Kirk, Garrett named to Coaches Preseason All-SEC Teams

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ SEC West rivals Alabama and LSU each had 13 players make the coaches preseason all-conference teams.

The Crimson Tide had three players picked as first-teamers on each side of the ball Thursday, including wide receiver Calvin Ridley, left tackle Cam Robinson, tight end O.J. Howard, defensive end Jonathan Allen, safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Reuben Foster. Punter JK Scott is also a first-teamer.

Making the team for LSU were tailback Leonard Fournette, center Ethan Pocic, linebacker Kendell Beckwith and defensive back Tre’Davious White.

Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk made the first-team as a wide receiver, all-purpose player and return specialist. Teammate Myles Garrett made the first team on defense. Tennessee had four first-teamers: linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, defensive back Cameron Sutton, defensive end Derek Barnett and return specialist Evan Berry.

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Romo gives Cowboys scare as Seattle rolls past Dallas 27-17

SEATTLE (AP) _ Three plays were all it took for Dallas to get yet another injury scare surrounding Tony Romo.

The quarterback lasted just 90 seconds into the Cowboys’ 27-17 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks last night before leaving with what appeared at first to be a potentially significant injury, but ended up being minor.

Romo was tackled from behind by Seattle’s Cliff Avril on the third play from scrimmage as Romo scrambled from the pocket.

Turned out it was all just a scare. Romo walked off the field without assistance, threw passes on the sideline and lobbied for a return to the game. Dallas coach Jason Garrett opted to play it safe and Romo donned a baseball hat as a spectator the rest of the night.

Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 48 yards on seven carries, including a 13-yard run where he knocked Seattle safety Kam Chancellor backward. Backup QB Dak Prescott also turned in a solid performance, finishing 17 of 23 for 116 yards, including a 17-yard TD pass that Jason Witten snatched away from K.J. Wright.

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Hamels goes 8 innings for Texas in 9-0 win over Indians

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Cole Hamels allowed only two singles over eight innings for his 14th victory, Carlos Gomez hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat with Texas and the AL-best Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 9-0 on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series matching division leaders.

Hamels (14-4) retired 19 straight batters after Francisco Lindor’s solid two-out single to left in the first. The only other baserunner for the Indians was Carlos Santana after a leadoff hit in the eighth, though he was stranded at second after advancing on a passed ball.

Adrian Beltre and Rougned Odor also homered for the Rangers (75-53).

Hamels struck out eight without a walk, and the lefty improved to 21-5 in his 38 starts since the Rangers acquired him last season when he was coming off a no-hitter in his last start for the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the longest scoreless outing for a Texas starter this season.

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Texas A&M, Arizona Headline Lone Star Shootout Doubleheader in Houston

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

HOUSTON – College basketball fans in Houston will be treated to a holiday feast when Texas A&M battles Arizona and Texas plays Arkansas in a nationally televised doubleheader on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Toyota Center. The event is managed by Kentucky-based sports marketing firm bd Global.

The Aggies and Wildcats are slated to tip off at 11 a.m. (CT) with ESPN2 providing television coverage for the SEC-Pac 12 match-up.

“To pair up old rivals Texas and Arkansas will be a great game for basketball fans in Houston, and then to add in a marquee matchup featuring the Aggies and Arizona will undoubtedly make this the best doubleheader in all of college basketball this season,” said Brooks Downing, president of bd Global (www.bdglobalsports.com), the event promoter.

Arizona, A&M and Texas all played in last season’s NCAA Tournament while Arkansas is predicted to contend with A&M for the Southeastern Conference title in 2017.

“I’m excited to play one of the top programs in college basketball,” said Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy. “It will be a great challenge for our young team. We look forward to playing in Houston, with the Toyota Center full of Aggies.”

