Monday, December 31, 2012

Erves leads Rush past Belhaven in another road victory

JACKSON, Miss. -- Denzell Erves scored a career-high-tying 23 points and grabbed a career-best 15 rebounds Monday to lead NAIA No. 16 Xavier University of Louisiana to a 73-63 men's basketball victory against Belhaven.

Erves became the first Gold Rush player of the past nine seasons to record 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds in consecutive games. He led Xavier (12-3) to its sixth victory in seven road games this season.

Wanto Joseph had 16 points, nine assists and six rebounds for Xavier, and Renard Smith scored a season-high 12 points.

Jordan Butts scored 19 points for Belhaven (6-9), which lost for the sixth time in eight games. Curt Hall had 14 points and a season-high 12 rebounds, and Jerrial Dawson matched his season best of 12 points. Butts and Dawson each made three first-half 3-pointers.

Erves scored five of Xavier's first eight points in a 10-0 run to open the game. But the Blazers made seven 3-pointers and gained the lead three times before Anthony Boswell's layup with 20 seconds remaining -- his first points of the season -- gave the Gold Rush a 40-38 halftime lead.

Xavier never trailed in the second half, but Belhaven tied the score at 51 and 53. Erves' basket after his offensive rebound put Xavier ahead to stay, 55-53, with 7:34 remaining.

Xavier, playing on New Year's Eve for the first time since 2008, outshot the Blazers 52 to 35 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 42-36. In the second half, the Gold Rush limited Belhaven to 1-of-13 3-pointers and outrebounded the Blazers 30-20. Erves grabbed 13 second-half rebounds in his ninth double-double of the season and 16th of his career.

Both teams struggled with free throws -- Xavier made 15-of-29, and Belhaven was 13-of-24. The Gold Rush made 6-of-15 in the second half.

No XU player has grabbed more than 15 rebounds in the past nine seasons. Erves is the fourth during that time to reach 15, joining Cordell Hadnot (2011), Kelechi Okoroha (2009) and Alfred Williams (2008). Williams is in his fourth season as an XU assistant coach.

It's the fifth time in Dannton Jackson's 10 seasons as head coach that the Gold Rush are 12-3 or better through the first 15 games.

Xavier, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season co-champion a year ago, will play its GCAC opener at 5 p.m. EST Saturday against Edward Waters in Jacksonville, Fla. The next XU men's home game will start at 5 p.m. on Jan. 12 against Tougaloo in the new Convocation Center.


By Ed Cassiere, SID
VISIT: XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA
VISIT: XULAATHLETICS

UAH scores season-high in 107-63 win against Tuskegee

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama  --  UAH coach Lennie Acuff summed up his team's performance in a 107-63 defeat of Tuskegee at Spragins Hall Sunday afternoon in one line.

"It was a good day for us," Acuff said. "When the ball goes in, everything looks good."

And boy did it ever for the Chargers, ranked No. 3 in the nation in the most recent NCAA Division II poll.

UAH (9-1) shot a blistering 64.8 percent from the field for the game, knocking down 35 of its 54 attempts on the night. And it didn't matter whether the Chargers fired it up from near or far. They were 14-for-24 from 3-point range and connected on 23 of 31 free-throw attempts.

Senior guard Jaime Smith led the way for the Chargers, who picked up their seventh straight win, with team-high 19 points, including 12 in the second half.

Five other Chargers finished in double-figures in scoring, a group that included forward Conner Blasi (13), Zane Campbell (11), Ronnie Mack, Dedrick Wayne (10), Brett Wester (10) and Andrew Dononvan (10) in the their highest offensive output of the season.

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Ram Ramblings: One more look at WSSU's Kameron Smith

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  --  It’s not everyday that a positive e-mail comes in, but it was very nice to hear from one of quarterback Kam Smith’s older brothers.

Smith, the record-setting quarterback who played his final game for the Rams on Dec. 15 in the 35-7 loss to Valdosta State in the Division II national championship, is somebody I will remember for a long time. And I’m sure WSSU fans will also remember him for his greatness, his humility and his ability to run Connell Maynor’s offense.

Smith’s brother, Kerry, who lives in Riverview, Florida e-mailed me about my kind comments I had to their mother after the game in Florence, Alabama. Smith comes from a large family and I told his mother what a pleasure it was to cover her son for the last three years.

Kerry Smith said that he and his family have closely followed my coverage of the Rams since Kam arrived before the 2010 season. Kerry Smith said that his brother enjoyed his time at WSSU and he said the Smith family will be “Rams for life.”

Here are some of the final statistics for one of the most productive quarterbacks in WSSU and CIAA history. All Smith did was go 31-4 as a starter and throw for 7,540 yards with an incredible 96 touchdown passes.

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Late TCU Rally Edges MVSU, 67-64

FORT WORTH, TexasTCU led by double digits early before having to force a late rally on its way to a 67-64 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Sunday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Horned Frogs scored seven of the game’s final nine points in the comeback win.

TCU improved to 9-4 with the victory, including 7-2 at home. The Frogs finished their non-conference schedule with the best winning percentage (.692) for the program since going 10-4 (.714) in regular-season non-league games in 2004-05. The loss dropped the Delta Devils’ season record to 0-10.

The Frogs led by as many as 12 points Sunday but saw their advantage evaporate late as MVSU cranked its game up to another level in the second half. A 6-0 run gave TCU a 56-47 edge with 9:34 remaining, but MVSU scored 15 of the game’s next 19 points to take the lead inside the final three minutes. The Frogs went cold from the floor during the stretch, as the Devils held the squad without a field goal and to only four foul throws for nearly eight full minutes.

A Darryl Marshall layup gave MVSU its first lead of the game at 62-60 with 2:24 to play, but TCU responded with its late surge. Senior forward Adrick McKinney came up with two huge plays down low on back-to-back TCU possessions, first tying the game with a layup off an assist from sophomore guard Kyan Anderson. McKinney then gave the Frogs the lead for good with a tip-in off a missed layup by fellow senior Garlon Green with 35 seconds left.

TCU closed the game out at the line late, with Green hitting two shots to give the Frogs a four-point lead and Anderson adding another in the final seconds following another Marshall basket. MVSU did have one final opportunity to tie, but Marshall’s desperation 3-point try was far off the mark at the buzzer.

Stats (.html) | Stats (.pdf) | Quotes | Notes | Highlights

Anderson led TCU in the scorebook for the fourth time this season with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and added five assists. Green totaled 15 and seven rebounds, and McKinney had 13 points and a game-high nine boards. Senior forward Connell Crossland chipped in nine points and five boards, and senior guard Nate Butler Lind, who totaled only six points in 40 minutes, provided a lockdown defensive effort on MVSU leading scorer Davon Usher, managing only six points.

Two Delta Devils scored in double figures, including guard Matt Smith, who totaled a game-high 17 points to go with nine rebounds, and guard Darius Tomlin, who totaled 13 points. Marshall gave the Frogs fits all afternoon with his dribble penetration at the point, dishing out a game-high seven assists.

