Sunday, November 25, 2012


 By Michael Clark Eastern Kentucky University Director of Athletic Public Relations:

"The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team used a 20-5 run midway through the second half to pull away from Norfolk State and defeat the visiting Spartans, 68-44, on Saturday night at McBrayer Arena.

EKU (5-0) stayed perfect on the season with the convincing win.

Senior Mike DiNunno led the Colonels with 19 points on the night. The Chicago native connected on 4-of-6 three pointers, and it was his three-point play that sparked EKU’s decisive second half run. Junior Glenn Cosey dropped 14 points and four assists for EKU, while sophomore Corey Walden came off the bench to contribute 15 points and four steals.

Malcolm Hawkins was the only NSU player to reach double figures with 13 points.

EKU (25-of-51) shot better than 50 percent from the field for the third time this season and stifled Norfolk State to a season-low 44 points and just 33 percent (16-of-49) shooting from the field, including 26 percent (6-of-23) in the first half. The 17 first-half points were the fewest by the Spartans in any half this season.

The Colonels scored 10 unanswered points to open the game and then took their largest lead of the first half when Cosey found Walden for a layup that made it 24-8 with 6:02 on the clock. Norfolk State, however, ended the half on a 9-2 run and went into the locker room at halftime down by only nine, 26-17.

EKU held NSU at bay through the first nine minutes of the second half, but the Spartans clawed back into the game with a 7-0 run that cut the Colonels’ lead to four, 36-32, when A.J. Rogers hit a jumper with 11:33 to play.

It was as close as Norfolk State would get. DiNunno converted three free throws on the ensuing EKU possession, which sparked a 20-5 Colonel run that all but sealed the win. DiNunno and Walden buried back-to-back three-pointers to end the run and give EKU a commanding 54-37 lead with 7:23 on the clock.

EKU returns to action when the Colonels host Delaware State on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m."


By Mark Wasik:

Lady Rebels will play in Round-Up consolation game on Sunday at 1 pm

UNLV ended the second half on an 8-0 run to force overtime, but ran out of gas in the extra period in a 69-65 loss to Montana in the first game of the Lady Rebel Round-Up on Saturday afternoon in the Cox Pavilion. The Lady Rebels (2-3) will now play in the consolation game of the tournament on Sunday at 1 pm against Bowling Green, while Montana (3-1) will play in the championship game at 3:30 pm against Villanova. 
Montana led 60-52 with 2:50 to play in the second half after a jumper by Kenzie De Boer. Kelli Thompson would lead a UNLV rally, converting back-to-back three-point plays to make it a 60-58 game at the 1:15 mark. After drawing a Montana charge on the other end, UNLV came down looking for a layup, but had the ball knocked out of bounds with three seconds on the shot clock. The in bounds play had Thompson taking a three from the corner, but her shot hit the front of the rim. After a scramble for the rebound, Alana Cesarz picked up the ball and scored from two feet out to tie the game at 60-60 with eight seconds to play Montana's final shot was wide, sending the game to overtime, the first of the year for UNLV.

In the overtime period the game was tied at 64-64, but three free throws from Kelli Cole and De Boer put Montana ahead 67-64. UNLV's Réjane Vérin hit one of two at the line to cut the edge to 67-65 with a minute to play. Katie Baker then made the play of the game for Montana, sinking a jumper at the end of the shot clock for a four-point lead with 30 seconds to go.
"First round of the tournament you always want to be ready to go," said UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier. "I felt like Montana took the initiative early, though we fought back and we showed a lot of character to not give up. Second round, we need to regroup and come out with more intensity a little earlier in the game."

UNLV's last lead in the game was at 8-7 on a three-point play from Thompson. Montana then put together a 12-0 run over a 2:41 span, going ahead 19-8 on a De Boer layup at the 11:05 mark of the first half. The advantage was at nine for the visitors, 30-21, before the Lady Rebels scored the final five points of the half to go into halftime down 30-26.

The lead was cut to four times in the opening minutes of the second half, the last 38-35 on a Danielle Miller jumper. Montana answered back with four straight to open up a seven-point lead, and would increase its advantage to as high as 10, 56-46, with 4:17 left before the half's final few minutes.

Miller led all scorers with a career-high 19 points and also added seven rebounds for UNLV. Thompson notched 18 points while Cesarz just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. The Lady Rebels shot 37.7% (23-of-61) for the afternoon, was 3-of-14 from three-point range, and 16-of-24 at the line for 66.7%. UNLV was out rebounded 45-44 and the Lady Griz held a 13-5 edge on second chance points.

Montana was paced by De Boer's 18 points. Baker and Cole both posted 14 while Jordan Sullivan added 11 for the Lady Griz. Montana made 24-of-66 from the floor for 36.4%, was 4-of-22 from downtown for 18.2%, and 17-of-29 at the line (58.6%).

No. 19 Memphis Edges UNI in Bahamas

By Colin McDonough:

"PARADISE ISLAND - The University of Northern Iowa men's basketball team could not hang on to a 14-point first half lead and dropped a 52-47 decision to the No. 19-ranked Memphis Tigers in the seventh-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

UNI (3-3 overall) blistered the net early with six 3-pointers and took a 26-12 lead with 4:34 left in the first half. Senior forward Jake Koch put the Panthers on the board with his 3-pointer at 19:09 of the first half. Senior guard Marc Sonnen hit another triple with 17:06 to give UNI a 6-2 lead.

Memphis's Chris Crawford hit a triple of his own to tie the game at 12-12 with 12:25 left in the first half. 