Last season was a breakthrough year for Kennedy’s squad as the Aggies won a school-record 28 games, took home a share of the SEC regular-season title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The Aggies return eight lettermen, including SEC All-Freshman Team performers in center Tyler Davis and forward DJ Hogg as well as key contributors, center Tonny Trocha-Morelos and guard Admon Gilder.

Arizona, a college basketball blueblood, has experienced a renaissance under Coach Sean Miller. The Wildcats have won 25+ games in each of the past four seasons which has included four NCAA Tournament appearances and two Elite Eight finishes. Standout guard Allonzo Trier elected to bypass the NBA Draft and return for his sophomore season. He will receive help from a top-five recruiting class, which includes top-25 prospects Kobi Simmons and Rawle Alkins.

Texas made immediate strides last season under first-year coach Shaka Smart by finishing with 20 wins and earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament. A strong incoming freshman class ranked No. 11 nationally will bolster the Longhorns. The class is led by top-30 prospects Jarrett Allen and Andrew Jones.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” said Smart. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.”

Arkansas looks to rebound following last year’s 16-16 finish. The Razorbacks return their top two scorers from a year ago in seniors Moses Kingsley and Dusty Hannahs and adds three of the top six junior college players in the country. Kingsley recently participated in the Nike Basketball Academy, a prestigious five-day event with the top-20 college players in the country.

Tickets ranging from $20 – $400 (courtside seating), not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale Aug. 26 at 10 a.m. (CT) online at www.HoustonToyotaCenter.com, by phone at 1-866-4-HOU-TIXand at select Houston area Randalls locations. Tickets also will be available at the Toyota Center Box Office beginning Monday, Aug. 29, at 9 a.m. (based on availability).

Complete event information can be found at www.hoopsinhouston.com. For group sales or sponsorship opportunities, interested parties should contact bd Global at 859-951-6141.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Texas A&M Football releases “2-Deep” Depth Chart

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

2016 TEXAS A&M DEPTH CHART . . . As of Aug. 25, 2016
OFFENSE
WR–             4       Damion Ratley, 6-3, 195, Jr-1L, Yoakum, TX (Yoakum/Blinn JC)            
                   19       Jeremy Tabuyo, 5-11, 195, Sr-3L, Honolulu, HI (St. Louis)
LT–              65       Avery Gennesy, 6-5, 315, Sr-1L, Southaven, MS (Southaven/East Mississippi)
                   75       Koda Martin, 6-6, 305, So-1L, Manvel, TX (Manvel)       
LG–              76       Colton Prater, 6-4, 295, Fr-HS, Bossier City, LA (Airline)
                   77       Ryan McCollum, 6-5, 285, Fr-HS, Spring, TX (Klein Oak)
C–               64       Erik McCoy, 6-4, 305, Fr-RS, Lufkin, TX (Lufkin)
                   55       Austin Anderson, 6-4, 297, Fr-HS, Mineola, TX (Mineola)
RG–              70       Connor Lanfear, 6-6, 315, So-1L, Buda, TX (Buda)
                   78       Keaton Sutherland, 6-5, 310, So-1L, Flower Mound, TX (Marcus)
RT–              72       Jermaine Eluemunor, 6-4, 325, Sr-1L, Denville, NJ (Morris Knolls/Lackawanna (PA))
                   50       Tank Davis, 6-4, 290, So-SQ, Garland, TX (Lakeview Centennial)
TE–              86       Tanner Schorp, 6-3, 250, Jr-1L, San Antonio, TX (Reagan)
OR                89       Kalvin Cline, 6-5, 255, Jr-TR, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Pine Crest/Virginia Tech)
WR–             9       Ricky Seals-Jones, 6-5, 240, Jr-2L, Sealy, TX (Sealy)
                   15       Frank Iheanacho, 6-6, 230, So-1L, Houston, TX (Westside)
WR–             11        Josh Reynolds, 6-4, 193, Sr-2L, San Antonio, TX (Jay/Tyler JC)
                   18       Edward Pope, 6-4, 172, Sr-3L, Carthage, TX (Carthage)
OR                16       Kemah Siverand, 6-1, 200, Fr-RS, Cypress, TX (Cy Ridge)
WR–             3       Christian Kirk, 5-11, 200, So-1L, Scottsdale, AZ (Saguaro)
                   82       Boone Niederhofer, 6-3, 207, Sr-2L, San Antonio, TX (Churchill)
QB–              8       Trevor Knight, 6-1, 215, Sr-TR, San Antonio, TX (Reagan/Oklahoma)
                   10       Jake Hubenak, 6-3, 215, Jr-1L, Georgetown, TX (Georgetown/Blinn JC)
TB–              20       James White, 6-0, 217, Jr-2L, Pearland, TX (Dawson)
OR                7       Keith Ford, 5-11, 215, Jr-RS, Cypress, TX (Cy Ranch/Oklahoma)
OR                5       Trayveon Williams, 5-9, 200, Fr-HS, Houston, TX (C.E. King)
 