MVSU found success inside thanks to Marshall’s ability to break down the TCU defense. The squad scored 40 of its 64 points in the paint, even though the vast majority of its production came from guards. The Delta Devils also recorded a 36-34 edge on the glass, although the Frogs were able to find their way to the charity stripe, where they posted a 12-4 scoring edge.

Despite the close result, the contest did feature one of the TCU’s strongest starts to a contest this season, as the squad scored 13 of the game’s first 17 points while building an early nine-point advantage. Green and Anderson helped push the Frogs to a 12-point edge with just over seven minutes left in the half with back-to-back treys.

MVSU crept back into the game with some easy baskets inside. The squad grabbed five offensive boards rebounds in the opening stanza that resulted in seven points. Smith got hot late in the period, totaling eight points in the final five minutes, and MVSU scored six of the final eight points of the half to cut the TCU edge to only four points at t he break, 37-33.

TCU opens its inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference next Saturday when it plays host to Texas Tech at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Frogs and Red Raiders tip off at 5 p.m. with television coverage provided by FOX Sports Southwest.

COURTESY TCU ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

Mississippi State Falls At Home To Alabama A&M

Courtesy AAMU Athletics
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State surrendered a 15-point lead Sunday afternoon as the Bulldogs dropped a 59-57 decision to Alabama A&M in a men’s basketball game played at Humphrey Coliseum.

Playing for the first time since Christmas break, the Bulldogs fell to 4-7 and 3-1 home. Not even a return to the lineup by junior guard Jalen Steele could provide enough of a lift for the Maroon and White.

Steele played 27 minutes in his first action since fracturing a wrist on Nov. 13 against Florida Atlantic. Steele hit his first two shots from the field and finished with 10 points.

“Obviously, it is a disappointing loss because it is a home loss,” MSU head coach Rick Ray said. “You want to protect your home court. You need to win your games at home. We had been good at home this year.”

MSU (4-7) built the early lead by dominating inside. Reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week Gavin Ware went to work early as the Maroon and White built a quick 14-3 advantage.

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Alabama A&M defeats Mississippi State 59-57

STARKVILLE, Mississippi --  It is the biggest victory in head coach Willie Hayes young career at the helm of the Bulldog basketball program.

“This was a major victory for not only A&M men’s basketball but the University and the conference,” said Hayes. 


Juniors Jeremy Crutcher and Demarquelle Tabb led the Bulldogs with 14 each while Tabb posted seven boards and Crutcher collected five assists. Brandon Ellis finished with his season high 13 points and three steals.

Although G. A. Hill totaled seven points, those were the difference makers as he scored the final points to helped A&M claim their first victory over Mississippi State.

The game did not start off well for the Bulldogs as MSU jumped out to a 27-12 lead which was their largest of the contest.

The 5:21 mark rolled around and saw State holding a 30-15 advantage when the tables started to turn in A&M’s favor.

Hayes and company then went on a 10-3 run to end the first half and cut the lead to eight. Justan Banks got a dunk to give the Maroon & White a momentum bucket going into half-time down 33-25.

“The main thing we wanted to do is keep the ball out of the interior,” Hayes mentioned. “State hit some jumpers early but my thing was to pressure the guards and keep the ball out of the paint.”

“The players stayed poised throughout the contest. They never quit even when we lost the lead a few times they continued to fight,” Hayes quoted.

The run continued in the second half as AAMU scored the first eight points before State hit their first two. From there the lead changed hands on seven different occasions as the home crowd started chanting for the Dogs but the A&M faithful, which was sitting behind the bench, gave the Bulldogs the motivation they needed.

Box Score

Photogallery

A&M claimed their first lead of the game at the 11:25 mark 39-38.

Mississippi State grabbed a four point lead at the 10:04 mark 43-39 but two free throws by Crutcher, then a lay-up by Ellis tied the score. Once again State grabbed a four point lead 47-43 but a three pointer by Ellis cut that lead to one.

Alabama A&M then grabbed their second lead at the 4:16 mark by one 52-51 but MSU was able to regain the lead and push it to five with 2:18 remaining 57-52.

That’s when Hill took over the game and rebounded a Crutcher miss and was fouled. The best free-throw shooter on the team then hit two straight from the charity stripe. He then stole the ball and laid it up to cut the lead to one.

Another Hill steal and layup put AAMU up by one 58-57. Hill then hit the first of two shots to give A&M a 59-57 lead. On the second free-throw the Boise State transfer rebounded his lone miss and held it to run out the clock and give Alabama A&M their fourth win of the year.

“This was one of those games we knew we could win. Mississippi State had a lot of injuries and we knew we could take advantage of that,” Hayes continued.

“We came out in the second half and got out to a fast start something we always try to do,” Hayes said. “Ball pressure created the opportunities we needed due to their lack of available players.”

On G. A. Hill’s play coach Hayes was quoted saying, “G. A’s tenacity is what gave us the lead and was crucial to the victory.”

The win is a first in five tries for A&M and a first versus a team from the Southeastern Conference.
Craig Sword scored 14 points to lead the Dogs while Gavin Ware scored 12 points and totaled 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs will look to continue the win streak when they open SWAC play versus Grambling State on Wednesday, January 2nd. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. in Elmore Gymnasium.

COURTESY ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION


Sunday, December 30, 2012

San DiegoToreros hold off Morgan State 66-63

SAN DIEGO, California  --  The USD Toreros earned a 66-63 home win over Morgan State to close out their nonconference slate with a much needed victory heading into WCC play next week. Johnny Dee scored a game-high 24 points, Chris Manresa notched his second consecutive double-double with 10 points and career-high 13 rebounds, and Cameron Miles gave the team a huge spark with a season-high 12 points. Miles' play was huge with sophomore guard Christopher Anderson sitting out his first collegiate game with a bout with the flu.

"Going into the game without Chris (Anderson), certainly I was concerned on how our team would respond without him," said head coach Bill Grier. "I can't tell you how proud I am of Cameron Miles. He gave us such great minutes to go with 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists with just one turnover. We really needed that. And him being a senior leader, I think he really relished in the moment."

Morgan State (3-7) held the early lead against the Toreros (7-8) until Dee connected on his third basket of the game and second three-pointer for a 10-8 edge at the 13:13 mark. The Bears inched ahead by four at 14-10, but USD rallied back right away and eventually knot it up at 27-all on a free throw by Simi Fajemisin. A Dee trey and Miles old fashion three-point play gave the Toreros a 33-27 intermission lead.

In the second half it was again Miles who hit a jumper with 16:39 to go that put the Toreros ahead 41-34. USD would not relinquish their lead the rest of the way, however, twice the Bears pulled to within one point, the last time coming with eight seconds left on a three-pointer by DeWayne Jackson.

