Thursday, February 23, 2017

UConn Huskies fall to Houston Cougars 75-70

Damyean Dotson (21) scored 25 points
and had nine rebounds against UConn.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

(To access the slideshow from the game by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography, please click here.)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 22, 2017) The UConn Huskies jumped out to a 39-29 lead at halftime and but could not contain the offense punch of the Houston Cougars in the second half and dropped a 75-70 decision at Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. The Cougars raised their American Athletic Conference record to 10-5 with three games to go on their regular season schedule. The win placed the Cougars in sole possession of third place in conference standings.

Rob Gray (32) scored 16 of UH's 75 points.
Photo by Darla S. Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
The Cougars, who seemed like a different team in the second half, outscored the Huskies 46-31 in the final 20 minutes. Starting guard Damyean Dotson, who scored 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds, led the Cougars in scoring. Rob Gray tallied 16 points in Houston's winning effort with Devin Davis adding 11. Kyle Meyer, who seemed to be all over the court scored nine points with 11 rebounds. The Huskies had three players in double-digits; Jalen Adams (18), Vance Jackson (16) and Rodney Purvis (11).

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson was talked about the Cougars performance after the game.
“Obviously UConn did a good job of punching us in the first half. I didn’t think we responded well. In the second half, there was no raised voices, no panicking. If we are the better team, then we are going to win, and we felt like we were. We came out and made some adjustments to our zone. Our zone was a better force in this game coming in because of Jalen Adams’ ability to get in the paint. He’s really good in the pick and roll so we made a couple adjustments in our zone. We started competing harder. It really comes down to what you say or do at halftime. Simple adjustment of the zone and staying with it. These two guys, Kyle Meyer and Damyean Dotson are playing like seniors. Kyle Meyer played his best game since he’s been here. Dotson got back on the boards. For people to say that Dotson is just a scorer are losing sight of what he is really good at. Last couple games he hasn’t, but Dotson is only one of two guys that is ranked in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding in this league. Look at the position he plays, that is pretty special. We played smart but we did not shoot the ball well. Rob (Gray), Galen (Robinson) and Wes (VanBeck) were 3-22. Digest that for a minute, two of them are outstanding shooters. Rob 3-10, Wes 0-4 and Galen 1-8. Our back court was 3-22 and we won the game. It’s because we defended and rebounded. Look at their (UConn’s) size, how big they are. We won the boards. If Dotson didn’t get 9 and Kyle didn’t get 11 we aren’t going to win the boards. The combination of Devin (Davis) and Danrad (Knowles) was really well tonight. Devin and Danrad did some good things. Collectively, they were pretty good. It’s good to get to 19 wins. It’s good to get to third place and get to our 10th conference win. It is that time of year, as soon as the game is over"

Houston is 2-0 against UConn this season, beating the Huskies 62-46 on December 28, 2016 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Next up for the Cougars is a February 26 match-up against Memphis and a March 2  game against No. 15/16 Cincinnati. Both games are on the road. They will return to Hofheinz on March 5 for their final regular season game against East Carolina.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

HBU Huskies top Houston Cougars 3-2

Photo by Darla Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 21, 2017) The HBU Huskies jumped pout to an early lead and downed the No. 19 Houston Cougars by the score of 3-2 at Schroeder Park on the University of Houston Campus on Tuesday, February 21, 2017. The Husky win pushed them to 3-1 on the season while the Cougars fell to 3-1. HBU  junior center fielder Spencer Halloran stood out on both offensive and defensive, with a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth and a diving catch for the last out of the game. The junior from Sheffield, Iowa stated after the game:

“I could’ve had a better approach my first three at-bats, but I sort of figured it out on the fourth at-bat, got ahead in the count, got a good pitch to hit and thankfully put a good swing on it. The catch was a just a good read off the bat and somehow caught it. It was carrying and carrying and I didn’t think I was going to get there, but finally it just fell into my glove.”