UNI then went on a 14-0 run that included four 3-pointers, the last of which came from junior forward Chip Rank. Rank's 3-pointer gave UNI a 26-14 lead with 4:34 remaining before half.

Memphis (3-2 overall) did not score from the 12:25 mark of the first half until Crawford hit his third 3-pointer of the half with 4:02 remaining.

"I thought we played our best 20 minutes of basketball in the first half in our time here," UNI head coach Ben Jacobson said. "We needed more because that was a key stretch to end the half. If we had kept it at 12 to 14 points we would have had a great chance to win the game."

The Tigers closed the half on a 10-0 run to trim UNI's advantage to 26-22 at the break.

UNI increased the lead to six at 30-24 following a Seth Tuttle layup with 17:05 left in the game. Memphis then went on a 13-2 run to take a 37-32 lead with 9:53 remaining.

UNI regained the lead at 41-40 after a 6-0 run that included four points from sophomore guard Deon 

Mitchell and an offensive put back from Rank with 5:30 left in the game.

Unfortunately, the Panthers did not score again until Mitchell hit a free throw with 32.7 seconds left. 

Memphis used a 8-0 run in that stretch to open up a 48-41 lead. UNI cut the lead back to five on two free throws from Mitchell, but a Sonnen missed a 3-pointer that would have cut the lead to two with 24 seconds left.

UNI was led by Mitchell's game-high tying 18 points and five assists. Anthony James led the Panthers with five rebounds. Sonnen led the squad with three steals.

"We were excited to get the call to play in this tournament," Jacobson said. "We couldn't be more excited knowing the field. It's good to take on challenges early in the season. This isn't something we'll shy away from."

UNI will return home and play again Saturday (Dec. 1) against Milwaukee at 7 p.m. in the McLeod Center.

NOTES: UNI hit 6-of-15 3-pointers in the first half, but only 1-of-12 in the second half ... Memphis won the rebounding battle, 40-30 ... UNI committed only 10 turnovers in the contest and forced Memphis into 15 miscues ... Jake Koch tallied three blocks and has recorded 89 blocks in his career (one short of tying Jason Sims for No. 5 on the Panthers' all-time blocked shots list)."

Friday, November 23, 2012

No. 2 Louisville Holds Off UNI, 51-46‏

By Colin McDonough:

"The University of Northern Iowa came up short in its bid to knock off No. 2-ranked Louisville in the quarterfinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis, 51-46.

UNI (3-1 overall) trailed 40-22 with 11:56 left in the second half, but whittled the lead to a single point with just over a two minutes to play. UNI senior forward Jake Koch hit a pair of free throws with 2:06 left to trim the Louisville lead to 45-44.

Koch again cut the lead to 48-46 with two free throws with 42.7 seconds left in regulation. The Panther defense then forced a stop and appeared to get the rebound with seven seconds left. But a jump ball call gave the alternate possession to Louisville. The Cardinals inbounded the ball to Russ Smith who scored a bucket and was fouled. Smith made the free throw with 5.1 ticks left to give the Cardinals the five-point victory margin, 51-46.

UNI will play Stanford at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in the consolation semifinals."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Nebraska MBB: Husker Show Grit in Win over Green Wave

By Shamus McKnight, Associate Media Relations Director, University of Nebraska,

"Lincoln – Nebraska made the stops down the stretch when it had to, as the Huskers pulled out a 61-57 win over Tulane Wednesday night in the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic.

Nebraska, which improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign, didn’t allow a field goal during the final seven minutes to overcome a 55-52 deficit to remain unbeaten.

“We talked to our guys and told them it was going to be a tough game,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “It was a gritty win. I thought we did enough on defense. They (Tulane) were in control the first 10-12 minutes of the second half, but I thought we buckled down at the end and played gritty defense and made enough hustle plays to hang in there.”

Trailing 55-52, the Huskers held Tulane (3-2) scoreless for nearly five minutes, as seniors Dylan Talley and Andre Almeida supplied the offense. Talley’s runner in the lane with 5:43 left pulled NU within one before Almeida, who did not attempt a field goal for the first 35 minutes, gave the Huskers 56-55 lead on a mid-range jumper that kissed off the glass.

Almeida and Talley then combined on NU’s biggest offensive play down the stretch, as Talley found Almeida wide open for a dunk to put Nebraska up 59-57 with 1:45 left.

On Tulane’s next possession, the Green Wave got an offensive rebound and regained possession with 1:07 left. On the in bounds play, Jordan Callahan was fouled attempting a 3-pointer.  Callahan, a career 73 percent shooter from the line, missed all three attempts and NU got possession, but could not capitalize.

Tulane had two chances to tie or take the lead in the final minute, as Josh Davis, who led all players with 19 points and 12 rebounds, could not hit a jumper to tie the game with 21 seconds left before Callahan, who finished with 16 points including a trio of 3-pointers, missed another jumper with five seconds remaining. Thomas Bruha got the offensive rebound after Callahan’s miss, but traveled to give NU possession.

Ray Gallegos then stepped to the line and hit both free throws with three seconds remaining to provide the margin of victory.

Gallegos and Talley led four Huskers in double figures with 14 points each, while Almeida scored nine of his 10 points in the second half and added six rebounds and four blocked shots. Brandon Ubel was the fourth Husker in double figures as he finished with 12 points.