Morgan State immediately fouled Dee who cashed in on back-to-back charities for the second time in a span of five seconds for the 66-63 lead. Justin Black's long 3-point attempt glanced off the rim at the buzzer.

Manresa matched his point and rebound totals (10 points, 13 rebounds) for the second straight game. It marked the 12th time in Dee's two-year career that he reached 22 or more points. Morgan State was paced by Black (16 points) and forward Anthony Hubbard (12 points).

USD returns after the New Year to host the Portland Pilots in both teams West Coast Conference opener. The game is scheduled for Thursday, January 3rd, at 8:00 pm.

COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

Alabama State 73, AUM 50: Hornets sting Warhawks at Acadome

MONTGOMERY, Alabama  --  Saturday’s Alabama State-AUM contest was interesting early, but the Hornets cruised in the second half to earn their second win of the season. The 73-50 win couldn’t have come at a better time with the Hornets preparing for their conference opener against Jackson State on Wednesday.

“Going in to your conference with your last game being a win,” Alabama State coach Lewis Jackson said, “It gives you that boost to come to practice and work hard. It doesn’t take much to get the guys fired up. So hopefully they’ll come out and play with a lot of intensity and work hard these next few days.”

By NAIA rules, a game against a Division I opponent counts as an exhibition for AUM. The Warhawks (4-6) hung tough early, trailing 28-27 after a first half that featured seven ties and eight lead changes. But in the second half, the Hornets (2-11) pulled away.

“We played pretty good in the first half,” AUM coach Larry Chapman said. “The second half, we couldn’t sustain it. We missed some great opportunities and turned the ball over. A lot of those turned into easy baskets. That hurt us.”

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Thomas, House Push Men's Basketball Past Prairie View A&M

HOUSTON, Texas   --   Forwards TaShawn Thomas and Danuel House posted 22 points apiece to lead the University of Houston Men's Basketball team to an 80-75 win against Prairie View A&M on Saturday afternoon inside Hofheinz Pavilion.

Thomas, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, connected on 7-of-15 shots from the field and 8-of-10 attempts from the free throw line and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, including six off the offensive glass. House, competing in his first collegiate season out of Hightower High, nailed all seven of his free throw attempts - including four in the final 24.1 seconds - and added seven boards of his own.

With the win, the Cougars improved to 10-2 overall and became only the 15th team in school history to start 10-2 or better through their first 12 games. Houston also avenged an 81-80 loss to the Panthers on Nov. 28 in Prairie View, Texas, a setback that snapped the Cougars' five-game winning streak to open the season.

Prairie View A&M dropped to 5-8 overall.

The game was close early before the Cougars used an 18-2 run during a near 6-minute stretch to build a 25-12 advantage. The team eventually took a 46-32 lead into the locker room at the break.

The Cougars built as much as a 17-point lead early in the second half and led 74-58 when Thomas put a basket back up and in after his own missed shot with just under seven minutes remaining.  However, Prairie View A&M took off on a 14-2- run during the next five-and-a-half minutes to move to within 76-72 on Rasi Jenkins' jumper with 1:29 to go.

The Panthers had a chance to move even closer after a Cougar turnover, but House forced a Prairie View A&M giveaway on a fast break. On the ensuing possession, Thomas snared the offensive rebound on a missed Houston 3-pointer with 29 seconds left in the game, forcing the Panthers to foul.

House converted all four of his free throw attempts in the final 21 seconds to seal the victory for the Cougars.

Competing on the same day as his grandfather's funeral, sophomore guard Joseph Young added 17 points with three 3-pointers., while senior forward Leon Gibson came off the bench to pour in 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting with a pair of treys and seven rebounds.

Prairie View A&M guard Jourdan DeMuynck led all players with 27 points on 10-of-21 shooting, while guard Carl Blair finished with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. Demondre Chapman came off the bench to record 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting with a team-high eight rebounds.

NOTES
• Houston improved to 7-1 inside the friendly confines of Hofheinz Pavilion this season.
• Sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas posted his sixth 20-point game of the season and his second straight... Was the sixth 20-point game of his career.
• Freshman forward Danuel House posted the third 20-point game of his season/career.
• Sophomore guard Joseph Young saw his streak of consecutive 20-point games snapped at three.
• Thomas made the 43rd consecutive start of his collegiate career... He has started every game of his career.

Game Book | Quotes | Photos |

UP NEXT
Following Saturday's game, the Cougars continue their season-long homestand inside Hofheinz Pavilion when they play host to Texas-Pan American at 7 p.m., Jan. 3.

From there, the stand wraps up when the Cougars open Conference USA play vs. SMU at 7 p.m., Jan. 9.

COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

Marquette is sloppy but beats North Carolina Central

MARQUETTE, Wisconsin  --  The unadorned numbers reflect that Marquette finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 9-3 record.

But that tells you little about the Golden Eagles' preparedness for Big East play. Ready or not it begins New Year's night against Connecticut without coach Buzz Williams, who will serve a one-game suspension for an off-season recruiting violation.

Once again Saturday, Marquette allowed a lesser opponent like North Carolina Central (6-7) to hang around a little too long for comfort with a season-high 20 turnovers. It was a tie game with 5 minutes left, at which point Marquette, as it has against similar schedule fodder, showed why its brand attracts better players, winning, 75-66.

"I feel like sometimes we play down to our competition," sophomore forward Juan Anderson said. "Once the Big East starts, we'll adjust and buckle down."

But since this has happened against Southeastern Louisiana, Maryland-Baltimore County, Savannah State and the like, it is fair to ask if it could happen against UConn and Georgetown and such.

It is safe to assume that UConn and Georgetown, the first two league opponents, won't disappear at the end.

"I think Juan said it best," junior guard Vander Blue said. "We can play with teams as good as Butler, then we lose to Green Bay."

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Tuskegee looking to compete at No. 3 UAH Sunday

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama  --  Tuskegee travels to UAH Sunday at 3 p.m.

But Golden Tigers' coach Leon Douglas isn't concerned with the outcome against the Chargers, win or lose, as much as he is about the effort his team puts forth, especially on the defensive end, in its last non-conference game of the regular season.

Tuskegee has played all but one of its games away from home this season while getting out to a 1-7 start. It'll be its second time matching up against the Chargers (7-1, 2-0 in the Gulf South Conference), ranked No. 3 in the nation in the latest NCAA Division II poll.

UAH bested the Golden Tigers 81-66 in a tournament down in Pensacola, Fla. back on November 23rd.

"I want them to compete, compete hard and play hard," Douglas said. "If I can get that, I'll know I'm basically where I want to be. Of course, if we win, that's always a positive but I want to see how they're going to compete and what level of intensity they're going to bring to the court."

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Tennessee State Bests EIU for First OVC Win

NASHVILLE, Tennessee   –   Patrick Miller had a career-high 28 points and the Tennessee State men’s basketball team hung on to defeat Eastern Illinois, 67-59, in the squad’s first Ohio Valley Conference game of the season.