For Houston, Connor Wong went 2-for-5 with an RBI a run and three stolen bases for the Cougars (3-1). Corey Julks went 2-for-2 with a triple and a pair of walks and Lael Lockhart went 2-for-4.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

No. 19 Houston Cougars sweep opening weekend with wins over Wake Forest, Nicholls State

Photo by Darla Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 19, 2017) The No. 20 Houston Cougars kicked of their 2017 baseball season with a 3-0 record on opening weekend at Schroeder Park in Houston.  The Cougars faced the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Friday, February and Sunday, February 19. On Saturday, they took on the Nicholls State Colonels. In the Friday evening matchup, Houston used 14 hits to generate eight runs to down the Demon Deacons by the score of 8-1. Starting pitcher Seth Romero fanned 12 batter in route to his first win of the season. The junior left-hander who hails from West Columbia, Texas, saw six innings on the mound, faced 24 batters. Left fielder Grayson Padgett was three-for-five at the plate, scoring one run and tallied four RBI.

In the Saturday game against Nicholls State, the Cougars posted their second 13-plus hit game in downing the Colonels by the score of 5-3. Starter Mitch Ullom gave a solid performance, combining with relief hurler Joey Pulido to strikeout seven without give up any walks. Offensively, Padgett was three-for-three with one run and a single walk.

Photo by Darla Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
In their final game of the weekend, Houston jumped out to a 3-0 lead after three innings, and held on to down Wake Forest by the score of 5-4.  The Demon Deacons put two runs on the board in the fourth to cut the Cougars’ lead to 3-2. Houston answered in the bottom of the inning with a single run to increase their lead to 4-2. The scored reaming 4-2 until the eighth, when Wake Forest took advantage of Houston on a balk and used three pitchers in the inning, to add two runs to their total and tie the game at four-all. Houston regained the lead in the bottom of the inning with a Padgett double, on a 2-1 pitch, to right center field, allowing Conner Wong to score from third base. The Cougars went into the ninth inning with a one-run lead and held on to post a 3-0 mark to start the season.

Next up for the 3-0 Cougars will be a Tuesday, February 21 game against cross-town opponent Houston Baptist University. The Huskies completed their opening weekend with a double header on Saturday and a single game on Sunday against Fordham. In the Saturday double header, HBU dropped the first game 4-3 and came back to win the afternoon game by the score of 13-5. Sunday’s game raised the Huskies record to 2-1 with a 7-6 win over the Rams.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Houston takes American Athletic Conference swimming and diving title

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

(All photos by Robert H Kelly, Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 18, 2017) The Houston Cougars women’s swimming and diving team used six medal-platform finishes to power them to the 2017 American Athletic Conference Championships title at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Houston on Saturday, February 18, 2017. The conference championship was the first for the Cougars in program history. Head coach Ryan Wochomurka and diving coach Bob Gunter were selected as the Coach of the Year, with junior Micaela Bouter being awarded the Diver of the Meet honors. Houston scored 772 points in route to their title, followed by 2016 champion SMU with 676 points. Cincinnati (625), East Carolina (473), Connecticut (460) and Tulane (395) rounded out the team placing.

Wochomurka talked about the Cougars’ performance after the meet.

“Look around at everything we have at this university. We have one of the best facilities in the country. We’ve got the best administration in the country. We’ve got an athletic director who wants to jump in the pool with us at the end of the meet. Why can’t we play and be extremely relevant nationally? We’re just getting started. I’m excited for these kids and most importantly I’m excited for these seniors because they had a couple of years where they struggled, but they battled and they led us to this championship. We are not here today without our seniors.”

The Cougars who scored points and their placings are as follows:

1,650-Yard Freestyle
6. Hannah Herbst – 16:41.39
7. Connor Glenn – 16:53.00

200-Yard Backstroke
2. Eleanna Koutsouveli – 1:55.97
6. Laura Laderoute – 1:59.05
9. Jasmine Williams – 1:58.65
12. Jennifer Penneck – 2:01.22

100-Yard Freestyle
3. Ksenia Yuskova – 49.93
6. Zarena Brown – 50.49
8. Caitlin Horner – 50.88

200-Yard Breaststroke
2. Victoria Roubique – 2:12.50
4. Peyton Kondis – 2:13.68
5. Cameron Balkom – 2:14.60

200-Yard Butterfly
5. Sharo Rodriquez Rivera – 2:00.51

Platform Dive
2. Micaela Bouter – 213.00
3 Katelyn Abernathy – 202.80
7. Laurel Burrell – 158.00

400-Yard Freestyle Relay
3. Houston – 3:21.71
Zarena Brown, Laura Laderoute, Ksenia Yuskova, Caitlin Horner

Next up for Houston will be the NCAA Zone Diving Meet on March 6-8 in Columbia, Missouri, which will determine the qualifiers for the NCAA Championships on March 15-17 in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Houston falls to No. 19 SMU in close-fought match

Photo by Darla Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017
All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 18, 2017) After leading the SMU Mustangs by 13 points at the 10:23 mark in the first half, the Houston Cougars fell behind in second half scoring and dropped a 76-66 decision to their American Athletic Conference rival at Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday February 18, 2017. The 8,479 fans in attendance saw the No. 19 Mustangs outscore the Cougars 50-36 in the second half to secure the win and remain atop the conference standings.

Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson talked about the game in the post-game presser.

“A big part of that game is when Rob Gray picked up his fourth foul with 12:40 to go, and obviously he was cooking. We do not have that type of team. They have other weapons. We have Damyean Dotson and Rob Gray. We cannot play without them for an extended stretch. We played great defense for large portions of the shot clock and the next thing you know, it’s a one-and-one. Sometimes that’s frustrating. That was a frustrating game. I am not disappointed in my guys’ effort. I am certainly disappointed that we lost. We were ready to play and well prepared mentally. Those guys did a good job of getting themselves ready to play. You have to make your one-and-ones, free throws and open shots. After all that, the Murphy’s Law that seemed to be working against us, with 5:14 to go we were tied. Rob sat over there for five minutes, and the problem was how well he was playing. He was starting to get it going. When we have Rob and Dotson going at the same time, we are good. Give SMU credit. That is a good team. They are ranked 19th, but they are better than that which tells you how good we are too. Let’s not act like this was not a game that could have went either way for a long time. Sometimes you have to get some breaks and sometimes you have to make your breaks. When the opportunity is there, you have to take advantage of it. We got beat by a good team. I would have liked to see some things a little bit different.”

Photo by Darla Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017
All Rights Reserved
Houston had three players in double figures. Rob Gray led the way with 23 points, followed by Damyean Dotson with 19 and Galen Robinson, Jr. with 11. Gray also tallied six rebounds. The Mustangs were led by Semi Ojeleye with 22 points along with Ben Moore with 18 points and 13 rebounds. With the win, the Mustangs stay atop the conference standings with a 14-1 record. They are followed by Cincinnati in second place (13-1) and Houston (9-5). The Cougars will face fourth place Connecticut (8-5) on Wednesday, February 22 at home with an 8 p.m. tip off.

HBU Baseball Pounds Fordham to Split DH

Junior 1B/C Jake Pulcheon goes 5-for-6 on the day.

From HBU Athletics, Department of Media Relations Press Release

HOUSTON – HBU rebounded from a 4-3 loss in the season opener to hammer out 17 hits en route to a 13-5 victory to split a non-conference baseball doubleheader with Fordham Saturday afternoon at Husky Field.

In the second game, junior catcher Jake Pulcheon went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run to cap a 5-for-6 afternoon for the Huskies (1-1). Junior centerfielder Spencer Halloran went 4-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and a pair of runs, while junior first baseman Carey Jones went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs. Senior rightfielder Brandon Brintz went 2-for-6 with a double and scored twice and senior leftfielder Joe Van Marter blasted a three run homer and scored twice.

Alvin Melendez also had a three-run homer and scored twice for Fordham (1-1). Brian Goulard went 2-for-4 and scored twice.

Sophomore righthander Zach Carter (1-0) picked up the win for HBU, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in 5.0 innings. Junior Weston Smart tossed two scoreless innings in relief.

Jimmy Murphy (0-1) took the loss for the Rams, giving up eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits in 2.1 innings. Fordham used five other pitchers out of the bullpen.

In the first game, Pulcheon went 2-for-3 and scored a run, while senior catcher Blake Thomas went 2-for-4 with a run for HBU. Senior third baseman Austin Zillweger went 2-for-3 and drew a pair of walks and junior shortstop Tyler Depreta-Johnson went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Halloran tripled, scored and drove in a run.

Luke Stampfl went 4-for-4 and scored a run for Fordham. Brian Goulard added a double and an RBI.

Reiss Knehr (1-0) earned the win, shutting out the Huskies on four hits over the final 3.2 innings. Starter Mike Cowell allowed one run on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks in 4.0 innings.