Early on, Nebraska used strong long-range shooting to build a 33-28 halftime lead. The Huskers went 7-of-10 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes and built a 22-13 lead after a Mike Peltz 3-pointer. NU led 25-17 after a Gallegos’ 3-pointer, but Tulane roared back, using an 8-2 spurt to pull within 27-25 after a Ricky Tarrant 3-pointer. Tulane pulled within 30-28 before Talley’s 3-pointer gave the Huskers a five-point lead heading into the break.

NU held Tarrant in check, as the preseason All-Conference USA pick had eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

The Huskers built a 39-32 lead after a 3-point play from Benny Parker with 17:42 left, but a Callahan 3-pointer started an 8-0 run for Tulane, as the Green Wave took a 40-39 lead after a Callahan jumper in the lane and neither team enjoyed more than a one-possession lead until the final seconds.

The Huskers will complete the five-game home stand Saturday night, as they host Kent State at the Devaney Center. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and tickets are available for as little as $5 by visiting or calling 800-8-BIGRED, as Nebraska looks to clinch the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic championship.

Nebraska Notes 
*-Nebraska improves to 4-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season with tonight’s win.
*-Nebraska went 10-of-19 from 3-point range which was a season high. Prior to tonight’s game, the Huskers had just 11 3-pointers in their first three game
*-Freshman Benny Parker dished out a career-high seven assists and had just one turnover in 31 minutes. The Huskers also dished out a season-best 15 assists
*-Andre Almeida finished with 10 points, marking his second straight game in double figures. Almeida, who had nine of his 10 points in the second half, also blocked a season-best four shots. It marked the seventh time in his career he has blocked three or more shots in a game. Almeida also played a career-high 25 minutes for NU.
*-The Huskers shot 50 percent for the second time in four games, going 20-of-40 from the field.
*-Nebraska was 2-of-7 from the line in the first half, but went 9-fo-12 after halftime
*-Shavon Shields made his Husker debut after missing Nebraska’s first four games with an elbow injury
*-Mike Peltz’s 3-pointer in the first half marked his first career points as a Husker
*-Ray Gallegos tied his career high with four 3-pointers, which he also had against Valparaiso on Nov. 15.
*-Tulane’s 57 points was a season low, as its previous low was 61 against Georgia Tech on Nov. 9.
*-Nebraska had four players in double figures for the second straight game

Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles
On the early-season drama
“We talked to our guys and told them it was going to be a tough game. It was a gritty win. I thought we did enough on defense. Tulane did a great job in the second half. They got off to a slow start, but didn’t let us get away from them. And then in the second half, they were in control the first 10-12 minutes of the second half, but I thought we buckled down at the end and played gritty defense and made enough hustle plays to hang in there.”

On Tulane’s comeback
“I was thinking ‘are we just going to hang our heads and go away or are we going to find a way to make plays to win this game?’ I was proud that we found a way to win the game.”

On how difficult it was to keep Tulane off the boards
“It was with (Josh) Davis for sure. He was a nightmare. He’s so active and long and quick to the ball that he was a major problem for us. He also opens up plays for other guys. I think he was the major cause of it. We didn’t do a great job on the glass. I wasn’t pleased with 11 offensive rebounds. That’s way too many.”

On Andre Almeida’s play down the stretch
“I thought Andre was good at the end. I thought our starters were the best group the whole night just because of foul trouble and knowing that was our best group. We had to manage it to get to the last seven, eight minutes of the game and be able to play them.”

On if the 3-pointers came more out of the flow of the offense tonight
“I thought we played okay on offense. You can shoot the ball well and not play very good offense. When you look at our field goal percentage, that’s a really good offensive night. But we didn’t play that good of offense. We just shot well.”

On if the close games will springboard the team going forward
“I don’t think it’s going to change for a while, hopefully. This is how we are going to play. It’s going to be that way. You have to finish with a flourish. You’ve got to concentrate on the fundamentals and the process, not to worry about the outcome. If we can do that, we’ll be okay.”

Nebraska Guard Dylan Talley
On how happy he is to come away with the win
"I'm very happy. We didn't play our best game by any means. We were out rebounded by a tough team. They were tough on the boards all night, but we still found a way to come out with the win. We toughed it out. I'm proud of our team and just happy we got the win."

On whether or not this win will help them "get winning in their system" as Coach Miles puts it
"Definitely. This is a game that will help our confidence, because we know we can get better. We know we did a lot of things wrong. We did some things well, but we competed for 40 minutes against a tough team that didn't let up for 40 minutes. They were coming at us the whole night. We competed and toughed out a win. It will boost our confidence and help us win again. "

On whether or not there is more offensive flow after four games
"Yes it's getting a lot better, but we could get even better. From where we started to now, we have definitely gotten better. We just have to keep on working."

On whether or not Coach Miles challenged the team to match Tulane's intensity in the first half with rebounding
"Definitely. He told us to play like men and try to keep the lane players off the backboard. It was tough because they had some physical players and they just didn't let up. They were strong physical players, but we competed and fought to the end. That is what I love about our team; we just keep on fighting."

Nebraska Center Andre Almeida
On if it is true that he has extended his shooting range
"A little bit. That is something I have been working on. Coach Miles has been telling me that if you get wide open, just shoot the ball."

On whether or not he hesitated with the three
"No, I have been working on it, especially this summer. I worked on it during open gyms and in practice. I'm trying to get more comfortable with those jump shots and not hesitate."

On how his free throw game has been improving
"Yes. I have changed my shot a little bit. Coach said if you want to change it go ahead, but just stay with it. He said sometimes you're going to struggle a little bit, but just stay with it. It is something where I have been trying to get in a few extra drills on after practice. As a post man you're going to get a lot of fouls and you have to be able to make those free throws. Today was a good free throw shooting day."