Miller made his first four shots of the game and finished a perfect 11-of-11 from the charity stripe.

Kellen Thornton and Jordan Cyphers also finished in double-figures for Tennessee State (7-7, 1-0 OVC) with 16 and 14 points, respectively. Cyphers, Miller and Thornton combined for 80 percent of TSU’s 40 shots.

Thornton also had a game-high 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

EIU won the opening tip, but TSU started the game on a 6-0 run that was sparked by a pair of buckets from Thornton. The Panthers answered with a three, but Cyphers returned the favor at the 17:53 mark to put the Tigers up, 9-3.

Cyphers hit another jumper from downtown with under eight minutes to go in the half and then canned his third of the game on TSU’s following possession. The offensive flurry put the Tigers in the lead, 24-10, and forced Eastern Illinois (3-11, 0-1 OVC) to use its first timeout of the half.

Cyphers went into the locker room with a half-high 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting. All of his attempts were from beyond the arc.



TSU maintained its double-digit lead for the remainder of the period and went into halftime sporting a 32-19 lead. Eastern Illinois’ 19 first half points were the least by any Tennessee State opponent this season.

The Tigers shot 52.4 percent during the opening stanza, but it was TSU’s defense that allowed the home team to take such a large lead. Big Blue only allowed EIU to shoot 26.1 percent in half one and the Panthers only pulled down one offensive board.

TSU picked up where it left off after halftime and a coast-to-coast layup by M.J. Rhett with 16:30 left in the game gave his squad a 19-point lead- its biggest of the contest.

However for the next eight minutes, the Panthers mounted a comeback that included a 6-0 run to put EIU within 10. Miller finally stopped the bleeding with a jumper, making the score 49-37.

Later, a three pointer by EIU’s Taylor Jones trimmed the Tiger lead to six with fewer than four minutes remaining in the game.

Cyphers finally put the nail in the coffin with his only three of the second half at the 2:23 mark, making the score 59-49. EIU tried to claw back into the game, and even got within four, but TSU hung on for a 67-59 win.

TSU was outscored 35-40 during the second half, but Miller’s 20 points in period two allowed the Tigers to move to .500.

TSU will next travel to Tennessee Tech on Jan. 3 for the team’s second conference game of the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Note: Robert Covington missed his second consecutive game with an injury to his right knee. The diagnosis is officially a tear to his meniscus, which will cause him to miss 4-6 weeks. The last time that Covington did not start consecutive games was Nov. 30, 2009.
 
COURTESY TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION 

Carter's basket gives Faulkner 66-64 victory over Nuggets


MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Brittney Carter's basket with four seconds remaining Saturday lifted Faulkner to a 66-64 victory over Xavier University of Louisiana in a matchup of ranked NAIA Division I women's basketball teams in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Huntingdon College's Roland Arema.

Carter, a 6-foot-3 senior and an honorable-mention NAIA All-American a year ago, finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds -- her 10th double-double of the season -- to help the Lady Eagles (13-3) snap the seven-game win streak of the Gold Nuggets (9-2). Faulkner is ranked 24th, and Xavier is ranked ninth.

Xavier's SiMon Franklin, whose 3-pointer tied the score at 64 with 22 seconds remaining, missed a 2-pointer on the final possession. Franklin finished with career highs of 25 points -- 16 in the first half -- and nine rebounds.

Faulkner had three 10-point leads in the first half and a 33-28 advantage at halftime, but the Nuggets opened the second half with a 21-4 run. Paige Rochelle's basket with 12:36 remaining gave Xavier its biggest lead, 49-37.

Franklin's two free throws gave Xavier a 56-51 lead with 4:19 remaining, but the Nuggets failed to capitalize on two ensuing defensive stops. Shannon Evans' 3-pointer at 3:21 started a 9-0 run for Faulkner, which scored on its final seven possessions. Xavier led for approximately 14 minutes of the second half but lost its lead for good at 2:27 when Carter's two free throws tied the score at 56. Nyla Johnson's two free throws at 1:45 -- her first points of the game -- gave Faulkner a 58-56 lead.

Paige Gauthier scored a season-high-tying 12 points for Xavier, and Whitney Gaston-Loyd had 11. Christina Hayes scored 13 points for Faulkner.

Faulkner outshot the Nuggets 41.2 to 37.5 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 41-31. Xavier made a season-best 14 free throws in 16 attempts, but Faulkner made 19-of-22. Xavier committed 15 turnovers and gained 26. Franklin and freshman teammate Emoni Harvey each had three steals.

It was the first meeting between the teams. Faulkner is in its fourth season of women's basketball. Faulkner denied Xavier its third victory of the season against a ranked opponent. The Nuggets' other loss was at home to No. 5 Westminster (Utah) on Nov. 17.

Xavier will play NAIA No. 12 Bethel (Tenn.) at 2 p.m. Wednesday in XU's new Convocation Center, then travel to Jacksonville, Fla., for its Gulf Coast Athletic Conference opener at 3 p.m. EST next Saturday at Edward Waters. The Nuggets are the defending GCAC regular-season and tournament champion.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
VISIT: XULAATHLETICS
VISIT: XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA

Gold Nuggets' second-half rally knocks out Belhaven

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Xavier University of Louisiana's women's basketball team used a second-half run Friday to rally past Belhaven 63-47 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Huntingdon College's Roland Arena.

Andraquay Quinnine scored 12 points and SiMon Franklin 10 for the Gold Nuggets (9-1), ranked ninth in NAIA Division I. It was Xavier's seventh consecutive victory and its third in a row by double digits.

Belhaven (5-7) held its biggest lead, 38-29, after Alisha Rayborn's layup with 15:55 remaining. But Xavier gained 14 turnovers while outscoring the Blazers 30-4 during the next 13½ minutes. Reserve freshman guard Emoni Harvey scored all seven of her points during the burst, including a jump shot in the paint with 9:13 remaining to put the Nuggets ahead to stay, 42-40.

Eight Nuggets scored during the run, with Quinnine and Danielle Tucker each getting six points.

Ashley Wakefield, with 15 points, was Belhaven's lone double-figure scorer. Sarah Carr made 3-of-4 3-pointers, and Wakefield scored eight points to lead the Blazers to a 27-23 halftime advantage. But Carr was scoreless in 19 second-half minutes.

Belhaven outshot Xavier 40.5 to 39.1 percent from the floor, but the Nuggets outshot the Blazers 50 to 43.8 percent in the second half. Xavier had a 40-32 rebound advantage and was plus-11 in turnovers, gaining 25 and committing 14 to match a season low. The Nuggets made six free throws -- their second fewest of the season -- in 10 attempts, and Belhaven was 10-of-21.

It was the first time this season that Quinnine and Franklin produced double-figure points in consecutive games. It was Xavier's first game since a 62-42 victory at William Carey two weeks ago.

