Thursday, December 31, 2009

Air Force Downs Houston 47-20 at Armed Forces Bowl

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (December 31, 2009) Playing under cloudy skies and with temperatures hovering in the middle 40s, the Air Force Falcons downed the Houston Cougars 47-20 at the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Anon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

Rushing for 130 yards and two touchdowns, Air Force’s Asher Clark was selected the game’s Most Valuable Player, while wide receiver Tyron Carrier received the honor on the Houston side.

The Falcon’s showed why the have the number one pass defense in the country, holding Houston quarterback Case Keenum to 222 yards and allowing him only 24 completions on 41 attempts. He also threw a career high six interceptions in the game.

Air Force was virtually unstoppable, with a combined total of 563 yards on offense while holding the Cougars to 331 yards.

The Falcons were able to control the game offensively, possessing the ball for 41 minutes, which limited the Cougars to only 19 minutes on offense.

The Cougars, who have show showed they can move the ball at-will during the 4th quarter, seemed stymied by the offense and seemed stymied by the Falcon offense.

Air Force finished the 2009 season with a 8-5 mark, while Houston drops to 10-4.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Texas Tech FIRES Mike Leach: THE PLOT THICKENS!!!

(Photo courtesy of Texas Tech Sports Information Department)

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

LUBBOCK, TEXAS (December 30, 2009) Just moments before a court hearing to determine suspended Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach status to coach at Saturday’s Alamo Bowl, his dismissal and the subsequent filed injunction to be reinstated for the bowl game became a moot point.

It has been reported that Ted Liggett, who is Leach’s attorney, was approached Wednesday morning, by Texas Tech general counsel Pat Campbell outside the courtroom, and told that win, lose or draw in the hearing, Leach was out, effective immediately.

Liggett was quoted that he plans to file a lawsuit on Leach’s behalf against Texas Tech “soon.”

Leach was suspended on Monday for alleged mistreatment of redshirt sophomore receiver Adam James. James is the son of former SMU football player and current ESPN analyst Craig James.

This past February, Leach and the school agreed to a five-year, $12.7 million contract.

According to terms of the contact, Leach was due an $800,000 bonus on December 31 if he were still the head coach at Texas Tech.

An individual with knowledge of the contract said in a phone interview on Wednesday that Leach should still get that payment as he’s technically an employee of the university for 10 more days.

Texas Tech’s firing of Leach was listed as “terminated with cause,” meaning that Leach will not get a guaranteed $400,000 per year for the remaining years as per his contract

Unconfirmed sources had stated that Texas Tech may offer a settlement to Leach, but official word of a settlement had not been issued.

Leach was seen at the team hotel in San Antonio after the firing but gave no comment.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Texas Tech's Mike Leach Suspended

(Photo courtesy of Texas Tech Sports Information Department)

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

Texas Tech head football coach Mike Leach has been suspended indefinitely as the result of complaints from a player’s parent.

Most news services are reporting that the player and his parents are unnamed, but anonymous scores are reporting the player was Adam James and his parents are ESPN football analyst Craig James and his wife.

The younger James is a redshirt sophomore wide receiver while his father Craig was former running back for SMU and played in the NFL for the New England Patriots from 1984 to 1988.

The complaint was brought because they (his parents) were concerned about the way Leach treated their son after he was diagnosed with a concussion and an elevated heart rate.

The elder Craig and his wife issued the following statement through ESPN:

“Mr. and Mrs. James took the step with great regret and after consideration and prayer to convey to the Texas Tech Administration that their son had been subjected to actions and treatment not consistent with common sense rules for safety and health. The James family believes this is a matter important to protect all the fine young men involved in Tech football and the University’s reputation for developing and educating young men and women.”

ESPN has reported that sources have told Joe Schad, its college football reporter, that the parents accused Leach of isolating James in an equipment room and later an electrical closet after he suffered a mild concussion and could not practice.
Calls and a text message to Leach, asking for a comment, were not immediately returned.
There has been strife within the Red Raiders football program this season, which resulted to some tongue-lashing of his players by Leach.

He chastised players after a loss to Texas A&M in October for listening to "their fat little girlfriends," and thinking the Aggies were a pushover.

And after the Red Raiders' loss to the Houston Cougars, Leach suspended indefinitely starting offensive lineman Brandon Carter for violating team rules.

That same week Leach banned his players from having Twitter pages after linebacker Marlon Williams posted a question on his account why he was still in a meeting room when "the head coach can't even be on time."

