A&M’s Szeryk Named Canada’s Female Amateur Golfer of the Year

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

Texas A&M senior Maddie Szeryk was selected as Canada’s Female Amateur Golfer of the Year for 2017. Szeryk recorded three victories in amateur tournaments this season, a victory at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational, while playing for Texas A&M, and two victories over the summer at the B.C. Women’s Amateur and the Women’s Western Amateur Championships.

Szeryk averaged 70.60 strokes over 15 rounds in the fall, which ranks 18th nationally. In the spring, Szeryk finished 5th at the SEC Championship, and advanced to the NCAA Championship, where she tied for 13th. She earned All-SEC and All-American honors in the 2016-17 season.

Szeryk finished atop the women’s National Order of Merit for the third consecutive year, which is used to help determine the winner for the Amateur Golfer of the Year.

Szeryk and the Aggies begin their 2018 schedule Feb. 9-11 at the Florida State Match-Up in Tallahassee.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Paul leads Rockets over Hornets 108-96 for 11th straight win

By KRISTIE RIEKEN

HOUSTON (AP) _ Chris Paul scored a season-high 31 points and James Harden added 21 as the Houston Rockets extended their NBA-best winning streak to 11 games with a 108-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night.

The Rockets have won 17 of their last 18 games to improve to 22-4, the best record in the league.

After allowing the Pelicans to stick around before putting them away late in their last game, the Rockets made sure this one was decided early. Houston led by one late in the first before scoring 25 straight points over the end of that quarter and the beginning of the second to make it 49-23 and cruise to the easy win.

Dwight Howard tied a season high with 26 points and had 18 rebounds and three blocks as the Hornets continued to struggle on the road, where they’ve dropped nine of their last 10 dating to Oct. 30.

Houston made 17 3-pointers and held the Hornets to just four.

The Rockets had a 14-point lead at halftime and used a 9-2 run, with five points from Harden, to open the third quarter and make it 72-51.

Charlotte scored eight straight points to cut the lead to 79-65 with about 3 1/2 remaining in the third. But Houston outscored the Hornets 12-4 to wrap up the quarter and take a 91-69 lead into the fourth. Harden and Paul each made a 3-pointer in that stretch and Eric Gordon added two more.

With Harden on the bench, the Rockets scored the last 14 points of the first quarter, with the last nine from Paul, to turn a one-point lead into a 38-23 advantage entering the second quarter.

Houston continued to pile on to start the second, scoring the first 11 points of the period to extend its run to 25-0 and make it 49-23 with 9:45 left in the half. The Rockets made six 3-pointers during that run, with three from Paul and one from Gordon.

The Hornets finally ended their scoring drought when Jeremy Lamb made a pair of free throws a few seconds after that, but they didn’t make a field goal until Kemba Walker hit a jumper with about eight minutes left in the second that made it 50-27.

The Rockets led 63-49 at halftime.

TIP-INS

Hornets: Nicolas Batum returned after missing the last game with a sore left elbow. He had nine points and nine rebounds. … Michael Carter-Williams received a technical at the end of the first quarter. … Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Rockets: Trevor Ariza played despite dealing with a sore left foot. He had 13 points and six rebounds. … Luc Mbah a Moute injured his left shoulder crashing to the court after a shot just before halftime and didn’t return. … Paul added 11 assists and seven rebounds.

UP NEXT

Hornets: Host Miami on Friday night.

Rockets: Host San Antonio on Friday night.

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Benn has a goal, 2 assists to lead Stars past Islanders, 5-2

By VIN A. CHERWOO

NEW YORK (AP) _ Tyler Pitlick scored twice and Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists to lead the Dallas Stars to a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

Alexander Radulov and Remi Elie also scored for the Stars, who won their second straight after a three-game skid. Kari Lehtonen stopped 32 shots for his 300th career victory, and John Klingberg had two assists.

Anders Lee scored twice for the Islanders, who have lost five of seven (2-4-1), and John Tavares and Josh Bailey each had two assists. Jaroslav Halak, starting for the seventh time in nine games, was pulled near the midpoint of the second period after giving up four goals on 20 shots. Thomas Greiss came on and stopped six of the seven shots he faced.

Leading 2-0 after one period, the Stars added to their lead 1:01 into the second. Devin Shore got a pass from Klingberg and fired a shot from the right side that Halak stopped. However, the rebound went in front and Elie fired it in before the Islanders’ goalie could recover for his fourth.

Benn made it 4-0 at 9:21 as he brought the puck up the left side, paused briefly above the left circle and fired a shot past Halak for his 13th.

Greiss came on to replace Halak after that.

Josh Bailey hit the inside of the right goalpost with 9 1/2 minutes remaining in the second for the Islanders, and Casey Cizikas also hit a post about three minutes later.

Pitlick made it 5-0 with his second of the night and fifth of the season just 21 seconds into the third, deflecting a point shot by Klingberg past Greiss. Benn had an assist on the play, giving him two goals and three assists in his last three games.

Lee put in a deflection 45 seconds later to get New York on the scoreboard, and made it 5-2 with his 19th with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.

Both teams had chances in the opening period, in which the Islanders outshot the Stars 15-14.

Halak denied a tip-in by Brett Ritche about 2 1/2 minutes in and made a right pad save on a shot by Radulov less than two minutes later.

Lehtonen had a pad save on Calvin de Haan 30 seconds earlier.

The Stars took a 1-0 lead at 7:37 as Dan Hamhuis fired a shot from above circle that bounced off the end boards and came right to Pitlick, who put it in from the left side for his fourth of the season.

Jordan Eberle fired a shot that Lehtonen knocked down and smothered with about 8 minutes left. The Stars’ goalie also denied Andrew Ladd’s attempt on a rebound in front less than a minute later and a deflection by Tavares in close with a little more than five minutes to go.

Radulov made it 2-0 with 4:14 remaining in the first, firing it past Halak from outside the right circle in front of the side boards for his 10th.

NOTES: Dallas improved to 15-3-0 when scoring first and 14-1-1 when leading after two periods. … Stars F Martin Hanzal returned after missing five games with a hamstring injury. Dallas was without F Antoine Roussel for a second straight game because of an injured elbow and D Marc Methot for the 16th consecutive game with an injured knee. … Dallas, which beat New York 5-0 at home on Nov. 10, completed a sweep of the two-game season series. … Tavares now has 318 assists for his career, moving him past Stefan Persson into eighth place on the franchise list. … New York lost in regulation at home for just the second time this season, falling to 9-2-2 at Barclays Center. … New York D Johnny Boychuk returned to the lineup after missing three games with a lower-body injury.

UP NEXT:

Stars: At New Jersey in the third of a four-game trip.

Islanders: At Columbus on Thursday night before returning for a five-game homestand.

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Joe Smith, champion Houston Astros agree to 2-year contract

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) _ Right-hander Joe Smith and the World Series champion Houston Astros have agreed to a two-year contract.

The 33-year-old was 3-0 with one save and 71 strikeouts over 54 innings in 59 relief appearances this year for Toronto and Cleveland, which reacquired him for a pair of minor leaguers at the July 31 trade deadline. Smith pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings over four games in the AL Division Series against the New York Yankees.

Smith is 44-28 with a 2.97 ERA in 698 relief appearances over 11 big league seasons that also included time with the New York Mets (2007-08), Cleveland (2009-13, the Los Angeles Angels (2014-16) and the Chicago Cubs (2016).

His deal was announced Wednesday at the winter meetings, and Houston said Smith will be introduced at a news conference Thursday at Minute Maid Park.

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Aggies Cruise to 113-66 Win Over Savannah State

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Tyler Davis recorded a double-double before halftime and No. 9 Texas A&M put seven players in double figures while rolling over Savannah State 113-66 on Wednesday night.

D.J. Hogg led the balanced scoring for the Aggies (9-1) with 18 points. Davis overpowered the smaller Tigers (3-8) near the basket, finishing with 17 rebounds and 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

A&M produced its highest point total since the 1989-90 season, connecting on a school-record 16 3-pointers in 38 attempts. Hogg made 5 of 9 from 3-point range, while point guard Duane Wilson and reserve T.J. Starks hit four apiece.