DEFENSE
DE–              10       Daeshon Hall, 6-6, 270, Sr-3L, Seattle, WA (Lancaster)
                   9       Qualen Cunningham, 6-3, 240, Jr-2L, Chandler, AZ (Hamilton)
DT–              92       Zaycoven Henderson, 6-2, 300, Jr-2L, Longview, TX (Longview)
OR                88       Kingsley Keke, 6-3, 310, So-1L, Richmond, TX (George Ranch)
DT–              98       Hardreck Walker, 6-2, 290, Sr-3L, Spring, TX (Westfield)
                   5       Daylon Mack, 6-1, 320, So-1L, Gladewater, TX (Gladewater)                
DE–              15       Myles Garrett, 6-5, 270, Jr-2L, Arlington, TX (Martin)      
                   40       Jarrett Johnson, 6-3, 260, Jr-2L, Katy, TX (Seven Lakes)
OR                99       James Lockhart, 6-3, 260, So-1L, Ennis, TX (Ennis)
WLB–            33       Shaan Washington, 6-3, 240, Sr-3L, Alexandria, LA (Senior)
                   45       Cullen Gillaspia, 6-2, 230, So-SQ, Katy, TX (Taylor)
MLB–            42       Otaro Alaka, 6-3, 240, So-1L, Houston, TX (Cy Falls)
                   31       Claude George, 6-2, 240, Sr-1L, Lafayette, LA (Acadiana/Hutchinson (KS) CC)
SLB–             7       Richard Moore, 6-1, 218, So-1L, Cedar Hill, TX (Cedar Hill)
                   16       Dwaine Thomas, 6-2, 225, So-1L, Boutte, LA (Hahnville)                    
LC–              1        Nick Harvey, 5-10, 185, Jr-2L, Lancaster, TX (Richmond Travis)   
                   27       Roney Elam, 6-2, 180, Fr-RS, Newton, TX (Newton)
RC–              24       Priest Willis, 6-2, 200, Jr-RS, Tempe, AZ (Marcos De Niza/UCLA)
                   19       Deshawn Capers-Smith, 6-0, 190, So-1L, New Orleans, LA (Warren Easton)
FS–              23       Armani Watts, 5-11, 200, Jr-2L, Forney, TX (North)
                   18       Larry Pryor, 6-0, 205, Fr-RS, Sulphur Springs, TX (Sulphur Springs)       
SS–              14       Justin Evans, 6-1, 200, Sr-1L, Wiggins, MS (Stone/Gulf Coast (MS) CC)
                   6       Donovan Wilson, 6-1, 206, Jr-2L, Shreveport, LA (Woodlawn)
NICK-            6       Donovan Wilson, 6-1, 206, Jr-2L, Shreveport, LA (Woodlawn)
                   4       Noel Ellis, 5-10, 185, Jr-2L, New Orleans, LA (Edna Karr)
OR                17       Alex Sezer, Jr., 5-9, 180, Sr-3L, Orange, TX (Little Cypress-Mauriceville)
 
