Friday, January 30, 2015

Nuggets, Rush roll past city rival in 2015 spring opener


Facebook photosMen    Women
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana dropped a collective 21 games out of 193 Friday and opened the spring 2015 portion of its men's and women's tennis schedules with 9-0 victories against city rival Loyola at XU Tennis Center.

The Gold Nuggets are ranked third in the NAIA, and the Gold Rush are eighth.

Xavier did not lose a game in 7-of-16 matches. The Gold Nuggets won 6-0, 6-0 in 4-of-5 contested singles matches. Loyola defaulted two women's matches because it had five available players.

Winning 6-0, 6-0 in singles for the Gold Nuggets were Carmen Nelson, Brion Flowers, Sha'Nel Bruins and Dasia Harris. Tushar Mandlekar won by the same score for the Gold Rush. Flowers and Bruins won 8-0 in doubles, as did Kyle Montrel and Jordan Harrell in men's doubles.

Montrel clinched the men's dual with a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Trivesh Singh at No. 1 singles. Nelson's shutout of Alexa Mancuso clinched the women's dual.

Nour Abbes, the NAIA's top-ranked women's singles player, defeated Meghan de Baroncelli 6-1, 6-1. Abbes, a sophomore, is 31-1 in singles at Xavier. Abbes and Nelson beat Baroncelli and Mancuso 8-2 in doubles.

Harris, a redshirt freshman, competed in a collegiate dual match for the first time. So did first-year freshman Jeremiah Capdeville, who dropped the first three games against Anthony Zaleski but rallied for a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 6 men's singles.

"It felt good to get the season started again," 12th-year XU coach Alan Green said. "Everyone was feeling good today, and we showed it with some efficient victories. It will be a long season, and hopefully we can learn something from each match and improve each time we get on the court."

Both Loyola teams are 0-2.

In six seasons of competition against Loyola, Xavier has lost just two matches on the court — none since 2011.

The Gold Nuggets will play another city rival, Tulane (3-0), at 2 p.m. Saturday at City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center. The next Gold Rush dual will start at 6 p.m. Friday at Louisiana-Lafayette.

Results:  Men    Women

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director 

from THE EDITOR Dwight Floyd: FAMU Hall of Famer Talks Basketball

rattlersFAMU Rattlers vs BCU Wildcats bcu
January 31, 2015
1:00 P.M. EST – Women/3:00 P.M. EST – Men
AL Lawson Center;Tallahassee, Florida
General Admission $10/With canned good $5
Family 4 Pack $20
Video: Rattler Vision

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- In 1985 FAMU women’s basketball team was first in the state and 14th nationally in attendance, averaging 1,555 attendees per game. In February of 1986 these Rattlerettes would face the FSU Seminoles before a crowd of 2,301 of mostly Rattler partisan fans in the Tallahassee Civic Center. It was FAMU back then who had most of the fan support. In fact, during the 1985 game between Florida State and FAMU with FSU as the home team, the FAMU pep band was requested to play the national anthem because the Seminole pep band was too small to tackle the feat.

FAMU starters, sisters Ester and Gail Myrick, and Valerie Seay would challenge all comers including the University of Central Florida, who along with the Rattlerettes were part of the New South Women’s Athletic Conference. The Rattlerettes did it as much with their defense as they did with their offense. They became the top defensive team in the conference holding other teams to 65 points per game. One star on that team, 5’10 small forward Cynthia Lee, remembers how tenacious they were on defense. “I remember this girl named Sue on FSU’s team, who could kill it with set shots. My goal (defensively) was to not let her get in her rhythm.”


Howard has Livingstone women on a roll

Livingstone Blue Bears who were previously ranked 18th has jumped to the 11th spot on the USA Today's TOP 25, NCAA Division II Coaches Poll.

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina -- Coach Anita Howard of the Livingstone women’s basketball team hasn’t received any tickets yet driving back and forth from Winston-Salem to Salisbury.

“No, I’ve been pretty good about that,” said Howard, who will bring the 19-0 Blue Bears to Joel Coliseum tonight for a 6:30 p.m. game against Winston-Salem State.

Howard — whose husband, Theo, works at WSSU — spent the last two seasons building a winner at Salem College before moving on to Livingstone.

In just her first season, it’s obvious that the Blue Bears are a favorite to halt Shaw’s dominance of the CIAA Tournament. Shaw is the four-time defending league champion — but Livingstone rolled to a 78-60 win over Shaw in Raleigh earlier this season.


Hampton U.'s losing streak tests confidence ahead of rival Norfolk State

HAMPTON, Virginia — Two weeks ago, Hampton University was tied for first in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and looked every bit a contender — a deep team with plenty of options, steeled by a challenging nonleague schedule.

Fourteen days later, the Pirates reside in the middle of the pack after a series of near-misses and squandered opportunities. They will try to regain their footing against their chief rival, a Norfolk State team that sits near the top of the league, at about 6 p.m. Saturday at the Spartans’ Echols Hall.

“I think we’re down on our confidence,” Pirates coach Ed Joyner Jr. said. “When you blow one or two (games), if your confidence ain’t right, it can turn into three, into four. We’ve got to go win a ballgame. Each game we’ve had good starts. We had good stretches. We just didn’t close them out properly.”

The Pirates (8-12, 4-4 MEAC) have lost four in a row, the program’s longest conference losing streak since January 1999, when they lost five in a row in former coach Steve Merfeld’s second season.


FAMU coach Byron Samuels: Bethune-Cookman battle ‘not just another game’


TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Even though Byron Samuels in his first year as Florida A&M’s head men’s basketball coach, he knows exactly how important a game against Bethune-Cookman is to the fans.

Samuels and the Rattlers (0-20, 0-7 MEAC) play a home game against the Wildcats (6-15, 2-5) at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Al Lawson Center. It’s a game university officials are marketing heavily in order to get additional fans in seats.

“We know it’s not just another game,” Samuels said.

“Our kids understand that. We’ll get a few moments in practice and go over our scouting report and talk about the keys to the game and keys to success on Saturday. Game plan in (Thursday), practice it (Friday), execute it on Saturday. I’m very familiar with the game and all aspects of the rivalry.”


Southern women try to extend streak

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- The Southern women’s basketball team concludes the first half of the Southwestern Athletic Conference season when it visits Alcorn State at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Jaguars (6-2 and 8-10 overall) have come a long way since a rocky start to the conference schedule.

The preseason favorite lost two its first three games, matching its loss total during its title run last season.

But since then, Southern has won five straight and only its last victory (53-49 at Alabama State on Monday) was by fewer than 16 points.

“We’re playing more as a team,” guard Britney Washington said. “At first, coach (Sandy Pugh) was telling us that we were taking the ‘me shot’ instead of the ‘we shot’. We’ve gotten better, and we’re moving the ball better.


Southern men seek two good halves

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana --The Southern men’s basketball team is in third place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

If the Jaguars had come up with one more basket or one more defensive stop at the right moment in their two losses, they’d be undefeated in the SWAC and sitting all alone in first place.

That’s how close they are to being the pace-setter, but instead they’re 6-2, a half-game behind Texas Southern, a game and a half behind Alabama State and down in the tie-breaker to both as they prepare to visit Alcorn State (3-5, 4-16) at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“We haven’t learned how to put it all together yet,” coach Roman Banks said.

In Southern’s 59-58 loss at home to Texas Southern on Jan.
5, the Jaguars led by a point with less than a minute to play, missed a free throw that would have given them a two-point lead with 28 seconds left and sank a 3-pointer a second after the final buzzer sounded.