On how important it is for the team to get those foul calls
"You have to attack other teams, bottom line. You have to be the aggressor if you want to win the game. I think the second half we did a better job attacking the glass and getting those fouls. Also by attacking the glass it opens up other possibilities like an open shot."

On whether or not it was hard to keep composure with the 37 fouls called in the game
"No. You have to stay with it. You have to keep playing. If you want to win basketball games, if you want to win on the road, if you want to play in the Big Ten, if you lose it in a two- or three- minute span they can open up a big lead, so you have to stay focused."

On how tough it was to stop Josh Davis
"We knew he was going to be athletic and aggressive. He is a great competitior. He was always going to the glass. He plays hard all the time and we knew we had to take some of his game away to win this game. I think we did a decent job. He's a good basketball player and he will not go with zero points. I think we did a decent job."

Tulane Head Coach Ed Conroy
On scoring two points in the last seven minutes 
“We just didn’t execute down the stretch. We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that we had, whether it was free throws at the line or out-of-bounds situations. We just didn’t execute the way that we needed to. That’s why we play these games and go on the road, but we will get better; we have to get better. We needed a better performance tonight down the stretch”

On Nebraska shooting so well going 7-for-10 on three-point shots but still being in the game so close 
“I will credit Nebraska because I thought that they, offensively, shot the ball better than they have and obviously from the perimeter. That made it tough because they’ve got great size inside. I credit Nebraska. They had a good shooting performance and our guys for fighting back and putting ourselves in position where if we execute a couple things down the stretch and make some free throws then there’d be a different outcome.”

On Tulane’s rebounding 
“I don’t think there is any question that we showed improvement. We just have to put it all together. We certainly challenge our team in conversion defense and getting on the glass. I thought that Tomas Bruha played his best game of the year and really inspired some efforts to go get some extra possessions for us at the end; he played twenty three minutes. I thought Josh Davis played fantastic on the offensive glass. That’s what we need. I’m proud of our guys but like I said we just have to execute better down the stretch.”

On Jordan Callahan and going 0-for-three in free throws with 1:05 left 
“Yes. That’s the guy that we want at the line. That was something that we executed very well coming out of bounds. We need to get some points on that possession. I believe Jordan will make those every time.”

On what he told the team in the locker room and whether they are hurting 
“They are. The staff is hurting. Everybody put a lot into it and they’re hurting right now, rightfully so. This is one that we need to fine tune some things and get ourselves into position like that again and we may have a shot.”

On the upcoming game on Saturday against Southern 
“We need everybody to come out and see that this is a team that’s going to grow each game and all through the year. We appreciate all of the support on Saturday. Southern is a team that is not an easy offense, that’s for sure.”


By Kevin Britton, Assistant Director of Athletic Public Relations,

"RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team will host Norfolk State University on Saturday at McBrayer Arena.  Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.  The Colonels are 4-0 this season.  The Spartans pulled off the biggest upset of last season’s NCAA Tournament, beating No. 2 seed Missouri.

The live radio broadcast of the game is available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM, and can be heard worldwide on  A live video broadcast of the contest is available on

EKU opened its season with four straight wins to capture the Comfort Suites Invitational title.  The Colonels have won 12 straight home non-conference games and are 35-7 under head coach Jeff Neubauer in such contests.

Eastern’s 4-0 start is its best since 2004-05, a campaign that began with five straight wins and ended with a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Colonels are taking advantage of other team’s mistakes early in the season.  Through the first four games, Eastern has committed 33 fewer turnovers than its opponents and has out-scored its foes 93-48 off turnovers.  In addition, EKU has shot 50 percent or better from the field in two of their first four games and knocked down 49 percent in a game.

Norfolk State went 26-10 last season.  However, only one starter returned from that squad.  The Spartans are off to a 2-3 start to the 2012-13 campaign.  NSU has won a pair of road games – at Rhode Island and at Longwood.  Norfolk State has losses to Seton Hall, Loyola-Maryland and Missouri-Kansas City.

Junior guard Pendarvis Williams is the lone returning starter and leads the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and assists (2.2 apg) this year.  Freshman forward Rashid Gaston is the second leading scorer (10 ppg) and top rebounder (8.0 rpg).

In Sunday’s 63-57 loss to UMKC, the Spartans won the battle of the boards by six – including a 15-3 edge in offensive boards – and committed only 12 turnovers.  However NSU shot just 38 percent from the field, including 22 percent from behind the arc.

This will be the third meeting between the two programs.  Eastern Kentucky won 67-60 in the Virgin Islands early in the 2005 season.  Norfolk State picked up a 70-63 on its home court last season."

Saturday, November 17, 2012


According to The Associated Press: "The Harlem Globetrotters are reaching out to Minneapolis native and NBA rookie forward Royce White of the Houston Rockets. 
Royce has publicly said he has a fear of flying which could cut short his NBA career.

"I have watched from afar an incredibly gifted basketball player who has struggled off the court with a fear of flying, and I truly feel for this young man," said Globetrotter Coach and Director of Player Personnel "Sweet" Lou Dunbar, in a news release. "While we truly hope Royce can overcome his fears, and have a highly successful NBA career, I just want him to know the Globetrotters offer their support and another option to play professional basketball without a rigorous flying schedule. He could have an opportunity to play for the Globetrotters, as many of our 270 games in North America are traveled by luxury bus. As for the 150 others overseas, well, we would have to excuse him from those games."