Senior lefthander Christian Thames took a no-decision, allowing two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk in 6.0 innings. Junior Cody Marshall (0-1) received the loss, allowing two runs, one earned, on one hit, in one-plus innings.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

HBU Huskies upset Sam Houston State Bearkats at Sharp Gym

Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 16, 2017) The HBU Huskies kept the conference tournament seeding hopes alive with an 88-77 upset of the Sam Houston State Bearkats at Sharp Gym in Houston on Thursday, February 16, 2017. The win pushed the Huskies to 8-6 in conference action and 12-12 for the season. The Bearkats fell to 9-5 in conference and 18-9 overall.

The game, which was televised on Root Sport, saw four players hit in double-digits; Atif Russell and Braxton Bonds with 18 points each followed by Colton Lasher and Josh Ibarra with 15 each. Reveal Chukwujekwu tallied 10 rebounds to lead HBU.

With the win, the Huskies have fifth place in the conference standings, with Sam Houston holding on to fourth place. New Orleans hold the top spot followed by SFA and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Huskies have four conference games remaining on their schedule, including a February 23 matchup against McNeese and a February 25 game against Lamar with both those games are on the road. They close out the regular season with two home games; March 1 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and March 4 against Abilene Christian.

Brad Davis retires as member of Houston Dynamo

Photo by Lou Roesch,
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.
By Lou Roesch
Special for TexSport Publications
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 16, 2017) One of the classiest players to take the pitch for the Houston Dynamo or the world for that matter retired after a storied career in Major League Soccer. In a ceremony packed with former players, assembled media and a plethora of others, Houston Dynamo legend Brad Davis called it quits after 15 seasons.

“The finality of it still hasn’t sunk in,” said Davis in his own humble and inimitable way. “From the fans, to the media, to the organization, to my former teammates, it has come full circle. Everyone should be proud of their part and keep the passion alive for the game.”

Davis’ name appears in the Houston Dynamo record book more than Dynamo president Chris Canetti had time to go through on Thursday afternoon. He was celebrated like the star that he was and is both on and off the field. Few will remember that Davis’ career actually started with the New York MetroStars. Even fewer as Davis alluded to following the press conference to announce his retirement would remember the name New York MetroStars. Even fewer than that will know that Canetti was with the MetroStars when Davis arrived in 2002.

Eventually both would move on before reuniting back in Houston in 2006 as the Earthquakes arrived in late December and the Dynamo became a reality. Davis and his left-foot would capture the imagination of the city winning back-to-back MLS Cup titles and reaching four finals in his ten years. The former midfielder said that he wasn’t gifted with athleticism, speed or height but God did gift him with a talented left foot.

“When I was real young, I was all left-footed,” continued the former national team player in speaking about his career. “About the age of 5, people started to recognize that there was something there, something a little bit different. It’s crazy because my seven year old is the same way. He takes all the set pieces. I am getting to relive it all over again.”

With more corner kicks to his credit than any player in MLS history, Davis also ranks at or near the top of record books ranking third in assists (123), fourth in games played (392), eighth in games started (339), and 10th in minutes played (29,577).

As the former national team player walks away from the pitch on a day when all was made right in Houston Dynamo land, he echoed the sentiments that other Dynamo legends and players have said previously. “It’s fitting, this is what it was supposed to be like. This gives me closure on my career. It just feels right. It feels the way it should after 15 years to do it in a place that gave me so much. ”

Davis will be honored by the Dynamo on July 5, 2017.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Leah Pritchett takes Top Fuel honors at NHRA Winternationals

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

POMONA, CALIFORNIA (February 12, 2017) Leah Pritchett blasted through the qualifying and eliminations rounds to take the Top Fuel title at the 57th Annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California on Sunday, February 12, 2017. The Redlands, CA native qualified for the elimination rounds as the number one qualifier with the time of 3.672 seconds (327.9 mph). In the final against number two qualifier Doug Kalitta, she posted the winning time of 3.711 (324.98 mph) against her opponent’s 7.630 (103.85 mph). She easily took the title for her Don Schumacher Racing Team when Kalitta experienced mechanical difficulties in the left lane. The win was the second of her NHRA professional career.

In the Funny Car division, number one qualifier MattHagan (Don Schumacher Racing) blasted to a 0.026-second win over number three qualifier Courtney Force (John Force Racing). Hagan posted the time of 3.975 seconds (330.07 mph) to top Force’s time of 3.901 seconds (326.85 mph). In the Pro Stock division, number one qualifier Jason Line (KB Racing) took the title with a 6.568-second (211.10 mph) final run against number two qualifier Greg Anderson (6.658-6.579). Jay Turner was tops in the Top Fuel Harley division with a final run of 6.276 seconds (218.23 mph) over Rickey House (6.609 seconds).