Specialists
PLK–             36       Daniel LaCamera, 6-4, 223, So-SQ, Tarpon Springs, FL (East Lake)
P–                46       Shane Tripucka, 6-3, 210, Jr-SQ, Allen, TX (Allen)
                   34       Braden Mann, 5-11, 205, Fr-HS, Houston, TX (Cy Fair)
SNP-              45       Austin Frey, 6-1, 220, So-1L, Tomball, TX (Homeschool)
OR                40       Christian Robertson, 5-11, 240, So-1L, Grapevine, TX (Grapevine)
HOLD-           14       Conner McQueen, 5-10, 175, Sr-3L, Klein, TX (Klein Oak)
PR–              3       Christian Kirk, 5-11, 200, So-1L, Scottsdale, AZ (Saguaro)
                   1        Nick Harvey, 5-10, 185, Jr-2L, Lancaster, TX (Richmond Travis)
KR–              14       Justin Evans, 6-1, 200, Sr-1L, Wiggins, MS (Stone/Gulf Coast (MS) CC)
                   2       Speedy Noil, 5-11, 200, Jr-2L, New Orleans, LA (Edna Karr)

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Yu Darvish homers, Rangers beat Reds 6-5 for 2-game split

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Yu Darvish hit only the second homer by a Rangers pitcher and Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking double in the eighth inning Wednesday night for a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and a split of their two-game interleague series.

Darvish’s solo shot to center field was one of three homers by the Rangers, who wasted a three-run lead before rallying late. Beltre’s double off Blake Wood (5-2) snapped a 5-5 tie.

Nomar Mazara had a three-homer, and Ian Desmond followed Darvish’s homer in the fifth with one off Tim Adleman. The Reds have given up 10 homers in the last three games, including four sets of back-to-back homers.

Darvish let a 5-2 lead slip away. He walked a season-high five batters and hit a batter in six innings. A passed ball and an error led to two unearned runs.

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Texas A&M Fall Practice: Wednesday, August 24th

With less than 10 days until Aggie Football hosts No. 16 UCLA, Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin met with the media after practice on Wednesday.

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Head Coach Kevin Sumlin

KSumlin_0824.mp3

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My Aggie Nation Podcast: Will Texas A&M crack the Top 25?

Newstalk 1620 WTAW‘s Zach Taylor and My Aggie Nation‘s Travis L. Brown ponder if and when Texas A&M will break into the AP Top 25 poll with a preseason rank two spots out of No. 25. Also, the duo breaks down linebacker depth after the suspension of Josh Walker and discusses the end of an era for the Texas Rangers with the release of Josh Hamilton. Finally, Brown picks up a few tips on how to navigate College Station after the invasion of students this weekend. (August, 24, 2016)

MANpodcastArt

MyAggieNation_0824.mp3

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Stars ink Hudler

FRISCO, Texas (AP) _ Free agent right wing Jiri Hudler (HOOD’-lur) has signed a $2 million, one-year deal with the Dallas Stars. A veteran of 11 NHL seasons, he had 46 points in 72 games combined for Calgary and Florida last season. Hudler has appeared in 83 career playoff games and went to consecutive Stanley Cup Finals with Detroit in 2008 and 2009.

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Gattis, Correa lead McHugh, Astros over Pirates

By WES CROSBY

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Evan Gattis hit a two-run homer and Carlos Correa got two hits and scored twice, leading Collin McHugh and the Houston Astros over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 Wednesday.

The Astros won the interleague matchup between wild-card contenders for their fifth victory in six games. Pittsburgh has lost five of six.

McHugh (8-10) gave up three runs in five innings, ending an 0-4 rut in his last five starts. Ken Giles closed for his fifth save.

Gerrit Cole (7-9) allowed five runs in five innings. He has a 6.07 ERA through five August starts.

