Friday, November 30, 2012

SWAC title would be fine end to Jackson State CB Cox's year

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama  -- Qua Cox already has more interceptions (4) and more tackles (43) than he did a year ago.

But Jackson State’s redshirt junior corner is far from ready to label this season a success as the Tigers approach the Dec. 8 SWAC Championship against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Next Saturday’s game against UAPB presents Cox, who is currently tied for the league lead in interceptions, with a rare opportunity — a championship.

UAPB (9-2) beat JSU (7-4) earlier this season 34-24.

“I’ve never been close to one,” Cox said. “My high school never won over five games. You have a lot of guys that haven’t been to a championship game, including me, that haven’t ever won anything. So you got a lot of guys rising up and getting ready.”


New Yorkers add spice to Spartans' win in home debut

NORFOLK, Virginia  --  The boroughs were represented at Echols Hall on Thursday night.

The visiting St. Francis Terriers hail from Brooklyn. Home-at-last Norfolk State had starters from Brooklyn and the Bronx and four other New Yorkers on the roster.

The game had a Big Apple feel as well, with both teams taking a straight-to-the-rim approach. They combined for 92 points in the paint, although neither had a low-post presence to speak of.

In the end, a point guard from Brooklyn grabbed the game by the lapels and shook it. Making play after heady play over the final six minutes, NSU's Jamel Fuentes steered his team to an 85-79 win in front of 3,376 in the Spartans' home opener.

"He was tremendous down the stretch. He put the game on his back," coach Anthony Evans said.

Morgan State football coach finds out in accidental email that school is looking to replace him

Donald Hill-Eley
BALTIMORE, Maryland  --  Morgan State football coach Donald Hill-Eley said he might soon be out of a job after he accidentally received an e-mail earlier this week outlining the university’s plans to seek a replacement.

Hill-Eley, who has led the Bears to a 54-69 record in 11 seasons, said he hadn’t heard anything official from the university as of this morning despite receiving the e-mail on Tuesday evening.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” Hill-Eley said when reached today on his cell phone. A university spokesman said he had no immediate comment about Hill-Eley’s status.

The coach said he has faced greater expectations to win since David Wilson became the university’s president two years ago but said he has not received the bump in resources he would need to achieve that goal. He said four assistant coaches, for example, don’t receive health benefits from the university.

“He said the expectations had changed,” Hill-Eley said, recalling a conversation with Wilson. “But the input didn’t change, so how do you expect things to change on Saturday?”

Mini-doc chronicles Tuskegee's SIAC title game win against Fort Valley State (video)

ATLANTA, Georgia  --  The game was nearly three weeks ago.

But this nearly 14-minute video, chronicling Tuskegee's victory against Fort Valley State (Ga.) in the SIAC title game is well worth the wait. It was produced by the conference and it includes an inside look at both team's pregame rituals and a great narration of the Golden Tigers' 55-24 victory at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta

And, of course, the Golden Tigers band's rendition of Big Pokey's "Ball and Parlay" is featured rather prominently.


Pioneer Bowl Buzz: Tuskegee vs. Elizabeth City State University

PIONEER BOWL BUZZ - Tuskegee vs. Elizabeth City State University
WHAT:  Tuskegee (10-1) vs. Elizabeth City State (7-4)
WHEN: Saturday, noon
WHERE:  A.J. McClung Stadium in Columbus, Ga.
TV: None

THIS GAME WILL DETERMINE: Pitting Tuskegee, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, and Elizabeth City State, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference runner-up against each other means bragging rights will be on the line. With CIAA champion Winston-Salem State, having reached the third round of the playoffs, the winner of this game could at least lay claim to being the second-best Division II football team in the country. Tuskegee, which doesn't participate in the playoffs in order to keep its longstanding rivalry against FCS Alabama State in Turkey Day Classic alive, might think it deserves the top spot.

1. Will Elizabeth City show signs of rust? The Vikings haven't played since November 10th when Winston Salem State defeated them 34-19 in the CIAA title game in Durham, N.C. Tuskegee played on Thanksgiving Day, earning its 10th straight win and seems to be getting better with each game. A three-week layoff could adversely impact Elizabeth City, especially early on.


Ram Ramblings: WSSU fans, students, alumni should be riding this football wave

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  --  I don’t pretend to know what it was like at Winston-Salem State in the late 1970s when the football team, coached by a young Bill Hayes, was the talk of the CIAA. During the 1977 and ’78 regular-seasons the Rams went unbeaten.

I was 12-years-old then and living in the suburbs of Chicago and I don’t remember seeing highlights from those Rams teams on the Internet. (Insert joke here).

Anyway, my point is that from what folks tell me about that time at WSSU it was considered the best it’s ever been in football. The 1977 team didn't go to the playoffs and wound up losing to S.C. State in the Gold Bowl.

In 1978 the Rams won their first playoff game in a 17-0 win over Cal Poly then lost in the semifinals the next week to Delaware. Those two years are generally considered the bench mark of success at WSSU until recently.

Just like last year’s WSSU team that had a legitimate shot at winning the school’s first national championship in football this year’s team is on the same track.


HBCU Football Sees Abysmal Attendance

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  --  In a year filled with band scandals and mediocre football teams, there have been few bright spots in HBCU football. Winston-Salem State has been one of them. The Rams have completed back-to-back undefeated regular seasons, won the CIAA title both years, and made it to the national semifinals of the Division II football playoffs in 2011.