Next up on the NHRA schedule is the Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona on February 24-26, 2017.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

HBU Huskies honor former player Eddie Brown

HBU Director of Athletics Steve Moniaci
with the framed tribute to Eddie Brown.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 11, 2017) The Houston Baptist University Huskies honored former player Eddie Brown during halftime of the HBU vs. Lamar men’s basketball game on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Brown, who passed away on February 13, 2016 is the Huskies’ all-time leading scorer with 1,939 points. He played for HBU from 1968 to 1972 and hold numerous records in the history of HBU basketball.

Brown had a career game high 41 points in HBU’s 81-78 loss to Bishop College on February 8, 1969. He is ranked sixth in team history in scoring average (18.8 points per game) and holds the record for free throws against Sam Houston State, with 20 in 1968-1969.

He played his prep ball for Rosa A. Scott High School in Madison, Mississippi and was a four-year letter award winner for the Huskies from 1968 to 1972. He graduated from HBU in four years and was a U.S. Army veteran. In an HBU press release on February 13, 2016 after Brown's passing, current head coach Ron Cottrell was quoted:

I can't begin to express the sadness I feel, and our entire team feels, at learning of the passing of our dear friend and fellow Husky Eddie Brown. We lost a true legend and ambassador for HBU and our basketball program. Eddie was very involved in our program and a mentor to many of our young men over the years. We will miss him greatly. Heaven is enjoying a great exhibition of basketball talent and a person of true friendship tonight."

HBU Huskies upset Lamar Cardinals 94-87

Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 11, 2017) The HBU Huskies took a big step to stay in contention for the 2017 Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament with a 94-87 win over the Lamar Cardinals at Sharp Gymnasium in Houston on Saturday, February 11, 2017. The Huskies relied on their starting five, who all scored in double figures, in addition to having two players achieving a double-double. Starting guard Colton Lasher tallied 20 points, with Braxton Bonds adding 12 and Asa Cantwell chipping in 10. Reveal Chukwujekwu and Josh Ibarra both had a double-double in the game, with Ibarra scoring 17 points and pulling down 12 rebounds; eight of them on the defensive end of the court. Chukwujekwu pulled down 10 rebounds while scoring 15. Alex Fountain, who came off the bench for 2 4minutes of play added 13 points to HBU’s total.

HBU jumped out to a 44-28 lead at halftime with the Cardinals outscoring the Huskies 59-50 in the second half. However, Lamar’s final 20-minute performance was not enough to overcome their first half deficit. The Cardinals had five players on double figures, with Nick Garth coming off the bench to lead the team with 24 points. The Huskies out-rebounded Lamar 36-22 with the Cardinals holding the advantage in shooting (56%-49%) and assists (19-16).

The Huskies began the game in a three-way tie with Central Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana, with a 6-6 record in conference action. The win pushed HBU to 7-6 and a tie with Central Arkansas, who downed Nicholls 106-83 on Saturday evening. Southeastern Louisiana dropped a 60-52 decision to New Orleans; falling to 6-7. The top eight teams will advance to the conference tournament in Katy, Texas on March 8-12, 2017.

The Huskies will remain home for their next two games. They will face Sam Houston State on Thursday, February 16 with a 7 p.m. CST tipoff. They will follow that up with a Saturday, February 18 matchup against the Randall Saints.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Remick, Manotas speak with the press after Houston Dynamo practice

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 6, 2017)  After training on Monday, February 6, 2017, Houston Dynamo defender Dylan Remick and forward Mauro Manotas spoke with the press and had some personal thoughts and statements concerning training camp.

Both players were questioned about the transition to the new style of play installed by head coach Wilmer Cabrera. Remick stated. “It’s going pretty well so far. Obviously, that’s what preseason is for. That’s to get everybody in the same page with the system of Wilmer. It’s underway. I think there has been some great strides so far. I think the upcoming games are going to help us, even more in that next step of being a cohesive unit in a game-like scenario. Practice is going well, every day we are getting better as a team collectively. Then, the next step now is to implement that during the preseason games.”