Ed Cassiere, SID
Xavier, which entered the event leading NAIA D-I in scoring defense, allowed less than 50 points for the third consecutive game and the seventh time this season. It was the first time this season that the Nuggets won after trailing at halftime.

The Nuggets matched their second-best 10-game start of the Title IX era. Xavier was 10-0 in 1980-81 and 9-1 in 2010-11 and 2004-05.

Xavier will play NAIA No. 24 Faulkner in the final game of this event at 9 p.m. Saturday.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
VISIT: XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA
VISIT: XULAATHLETICS

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Texas A&M Defeats Prairie View A&M 74-52 in Return to Reed Arena

COLLEGE STATION, Texas  --  Texas A&M used strong team offense to prevail over Prairie View A&M on Friday night at Reed Arena by a score of 74-52 in front of 4,915 fans. Texas A&M improves to 9-4 with the victory while Prairie View A&M fell to 3-7 with the loss.

Reigning SEC Player of the Week, espnw.com National Player of the Week and Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week Kelsey Bone continued her strong play with her sixth straight game of double figure scoring with 18 points, Bone has raised her season average in points in each game during the stretch. Over the last three weeks Bone is averaging 23.8 points and 9.5 rebounds, Bone was just shy of yet another double-double with nine rebounds on the night. In addition to scoring and rebounding the basketball Bone dished out six assists on the night.

"Kelsey enjoys the pass as much as the shot," Head Coach Gary Blair said after the game. "This is the first time we've ever had a national player of the week. I hope that will give our team and her some good national attention. She's playing like an All-American right now."

The Aggie offense jumped out to an early 10-6 lead at first media timeout, Kristi Bellock (6) and Bone (4) combined for all 10 of A&M's points. Beginning at the 17:05 mark in the first half the Aggies went on a 11-0 run over 2:16 of game play capped off by an old-fashioned three point play from Tori Scott to make the score 17-6.

The Maroon and White began the game on an impressive run of nine assists on the first nine made field goals in the game, en route to 24 Aggie points. The assist streak came to an end with a Karla Gilbert offensive rebound and put-back to make the score 26-10 with 7:46 remaining in the first half.

The Aggie offense continued to share the ball throughout the game as the Aggies ended with 23 assists on the night, just one off the season high of 24 set against Old Dominion eight days ago. Texas A&M has had at least 19 assists in each of the last four games and is averaging an impressive 22.3 assists per game in that stretch.

The home team used an early 6-2 run in the second half to stretch the Aggie lead out to a then game high 23 points with 17:25 remaining. Senior Adrienne Pratcher ignited the run with a nifty step-back jumper, Pratcher ended the game with four points and seven assists to lead the team.

Later in the second half the Aggies put the game out of reach with an impressive 16-4 run to give Texas A&M a game-high 32 point lead. In the run Texas A&M post players combined for 12 of the Aggie points, Freshman Courtney Walker made two jumpers for the remaining four points on the run.

Bellock had an efficient night scoring 14 points and pulling down eight rebounds in 25 minutes of play. Joining Bone and Bellock in double figures scoring were Walker and Gilbert with 11 points apiece. Texas A&M forced 13 Panther turnovers leading to 25 points and out-rebounded Prairie View 38-21, limiting the Panthers to only four offensive rebounds.

The Aggies will return to Reed Arena for a New Year's Day contest against Rice at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday's game will continue the half-price holiday hoops promotion.


 COURTESY TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION

Jackson State's Comegy is shopping for a new job

TALLAHASSEE, Florida  --  Less than one month after leading Jackson State to the SWAC championship game, football coach Rick Comegy is shopping for a new job.

According to The Tallahassee Democrat, Comegy applied for the coaching vacancy at Florida A&M, an opening FAMU athletic director Derek Horne says he wants to fill by Jan. 12.

Comegy, who has coached JSU for seven seasons, recently expressed his desire to remain with the school — even though he appears set to enter the 2013 season with just one year left on his contract.
“I’d love to be here,” Comegy said earlier this month. “I haven’t had any talks about an extension or anything like that. I think that’s up to the president and the (athletic director) and what they want to do with Rick Comegy.”

Comegy received a two-year contract extension in 2011, with a 3 percent raise to $191,580 per year. He has a $50,000 buyout clause.

Comegy’s contract also called for improvement in the football team’s Academic Progress Rate score, a sore subject for a program that had scored below the then NCAA-mandated benchmark of 900 for three straight years. Low scores led to JSU receiving a postseason ban in 2011 and a second ban was imminent until the NCAA approved a rule change allowing low-resource schools a longer window to meet the 930 mark.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Texas A&M Welcomes Prairie View A&M to Reed

COLLEGE STATION, Texas  --  No. 22 Texas A&M will return to Reed Arena after a 3-1 road trip including a trip to the championship game of the World Vision Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. The meeting on Friday will be the 17th all-time between the schools separated by only 50 miles, the Aggies lead the series 14-2.

Friday will be three years to the day that the two teams met on the hardwood, on that date No. 10 Texas A&M won 81-64 behind a strong performance by Danielle Adams off the bench with 19 points, Tanisha Smith added 17 in the winning effort. Two other Aggies scored in double figures with Tyra White adding 11 and Kelsey Assarian finished with 10 points on the night.

On the season the Aggies are led in scoring and rebounding by Kelsey Bone at 17.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Bone won many accolades for her performance in the World Vision Classic including SEC Player of the Week, ESPNW.com National Player of the Week and was named the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week by the US Basketball Writers Association. In Las Vegas Bone averaged 27.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game including a new career high in points of 33 against Old Dominion.

Prairie View is coming off a difficult loss to Toledo in the championship game of the Toledo Invite by a score of 76-41. The Panthers were led by Latia Williams with 14 points and JaQuandria Williams added 12 points. Prairie View had a rough shooting night from deep making only one of the 20 three-point shot attempts.

Tickets for Friday's game are available online at tickets.12thmanfoundation.com or in person at the Reed Arena box office. The Prairie View A&M game will continue the half-price Holiday Hoops promotion and will be Christmas Night at Reed.

Season tickets are also on sale and fans are encouraged to make sure they have a seat for all the exciting Aggie basketball action by visiting the 12th Man Foundation's Ticket Center or calling 1-(888)-992-4443.

Aggie Women's Basketball Game #13:

Texas A&M (8-4; 0-0 SEC) vs. Prairie View A&M (3-6; 0-0 SWAC)
December 28, 2012 · 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Reed Arena (12,989)
College Station, Texas
TV: None
RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network
Mike Wright, Play-by-Play
Tap Benz, Commentary
Local: KZNE-AM 1150 (College Station/Bryan)
LIVE VIDEO/AUDIO/STATS: AggieAthletics.com
TICKETS: Available at the door or online at tickets.12thManFoundation.com


COURTESY TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION

East Gadsden QB Robinson commits to play at FAMU

QB Robinson selects FAMU over offers from Division I FBS FAU and Troy

TALLAHASSEE, Florida  --  Treveze Robinson proved that he has the arm to be a solid quarterback during his high school career at East Gadsden. He also has some intangibles that should put his college coaches at ease.