Javaris Jenkins led Savannah State of the MEAC with 18 points. The Tigers, who lead the country in 3-point attempts, fired 40 shots from beyond the arc, making 12.

The Aggies scored the last 10 points of the first half, building a 52-33 lead. Savannah State got no closer than 19 points in the second half.


Texas A&M Basketball Postgame Notes
#9 Texas A&M 113, Savannah State 66
Dec. 13, 2017
Reed Arena (College Station, Texas)
RECORDS / SERIES NOTES

  •  Texas A&M improved to 9-1 on the season following a 113-66 victory over Savannah State inside Reed Arena on Wednesday night.
  •  A&M’s 9-1 record stands out as the best start to a season since the 2010-11 Aggies also began with nine wins in their first 10 contests.
  •  The all-time series between Texas A&M and Savannah State now stands at 2-0 in favor of the Aggies.

TEAM NOTES

  •  Texas A&M surpassed the 100-point mark for the 56th time in program history … the game also stands out as the fourth 100-point game in the Billy Kennedy era as well as the first since the Aggies scored 100 points against Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 16, 2015.
  •  The 113 points were the most A&M has scored in a game since putting up 114 against Florida International on Dec. 21, 1989.
  •  The Aggies knocked down a school-record 16 3-pointers in the contest, breaking the previous record of 14 set against Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 16, 2015.
  •  A&M registered 32 assists vs. the Tigers, its first 30-assist game since totaling 32 against USC Upstate on Nov. 13, 2015 … the 32 assists is the third-highest total for a game in program history as well as the most since 32 against Houston on Dec. 22, 1986.
  •  A&M pulled down 64 rebounds in the contest, a figured that tied for the eighth most in school history alongside similar 64-rebound performances vs. Houston Baptist (12/6/75) and TCU (2/3/73).
  •  Overall, Texas A&M owned a 65-35 edge in rebounding to elevate its season rebounding margin to +10.3 per game this season.
  •  The Aggies scored the final 10 points of the opening period as part of a larger 17-3 run that gave A&M a 52-33 lead at intermission.
  •  Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Duane Wilson, Admon Gilder, DJ Hogg, Tonny Trocha-Morelos and Tyler Davis for the fifth time this season (5-0).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  •  Senior Tonny Trocha-Morelos notched his second career double-double and neared the first triple-double for the Aggies in 15 seasons as the Colombia native finished with 13 rebounds, 10 points and seven assists … The 13 boards were career-bests for the senior.
  •  Junior Tyler Davis enjoyed one the best performances of his collegiate career as the big man notched his eighth career double-double prior to halftime … The Plano, Texas, native, finished the day with 13 points and a season-high 17 rebounds in just 24 minutes of action.
  • Junior DJ Hogg scored in doubles figures for the ninth time in 10 games this season, pouring in 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc … The five made 3-pointers matched a season high for the Plano West HS graduate.
  •  Junior Admon Gilder shot 7-for-14 from the floor to pitch in 15 points against the Tigers, adding a trio of steals and assists in 22 minutes of action.
  •  Senior Duane Wilson connected on four 3-pointers on the night, the most by the Marquette transfer in the Maroon & White … Wilson finished with 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals on the night.
  •  Freshman TJ Starks scored a career-best 12 points against Savannah State, finishing 4-for-10 from the floor with all four made baskets from beyond the 3-point arc … The night marked the second time Starks has scored in double-figures since donning the Maroon & White.
  •  Junior Chris Collins notched a season-high 10 points, reaching double figures for the second time in his career … The Friendswood native went 4-for-7 from the floor in eight minutes of action.
  •  Aggie head coach Billy Kennedy improved to 124-86 during his seven-year tenure at Texas A&M and 334-265 in 20 seasons as a head coach.

UP NEXT

  •  The Aggies continue their homestand at Reed Arena when they host Northern Kentucky on Tuesday at 7 p.m. … the game will be available digitally on SEC Network PLUS.

TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
Opening Statement… “It was good to get a chance to play everybody. I thought everybody gave some positive minutes. 32 assists and 65 rebounds really got it going on both ends of the floor. It was good for us to share the ball like we did and obviously they were overmatched.”

On game today… “They played up tempo and they put you in a position where you’re going to get shots and transition. They shoot it so quick that it brought along rebounds and when the guards rebound the ball like that we are able to get in some baskets in and transition.”

On Chris Collins… “Chris is a good player. We have a lot of guards we were trying to get playing time today and we have a lot of young talented guards. Chris has been one of our better perimeter players in practice many days.”

On Savannah State scoring first two threes in game… “They have played that way against everybody on the road. The first 15 minutes it has been a ball game. They were beating Wichita State for I think the first 15 minutes and then in the last five minutes of the half, it catches up with you.”

Importance of this game… “It is always good from a coaches stand point to play a game like this where everyone gets to play and play well and everyone leaves with a big smile on their face. I thought JJ Caldwell played with some really good minutes. He hadn’t had the chance to play that many minutes in a row. It was good to see what he could do to help.”

Update on Robert [Williams]… “It’s a day to day deal. We have got some time and we will need him again against both of these teams coming in; Northern Kentucky and Buffalo are both teams that will be competing for the NCAA tournament play. Northern Kentucky was in the tournament last year and they have a lot of guys back so we are going to see better competition next week.”

TEXAS A&M SENIOR CENTER TONNY TROCHA-MORELOS
On game today… “Coach Kennedy told us it was going to be a totally different game for us. We watched film last night and we knew they were going to come and shoot a bunch of three’s. We shoot 38 shots but it was because we were open and because Kenny he kept trusting everybody shoots.”

On if outshooting Savannah State was a goal… “I mean I wouldn’t say that because they were trying to let the guys from the other side play. If you saw when as soon as he [Tyler Davis] got the ball he had about 2-3 guys. They were not pressuring the wing at all. We weren’t trying to shoot that many three’s but we ended up shooting 38 threes and if they were open Coach Kenny wouldn’t get made if we took the shot.”

TEXAS A&M JUNIOR CENTER TYLER DAVIS
On overall game today… “I thought it was a fun game. They were shooting a lot of shots and we were shooting a lot of shots. They tried to zone us but like I said it was fun watching the guys get up and down. We had some highlight plays, some cool dunks. It was a lot of fun watching that.”

On defense against… “They really packed the paint against me and Tonny, especially in their zone, leaving the top wide open. They were trying not to let us kill them inside. But our guards did really well, they made shots, DJ (Hogg), Admon (Gilder) and everybody.”

On chance for 20/20… “I knew because my teammates kept telling me. But it wasn’t about stats it was about playing hard and bringing good energy so we could have a good start to the game.”

SAVANNAH STATE HEAD COACH HORACE BROADNAX
Opening Statement… “I like Billy and I think he does an awesome job. This is a power-five conference. Our objective was to get through this non-conference schedule and compete in our conference. A&M has some good talent out there. Hopefully they will compete extremely well in the SEC, they are in the top-10 right now. I understand that it’s hard for them to get up for a team like us. I think they will fare very well against the Kentucky’s and the Florida’s of the league. I know they were short one guy but they looked real good.”

On playing their style… “If we try to play slow it will be a slow death so we try to play fast to create more possessions. That’s what we try to do against a more comparable team. Obviously, this is a high quality opponent but we can’t change our style because of who we’re playing. We try to keep it in perspective. Try to talk to these kids about keeping their heads up and competing when things are tough. If this is the toughest thing you have to deal with as a basketball player or as a person then you’re going to have a good life. There were a couple of stretches where we put our head down and didn’t compete. They got a lot of easy transition layups because we like to crash the glass. Obviously, they are huge in size. We got 66 points out of it and we’ll move on to the next.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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My Aggie Nation Podcast: Catching up with Caruso

Former Texas A&M guard and current South Bay Laker Alex Caruso joins the show to break down his current journey through the NBA and the NBA G League, as well as the current Texas A&M basketball team. Also, hosts Travis L. Brown and Zach Taylor walk through Jimbo Fisher’s coaching staff hires with former A&M defensive lineman Jay Arnold.

MyAggieNation_1213.mp3

 

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Five Aggies Earn All-SEC Honors from Phil Steele

COLLEGE STATION – Five Aggies earned All-SEC honors from Phil Steele Publications earlier this week, highlighted by a trio of first team recognitions. Senior safety Armani Watts, senior punter Shane Tripucka and junior kickoff returner Christian Kirk were named as the league’s best at their positions.