Saturday, the team hosted and won its fourth playoff game in two years, defeating Shippensburg 37-14. This Saturday the Rams will host Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the third round of the playoffs. Despite having earned home-field advantage as a number one seed, however, that may be the last playoff game in Bowman Gray Stadium for a while, even if the Rams win.

The Winston-Salem Journal‘s John Dell reports that should both WSSU and fellow No. 1 seed Colorado-Pueblo both win their games this week, the Rams may be forced to go on the road due to low attendance figures in the playoffs.

Just over 3,200 fans showed up at Bowman Gray Stadium to watch the Rams defeat the Red Raiders. That’s a particularly troubling number, considering that the stadium holds more than 20,000 fans.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Bill Hayes ...


Thursday, November 29, 2012

McIntosh now a BSU Bulldog at the college level

BOWIE, Maryland  -- The last time the Bowie State women’s basketball team played a postseason game, its season ended at the hands of Shaw University in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament last spring.

With the Bulldogs scheduled to play Shaw again in January, are they looking forward to the chance to exact revenge on the Bears? Well, not exactly. Hardly any of the Bowie State players who suited up for that game are returning this season.

With roster turnover being an inevitable fact of life for Bowie State this year, some patience may be required.

One of the nine new players debuting for the hometown team this year is Bowie native and Bowie High grad Jasmine McIntosh. A junior in the classroom and sophomore on the team, McIntosh is excited to begin her second stint as a Bulldog … this time on the college level.

“Besides being close to home, I liked the campus,” said McIntosh, who transferred from East Tennessee State University at the end of the 2011-’12 school year. “I got along with the coaches. Everything just seemed like a good fit for me.”

And McIntosh appears to be a good fit for the team. At 5 feet 11 inches, she brings size to the shooting guard position. But she also provides versatility, as she can play both forward spots as well. She prefers the two guard position, however, which seems to fit her skill set best.


Lincoln routs Bloomsburg to move to 4-1

LOWER OXFORD, Pennsylvania  --   Don’t look now, but the Lincoln men are off to their best start in nearly two decades of basketball.  

And the Lions’ latest victim, Bloomsburg, came to Manuel Rivero Gymnasium on Wednesday for an intriguing non-conference clash only to exit on the short end of an 81-67 blowout. Lincoln is off to a 4-1 start, and the lone setback came to St. Leo, a top-10 team in Division II. 

The list of impressive victories features a season opening shocker against Division I Howard, but the win over the Huskies certainly stacks up as a quality win. Bloomsburg (2-2) was picked in the preseason coach’s poll to finish third in the eight-team PSAC East.
“(Bloomsburg) is a quality team,” said LU head coach John Hill. “And I’d like to think we are heading in that direction.”

The first meeting between these two in a quarter century played out quite differently than the last, when Bloomsburg blasted the Lions 133-70 back in 1987. This time around, however, Lincoln was quicker, more athletic and exhibited much more depth. The Lions forced 20 turnovers, turned them into 28 points, and had a 23-5 edge in off-the-bench scoring.

Nuggets' Gaston-Loyd chosen GCAC Player of the Week

Whitney Gaston-Loyd
NEW ORLEANS — Whitney Gaston-Loyd, Xavier University of Louisiana's leading scorer during a 3-0 week which included back-to-back victories against ranked teams, has been chosen Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week in women's basketball for Nov. 19-25.

Gaston-Loyd, a 6-foot junior center from Shreveport, La., and a graduate of Southwood High School, won the award after averaging 10.7 points and shooting 60.9 percent from the floor. Her basket with 6.3 seconds remaining Nov. 19 gave Xavier a 46-45 victory against NAIA No. 19 LSU-Shreveport. Her basket with 14:24 remaining Thursday put Xavier ahead to stay and started an 11-2 run which carried the Gold Nuggets to a 46-38 victory against NAIA No. 14 Langston in the Xavier Classic.

The following day she played just nine minutes in an 84-39 victory against Texas College but made 5-of-5 from the floor to share team scoring honors. For the week she scored 32 points in 56 minutes. The victories against LSUS and Langston marked the first time in Bo Browder's 14 seasons as head coach that the Gold Nuggets defeated ranked teams in consecutive regular-season games.
Through seven games, Gaston-Loyd is averaging 8.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 18 minutes and is shooting 52.1 percent from the floor and 63.6 percent from the line. She leads the Gold Nuggets in field-goal accuracy and is tied for second in scoring. Gaston-Loyd is in her first season at Xavier after playing for NCAA Division I member Arkansas-Little Rock the past two seasons.

Xavier, 6-1 and ranked 11th in NAIA Division I, will play city rival Loyola next Wednesday (Dec. 5) at 5:30 p.m. at XU's new Convocation Center. It will be a doubleheader that day, with the Xavier and Loyola men meeting at 7:30.

Ed Cassiere, SID

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Simmons, Gold Rush extend their streaks, hold off Rams

NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Simmons recorded his third consecutive double-double, 17 points and 12 rebounds, to lead NAIA No. 19 Xavier University of Louisiana to a 69-66 men's basketball victory Tuesday against Mobile at the Convocation Center.

The victory was a third in a row for the Gold Rush (9-1).