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Cowboys WR Dez Bryant Out After Concussion in Practice

FRISCO, Texas (AP) _ Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant will miss the next
preseason game after sustaining a concussion in practice.

Coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday that Bryant was hurt a day earlier when the
receiver’s head hit the shoulder pads of safety Barry Church. Garrett says
Bryant was held out of the rest of that practice and will not play Thursday
night at Seattle.

On his Twitter account Tuesday, Bryant promised Cowboys fans that he is OK.

Garrett said Bryant seemed “much better” Tuesday, and the coach doesn’t think
there is a long-term concern.

Bryant had four catches for 74 yards in two preseason games. He had a touchdown
catch in each game.

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Nova, Polanco Lead Pirates to 7-1 Victory Over Astros

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Ivan Nova took a shutout into the ninth inning and finished
with a six-hitter while Gregory Polanco hit two home runs to lead the Pittsburgh
Pirates to a 7-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

Nova (10-6) struck out six, walked one and threw 69 of his 98 pitches for
strikes while improving to 3-0 in four starts since being acquired from the New
York Yankees in an Aug. 1 trade.

It was the fourth complete game of the right-hander’s seven-year career with
the others coming in 2013.

His bid for his third career shutout ended when Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve
led off the ninth with consecutive doubles.

After the Pirates scored four runs in the first inning, Polanco hit solo shots
in the third and fifth off Joe Musgrove and Tony Sipp to extend the lead to 6-0
and raise his season total to a team-high 19 homers.

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Dan Straily Goes 6 Innings as Reds Beat Rangers 3-0

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Dan Straily extended his surge since the All-Star break by
pitching six innings and Joey Votto drove in a pair of runs to lead the
Cincinnati Reds over the Texas Rangers 3-0 on Tuesday night.

A day after losing to the Dodgers 18-9, the Reds won a close one against a
Rangers team that has been shut out three times in its last nine games.

Straily (10-6) hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his eight starts
since the break, going 6-0. He gave up three singles and two walks. Raisel
Iglesias gave up two hits in the seventh but escaped the threat with two
strikeouts.

Tony Cingrani gave two walks in the ninth before retiring Ryan Rua on a
grounder to complete his 16th save in 21 chances.

Votto singled home a run in the sixth off left-hander Derek Holland (5-6), who
had been on the disabled list since June 22 with an inflamed pitching shoulder.

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Rangers put Josh Hamilton on unconditional release waivers

By JOE KAY

CINCINNATI (AP) _ The Texas Rangers have placed outfielder Josh Hamilton on unconditional release waivers as he tries to come back from a series of operations on his left knee.

The Rangers activated him off the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday and put him on waivers. They also recalled right-hander Shawn Tolleson from the minors and put him on the 60-day DL, creating a spot for left-hander Derek Holland to return from the disabled list and start against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

The move with Hamilton was expected. He had surgery on the left knee on June 8 to reconstruct the ACL and repair cartilage damage _ his third operation on the knee since September. He’s hoping to be ready to play by spring training.

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Texas A&M Setter Stephanie Aiple Named to espnW Watch List

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M junior setter Stephanie Aiple (pronounced EYE-plee) is one of 12 volleyball players in the nation to be named to espnW’s “12 to Watch” list, released today.

The 6-1 Round Rock, Texas, native is coming off a season in which she was named the Southeastern Conference player of the year after leading the Aggies to their first conference championship in program history. Also an AVCA Honorable Mention All-America selection in 2015, Aiple orchestrated an Aggie offense that led the SEC with 13.22 assists per set for the full season and ranked second in the league with 14.09 kills per set and a .272 hitting efficiency, marking the program’s second highest hitting percentage since 1985.