While confirming Thursday that he’s committed to play college football at FAMU, Robinson was brimming with confidence. That was clear in the matter-of-fact way that he said he wants to challenge Damien Fleming for the starting job.

“I think I can come in and start as a freshman,” Robinson said. “I can win the team over. I plan to enroll for the summer because I want to be ready to compete as a true freshman.”

Corey Fuller, head coach at East Gadsden, said it’s been Robinson confidence that made him one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Bend this past season.

“As quarterback, that’s what you want,” Fuller said. “He is confident but not cocky. We support our kids and we want them to be confident because they make the team that they’re going to look better and it makes the program that they come from look better.”

Robinson, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, is the first quarterback commitment for FAMU. It caps an impressive week for him after he was named the first-team quarterback on the Democrat’s All-Big Bend team.

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HU Lady Pirates use strong second half to beat Saint Peters

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey    The Hampton University women’s basketball team picked up speed late in the first half and carried that into the second half on Thursday, beating host Saint Peter’s 62-40 at the Yanitelli Center.

The Lady Pirates (9-4) have held each of their last five opponents under 50 points. Hampton is also a perfect 6-0 on the road so far this season.

Senior forward Keiara Avant (Chesapeake, Va.) led three Lady Pirates in double figures with 14 points, while junior forward Alyssa Bennett (Hampton, Va.) added 13 points and tied her career high with 13 rebounds.

Junior guard Nicole Hamilton (Hampton, Va.) added 10 points and seven assists.

Saint Peter’s, in looking for its first win of the season, hung tough early, going up 11-9 at the 13:02 mark of the first half after a layup from Kristal Edwards. The Lady Pirates fought back, capping an 8-1 run with a layup from sophomore guard Kenia Cole (Burtonsville, Md.) at the 9:26 mark to give Hampton a 17-12 lead.

The Peacocks took a 20-19 lead with 4:26 left in the half, when Lovisa Hagberg hit a jumper to cap an 8-2 Saint Peter’s run. But the Peacocks only had one more field goal for the rest of the half, and the Lady Pirates closed the frame with a 14-2 run.

Senior guard JoNiquia Guilford (Chesapeake, Va.) capped that run with a baseline jumper as time expired, sending Hampton into the locker room with a 33-22 lead.

A 9-3 Hampton run opened the second half, as the Lady Pirates took a 42-25 lead with 13:16 to play after a layup from Avant. The run ballooned to 22-10 when Bennett hit a fastbreak layup with 7:22 remaining to give the Lady Pirates a 55-32 lead.

From there, the Peacocks never got any closer than within 20.

Hampton’s largest lead of the night came with 5:11 to play, after Cole hit a free throw to put the Lady Pirates up 58-34.

The Lady Pirates shot 38.7 percent (24-for-62) from the floor – including a 41.4 percent (12-for-29) clip in the second half. Hampton also went 10-for-12 (83.3 percent) from the free throw line, and the Lady Pirates out-rebounded the Peacocks 44-37.

Hampton also scored 29 points off of 23 Saint Peter’s turnovers.

The Peacocks (0-10) shot just 27.3 percent (15-for-55) from the floor and hit just one of their 13 3-pointers. Saint Peter’s only converted six field goals in the second half.

Aziza May and Kaydine Bent each had a team-high 10 points for the Peacocks.

The Lady Pirates will return to action on Sunday, when they head to Blacksburg, Va. to take on Virginia Tech at 2 p.m. For more information on Hampton University basketball, please call the Office of Sports Information at (757) 727-5811, or visit the official Pirates website at www.hamptonpirates.com.

Box Score

COURTESY HAMPTON UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION

HU football coach dismisses two assistant coaches


Head Coach Donovan Rose
HAMPTON UNIVERSITY
HAMPTON, Virginia  --  Hampton University head football coach Donovan Rose fired two assistant coaches as part of a staff shake-up in the wake of the Pirates' disappointing season.

Defensive coordinator Keith Goganious and wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas were let go, Rose announced Friday.\

Goganious was the coordinator for the past three seasons and was on the Pirates' staff the past four years. Thomas, a former NFL receiver for the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was on the staff for two years.

Earnest Wilson, who just completed his first season as offensive coordinator, will remain in that position and will coach running backs, rather than quarterbacks. Running backs coach David .

Hampton finished 3-7 overall, 3-5 in the MEAC this season, its worst since 1991. The Pirates' defense took a step back this year, allowing 30.4 points and 362.2 yards per game. Two years ago under Goganious, HU was third in FCS in total defense (271 ypg) and fourth in pass defense (141 ypg).

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

MU Continues Homestand Saturday Against NC Central

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin --  The Marquette University men's basketball team (8-3) continues its season-long four-game homestand Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT when the squad welcomes North Carolina Central to the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Sports32 will feature the television broadcast, with Dennis Krause (play-by-play) and Jim McIlvaine (analyst) calling the action. The two programs will be meeting for this first time and the matchup will mark the conclusion of the non-conference campaign for MU in 2012-13. After Saturday's outing, Marquette will welcome Connecticut (Jan. 1) and Georgetown (Jan. 5) to begin BIG EAST Conference competition.

MU Hoping To Continue MEAC Success

While Marquette is meeting NC Central for the first time, the Golden Eagles do own a perfect 26-0 record in program history versus teams currently in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

The Golden Eagles have collected the most victories (5-0) against Morgan State and Coppin State and most recently defeated Savannah State 71-51 on Dec. 15.

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Virginia Tech returns to action, hosting N.C. A&T

BLACKSBURG, Virginia  --  The Virginia Tech women's basketball team will be back on the court following the holiday break to host North Carolina A&T on Friday, Dec. 28 in a 2 p.m. contest at Cassell Coliseum.

Game Information
Radio: 100.7 FM WNMX
Talent: Mike Lefko, play-by-play
TV: None
Live Stats: Link
Live Video: None
Game Notes: Link
Game Audio: Listen

The Series- Virginia Tech and North Carolina A&T have met just one other time in program history, with the Hokies picking up an 85-56 win on Dec. 5, 2007 in Blacksburg.
- This is the first of two consecutive games for the Hokies against teams from the MEAC. Tech will face Hampton on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.
- Virginia Tech is 16-3 all-time against teams from the MEAC.

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Horne: Late addition (Rick Comegy) won't change timeline for finding football coach at FAMU

Head Coach Rick Comegy
JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY
TALLAHASSEE, Florida  --  It was back to the drawing board for the search committee that is helping FAMU find its next head football coach.

A snafu during the application process, which closed on Dec. 11, left out Rick Comegy, 59, the current head coach at Jackson State.

Members of the committee were informed of the omission, interim sports information director Vaughn Wilson told the Democrat on Wednesday.