Additionally, Kirk was named to the second-team at wide receiver and sophomore linebacker Tyrel Dodson earned the second team nod. Junior defensive end Landis Durhamwas listed on the third team defense, as Kirk landed on the third team at punt returner.

Watts, from Forney, Texas, was recognized for a strong senior season that included 87 tackles, including 10.0 tackles for loss, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and two blocked kicks in 12 regular season games. Watts posted double-digit tackles in four games, including a season-high 13 vs. UCLA. Perhaps his biggest play of the season was his pickoff in the end zone that clinched the Aggies’ 50-43 overtime win over Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Tripucka, from Allen High School, helped the Aggies lead the SEC in net punting at 43.4 yards per kick. His overall punting average was 46.1 with 30 kicks of 50-plus yards. Tripucka killed 23 of his kicks inside the 20 and forced 33 fair catches. The senior ranks second in the NCAA in net punting, behind only Ray Guy award winner Michael Dickson of Texas. Additionally, Tripucka ranks fifth in the country in gross punting average at 46.1 yards per punt. Tripucka’s season average ranks fifth on the all-time Texas A&M list, while his career average of 44.6 yards per punts stands third in the record books.

Kirk, a junior from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, is the active FBS career leader in punt return average with 22.8 yards per return. He is the only SEC player to have both a punt return for a touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown in 2017. Kirk holds the Texas A&M school record for career punt returns for a touchdown (six) as well as the most punt returns for touchdowns in a single season (three in 2016). As a wide receiver, Kirk has had at least two receptions in every game he has played for Texas A&M (38 straight entering the 2017 Belk Bowl).

Dodson, a sophomore from Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee, filled up the stat sheet unlike any other linebacker in the SEC as a first year starter. Dodson ranked 7th in total tackles (97), tied for 6th in interceptions (3), tied for 10th in tackles for loss (11.0), and tied for 16th in quarterback sacks (5.5). The sophomore tallied double digit tackles in four games and clinched the Aggie’s win at Florida with an interception on the Gators’ final possession of the game.

Durham, from Plano East High School in Plano, Texas, was the team’s biggest surprise in 2017 after registering six career tackles entering the season. The junior exploded onto the scene after starting nine games and pacing the Maroon & White defense with 8.5 quarterback sacks, to rank 4th in the league, with an impressive 7.0 sacks coming against league foes. Durham finished the year fourth on the team with 50 tackles, including a team best 12.0 tackles for loss.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Mavericks spoil Kawhi Leonard’s season debut

DALLAS (AP) – San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard will start in his season debut Tuesday night at Dallas after missing 27 games with a quadriceps injury. Leonard has been recovering from right quadriceps tendinopathy, a condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee. He last played in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals last season, when he injured his left ankle.

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Capela, Harden lead Rockets over Pelicans 130-123

By KRISTIE RIEKEN

HOUSTON (AP) _ Clint Capela had a career-high 28 points and James Harden scored 12 straight points for Houston in the fourth quarter as the Rockets rallied for a 130-123 victory to extend their winning streak to 10 games on Monday night.

The game was tied with about three minutes remaining after Harden made two free throws. Those were the first of seven straight points by Harden that put Houston’s up 124-119 with 1:30 left.

Jrue Holiday made a basket after that, but Harden hit a 3-pointer seconds later to push the lead to 127-121. Harden stole the ball from E’Twaun Moore after a timeout by New Orleans. He was fouled and made both free throws to make it 129-121 with 34 seconds left.

After scoring 48 points in Houston’s last game, Harden finished with 26 on Monday, but he tied a career-high with 17 assists, finding the 6-foot-10 Capela under the basket again and again.

Holiday had a season-high 37 points for the Pelicans. Moore had a career-high 36 points and made a career-most six 3-pointers on a night New Orleans set a franchise record with 18 3-pointers.

The Pelicans led by seven entering the fourth and were up by eight with about 10 minutes left when Moore scored all their points in a 6-2 run. Houston used an 11-3 spurt after that to tie it at 112-112 with about six minutes remaining. Paul made five points in that span and Capela capped it with two dunks.

New Orleans was without Anthony Davis, who sat out with a groin injury. He missed three games after sustaining the injury on Dec. 1 but played in the last two games before the problem began to bother him again.

The Pelicans were up by 2 early in the third quarter when Holiday scored five quick points to push the lead to 89-82. They led by seven later in the quarter when Holiday got going again, scoring all of their points in a 5-2 run that made it 96-86.

Another basket by Holiday extended the lead to 13 points with about two minutes left in the quarter. But Paul outscored the Pelicans 8-2 the rest of the quarter to allow the Rockets to get within 103-96 entering the fourth. He made two 3-pointers in that stretch, with the second one coming just before the buzzer.

DeMarcus Cousins received a technical foul in the second quarter when he shoved Trevor Ariza away from him with two hands after Ariza fouled him. Ariza yelled at Cousins after the push and Chris Paul and Harden pulled him away as he walked toward him before order was restored.

The Pelicans led by 7 with just more than two minutes left in the second quarter before Houston used an 11-2 run to take a 78-76 lead into halftime. Capela had two dunks and a block in that span and Eric Gordon made a 3-pointer.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: New Orleans set a season-high with 74 first-half points. … Holiday has scored 30 or more points in two straight games. … Cousins had 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Rockets: Harden’s 14 assists in the first half tied a franchise record for assists in a half. Harden also did it last year and John Lucas did it on Oct. 27, 1977. … Paul finished with 20 points.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Host Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Rockets: Host Charlotte on Wednesday.

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Stars stop 3-game slide with 2-1 shootout win over Rangers

By SCOTT CHARLES

NEW YORK (AP) _ Jason Spezza scored in the shootout, and the Dallas Stars snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating the New York Rangers 2-1 on Monday night.

Kari Lehtonen made 24 saves for Dallas in the opener of its four-game East Coast road trip against the Metropolitan Division. Julius Honka scored in the second period.

The Stars had a 1-0 lead before Rick Nash tied it for the Rangers when he tipped in Brady Skjei’s wrist shot with 3:41 left in regulation. Nash made contact with Lehtonen but the Stars goalie was well outside the blue paint. Coach Ken Hitchcock challenged the play, but the referees ruled there was no goaltender interference.

Honka drove a slap shot past Ondrej Pavelec at 6:30 of the second for his first of the season. The 2014 first-round pick rejoined the lineup after sitting for the previous three games.

Pavelec finished with 44 saves, keeping New York in the game. The Rangers also killed off three power plays in the second period.

New York generated very little offensive pressure for most of the night. J.T. Miller had a breakaway opportunity at 8:46 of the second, but came up empty.

NOTES: Rangers C Mika Zibanejad missed his sixth consecutive game due to a concussion. Zibanejad has been skating on his own and participated in New York’s morning skate, but has not been cleared for contact. … New York D Marc Staal skated in his 719th game, tying Andy Bathgate for 11th place on the franchise’s career games list. … Stars F Jason Dickinson, who was recalled from the minors over the weekend, played on Dallas’ fourth line. … Dallas F Antoine Roussel was held out after suffering an upper-body injury against the Golden Knights on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Visit the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Stars: Visit the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

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Texas A&M’s Watts named to AP All-America teams

By: Brad Marquardt

Texas A&M senior safety Armani Watts was named to the third-team defense at safety on the 2017 Associated Press All-America Team, which was announced on Monday.

Watts, from Forney, Texas, was recognized for a strong senior season that included 87 tackles, including 10.0 tackles for loss, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and two blocked kicks in 12 regular season games. Watts posted double-digit tackles in four games, including a season-high 13 vs. UCLA. Perhaps his biggest play of the season was his pickoff in the endzone that clinched the Aggies’ 50-43 overtime win over Arkansas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Also a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, Watts will go into the 2017 Belk Bowl against Wake Forest as the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision with a skill set that has produced four interceptions, 10 tackles for loss and two blocked kicks this season.