Others named to the “12 to Watch” list are: Rhamat Alhassan, middle blocker, Florida; Hannah Tapp, middle blocker, Minnesota; Haleigh Washington, middle blocker, Penn State; Kadie Rolfzen, outside hitter, Nebraska; Paulina Prieto Cerame, outside hitter, Texas; Nikki Taylor, outside hitter, Hawaii; Lauren Carlini, setter, Wisconsin; Kelsie Payne, outside hitter, Kansas; Taylor Formico, libero, UCLA; Kalei Mau, outside hitter, Arizona; and Sarah Sponcil, outside hitter, Loyola Marymount.

Aiple and the 16th-ranked Aggies open the season Friday at 3:30 p.m. against Nevada at the North Texas Challenge in Denton, Texas. The Aggies’ home opener is Friday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. against No. 4 Wisconsin at Reed Arena.

The Aggies, favored to repeat as SEC champions according to a preseason poll of the league’s coaches, begin defense of their conference title Friday, Sept. 23 at Alabama. Texas A&M makes its home conference debut against Auburn on Sunday, Sept. 25.

Season tickets are available for purchase at 12thManFoundation.com.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Limited Number of UCLA Football Tickets Available

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION—A limited number of UCLA football tickets are available for the Texas A&M season opener set for Saturday, Sept. 3 at Kyle Field. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. central and tickets can be purchased for $100 each and can be accessed via 12thMan.com/tickets or by contacting the 12th Man Foundation Ticket Office at 1-888-99-AGGIE (888-992-4443).

The majority of the inventory is from the visiting team allotment in the upper levels of Kyle Field.

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Hernandez, Fister lead Astros to 3-1 win over Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Doug Fister pitched seven scoreless innings, Teoscar Hernandez hit a two-run homer and the Houston Astros beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 on Monday night.

Hernandez connected off fellow rookie Jameson Taillon (3-3) in the fifth inning after A.J. Reed’s leadoff walk. It was the third home run for Hernandez, who was called up from Triple-A Fresno on Aug. 12 to make his major league debut.

Alex Bregman, another Astros rookie, hit his fourth homer in the ninth inning off Neftali Feliz.

Houston won its fourth straight game and Pittsburgh lost its fourth in a row. Both teams are competing for wild-card spots.

Fister struck out six, walked one and retired 11 of the first 12 batters. He had allowed nine runs and 11 hits over nine innings in his previous two starts.

Ken Giles got his fourth save despite allowing David Freese’s RBI single in the ninth.

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Speedo drops sponsorship of Ryan Lochte

NEW YORK (AP) _ Speedo is the first major company to drop its sponsorship of swimmer Ryan Lochte.

The swimsuit maker owned by PVH in New York says that it doesn’t condone behavior that is counter to its values.

Lochte fabricated a tale that he was robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics. He later apologized.

Speedo says it is donating $50,000 from Lochte’s sponsorship fee to the global charity Save the Children for children in Brazil.

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The AP Top 25 Preseason Poll

1
Alabama (33)
Record: 14-1
PV Rank

1

Points

1,469

2
Clemson (16)
Record: 14-1
2
1,443
3
Record: 11-2
5
1,352
4
Record: 10-3
14
1,325
5
LSU (1)
Record: 9-3
16
1,269
6
Record: 12-1
4
1,224
7
Record: 10-3
12
1,147
8
Record: 12-2
3
1,029
9
Record: 9-4
22
1,021
10
11
1,006
11
Record: 10-3
10
718
12
Record: 12-2
6
710
13
Record: 11-2
7
707
14
Record: 7-6
651
15
Record: 13-1
8
644
16
Record: 8-5
496
17
Record: 12-2
9
484
18
Record: 10-3
448
19
Record: 8-5
447
20
Record: 8-6
344
21
Record: 10-3
20
316
22
Record: 11-3
15
283
23
Record: 10-3
13
280
24
Record: 9-4
19
218
25
Record: 10-4
25
180

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Pounds’ Hat Trick Propels Aggies Past Rice, 4-1

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M junior forward Haley Pounds notched her second career hat trick and added an assist to lead the No. 8 Aggies past the Rice Owls, 4-1, Sunday evening at Ellis Field.