Wanto Joseph had 14 points and a season-high-tying eight assists for Xavier, and Denzell Erves had 11 points and a career-high-tying four blocked shots. Joseph and Erves have scored in double figures in every game this season.

Kwame Beard made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points for Mobile (4-2). Chris Richardson scored 14 points, and Dominick Brumfield had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Mobile never caught Xavier after Simmons scored the first two points. The Gold Rush led 35-29 at halftime an extended the lead to 48-38 before the Rams closed the margin to 60-59 with 2:40 remaining.

A Xavier turnover in the final 10 seconds gave Mobile a chance to force overtime, but Chris Richardson missed a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining, and Xavier's Gary Smith rebounded.

Xavier committed a season-low nine turnovers and outshot the Rams 49 to 44.2 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 33-27. Mobile dominated on the perimeter, making 11-of-24 3-pointers to Xavier's 0-of-8. But the Gold Rush outscored the Rams 19-9 on free throws.

Xavier has won 30 of its past 32 non-conference home games and 49-of-52. It's the sixth time in Dannton Jackson's 10 seasons as head coach that the Gold Rush started 9-1 or better.

Xavier's next game will start at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 against city rival Loyola at the Convocation Center. It will be the final Gold Rush home game of the fall semester.

Box score

By Ed Cassiere, SID

Gold Nuggets beat Mobile for 4th consecutive victory

NEW ORLEANS -- Simon Franklin scored 15 points Tuesday to lead NAIA No. 11 Xavier University of Louisiana to a 58-53 women's basketball victory against Mobile at the Convocation Center.

The Gold Nuggets (6-1), who have a four-game win streak, led for the final 33 minutes.

Franklin also had four assists and five steals. She scored nine points in the second half.

Danielle Tucker and Paige Gauthier scored nine points apiece for Xavier, and Carmen Holcombe grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds. Gauthier made both her 3-point attempts.

Shontae Dillon scored 16 points and Briana Edwards 13 for Mobile (3-5), which dropped its third in a row.

Franklin, Gauthier, Tucker and Andraquay Quinnine scored six points apiece to lead the Gold Nuggets to a 33-30 halftime lead. Gauthier's basket with 12:45 remaining gave Xavier its biggest lead, 46-34.

Mobile outshot Xavier 48.9 to 36.8 percent from the floor -- the sixth consecutive game the Nuggets shot less than 40 percent -- but the Nuggets had advantages of 41-21 in rebounds and 28-6 in bench points.

Xavier has won 46 of its past 49 home games, including 6-of-7 this season in its new home facility.

Xavier's next game will start at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5 against city rival Loyola at the Convocation Center. It will be the Nuggets' final home game of the fall semester.

Box score

By Ed Cassiere, SID

XU's Erves wins his 4th GCAC Player of the Week award

NEW ORLEANS — For the first time this season and the fourth time in his career, Xavier University of Louisiana's Denzell Erves has been chosen Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week.

Erves, a 6-foot-7 senior forward from Vicksburg, Miss., and a graduate of Vicksburg High School, won the award for Nov. 19-25 after averaging 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds and shooting 71.4 percent from the floor and 76.9 percent from the line in three games. He produced double-doubles against William Carey and Concordia (Ala.), giving him six in 10 games this season.

 Erves scored a season-high 21 points Saturday (8-of-9 field goals) in a victory against Wiley at the Memphis (Tenn.) HBCU Classic. Xavier was 2-0 in that event and earned back-to-back victories on a neutral court for the first time since November 2004.

Erves won the GCAC player award three times in 2011-12. He is the Gold Rush's second honoree this season — senior guard Wanto Joseph earned the honor for Nov. 5-11.

Through 10 games, Erves is averaging 14.5 points, nine rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots and is shooting 53.5 percent from the floor and 72.5 percent from the line. He ranks 10th in NAIA Division I in rebounds per game and 12th in blocks per game.

Xavier, 9-1 and ranked 19th in NAIA Division I, will play city rival Loyola next Wednesday (Dec. 5) at 7:30 p.m. at XU's new Convocation Center.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Ram Ramblings: Massey will likely play key role on Saturday

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  --   It was easy to spot the break-out player this past Saturday when the Rams routed Shippensburg at Bowman Gray Stadium.

Jameze Massey, a senior wide receiver who needs just five more yards to reach 1,000 this season, had one of his best games of his career. Massey, who is only 5-8 and about 170 pounds, is deceptively fast.

“He brings excitement and he’s elusive when he has the football in his hands,” Coach Connell Maynor said. “And it’s my job to get him the ball and if I don’t get him the ball I’m a stupid coach or I’d probably get fired. So that’s what I’m trying to do is get him the ball whenever we can.”

Maynor says that Massey, who also returns punts and kickoffs, usually makes things happen when he gets the ball.

“People probably don’t realize how fast he is until he’s going around the corner on them,” Maynor said. “And all they see is the bottom of his shoes and he’s a tremendous athlete and I’m glad he plays for me.”


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TSU Men's Basketball Runs Over Fisk, 92-53

NASHVILLE, Tennessee  --  The Tennessee State men's basketball team (2-5) had its best shooting performance since Feb. 19, 2011 en route to a 92-53 win over Fisk on Monday night.
TSU shot 57.1 percent (32-56) from the field and 31.6 percent (6-19) from beyond the arc during the contest while limiting the Bulldogs to just a 29 percent line (18-62).