Manotas added, “The team is getting to know each other more, we have been working for couple of weeks and the coach has given us clear instructions on what he wants: that the two teams that play this preseason may demonstrate the same strength, the same style of play so that we can be well presented on the field. We are working hard, very good intensity, always moving forward and seeking to score. That is the identity that the coach has given us.”

On playing in full field drills, Remick responded:  "It is different, every coach has its own style of introducing tactics into a team. I have done this a little bit before. I really enjoy it. I think it helps, especially because we have a lot of new faces. It is a great way to sort of get everyone on the same page and make it easy for everybody to know what their role is within their position on the field in terms of defenders, midfielders, forwards. It is a great way to get everybody on the same page, so that no matter who is playing everybody knows what each other has to do, which makes it easier for us to play.” He added that intensity had been added the most to the team dynamic. “I think is all about intensity. Whatever you do, do it a 100 percent. That is what preseason is for, breaking the body down to get ready for the long haul in the season. That has been a big part of preseason. Obviously, the tactics about how he wants to play have been more and more involved the further we go into preseason. Those are the two big things that he is trying to bring into the preseason and everyone is responding very well.”

Manotas talked about the Dynamo’s potential and stated, “We have a really well-done roster. We are fully armed, we have goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, forwards. We are a really well-balanced team, which is something the coach always tells us, that we have be balanced. Even if we have not allowed a goal, we as strikers have the responsibility of scoring and try to win the game.”

The Dynamo will close their training camp in the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 with a full match against the RGV FC Toros.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

HBU Huskies down UIW Cardinals 84-70 in Southland Conference action

Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 4, 2017) The HBU Huskies used 23 points from the bench, including 15 points by Atif Russell, to down the Incarnate Word Cardinals by the score of 84-70 in front of 864 fans at Sharp Gymnasium in Houston, Texas on Saturday, February 5, 2017. The win raised the Huskies to 5-6 in Southland Conference action as they stand in eighth place to qualify for the conference tournament in Katy, Texas.

The Huskies had three more players in double figures; Braxton Bonds (22), Colton Lasher (19) and Reveal Chukwujekwu, who tallied a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. HBU held a slight 38-35 lead at the half and really poured it on during the final 20 minutes, outscoring the Cardinals 46-35.  UIW had four players in scoring in double figures with starting guard Shawn Johnson leading the way with 22 points.

The Huskies will next hit the road for a Thursday, February 9 contest against Northwestern State with a 7 p.m. CST tipoff. 

HBU women upend Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 4, 2017) Led by the offensive punch of sophomore guard Lisa Zderadicka, the HBU Huskies downed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by the score of 56-51 at Sharp Gymnasium in Houston on Saturday, February 4, 2017. The 5-6 native of Vienna, Austria came off the bench and in 16 minutes of play, tallied 23 points for the Huskies. Her performance against the Islanders was the second best of the season. She connected on 8-of-11 shots from the field, 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 4-5 from the free throw line.

The Huskies trailed the Islanders at the half, 26-14 but that deficit was short lived. HBU rallied in the third quarter, outscoring their Southland Conference rival 21-10. The entered the final quarter of the game behind by a single point (36-35). In the final 10 minutes of the contest, they continued their offensive punch with a 21-15 scoring advantage, to give the Huskies their fifth win of the season and their third in conference action. Zderadicka was not the only standout player for the Huskies. Starting guard Heidi Byrd chipped in 10 points with Shannon Jones adding nine points along with nine rebounds. The Islanders has two players on double figures; starting forwards Dalesia Booth with 18 points and Ashanti Plummer with 12 points. Plummer also tallied seven rebounds for Corpus Christi.

Next up for the Huskies is a February 9 match-up against Northwestern State in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Monday, January 23, 2017

UIW's Celia Garcia Paunero Earns Southland Weekly Honor

Photo by Steve Slate
Used with Permission
Senior averaged 24.0 points, 19.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.5 blocks, and 2.5 steals per game

From Southland Conference and University of the Incarnate Word Press Release

FRISCO, TEXAS (January 23, 2017) Incarnate Word Cardinal senior forward Celia Garcia Paunero’s historic week on the hardwood did not go by unnoticed by the Southland Conference voters, as the Spaniard earned Southland Conference Player of the Week honors. Garcia Paunero averaged 24.0 points, 19.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals against Southeastern Louisiana and Stephen F. Austin. She posted back-to-back 24-point outings, including a 24-point, 24-board performance in a win over the Lions on Thursday. Her 24 rebounds are the most in a game by anyone in the Southland Conference this season and is a school record. Garcia Paunero leads the league in rebounding and is third in scoring. She is also tied for 10th place nationally in double-doubles.