Pounds ended the match with a career-high seven points with the three goals and the assist.

Texas A&M converted three set pieces in the win, scoring on a free kick, penalty kick and corner kick with Pounds taking the first touch on all three goals.

Pounds’ first goal came with 4:01 remaining in the second half to tie the match at 1-1. Texas A&M was awarded a free kick at the top of the penalty area when Grace Piper was tackled from behind on a shot attempt. Pounds launched the free kick from 20 yards out, with the shot clipping the crossbar before cascading down the back netting.

The Aggies claimed their first lead of the match in the 55th minute. Rice was called for a foul in the box when Brittany Crabtree was taken down just outside the six-yard box. Pounds took the penalty kick, blasting the ball past Owls’ goalkeeper Maya Hoyer, who guessed correctly but was unable to make the stop.

Texas A&M finished strong with two goals in the waning moments of the match.

With 7:32 remaining in the second half, Pounds delivered a corner kick to the near post from the left arc. Her offering found the head of freshman Cienna Arrieta who put it home for her first career goal and the 3-1 advantage.

Pounds finished off the hat trick in the 84th minute. Mikaela Harvey intercepted a poor clearance on the offensive side of the center circle. She rumbled through the defense to the penalty arc before slipping a pass through the back line to find Pounds 15 yards out. Pounds used her first touch to send a right-footed missile through the mitts of Hoyer.

Rice drew first blood in the 21st minute. Nia Stallings sent a pass in from the left side of the penalty box. Her offering found Aliza Wolfe at the righthand corner of the six-yard box and she sent it to the left upper 90 for the 1-0 lead.

Texas A&M owned the advantages in shots (18-6), shots-on-goal (12-1) and corner kicks (5-2).

The Aggies return to action Friday when they host the UCLA Bruins in a 7:30 pm match at Ellis Field.

Head Coach G Guerrieri
Opening Statement
“It feels good to win. I thought our team played well enough to win on Friday. Tonight we weren’t extraordinary because it was still the first weekend of the season. Rice came in and gave us a good challenge. I think Nicky (Adams) had her team ready. They had a chance to take the weekend off because their game got rained on Friday. So for us to play such a difficult game on Friday night and then come out here today and play another difficult team in an in-state derby, I was really pleased with our players getting it done tonight.

Haley Pound’s hat trick…
“It was a great free kick by Haley (Pounds) to get us back in the game in the first half. It’s always cool when an Aggie gets a hat trick especially when it’s a No. 12. She’s going to be one of the focal points of our multi-layered attack. I lot of times goal-scoring comes down to getting hot and feeling good and confident about yourself. I also thought Emily Bates played really well. It was good for Cienna (Arrieta) to get her first goal of her college career tonight. I think in general, we got stronger as the game went on and that was one of the things I was most pleased about.”

Junior forward Haley Pounds
On tonight’s hat trick…
“It’s very exciting. I’m just very thankful that I was able to get a few opportunities to score and that gives us a lot of confidence going into UCLA next week.”

On bouncing back from Friday…
“Friday we played the number one team in the nation. We went down early on and just weren’t able to come back and score. So, tonight for us to go down early on again and battle, I think that was good for our team, especially for these freshmen starting off to face a little adversity in the start and be able to win was awesome.”

On her first goal…
“I’ve just been working on set pieces in practice, so the first goal, the free kick, I’ve been doing that a lot in practice so to see that pay off was pretty special.”

On the performance of the freshmen…
“The freshmen are doing great. They came in early in the spring, so they have a semester under their belt of spring training. They’re pretty much adjusted to our team and it shows on the field. They don’t play like freshmen.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

The post Pounds’ Hat Trick Propels Aggies Past Rice, 4-1 appeared first on WTAW.

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