Sports Sports en-us Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:12:35 GMT Synapse CMS 10 144 25 Romo and Cowboys Reach Playoffs in 42-7 Win Over Colts Sports Sun, 21 Dec 2014 6:32:03 PM Cowboys Clinch NFC East Romo and Cowboys Reach Playoffs in 42-7 Win Over Colts

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Dallas ended a four-year playoff drought Sunday in a dominating 42-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, with Tony Romo throwing four touchdown passes and breaking Troy Aikman's franchise record for yards passing.

The Cowboys (11-4) emphatically ended a three-game home losing streak, scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions to take the NFC East.

Dallas had an opening for its first division title and postseason berth since 2009 because of Philadelphia's 27-24 loss at Washington on Saturday. The Eagles were eliminated with the Cowboys' win.

The Colts (10-5) didn't have much to play for with the AFC South title secured, and looked like it while barely avoiding their first shutout loss in 21 years.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

12/21/2014 6:28:11 PM (GMT -6:00)


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Manziel Leaves Sunday's Game With Hamstring Injury Sports Sun, 21 Dec 2014 5:38:11 PM Panthers Get Win Over Browns Manziel Leaves Sunday's Game With Hamstring Injury

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) - Johnny Manziel made his second NFL start for Cleveland, but left late in the first half with a hamstring injury when he was tackled near the Cleveland sideline by linebacker Luke Kuechly and safety Colin Jones on a rollout. Manziel said the hamstring started to tighten up on him on the previous drive.

Manziel did not return.

Some fans cheered as Manziel left the field, something Newton called "classless" in his press conference.

"Anytime when a person gets hurt you don't celebrate," Newton said. "I have had that done in my career and it just takes the integrity out of the game. For the crowd to respond in that sort of way - we're better than that."

Manziel finished 3 of 8 for 32 yards. He also ran twice for 3 yards.

"It's frustrating," Manziel said. "I've never done anything like this whether it's been playing since I was a kid in any sport, football, baseball, basketball. Never had anything like this so it was really new to me and really frustrating because I think I've put in two really good weeks of practice."

The Panthers led most of the game before Browns tight end Jordan Cameron got behind the Carolina secondary and hauled in an 81-yard touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer, who replaced Manziel. That gave Cleveland its first lead of the game at 13-10 with about 10 minutes remaining.

The Browns had just 126 yards on offense before that play and just 228 yards all afternoon.

But Newton, looking healthy and mobile in escaping from the pocket, drove the Panthers back downfield. He completed a 9-yard pass to Stewart, who slipped out of the backfield and found an open pocket in the end zone.

Carolina's defense made a late stand with Kawann Short coming up with a big sack on Hoyer, and Thomas Davis making an open field tackle to force a punt with less than four minutes remaining.

Carolina then sealed the win when Stewart broke off a 30-yard run on third-and-6.

Hoyer was 7 of 13 for 134 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

"Offensively, not near good enough to win in this league," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "We made the one big play but other than that, we never really seemed to get in much of a rhythm."

NOTES: Panthers cornerback Josh Norman had an interception for Carolina, but then fumbled on the return when he held the ball with one hand and was hit from behind. ... The Browns managed just eight first downs.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

12/21/2014 5:25:01 PM (GMT -6:00)


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Wilkinson to be Introduced as Javelina Head Football Coach Monday Sports Sun, 21 Dec 2014 3:04:29 PM Coach won an NCAA Division II national championship Saturday as offensive coordinator of CSU-Pueblo Wilkinson to be Introduced as Javelina Head Football Coach Monday

KINGSVILLE, Texas (Football) - Texas A&M University-Kingsville will hold a 3 p.m. press conference on Monday, Dec. 22 in McCulley Hall to formally introduce the new head football coach, Daren Wilkinson. Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Campus Recreation Scott Gines will also be available during the press conference.


Please contact director of sports information Kelvin Queliz for further information.


Wilkinson capped off his second season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Colorado State-Pueblo on top of NCAA Division II as the Thunder Wolves defeated then No. 1 and undefeated Minnesota State-Mankato to capture the school's first national championship.


In just their seventh season since reinstating football, the Thunder Wolves finished the 2014 season 14-1. Under Wilkinson's guidance, quarterback Chris Bonner was propelled to All-America honorable mention honors in 2013 and this season, ranks 18th in the nation with 29 passing touchdowns.


Three offensive players, including running back Cameron McDondle earned Daktronics All-Super Region 4 honors as Colorado State-Pueblo earned its fourth consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference crown and reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the fourth straight season. Four offensive players were named to the Don Hansen All-Super Region 4 team.


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Foster and Defense Lead Texans Over Ravens 25-13 Sports Sun, 21 Dec 2014 3:50:33 PM Foster and Defense Lead Texans Over Ravens 25-13

HOUSTON (AP) - Running back Arian Foster threw a touchdown pass, Randy Bullock made a franchise-record six field goals and Houston's defense dominated to give the Texans a 25-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

The Ravens (9-6) now need some help next week to get into the postseason after Joe Flacco threw a season-high three interceptions and the offense struggled all day.

Houston (8-7) remains in the hunt with the victory but needs several teams to lose next week.

With three quarterbacks hurt, the Texans started Case Keenum, who got his first win in nine NFL starts.

Foster ran for 96 yards. But his highlight came when took a pitch from Keenum and, with a defender in his face, threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Fiedorowicz to make it 16-0 in the second quarter.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

12/21/2014 3:46:16 PM (GMT -6:00)


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Linares Hired as New Hooks Manager Sports Fri, 19 Dec 2014 2:50:22 PM Linares Hired as New Hooks Manager

CORPUS CHRISTI - Rodney Linares has been tabbed as Corpus Christi's manager for 2015, the Houston Astros announced Friday.

Linares, 37, is joined on the staff by pitching coach Doug Brocail, hitting coach Dan Radison, infield instructor Tom Lawless, athletic trainer Grant Hufford and strength coach Mark Spadavecchia.

2015 marks Linares' ninth consecutive campaign as a manager in the Houston system.

He enters the Texas League ranks following a successful three-year stint at High-A Lancaster. The 2013 California League manager of the year captured the circuit's pennant in 2014 and 2012. During this run, the JetHawks compiled a 234-186 (.557) regular-season record and went 16-7 in postseason play.

Last year, the California League champs won 44 of their 70 first-half contests and finished with a 78-62 mark, tops in the South Division. It was Linares' fourth winning campaign in the last five seasons.

In 2013, Lancaster carved out an 82-58 record, winning the second half (43-27) by a nine-game margin. The JetHawks lost to Inland Empire in the division finals.

Linares' 2012 charges finished second in the Cal League South (74-66) and beat Lake Elsinore in the wild-card round. Lancaster took eight of its 10 postseason games, including a 5-0 run to cement the JetHawks' first title in the 17-year history of the club. Following the season, Linares managed the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.

A 17-year member of the Astros organization, Linares skippered the Low-A Lexington Legends in 2010 and 2011. A rookie-level Greeneville appointment (2007-2009) preceded his South Atlantic League stint.

Linares, whose managerial career began at the age of 29, enters 2015 with a 438-460 (.488) record.

He is the sixth skipper in Hooks history, following Keith Bodie (2012-14), Lawless (2011), Wes Clements (2010), Luis Pujols (2008-09) and Dave Clark (2005-07).

Brocail officially takes over as Corpus Christi's pitching coach after serving with the club on an interim basis last season.

The longtime major league pitcher guided the development of Tommy Shirley, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2014. Shirley was tabbed as Hooks' pitcher of the year, posting a 7-3 record and 1.88 ERA in 17 outings.

Brocail's track record with Corpus Christi features several success stories. Mark Appel, the first overall draft pick in 2013, thrived with the Hooks after struggling at Class A Lancaster. Following Shirley's promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City, Jordan Jankowski emerged as the Hooks' most consistent starter. The former 34th-round pick was 4-4 with a 3.41 ERA in the second half, striking out 70 against 12 walks in 60 2/3 innings. Mitchell Lambson and Tyson Perez shook off pedestrian runs in the California League to shine in Double-A. As a member of the Hooks, Lambson complimented a 1.36 ERA with 35 strikeouts and five walks in 33 1/3 innings. Perez authored a 4-0 record and went 11-for-11 in save chances. Both pitchers were rewarded with invitations to the Arizona Fall League.

Brocail, who went 52-48 with a 4.00 ERA in 15 big-league campaigns, was Houston's pitching coach for two and a half seasons, beginning in mid-June of 2011 through the end of 2013. During this period, the Lamar, Colorado, native oversaw one of the youngest staffs in the majors, with 18 pitchers making their big league debut.

Brocail joined Houston's front office in 2010 as a special assistant to the GM, a role he reprised in the fall of 2014. He was also acting as Astros' senior pitching advisor before assignment to Corpus Christi.

Brocail's major-league career included stints with the Padres, Astros, Tigers and Rangers. His .633 winning percentage (38-22) from 1998 to 2009 stood second highest among MLB relievers during that span.

Radison is in his fourth year with the Astros organization and his 35th in professional baseball.

He spent last season as a special assistant for Houston's player development department. Radison joined the organization in January 2012 as special assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow. He took over as Astros first base coach on August 19. In 2013, the Illinois native was assistant hitting coach on the major league staff.

Prior to his stint with the Astros, Radison was first base coach for the Washington Nationals in 2010 and 2011. From 2007-2009, he worked in the St. Louis system as minor league hitting coordinator.

Radison, 64, managed in the minors for 12 seasons between 1984 and 2006. He owns a 622-552 (.530) career record as skipper, including three division titles and an Eastern League championship with Albany in 1992.

Lawless begins his seventh consecutive season in the Astros system. He will scout Texas League clubs on home dates. When Corpus Christi travels, the major league veteran is slated to tour other Houston affiliates.

Lawless made his debut as a big league manager last season, taking the helm of the Astros on September 1. Houston went 11-13 to finish the year. Lawless began the season managing Triple-A Oklahoma City in the absence of Tony DeFrancesco, who was on medical leave.

Lawless spent 2013 as the RedHawks' infield coach, a position implemented by the Astros during the previous offseason. Lawless started 2012 as Houston's roving infield instructor. He closed out the campaign as Oklahoma City's interim manager in the wake of DeFrancesco's temporary promotion to Houston on August 19.

Lawless, 58, took charge of the Hooks in 2011 in what was his 10th season as a minor-league manager. He piloted the Lancaster JetHawks in 2010 and the Lexington Legends in 2009.

A native of Pennsylvania, Lawless played portions of eight seasons in the major leagues with Cincinnati, Montreal, St. Louis and Toronto. Primarily a second and third baseman, Lawless appeared in 343 games.

Hufford begins his first season with the Hooks and his eighth campaign as an athletic trainer in the Astros system. He joins Corpus Christi following a two-year stint at Class A Lancaster. The 2013 California League Athletic Trainer of the Year served at Low-A Lexington in 2011 and 2012.

Mark Spadavecchia joins Corpus Christi's staff following a two-year run as strength and conditioning coach at Class A Lancaster. Prior to his tenure with the Astros, Spadavecchia was a strength and conditioning intern for Florida State University's baseball, track, swimming and volleyball programs, a position he started in August 2011.

Hufford and Spadavecchia fill the voids left by Bryan Baca and Trey Wiedman, who both earned promotions to Triple-A Fresno.



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Mavs Obtain Rondo From Celtics Sports Thu, 18 Dec 2014 8:39:03 PM Associated Press Mavs Obtain Rondo From Celtics

BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Celtics traded point guard Rajon Rondo to Dallas on Thursday night, cutting ties with the last remnant of their last NBA championship while giving Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks a chance at another title.

The Celtics will send Rondo and forward Dwight Powell to Dallas for Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, two draft picks and a $12.9 million trade exception.

"Welcome to Rajon Rondo the newest member of the Dallas Mavericks," team owner Mark Cuban wrote on the social media application Cyber Dust shortly before the official announcement. Cuban also thanked the three departing players, calling them "Amazing players and better people."

Boston got a first-round pick in next year's draft and a second-rounder in 2016. The Celtics have eight first-round picks in the next four years, picking them up in trades for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and even coach Doc Rivers as they shed the pieces of the New Big Three that earned the franchise its unprecedented 17th NBA title in 2008.

"We would not have won Banner 17 without Rajon and will always consider him one of our most valuable Celtics," the team's owners said in a joint statement. "We will always cherish the time he was here."

The Mavericks get a pass-first point guard - a four-time all-star - to team with Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler in what they hope will make them a contender again. Dallas is 19-8 this season but in third place in the Southwest Division and sixth in the Western Conference.

The Mavericks, who won their only NBA title in 2011, have not won a playoff series since.

The deal has been years in the making, with the Celtics shopping Rondo every time a coach grows tired of his moods or his contract expectations grow too large for their budget. But every previous time Boston management decided that the offers weren't enough.

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge found a partner in Dallas, which is coached by his former Boston teammate Rick Carlisle.

Rondo, 28, joined the rebuilding Celtics as the 21st overall pick out of Kentucky in 2006 and became the point guard for an NBA champion in his second year when Boston acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett the next summer. They helped the Celtics reach the NBA finals again two years later.

With the once-proud franchise mired in what now looks to be an extended rebuilding process, though, Rondo became more valuable as a trading chip. Due to be a free agent at the end of the season, he was reportedly expecting a contract at or near the NBA maximum.

Rondo has averaged 11 points, 8.5 assists and 4.7 rebounds over his career. He missed the second half of the 2012-13 season and the first half of last season to have reconstructive knee surgery, and then reportedly fell in the shower in Las Vegas on the eve of training camp and missed all of the preseason.

In 22 games this season for Boston, Rondo had an NBA-best 10.8 assists per game and also averaged 8.3 points and 7.5 rebounds.

Nelson, who signed a two-year, $5.5 million deal last summer after 10 seasons in Orlando, was starting at point guard for Dallas, averaging 7.3 points and 4.1 assists while shooting 37 percent from the field.

Wright has played about 19 minutes a game, averaging 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. Crowder has averaged 3.6 points per game for Dallas.

Powell has totaled nine points and nine minutes in five games for Boston this season as the Celtics (9-14) opened their second season under new coach Brad Stevens.


AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski and AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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Gov. Christie Will Travel to Texas to Root For Cowboys Sports Thu, 18 Dec 2014 4:24:41 PM Associated Press Gov. Christie Will Travel to Texas to Root For Cowboys

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The flak New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie faced last Sunday night apparently wasn't enough.

Christie called into a Philadelphia sports radio station Thursday to again defend his Dallas Cowboys fandom. He says he's planning to travel to Dallas for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Christie told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show team that he'll be sitting in Cowboys owner Jerry Jones's box again.

Christie received an onslaught of social media criticism last weekend when he was spotted with Jones rooting for the team during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cataldi likened the move to watching video of a cousin robbing a Wawa.

But Christie says he's been a Cowboys fan since he was a kid and isn't apologizing for his allegiances.

He says he doesn't care how it played.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Bremond Rallies to Beat Albany for 2A Div. ii Title Sports Thu, 18 Dec 2014 4:21:47 PM Associated Press Bremond Rallies to Beat Albany for 2A Div. ii Title

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Roshauud Paul ran for the winning touchdown with 1:17 to play as Bremond rallied with 21 fourth-quarter points to beat Albany 28-21 and take the Class 2A Division II championship.

The Thursday win brought 15-0 Bremond its second title in six appearances. The previous title was in the 1981 Class 1A final.

In the final AP 2A poll, Bremond was ranked fourth and Albany sixth.

Paul gained 149 rushing yards in 28 carries, and completed 6 of 10 passes for 79 yards.

Drew Neece led Albany with 50 rushing yards in 16 carries and passed for 108 yards. Albany was seeking its third state title in six tries and its first since winning back-to-back 1A titles in 1960 and '61.



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Texas Basketball Rolling in 2014 Sports Thu, 18 Dec 2014 4:14:18 PM Associated Press Texas Basketball Rolling in 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas basketball is rolling - both the men and the women - and making a splash among the nation's best just two seasons after both had seemed to hit bottom.

The Longhorns men are ranked No. 9 and the women are No. 3, making this the first season the Texas men have been ranked in to the top 10 and the women in the top five since late December 2009.

None of that seem attainable in 2013 when fans were calling for men's coach Rick Barnes to be fired after his first losing season in 15 years, and the women were coming off a losing season under first-year coach Karen Aston.

There is no guarantee the men (9-1) or women (9-0) can maintain their success. Just look at the 2009-2010 season

The men started that season 17-0 and rose as high as No. 1 for the first time ever. But they were unranked by March and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The women rose as high as No. 4 but finished fourth in the Big 12 and also were bounced early from the tournament that year

Both squads now look rebuilt for the long run, thanks to recruiting that landed big-time players and found a few gems others had overlooked.

The men have five returning starters and the addition of highly touted freshman forward Myles Turner, who had 26 points, nine rebounds and six blocks Tuesday night against Lipscomb. Turner is arguably Texas' biggest recruit since Kevin Durant, but even he has to fight for playing time in a Texas' deep lineup.

He has yet to start a game despite averaging 12.5 points, second-best on the team.

"I have high expectations for myself, and I've lived up to a couple of them," Turner said. "But not all of them."

Perhaps just as important has been the standout play of point guard Isaiah Taylor, who was one of the big surprises in the Big 12 last season. Taylor has been sidelined for nearly a month with a broken left wrist but he is expected to return at some point this season.

The only blemish for Texas so far has been a tough road loss at No. 1 Kentucky while Taylor was out.

The women are still unbeaten and already have two impressive wins over national powers Stanford and Tennessee. They face old rival No. 4 Texas A&M on Sunday in Little Rock, Arkansas.

"I knew we had the potential," senior forward Nneka Enemkpali told the Longhorn Network this week. "We've worked so hard, the fact that we are the third-ranked team in the country doesn't mean as much as the journey to get here."

Enemkpali has been the rock behind Aston's rebuilding project. She was one of the top recruits in the country when she signed with Texas and played just one season before coach Gale Goestenkors abruptly quit with two years left on a contract that was paying her more than $1 million per year.

Big things had been expected from Goestenkors, who left a powerhouse program at Duke to succeed Hall of Fame coach Jody Conradt, who won a national title with the Longhorns in 1986 and reached the Final Four as recently as 2003.

But while Goestenkors never had a losing season, the program fell behind rivals like Baylor and Texas A&M, who both won national titles. Texas hired Aston, who had been an assistant under Conradt and Baylor coach Kim Mulkey before head coaching jobs at Charlotte and North Texas.

Aston's first season was as 12-18 struggle but the Longhorns quickly rebounded with a 22-12 finish last season, good for third place in the Big 12.

"I had hoped we'd be a contender for a conference championship (by year three)," Aston said. "I don't think I set a timetable that by third year we'd be capable of being a team that could go to the Final Four or make a splash nationally."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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Newton 'Probably' will Start vs. Browns Sports Thu, 18 Dec 2014 2:10:39 PM Associated Press Newton 'Probably' will Start vs. Browns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Cam Newton will "probably" start Sunday against the Cleveland Browns barring any physical setbacks this week.

The Panthers increased the fourth-year quarterback's workload on Thursday and Rivera says Newton seemed to handle it well. However, Rivera was hesitant on naming Newton the starter in case he begins to experience soreness in his back.

Rivera says, "I would say he is on target. He had a good day and took the reps he was supposed to."

Newton says he's pain-free.

He was a full participant in practice, nine days after he was involved in a two-vehicle crash that left him hospitalized for one night with two fractures in his lower back.

Newton says, "If I can play, we all know I want to play."


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(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Islander Women Lose Third Straight, 61-54 Sports Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:14:48 PM TAMUCC.COM Islander Women Lose Third  Straight, 61-54

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's basketball dropped a close one to Oakland University, 61-54, at the American Bank Center Wednesday evening.

Down the stretch, the Islanders traded baskets with the Golden Grizzlies. A&M-Corpus Christi closed the gap to just four points at 58-54 with 2:37 left on a Jennifer Ramirez jumper, but Oakland's Olivia Nash answered quickly as she did all night with a quick jumper on the other end. Nash finished with a game-high 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting.

Oakland (5-4) took 20 shots from behind the arc in the game, but during a 9:23 minute stretch to end the first half and begin the second half, the Golden Grizzlies hit four of their five treys as the team went on a 28-7 run.

Trailing by as many as 16 points, the Islanders (2-7) were able to get back into the game thanks to their gritty play in the paint. Several times throughout the game, shots were put up but corralled by an AMCC player for the easy putback. A&M-Corpus Christi outscored the Golden Grizzlies 36-24 in the paint on the night, to go along with 10 points coming off of offensive rebounds. The team also set a new season-high in block, finishing with 10 in the game.

The first half featured six lead changes in a back-and-forth affair. The Golden Grizzlies made a late run to take a 33-26 lead into the locker room. In final minute of the half, Oakland was able to go on a 5-0 run to push its lead to seven. Nash hit a three-pointer while Leah Somerfield drained two free throws with 16 seconds remaining. Nash led Oakland with 15 first half points on 7-of-9 shooting. A&M-Corpus Christi shot 37 percent in the half, its best first half since playing at UT-Pan American.

A&M-Corpus Christi was led by junior Shay Weaver who scored 15 points off the bench. Forward Camesha Davis put in 10 points to go along with a career-high 11 rebounds to record her first double-double of her career. Ramirez, a Bronx, N.Y. native scored a season-high nine points.

The Islanders will wrap up play at the American Bank Center with a matchup with Texas Southern on Saturday at 1 p.m. The team will then take the holidays off before returning to action on Dec. 30 as they play host to Huston-Tillotson.

For the latest team information, like the team on Facebook (Islanders Women's Basketball), and follow the Islanders on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersWBB).


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Randle, Dunbar Wait on Status of Murray Sports Wed, 17 Dec 2014 8:55:38 PM Associated Press Randle, Dunbar Wait on Status of Murray

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Joseph Randle says he goes into every game not really knowing what his workload will be.

So the Dallas running back doesn't really see this week as anything unusual, even if he might be taking the place of NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray.

The Cowboys don't know if Murray can play Sunday against Indianapolis after breaking his left hand in last weekend's victory at Philadelphia. He had a large cast Tuesday, a day after surgery on his left ring finger, but went through some drills in practice Wednesday with a much smaller wrap.

While Colts coach Chuck Pagano says his team is practicing as if Murray will play, Randle and Lance Dunbar are preparing for a rare moment in the spotlight.

The Cowboys (10-4) are in position to clinch a playoff berth, but facing the possibility of missing the postseason if they lose one of their last two games.

"I feel like I can get the job done," Randle said. "I don't want to let the team down. I know this is a huge game for our season."

Randle started twice last season when Murray had a sprained knee, but the Cowboys weren't counting so heavily on the running game then.

While Randle is averaging 7 yards per carry in spot duty this year, he had 91 yards rushing on 33 carries - a 2.8-yard average - as the featured back against Philadelphia and Detroit.

"Just have to trust me about getting my job done," said Randle, who has 237 yards rushing.

This could be Randle's best shot at redemption since a shoplifting arrest in October that got worse for the second-year back. A booking video showed him making disparaging comments about previous legal trouble for receiver Dez Bryant and defensive tackle Josh Brent.

Bryant was involved in a domestic violence complaint two years ago, and Brent recently returned to the team after a 10-game suspension for an intoxication manslaughter conviction in the death of teammate Jerry Brown.

Not long after police in a Dallas suburb released the video, Randle and Bryant were arguing on the practice field when tight end Jason Witten intervened.

Less than two weeks later, Randle had his most significant play of the season - a 40-yard touchdown run against Jacksonville in London. He also had a 17-yard scoring run on his only carry against Chicago two weeks ago.

"I just think he's gotten more and more confident," coach Jason Garrett said. "Sometimes, that can be challenging when you've been sitting there, sitting there, sitting there watching somebody else play and now it's your turn."

Dunbar has been waiting since the day of his breakout game for Dallas on Thanksgiving more than a year ago when he had a team-high 82 rushing yards, but sustained a season-ending knee injury in the same game.

During the preseason, it looked as though Dunbar would have a vital role as a change-of-pace back under new play-caller Scott Linehan. But most of his few opportunities have come in the passing game.

"It's been mentally tough," said Dunbar, who has 207 yards receiving and just 91 rushing with no touchdowns. "I'm a pretty mentally tough guy. I can't worry about all those things. If I do then it will affect how I play when I'm out there."

The Cowboys also face the possibility of being without both starters on the right side of the offensive line in tackle Doug Free and rookie guard Zack Martin. Both have ankle injuries, and Free also has been dealing with a foot problem.

Regardless of who's trying to create the holes and who's trying to run through them, center Travis Frederick says the job's the same.

"It's not as different as you might think," he said. "Because it's really hard for us to be in the huddle and say, 'OK, Joseph's in so we need to adjust it this way.' We're not going to do that. We're going to do our job, and he's going to do his job and he's good at it."



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Flour Bluff's Tyler Snell Earns Second Team All-State Honors Sports Wed, 17 Dec 2014 4:08:26 PM Associated Press Flour Bluff's Tyler Snell Earns Second Team All-State Honors

The 2014 Texas Associated Press Sports Editors Class 5A all-state high school football team, released Wednesday. Voting based on regular-season performance. Players are listed in alphabetical order at each position.



- ADRYOUS MASTERS, Dallas South Oak Cliff, Sr. -- 94 percent grade, no sacks allowed on offense that averaged 50.4 points/game

- JONATHAN NICHOLSON, Abilene Cooper, Sr. -- 97 percent grade, 57 pancakes

- DAVID SHIN, The Colony, Sr. -- 92 percent grade, 72 pancakes, 43 cut blocks, no sacks allowed in three years

- JEREMIAH SODIA, Victoria West, Sr. -- 98 percent grade, 91 pancakes, no sacks allowed

- ETHAN SULLIVANT, Cedar Park, Sr. -- 154 knockdowns, 1 sack allowed, 80% grade in every game


- AARON FULLER, Lucas Lovejoy, Jr. -- 60-1,309, 20 TDs receiving; 2 TDs rushing

- KEY'ANDRE HEARVEY, Denton, Sr. -- 79-1,185, 16 TDs receiving


- CHASON VIRGIL, West Mesquite, Sr. -- 154-226-2,202, 34 TDs passing; 8 TDs rushing

Running backs:

- TRAVIS BRANNAN, Austin Vandegrift, Jr. -- 202-1,820, 29 TDs rushing; 21-499, 4 TDs receiving

- KIERRE CROSSLEY, Everman, Jr. -- 198-2,123, 26 TDs rushing

- ISAIAH DUARTE, N. Richland Hills Birdville, Sr. -- 224-2,052, 29 TDs rushing


- TRE HONSHTEIN, Georgetown East View, Sr. -- 10-13 FGs, long-51, 55 PATs, 54 touchbacks

Offensive Player of the Year: Travis Brannan, Austin Vandegrift




- RAY DINNALL-GUERRA, Edcouch-Elsa, Sr. -- 106 tackles, 27 TFL, 16 sacks, 3 FF, 2 FR

- JALEN GOSS, Dallas South Oak Cliff, Sr. -- 91 tackles, 24 TFL, 15.5 sacks, 4 FF

- MARVIN TERRY, Dallas South Oak Cliff, Jr. -- 105 tackles, 20 TFL, 12 sacks, 3 FF, 2 FR

- DARIUS WATSON, Corsicana, Sr. -- 104 tackles, 11 sacks, 5 passes defended, 5 FF, 6 FR


- SAMMY ALANIZ, Edcouch-Elsa, Jr. -- 170 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 INTs

- TROY BURNETT, Fort Bend Elkins, Jr. -- 149 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 TDs, 14 TFL, 5 sacks, 4 FF

- THOMAS HUTCHINGS, Cedar Park, Sr. -- 120 tackles, 24 TFL, 3 FF, 2 sacks, 7 PBU, 1 INT for TD

Defensive backs:

- JOHNATHAN DURHAM, Aledo, Jr. -- 31 tackles, 5 INTs, 15 pass deflections

- SEAN LANDEZ, Mission Sharyland, Sr. -- 75 tackles, 10 INTs, 4 TFL

- KENDALL SHEFFIELD, Fort Bend Marshall, Sr. -- 39 tackles, 2 INTs, INT return for TD, 7 PBU, 3 FR, 2 FF, 3 blocked FGs

- JAKORYIAN WALKER, Longview, Sr. -- 40 tackles, 8 INTs, 5 PBU, 2 defensive TDs


- CAMERON DAWLEY, SA Alamo Heights, Sr. -- 45.2 avg., 7 inside the 20

Defensive Player of the Year: Thomas Hutchings, Cedar Park




- Grant Cervantes, Ennis, Sr.; Dontae Duff, Mesquite Poteet, Sr.; Erik McCoy, Lufkin, Sr.; Trendon Rolen, Ennis, Soph.; Landon Watkins, Sulphur Springs, Sr.


- Deandre McNeal, Mesquite Poteet, Sr.; JF Thomas, Dallas South Oak Cliff, Sr.


- Jamie Hudson, Austin Vandegrift, Sr.

Running backs:

- Warren Flye, Plainview, Sr.; Earnest Patterson, Brenham, Sr.; Jordan Stevenson, Dallas South Oak Cliff, Sr.


- Alex Del Valle, Saginaw Boswell, Jr.




- Erick Fowler, Manor, Jr.; James Lockhart, Ennis, Sr.; Garron Nash, Wichita Falls, Sr.; Torain Williams, Fort Bend Ridge Point, Sr.


- Conoly Koonts, SA Alamo Heights, Sr.; Eric Ogor, Richmond Foster, Sr.; DaQuan Patton, Cedar Park Vista Ridge, Sr.

Defensive backs:

- Roel Garcia, Mercedes, Sr.; Bryston Gipson, Tyler, Jr.; P.J. Locke, Beaumont Central, Sr.; Tyler Snell, CC Flour Bluff, Sr.


- Grant Carlson, Fort Bend Ridge Point, Jr.



LINEMEN: Benjamin Cohen, SA Alamo Heights; Moises Garcia, Plainview; Nick Gerhard, Mansfield Timberview; Clay Greathouse, WF Rider; Hunter Harris, Aledo; Ruben Hinojosa, Roma; Colton Hostetler, Burleson Centennial; Gerred Johnson, Mansfield Summit; Tim Meyers, Nacogdoches; Chris Minter, Temple; Dalton Montgomery, Lake Dallas; Keenan Murphy, Crosby; Castin Neumeyer, Wylie; Zach Pare, Georgetown East View; Jorge Rios, Port Lavaca Calhoun; Nico Russolillo, Frisco Heritage; Michael Shogbonyo, Mansfield Summit; Lake Smith, Angleton; Parker Sorge, WF Rider; Jared Spivey, Bryan; Kameron Stubblefield, Dallas South Oak Cliff; Judd Terry, Denton; Broderick Washington, Longview.

RECEIVERS/ENDS: Aaron Anderson, Abilene Cooper; Keegan Brewer, Lake Dallas; Bear Christianson, Austin Vandegrift; O.J. Clark, Wichita Falls; Keke Coutee, Lufkin; Jaquay Cross, Brenham; Davion Davis, Hutto; Kevin Dewitt, CC Flour Bluff; Derrick Dick, A&M Consolidated; Aaron Dilworth, CC Flour Bluff; Myron Gailliard, Mansfield Timberview; Joshua Garza, Mercedes; Jo'Vanta Grimble, Georgetown; Apollos Hester, Georgetown East View; Evan McHugh, Lubbock Cooper; Ryan Newsome, Aledo; Paxton Segina, Austin Vandegrift; Jerminic Smith, South Garland; T.J. Vasher, WF Rider; Hutch White, Kerrville Tivy.

QUARTERBACKS: Ben Bottlinger, Georgetown; Cade Dyal, Kerrville Tivy; Gamarquis Girdy, Victoria West; Deion Hair'Griffin, FW Arlington Heights; Tyler Herrick, Hutto; Caleb Hill, Brenham; David Johnson, Dallas South Oak Cliff; Justin Maese, EP Ysleta; Geo McCollister, Tyler; Steven Montez, EP Del Valle; Chad President, Temple; Bowman Sells, Lucas Lovejoy; Brett Taff, Canyon Randall; Malik Walker, Frisco Heritage; Tracin Wallace, FW South Hills; Devin Williams, Mansfield Timberview; Brennen Wooten, Marble Falls.

RUNNING BACKS: Rakeem Boyd, Houston Stratford; Remus Bulmer, Fort Bend Ridge Point; Mulbah Car, Austin Reagan; Kierre Crossley, Everman; Matthew Dickson, CC Tuloso-Midway; Wyatt Garton, Canyon Randall; KeeKee Johnson, Bryan; Clement Jones, Austin McCallum; Ronald Jones, McKinney North; Anthony McLain, Amarillo Palo Duro; Alex Mermea, Floresville; Tylan Miller, Longview; Pedro Rodriguez, Roma; Xavier Scott, Denton; Steven Starcher, Gregory-Portland; Taylor Thompson, Ennis; Coronado Tolbert, Nacogdoches; Trayveon Williams, Houston King.

KICKERS: Grant Carlson, Fort Bend Ridge Point; Luis Duran, Tyler; Cole Martin, Temple; Samuel Rodriguez, Angleton.



LINEMEN: Taaj Bakari, Mansfield Legacy; Joseph Broadnax, Dallas Adams; Tyler Corn, Burleson Centennial; Sean Foreman, Kerrville Tivy; Albert Garcia, Mission Veterans; Tony Green, Hutto; Antonio Harris, Terrell; Dacion Harris, Mansfield Timberview; Kingsley Keke, Richmond George Ranch; Drake Kuehn, Ennis; Pierre Leonard, Tyler; Justin Madubuike, McKinney North; Karbohn McAdoo, Longview; Fentrese Milligan, Elgin; Ronan Profetta, Kerrville Tivy; Dee Spencer, Mesquite Poteet; Josiah Tauaefa, Lake Dallas; Nathan White, Crosby.

LINEBACKERS: Deion Amerson, FW Polytechnic; Reece Barrett, CC Calallen; Nainoa Bean, Gregory-Portland; Hugo Cabrera, Mission Veterans; Spencer Choka, Bryan Rudder; Hunter Donnelly, Burleson Centennial; Ke'ldre Flowers, Ennis; Josh Hight, CC Calallen; Jaylon Jackson, Longview; Malik Jefferson, Mesquite Poteet; Coleman Johnson, Bryan; Trenton Jones, Plainview; Kenneth Mann, Burleson; Kendell Mays, Mansfield Timberview; Ty McCorckle, Temple; Blaine McRay, Burleson; Osaze Ogbebor, Frisco Heritage; Isaiah Pouncy, Beaumont Central; Fabricio Quintanilla, Mercedes; Johnny Roa, FW South Hills; Jorge Solis, Mercedes; Augustine Tambe, Cedar Park; Jake Turner, Ennis; Jessie Velasco, Canutillo.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Bryce Balous, McKinney North; Bo Brooks, Canutillo; Jared Carmona, Frisco Liberty; Frederick Carter, FW Polytechnic; O.J. Clark, Wichita Falls; Justin Cegielski, Crosby; Clint Cole, Temple; Adrian Contreras, Georgetown East View; Treyvionne Edwards, Ennis; Deshon Elliott, Rockwall-Heath; Kevin Liebano, Mission Veterans; Prentice McKinney, Dallas South Oak Cliff; Jordan Owens, Tyler; Rajah Preciado, College Station; Prince Robinson, Houston North Forest; Victor Valdez, Edcouch-Elsa; Bryan Ward, Bryan; Khalil Williams, Longview.

PUNTER: Luis Duran, Tyler.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Thad Lewis or Case Keenum? Sports Wed, 17 Dec 2014 3:58:52 PM Associated Press Thad Lewis or Case Keenum?

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Texans haven't decided if Thad Lewis or Case Keenum will start on Sunday against Baltimore.

Either way, they will have to play a quarterback who hasn't appeared in a game this season.

Keenum started eight games for the Texans last year, losing all of them, before he was released in August when Ryan Mallett was acquired in a trade. He was on the St. Louis practice squad but signed with Houston after the Texans' loss on Sunday to Indianapolis included Ryan Fitzpatrick breaking his leg and rookie Tom Savage suffering a knee injury.

Lewis was signed on Nov. 26 after being released by the Bills in training camp. He went 2-3 in five starts for the Bills last year.

Coach Bill O'Brien said he's close to making a decision on a starter, but that he doesn't plan to announce his choice before Sunday.

"I'm going to keep that close to the vest," he said.

He did say that the Texans will use a game plan that is very different from what they've used previously.

Keenum, who set numerous NCAA records at the University of Houston, was glad to be back in Texas and to have the chance to compete for a job again. When asked about returning to Houston, the folksy Texas native, who speaks with a pronounced Texas lilt, partially quoted something his former coach Art Briles, currently at Baylor, used last week during a rant after the Bears were left out of the college football playoff.

"This is home for me," he said. "I heard a coach say the other day that I really admire: 'When I die they're going to bury me in Texas. They're not going to bury me in St. Louis.'"

He was asked if he expects to start on Sunday.

"I don't expect anything," he said. "I'm expecting to go out there and have a good practice (Friday). I keep saying that but really that's all I can do right now. I can't look forward. Can't even look back. It's just about right now. It's a pretty special opportunity here today."

Keenum was with the team when the offense was installed in training camp and hopes that will make the transition easier. He has a simple plan for the rest of his week.

"Just study," he said. "Just live in the quarterback room watching film and just going over everything."

O'Brien thought Keenum did a good job in his first day of practice on Wednesday.

"He comes right back into the fold and really has a good recall of what we were doing back when he was here," he said. "That's impressive. Didn't take long to pick right back up."

Keenum threw for 1,760 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions last season. He feels like he has some unfinished business here and hopes he gets another chance to play after losing each of his starts last year.

"It would mean a lot," he said. "I want to win. I love to win and that was tough. To come out and have a chance to win a game would be pretty incredible."

Lewis believes he has made a lot of progress since joining the team less than a month ago and is confident he'll be ready if he starts against the rugged Baltimore defense.

"It's a great opportunity," Lewis said. "Sometimes (starts) are far and between and things don't always happen the way you want them to happen. You just got to make sure you're ready when that time presents itself."

O'Brien has known Lewis since he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Duke when Lewis was a freshman.

"He's got really good poise," O'Brien said. "He's a guy ... that nothing is too big for him."

Lewis said Mallett and Savage have been around in meetings and the film room helping the newer quarterbacks prepare this week.

Receiver DeAndre Hopkins said they can't worry about the problems at quarterback and just have to do what they can to make it easier for whoever starts.

"With the leadership we have, guys have been through quarterback changes and you just have to go out there and do your job," Hopkins said. "There's not uncertainty with us. It doesn't change anything how we prepare as a wide receiver group."



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(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Cowboys #6 in NFL Power Rankings Sports Tue, 16 Dec 2014 8:47:12 PM Associated Press Cowboys #6 in NFL Power Rankings

NEW YORK (AP) - Tom Brady and the New England Patriots maintained their mastery of the AFC East and returned to the top spot in the NFL.

The Patriots clinched the division for the 11th time in 12 years with Sunday's 41-13 rout of the Miami Dolphins.

New England (11-3) received nine of 12 first-place votes Tuesday in the AP Pro32 power rankings, which are decided by a media panel that regularly covers the league.

"Remember when Tom Brady was in decline and the 2-2 Patriots were about to lose control of the AFC East? So much for that," Newsday's Bob Glauber said.

"Brady has 28 TDs and six INTs since his uneven start, and the Pats have won nine of their last 10 to win another AFC East title and earn the inside track on home-field advantage in the conference playoffs."

The Seattle Seahawks (10-4) got the other three first-place votes and moved up a spot to No. 2 after their 17-7 win over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Seahawks face NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals (11-4) on Sunday night. The Cardinals moved up a spot to No. 5.

"The Cardinals have played four quarterbacks this season, and their defense has been ravaged with injuries, but they still sewed up their first playoff berth since 2009. Bruce Arians is a lock for Coach of the Year," said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback.

The Denver Broncos jumped a spot to No. 3 after clinching the AFC West with a 22-10 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

"John Fox has quietly pieced together a formidable defense," said Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

The Green Bay Packers dropped from the top spot to No. 4 after their surprising 21-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

"The two best teams in the NFC may be Green Bay and Seattle - yet both sit second in their own divisions with two weeks to play," said Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News.

The Dallas Cowboys (10-4) are at No. 6 after rallying past the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night, followed by the Indianapolis Colts (10-4). The teams play Sunday afternoon in Texas.

"Indy game is huge (for Dallas)," NBC Sports' Tony Dungy said. "Could end up No. 1 seed or miss the playoffs."

The Detroit Lions (10-4) remained at No. 8 after rallying past the Minnesota Vikings and moving into a first-place tie with the Packers in the NFC North.

"Vikings beat them everywhere but on scoreboard," Fox Sports' John Czarnecki said.

The Eagles (9-5) and Baltimore Ravens (9-5) rounded out the top 10.

"Another grind-it-out win for the Ravens over the Jaguars," ESPN's Herm Edwards said.

The Eagles have dropped two straight and trail the Cowboys by a game in the NFC East going into Saturday's matchup with last-place Washington.

"The same problems that have persisted all season - poor pass coverage against the deep ball, offensive line woes and spotty quarterback play - are starting to sink the Eagles,"'s Alex Marvez said.


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(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Islanders Play at Denver Wednesday Sports Tue, 16 Dec 2014 8:40:30 PM Associated Press Islanders Play at Denver Wednesday

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team hits the road for three games in a five-day span, beginning with a Wednesday evening contest against Denver. The Islanders are looking to snap a three-game losing streak when they face the Pioneers, a game that will be a rematch of the teams' contest on Saturday, Dec. 6

• Senior guard John Jordan became the first player in school history to top 500 career assists when he passed the mark on Dec. 6 against Denver. He now has 504 career dimes and and is in the top 10 of eight major offensive categories.

• Sophomore Rashawn Thomas had his second double-double of the season (and fourth of his career) against Denver, scoring 15 points with 10 rebounds. He is now averaging 11.4 points and 7.1 boards on the season.

• A&M-Corpus Christi has seen a stark contrast in its offensive performance in wins as compared to that in losses. In defeats, the Islanders are just 66-for-235 (.366) from the field overall, and are averaging 50.8 points. In wins, A&M-Corpus Christi is 72-for-146 (.493) from the field and averaging 70.0.

• Junior Brandon Pye has been the most consistent Islanders player this season, finishing between six and 10 points in seven of the eight games. He has played 34 minutes or more in each of the last four games.

• Junior transfer Bryce Douvier has cooled off after a hot start to his Islanders career. Through his first five games, he finished in double figures four times, but has scored just five points combined in the last three.

• Former walk-on Emmanuel Toney has provided a lift off the bench as of late. The Bowie, Md., native, who was awarded a scholarship this summer, has played 19-plus minutes in each of the last three games.

• Texas A&M-Corpus Christi got a boost when junior Viktor Juricek was granted an immediate eligibility waiver from the NCAA. The 6-foot-11 center had nine points on 3-of-8 shooting against Radford.

• The Islanders and Pioneers meet for the sixth time, with the Pioneers holding a 4-1 advantage all-time, including each of the last four games.

John Jordan scored a season-high 21 points, but a hot-shooting UTSA squad surged past the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team, 73-60, on Monday night at the American Bank Center.

The Roadrunners shot 59.3 percent from the floor in the second half to turn a four-point halftime deficit into a double-digit victory. Ryan Bowie scored 20 points, going 8-for-12 from the field (including a 4-for-5 performance from beyond the arc) for UTSA, while Keon Lewis added 19 points, including a 13-for-15 effort at the free-throw line.

Rashawn Thomas added 18 points and Brandon Pye 10 in a losing effort for the Islanders.

The Islanders and Pioneers will play for the sixth time in program history on Saturday, with Denver having won the last four matchups after the Islanders took the inaugural battle in 2001.

This will be the second of two times that the teams meet on the hardwood in the span of three games, as A&M-Corpus Christi fell to the Pioneers 64-48 on Saturday, Dec. 6. In that game, DU shot 55.6 percent from the field, while the Islanders mustered just a 34.9 shooting percentage. Cam Griffin led all scorers with 16 points, while Nate Engesser (13) and Brett Olson (11) also finished in double figures. Rashawn Thomas had a double-double for the Islanders with 15 points and 10 boards.

The Islanders and Pioneers met in both 2011 (in Corpus Christi) and 2012 (in Denver).

John Jordan entered his senior year on the cusp of breaking a number of different school records and cementing himself as one of the greatest Islanders in program history. The Preseason First Team All-Southland selection is in the school's all-time top 10 of eight major categories and is within striking distance of the school record in six of those (see page 3 chart).

The best point guard in Islanders lore, the Houston native has posted the top three assist seasons in team history, and against MVSU, passed Brian Evans for the career record, sitting at 504 in his time with the team. He is eighth in the nation among active players with his 504 career dimes. He also holds the school records for free throws made (421) and attempted (605). He will set a new school mark for minutes played on Wednesday, barring unforeseen circumstances, as he needs just nine minutes to snap Evans' mark in that category.

Jordan's athleticism is nothing short of extraordinary. His running vertical has been measured at 50 inches and he has posted a standing vertical of 38 inches. He gained national notoriety with his thunderous slam dunk at St. Louis on Nov. 23, which was highlighted in the SportsCenter Top 10 and Fox Sports Live's "The 1."

His scoring prowess has improved every year, as he finished 10th in the Southland last year with a scoring average of 14.8 points per game. He did most of the damage with his athleticism, scoring 220 of his 477 points in the paint and adding another 187 from the free throw line, mostly in situations where he was fouled while driving.

This year he has been in double figures seven times, the lone exception against Radford, when he was limited due to injury. However, he has not been able to get to the rim as easily as in the past, with just 40 points in the paint (five per game).

When looking for a common theme that separates the Islanders in wins and losses, it is easy to see, even for a casual observer. The Islanders are struggling offensively in losing efforts, averaging a paltry 50.8 points per game, a full 19.2 points less than they are averaging in victories.

The Islanders have struggled to hit the outside shot in both wins and losses, but the major difference comes inside the arc. A&M-Corpus Christi is 69-for-160 (.431) on two-pointers in losses, but in victories that number balloons all the way to 61-for-104 (.587). Likewise, the team has struggled at the free-throw line in defeats (.663) but has actually excelled at the line in triumphs (.797).

Every player has a lower scoring average in losses than wins, but the two that have fallen off the most are Bryce Douvier (15.7 vs. 5.2) and Jelani Currie (7.7 vs. 2.6). No other player has seen his average dip more than four points.

One of the most softspoken players on the Islanders roster is junior Brandon Pye. But Pye's game is anything but quiet. He was one of the top three-point shooters in the nation in 2013-14, knocking down 50 percent of his threes on the year.

So far this season, he has shown more of a willingness to shoot, but also a greater willingness to take mid-range jumpers. In the season opener, he scored 10 points on 5-for-9 shooting, but came up empty on both of his shots from beyond the arc. At SLU, he went 2-for-5 from downtown, and knocked down a pair of key jumpers early in the contest. But he is hitting from the outside at just a .321 clip, a number that sits well below his career average.

He has also grown his defensive game significantly, and is a strong on-the-ball defender for A&M-Corpus Christi. That has resulted in an uptick in minutes for the junior, who has played at least 34 minutes in each of the last four contests. He has nine steals and six assists on the year.

Last year, his performance from downtown was nothing short of extraordinary. He was among the national leaders, and in conference action, he was a remarkable 24-for-37 from beyond the arc during Southland play.

After a strong freshman campaign, sophomore Rashawn Thomas returns as one of the top big men in the Southland Conference. The Oklahoma City native was named Second Team Preseason All-Southland by the league's coaches headed into his second campaign on the Island.

The big man missed the season opener with a hip injury, but came off the bench at Georgetown to play 17 minutes. He made the most of his time, going 3-for-5 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line for 12 points and added three blocks against the Hoyas.

In the game against SLU, he finished with 10 points, two steals and six rebounds. He was huge down the stretch, though, grabbing four rebounds in the last 2:15 and coldly drilling a pair of free throws. He had a season-best seven rebounds against Bradley.

He posted a double-double - the third of his career - with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Mississippi Valley State. He also dished out a career-high three assists in the victory. Perhaps more impressive, he accomplished the feat while playing just 23 minutes. After an off game against Radford, he added another double-double - posting 15 & 10 - in the loss to Denver. He scored a season-high 18 points last game, but was just 5-for-14 from the field and snared only six rebounds.

It is the second straight year he missed the season opener. Last year, he broke his jaw during strength training on the eve of the season opener and missed the first nine games. By the time he was able to return to the court, he had lost over 10 pounds of muscle while his solid food intake was limited. He was also forced to play with a mask until the middle of February.

His physical frame has improved even more in the offseason, as he has stretched to 6-foot-8 and now weighs in at 250 pounds.

After playing just one game in the previous 15 days (against DU), A&M-Corpus Christi is entering its second-busiest schedule of the season. The UTSA game started a string of four contests in a span of seven days, three of those coming on the road. Perhaps more taxing is the fact that the four games come in three different time zones (Central, Mountain, Pacific).



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Javelinas Hire Wilkinson as New Head Football Coach Sports Tue, 16 Dec 2014 3:20:01 PM TAMUK.COM Javelinas Hire Wilkinson as New Head Football Coach

KINGSVILLE, Texas (Football) - Texas A&M University-Kingsville Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Campus Recreation D. Scott Gines announced the hiring of Daren Wilkinson as the 10th Javelina head football coach Tuesday. A press conference will be held on Monday, Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. to formally introduce Wilkinson.

Wilkinson is in his second season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at No. 8 Colorado State University-Pueblo. The Thunder Wolves defeated the University of West Georgia to advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship game this Saturday, Dec. 20 to face top-seeded and undefeated Minnesota State-Mankato at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN2.


"Our search focused on identifying an offensive innovator, a relentless recruiter, and an adaptive leader with a great track record for player development and a heart for community," stated Gines. "Daren personifies all these qualities, and I'm confident he will enjoy instant credibility with our fans, students, community and alumni."


"I also want to publicly praise our screening committee," said Gines. "This group represented six national championship teams, countless halls of fames and our Kingsville and university communities, and I am deeply grateful for their leadership, commitment and deep thinking skills in assisting with this process. I'd also like to give my sincere thanks to the Parker Executive Search firm for their tireless efforts to assist with the search process."


"Coach Wilkinson is a 17-year college football coaching veteran at 3 levels. He played pivotal leadership roles in developing championship teams at Fayetteville State, South Dakota State, and CSU-Pueblo, and he has an impressive coaching pedigree as both an offensive and recruiting coordinator at the J.C, Division II, and Division I levels."


"Daren brings an incredible passion for Division II football and developing championship performers who train and compete for all the right reasons. Daren knows how to motivate, score points and produce high-achieving graduates."


"I am extremely humbled and honored that Dr. Tallant and Scott Gines have entrusted me to lead this great program," said Wilkinson. "There is a very proud history here and I cannot wait to roll up our sleeves and get going in terms of bringing championship football back to Kingsville! My family and I are excited to be part of the pride that is Javelina Football and join Javelina Nation."


In just their seventh season since reinstating football, the Thunder Wolves are currently 13-1 overall. The high-powered offense averages 35.1 points per game, 406.6 yards (179.3 rushing and 227.3 passing). Under his guidance, quarterback Chris Bonner was propelled to All-America honorable mention honors in 2013 and this season, ranks 18th in the nation with 29 passing touchdowns.


Three offensive players, including running back Cameron McDondle earned Daktronics All-Super Region 4 honors as Colorado State-Pueblo earned its fourth consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference crown and reached the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the fourth straight season. Four offensive players were named to the Don Hansen All-Super Region 4 team.


In his first season as offensive coordinator for the Pack (2013), Wilkinson guided CSU-Pueblo to 509.3 yards of offensive per game and 42.7 points per contest, ranked sixth and seventh nationally, respectively. Under his guidance, junior quarterback Chris Bonner received all-region accolades, tallying 33 touchdowns, seventh most in the country.


Wilkinson joined CSU-Pueblo after nearly four seasons as the quarterbacks coach and assistant recruiting coordinator for NCAA Division I program and his alma mater, Colorado State University. Serving under Rams coach Steve Fairchild from 2008-12, he helped lead Colorado State to the New Mexico Bowl championship in 2008. That season, his offense ranked in the top 40 nationally and former CSU quarterback Billy Farris went on to play in the National Football League with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009. While at CSU, his recruiting areas included San Diego, North Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, North Calif., Ariz., Nev., Utah and all quarterback prospects.


In 2004, he joined the South Dakota State University football coaching staff as the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. While there, he helped SDSU have a smooth transition to Division I as the team had a winning record each season he led the offense, culminating in the 2007 Great West Conference championship. Spending four seasons as the offensive signal caller for SDSU, he coached the quarterback that set the school's all-time passing record and defeated the No. 1 team in the nation in 2007. South Dakota State finished with a winning record in his four seasons.


Joining the NCAA Division II ranks as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at Fayetteville State University (N.C.) in 2001, Wilkinson coached two all-conference receivers and assisted the team in earning back-to-back CIAA Conference titles in 2002-03 and a NCAA Division II playoff berth in 2002. A quick turnaround came to fruition as FSU went from 3-7 to 10-1 in his tenure.


Wilkinson has coached for 17 years at the collegiate level, beginning as an offensive graduate assistant at Colorado State in 1997 and 1998 after quarterbacking the Rams for two seasons, leading them to the 1995 Western Athletic Conference title. He then served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Eastern Arizona College from 1999-00.


While at Eastern Arizona, he recruited and coached six players that went on to play NCAA Division I football and led the squad to an upset win over the No. 1 team in the nation. As an offensive graduate assistant for the Rams, he helped lead the team to the 1997 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship and Holliday Bowl Championship. In his two seasons as a GA, he worked with two quarterbacks that earned conference player of the year honors.


As a player, Wilkinson started seven games for Colorado State in 1995 as junior, leading the Rams to a share of the WAC title. Joining the Rams after a sensational playing career at Ricks Junior College (now BYU-Idaho), he went 21-2 as a starter and was crowned the College Sports Magazine Junior College Player of the Year in 1994. That season, he earned first team All-American honors, leading the squad to an 11-0 mark and throwing for over 3,000 yards en route to the school's all-time passing record.


Growing up in Valley Center, Calif., Wilkinson was a two-sport athlete at Orange Glen High School, lettering in both basketball and football. He earned second team all-conference honors on the gridiron.


Born Feb. 11, 1972, in Corona, Calif., he owns two degrees from Colorado State, a bachelors in psychology (‘97) and a master's in education (‘99). He and his wife Ann have three children, Alexa, Macy and Jet.


Please contact director of sports information Kelvin Queliz for further information (361-593-2870). No university officials will comment on the hiring until Monday's press conference.


Daren Wilkinson

Colorado State University '97 (Bachelors in Psychology)

Colorado State University '99 (Masters in Education Administration)


The Wilkinson File

NAME: Daren Wilkinson

BIRTHDATE: Feb. 11, 1972

HOMETOWN: Valley Center, Calif.

HIGH SCHOOL: Orange Glen High School

COLLEGE: Ricks Junior College (now BYU-Idaho) and Colorado State University

COLLEGE ATHLETICS: Football: quarterback

PERSONAL: Wife: Ann | Children: Alexa, Macy and Jet



1997-98 Colorado State University Offensive Graduate Assistant

1999 Eastern Arizona Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach

2000 Eastern Arizona College Offensive Coordinator

2001-03 Fayetteville (N.C.) State University Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach

2004-07 South Dakota State University Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks/Wide Receivers Coach

2008-12 Colorado State University Quarterbacks Coach/Assistant Recruiting Coordinator

2013-present Colorado State University-Pueblo Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach






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Guilty Plea in Smuggling of Dodgers' Yasiel Puig Sports Tue, 16 Dec 2014 1:29:14 PM Guilty Plea in Smuggling of Dodgers' Yasiel Puig

MIAMI (AP) - A South Florida businessman pleaded guilty Tuesday to taking part in a conspiracy to smuggle Los Angeles Dodgers star Yasiel Puig out of Cuba in return for a sizable cut of the outfielder's multimillion-dollar salary.

Gilberto Suarez, 40, entered the plea Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Robert Scola, who set a March 6 sentencing date. The alien smuggling conspiracy charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, although Suarez is likely to get a more lenient sentence under his plea deal with prosecutors.

Investigators and court documents say Suarez was one of the Miami-based financiers of the 2012 smuggling venture in which Puig was taken by boat from Cuba to a fishing village near Cancun, Mexico, eventually crossing into the U.S. at Brownsville, Texas, on July 3 of that year. In return, the financiers were getting a percentage of the seven-year, $42 million contract Puig signed with the Dodgers.

Court documents show Suarez got $2.5 million from Puig's contract. He agreed with prosecutors to forfeit a house, a condominium and a Mercedes-Benz to the government that are traceable to the money from Puig. Suarez also is forfeiting several guns.

The plea deal also requires Suarez to give up any interest in another Cuban player's contract, shortstop Aldemys Diaz, a minor leaguer in the St. Louis Cardinals' system. The court documents do not provide any details on Diaz's defection or whether Suarez played a role in it.

Initially the players were only identified by their initials in court documents, but Scola made sure Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Davidson put their names in the public record.

"It's pretty much the worst kept secret in the world," Scola said.

The plea is the second in Miami federal court this year involving the smuggling of a Cuban baseball player into the U.S. Last month, 41-year-old Eliezer Lazo was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for conspiring to smuggle 1,000 Cubans, including baseball players such as Texas Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin.

In that case, court documents detailed how Cuban human smuggling ventures through Mexico must pay fees and tribute to cocaine trafficking cartels, such as the Zetas gang.

Under the U.S. "wet foot, dry foot" policy, Cubans who make it to U.S. soil are generally allowed to remain, while those intercepted at sea are returned to the communist island.

For Cuban baseball players, there's an added incentive to go through a third country such as Mexico before signing a Major League Baseball contract. If they come directly to the U.S., they would be subject to the MLB draft and likely sign a less lucrative deal. Going to Mexico first makes them free agents who can sign with the highest bidder.

Last season, the 24-year-old Puig hit .296 with 16 home runs and 69 runs batted in. In his first season, Puig finished second in voting for National League rookie of the year.


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(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Hot Shooting Roadrunners Surge Past Isles 73-60 Sports Mon, 15 Dec 2014 10:55:49 PM TAMUCC.COM Hot Shooting Roadrunners Surge Past Isles 73-60

CORPUS CHRISTI - John Jordan scored a season-high 21 points, but a hot-shooting UTSA squad surged past the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team, 73-60, on Monday night at the American Bank Center.

The Roadrunners shot 59.3 percent from the floor in the second half to turn a four-point halftime deficit into a double-digit victory. Ryan Bowie scored 20 points, going 8-for-12 from the field (including a 4-for-5 performance from beyond the arc) for UTSA, while Keon Lewis added 19 points, including a 13-for-15 effort at the free-throw line.

Rashawn Thomas added 18 points and Brandon Pye 10 in a losing effort for the Islanders (3-5). The Roadrunners (4-4) won the battle of the boards, 31-27, in the victory.

Early on, the Islanders scored three of the first four buckets of the game, including a Thomas three-point play, to take a 7-3 lead. But UTSA used the shot from distance to counter, cutting the lead to 7-6 on a Bowie three. The Islanders used shots from beyond the arc to regain control, as Pye and Dale Francis each drained treys to push the lead to 17-10. The Islanders then advanced the score to 19-12.

UTSA got a quick 5-0 run on a block and dunk by Austin Karrer and a three by James Ringholt that made it 19-17 with 6:32 remaining. From there into the locker room, the teams traded points, mostly at the free-throw line, as the Islanders held a 29-25 edge at the break. Both teams excelled at the stripe in the opening half, with A&M-Corpus Christi going 9-for-10 and UTSA 8-for-8.

After the Islanders got a triple from Pye to start the second half, UTSA embarked on a 17-2 run to gain its first lead since the opening minute of the game. After the Roadrunners scored eight points in a row, a Jordan bank shot snapped the rally to regain the lead for the Islanders, 34-33. But UTSA drilled three consecutive threes and held A&M-Corpus Christi off the scoreboard to take a 42-34 edge.

The Islanders were able to snap that run with a drive to the hoop by Thomas for two, and from there the teams traded baskets to a 48-40 UTSA advantage. But the Roadrunners added another decisive run, this one 13-2, to push the lead to a game-high 19 on a Gino Littles layup. A&M-Corpus Christi was able to cut the lead down to 11 with a 7-0 run that included a three-point play by Jordan, but that was as close as the home squad would get, as the Roadrunners emerged victorious.

The Islanders will get right back on the court, as they head to Denver for a Wednesday matchup against the Pioneers. It will be a rematch of a contest the two teams played last week at the American Bank Center, where DU knocked off A&M-Corpus Christi 64-48. Tipoff on Wednesday is slated for 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT and Yannis Koutroupis will have the call of the game on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX.

For all the latest on Islanders Basketball, be sure to follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersMBB) and like the team's official Facebook page (Islanders Mens Basketball).



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Hogs Win at St. Petersburg, Fla. 76-67 Sports Mon, 15 Dec 2014 10:20:31 PM Associated Press Hogs Win at St. Petersburg, Fla. 76-67

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Men's Basketball) - Playing in its first game in over a week, Texas A&M University-Kingsville (4-5) went on two 7-0 runs in the second half to put a screeching halt to a three-game losing streak, defeating Eckerd College (4-3), 76-67, on Monday evening at the McArthur Center.


Four players reached double figures for the Hogs in the first-ever matchup between the two programs. Troy Jones scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting and added a game-high nine rebounds. Jordan Jahr matched Jones for a team best 15 and Duan Wright (6-of-8) and Jamar Goodwin scored 12 apiece. Don Thomas finished with three steals and dished out four assists and Wright and Goodwin each swiped two passes.


A 7-0 run to begin the second half allowed the Javelinas to overcome their three-point deficit and take a 39-35 lead. Scoring seven unanswered for the second time in the frame, the Blue and Gold took its largest lead in the game, a 47-40 edge, with 12:32 remaining in the game. The Tritons could not make it less than a two-possession game as the defense continued to forced turnovers at will as Eckerd finished the evening with 21 turnovers.


Jerell Stevenson scored a game-high 21 points and Ray Darnell added 13 for the Tritons. Defensively, Malcolm Brunner Jr. swatted three shots and Stevenson recorded two blocks and three steals, but Texas A&M-Kingsville made the most of their opportunities at the free throw line, connecting on 22 of its 28 attempts from the charity stripe. After their early run to begin the second half, the Javelinas preserved their lead to down Eckerd.


The Javelinas get on the bus and travel to nearby University of Tampa for its inaugural battle versus the Spartans tomorrow at 6 p.m. CT. Live stats and video will be available and can be accessed by visiting the men's basketball schedule page on


For full coverage of Javelina men's basketball, please follow @JavelinaMBB on Twitter and @JavelinaAthletics on Instagram, and like our Facebook page (Javelina Nation).




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