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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No. 7 Men’s Basketball’s Win Streak Ends in Desert, 67-64

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

PHOENIX — Deandre Ayton had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Arizona held on to beat No. 7 Texas A&M 67-64 on Tuesday night.

Arizona (6-3) picked up a big win against UNLV on Saturday and notched an even bigger one in front of a pro-Wildcats crowd that made Talking Stick Arena feel like McKale Center west.

It wasn’t easy.

Texas A&M (7-1) pulled within 63-62 on Tyler Davis’ jump-hook with 17 seconds left. Brandon Randolph twice hit 1 of 2 free throws, sandwiched around a travel by Davis, and Duane Wilson was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 2 seconds left. He made two after missing the first attempt, and Dylan Smith made two at the other end to put Arizona up 67-64.

Texas A&M’s Robert Williams missed badly on a long 3-pointer to send the Wildcats rushing off the bench and the Aggies to their first defeat.

Davis led the Aggies with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Wildcats had some shaky defensive moments and a rash of turnovers early but turned up the defensive pressure, holding the Aggies to 1-for-11 shooting during a 13-2 run to take a seven-point lead.

Texas A&M rallied as the Wildcats kept passing the ball to them on sloppy turnovers and took a 31-29 lead at halftime despite Williams going scoreless and taking one shot.

Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy and center Tyler Davis

BKennedyTDavis_1205.mp3

 

POSTGAME NOTES

RECORDS / SERIES NOTES

  • Texas A&M dropped its first contest of the 2017-18 campaign on Tuesday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, falling to Arizona 67-64 … the Aggies are now 7-1 on the season.
  • The all-time series between the schools now stands at 8-1 in favor of the Wildcats.

TEAM NOTES

  • A&M owed a 40-22 edge for points in the paint and collected a season-high-tying 10 steals vs. the Wildcats.
  • Arizona was able to get to the line in the contest, holding a 24-10 edge in free throw attempts.
  • The Aggies scored the final five points of the opening stanza to take a 31-29 lead into the intermission.
  • Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Duane Wilson, Admon Gilder, DJ Hogg, Robert Williams and Tyler Davis for the third time this season (2-1).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Junior Tyler Davis scored a game-high 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting to crack the 20-point mark for the eighth time in his career.
  • Graduate senior Duane Wilson added 14 points as well as a game-high five assists.
  • Sophomore Robert Williams notched two blocks to extend his nation-leading blocked shot streak to 37 games.
  • Aggie head coach Billy Kennedy fell to 122-86 during his seven-year tenure at Texas A&M and 333-265 in 20 seasons as a head coach.

UP NEXT

  • The Aggies return to Reed Arena on Saturday where they will host Prairie View A&M at 3:30 p.m. … the game will be available digitally on SEC Network PLUS.

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Christian Kirk & Armani Watts Named First Team All-SEC

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA—Christian Kirk and Armani Watts, both Texas A&M team captains and roommates, were named to the first-team All-SEC squad as selected by the SEC head coaches.

Kirk, a junior from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, was named All-SEC first-team all-purpose as well as first-team return specialist. Kirk was also tabbed as a second-team All-SEC wide receiver.

Kirk 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).

Watts, a senior from Forney North High School who grew up in Oakland, California, was named All-SEC first-team defensive back.

The defensive playmaker is the only player in the FBS with at least 9.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, two blocked kicks, one forced fumble and one recovered fumble. Watt’s also the only active FBS player with at least 300 tackles, 10 pickoffs and five forced fumbles. From his first game as a true freshman when he started against South Carolina in 2014 picking off a pass and breaking up a couple of others, Watts has made an impact.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Aldridge’s double-double rallies Spurs past Pistons 96-93

By RAUL DOMINGUEZ

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 10 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs rallied to beat the Detroit Pistons 96-93 on Monday night.

Reggie Jackson had 27 points for Detroit, which led by as many as nine points before dropping its third straight.

The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Anderson, who has started in place of Leonard all season.

Rudy Gay, making his first start in place of Anderson, had 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. His final points came on a three-point play that gave San Antonio an 88-86 lead with 3:39 remaining.

Detroit trailed 94-93 when Gay failed to hit the rim on a 3-point attempt as the shot clock expired with 5.2 seconds remaining, but the Pistons’ Tobias Harris committed a foul prior to the violation. Aldridge made two free throws to give the Spurs a 96-93 lead.

Gay blocked Harris’ 3-point attempt at the buzzer to preserve the victory.

Pau Gasol added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who had seven players score in double figures and had three with double-doubles.

Andre Drummond finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds for his 17th double-double in Detroit’s 23 games this season.

Jackson had 20 points in the first half and Detroit shot 48 percent against the league’s second-best defense statistically through two quarters. The Spurs held the Pistons to 41 percent shooting to close the game.

TIP-INS

Pistons: Drummond averaged 16 points and 16 rebounds against San Antonio last season. … Detroit is 6-2 against Western Conference teams. . Stan Van Gundy has 498 career wins. . Jon Leuer missed the game with a sprained left ankle. . The Pistons have lost six straight to the Spurs.

Spurs: Leonard said prior to the game he is feeling healthy and will return “soon” from a quadriceps injury that has kept him out all season, but he does not have a target date for his debut. … Patty Mills joined Ginobili and Matt Bonner as the only reserves in franchise history to make 500 3-pointers. … Tony Parker and Ginobili have won 655 games as teammates, the fourth most among duos in league history. Utah’s John Stockton and Karl Malone hold the record with 906 victories followed by Tim Duncan and Parker with 744 and Boston’s Robert Parish and Kevin McHale with 656. … The Spurs have made at least one 3-pointer in 999 straight games dating back to 2005.

UP NEXT

Pistons: Visit Milwaukee on Wednesday night in their third game against the Bucks this season.

Spurs: Host Miami on Wednesday night in the second of a three-game homestand.

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Mavericks lead wire-to-wire to beat Nuggets 122-105

By DAVE JACKSON

DALLAS (AP) _ Harrison Barnes scored 22 points, Dennis Smith Jr. added 20 and the Dallas Mavericks beat the short-handed Denver Nuggets 122-105 on Monday night.

Six Dallas players scored in double figures as the Mavericks earned their second straight wire-to-wire win after beating the Clippers by 26 on Saturday. Dallas had its highest scoring game of the season and has won five of eight since starting 2-14.

Will Barton led Denver with 23 points, Jamal Murray added 22 and Gary Harris had 21.

Denver played without two-thirds of its starting frontcourt as Paul Millsap (left wrist injury) and Nikola Jokic (sprained left ankle) remained out. The Nuggets got Wilson Chandler back, but Chandler scored just four points in 27 minutes.

Denver fell to 3-8 on the road against 10-2 at home.

Dallas led by as many as 25 points but the Nuggets started the second half making their first six shots and cut the lead to 88-80 on Barton’s 3 with 2:13 left in the third quarter. It was the first time Denver had been within single digits since trailing 16-8 early on.

Barnes hit a long jumper to restore a 10-point lead, and Dallas maintained a double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter.

The Mavericks built a 21-point first-quarter lead and finished their highest-scoring quarter of the season up 39-23. They added the first nine points of the second quarter and led 64-47 at the break.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Kenneth Faried had 13 points and 11 rebounds, his fifth-straight double-figure scoring game while starting in place of Millsap.

Mavericks: Dallas held its annual Seats for Soldiers Night, where the team’s season-ticket holders provide their courtside seats to more than 100 wounded U.S. service members. Former president and first lady George W. and Laura Bush were also in attendance. The Mavericks improved to 11-2 in these games since starting the tradition in 2004.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: At New Orleans on Wednesday night. Denver scored an NBA season-high 146 in beating the Pelicans on Nov. 17.

Mavericks: At Boston on Wednesday night to start a three-game trip. The Celtics beat the Mavs in overtime on Nov. 20.

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Jimbo Fisher’s Formal Aggieland Introduction

The new head football coach at Texas A&M was formally introduced Monday morning.

Jimbo Fisher’s comments followed remarks by president Michael Young and athletics director Scott Woodward.

Fisher received a maroon suit coat and A&M lapel pin before delivering his opening remarks.

After taking questions from reporters, Fisher received a pair of A&M cowboy boots.

Click below to listen to Jimbo Fisher’s introductory news conference, provided by Texas A&M football.

120417-Jimbo-Fisher-introductory-news-conference.mp3

 

Jimbo Fisher receiving Texas A&M boots from Scott Woodward.

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Jimbo Fisher named Head Football Coach at Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Jimbo Fisher, who led Florida State University to a national championship in 2013, has been named head football coach at Texas A&M University, Aggie Director of Athletics Scott Woodward announced today. Fisher agreed to a ten-year contract worth $75 million. No state-appropriated funds will be used to pay the coach’s salary.

Fisher took over the FSU football program in 2010, following the retirement of coaching legend Bobby Bowden. Fisher averaged more than 10 wins per season during his tenure and compiled an overall record of 83-23 with a .783 winning percentage, fourth-best among active head coaches (minimum five years). His winning percentage is the best in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) history. His ACC record was 48-16 with three ACC championships and four Atlantic Division titles.

The 2013 Rawlings College Football Coach of the Year, Fisher has twice been a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award (2013, 2014) and was a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award in 2014. Fisher led the Seminoles to victories in five of seven bowl game appearances, including three wins in traditional New Year’s Day bowl games.

Under Fisher’s leadership, 83 FSU football student-athletes graduated while his program produced 12 consensus All-America honorees and his recruiting classes ranked in the Top 10 in each of the past seven years. Fisher had 42 FSU players drafted into the NFL, including 19 first-or second-round selections. Three of his quarterbacks at FSU have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

As a head coach, Fisher is 9-2 against SEC teams after coaching 13 seasons in the SEC as an assistant with stops at Auburn (six years) and LSU (seven years).

Fisher has been active in the community through his foundation, Kidz1stFund. The non-profit was founded in 2011 to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for Fanconi anemia, a rare blood disorder that affects thousands, including Fisher’s youngest son, Ethan.

Fisher grew up in West Virginia and played quarterback at Salem College in West Virginia, earning All-America honors before playing his final season of eligibility at Samford College (now Samford University) in Birmingham, Ala.

He began his coaching career at Samford in 1988-89 coaching quarterbacks and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1991. Fisher coached quarterbacks at Auburn from 1993-98 before becoming the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Cincinnati in 1999. He joined head coach Nick Saban’s staff at LSU in 2000 as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, helping the Tigers win the 2003 national championship as well as two SEC titles. He joined Bobby Bowden’s staff at Florida State in 2007 as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, serving three seasons in that role (2007-09).

Fisher has two sons, Trey and Ethan.

Texas A & M University Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher:
“There are very few places in America that I would have left Florida State for, and Texas A&M is at the top. I want to thank the great people at Florida State for an incredible opportunity. President Young and Scott Woodward have been tremendous in our discussions and I know that we will do great things together. We have everything in place to reach our goal, which is to bring a national title to College Station, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Texas A & M University Director of Athletics Scott Woodward:
“When we set out to find a new leader of our proud football program, we set our sights high. Jimbo is among the best football coaches in America and a perfect fit for A&M. His experience in the Southeastern Conference (SEC); his knowledge of the game; his recruiting acumen, and his management skills will allow him to achieve the highest levels of success when matched with what A&M offers. We are thrilled to welcome Jimbo to the Aggie Family.”

Chairman of the Texas A & M System Board of Regents Charles Schwartz:
“We are excited to welcome Coach Fisher to Aggieland and to make one more Aggie convert. Our athletic programs strive for excellence on and off the field and Coach Fisher is just the man to help us fulfill our highest aspirations.”

Chancellor of the Texas A & M System John Sharp:
“Gone are the days when we settle for a good football team. We expect to compete soon for championships. Our Board of Regents and 12thMan fans are to be commended for devoting resources to facilities and now to the coaching staff to do just that. Beat the Hell Out of Everybody!”

Texas A & M University President Michael Young:
“We are delighted to welcome Jimbo Fisher to Aggieland! Athletic Director Scott Woodward has proven yet again in the years we’ve worked together his ability to recruit top-tier talent. Jimbo has the skills and the heart to take our football program to the next level and beyond with great student athletes who can make it happen. We are grateful for the support of the Board of Regents and Chancellor Sharp. I have no doubt that many of the more than 500,000 current and former Texas A&M students are high-fiving, posting and smiling today over this news. It’s always a great day to be an Aggie and we’re happy to welcome Jimbo to the family.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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No. 18 Women Fall 70-56 To No. 11 West Virginia

COLLEGE STATION- No. 18 Texas A&M fell 70-56 to No. 11 West Virginia on a cold shooting night for the women’s basketball team at Reed Arena in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The Aggies (6-2) led 36-33 midway through the third quarter, but the Mountaineers (7-0) took control of the game with a 15-2 run to close out the quarter. West Virginia led 30-28 at halftime.

Chennedy Carter led the Aggies with 20 points, her third 20+ point effort of her eight-game career. Khaalia Hillsman had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Jasmine Lumpkin added 11. Anriel Howard led the Aggies with 12 rebounds.

Texas A&M posted season-lows with a 33.3% field goal percentage, a 25.0% 3-point percentage and a 57.1% free throw percentage.

The Mountaineers were led by Teana Muldrow, who scored a game-high 24 points. The teams combined for only three bench points, a 3-pointer by A&M’s Lulu McKinney.

The Aggies return to action on Wednesday, December 6 to host TCU in the annual Elementary School Day game. The game, which is also the Maggie Dixon Classic, starts at a special 11 a.m. tip time on SEC Network.

QUICKIE NOTES

Texas A&M
The Aggies fall to 6-2 on the season, while West Virginia goes to 7-0 on the year
The Aggies are 0-2 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25 this season, and 6-0 against unranked teams
Texas A&M is now 1-2 all-time in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The conferences each notched five wins to split the Challenge.
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 337-142 in 15 seasons at Texas A&M. He is 745-306 in his Hall of Fame career, which ranks eighth among active coaches
Chennedy Carter
Scored 20+ points for the third time in her eight-game career
Has scored in double figures in all eight games of her career, the only Aggie freshman to start a career with 8+ double figure games.

Khaalia Hillsman
Had her third double-double of the season and the 18th of her career, moving her to a tie for third with Danielle Adams (2009-11) and teammate Anriel Howard on Texas A&M’s career list.
Scored 10+ points for the sixth time this season and the 50th time in her career
Had 10+ rebounds for the third time this season and the 23rd time in her career
Made her 84th consecutive start for Texas A&M

Anriel Howard
Moves past Trigg Crawford (653 rebounds, 1977-81) into 10th on the Texas A&M career rebound list (661)
Had 10+ rebounds for the seventh time this season and the 35th time in her career
Has either 10+ points or 10+ rebounds in every game this season

Jasmine Lumpkin
Scored in double figures for the third time in four games, and the 11th time in her career

POSTGAME QUOTES

Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair
Opening Statement…
“If I ever thought a team was ready to play, it was tonight, but I was wrong. When Danni [Williams] was in the game, they played us man for man. When Danni went out, they’d zone us. We didn’t have any consistency on getting the ball in. Our entry passes were nonexistent; that’s why there were 17 turnovers. When they have 21 assists and 13 turnovers, we gave ten assists to 17. We were very selfish at times on throwing the ball inside or making the correct pass. Danni has carried us for two years. When she has an off night like this we’ve got other kids on scholarship who’ve got to be able to step up and make better decisions and better plays. The missed layups right before half when we got back into the ballgame down ten, we just hustled and hustled and got back into the thing, I thought it was ours for the taking. We opened up the third quarter and force a turnover, then we start making one out of two free throws from a team shooting 78 percent. When you shoot 14 percent in the third quarter and as bad at free throws, we just kept fighting from behind and they kept executing, and we just didn’t do it.”

On West Virginia…
“[Teana] Muldrow was as good as advertised; she did a great job. They’re a veteran team and their best player wasn’t playing. That scares you right there. They have a chance to be an Elite Eight team when she gets back and they get a transfer eligible. I think they’re a very good basketball team. They do a pretty good job of not fouling. We couldn’t get to the free throw line, and when we did we couldn’t make it — 12 out of 21.”

Texas A&M Senior Guard Lulu McKinney
On what they learned most about the team from this game…
“Well, I would say one, we have to get better on the defensive end. In the first half, we let them have too many transition points and then second half, we just were losing them. At that time, we really needed to buckle down in the second half.”

Texas A&M Freshman Guard Chennedy Carter
On shooting coming late…
“Obviously, you’re going to have nights like that. I just kept shooting, kept moving the ball, kept getting my teammates involved. We couldn’t get anything going, but it started falling at the end. It was a little bit too late but hopefully, next game we’re going to try to get better and make better decisions when we play TCU on Wednesday.”

West Virginia Coach Mike Carey
Opening Statement…
“You know, I don’t think both teams played well. It was a kind of sloppy game, but I told our team in there that I would rather win sloppy than lose pretty. We are not very deep. Texas A&M is not very deep, and we got in a little bit of foul trouble there that concerned me. Our players did what they needed to do to win. It is a tough place to play and we played a real good team. To come in here and win that game is big for us.”

On Teana Muldrow …
“She is playing out position. She is a 3-4 and I have to play her at the 5 right now because of injuries and we have another player becoming eligible here after two more games. This is a 6’5”, 6’6” girl, so she can move back to her regular position.”

On Danni Williams not scoring…
“I think she is a great player that can shoot the three and take you off the rim. I thought we did a good job against her. For the most part, we did a good job against their center once we started getting in there and helping Teana a little bit. Again, this is a good win for us on the road right now with all the injuries everybody hurt. Then, we were getting foul trouble right off the bat and our bench is not deep so that was a big win for us.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Seguin scores twice, Stars beat Avalanche 7-2

By DENNIS GEORGATOS

DENVER (AP) _ Tyler Seguin sparked Dallas with two early goals and the Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 7-2 on Sunday night for their fifth consecutive victory.

Brett Ritchie also had two goals, and Jason Spezza and Greg Pateryn each added one for the Stars, who haven’t lost since a 3-0 setback at Colorado on Nov. 22. Devin Shore scored short-handed into an empty net at 17:24 of the third period.

Ritchie closed out the scoring seconds later with his second of the night.

Blake Comeau and Mikko Rantanen had the goals for the Avalanche, who lost back-to-back home games for the first time this season.

Trailing 2-0, the Avalanche got on the board 39 seconds into the second when Nathan MacKinnon sent a cross-ice pass to Rantanen, who wristed the puck over goalie Kari Lehtonen’s glove from the left circle.

But the Stars added two more goals 1:04 apart, on a shot by Spezza at 6:48 that clanged off the post, followed by Pateryn’s backhand that slipped through Jonathan Bernier’s pads at 7:52.

Bernier, who made 28 saves in Colorado’s shutout win over the Stars two weeks ago, was pulled after Pateryn’s goal in favor of Semyon Varlamov. Bernier gave up four goals on nine shots.

Colorado pulled to 4-2 when Comeau knocked in a rebound at 12:45 of the second, but the Stars soon answered with another goal. Ritchie put the puck into an open net after Varlamov drifted to the side to contest a shot from Curtis McKenzie, who corraled the rebound and sent it back to Ritchie for his first goal.

Seguin got the Stars off to a great start, scoring their first two goals in the first period. He picked up a loose puck in the Dallas zone and rushed down the ice, letting loose a backhand from in close that beat Bernier.

Seguin scored again near the end of the opening period when he deflected in John Klingberg’s shot while positioned in front of the net.

NOTES: Officials waved off a Dallas goal on a coach’s challenge by Colorado at 11:34 of the second, determining upon replay review that the Stars’ Tyler Pitlick interfered with Varlamov by sliding into him. … With two assists, Klingberg increased his season total to 24 points, tops among NHL defensemen. . Stars C Martin Hanzal was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, retroactive to Tuesday. … Stars LW Antoine Roussel was ruled out because of illness. … Avalanche LW Gabriel Landeskog served the third of a four-game suspension for an illegal cross-check. … The teams next meet Jan. 13 in Dallas, the last of five games this season between the Central Division foes.

UP NEXT

Stars: Return home to host Nashville on Tuesday night.

Avalanche: Finish a five-game homestand against Buffalo on Tuesday night.

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