One of college football’s most consistent producers of big plays over the past four years, Watts will go into his final collegiate game with an amazing 328 tackles, 214 solo stops, 24.0 tackles for loss, 10 interceptions, 19 passes broken up, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries to his credit. He is tied for No. 16 nationally in total tackles (No. 6 among defensive backs) and ninth in solo tackles (No. 6 among DBs) among active FBS players.

The Associated Press All-America teams.
FIRST TEAM
OFFENSE

Quarterback — Baker Mayfield, senior, Oklahoma.
Running backs — Bryce Love, junior, Stanford; Rashaad Penny, senior, San Diego State.
Tackles — Orlando Brown, junior, Oklahoma; Mike McGlinchey, senior, Notre Dame.
Guards — Quenton Nelson, senior, Notre Dame; Braden Smith, senior, Auburn.
Center — Billy Price, senior, Ohio State.
Tight end — Mark Andrews, junior, Oklahoma.
Receivers — James Washington, senior, Oklahoma State; Anthony Miller, senior, Memphis.
All-purpose player — Saquon Barkley, junior, Penn State.
Kicker — Matt Gay, junior, Utah.
DEFENSE
Ends — Bradley Chubb, senior, North Carolina State; Clelin Ferrell, sophomore, Clemson.
Tackles — Hercules Mata’afa, junior, Washington State; Maurice Hurst, senior, Michigan.
Linebackers — Roquan Smith, junior, Georgia; Josey Jewell, senior, Iowa; T.J. Edwards, junior, Wisconsin.
Cornerbacks — Josh Jackson, junior, Iowa; Denzel Ward, junior, Ohio State.
Safeties — Minkah Fitzpatrick, junior, Alabama; DeShon Elliott, junior, Texas.
Punter — Michael Dickson, junior, Texas.
___
SECOND TEAM
OFFENSE

Quarterback — Lamar Jackson, junior, Louisville.
Running backs — Jonathan Taylor, freshman, Wisconsin; Kerryon Johnson, junior, Auburn.
Tackles — Mitch Hyatt, junior, Clemson; Isaiah Wynn, senior, Georgia.
Guards — Cody O’Connell, senior, Washington State; Will Hernandez, senior, UTEP.
Center — Bradley Bozeman, senior, Alabama.
Tight end — Troy Fumagalli, senior, Wisconsin.
Receivers — David Sills V, junior, West Virginia; Michael Gallup, senior, Colorado State.
All-purpose player — Dante Pettis, senior, Washington.
Kicker — Daniel Carlson, senior, Auburn.
DEFENSE
Ends — Sutton Smith, sophomore, Northern Illinois; Nick Bosa, sophomore, Ohio State.
Tackles — Ed Oliver, sophomore, Houston; Christian Wilkins, junior, Clemson.
Linebackers — Malik Jefferson, junior, Texas; Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, senior, Oklahoma; Dorian O’Daniel, senior, Clemson.
Cornerbacks — Jalen Davis, senior, Utah State; Carlton Davis, junior, Auburn.
Safeties — Derwin James, junior, Florida State; Justin Reid, junior, Stanford.
Punter — Johnny Townsend, senior, Florida.
____
THIRD TEAM
OFFENSE

Quarterback — Mason Rudolph, senior, Oklahoma State.
Running backs — Ronald Jones II, junior, Southern California; Devin Singletary, sophomore, Florida Atlantic.
Tackles — David Edwards, sophomore, Wisconsin; Jonah Williams, sophomore, Alabama.
Guards — Beau Benzschawel, junior, Wisconsin; Tyrone Crowder, senior, Clemson.
Center — Frank Ragnow, senior, Arkansas.
Tight end — Jaylen Samuels, senior, North Carolina State.
Receivers — Steve Ishmael, senior, Syracuse; A.J. Brown, sophomore, Mississippi.
All-purpose player — D.J. Reed, junior, Kansas State.
Kicker — Eddy Piniero, junior, Florida.
DEFENSE
Ends — Austin Bryant, junior, Clemson; Mat Boesen, senior, TCU.
Tackles — Vita Vea, junior, Washington; Harrison Phillips, senior, Stanford.
Linebackers — Micah Kiser, senior, Virginia; Tremaine Edmunds, junior, Virginia Tech; Devin Bush, sophomore, Michigan.
Cornerbacks — Andraez Williams, redshirt freshman, LSU; Jack Jones, sophomore, Southern California.
Safeties — Armani Watts, senior, Texas A&M; Quin Blanding, senior, Virginia.
Punter — Mitch Wisnowsky, junior, Utah.
___
Voters: Bob Asmussen, Champaign (Illinois) News-Gazette; Kirk Bohls, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; Matt Brown, Sports on Earth; Pat Caputo, The Oakland (Michigan) Press; Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News; Robert Cessna, Bryan-College Station (Texas) Eagle; Rece Davis, ESPN; Pat Dooley, Gainesville (Florida) Sun; Dave Foster, Fox 17 WZTV, Nashville, Tennessee; Scott Hamilton, WCOG-AM, Greensboro, North Carolina; Eric Hansen, The South Bend (Indiana) Tribune; Brian Howell, Buffszone.com, Boulder, Colorado; Rob Long, WJZ-FM The Fan, Baltimore; Tony Parks, 1280 AM/97.5 FM KZNS, Salt Lake City; Soren Petro, 810 WHB, Kansas City, Missouri; Keith Sargeant, NJ.com/Star Ledger, Newark, New Jersey; Jon Wilner, San Jose (California) Mercury News.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Garoppolo leads 49ers to 26-16 win over Texans

KRISTIE RIEKEN, AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo threw for a career-high 334 yards and a touchdown to help the San Francisco 49ers to their second straight win, 26-16, over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Garoppolo again showed that he could be the answer for the 49ers (3-10) at quarterback, going 20 of 33 in his second start for the team. Acquired before the trade deadline from New England, Garoppolo threw for 293 yards in his debut with the team last week to help the 49ers to a 15-14 win at Chicago.

The game was tied when he found Garrett Celek on a 6-yard touchdown pass with about two minutes left in the third quarter to make it 23-16. Celek had a big play earlier in that drive on a 61-yard reception on third down.

DeAndre Hopkins had 149 yards receiving and two touchdowns, but lost a fumble in the fourth quarter with the Texans down by 7 . San Francisco added 41-yard field goal after that to secure the victory.

T.J. Yates threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns after Tom Savage left with a concussion in the second quarter. Texans (4-9) lost their third straight and sixth in seven games.

Savage was injured when he was driven to the ground on a hit by Elvis Dumervil with about nine minutes left in the second. Replays showed Savage looking dazed after his head hit the ground with both of his arms lifted upward shaking.

He was taken to the medical tent where he stayed for less than three minutes before returning to the bench and going back in for the next series. He threw two incompletions on that drive, and Houston’s team doctor approached him after he returned to the sideline after that possession.

Savage tried repeatedly to enter the game on the next series. But a team official kept grabbing Savage’s jersey and finally his arm and pulled him away from the field. He then could be seen arguing with that person and the team’s trainer before being escorted to the locker room.

Yates, who hadn’t appeared in a game since Nov. 16, 2015, was signed last month after Deshaun Watson went out with a knee injury. Houston went up 16-13 when Hopkins grabbed a 29-yard touchdown reception on the Texans‘ first drive of the second half.

The 49ers took a 10-3 lead when Carlos Hyde ran two yards for a touchdown with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Yates connected with Hopkins for a 7-yard touchdown on Houston’s next drive, but the kick failed to leave Houston down 10-9.

Robbie Gould added a 35-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter to leave San Francisco up 13-9.

INJURIES: Houston offensive tackle Kendall Lamm sustained a concussion in the first quarter. The Texans have had six players sustain concussions in the last two games combined. … 49ers rookie receiver Victor Bolden injured his ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return. … San Francisco cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon injured his knee in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

49ERS: Host the Titans next Sunday.

TEXANS: Visit Jaguars next Sunday.

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Prescott throws 3 TDs as Cowboys spoil Eli’s return

TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes and the desperate Dallas Cowboys beat New York 30-10 Sunday to spoil Steve Spagnuolo’s debut as interim coach and the return of quarterback Eli Manning to the Giants’ starting lineup.

Prescott threw a go-ahead 20-yard score to tight end Jason Witten with 7:38 to play to break a 10-all tie.