Garcia Paunero was quoted:  “I’m happy, but the most important thing is we got a big win on Thursday. We’re going to continue to work, get better, and get wins this upcoming week.”

Head Coach Christy Smith also stated: “We’re super proud of her. I think she’s had a lot of really good games, but just hasn’t been recognized, so this is awesome to see. To see her get 24 rebounds and 24 points is just an awesome reflection of how hard she plays. I think it also shows how hard her teammates play to get her the basketball and to find her.”

UIW hosts Abilene Christian on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. on “Greek Night" and will  play at Central Arkansas on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m.

Houston Dash Acquire 2018 Third-Round Pick From Orlando Pride for Ubogagu

From Houston Dash Press Release

HOUSTON, TEXAS (January 23, 2017) The Houston Dash have acquired Orlando Pride’s natural third-round draft pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft in a trade for F Chioma Ubogagu, the club announced today.

“It is always difficult to trade a player like Chioma. She will bring a lot of pace and tenacity to Orlando,” head coach, Randy Waldrum said. “She was also a great ambassador for the club in the community and we wish her the best moving forward.” 

Ubogagu, 24, played in 15 NWSL contests since joining Houston last January, starting nine games. The Stanford product made her Dash debut in the season opener, a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Red Stars, on April 16.

The forward claimed Player of the Week honors after she scored a goal and tallied an assist in a 2-1 victory at FC Kansas City on May 7.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Houston tennis splits season opening double-header

Photo by Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (January 21, 2017) The Houston Cougars kicked off their 2017 spring season on January 21, 2017 at the Barbara Winston Tennis Facility, The Cougars faced in-state opponents University of Texas at Arlington and Prairie View A&MUniversity. Houston dropped the first match of their double-header Saturday by the score of 4-2 against the Mavericks. Houston dropped the doubles point when Tsveta Dimitrova and Lauren Alter fell to Agustina Serio and Angeles de los Rios by the score of 6-0. The Houston pair of Sveva Mazzari and Constandena Nicolaou also dropped their doubles match 6-3 to Anna Wichert and Astrid Gehre. In singles competition, Nicolaou beat Lopez 6-2, 6-4 while Cristina Rovira downed Jessica Birrowski 6-4, 7-5 for Houston’s only points. UTA’s Serio defeated Alter 6-1, 6-0 while Houston’s Ana Glumac fell in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, to Wichert. Gehre beat Houston’s Mazzari 4-6, 6-4, 5-3 to clinch the win.

In their second match of the double-header, the Cougars swept Prairie View A&M 4-0. Dimitrova and Alter were paired up again, beating Neharika Rama and Shaddae Findley 6-1. Mazzari and Rovira rebounded to down Timara Maxwell and Trinity Randolph 6-1 to win the doubles competition
Rovira extended Houston's lead with a straight-set victory over Stacey Lackey, dropping just one game in route to winning 6-1, 6-0. On court five, Nicolaou posted the same score over Maxwell, winning Houston's third point with a 6-1, 6-0 victory. With the Cougars ahead on the remaining three courts, it was Mazzari who wrapped up the win with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Thomas.

Next up for the Cougars will be a Saturday, January 28 match against Abilene Christian at 2 p.m. CST. Also on that day, Houston will officially dedicate the Barbara Wallace Winston Tennis Facility as part of a pre-match ceremony.

Houston falls to SMU 66-45 in women's college basketball action

Photo by Robert H Kelly
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (January 21, 2017) The Houston Cougars could not contain the offensive punch for the SMU Mustangs and as a result, dropped a 66-45 decision at Hofheinz Pavilion on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Freshman Jasmyne Harris came off the bench to score 16 points, with Jacqueline Blake adding 11 points to lead the Cougars. The Cougars were down by one at halftime, but a sluggish second half, where the Mustangs outscored Houston 38-18 sealed the Cougars’ fate. The Mustangs’ starting forward Alicia Froling tallied her 13th double-double of the season, scoring 20 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Starting guard McKenzie Adams added 17 points for the Mustangs.