It was a big night for TSU's post players, especially seniors Robert Covington and Kellen Thornton.

Covington had a season-high 29 points and 14 points while Thornton chipped in with 22 points of his own. The duo combined to shoot 21-27 from the field and helped the Tigers edge the Bulldogs 45-28 on the glass.

Rashad Williams led Fisk with 15 points, but the forward was limited in the second half due to foul trouble.

The Tigers got the first possession of the game and then Covington went to work. He first tipped in a shot by Thornton and then dunked the ball off of a steal from the inbound pass. The sudden surge prompted a timeout from Fisk with only 30 seconds gone off of the clock.

After another Covington basket at the 19:04 mark, the Tigers ran down the court and found Covington wide open beyond the arc. He nailed that shot and another three to help TSU start the game on a 17-0 run.

With 15:11 left in the opening half, Chaed Wellian had his first points in a TSU uniform with a jumper. The shot made the score 19-2 with Big Blue on top.

The Tigers continued their charge later in the period and led 29-13 on another tip-in from Covington. Through the first 13 minutes of the game, Covington had 18 of TSU's 29 points and eight of the team's 14 boards.

TSU finished the half on a 10-2 run that spanned over six minutes and included baskets by five different Tigers. Jordan Cyphers canned his second three-pointer of the period to lead the TSU offense.

Tennessee State had 22 points in the paint during the opening frame and held a 27-16 advantage on the boards.

Thornton got the team started in the second half with a strong one-handed dunk within the first minute of action, and the Tigers never looked back on the way to an 11-2 opening run.

At the 16 minute mark, Thornton stole the ball around the top of the key and he ran the floor by himself for a highlight reel break-away slam. The rim rocker made the score 51-24 in favor of the home side.

The Tigers extended their lead to 41 with just under four minutes left to go in the game when Wellian canned his first career three-pointer.

Tennessee State got 29 points from its bench and won its most lopsided game since the first game of the 1998-99 season when the Tigers beat Fisk 97-52.

TSU will next travel to Alabama A&M on Saturday, Dec. 1 for a 7 p.m. tip-off.


Bethune-Cookman has key talent returning

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida  --  Bethune-Cookman’s FCS playoff run didn’t last long, as Coastal Carolina won 24-14 in the first round on Saturday.

Although the Wildcats (9-3) would like to still be playing, they should be in good shape to defend their MEAC championship next season and make another trip back to the FCS playoffs.

B-CU head coach Brian Jenkins, the MEAC Coach of the Year, has a number of key players returning in 2013, including star running back Isidore Jackson and quarterback Quentin Williams.

Up front, B-CU is led by offensive lineman Terrance Hackney who does a magnificent job of opening holes for the running game and pass protecting. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound sophomore has great strength and can really move his feet.

Defensively, the Wildcats could be even stronger. LeBrandon Richardson is a great pass-rushing defensive end. Richardson recorded 8.5 sacks this season and also had 53 total tackles, including 31 solo.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Young GSU Tigers have building blocks

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana  -- The 2012 football season mercifully came to end for Grambling on Saturday in a 38-33 loss to Southern in the Bayou Classic.

The Tigers (1-10, 0-9 Southwestern Athletic Conference) went winless in league play for the first time since joining the SWAC in 1958, but Grambling didn't leave the Mercedes-Benz Superdome empty-handed.

Although no GSU coach, player or alumni is accustomed to a season like this (it's the worst record in program history since at least 1941), Tiger fans did see a team that didn't quit in the season finale.

The Grambling defense forced two early turnovers, which the offense cashed in for a 14-0 lead.

The Tigers looked the best they had all season with the offense and defense producing at the same time, a rarity in 2012.

But Southern quarterback ...


Defense shines in WSSU’s playoff win

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  --  Winston-Salem State made a serious statement Saturday afternoon in blowing out Shippensburg 37-14 in the second round of the Division II football playoffs.

The main talking point was about the defense.

The Rams were without injured starting quarterback Kam Smith, and although Anthony Carrothers more than held his own, the key was an aggressive defense that had the Red Raiders figured out.

Defensive coordinator Kienus Boulware didn’t do much that was different from the regular season, despite an opponent that had the most potent Division II offense in the country.

A four-man rush and occasional blitzes kept the pressure on quarterback Zach Zulli. The Rams sacked him just twice, but they funneled their coverage to force Zulli outside, and that’s where he had trouble.

“We just got pressure on him,” Coach Connell Maynor of WSSU said. “We said if we could rush four and get pressure on him, it would be a long day. That’s what we did, and we forced him to throw out routes instead of in the middle of the field.”


Sunday, November 25, 2012

B-CU vs. CCU Notebook: Wildcats' Jenkins says 'it has been a really good ride'

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida  --  An odd scene played out late in Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins' press conference Saturday night.

Responding to a question about his team's national relevance, Jenkins stated the reasons he felt his Wildcats were a “national level” team.
He ended by noting that building the program has been a “collective effort,” before saying, “It's been a really good ride. I've enjoyed it, and we will see what is next.”
When a reporter asked if that meant that Jenkins might be on the move, the coach insisted that is not what he said. Then he went on to not exactly close the door on the idea.
“My main thing is celebrating with my family and moving forward,” Jenkins said. “We all know opportunities present themselves. We all know that, and I'm not going to sit here and pretend like opportunities don't present themselves.
“All I can tell you is it is very hard for me to leave a university that loves me, and I love it. It's hard for me to love a team that I really, really love. I love my players. They love me. It's very, very hard.”