Rod Smith scored on an 81-yard pass play with 4:08 to play and he added a 15-yard scoring run a little more than a minute later after an interception by linebacker Sean Lee.

Prescott, who was 20 of 30 for 332 yards also threw a 50-yard scoring pass to Dez Bryant as the Cowboys (7-6) stayed in the playoff hunt with three games left in the regular season. Dan Bailey added a 21-yard field goal as the Cowboys finished with 454 yards.

New York fell to 2-11.

Manning, who got a standing ovation taking the field, threw a 1-yard TD pass to Rhett Ellison late in the second quarter that gave New York a brief 10-3 lead. Aldrick Rosas had a 39-yard field goal. Manning finished 31 of 46 for 228 yards with a touchdown and two late interceptions.

The game capped a hectic week for the Giants that started Monday with the firing of second-year coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese and saw Spagnuolo promoted from defensive coordinator to interim coach. He coached the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11.

The moves came with the Giants spiraling out of control in a season where much was expected following their first playoff appearance since 2011. Fans were also upset with the benching of Manning days earlier in a loss to Oakland, a decision that ended the two-time Super Bowl MVP’s streak of 210 consecutive starts.

This game was close until the final minutes. Dallas broke things open with a 54-yard catch and run by Cole Beasley on a third-and-2 from the Dallas 26. Beasley broke a tackle by Landon Collins and Collins hurt his ankle eventually making the tackle.

With the Giants safety off the field, Prescott found Witten, a longtime Giants’ nemesis, all alone on the next play.

Smith took another short pass on a long TD catch and run and then he almost walked into the end zone.

Bailey, who usually never misses a field goal against the Giants, had a 53-yarder hit the right upright in the second quarter and he was wide right from 50 in the third.

The first half ended 10-all with both teams having long opening drives that ended in field goals and then getting late touchdowns passes.

Manning found Ellison from a yard out to cap a 68-yard drive and Prescott drove the Cowboys 75 yards in four plays with Bryant breaking a tackle and scoring from 50.

UP NEXT

Cowboy: at Oakland on Sunday night.

Giants: host Philadelphia on Sunday.

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College Station PD Releases Information About Zaycoven Henderson Arrest

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

The College Station Police Department released the following information regarding the Sunday morning arrest of Texas A&M defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson:
“On 12/10/2017, at approximately 0227 hours, Officers with the College Station Police Department responded to 1711 Harvey Mitchell Parkway (Campus Village Apartments) in College Station, Brazos County, Texas for a deadly conduct call. It was reported that two males had pointed a firearm at several people and threatened to kill them. Officers arrived on scene shortly after the report was received and located the suspect vehicle leaving the apartment complex. Officers were able to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle and detain both occupants. Once the scene was secured, Officers learned that the passenger in the vehicle pointed a rifle at one of the victims and also threatened the other two victims by stating he would kill them. Officers also learned the rifle had been discarded by the passenger in a nearby wooded area in an attempt to conceal the firearm. Officers were able to locate the firearm which matched the exact description given by the victims.
 
Based on the statements given by the victims on scene, along with the firearm being located within close proximity of the original report, the passenger was arrested and charged with three counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, one count of Tampering with Evidence, and one count of Possession of Marijuana less than two ounces.
 
The passenger was identified as:
 
Zaycoven Dearnez Henderson
23 yo B/M
College Station resident
 
The driver of the vehicle was interviewed and was charged with Possession of Marijuana less than two ounces.
 
The driver of the vehicle was identified as:
 
Terry Lechler Florez Jr.
24 yo H/M
College Station resident
 
This case has been turned over to the criminal investigation division.  Anyone with information please contact the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600.
 
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (PC 22.02) occurs if a person then and there intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, and did then and there use or exhibit a deadly weapon, during the commission of said assault.  This is a Second Degree Felony punishable by between 2 and 20 years in prison and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.
 
Tampering with Evidence (PC 37.09) occurs if a person knowing that an investigation or official proceeding is pending or in progress, he alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as evidence in the investigation or official proceeding. This is a Third Degree Felony punishable by between 2 and 10 years in prison and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000 
 
Possession of Marijuana Less than Two Ounces (HSC 481.121) occurs if a person knowingly or intentionally possesses a usable quantity of marijuana. Possession of two ounces or less of marijuana in Texas is a Class B Misdemeanor offense, with penalties of up to 180 days in jail, and fines not to exceed $2000.”

 

Henderson has been suspended indefinitely, per Texas A&M Athletics policy, meaning he will likely miss the Aggies’ Belk Bowl appearance against Wake Forest on December 29th.

 

 

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No. 7 Basketball Downs Prairie View A&M, 73-53

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said it’s that time of year to guard against natural comforts — aka playing at home against an allegedly lesser opponent.

“Sometimes those are hard games on the coaches,” Kennedy said. “You know how hard it is to motivate your guys and get them ready to play. You know that you’re capable of losing to some of those teams that you play.”

The No. 7 Aggies appeared capable of losing to Prairie View A&M early in the second half on Saturday, before finally waking up and walking away with a 73-53 victory.

The Aggies (8-1) led 44-40 5 minutes into the second half before scoring the next 18 points over a 7-minute span to put away the game against the outmanned Panthers (2-7).

“They came out in the second half and showed why they’re a Top 10 team,” Panthers coach Byron Smith said of the Aggies. “I expect to see them make a long run in the (NCAA Tournament).”

A&M forward Robert Williams far outpaced everyone else on the court with 16 rebounds, which tied a career-high in his two seasons at A&M. On the downside for the Aggies Williams also had a game-high five turnovers, and the Aggies had seven more miscues (17-10) than the Panthers.

Zachary Hamilton led the Panthers with a game-high 18 points and Gary Blackston followed with 17.

Both teams were bad from long range, as the Aggies made 5 of 18 3-point attempts (28 percent) and the Panthers made 3 of 15 (20 percent). Smith compared the wildly athletic Williams to former NBA standout Antonio McDyess.

“I’ve heard stories about him, but that’s a little before my time,” Williams said in response. “From what I hear, that’s an honor.”


Postgame Notes

RECORDS / SERIES NOTES

  • No. 7 Texas A&M improved to 8-1 on the season with a 73-53 win over Prairie View A&M on Saturday afternoon inside Reed Arena.
  • The Aggies now lead the all-time series with PVAMU 13-0.

TEAM NOTES

  • Texas A&M owned a 48-34 edge in the rebounding column, leading to a 20-6 Aggie advantage in second chance points … the A&M bench also outscored their Panther counterparts 26-1.
  • A&M took control of the game with a game with a 12-0 run that forced a PVAMU timeout with 11:53 to play and the Aggies leading 56-40 … A&M also scored the six points following the break to make it an 18-0 spurt leaving the score 62-40 A&M.
  • The Aggie defense held the Panthers without a field goal for a stretch of 7:25 before a layup at the 8:05 mark snapped the 18-0 Aggie run.
  • The Aggie took a 37-29 lead into the intermission, led by 10 first-half points from DJ Hogg.
  • Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Duane Wilson, Admon Gilder, DJ Hogg, Robert Williams and Tyler Davis for the fourth time this season (3-1).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Junior Tyler Davis became the 26th member of Texas A&M’s 500-Rebound Club, pulling down five boards in the contest to leave him with 503 for his three-year career.
  • Senior Tonny Trocha-Morelos enjoyed a solid performance, finishing with 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and no turnovers.
  • Juniors Admon Gilder and DJ Hogg each hit double-digit scoring for the Aggies, finishing with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
  • Sophomore Robert Williams pulled down a career-high-tying 16 rebounds in the contest, while contributing eight points on 4-of-5 shooting … the Oil City, La., native also collected four blocks to extend his nation-leading blocked shot streak to 38 games.
  • Aggie head coach Billy Kennedy improved to 123-86 during his seven-year tenure at Texas A&M and 334-265 in 20 seasons as a head coach.

UP NEXT

  • The Aggies continue their homestand at Reed Arena when they host Savannah State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. … the game will be available digitally on SEC Network PLUS.

Postgame Quotes

RECORDS / SERIES NOTES

  • No. 7 Texas A&M improved to 8-1 on the season with a 73-53 win over Prairie View A&M on Saturday afternoon inside Reed Arena.
  • The Aggies now lead the all-time series with PVAMU 13-0.