The 6-foot-8 White, the 16th overall pick in last year's draft from Iowa State, made a deal with the Rockets to travel by bus to some games this season, so he could confront with his fear of flying and obsessive compulsive disorder over the long term. He flew with the team to its season opener in Detroit, then traveled by bus to games at Atlanta and Memphis.
White was a Twin Cities high school basketball star who played for the Gophers before transferring to Iowa State."

Thursday, November 15, 2012


By Kevin Britton, Assistant Director of Athletic Public Relations

RICHMOND, Ky. – Seven men’s basketball games will be played over four days this weekend as Eastern Kentucky hosts the 2012 Comfort Suites Invitational at McBrayer Arena.

The Colonels will play the first game each day – 6 p.m. on Friday against Kennesaw State, 6 p.m. on Saturday against Towson and 5 p.m. on Sunday against Radford.

Here is the complete schedule:
Friday               Kennesaw State at EKU, 6 p.m.
Radford vs. Towson, 8 p.m.
Saturday            Towson at EKU, 6 p.m.
Kennesaw State vs. Radford, 8 p.m.
Sunday              Radford at EKU, 5 p.m.
Towson vs. Kennesaw State, 7 p.m.
Monday            Cincinnati Christian vs. Towson, 1 p.m.

The live radio broadcast of each EKU game is available in the Richmond area on WCYO 100.7 FM, and can be heard worldwide on  A live video broadcast of each EKU contest is available on

Eastern will be facing each of its three opponents for the first time.  The Colonels are 1-0 this season after beating Cincinnati Christian, 89-56, in the first game of the Comfort Suites Invitational last Friday.  Newcomer Glenn Cosey had a game-high 20 points in his EKU debut.

Kennesaw State enters the game with a 1-1 record.  The Owls lost by nine points at Tennessee in their season-by

Towson enters the Classic with a 0-1 record and is led by 6-foot-8 forward Jerrelle Benimon who scored 23 points in the Tigers’ season opener at the College of Charleston.  Radford stands at 1-1 after a loss at Wake Forest and an overtime victory at home against Cincinnati Christian.  Sophomore guard R.J. Price leads the Highlanders with an average of 16 points per game.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


According to Chris Emma of, "Northwestern freshman forward Sanjay Lumpkin is sidelined with mononucleosis and will miss time to recover.

Sanjay Lumpkin's debut is on hold. The freshman forward is battling with mononucleosis and will miss time to recover. 

Lumpkin, a product of St. Louis Park, Minn., was expected to be a part of Northwestern's rotation, working in at forward. He played in the Wildcats' exhibition against University of Chicago, but was diagnosed days later.

The recovery time from mononucleosis can take anywhere from weeks to months. NU embarks on a stretch of four games in eight days, beginning on Tuesday against Texas Southern."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Harvard Men’s Basketball Falls on Last-Second Shot at UMass, 67-64, on ESPN

By Tim Williamson, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications, Harvard University

AMHERST, Mass. – Wesley Saunders paced the Harvard men’s basketball team with a career-high 18 points, and Siyani Chambers added a career-best 14 points and seven assists, but the Crimson suffered a 67-64 setback to UMass Tuesday morning at the Mullins Center. The game was televised nationally on ESPN as part of the network’s Tip-Off Marathon.

Christian Webster tallied 10 points and pulled down four boards, as the Crimson falls to 1-1 on the year. Jesse Morgan led UMass (1-0) with 19 points off the bench.

UMass (1-0) led, 5-2, early on, but Saunders hit two from the foul line to cut the deficit to 5-4 with just over 17 minutes left in the first. The Crimson, which only hit one of its first six shots, trailed, 10-4, until Saunders made a reverse layup after drawing contact. Saunders made the free throw, making it 10-7 at the 14:53 mark remaining. On Harvard’s next possession, Jonah Travis also converted a conventional 3-point play, as the Crimson drew closer, 12-10.

After UMass opened up a seven-point edge, 19-12, Kenyatta Smith made a bucket in the paint off a pass from Chambers, getting Harvard back within five. With 8:00 to play, the Minutemen went up by nine, 26-17, but Chambers dribbled the length of the floor and finished with a floater in the lane, 26-19. Smith made a layup with just under five minutes to go, as Harvard kept it within 10, 29-21.

Harvard followed with scores on back-to-back possessions with layups by Travis and Saunders, making it 33-25. The Crimson continued to shoot the ball well down the stretch in the first, as Chambers connected on a trey, 33-28. UMass, though, went on a mini-run to go back up by nine, 37-28, with 1:44 remaining. 

Webster made two foul shots and then hit a layup on a nice move in the paint in the final minute to cut the deficit to five, 37-32. With time winding down in the half, Webster nailed a wide-open trey to get Harvard within just one, 38-37, at the break.

At the half, Chambers led Harvard with 12 points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field and four assists.

Smith made a layup to open the second half, giving Harvard a 39-38 lead. The Crimson maintained a one-point edge when Saunders sent a pass to Steve Moundou-Missi for a layup, 41-40. The Minutemen followed with a 4-0 run to go back up by three, but Laurent Rivard hit a 3-pointer from the corner to tie it up, 44-44. After UMass regained the lead, 52-46, Saunders made a trip to the foul line and hit both, bringing it to 52-48.

With just under 10 minutes to play, Saunders sank a layup on the break, keeping Harvard within four, 54-50. Smith made a bucket on the next Crimson trip down the floor, 54-52, forcing UMass to take a timeout. Chambers headed to the free throw line with 8:13 to go and made both, knotting the score, 54-54. With 6:37 left, Saunders made a basket under the hoop, putting Harvard up, 56-54.