Houston fell to 1-5 in conference play while SMU raised their record to 2-4. Next up for the Cougars is a January 25 matchup against Memphis on the road.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

US Army runner Elkanuh Kibet top USA finisher at Chevron Houston Marathon

Photo by Lou Roesch, Copyright 2017, All Rights Rseerved
By Lou Roesch
Special for TexSport Publications
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

HOUSTON, TEXAS (January 15, 2017) Fifteen short months ago, almost to the day, then US Army specialist Elkanah Kibet ran his first ever marathon in Chicago. The Kenyan born runner did it in spite of a nine-month deployment to Kuwait and Iraq and without beginning his training for Chicago’s 26.2 mile edition until just six weeks before the race. Kibet put his face on the racing map leading the way for the first nine miles and then hanging with the first group for the next ten. The former Auburn Tiger finished seventh (2:11:31) registering the fastest debut time for an American runner since Andrew Carlson’s 2:11:24 in 2012.   The 31-year-old racer’s performance earned him a spot in U.S. Military’s World Class Athlete Program.

On Sunday, undaunted by the weather, Kibet ranked fourth on Runners World list of top American marathoners in 2015 became the first American to complete the Chevron Houston Marathon. His sixth place finish led a contingent of American runners including fellow Army teammate 1LT Robert Cheseret who finished ninth.

Specialist Leonard Korir, also a member of the Army’s WCAP, won the Aramco Half-Marathon in stirring fashion on Sunday morning. The 2016 US Olympian and two-time national collegiate champion in the 10,000M and 5,000M races edged Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa Gemechu by one-one-hundredth of a second.

Over the years, the Chevron Houston Marathon has become predictable and unpredictable all at the same time. The 2017 edition was no different as Ethiopia won the women’s side for the 11th consecutive year and Kenya topped the leaderboard for the first time in eight years. Dominic Ondoro took the men’s race in 2:12:05 keeping the title in the hands or should I say the feet of the African runners for the 13th consecutive year.

Ethiopian Meskerem Assefa won her first career marathon winning by just 27 seconds over the 2016 champion Biruktayit Degefa in one of the closest finishes in Chevron Houston Marathon history. Assefa admitted during the post-race press conference that she was having cramps throughout the race but was determined to keep an eye on Gedefa and not lose the race. Ethiopia finished 1st, 2nd, and 4th in the race with American Becky Wade (3rd) the lone runner breaking up the African domination finishing five minutes and thirty nine seconds off the pace.

Registration for the 2018 Chevron Houston Marathon is now open.

Kenya's Dominic Ondoro takes 2017 Houston Marathon title

Dominic Ondoro ran a 2:12:05 to win the
2017 Houston Marathon.
Photo by Kristine Kelly, TexSport Publications
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (January 15, 2017) Dominic Ondoro broke with the pack at the 25-mile mark; outdistancing his nearest competitors to win the 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon on the streets of Houston on Sunday, January 15, 2017.  The Kenyan’s time of 2:12:05 was 28 seconds faster than second place Yitayal Atanfu, who also finished in second place in the race in 2016. Ondoro’s time was a bit off his personal best; a 2:08:00 performance at the Tiberias Marathon in Israel in 2013.

His winning time of 2:12:05 was the slowest since 2008, were countryman David Cheruiyot won the third of his three Houston Marathon titles, with the time of 2:12:32. Cheruiyot also won Houston in 2005 (2:14:50) and 2006 (2:12:02). The current Houston Marathon record of 2:06:51 was set in 2012 by Tariku Jufar of Ethiopia. Ondoro broke the eight-year streak of an Ethiopian winning in Houston dating back to 2009. In 2014, Ondoro placed fifth in Houston (2:11:43) followed by a fourth-place finish in 2015 (2:09:40). In 2016, The 29-year old won the Twin Cities Marathon (2:08:51) in 2016 and place third at the Ottawa Marathon (2:11:3). When questioned what plans he had for the $45,000 prize money, he responded, “Do some investment; buy a boat.”

Ethiopian runners finished in third to fifth place; with Abayyneh Ayele Wuldegiorgus (2:12:44), Andualem Shiferaw (2:12:54) and Abrha Milaw Asefa (2:16:16). The top American finisher was Elkanah Kibet, placing sixth with the time of 2:17:25. Next year’s event is scheduled for January 14, 2018.