Southern hangs on to beat Grambling in Bayou Classic

NEW ORLEANS — After a coaching change, a winning streak and a losing streak, at the end of the season that began with so much turmoil and ended Saturday with Southern’s best chance to win a Bayou Classic for the first time since 2007, linebacker Franchot West found himself in the middle of the field inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, scrambling with his teammates, barking above the noise, trying to stop Grambling one last time.

West and the Jaguars had taken a big lead, then nearly given all of it away. The archrival Tigers were driving for a potential game-winning score with less than a minute left.

From both sidelines, coaches and players screamed. The crowd of 45,980, though small, scattered and late-arriving, was certainly into it.

Moments before his fumble recovery preserved a thrilling 38-33 win in this matchup of two teams with disappointing records, West learned his responsibility: Spy on Grambling quarterback Frank Rivers, then make a play if the action comes your way.

West watched as defensive lineman Donald Phillips ...


It’s business first for Massey and the WSSU Rams

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  --  College football is part business and part entertainment on any weekend, even Thanksgiving.

Winston-Salem State, burned in the NCAA semifinals last season, has re-calibrated the formula during a second run at the Division II title — more business, less entertainment.

The approach worked marvelously Saturday. WSSU, playing without injured quarterback Kameron Smith, overcame three first-half turnovers and pounded Shippensburg 37-14 at Bowman Gray Stadium.

Rams backup Anthony Carrothers, making his first start in two seasons, passed for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Jameze (pronounced J-Mez) Massey caught eight passes and hauled in two of those touchdowns, covering 69 and 33 yards with his elusive speed.

The plays came straight out of the replay vault from the CIAA title game. After Smith hurt his shoulder that afternoon, Carrothers rallied the offense, and Massey won the MVP award for his three touchdowns. Massey, a 5-8 senior from Monroe, figured Carrothers could do it again because he played for a 9-2 team before transferring from Grambling State.

“We just had to get him some confidence because he hasn’t been playing that much this year, and this was a big game,” Massey said. “He had a couple of mistakes — threw an interception for six (points) and fumbled down there — but when I looked in his eyes after that, he told me he was good. I took it from there. Because of the look in his eyes, I believed him.”


Xavier's stellar shooting beats Wiley in Memphis HBCU Classic

MEMPHIS, Tennessee --  Denzell Erves scored a season-high 21 points Saturday to lead hot-shooting Xavier University of Louisiana to a 76-61 men's basketball victory against Wiley on the second and final day of the Memphis HBCU Classic at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

The Gold Rush (8-1) shot 71.1 percent from the floor, XU's best in nearly 200 games. Erves was 8-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line. The accuracy was Xavier's best since a school-record 75.9 percent in a victory against Tougaloo at The Barn on Feb. 5, 2007.

Wanto Joseph had 16 points, six assists and three steals for Xavier, and Anthony Simmons had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double and third in four games. Reserve forward Olivier Siewe had season highs of seven points and seven rebounds. Freshman guard Gary Smith, starting for the second consecutive game, scored a season-high seven points and was 3-of-3 from the floor. Nick Haywood had a career-high-tying six assists.

Xavier led 16-6 after hitting 8-of-9 from the floor in the first seven minutes. The Gold Rush led 37-19 at halftime -- Xavier's largest halftime lead on the road since January 2008 -- and took a 43-21 lead on Simmons' two free throws with 17:57 remaining.

Wiley (5-2), losing to Xavier for the second time in eight days, never came closer than 11 points in the second half. Xavier protected its lead by going 4-of-4 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the line in the final four minutes.

The five XU starters -- Erves, Simmons, Joseph, Smith and Xavier Rogers -- shot a combined 77.4 percent (24-of-31) from the floor. The Gold Rush made 20-of-25 free throws and reached 80 percent for the third time this season.

Erves and Joseph have scored in double figures in every game this season.

Tayler Jacobs had 18 points, five assists and four steals for Wiley, and Dominic Jones scored 13 points. Wiley shot 38.6 percent from the floor and was outrebounded 36-18 -- the seventh time this season Xavier had a double-digit rebound advantage.

Turnovers were the only downer for the Gold Rush. Xavier committed 30, its most since the start of 2003-04. More extensive records before that season are not available.

Xavier, which defeated Concordia (Ala.) 75-61 in this event Friday, earned back-to-back victories at a neutral site for the first time since the Loyola Classic in November 2004 and for the first time at a neutral site outside of New Orleans since the Mobile Classic in December 2002.

Xavier is 8-1 or better though its first nine games for the seventh time in Dannton Jackson's 10 seasons as head coach.

Xavier will play Mobile (4-1) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at XU's Convocation Center.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

TSU puts it all together at Samford

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama  -  The Tennessee State women's basketball team played its most complete game of the season as they took down Samford 57-40 at the Samford Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday. It's the largest road win since at least 2001.
Kesi Hess led all scorers with 15 points, while Simone Hopes tied a career-high with 12 rebounds. The senior from Houston had a dozen boards vs. Eastern Kentucky in December 2010.

The 40 points allowed are the fewest by TSU since giving up 35 to Southeast Missouri State on Feb. 24, 2011, a span of 36 games.