Saunders was fouled with 5:30 remaining and hit the first of two foul shots, as Harvard led, 57-56. Harvard kept its lead, 60-59, when Webster drained another triple from the corner with 4:18 left to go.  Following the final media timeout of regulation, Moundou-Missi was fouled grabbing a defensive rebound and headed to the line. Moundou-Missi made both as the Crimson extended its lead to 62-59. 

With 1:21 left, Saunders walked to the foul line and made both, opening up a 64-59 advantage for Harvard. 

UMass scored the next five points to tie the game, 64-64, with 38.8 ticks left on the clock. Following a Harvard turnover at midcourt with 28 seconds left, UMass maintained possession until Carter Sampson nailed a shot from behind the arc with three ticks left to ice the victory.

Harvard returns home to host Manhattan at Lavietes Pavilion Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Wherever needed, Osseo's Tusler is up for the job | MN Football Hub

By DAVID La VAQUE, Star Tribune

"Osseo's Bridgeport Tusler donated blood for the first time last Friday.

He postponed this promise to his girlfriend until after football season, appropriate timing given how much Tusler left of himself on the field. As the Orioles' pillar for success, he played running back and defensive back and returned kicks and punts with equal aplomb.

Teammates admired his dedication. Opposing coaches lauded his competitiveness. Doctors? Well, Tusler can explain.

"I have pretty big veins, I guess, so the doctors were loving me," Tusler said. "They were like, 'Your veins are amazing.'"

So was his senior season.

Tusler rushed for 1,173 yards and 16 touchdowns. He caught 18 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns. He added four additional touchdowns through passing (one), punt returns (two) and on one of his eight interceptions. For everything he did, under and away from the lights, Tusler is the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year.

"[Osseo basketball coach Tim] Theisen and I consider him the best two-sport athlete in the state," Orioles football coach Derrin Lamker said. Tusler helped Osseo win the Class 4A basketball title as a junior. "It's a luxury for a coach when your best player is your hardest worker."

Running back. Slot receiver. Cornerback. Free safety. Return man. Tusler played them all. As Osseo went to a hurry-up offense in a playoff loss to Eden Prairie, Tusler showed savvy amid the confusion by lining up at tight end to avoid an illegal formation penalty.

"I actually got a pancake block on that play," Tusler said. "It was probably the highlight of my year."

Taking a cue from former basketball and football teammate DJ Hebert -- "I don't think he ever lost in a killer [conditioning drill] during practice," Tusler said -- the player called by many shortened versions of his name asserted himself in myriad ways. He stayed after practice to run extra routes. On game days, he bused lunch trays in the cafeteria. And he joined leadership groups at school, casting aside former thought patterns of worrying about his own needs.

"It's not about me," said Tusler, who carries a 3.6 grade-point average. "In high school, people say leave your mark, and I think your mark is what you do for others. I think all of that tied into football. You can be a good player but you have to be a good person first. That's the No. 1 thing I wanted to show the underclassmen."
Admittedly no orator, Tusler displays vocal leadership behind the scenes. Use of an ineligible player forced Osseo to forfeits its first two victories. When approached by teammates, Tusler offered counsel.

"I told them, 'You can't control it so don't get into it,'" Tusler said. "You let it affect you and you have the worst season ever. It's like my dad says, 'Let the blood flow.'"

A keen perspective is important as Tusler ponders his college options. Measuring 5-11, 200 pounds and clocked at a less-than-stellar 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, Tusler could find his dream of playing for Jerry Kill and the University of Minnesota out of reach.

"I would love to play for the Gophers, hands down," Tusler said. "But I wouldn't want to commit there just because it's the Gophers and then not play. It's not that I need to play; if I can earn a spot, I'll earn a spot. I don't care about points or highlights, I just want to play and contribute. I want to be like [former Timberwolves role player] Mark Madsen, but I want to maybe play a little bit more."

Tusler, whose first love is football, has drawn North Dakota's interest and plans to visit South Dakota in December.

"If my Division I offers stopped now, I'd probably play Division II and try to play both football and basketball," Tusler said. "Or maybe Division III and try to play both.

"I can't imagine walking off the field after the Eden Prairie game and hanging my helmet up for the last time."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wilcox, Power Play Carry Gophers to 4-0 Win Over Seawolves

By Brian Deutsch Assistant Director of Athletic Communications • Golden Gopher Athletics

ANCHORAGE, Alaska. – Behind Adam Wilcox’s second shutout of the year and four power-play goals – two from Kyle Rau – the No. 2 Minnesota men’s hockey team opened this weekend’s Western Collegiate Hockey series with a 4-0 win over Alaska Anchorage.

Minnesota (6-2-0 overall, 3-2-0 WCHA) was the dominant team on Friday night and held advantages in every offensive category. Most notably, the Gophers were 4-for-5 while on the advantage and opened the night by scoring on their first four power-play opportunities. Minnesota has now tallied eight power-play goals in its last three games after recording three in the team’s first five games.

The power-play line of Rau, Erik Haula, Nick Bjugstad, Zach Budish and Nate Schmidt would factor into Minnesota’s first three goals on Friday.

Rau gave Minnesota the early lead when he scored just five seconds into the game’s first penalty – his third of the year came through a scrum off the faceoff after being set up by Haula at 4:16. Bjugstad would add to the lead at 17:56 of the first period with his team-high fifth of the year. This time the lamp lighter was set up by Schmidt as Minnesota held an 8-2 advantage on shots in the period and went on to outshoot the Seawolves 31-14 in the game.

