' Weis said. ``We're going to get out there and we're going to go run around.''

Kansas (1-8, 0-6) is looking to break an 18-game conference losing streak. The Jayhawks most recent defeat came in a 41-14 loss at Baylor, while Texas Tech (6-3, 3-3) is coming off a second-straight loss, having fallen 31-22 to Texas last week.

After five-straight losses to close last season Texas Tech doesn't want to see this year's skid extended.

The Red Raiders' 28th-ranked rush defense will be tested by Jayhawks running back James Sims, who would be leading the conference in rushing yards per game (124.7) had he played in more games. He served a three-game suspension to open the season.

Texas Tech is allowing about as many yards per game as Sims is averaging. Last week, Longhorns running back Johnathan Gray got 106 yards on 20 carries. Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said Texas moved its offensive lineman around to create mismatches.

``That's one thing we have to work on and do a lot better job of getting lined up,'' he said. ``You saw us. We were running - we were just trying to get lined up.''

Weis said Sims is showing he's more than just a player who comes onto the field to carry the ball.

``Obviously, we're a run-first team,'' the first-year coach at Kansas said. ``That's no secret. And he's the main guy. So, I think that what's really helping James is he's taking more of that leadership role on. And I think it bodes well for both him and us as we go forward.''

Texas Tech is one of just two teams nationally - along with Florida State - that's ranked in the top 20 in both total offense and total defense. The latter represents a huge turnaround from last season when the Red Raiders were ranked near the bottom in several defensive categories.

``Now, all of a sudden, (Tuberville's) got himself a more complete team than just one-sided one way or the other,'' Weis said. ``And being that he's a defensive guy by trade, I'm sure that brings a smile to his face, that they are playing much more stout on defense.''

The team that'll be passing the ball more Saturday ran into some snags against the Longhorns. The Red Raiders squandered scoring chances inside the red zone against Texas and four times settled for field-goal tries.

Quarterback Seth Doege, who leads the nation with 31 touchdowns, was clearly frustrated.

Penalties twice inside the 20-yard line kept the Red Raiders from possible touchdowns, including one time when running back Kenny Williams crossed the goal line for a touchdown. But center Deveric Gallington was called for holding and Texas blocked an ensuing Red Raiders field-goal attempt.

``It just kind of came down to finishing and we didn't get it done,'' Doege said. ``When it comes down to it, you've got to make plays and score touchdowns to win games, especially in this conference.''

Weis believes that the Jayhawks having just played an uptempo team like Baylor could help them against the Red Raiders who like to get up to the line quickly.

``I think that it's a catch-22 there,'' he said. ``I think that having just played against that tempo, there will more plays where guys are more ready to go. Rather than just getting ready to go, I think they will be more ready to go.''

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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