TEAM NOTES

  • Texas A&M owned a 48-34 edge in the rebounding column, leading to a 20-6 Aggie advantage in second chance points … the A&M bench also outscored their Panther counterparts 26-1.
  • A&M took control of the game with a game with a 12-0 run that forced a PVAMU timeout with 11:53 to play and the Aggies leading 56-40 … A&M also scored the six points following the break to make it an 18-0 spurt leaving the score 62-40 A&M.
  • The Aggie defense held the Panthers without a field goal for a stretch of 7:25 before a layup at the 8:05 mark snapped the 18-0 Aggie run.
  • The Aggie took a 37-29 lead into the intermission, led by 10 first-half points from DJ Hogg.
  • Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Duane Wilson, Admon Gilder, DJ Hogg, Robert Williams and Tyler Davis for the fourth time this season (3-1).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Junior Tyler Davis became the 26th member of Texas A&M’s 500-Rebound Club, pulling down five boards in the contest to leave him with 503 for his three-year career.
  • Senior Tonny Trocha-Morelos enjoyed a solid performance, finishing with 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and no turnovers.
  • Juniors Admon Gilder and DJ Hogg each hit double-digit scoring for the Aggies, finishing with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
  • Sophomore Robert Williams pulled down a career-high-tying 16 rebounds in the contest, while contributing eight points on 4-of-5 shooting … the Oil City, La., native also collected four blocks to extend his nation-leading blocked shot streak to 38 games.
  • Aggie head coach Billy Kennedy improved to 123-86 during his seven-year tenure at Texas A&M and 334-265 in 20 seasons as a head coach.

UP NEXT

  • The Aggies continue their homestand at Reed Arena when they host Savannah State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. … the game will be available digitally on SEC Network PLUS.

Postgame Quotes

TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
Opening Statement…
“We figured it out [but] Prairie View’s size and quickness gave us some problems in the first half, we were chasing them around a lot. You got to give Prairie View a lot of credit, they came in here with discipline offensively. They put the ball on the floor and we struggled guarding the dribble against them. The zone is which separated us in the second half, but that was the big key.”

On settling down…
“We started running our offense a little bit better. We didn’t turn the ball over to them, thought we had some unforced turnovers especially in the first half. We had 11 turnovers in the first half and that is too many. But I thought (Prairie View’s) quickness and athleticism gave us some problems. You have to give them credit, they played a tough schedule on the road and they came in here and fought with great energy and effort. I thought we could of have guarded them a little bit better.”

On transition defense…
“Transition defense was off of turnovers. We took some quick shots early, our guard play could of have been better with decision making and it’s something that will need to continue to get better.”

On Tyler Davis…
“Tyler has played a lot of minutes for us and I thought I was playing two bigs a lot. When we were able to go small at times. We wanted to look at that lineup some. [Gave us] the ability to rest Tyler and play some of the other guys a little more minutes and play small”

TEXAS A&M SENIOR CENTER TONNY TROCHA-MORELOS
On switching to a zone defense…
“It was a good read from Coach Kennedy. We emphasized the shooter so we had to talk on defense and tell everybody where the shooters are. He helped us slow it down and gave us a little break to breathe and focus on offense too.”

On offensive performance the first half…
“One of the things that we didn’t do well was take care of the ball. They took advantage of that. They’re a good team. We did a better job in the second half of taking care of the ball.”

TEXAS A&M SOPHOMORE FORWARD ROBERT WILLIAMS
On comparison to Antonio McDyess…
“I’ve heard stories about him, but that’s a little before my time. I don’t really know that much about him but I’ve heard stories about him from my dad. From what I’ve heard, it’s an honor.”

On the slow start…
“A lack of communication. Not communicating as much as well as the coaches wanted us to. We knew what was expected of us but our energy wasn’t matching, so we have to pick that up.”

On the road-heavy early schedule…
“From our perspective I love tough away games. Those are games that we live for, we prepare for. We just have to go out and play each game like we’re playing Kansas, Kentucky, or Arizona. That’s what we tried to do.”

TEXAS A&M PRAIRIE VIEW HEAD COACH BRYON SMITH
On what happened differently in 2nd half…
“I think you just said it; No. 7 is a lucky number. They are number seven in the country and it is a good basketball team. They seemed a little bit like clustered and I thought they would’ve come out a little more strongly. Coach Kennedy was an excellent coach and I am sure he got after them pretty good at halftime. They came out after the second half time and I think they showed why they are one of the top ten teams. I expect to see this team [TAMU] make a long run in the tournament. My prediction is they are a Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, or even Final Four type teams with the talent they have. Great ball club and they showed why they are where they are right now.”

On turnovers PVAMU winning turnover battle…
“It was very encouraging. Again, I thought that some of the turnovers they had were probably a little unforced. Maybe it was just trying to make a perfect play instead of the right play. But we will take it; you know building blocks for us. Obviously, the rebounding kind of pounded us a little bit. If we want to lose a rebound in battle we don’t want it to be in double digits. So that is a bit of a downer but we will move forward and try to be better for our next opponent.”

On A&M’s height…
“It’s tough. They are going to pose a lot of problems for any team that they face because not only do they have size but their guys are skilled. I mean Tyler Davis probably has as good of footwork, even the best footwork in the country for a post player. I think Robert Williams needs to get the credit he deserved. Obviously he is a very athletic guy. A young Antonio McDyess, if you will, is what I like to compare him to. I can they are doing a great job developing him. He has come along, he is threat from 15 feet, and he has got pretty good hands. He has become a much improved passer. Tonny Trocha-Morelos comes off the bench and he can probably stomp 80, 75 percent of the teams in the country. I had no idea DJ Hogg was that big. I mean he is like a 5-man playing out on the perimeter. Those guys are very skilled guys and can make the passes and they do a really good job on recognizing on when the guys open in the post. I think the sky’s the limit for the aggies this year.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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No. 21 Women Defeat Central Arkansas 72-61

COLLEGE STATION- No. 21 Texas A&M defeated Central Arkansas 72-61 in a women’s basketball game Saturday at Reed Arena.

The Aggies (8-2) Took a 23-16 lead after the first quarter, but was held to 17.6% shooting from the field in the second quarter, as the Sugar Bears (5-3) tied the game at 29 heading into the half. The Aggies would shoot 55.1% in the second half to secure the double-digit win

Khaalia Hillsman led the Aggies with a season-high 26 points, 19 of which came in the second half. She went 10-of-14 from the floor to post her second straight 20+ point scoring game.

Anriel Howard tied Danielle Gant and Kelsey Bone for the Texas A&M career record with her 19th double double. She scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds, marking her third career 20+ point/10+ rebound game.

Chennedy Carter also reached double figures with 10 points. The Aggies outscored Central Arkansas 25-11 on second chance points and 20-10 on points off turnovers.

Texas A&M returns to action on Friday, December 15 at Southern Cal, with tip at 9 p.m. CT on Pac-12 Networks. The Aggies return home on December 28 to host SMU at 7 p.m.


QUICKIE NOTES

Texas A&M

  • Texas A&M is now 8-2 on the season, while Central Arkansas falls to 5-3, with all three of their losses coming to AP Top 25 teams.
  • The Aggies are 7-2 in Reed Arena this season, and are 61-12 at home since the start of the 2013-14 season.
  • The Aggies are 153-5 against unranked teams at home since February 2005, and have won 81 straight home games against mid-majors.
  • Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 339-142 in 15 seasons at Texas A&M. He is 747-306 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks eighth among active coaches.

Chennedy Carter

  • Scored in double figures for the 10th straight game. She is the only Texas A&M freshman to start her career with 10 straight double-figure scoring games.

Khaalia Hillsman

  • Had a season-high 26 points, which was one off her season-high, set on March 18 against Penn in the NCAA First Round
  • Scored 20+ points for the second consecutive game and the 14th time in her career
  • Scored 10+ points for the eighth time this season and the 52nd time in her career

Anriel Howard

  • Tied Danielle Gant and Kelsey Bone for the Texas A&M career record with her 19th career double-double. It was her sixth double-double of the season
  • Scored 20+ points for the second time this season and the third time in her career
  • Scored 10+ points for the seventh time this season and the 27th time in her career
  • Had 10+ rebounds for the ninth time this season and the 37th time in her career
  • Has 10+ points, 10+ rebounds or both in every game this season

Postgame Quotes

Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair

Opening statement…
“We started off running our stuff. They were playing such a sagging man-to-man (defense) that we got everything we wanted on the jump shot early, and we had four assists, I believe in the first quarter. We had five at halftime. This was a ballgame I wanted to play kids a lot of minutes but again, it didn’t work out. When I subbed in, they ran their offense very well. We’ve got to do a better job, but we are not a very good defensive team. We’re making too many mistakes. We will get better, that’s all I can promise you.”

On Central Arkansas…
“Give Taylor Sells credit. She was the best player on the court today. We had not one single person that could stop her from penetrating and on the press situation she did a good job.  That’s a very good sophomore. You have to understand, this team played without their second and third-best players, who were suspended. Give them a lot of credit for kids stepping off the bench, came up and did some very good things.”

On the offensive performance…
“We had 20 assists. We had a lot of people share the ball at the end, and I said ‘Let’s go inside until they stop us but be patient, reverse the ball. We can get some open looks for Khaalia (Hillsman) and Anriel (Howard).’ So when you do not have your best either game plan or your best energy, or you’re not playing well, quit trying to do something that’s not working for you, and that’s shooting jump shots and threes.”

Texas A&M Senior Center Khaalia Hillsman
On improving play…
“I just keep working. Sometimes when I don’t get the pass, I usually stop working, and I really give credit to my teammates for getting me the ball right when I need it. They’ve been doing a really good job giving me the ball right where I can just turn and score rather than having to wait and all that stuff, and I think I’ve done a better job of just continuing to work when I don’t get the ball the first time.”

On playing on the road…
“I’m excited to go on the road. I love traveling, so it’s really just going to be up to us to bring the energy that we need because it’s a whole different atmosphere when you’re on somebody else’s court. When we’re on our court we have the advantage because it’s our 12th Man fans, it’s our atmosphere. Once we get somewhere else sometimes the ref might not be leaning to our side, they might be leaning toward the home side, so it’s just up to us to bring the correct sense of urgency to come out how we’re supposed to.”

Texas A&M Junior Forward Anriel Howard
On her performance this afternoon…
“I think my play was a little bit more up and down. The first quarter I did pretty good in the paint, and then second quarter I started to go down a little bit, but after coming back from halftime, my teammates talked to me a little and got me back up, and we started making buckets together.”

On maintaining energy throughout the game…
“We’re not there yet. We’re going up, but we’re also going down. We fluctuate. We’re still trying to work on it to be consistent. It’s going to take some time, but we’re trying to get there.”

On a fast start…
“We started pretty good the first quarter and then went back down. I think it’s just more being mentally tough. Some people can call it fatigue, but I think it’s more mental than physical. We just have to continue to play hard throughout the whole game, not just up and down when we want to.”

Central Arkansas Head Coach Sandra Rushing
Opening Statement… 
“I’m really proud of the way my team played tonight. I think we played with a lot of heart. We made some mistakes, and Texas A&M is bigger, faster, and stronger. I have a lot of respect for Gary Blair. We definitely had no answer for the inside, absolutely no answer whatsoever. What a great atmosphere to play in front of. I’m glad that my young kids, and we played a lot of young kids, got the chance to play on the big stage. ”

On missing two starters… 
“I’m just proud of the players that were there, that were on the floor and that were with us on this trip. They went out, and they aren’t letting adversity affect them. That’s the sign of a team that’s maturing.”

On defending Texas A&M inside…
“They just kept going inside, inside, inside. If we would double, we were late getting over on the rotation for the help. They would shoot the five, and there were easy baskets but there was really nothing we could do.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Texas A&M’s Ausbon, Hines III named to 2017 Freshman All-SEC team

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —Texas A&M’s Jhamon Ausbon and Anthony Hines III were named to the 2017 Freshmen All-SEC team as selected by the league’s head coaches.

Ausbon, a true freshman from Houston, started all 12 regular season games at wide receiver for the Aggies and was second on the squad with 38 receptions for 459 yards and two touchdowns.

Hines III, a true freshman from Plano, has played in all 12 regular season games at linebacker and on special teams. He recorded 32 tackles on the season. His top game was seven stops against Auburn.

Full release from the SEC:
————————————–
2017 SEC All-Freshman Football Team Announced

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Dec. 7, 2017)—–Missouri placed a league-leading five selections on the 2017 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Football Team, it was announced Thursday. The team was voted on by the league’s head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own players.

Including Missouri with five selections, four SEC institutions placed three or more members on the All-Freshman Team. Georgia and LSU were represented with four selections, while Florida had three.

Missouri’s Larry Rountree III earned two selections to the All-Freshman Team. He garnered recognition as both an all-purpose athlete and a return specialist.

Georgia’s Jake Fromm, an SEC All-Freshman Team honoree at quarterback, was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Year on Wednesday.

2017 SEC All-Freshman Team  

FRESHMAN ALL-SEC  

OFFENSE
TE
Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri

OL 
Trey Smith, Tennessee
Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Solomon Kindley, Georgia
Saahdiq Charles, LSU

C
Trystan Castillo, Missouri

WR
D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
Jhamon Ausbon, Texas A&M

QB
Jake Fromm, Georgia

RB
D’Andre Swift, Georgia
Malik Davis, Florida

AP
Larry Rountree III, Missouri

DEFENSE
DL
Nick Coe, Auburn
K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
Big Kat Bryant, Auburn
Tre Williams, Missouri

LB
Dylan Moses, Alabama
Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State
Anthony Hines III, Texas A&M

DB
Greedy Williams, LSU
CJ Henderson, Florida
Marco Wilson, Florida
Jamyest Williams, South Carolina

SPECIAL TEAMS
PK
Jace Christmann, Mississippi State

P
Zach Von Rosenberg, LSU

RS
Henry Ruggs III, Alabama*
Lynn Bowden, Kentucky*
Larry Rountree III, Missouri*
De’Vion Warren, Arkansas*

(* – Ties )

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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My Aggie Nation Podcast: Jimbo Fisher’s first steps with Brent Zwerneman and Ben Baby

The Jimbo Fisher era is officially underway in Aggieland, and the new Texas A&M head football coach is already making moves for the program. Brent Zwerneman of The Houston Chronicle joins the show to discuss the hire and Ben Baby of The Dallas Morning News breaks down his first steps on the recruiting trail, including a controversial meeting with a select 7-on-7 coach. Finally, former Texas A&M defensive lineman Jay Arnold gives his take on the hire.

MyAggieNation_1207.mp3

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No. 21 Women’s Basketball Defeats TCU 71-58 On Elementary School Day

COLLEGE STATION- No. 21 Texas A&M used a huge third quarter to erase an early deficit and beat TCU 71-58 in a Wednesday morning women’s basketball game at Reed Arena. Around 4,000 students from 28 area schools attended the game as part of the Aggies’ fifth annual Elementary School Day.

Khaalia Hillsman had 13 of her season-high 22 points in the third quarter, as the Aggies (7-2) erased a 13-point deficit in just over eight minutes. Texas A&M outscored TCU (6-2) 25-10 in the third quarter, to take a 49-42 lead, which they would not relinquish.

Chennedy Carter led the Aggies with 23 points, her fourth 20+ point game of her career. Danni Williams added 13 points, and Anriel Howard had a season-high 16 rebounds to lead the team.

The game was designated the Maggie Dixon Classic, which honors the late Army West Point coach who passed away in 2006. Her family was in attendance and honored at the game.

The Aggies return to action on Saturday, December 9 at 1 p.m. to host Central Arkansas at Reed Arena.

QUICKIE NOTES

Elementary School Day

  • This is Texas A&M’s fifth annual Elementary School day, with 4,000 students from 28 area schools in attendance.
  • The total attendance was 7,480, which is the 14th-largest women’s basketball crowd in Reed Arena history (since 1998). All five versions have had 7,000+ fans in attendance.

Texas A&M

  • The Aggies are now 7-2 on the season, while TCU falls to 6-2
  • Texas A&M is 60-12 at home since 2013-14 at Reed Arena, and 152-5 against unranked teams at home since February 2005.
  • Texas A&M erased a 13-point second quarter deficit, trailing 28-15 with 3:49 left in the second quarter. The Aggies needed just over eight minutes of game time to take the lead, pulling ahead with 5:24 left in the third quarter.
  • It is Texas A&M’s sixth comeback of 10+ points in the past two seasons.
  • The Aggies lead the all-time series with TCU 36-4, including a 20-0 mark against the Horned Frogs in College Station
  • Texas A&M has won the last seven meetings against TCU
  • Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 338-142 in 15 seasons at Texas A&M and 746-306 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks eighth among active coaches

Chennedy Carter

  • Scored 20+ points for the fourth time in her nine-game career
  • Has scored in double figures in all nine games of her career. She is the only Texas A&M freshman to start a career with nine straight 10+ point games.

Khaalia Hillsman

  • Had a season-high 22 points
  • Had 13 third quarter points
  • Scored 20+ points for the second time this season and the 13th time in her career
  • Had her seventh 10+ point game of the season and the 51st of her career

Anriel Howard

  • Grabbed a season-high 16 rebounds
  • Had 10+ rebounds for the eighth time in nine games this season, and the 28th time in her career
  • Has either 10+ points or 10+ rebounds in every game this season

Danni Williams

  • Scored 10+ points for the eighth time in nine games this season and the 39th time in her career

Postgame Quotes

Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
Opening Statement…
“It wasn’t what I said at halftime. I think the kids owned up to what they were not doing in the first half. We got into the same problems that we have had the past couple of games. We were not reversing the ball or getting the little things in there. The second half we ran a couple of set plays to get the ball to (Khaalia) Hillsman. She wanted the ball more in the second half. (Chennedy) Carter did a pretty good job of finishing. She leads the nation in scoring for freshmen … I think she is doing pretty good. We live with her mistakes like you do with all freshmen. Give that kid a lot of credit. Danni (Williams), we were able to get her loose. It wasn’t her best, but she hit the shots we had to have under pressure. She will work her way out of the slump. (Anriel) Howard, look at what she did on the boards. She just gave us the energy she had to have. There is no way we win the rebounding battle if it weren’t for Anriel. Give TCU a lot of credit.  (Amy Okonkwo) played so well. She can shoot the three and put the ball on the floor. We did a great job on (Toree) Thompson. She had been lightening it up and most of the time it was Danni (Williams) over there on Thompson. We identified her, took her threes away and she was basically non-existent in the game. TCU is a solid Big 12 team. They are going to win a lot of ballgames. They have players and they are well-coached.”

On the Maggie Dixon Classic…
“I want to thank the Maggie Dixon folks particularly the family for coming up here. They would have been here early but they got lost in College Station traffic. I wanted them to speak to my basketball team before we went out on the court. What an honor it was to represent one of the most young and energetic coaches to ever coach in Maggie Dixon. I’d love to have this game again.”

On getting off to a slow start…
“I think the whole team was playing like a lull. We gave them plays to run, and we just didn’t execute. One thing TCU was doing was making four to five to six passes. What were we doing? Making one to two to three passes. We go over it but we have to share the ball more and reverse the floor. We can’t just try to have the first option. Personally, I am having to play a lot of those kids a lot of minutes because we can’t get separation in the first half. I don’t want to be worn down before conference play. Give my kids credit for (playing a lot of minutes), but I don’t want to do that every game.”

On Elementary School Day… 
“Now, what got us going in the second half was 5,000 screaming kids. They made a difference. Sometimes I couldn’t tell if they were cheering for us or were the just cheering because I kept hearing a buzz.  That was fun playing in front of them. This win really meant a lot because we didn’t want to disappoint the 7,500 people that were here with a poor second half. We didn’t. We had a very good second half. To me that is a beautiful W. I know where we need to work, and we will get better. Don’t worry. My players can hear me out there on the court. This is year five. It means so much to those kids. Hopefully they will want to come back, but the most important thing is that I want them to come back to Texas A&M as a student.”

Texas A&M Senior Center Khaalia Hillsman
On the turnaround…
“It’s always my teammates. I do my work early and I get rewarded for having the ball. I really give credit to them.”

On the slow start…
“I’m just going to say it was an early game today. We try not to do that often but you know sometimes it happens but we have to be able to get out of our little drought and come out with a better sense of urgency as the game progresses and I think that’s what we did today.”

On the Elementary School Kids Day…
“I’m glad we won. Last year we lost and it was really heartbreaking for me to see all of those kids having to go home seeing their favorite Aggie Women’s Basketball team lose. It’s always special playing for these little kids. That’s what we did it for, to inspire others. They inspire us also. We want to be a positive role model for those kids. It’s just really special to be able to influence people like that.”

TCU Head Coach Raegan Pebley 
Opening Statement… 
“First and foremost, incredible honor for us to be able to participate in The Maggie Dixon Classic and we really wanted to take Coach Dixon, his family and TCU home a win from here but it is not lost on us that this is still a tremendous honor. Everything that Maggie represented in women’s basketball and in basketball in general is something that we as program always wanted to make sure we are representing. Congrats to A&M on winning this game. They had a great atmosphere. Those kids were awesome and they made it really hard sometimes to be able to communicate with each other. Those games are fun for everybody involved. Second half and especially that third quarter, we just weren’t our best. Our interior defense was not good enough and we were not able to create much tempo with our offense because of our defense. We just never really bounced back and calmed ourselves down enough to be able to take what was still a really close game and within reach and jump over that hurdle.”

On not being able to hit 3-pointers …
“I am more concerned about the missed layups. I think that it was more of an issue than missed threes. Some of the layups were just right there and weren’t even strongly contested. We saw a little bit of that towards the end of the second half and I know we are better than those missed layups. You don’t want to take it for granted and just think ‘oh it was just a fluke’. You go back in the gym and you work and you get better at it.”

On new generation of women’s basketball fans in stands… 
“It is awesome. Women’s basketball I think speaks to a lot of people for different reasons. Seeing them come out here and partake in the fun is great to be a part of.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Saros makes career-best 43 saves, Predators beat Stars 5-2

DALLAS (AP) _ Juuse Saros made a career-high 43 saves and his Nashville teammates scored four times in the second period as the Predators cooled off the Dallas Stars 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Nashville has won three in a row and is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games. The Stars had won five straight and seven of eight.

Saros has won both his career starts against Dallas, totaling 73 saves. He has played 28 NHL games over three seasons.

Stars goalie Ben Bishop allowed three goals on 15 shots before Kari Lehtonen replaced him 4:26 into the second period. Lehtonen finished with 15 saves and gave up two goals.

Kevin Fiala scored on a first-period power play for the Predators. Cody McLeod, Pontus Aberg, Kyle Turris and Calle Jarnkrok added the second-period goals.

Stephen Johns and Jamie Oleksiak scored for Dallas in the third.

Fiala put Nashville on the board at 15:49 of the first. He took a pass from Turris low in the left faceoff circle and sent the puck into the upper right corner of the net.

Fiala has a goal in three straight games after scoring only twice in his first 24 games this season.

A flurry of activity early in the second period increased Nashville’s lead to 3-0.

Two fights within 13 seconds resulted in four major penalties. Five seconds after the Predators’ Austin Watson and Dallas’ Jamie Oleksiak settled into the penalty box, McLeod caught Bishop out of position for his first goal of the season at 2:48.

Aberg took a pass from Jarnkrok at the inside edge of the right circle and beat Bishop, chasing him from the game. It was Aberg’s first goal this season and the second of his career.

Nashville’s second power play led to another goal on Turris’ drive from the top of the left circle past Lehtonen.

The Predators even scored on a Dallas power play. Jarnkrok’s short-handed goal followed a pass at an open right side of the net as Watson skated from behind the net on the opposite side.

Dallas has scored on only two of its last 37 power plays, including two chances on Tuesday.

NOTES: Stars LW Antoine Roussel missed his third straight game because of illness. . Nashville C Ryan Johansen (upper-body injury) has missed the last two games. . The three-goal margin of victory tied the largest this season for the Predators. Dallas lost 6-1 at Tampa Bay on Nov. 16.

UP NEXT

Predators: Return home to host Vegas on Friday.

Stars: Travel to St. Louis for a game on Thursday.

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