The Gophers added another pair of goals during the second period with Rau netting his second of the night at 7:09 after being set up by Schmidt – the second point of the night for each. Ben Marshall stretched the lead to four and closed out the night’s scoring with his third goal of the season at 13:35. Marshall, who moved back to his natural position on the blue line on Friday night, was set up by Nate Condon and Travis Boyd on the goal. In addition to setting up Minnesota’s final goal of the night, Boyd would lead the Gophers in the faceoff circle – winning 10-of-15 – while Minnesota won 34-of-59.

Wilcox improved to 5-1-0 in his rookie campaign with a 14-save performance on Friday night. The shutout over the Seawolves marked Wilcox’s first WCHA shutout after the freshman goaltender previously earned the clean slate in Minnesota’s 1-0 win over Canisius on Oct. 28. Chris Kamal took the loss for Alaska Anchorage with 27 saves – falling to 1-3-0 on the season.

Minnesota concludes this weekend’s series against Alaska Anchorage (2-3-2, 0-2-1) tomorrow night at Sullivan Arena. Game time is set for 10 p.m. local time.


By Ben Rikard, Assistant Director of Media Relations

"NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin’s defense didn’t allow Howard Payne to score 20 points in either half as it cruised to an 84-30 season-opening victory Friday night in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. With the victory head coach Danny Kaspar improves to 9-4 in season openers.

The Lumberjacks (1-0) finished the game shooting 46 percent from the floor, including a 19-of-33 (.576) performance in the second half, while holding Howard Payne (0-1) to a 15-of-46 (33 percent) effort. SFA showed signs of being an improved team from long range knocking down 10 three-point shots, its most since Chicago State in 2010. SFA also held a 44-27 advantage on the glass, including 16 offensive rebounds.

The Lumberjacks jumped out to an 8-0 lead, and didn’t surrender their first basket of the game until 15:31 remaining in the opening half. The six-point deficit would be as close as to victory as the Yellow Jackets would get as the Jacks closed out the half on a 15-2 run, SFA took a 36-14 lead into the locker room sparked by three SFA triples in the final 1:28 of the half.

The Jacks were 13-of-36 (36 percent) from the floor in the opening half, but converted 5-of-11 (46 percent) from beyond the three-point line. Junior Desmond Haymon scored 10 of his game-high 16 points in the opening half, including a 3-of-3 performance from beyond the arc.

SFA’s defense never allowed Howard Payne to get back into the contest. The Lumberjacks surrendered only seven first-half field goals, and forced the Yellow Jackets into 13 turnovers. In addition to their offensive woes, Howard Payne was out rebounded, 26-14, in the opening 20 minutes.

The Jacks received a huge lift from their bench outscoring the Yellow Jacket reserves, 50-12. Five different players scored in double-figures led by Haymon’s 16. Junior Deshaunt Walker added 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc, while senior Taylor Smith scored 12, and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. Senior Hal Bateman was unable to get into the scoring column, but finished the game with a career-high 11 assists. Bateman’s career-high was the most assist for a Lumberjack since Eric Bell had 11 at Northern Illinois in 2007.

Red shirt freshman Thomas Walkup also had an impressive collegiate debut, hitting all five of his shots from the floor for 11 points and four rebounds in just 15 minutes of work.

The Lumberjacks return to action Saturday, Nov. 17, when they travel to Miami, Fla., to take on Florida International. The game against the Golden Panthers is slated to begin at 1 p.m. (noon Nacogdoches time)."


By Kevin Britton Assistant Director of Athletic Public Relations, Eastern Kentucky University

"RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team scored 16 unanswered points in the first six minutes of the game and cruised to an 89-56 win over Cincinnati Christian University in the Colonels’ season opener and the first game of the Comfort Suites Invitational.

Back-to-back three-pointers by newcomer Corey Walden and junior forward Jeff Johnson capped Eastern’s fast start.  A 10-1 run later in the first half gave the Colonels their first 20-plus point lead.  Eric Stutz scored the final four on a tip-in and a lay-up for a 30-9 advantage.

A three-pointer by sophomore Timmy Knipp, EKU's seventh of the first half, with 38 seconds on the clock gave the Colonels their largest first half lead at 27 points, 49-22.  Eastern shot 65 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes of action and hit on 7-of-15 from long range.

Eastern Kentucky led by 20 or more points from the 2:46 mark of the first half.

Three straight three-pointers – one by Tarius Johnson and two by Glenn Cosey – capped an 11-1 run that pushed EKU out in front by 36 points, 66-30, with 14:21 left to play.  That would be the Colonels’ largest lead, matched a minute later.  Cincinnati Christian never got closer than 30 the rest of the way.

All 13 Colonels that were eligible to play tonight saw action.  Eleven of them scored at least two points.

In his EKU debut, Cosey scored a game-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field.  The junior knocked down 6-of-7 from three-point range.  Stutz finished with 11 points and six rebounds.  Senior Mike DiNunno scored 10 and handed out four assists.  Tarius Johnson contributed 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds.

DJ McCommons led CCU (0-3) with 15 points.

The Colonels shot 53 percent from the field for the game and 47 percent from three-point land.  EKU went 14-for-30 from deep.  The home squad enjoyed a 33-26 rebounding edge and committed 10 fewer turnovers than Cincinnati Christian’s 24 miscues.