Athletic Director Derek Horne later said that members of the committee received Comegy’s resume for review. He expected those to be completed by late Wednesday or today.

“It’s one application and we forwarded it to them (the committee),” Horne said.

“If there is any slow up it might be little to minimum. The good thing about the committee is even though some of them might be off for the holidays they can review it and get their responses back to us.”

Horne said he is still on his timeline to have a coach in place by Jan. 12. Last week, Horne said that he would like to start the interview process on Jan. 2, when FAMU resumes business.

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The Comegy File....
  • Currently head football coach for Jackson State University Tigers from 2006 to present; Comegy has a JSU career record of 32-24; Tigers played in 2012 SWAC Championship game with UAPB; Won 2007 SWAC Championship;  Under Comegy's leadership the Tigers have produced 27 All-SWAC selections, the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, AFCA All-American (Marcellus Speaks-2008), SBN All-Americans QB Casey Therriault and Renty Rollins (2010) SWAC Championship Game Offensive Player of the Game (Jimmy Oliver-2007) and Defensive Player of the Game (Domonique Johnson-2007). Wide receiver Jaymar Johnson was drafted by Minnesota in the sixth round of the 2008 draft and Domonique Johnson and Marcus Benard signed NFL contracts (with Denver and Cleveland respectively) in 2009.
  • Served under College Football Hall of Famer and former FAMU Head Coach William "Billy Joe" at Central State University (Ohio) in 80's and 90's.
  • Won four Black College National Championships (1986, 1987, 1988, and 1989) as an assistant coach under Coach Billy Joe at Central State University (Ohio).
  • Served as Division II Tuskegee University head coach for ten years with a career record of 90-26 (.776) (1996-2005).
  • Won the 1995 NAIA National Football Championship as head coach at Central State University (Ohio).
  • Served as head football coach at Cheyney University 1990-1991.
  • Served as head baseball coach at Colgate University 1980-1984, amassing a 33-90 career record.
  • Served as assistant football coach at Colgate University 1978-1984.
  • Served as assistant football coach at Millersville State University (Pa.) 1975-1977.
  • Played college football at Millersville State University (Pa.) as a defensive back in the 1970's.

-beepbeep

UMES Competes in Terrapin Classic for Final Games of 2012

COLLEGE PARK, Maryland  --  The Lady Hawks head to the University of Maryland to compete in the Terrapin Classic starting on Friday. On Friday, UMES takes on Hartford at 2:30 p.m. at the Comcast Center. The next day, the Lady Hawks will either face Maryland at 4:30 p.m. or Brown at 7:00 p.m.

The Terrapin Classic will be a tournament format, with the winners of Friday's games playing each other on Saturday and the same with the defeated teams.

Tickets for the event will be available through Maryland's athletics web site and at the arena. Fans who buy a ticket for Friday's games may buy a ticket for Saturday's games at half-price. Parking is free in lots around the Comcast Center for both days.

UMES comes into Friday at 4-6, while Hartford stands at 8-3.

• LAST TIME OUT: UMES earned its fourth win of the season, using a 23-point performance from Karona Roach to defeat in-state rival UMBC 51-45 at the Hytche on December 21st. With UMBC leading 35-28 with 11:30 left to play, the Lady Hawks finished the game on a 23-10 run, holding off the Retrievers in the final minute to earn the win. Roach's 23 points was a career-high, adding five boards, while Shawnee Sweeney tallied 10 points and two assists. For UMBC, Bria White finished with a team-high 15 points, while Raven Harris had 12 points, seven steals and six rebounds.

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Year In Review: The top 10 local college stories of 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida  --  Football is king in this country, and so it was on the local college scene this year. While Bethune-Cookman dominated its conference, Stetson put together its first team in 56 years, reigniting football fever on the west side of the county.

Our local colleges also excelled in other sports. Here is a look at the top 10 local college stories of the year:
 
1. Bethune-Cookman football makes playoffs, re-signs coach
 
The Wildcats went undefeated in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for the first time in 28 years and qualified for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the fourth time in school history — the second time in three years since Brian Jenkins became head coach.
 
The season wasn't without controversy, however. Jenkins refused to let his players speak to the media after a loss at Miami, and he was ejected from the Morgan State game, which led to a reprimand and fine from the MEAC.
 
After the season, Jenkins showed interest in the head coaching job at Southern University, but the day before his scheduled interview in Baton Rouge, La., he signed a contract extension to remain with the Wildcats.
 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

TSU's Coach Inman Announces First Class of Signees

NASHVILLE, Tennessee  --  Women's Basketball head coach Larry Joe Inman announced his first signing class at Tennessee State. The 2013-14 incoming class consists of Imani Davis (Tulsa, Okla.), Alexis Haddock (Collinwood, Tenn.), Jayda Johnson (Knoxville, Tenn.), Jemilah Leonard (Nashville, Tenn.), and Julie McCarthy (Honefoss, Norway).

The class addresses the needs created by the graduation of six seniors, Destiney Gaston, Kesi Hess, Simone Hopes, Avery Jones, Denisha Mumford and Jasmin Shuler.

"You just do not replace six or seven seniors," Inman said. "It is a very inopportune situation for us to have to sign six or seven players. But I am very excited about our early commitments and I just hope we can continue what we are doing."

Davis, a 6-0 wing, is listed as the No. 21-ranked athlete at her position according to ESPN Hoopgurlz. The Union High School product is a three-year starter for Jim Stacy and averaged 12.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game. She is a three-time All-Conference and two-time All-State team member and was named to the VYPE Oklahoma Sports Magazine Top 100. Davis has had success in track and field as she claimed the 2012 Oklahoma 6A state championship in the high jump. At the same meet, she placed sixth in the 400 meters and ninth in the long jump.

"The fact Imani is the Oklahoma state high jump champion shows her athleticism. She has a poise most freshmen do not have and we look to her to contribute right away. She still needs to learn how to make the transition from high school to college, but has the right mental attitude and work ethic to make that adjustment. We are very excited for her to be a part of our program."

Haddock, a 5-8 guard from Collinwood High School averaged 13.2 points a game, while playing in all 28 games as a junior. The four-year starter plays AAU ball for Beth and Zac Stark on the TN Team Pride.

"Lexi is an extremely aggressive young lady who plays hard. She is a very gifted shooter who plays for an AAU team with a much respected coaching staff. We are very excited with what she brings in work ethic and versatility. We also like how aggressive she is when guarding her opponent."

Johnson, a 6-0 forward, is projected as the No. 91-ranked forward by ESPN Hoopgurlz. She averaged 16.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.8 steals per game as she led Coach John Fisher's Fulton High School team to a 26-3 record. FHS claimed a District 3-AA Championship and a spot in the Region 2-AA semifinals. Johnson earned a spot on the All-State team after her freshman and junior seasons and was named to the Prep Xtra 1st team during the same two campaigns. In July, 2012, her TN Flight Silver summer team won the Nike National Championship.