Even though neither team had more than a five point lead in the first half, TSU (2-3) controlled most of the first 20 minutes by forcing 10 Samford turnovers, including seven steals.

TSU held a 25-23 advantage at the half and limited the Bulldogs (2-2) to only eight made field goals.

A 14-2 TSU run over the last 6:17 turned a five point Lady Tigers lead into the final 17 point margin. Samford's last field goal came with five minutes remaining. The Tiger defense was even better in the second half holding the Bulldogs to 17 points, 26 percent shooting, as well as outrebounding Samford by 14.

Tanesha Stenson joined Hess in double-digits as the Nashville native added 11 points, one off her career-high that she set on Tuesday vs. Kansas State, along with seven rebounds.

Destiney Gaston had back-to-back solid games off the bench with nine points after having eight points and five rebounds vs. UAB on Friday.

The Lady Tigers held the Bulldogs to a season low in points and it was only the second win for TSU in 11 all-time meetings.
Samford won the Southern Conference Tournament and had a 10-2 record at home last season.
TSU heads out west next week to play Idaho on Friday and Montana on Saturday in Missoula, Mont.Follow TSU Athletics on, Twitter @TSU_Tigers and YouTube


Southern coach Odums waits to see what future holds

NEW ORLEANS — With one final chance to make his case for a more permanent job, Southern interim football coach Dawson Odums got what he absolutely had to have Saturday: A win in the Bayou Classic.

Now, his fate rests in the hands of Athletic Director William Broussard.

Odums and the Jaguars took a commanding lead in the second half against Grambling, then held on for a 38-33 win over archrival Grambling in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

If that was enough for Odums to take over full-time, Broussard wasn’t saying.

He did offer this much: Odums won’t be the only candidate to replace Stump Mitchell, who was reassigned after two-plus seasons and a 6-18 record at SU.

“We’ll proceed to a national search next week,” Broussard said Saturday. “That will give me an opportunity to sit and talk with coach Odums and kind of do a formal review of the season and his performance as the head coach.”

Odums went 4-5 during his nine-game tenure. He took control of the team after its 6-0 home loss to Mississippi Valley State on Sept. 13, then led the Jaguars to three wins over their next four games.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

THE SHOW: 2012 Bayou Classic Battle of the Bands

Southern University takes Bayou Classic 38-33 over Grambling

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana  --  Southern University’s football team took interim head coach Dawson Odums on a thrilling roller-coaster ride of a game in Saturday’s 39th Bayou Classic. He’d like to do it all again next year.

Led by junior quarterback Dray Joseph, from West St. John High, and two St. Augustine graduates, receivers Charles Hawkins and Lee Doss, Southern salvaged a bit of their disappointing season with a 38-33 season-finale victory against Grambling in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome before an announced crowd of 45,980.

The Jaguars got down 14-0, rallied with a 38-6 run engineered by Joseph then had to hold their breath at the end when Grambling had a chance to drive for the winning score.

“I just feel that I want to be the head coach at Southern University and these young men showed why they like my leadership (on Saturday),’’ said Odums, who was named interim coach in September when head coach Stump Mitchell was reassigned after an 0-2 start. “They play hard and for 60 minutes. But I know it’s not my call. Whatever happens we’ll be estatic about it either way because we know put our best foot forward to make these young men better.’’

WSSU coasts in playoff opener

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  --  Second-ranked Winston-Salem State had little trouble in its second-round game of the Division II football playoffs, defeating No. 15 Shippensburg 37-14 in front of just more than 3,000 at Bowman Gray Stadium.

The Rams (12-0) will play Indiana (Pa.) at noon next Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Backup quarterback Anthony Carrothers, playing for injured Kam Smith, completed 19 of 37 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

The Rams racked up 525 yards, the second most allowed this season by the Red Raiders (11-2).

Running back Maurice Lewis (158 yards, two touchdowns) and wide receivers Jameze Massey (167 yards, two touchdown catches) and Jahuann Butler (123 yards receiving) had big games for the Rams.


NCAA Div. II playoffs: Winston-Salem State beats Shippensburg 37-14

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina  -- It was a disappointing end to a record-breaking season for the Shippensburg Red Raiders.

The Winston-Salem State Rams beat Shippensburg 37-14 Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs at Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Ship junior quarterback Zach Zulli tied the D-II single season record with his 54th touchdown pass of the season, to Trevor Harman (Cumberland Valley) for the Raiders' only offensive score of the game, but he did not have good day. Zulli was picked off three times, part of five turnovers by Ship.

Ship finishes the season with an 11-2 mark. Unbeaten and Super Region 1 top-seed WSSU (12-0) will meet IUP -- the Crimson Hawks (12-1) were 17-14 winners over New Haven (Conn.) -- in the national quarterfinals.

Bethune-Cookman starts slow, falls to Coastal Carolina 24-14

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida  --  Coastal Carolina scored on three conescutive possessions in the second quarter and then added a 68-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to defeat Bethune-Cookman 24-14 in the first round of the FCS playoffs Saturday at Municipal Stadium.

The loss ends the Wildcats' season at 9-3. It was their fourth playoff loss since 2002 and their second in three seasons. Coastal Carolina (8-4) advances to the second round next week against No. 4 overall seed Old Dominion.

Down 24-0, B-CU scored on Quentin Williams' 74-yard pass to David Blackwell with 6:44 left in the game. Williams, who added a 2-point conversion pass, had just returned after leaving the game in the third quarter following a blindside sack. The Wildcats scored again with 1:22 left on Isidore Jackson's 10-yard run. Williams' 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete.

Backup quarterback Brodrick Waters led the Wildcats on a long drive following Nick Addison's interception with 3:19 left in the third quarter. Waters' 46-yard option run brought the ball to the Coastal 11. With fourth down at the 5, B-CU lined up for a field goal, but the Wildcats were flagged for a false start before the kick.


Erves, Simmons lead Gold Rush to victory in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tennessee -- NAIA No. 19 Xavier University of Louisiana got double-doubles from Denzell Erves and Anthony Simmons in a 75-61 men's basketball victory Friday against Concordia (Ala.) in the Memphis HBCU Classic at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Erves had 17 points and 10 rebounds -- his sixth double-double of the season and his third in a row -- and Simmons produced his second double-double, 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Wanto Joseph had 14 points and five assists for the Gold Rush (7-1), and Xavier Rogers scored 13.

Zannie Pickens had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Concordia, and Travis Rasco scored 10.

Erves had 11 points and seven rebounds and assisted on Joseph's 3-pointer which gave Xavier a 33-22 halftime lead. Xavier led by double digits for the final 15:09 and four times held a 19-point lead in the final 10 minutes.

Xavier outshot the Hornets 55.4 to 39.7 percent from the floor -- 51.9 to 27.3 percent in the first half -- and outrebounded them 39-27. It was the third time this season the XU men shot 50 percent or higher and the sixth time they had a double-figure rebound advantage. It was the fewest points Xavier allowed this season.

It's the seventh time in Dannton Jackson's 10 seasons that the Gold Rush started the season 7-1 or better. Friday was Jackson's 300th game as XU head coach; his record is 209-91.

Xavier will play Wiley in this same event at 2 p.m. Saturday. A week ago the Gold Rush defeated Wiley 82-77 in overtime during XU's homecoming doubleheader. The next XU home game will be Tuesday.

Box score

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director


BCU in a close one against Coastal
2:00 P.M. EST/ESPN3

Were there to be a prediction it would be a close win by the BCU Wildcats, but it all depends. Considered among the weaker teams in the playoffs the winner will have the opportunity to play Old Dominion and possibly Georgia Southern in-route to the semi-finals.


Coastal Carolina is used to getting off to a very fast start, outscoring opponents 115 to 61 in the first quarter. Bethune has a habit of starting slow and then catching up. BCU opponents outscored them in the first quarter and the rest of the quarters are dominated by the Wildcats. Coastal Carolina has shown that they have enough offense to match up in the final three quarters and maintain the lead. If both teams stay true to form then BCU would lose a close one in an offensive shootout. Should BCU figure out their defensive plan before game starts then it will be BCU’s to win.

Coastal Carolina defeated North Carolina A&T, the only common opponent of both teams, 28-13 early in the season. The BCU Wildcats defeated the A&T Aggies by a similar score 28-12.

Both teams have a loss this season to an OVC opponent; Coastal Carolina to Eastern Kentucky and BCU to the Tennessee State Tigers. Tennessee State defeated Eastern Kentucky in conference play.

Opponents of both teams have a cumulative losing record, 47-56 for BCU opponents and 49-53 for Coastal Carolina opponents. Given that opponents of FAMU, a team BCU defeated last week, hold a cumulative record of 50-50, this stat may not make a difference.


THE SHOW: 2012 Alabama State University Turkey Day Classic

Wells lifts WSSU in tournament opener

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin -- Milwaukee Point guard Marcus Wells made a key layup with 1:03 left, and Winston-Salem State hung on to defeated Northern Michigan 78-69 at the Fresh Coast Classic on Friday afternoon.

Wells led the Rams (2-2) with 17 points, Justin Glover added 16, and reserve guard Tyre Desmore scored 12 as the Rams shot 55 percent from the field.

The Rams shot just 63 percent from the foul line (19 of 31) but made enough free throws in the final minute to hold off the Wildcats (1-1).

The score was tied 36-36 at halftime, and the biggest lead in the first half was seven, by the Rams after two Wells’ free throws made it 27-20 with 6:34 remaining.

But Northern followed with an 11-0 run that included three 3-pointers and went up 31-27 when Kendall Jackson hit the third 3, with 4:38 left. Wakefield Ellison ended the run with a layup, and WSSU tied on Kimani Hunt’s layup with 3:25 to play.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Tuskegee rallies in second half for Xavier Classic victory

NEW ORLEANS — Amelia Dorton, one of four Tuskegee double-digit scorers, had 16 points Friday to help the Tigerettes rally for a 76-62 women's basketball victory against Langston in the Xavier Classic.

Tuskegee (2-3) trailed by 11 points in the 11th minute and 34-33 at halftime but took the lead for good by outscoring Langston 12-2 in the first four minutes of the second half. An 11-3 run extended Tuskegee's lead to 56-45 with 11:23 remaining.

Alannah Vincent scored 13 points, Natasha Williams 11 and Kajuanna Rivers 10 for Tuskegee, an NCAA Division II member. Williams scored all her points in the final 12 minutes. Rayven Sellers had eight points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Amber Coleman had 18 points and eight rebounds for Langston (0-5), ranked 14th in NAIA Division I. Victoria Felix had 11 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, and Tayla Vaughn had 11 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks and three assists.

Langston led for all but 67 seconds of the first half and took its biggest lead, 23-12, on Coleman's 3-point play at 9:46.

Tuskegee outshot Langston 45.3 to 40.7 from the floor — 50 to 31.3 percent in the second half — committed 14 turnovers and gained 27. Langston had a 41-29 rebound advantage.

Tuskegee led by double digits for the final 8:19 and twice led by 16.

Langston, making its eighth consecutive Xavier Classic appearance, lost both its games in the event for the first time since 2004. Xavier defeated the Lionesses 46-38 Thursday. Tuskegee finished 1-1 after losing 88-62 to Wiley. Both Tuskegee and Langston were 2-0 in the 2011 Xavier Classic.

Box score

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Gold Nuggets rout Texas College for 3rd straight victory

NEW ORLEANS -- Andraquay Quinnine, Whitney Gaston-Loyd and Chelsea Broussard scored 10 points apiece Friday to lead NAIA No. 11 Xavier University of Louisiana in an 84-39 women's basketball victory against Texas College in the Xavier Classic at the Convocation Center.

The Gold Nuggets (5-1) won both their games in this event and extended their win streak to three games.

Quinnine and Broussard scored six points apiece to lead Xavier to a 33-20 halftime advantage. The Nuggets scored the first 13 points of the second half, five by SiMon Franklin. The final margin was the largest of the game.

Gaston-Loyd, who played nine minutes, made all five of her field-goal attempts.

Xavier outshot the Lady Steers (1-4, 1-1 Xavier Classic) 39.5 to 27.5 percent from the floor and outrebounded them 55-30. Reserve guard Talon Hixon grabbed a season-high eight rebounds and was one of three XU players with three steals.

Carmen Holcombe had eight points and five rebounds for Xavier, and Danielle Tucker had seven points, six rebounds and a season-best five assists.

Shirley McGowen scored 12 points, including 8-of-11 free throws, for Texas College. Jasmine Becks scored eight.

It was the third time this season and the second consecutive game that Xavier allowed fewer than 40 points.

Xavier will play Mobile at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Convocation Center.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

B-CU hopes to make deep FCS playoff run

DAYTONA BEACH — Bethune-Cookman hopes today marks the start of a deep run through the Football Championship Subdivsion playoffs.

B-CU (9-2) is hosting Coastal Carolina (7-4) in the FCS playoffs at Municipal Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. and the game will air on ESPN

"It's a good feeling to be in this position that but there is more football to be played," B-CU coach Brian Jenkins said.

The Wildcats are making their fourth playoff appearance and second in three years. They have never won a playoff. An injury to then-quarterback Matt Johnson hurt the team, contributing to a loss to New Hampshire in the 2010 playoffs.

"We are healthy heading into this one," Jenkins said. "This year we have had very limited injuries. The work in the weight room is paying off too."

A B-CU win would be the first playoff win for a MEAC or HBCU team since 1999 when Florida A&M made the semifinals and North Carolina A&T the quarterfinals. In 1978, FAMU was the only HBCU to win an FCS championship.

"I don't put that weight on my team," Jenkins said. "We do have the support of our conference as calls have come in wishing us well."


Turkey Day Classic commentary: Ultimate success of stadium is left up to ASU

MONTGOMERY, Alabama  --  Way back in 2001, I wrote a column in which I encouraged Alabama State to build an on-campus stadium.

At the time, a powerful board of trustees member had come up with a plan for the stadium, along with a move up to the NCAA’s top football level.

It was a bold move that was supported by a majority of people on the ASU campus. But it was getting resistance from a couple of board members — one in particular — and eventually that plan fell through.

I assumed it was a dead idea. With the renovations of Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl and the steady deterioration of the SWAC — the conference in which ASU competes — I figured the idea of an on-campus stadium had been pushed to the back burner, maybe even completely off the stove.

I figured wrong.

ASU officially opened the doors to its shiny, new stadium, as it welcomed a packed house to an on-campus Turkey Day Classic against Tuskegee, which the Hornets lost 27-25.

ASU's 89th Turkey Day Classic Parade
  • Turkey Day Classic Parade
  • ASU Hornet Walk
  • Tuskegee defeats ASU


    Prairie View A&M Tops Navy at the Buzzer, 42-40

    SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas -- Prairie View A&M's Carl Blair made a driving layup with no time left to hand the Navy men's basketball a 42-40 setback in the opening round of the South Padre Island Invitational on Friday afternoon.

    The loss sends Navy into Saturday's consolation game against Delaware State, starting at 11:45 AM (ET) / 10:45 AM (CT). Navy falls to 2-4 overall, while the Panthers, who are picked to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title, improve to 3-4 overall.

    Navy has now lost two straight games by two points and three of its four losses have come by five points or less.

    "We had the exact same scenario as we had the other night against TCU. You have to make one more play," said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis. "You can't go 3-of-8 from the free throw line and miss front ends of two one-and-ones. Every time we had a chance to stop the bleeding, we would miss a free throw. You can't let a guy dribble 90 feet for a lay-up to win the game. Those are winning plays you have to make. It's very disappointing, but you have to make basketball plays. Every play matters."

    Navy surged out to a 24-12 lead right before halftime, before the Panthers connected on their only three-pointer of the first half to cut the lead to 24-15 at the break.