The Comfort Suites Invitational continues next week with seven games in four days.  The Colonels will play Kennesaw State at 6 p.m. on Friday.  They will face Towson at 6 p.m. on Saturday.  EKU takes on Radford on Sunday at 5 p.m."


By Brian Siegrist Assoc. Director, Penn State Athletic Communications

"UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.; NOV. 9, 2012 – Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) was nearly perfect from the foul line hitting a career-best 17-of-18 from the stripe to help lead Penn State to a 65-58 season-opening win over feisty Saint Francis (0-1; 0-0 NEC) Friday night in the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions (1-0; 0-0 Big Ten) overcame a tough shooting night to log their eighth- straight season opening win and improve to 87-30 all-time in season openers.

Frazier led the Lions with 23 points, marking his 19th career 20-point game, and added six assists and two steals. He moved into tie for sixth place on the career assists chart with 450 and a tie for ninth place on the career steals list with 136. Sophomore D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.), seeing his first action in a Penn State uniform, hit a career-best 9-of-10 from the foul line for 16 points and added seven rebounds, while sophomore Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) posted 10 points and tied a career high with a team-leading nine rebounds.

The Nittany Lions shot just 37 percent for the game, 3-of-24 from three, and committed 17 turnovers, but pulled out the win behind a stellar 28-of-32 (.875) performance at the foul line. The Nittany Lions out-rebounded the Red Flash 38-22 and outscored Saint Francis 10-0 in second chance opportunities giving up just two Red Flash offensive rebounds on the night.

That we won tonight even with 3-of-24 and 17 turnovers says a lot about where we’re headed,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “Last year we would have probably lost this game. This year we have a different mentality that we’re never out of games. We keep a great attitude, keep grinding, and keep making plays whether that be a defensive play or an offensive play.”

Saint Francis was led by 19 points from Ollie Jackson, including three second half threes on his way to 4-of-8 from the arc on the night. The Red Flash shot 46.7 percent for the game and 7-of-19 from three, but were outscored 28-9 at the foul line. 

Like I say to the team, sometimes it is going to be ugly and if you can win those ugly ones then you are on the right path,” Chambers said. “Am I concerned about 3-for-24? Yes. We had really, really good shots. They were smart and packed it in. We didn’t make them, but it is okay. It is a learning experience and only game one. We are going to watch film tomorrow. We will get better and better for the next contest.”

Saint Francis opened the game taking a 3-0 lead before Frazier hit two at the foul line to pull Penn State within one, 3-2. Penn State moved into the lead after Newbill fed Frazier for an alley-oop dunk for a slim 4-3 lead. A layup from SFU’s Ronnie Drinnon had Saint Francis back on top, but a 6-0 Nittany Lion run had Penn State leading, 10-5, at the 14-minute mark.

Back-to-back baskets from the Red Flash had Penn State with a narrow 10-9 lead. Newbill sparked a 9-0 run with a three from the top of the key to give Penn State a10-point cushion, 19-9, with seven minutes left in the first half. SFU’s Dominique Major cut off the run with a trey. Marshall answered with a layup for a nine-point lead, 21-12.

With three minutes in the half, Saint Francis took off on an 8-1 run to pull the Red Flash within two, 22-20. Drinnon fouled Newbill who hit two at the line to make it 24-20, in favor of Penn State. The Nittany Lions called a timeout with 32 seconds in the half. Saint Francis missed a bucket and Tony Peters fouled Frazier who scored two points at the free throw line. The Nittany Lions headed into halftime with a six-point lead, 26-20.

Saint Francis opened the second half with an 11-4 run, including a pair of threes from Jackson and one from Kam Ritter to take a 31-30 lead. Frazier fired back with a steal and five straight points to move Penn State back into the lead, 35-31. Newbill hit two at the line for a 37-33 lead with a little more than 14 minutes on the clock.

After another Red Flash basket, Frazier was fouled behind the arc and hit three at the line to give Penn State a five-point lead, 40-35. Jackson hit a jumper as Saint Francis embarked on an 8-2 run to retake a 43-42 lead after a Ritter layup.However, the Red Flash fouled Frazier again and he went 2-for-2 at the line before a tip-in by Travis for a three-point PSU lead, 46-43.

A driving layup from Stephon Whyatt brought the Red Flash within one, 46-45, but two free throws from Frazier and a three-pointer from senior Nick Colella (New Castle, Pa.) had the Lions leading by four, 51-47, with seven minutes to play. Frazier was fouled again and went 2-for-2 at the line before junior Jermaine Marshall (Etters, Pa.) hit a trifecta to give Penn State a nine-point cushion, 56-47, with 5:42 remaining.

Five consecutive points from Newbill pushed Penn State’s lead in double-digits, 61-49, with just under a minute to play. Five points from the Red Flash allowed Saint Francis to close the gap to seven, 61-54, but two free throws by Frazier and a break-away dunk from Travis had the Lions back ahead by nine, 65-56. Drinnon scored two points on a layup for Saint Francis before time ran out to produce the final score of 65-58.

The Nittany Lions are back in action in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament in Bayamon, Puerto Rico Nov. 15-18. Penn State is set to play three games and faces No. 6-ranked North Carolina State first on Thursday, Nov. 15.  That game is set for a 5:00 p.m. tip on ESPN2. The Nittany Lions will face either Providence or Massachusetts on Nov. 16. Penn State returns to the Jordan Center on Friday, Nov. 23 for a 4:30 p.m. tip against Bucknell, which downed Purdue 70-65 in West Lafayette on Friday."