"Jayda was the first one to commit to us here at TSU. She is a strong young lady and is the kind of young athlete who does not take a back seat to anybody. She is very physical, very aggressive, very dominating, and is a great finisher around the basket. She is also the type of kid who can step outside and shoot the three. Most of the kids we are signing early are very versatile with their skills and abilities."
 


Leonard, a 5-7 guard, is regarded as the No. 37-ranked point guard according to ESPN Hoopgurlz. A four-year starter for Cherish Stringfield at Hillsboro High School averaged 11 points, four rebounds, five steals, and four assists per game as a junior. As a sophomore, she assisted the Burros to a District championship, while earning All-City and All-Region recognition. Leonard continued her success as a junior by being named to the All-District and All-City teams.

"A very similar player as Haddock has nice ‘quicks', a nice jump shot from all spots on the court, and is really good off the bounce. She will also get in your face and guard you tough. We need help playing defense for 40 solid minutes and it takes very dedicated kids who are sold out to play defense and we feel she will do this for us. "

McCarthy, is a 6-2 forward/center who comes to TSU from Norway where she is a member of the U18 national team. At the European Championships, McCarthy registered three double-doubles while averaging 12.2 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Her top game came against Israel as she scored 24 points and pulled down 24 boards. McCarthy transitioned to basketball after spending time on the world renowned Norwegian junior national team handball squad.

"Julie has a little more maturity than the average freshman due to her international experience. She will have to transition in styles as she is more use to a finesse style and we play more of a physical game. Her time playing on the team handball national team shows the type of talented athlete she is and she will be asked to play early."

With the departure of a large class, Inman's first class will be asked to make the transition quickly.

"Everyone who comes in has to contribute," Inman stated. "We don't like to look at freshmen and say they are freshmen. We look at them as basketball players. They all have experience internationally or through AAU. There are adjustments that need to be made, but they come in game ready. They all bring in a strong work ethic and a winning attitude. And that is what we need to change things here."

 COURTESY TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION

TSU Tops College Sporting News All-American Team

NASHVILLE, Tennessee  --  Led by a running back and a big tight end, the Tigers of Tennessee State topped the selections for the 2012 Inside the HBCU Huddle/College Sporting News All-American Team.
 
The Tigers were named HBCU Program of the Year as Coach Rod Reed led the Tigers to an 8-3 record and a No. 1 ranking in the Final Top 10 Poll Ranking. TSU finished with three top five wins (3-0), wins over Arkansas Pine Bluff (No. 2; Major Division), Bethune-Cookman (No. 3; Major Division), and Jackson State (No. 4; Major Division) as well as a 4-0 record against HBCU competition includes defeating unranked Florida A&M.

TE A.C. Leonard in his first season with TSU after transferring from Florida, was the tight end selection after catching 51 passes for 733 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games. The 733 yards were the most by a tight end at the FCS level this year and was the fourth most throughout all four divisions of college football (FBS, FCS, D-II and D-III). He led all HBCU tight ends in receptions, yards, yards per reception (14.4) and touchdowns.

After a stellar 2011 season, RB
Trabis Ward continued to refine his skills as he finished the 2012 season with 309 attempts, 1,460 yards 4.6 yards per run and 15 touchdowns. It was the second most rushing attempts in a single season in TSU history as well as the third most rushing yards in a single season.
DB Steven Godbolt III is one of two sophomores on the defensive unit. He picked off six passes in 10 games to finish first nationally in interceptions per game (0.60). He had two separate streaks during the 2012 season of three consecutive games with an interception.

Left tackle
Rogers Gaines was a part of a TSU offensive line that led the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing at 175.7 yards per game. The senior did not give up a sack all season and graded out at a 93.6. He also earned OVC 1st team Offense.

Junior kicker
Jamin Godfrey was 16-of-20 on field goals during the 2012 season. He tied his own school record that he set last season with 16 field goals and broke the school record for career field goals with 41.

TSU finished the season 8-3, the most wins in an 11 game season since 2001.

 

 
 
2012 INSIDE THE HBCU HUDDLE/CSN ALL-AMERICAN TEAM

OFFENSE

QB, Nick Elko, (6'2", 210, R Senior; Odenton, MD), Delaware State University
WR, Rico Richardson (6'1", 185, Senior; Natchez, MS), Jackson State University
WR, Xavier Boyce, (6'4", 220, R Senior; Virginia Beach, VA), Norfolk State University
RB, Trabis Ward, (5'10", 200, R Junior; Fort Lauderdale, FL), Tennessee State University
RB, Isaiah Crowell, (5'11", 190, Sophomore; Columbus, GA), Alabama State University
TE, A.C. Leonard, (6'4", 245, Sophomore; Jacksonville, FL), Tennessee State University
OT, Terron Armstead, 6'5", 320, Senior; Cahokia, IL), University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
OL Rogers Gaines, (6'7", 320, R Senior; Goodlettsville, TN), Tennessee State University
C, Eugene Solomon, 6'4", 270, Senior; Savannah, GA), Bethune Cookman University
OL Terrance Hackney, (6'6", 310, Junior; Chapel Hill, NC), Bethune-Cookman University
OT Terren Jones (6'8", 305, Junior; Fort Walton Beach, FL), Alabama State University

DEFENSE

DL, Harold Love III, (6'3", 325, Senior; Portland, OR), Bethune Cookman University
DE, Brandon Thurmond, (6'2", 260, Senior; Augusta, GA), University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
DE, Joseph LeBeau, (6'1", 245, Junior; New Orleans, LA), Jackson State University
DT, Robert Simpson, (6'4", 255, Junior; Gulfport, MS), Mississippi Valley State University
LB, Bill Ross, (6'2", 240, Senior; Wetumpka, AL), University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
LB, Lynden Trail, (6'7", 250, R Sophomore; Miami, FL), Norfolk State University
LB, Keith Pough, (6'2", 225, Junior; Orangeburg, SC), Howard University
DB, Qua Cox, (6'0", 185, R Junior; Tuskegee, AL), Jackson State University
CB, Steven Godbolt III, (6'1", 180, R Junior; Cross City, FL), Tennessee State University
CB, D’Vonte Graham, (5'9", 180, Junior; Tallahassee, FL), North Carolina A&T State University
FS, Kejuan Riley, (6'0", 180, Junior; Wetumpka, AL), Alabama State University

SPECIAL TEAMS


K, Jamin Godfrey, (6'0", 180, Junior; Englewood, TN), Tennessee State University
KR Arthur Goforth, (5'8", 171, Senior; Columbia, SC), North Carolina Central University
P, Bobby Wenzig, (6'2", 180, Junior; San Diego, CA), Alabama State University
PR Arthur Goforth, (5'8", 171, Senior; Columbia, SC), North Carolina Central University

Follow TSU Athletics on Facebook.com/TSUTigers, Twitter @TSU_Tigers and YouTube


COURTESY TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION