Saturday, February 28, 2015

HBU could not overcome Arkansas State bats; fall 13-2 in first game of double header

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 28, 2015) The Houston Baptist University Huskies could not overcome the ArkansasState bats early in the game and dropped the first game of their double header against the Red Wolves by the score of 13-2 at Husky Field in Houston on Saturday, February 28, 2015. With the loss, the Huskies fell to 5-5 on the season. Arkansas State raised their record to 6-3.

HBU got on the scoreboard in the first inning on a double by center fielder Zach Nehrir, scoring third baseman Curtis Jones for second base. That would be the Huskies only run until the sixth inning when Jones again scored off another Nehrir hit.

After the initial hit by the Huskies, Arkansas State ripped of four runs in the second inning and another five runs in the third to take command of the game. They scored three insurance runs in the eighth inning and added a single run to their tally in the ninth.

The Huskies used five pitchers in the loss, with starter Matthew McCollough receiving the loss. The pitched two complete innings; facing 17 batters and giving up seven runs off nine hits. Starting pitch Jon Glidewell was credited with the win, his first of the season. In pitching six full innings, he faced 24 batters and game up two runs off three hits.  He threw 76 pitches, with 45 of them strikes.

The Huskies will continue their four game weekend series with game three at 2 p.m. on Saturday. They will conclude the series versus Arkansas State with a 2 p.m. game on Sunday, March 1.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Arizona State Sun Devil pitchers strike out 10 but fall to TCU Horned Frogs 3-0

Photo by Mike Stockman
By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent 

PHOENIX, ARIZONA (February 20, 2015) The No. 8 ranked Arizona State University Sun Devils were unable to score against the No. 1 ranked Texas Christian University Horned Frogs, losing 3-0 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, February 20, 2015. 

The Sun Devils pitching staff are averaging almost ten strike outs per game this year.

The Horned Frogs were aggressive with stealing base attempts. Before this game, they were second in the Big 12 with 8 stolen bases. They had 8 attempts, scoring one, but were either thrown or tagged out by Sun Devil catcher Brian Serven on three of the eight attempts.

When asked how to slow down the Horned Frogs aggressive base stealing in the post-game interview, Coach Tracy Smith responded “We’ve got to fight to not over-analyze”.  “They’re going to be aggressive, I thought Serven did a pretty good job. Obviously we want to hold guys close, but it wasn’t like they walked all over us.”

The Sun Devils host the Horned Frogs for two more games this weekend. Game times are Saturday,  February 21  at 1:00 P.M. AZ time and Sunday, February 22 at 12:30 P.M. at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Thomas wins long jump; leads HBU women to eighth place finish at SLC championships

Photo by Michael Wade-Wade Event Photography.
Used with permission.
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2015 TexSport Publications

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA (February 18, 2015)With a jump of 5.88 meters (19 feet, 3.5 inches), Houston Baptist University sophomore Taylor Thomas (shown right) won the long jump at the Southland Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships that concluded on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Thomas, who hails from Waller, Texas, gave the Huskies their first-ever track title and led the Huskies to eighth place in the women’s team standing with 28 points. Stephen F. Austin won the team title with 132.50 points, followed in second place by Sam Houston with 118 points. Lamar University finished in third with 106 points.

Kierstin Santana added eight team points with her second place in the 800-meter run. Her silver medal performance of 2:12.12 was less than a second behind Lamar’s Verity Ockenden first place finish (2:13.09). In addition, HBU sophomore Michelle Chukwujekwu placed sixth in the triple jump (11.58 meters/38 feet, 0 inches).

The Huskies also placed two relays in the top eight. The 4 x 400-meter relay consisting of Ericka Rodriguez, Jazmine Warden, Gbemisola Orundami, and Santana were fourth with the time of 3:47.34. The distance medley relay place seventh (12:33.98) with the foursome of Carolyn McClanahan, Roneisha Webb, Stephanie Aguilar, and Santana.

In the men’s division, the Huskies finished in tenth place with 14 points. Christian Guzman finished in fourth place in the 60-meter hurdles with the time of 8.21 seconds. Daniel Shelton added three team points with a sixth place finish in the 800-meter run (1:52.60) while Garrison Fick finished in sixth place in the heptathlon (4835 points)

In the relay events, the HBU group of Jordan Claypool, D’Anthony Graham, David Hicks, and Brice Christian placed seventh in the 4 x 400 relay. In the distance medley relay, the Huskies finished eighth (10:35.83) with the foursome of Jeremy Lewis, Cody Hammonds, Daniel Shelton, and Juan Fraga.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Arizona State men's swimming win meet in final race; down BYU 151 - 148

1st Place and 2nd go to ASU’s Men’s 400 Free Relay.
Photo by Mike Stockman
By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2015 Phoenix Area Sports

(used with permission by TexSport Publications)

TEMPE, ARIZONA  (January 10, 2015) Arizona State University’s men swimming and diving team squeeze out a victory by taking first and second place in the final event of the meet, the 400 free relay, against the Brigham Young University Cougars for a final score 151 -148 at Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex on Saturday, January 10, 2015.

Going into the final event, the 400 Free Relay, ASU’s men were down by 10 points. ASU had two relay teams and BYU fielded three. It would take a stellar performance by both relay teams, requiring them to place first and second to take the meet.

ASU’s “A” team, consisting of Patrick Park, Tadas Duskinas, Sean Kao, and Joe Worrick took the lead and never looked back.

ASU’s “B” team, consisting of Thomaz Martins, Cole Miller, Juhan Hong, and Narkley Perry, was on “A” teams’ heels but were never able to gain ground, finishing a comfortable lead in front of BYU’s “B” team, consisting of Seth Russell, Levi Jensen, Matt Abernethy, and Michael King.

ASU men's diving contributed to the team’s comeback victory against BYU when David Hoffer placed third in one meter diving and first place in the three meter diving. Hunter Atha placed third in the three meter event bringing the total diving contribution to 15 points.

ASU’s women defeated BYU by a score of 182 – 111. Key performances by the women included first place finishes in 200 yard medley relay, 1000 yard free, 200 yard free, 100 yard back, 100 yard breast, 200 yard fly, 50 yard free, 100 yard free, 200 yard back, 200 yard breast, 500 yard free, 100 yard fly, 1 meter diving, 200 yard Individual Medley, and the 400 yard free relay.

The Cougars will be hosting Denver on Saturday January 24 at the Richards Building Pool in Provo.

ASU’s next home appearance is against PAC-12 rivals Cal and Stanford on Jan 23 and 24 at 12 P.M. AZ Time. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Texas A&M’s Kyle Allen named MVP of 2014 Liberty Bowl

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (December 29, 2014) Texas A&M’s freshman quarterback Kyle Allen from Scottsdale, AZ threw for 294 yards, had four touchdown passes, and scrambled for a 14 yard touchdown to lead the Aggies in a 45 – 37 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2014 Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee on December 29, 2014.

This was the first meeting between Texas A&M and West Virginia in football. However, both schools have experience in the Liberty Bowl, which has been around since 1959.  In 1964, West Virginia lost to Utah 32 – 6. In 1975, the Aggies were shut out by the USC Trojans 20 – 0.

The head coaches Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M) and Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia) worked together at the University of Houston earlier in their careers. Sumlin was the head coach for University of Houston from 2007 to 2011. In 2008 and 2009, Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. During these two years, the Cougars were ranked in the NCAA as No.3 and No.1 in total offense.

This set the stage for what would be the second highest scoring Liberty Bowl game ever. In all, there were seven touchdown passes (four touchdown passes over 40 yards), two running touchdowns, an interception run back for a touchdown, four field goals, and – of course – 10 extra points made.

Total offense was just over 1000 yards, the Aggies had 529 yards while the Mountaineers had 472 yards.

The Aggies’ Josh Reynolds began the scoring early in the first quarter on a 44 yard touchdown reception from Allen. Malcome Kennedy had two touchdown receptions, one for 11 yards and the other for 9 yards. Trey Williams had a 40 yard touchdown reception and a running touchdown of 18 yards. Josh Lambo kicked a field goal from 26 yards out and was 6 – 6 on extra point attempts.

The West Virginia Mountaineers’ quarterback Skyler Howard (Sophomore), from Ft. Worth, TX threw for 346 yards and three touchdown passes. The longest touchdown pass of the day was to Kevin White for 49 yards. Mario Alford scored on a 45 yard reception. The final touchdown pass was to Elijah Wellman for 4 yards.

The Mountaineers’ defense contributed to the scoring when freshman KJ Dillon picked off an interception and ran it back for a 35 yard touchdown. Josh Lambert scored three field goals (32, 40, and 31 yards out) and was 4-4 on extra points to finish out West Virginia’s 37 points.

This loss brings West Virginia’s bowl record to 14 – 19. For Texas A&M, this is the fourth straight bowl win, the best consecutive record in the school’s history. The Aggies are now 17 – 19 in bowl games.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Houston downs MVSU on Stiggers' eight three-pointers

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 28, 2014) Scoring 24 of his 28 points from three-point range, Jherrod Stiggers (shown left) led the Houston Cougars to an 80-53 win over the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014 at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston. Stiggers' eight three-pointers was a career high for the starting guard and helped to give the Cougars their seventh win of the season.

Cavon Baker and Devonta Pollard also scored in double figures; 13 and 12 points respectively. Danrad Knowles led the Cougars with 10 rebounds, with Pollard and Stiggers each getting two steals. Pollard was perfect from the free throw line, 6-of-6, along with seven rebounds.

Stiggers talked about is eight three-pointers in the post-game press conference.

“It was just the flow of the game. I try to play as hard as I can, but coach says to not force shots, and just let them."

Houston out-shot the Delta Devils from the field (48.1%-37.0%), free throws (78.9%-66.7%) and from three-point range (43.3%- 25.0%). They also held an advantage in second chance point (17) which was a direct result of their 16 offensive rebounds.

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson spoke about the Cougars’ slow first half start with the press after the game.
“Turnovers. We’re going to turn the ball over some. That’s the way we’re built. Chuck (Cavon Baker) is going to turn it over some. Jherrod (Stiggers) is going to turn it over some. Eric (Weary) is going to turn it over some. Devonta (Pollard) is going to turn it over some. We’re not a team that’s going to play a clean game. We’re just not built that way."
MVSU shot 46.2% in the first half, but was held to 28.6% in the second half, The Cougars outscored the Delta Devils in the second half (40-20) by shutting down their offensive attack. MVSU only shot 8-of 28 from the field in the second half. Isaac Williams led the Delta Devils with 12 points, while Vacha Vaught pulled down nine rebounds.

Houston will next head to Memphis on Dec. 31 to face the Tigers in American Athletic Conference action. From there they will travel to Oklahoma to play Tulsa on Jan. 4, 2015 before returning home to play UCF at Hofheinz Pavilion on Jan. 6. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Houston.

Arizona State's Demario Richard scores four TDs in Sun Bowl victory over Duke

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

EL PASO, TEXAS (December 27, 2014) It was a battle of the devils at University of Texas at El Paso’s football stadium where the Arizona State Sun Devils intercepted a game winning  touchdown pass over the Duke Blue Devils with less than 45 seconds left on the clock to hold take a 36-31 win n the 81st Sun Bowl on December 27, 2014.

What started out as a 20 – 3 lead early in the second quarter by ASU, ended in a thrilling back and forth game that went down to who ever made the last big play. 

ASU’s Freshman running back Demario Richard tied the Sun Bowl record of most touchdowns by collecting four; two on the ground and two in the air.

Sun Devil field goal kicker Zane Gonzales, of Deer Park, TX, was successful on attempts from 28, 38, and 47 yards with three extra points to complete ASU’s scoring.

Other notable performances for ASU include Kalan Ballage’s  96 yard kick-off return after Duke took the lead 31-30 in the 4th Quarter with 5:03 left. This set up Demario Richard’s second running touchdown to put the Sun Devils ahead for good.

The final notable performance from ASU came when defensive back Kweishi Brown snatched the ball out of the air for a critical interception in the corner of the end zone with 45 seconds left on the clock. This sealed the game for the Sun Devils.

Duke’s running back Shaquille Powell had over 160 yards while wide receiver Jamison Crowder, who could have been named MVP if Duke had won, had seven catches for 102 yards, 68 yard TD punt return, and a left-handed pass for a touchdown to Isaac Blakeney late in the game to put Duke ahead  31-30.

For the third year in a row, a Duke bowl game is plucked from their grasp, leaving seniors empty-handed after setting all-time Duke performance records.

ASU finishes 2014 with second straight 10-win season, and 28th win in three years. This bumps Arizona State's  Sun Bowl record to 3-1-1.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Houston comes up short against UCF with 64-50 loss in conference opener

Marche' Amerson (22) scored 10 points vs. UCF
to lead all Houston scorers.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 27, 2014) Shooting only 30% from the floor, the Houston Cougars dropped their first conference game of the 2014-15 season with a 64-50 loss to the UCF Knights on December 27, 2014 at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston. With the loss, the Cougars drop to 5-6 for the season and 0-1 in American Athletic Conference play.

It was a hard road to hoe for the Cougars, shooting only 31% from the field. Houston had been averaging 36.4% in their previous 12 games, in addition to pulling down an average of 35.9 rebounds per game. Against the Knights, the Cougars pulled down their second lowest number of rebounds in a game this season (29).

Forward Marche’ Amerson led the Cougars with 10 points; six of them from three-pointers, along with a season high three steals.  Forward Tyler Gilbert tallies eight rebounds and guard Alecia Smith had a career high of seven assists.

Houston team took a 29-26 lead into the locker room at halftime, however UCF came out in the second half and took command of the court. They outscored Houston 38-21 and took the lead with 10:41 remaining in the game. Capping off 13 unanswered points, along with five straight scoring shots gave the Knights a 43-35 lead. From that point, the game was all UCF.

UCF commanded the boards, out-rebounding Houston 55-27, pulling down 18 on the offensive end of the court which resulted in 23 second chance points. They also led Houston in points in the paint, 34-24 and bench points 26-18.

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved
In the post-game press conference, Houston head coach Ronald Hughley was questioned about the Cougars’ performance. He responded:
“I wouldn't blame it on the (holiday)  break; it is just our confidence in shooting the basketball. When people play man against us, we are pretty good; when they show us the zone, we act like we have never seen it before in our lives. We didn't shoot the ball with confidence and we didn't penetrate the zone to make anybody else better. That is the one thing, you can’t play this game by yourself and on top of that you have to rebound the basketball. There were a lot of missed shots and a lot of missed opportunities that we didn't get rebounds.”
Houston’s next test will be on Sec. 30, 2014 in an 11 a.m. game versus Tulane in New Orleans. Hughley also commented in the press conference on the Cougars’ next opponent.
“Tulane is a very good team. The one thing I know that they are going to do is press us. We are usually the one  pressing people and turning the ball over, so we will get a little taste of the opposite side of that, but we will be prepared. If we are not tough going in there we will be walking out with our heads held down with another loss.”

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Rice Owls soar past Fresno State Bulldogs; 30-6

By Mike Stockman
Staff Correspondent 
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

HONOLULU, HAWAII (December 24, 2014) The Rice Owls’ offense soars past the Fresno State Bulldogs while the defense keeps the Bulldogs caged for a controlling 30 – 6 victory at Aloha Stadium in the 2014 Hawai’i Bowl on December 24, 2014.

The Owls’ junior quarterback Driphus Jackson, who was selected the Player of the Game, led the offense with 318 yards passing and three touchdowns. Dennis Parks caught five passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, while Mario Hull and Jordon Taylor scored the other two passing TDs’.

After a 58 yard screen to sophomore running back DarikDillard from San Antonio, TX, Dillard punches it in for a one yard touchdown.

Rice’s senior kicker James Hairston completed the scoring by connecting with a 21 yard field goal in the first quarter and three extra-points.

The Owls’ defense closed down the Bulldogs by blocking field goals, catching interceptions, and allowing only 93 yards passing.

Before this matchup, Fresno State and Rice have met six times with the Bulldogs leading the series 6 – 0.

This is the second time Fresno State has played in the Hawaii Bowl in three years. Two years ago, the Bulldogs lost to the SMU Mustangs 43 – 10.

The Owls have been in three consecutive bowl games, winning twice. Their bowl record going back to 1938 is now 7 – 5.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Stiggers leads Houston past Texas Tech with 26 points, 7 threes

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved.
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (December 24, 2014) Boosted by junior guard Jherrod Stiggers (#21 shown right) scoring 26-points from the field, the Houston Cougars ended an eight game losing streak to Texas Tech by downing the Red Raiders 82-69 in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. The last time the Cougars defeated the Red Raiders was Feb. 12, 1994 in a 76-64 win at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The 6-4 junior from Terrell, Texas shot 8-of-12 from the field, including 7-of-9 from three-point range. It was third 20-plus point game of the season and the sixth of his career. He also was 2-of-4 from the free throw line and pulled down seven rebounds.

Houston took a 41-34 lead into the locker room at halftime and lead by 17 points at the 6:05 mark in the first half. The Red Raiders made it interesting, cutting the Cougar lead to one point with 1:37 gone in the second half on a three-pointer by Toddrick Gotcher. After that, Texas Tech never got closer than four points.

Prior to the game, Houston was averaging 39.0% in shooting from the field. Against the Red Raiders, they shot 27-of-50 for 54.0% and 13-of-24 (54.2%) from three-point range.
Coming off the bench, Eric Weary, Jr. pulled down a team high nine rebounds, eight of them of defense, in addition to scoring 11 points. L.J. Rose added 16 points to the Cougars’ offensive effort, while Devonta Pollard added 12.

For the Red Raiders, Devaughtah Williams scored 21 points, while Randy Onwuasor added 14.

The Cougars raised their record to 6-4 for season and will next face Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 28 with a 4 p.m. tipoff at Hofheinz Pavilion. Houston is 2-0 against Delta Devils, having downed them 92-58 on Dec. 13, 2008 and 78-69 on Dec. 5, 1986.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Boise State downs Houston Cougars in overtime, 75-73

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

LAS VEGAS, NEVEDA (December 22, 2014) Fighting back from a nine point deficit at the half to tie the game at the end of regulation, the Houston Cougars came up two points short in overtime; falling to the Boise State Bronco by the score of 75-73 on Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 in the championship round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. 

The loss is the Cougars’ third straight and dropped their record to 5-4. The Broncos raised their record to 10-2. Houston will face Texas Tech on Tuesday, Dec. 23 for third place in the tournament.

The Broncos had a 19 point lead at the 17:28 mark in the second half. The Cougars battled back to tie the game at 62-all in regulation to force the game into overtime. After a spirited and intense overtime period, Boise State edged out a two point lead in the final seconds for the win.

Danrad Knowles again led the Cougars on the court for his second double-double in as many games. The 6-10 sophomore, who played his prep ball at HCYA in Houston, scored 15 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, 10 of them on defense. L.J. Rose, who saw 42 minutes of playing time, scored 16 points, with six of those points coming at the free throw line.

Three other Houston players scored in double figures; including Devonta Pollard with 12 points, followed by Jherrod Stiggers with 11. Starting guard LeRon Barnes contributed 10 points, along with 2-of-4 from three-point range.

Houston shot a paltry 36.9% from the field, along with 25% from three point range. They also tallied 11 assists along with four steals.  

Boise State had five players scoring in double digits and shot 47% from the field. They were also 42% from three-point range.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Case Keenum leads Texans to win over Baltimore in his first game back in Houston

Case Keenum (7)  at Houston Texans Training Camp
during Auguist, 2013.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 22, 2014)  With a new quarterback at the helm, the Houston Texans upset the Baltimore Ravens by the score of 25-13 at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. With the wins, the Texans raised their season record to 8-7 and remain in the hunt for a wild-card playoff berth.

Leading the Texans on the field was former University of Houston and Houston Texans quarterback Case Keenum. Prior to this week, Keenum was on the practice squad of the St. Louis Rams. He was released from the Texans on August 31, 2104 and was picked up on waivers the next day by the Rams.

On Dec. 15, 2014, he was acquired from the Rams and was announced as the starting quarterback late Saturday evening (Dec. 20). The Texans have used four quarterbacks in 2014.

Keenum, who started preparing for the game on Monday, Dec. 15, completed 20-of-42 passes for 185 yards. He also rushed for 19 yards on four carries. The win was the first for Keenum, who was 0-8 in 2013 when he started the second half of the season for the Texans.

Andre Johnson caught six passes from Keenum for 65 yards, while Arian Foster carried the ball 25 times for 96 yards. J.J. Watt led the defense with eight tackles, seven of them solo, along with one sack.

With one game to go in the regular season, the Texans will begin to prepare for the 3-12 Jacksonville Jaguars, which they will play on Dec. 28 with a 12 noon CST kickoff at NRG Stadium.  The Texans are currently in 2nd place in the AFC South, behind the 9-4-1 Cincinnati Bengals, who play Denver on Monday night, Dec. 22 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

HBU falls to UC-Riverside in close fought match

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA (December 20, 2014) Despite have four players scoring in double figures, the Houston Baptist University Huskies could not hold off the offensive punch of UC Riverside and fell to the Highlanders by the score of 78-67 at SRC Arena in Riverside, CA on Dec. 20, 2014. With the loss the Huskies fell to 4-5 for the season.

Guard Anthony Odunsi led HBU with 17 points, followed by Marcel Smith with 14 and Colter Lasher and Tyler Russell with 12 each. Josh Ibarra came off the bench to lead the team in rebounds, pulling down 10 in 21 minutes of play.

The Huskies shot 38.6% from the field including 6-of-13 from three point range. Smith, who started at guard for HBU, scored three of three-pointers on five attempts.

Rebounds were a problem for the Huskies; pulling down only 28 in opposition to 47 for the Highlanders. Taylor Johns had 17 rebounds for UC-Riverside in addition to scoring 28 points.

The Huskies will have 10 days off before returning to action on Dec. 30 at Sharp Gym against Ecclesia College. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CST.

Steenholdt scores 24 in HBU win over McMurry

Shanice Steenholdt (20)  scored 24 points for the Huskies
against McMurry University.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 19, 2014) Senior Shanice Steenholdt connected for 24 points to lead the Houston Baptist Huskies to a 69-49 win over the McMurry Warhawks in women's college basketball action at Sharp Gym on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 in Houston.

The 6-0 forward from Roswell N.M. shot 10-of 15 from the field and was 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Heidi Sihvola contributed 19 points from the bench in the Huskies fifth win of the season.

Forward Anna Strickland was active under the basket with 10 rebounds; nine of them on the defensive end of the court.

The Huskies were never really challenged with the 1-12 Warhawks shooting only 31.3% from the field, along with 26 rebounds as a team.

McMurry had three players in double figures; Haley Welch with 12 points, with Adijatu Disu and Taylor Russell each scoring 11.

The Huskies will now have a break until their next game against Huston-Tillotson on Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. at Sharp Gym on the HBU campus.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

HBU Women's Basketball Rolls Past Arlington Baptist, 92-62

Photo by Erik Williams
HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 13, 2014) HBU women’s basketball shot 60 percent from the floor, outscored visiting Arlington Baptist, 64-22, in the paint, and out-rebounded the Patriots, 49-18, en route to a 92-62 victory Saturday afternoon at Sharp Gym.
Junior post Ashleigh Nwanguma recorded her first double-double of the season for HBU (4-3), and the second of her career, as she had season highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds in 16 minutes. Senior forward Shanice Steenholdt led the Huskies with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting in 19 minutes. Senior forward Erin McGarrachan tied her season high of 12 points, while Heidi Sihvola dropped 11.
Jade Johnson led ABC (6-2) with 15 points, shooting 5-of-9 from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 from the free throw line. Morgan Hale and Tori Wise each scored 12 for the Patriots.
HBU jumped out to an 8-0 lead before the Patriots got on the scoreboard with a made free throw by Johnson. HBU outscored the Patriots, 21-8, in a span of eight minutes to lead by 20, 29-9, with 9:52 remaining in the first half.
HBU led by as many as 23 before the Patriots used a 14-5 run to cut the deficit to 14, 39-25, following a steal and layup by Ainsley Richardson at the 3:12-mark.
A steal by Tayler Jefferson resulted in a Steenholdt layup to give HBU an 18-point advantage, 47-29, with just over a minute to go in the opening half. But Wise forced a steal and it resulted in a three-pointer by Hale, as HBU eventually led ABC at the break, 49-34.
Steenholdt led all players with 16 first-half points, while Nwanguma came off the bench to score 10 points and pull down a half-high nine rebounds. HBU shot 59 percent from the floor. Hale led ABC with 10 points, as the Patriots shot 39 percent from the floor.
The Huskies began the first five minutes of the second half outscoring the Patriots, 17-9, to bring their lead back to 23, 66-43. HBU continued to put the pedal to the metal, as they increased their lead to the 30s. At the 5:11-mark, freshman Carissa Diaz scored her first collegiate basket in Sharp Gym, giving HBU an 86-56 lead.
Erin McGarrachan led HBU with 10 second-half points, while Jefferson had seven points, three assists, two rebounds, and two steals. HBU shot 61 percent from the floor in the half. The Patriots were led by Johnson with six points.
Prior to the game, Steenholdt was awarded a commemorative ball, honoring her 1,500th career point she earned at UT-Pan American Nov. 29. She is the program's all-time NCAA Division I leading scorer.
HBU hosts cross-town rival Texas Southern Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 6 pm.

Katy comes back in overtime to down Cibolo Steele; 27-20 and earn trip to state title game

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly 
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 14, 2014) The Katy Tigers scored a single touchdown and extra point in overtime and as a result, downed the Cibolo Steele Knights by the score of 27-20 at NRG Stadium in Houston. With the win, the Tigers advanced to the UIL Division II-6A championship game next Saturday, Dec. 20, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Katy will face Cedar Hill in the title game for the third year in a row. The Longhorns punched their ticket to the title game by overwhelming Spring Westfield 64-33. 

Steele kept the game close and tied the score at 20-all late in the fourth quarter, forcing the game into overtime. Rodney Anderson scored the game-winning touchdown on a eight-yard romp and kicker Kris Perez added the extra point for the win.

Perez put the first of Katy’s points on the scoreboard at the 8:46 mark in the first quarter with a 45-yard field goal. Kyle Williams pulled down a Garrett Dolan 10-yard pass for the first touchdown of the game. Perez’s PAT gave Katy an early 10-0 lead.

The Knights responded with their our score with 3:56 left in the first quarter on a seven-yard run by Bryson Denley and a Caleb James kick. Katy came back in the second quarter with another touchdown on a 13-yard pass from Dolan to Garrett Dorion to close out the half and take a 17-7 lead into the locker room.

The Tigers were plagued with turnovers; three to be exact, which had the potential to derail Katy. Head coach Gary Joseph stated in a post-game interview with the press:

"I knew it had a chance to be a close game, but credit them.  How many times are we going to turn the ball over? Every time we've done that, we've struggled. We just can't do that, but to be able to win after you do it is a great thing for us and for our kids."
Steele came back in the second half and scored 13 unanswered points to give the Knights a 20-17. The Tigers responded with a 25-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it to overtime. Katy will be making their 13th trip to the state championship game. They have won the state title seven times.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

San Jacinto College's Ribeiro named NJCAA All-American

San Jacinto College sophomore Ana Helena Ribeiro was named to the
National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
Division I Volleyball All-American second team.
Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing,
public relations, and government affairs department.
PASADENA, TEXAS (December 10, 2014) San Jacinto College sophomore Ana Helena Ribeiro has been named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I All-American second team, the organization announced this week.

Head Coach Sharon Nelson stated in a press release:

“Ana is a fantastic player and young lady,”  who just completed her 13th year at the helm of the San Jacinto College volleyball program. “She has so many attributes for a life of success. She has perfected the art of balancing her academics with her athletic endeavors. Not only has she earned All-American honors two years in a row, but she will also earn academic honors later this Spring. She is a valuable asset to any program. To be recognized twice, nationally, for this award, is very well deserved. We are incredibly proud of her."

Ribeiro (Villa Nova de Gaia, Portugal / Escola Secundária António Sérgio), a middle blocker, averaged 12.15 kills and 0.72 blocks per set, while hitting .294, this season.

She was third on the squad in total blocks with 44. Ribeiro finished the year ranked as the second best student-athlete in the Region’s South Zone, and was named to the Region XIV all-conference first team.

For a complete list of the NJCAA Division I Volleyball All-Americans, visit the NJCAA website.

San Jacinto College finished the regular season ranked 13th in the country with a 21-13 overall record.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Houston hands SMU their 11th loss of season; down Mustangs 35-9

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2014 TexSport Publications

UNIVERSITY PARK, TEXAS (November 28, 2014) Capitalizing on three rushing touchdowns by quarterback Greg Ward Jr., the Houston Cougars rallied in the second half and downed the winless SMU Mustangs by the score of 35-9 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, November 28, 2014. With the win, the Cougars raised their season record to 7-4 going into their final regular season game against Cincinnati. They also raised their conference record to 5-2, which solidified their fourth place standing in the American Athletic Conference.

After a quick three-and-out by SMU to stat the game, the Cougars received the ball at the 13:30 mark in the first quarter. On the first play from scrimmage for Houston, Ward, Jr. kept the ball, running it up the left side of the field. He rambled 38 yards, untouched, for the touchdown. Kyle Bullard added he obligatory extra point, to give Houston a quick 7-0 lead.

On their second possession, the Cougars drove the ball down the field, but when the drive stalled, had to settle for a 36-yard field goal attempt. Bullard booted the ball wide and SMU took over on their own 20 yard line.

After some back and forth ball in the latter part of the first quarter and the early part of the second quarter, neither team could seem to get an offensive advantage on the field. Both SMU and Houston missed field goals; the Cougars from 36 yards and the Mustangs from 38 yards and both teams’ defenses were keeping the opposing offense in check.

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
The Mustangs finally got the scoreboard when Houston was backed up against their own end zone. Ward was scrambling to find a receiver and was called for intentional grounding, giving the Mustangs two points for a safety.

Houston kicked off and gave SMU the ball on their 22-yard line. After two plays, Matt Davis unleashed a 67-yard pass to wide receiver Jeremiah Gaines. Gaines caught the ball, and with two Cougar defender in pursuit, rambled down the left side of the field for the touchdown. Cody Rademacher split the uprights to give the Mustangs a 9-7 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.

The Cougars received the ball to start the second half and quickly put the offense in motion. Driving 64 yards in eight plays, Houston gave the ball to running back Kenneth Farrow. He carried the ball the final 11 yards for their Cougars’ second touchdown on the day. Bullard made another extra point, and the Cougars took back the lead, with a score of 14-9, with 11:34 left in the third quarter.

Ward, Jr. scored his second touchdown of the day when is carried the ball the final four yards of a 99 yard drive. The touchdown, along with Bullard’s conversion took the score to 21-9 at the third quarter’s 3:10 mark.

After the Houston kickoff and a fumble for the Mustangs, the Cougars got the ball back in Mustang territory and began another scoring drive. Three plays later, Farrow carried the ball the final 14 yards into the end zone for the score. The drive lasted 1:04, travelled 23 yards, and gave the Cougars another seven points close out the third quarter with Houston leading SMU 28-9.

The 21 points scored by the Cougars in the third quarter was most points scored in the third quarter by Houston all season. With the third quarter rushing touchdown by Farrow, he moved into a tie for ninth place in Houston single season history with 11 rushing touchdowns. The current record is 15, established by Jackie Battle in 2006.

With 4:46 remaining in the game, Ward Jr. carried the ball the final five yards for third rushing touchdown of the game to give the Cougars, along with Bullard’s conversion, a 35-9 lead. The drive covered 52 yards in five plays and lasted 2:40.

Ward, Jr., who is having a phenomenal rookie season at Houston, rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns. He also completed 17-of-28 passes for 144 yards and one aerial touchdown. Farrow carried the ball 18 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, Steven Taylor accounted for five solo tackles, while Efrem Loiphant tallied fourth unassisted takedowns.

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
SMU’s Davis carried the ball 20 times for 70 yards, while completing 13-of-27 passes for 145 yards.

The Cougars, who were tied for fourth place with East Carolina in the conference standings with a 4-2 record prior to the game. The Pirates (7-3, 4-2 The American) take on Tulsa (2-9, 2-5 The American) in a Saturday evening game in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

With the loss, the Mustangs fall to 0-7 in conference, 0-11 for the season and 0-14 in their last 13 games. They close out their season on Saturday, December 6 on the road versus Connecticut.