Texas Tech has appointed defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill as the interim head coach to lead the Red Raiders in the Alamo Bowl against Michigan State.

2010 South Texas All-Star Game Starters Announced

Three First-Year All-Stars Highlight Starting Six

TEMPE, ARIZONA (December 28, 2009) The 2010 Central Hockey League (CHL) All-Star game is scheduled for Wednesday, January 13 at the Laredo Entertainment Center in Laredo, Texas and today the CHL announced the starting line-up for the South Texas All-Star Team (made up of players from the Laredo Bucks, the Corpus Christi IceRays and the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees) that is scheduled to play a team of CHL All-Stars comprised of the remaining 12 teams. The starters were selected by the South Texas coaching staff made up of head coach Terry Ruskowski from Laredo and assistant co-coaches Brent Hughes from Corpus Christi and Chris Brooks from Rio Grande Valley.

The host team Laredo Bucks feature three players on the starting unit led by one of the co-Most Valuable Players of the 2009 CHL All-Star Game, Darryl Smith. The 2009 CHL Rookie of the Year is averaging nearly a point a game with 12 goals and 11 assists in 24 contests. Smith had a goal and an assist in last year’s game. He is joined on the starting unit by teammates Jean-Philippe Levasseur and defenseman Adam Rivet. Levasseur, a first-time CHL All-Star, is currently in the American Hockey League with the Springfield Falcons. In his 16 games with the Bucks this season, the Victoriaville, Quebec native has a 10-3-3 record with a 2.31 goals against average (second in the CHL). Rivet will be playing in his second CHL All-Star Game. This season, he ranks just outside the top 10 among defensemen in scoring with 16 points (5-11=16).

Two starters will represent the Killer Bees with forward Jesse Bennefield and defenseman Nathan Ansell named to the starting six. Bennefield has been among the league’s top goal scorers all season and currently sits in second place in the CHL with 17 goals (38 points). He is joined by teammate Ansell who is fifth among defensemen with 22 points (3-19=22). It will be the first CHL All-Star appearance for both players.

Rounding out the starters and making his second All-Star appearance is Corpus Christi forward Justin Quenneville. The Montreal, native is tied for the IceRays team lead with 22 points (11-11=22).

2010 South Texas All-Star Starters
Position- Player (Team), Appearance
Forward - Darryl Smith (Laredo), 2nd
Forward - Justin Quenneville (Corpus Christi), 2nd
Forward - Jesse Bennefield (Rio Grande Valley), 1st
Defenseman - Nathan Ansell (Rio Grande Valley), 1st
Defenseman - Adam Rivet (Laredo), 2nd
Goaltender - J.P. Levasseur (Laredo), 1st

The starters for the CHL All-Star team will be announced on Tuesday, December 29 with the reserves for both teams being announced later in the week.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


(photo courtsey of TSU Media Relations Department)

PRAIRIE VIEW, TEXAS (December 26, 2009) Prairie View A&M senior defensive back Anthony Beck added another honor to his resume this past Wednesday as he was named to the 2009 Sports Network Football Championship Subdivision All-America Third Team.

A four-year starter at safety, Beck capped off an impressive career at Prairie View as he holds the school record for interceptions returned for touchdowns (3) in addition to picking off 11 passes and tallying over 160 tackles. The Houston native, who played at Channelview High School, also was named to the 2009 All-SWAC Football First Team for the second straight year along with earning preseason All-American honors by The Sports Network and Consensus Draft Service.

A construction science major, Beck also has aspirations of furthering his playing career as he recently participated in the inaugural Russell Athletic HBCU Bowl last weekend in Montgomery, Ala. During the week of practice leading up to the game, Beck had the opportunity to showcase his skills in front of scouts from the NFL, UFL, Arena Football, and Canadian Football Leagues.

Friday, December 25, 2009


(photo courtesy of the International Tennis Federation)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 25, 2009) The singles field for next year’s US Men’s Clay Court Championship is beginning to take shape with commitments from World No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez and the No. 2 ranked American Sam Querrey to participate in the 2010 event from April 5-11 at River Oaks Country Club.

Gonzalez and Querrey are the first singles players to commit to play in the 2010 event. The World No. 1 team of Bob and Mike Bryan has committed to return to River Oaks Country Club to defend their US Men’s Clay Court Championship doubles title in 2010.

“This is a great holiday gift for us to have commitments from Fernando and Sam to go along with that of the Bryans,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “Fernando has consistently been among the best players in the game in recent years, particularly on clay, and Sam is emerging as star for the Americans after really breaking out last summer. These are two very talented players that we are excited to welcome to River Oaks.”

Gonzalez won the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in 2000 as a qualifier by defeating countryman Nicolas Massu when the event was held in Orlando. He was defeated in the first round the following year when the tournament moved to Houston, and has not played in it since. This will be the first appearance for Gonzalez at River Oaks. Runner-up at the 2007 Australian Open, Gonzalez is ranked No. 11 in the world and was 39-16 in 2009, including a 16-3 mark on clay. The Chilean posted his career-best French Open result in 2009, reaching the semifinals before falling in five sets to Robin Soderling. Nine of his 12 career titles have come on clay, including his lone triumph of 2009, which came in his home country at Viña del Mar. He has finished in the Top 15 in the world for five consecutive years, joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick and Nikolay Davydenko as the only players to do so.

Gonzalez is the only men’s tennis player to win one of each Olympic medal. At the 2004 games in Athens, he teamed with Massu to win the gold medal in doubles while also defeating Mardy Fish to claim the singles bronze. In 2008, he brought a silver home from Beijing after falling to Rafael Nadal in the gold medal match.

Querrey had a remarkable 2009 summer in which he reached four finals, won one title and claimed the Olympus US Open Series crown. He reached consecutive finals in Newport, Indianapolis and Los Angeles, claiming the title in LA. He was also runner-up in New Haven before reaching the third round at the US Open. In addition to his summer success, Querrey opened 2009 by reaching the final in Auckland. He reached a career high ranking of No. 22 in August, and ended the year at No. 25, making him the second highest ranked American behind Roddick (No. 7). Querrey is 0-2 at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship. He was due to play in the 2009, but withdrew from singles following his opening round doubles loss due to injury. The end of Querrey’s season was also cut short by injury. While sitting on a glass table at a tournament in Bangkok, the tabletop gave way and Querrey suffered a severe cut to his right (playing) arm. The wound required 25 stitches to close, but Querrey has completed rehabilitation and is already training for 2010.

The Bryan Brothers had committed to the 2010 earlier this year. The 2009 doubles champions have won two titles in three finals at the event. They own 56 titles together, including seven in 2009, placing them just five titles behind the record-holding duo of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

Season tickets, individual sessions and the finals weekend “Champ Pass” for the 2010 are on sale now. In 2009, the final three days of the tournament sold out by mid-week. Information on tickets can be found at

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


FORT WORTH, TEXAS (December 22, 2009) With eight “selling” days left before the kickoff of the 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, more than 40,000 tickets have been sold for the New Year’s Eve game featuring the University of Houston against the United States Air Force Academy at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

The “pass first” 10-3 Cougars of Houston (ranked 25th in the latest USA Today poll and 27th in the AP rankings) meet the 7-5 “pass defense first” Falcons of Air Force in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl here December 31. The seventh annual post-season game kicks off at 11 a.m. (CST) at Amon G. Carter Stadium and will be aired live on ESPN.

“We are very pleased with our sales to date,” said Brant B. Ringler, the executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “The Armed Forces theme combined with a post-Christmas date has been a definitive plus in our attendance surge the past three years.”

The past two Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have featured record crowds. The 2007 game between Air Force and Cal attracted 40,905 fans while Houston’s win over the Falcons last New Year’s Eve was witnessed by 41,127 in-house fans at the sold out 44,358-seat Amon G. Carter Stadium. Prior to 2007, the best attendance mark was for the inaugural game in 2003 when Boise State defeated TCU 34-31 before 38,028 fans.

Ringler, along with many others, feels that this year’s game is one of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl’s most interesting matchups as the contest features the No. 1 passing offense in the country (Houston) against the No. 1 pass defense (Air Force) among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools. In addition, Air Force is ranked third in rushing offense.

“This game has created a lot of comments from the national press as one of the most intriguing matchups during the bowl season,” Ringler added. “It is expected to be a high-scoring affair. Houston has a quick-hitting attack featuring a quarterback (Case Keenum) that ranks among the nation’s best. Air Force will try to slow the Cougars by controlling the ball.”

Ticket prices for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are $50 for sideline seats, $40 for upper deck seats and $20 for end-zone tickets. Military veterans receive half off any $50 or $40 seat and active-duty personnel get in free via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. A portion of local ticket sales will go to designated military charities (USO & Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund). Tickets for this year’s game can be obtained by calling the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl office at 817/810-0012, or by going to the Web site for more information at

InterLiga 2010 Referee Pool Announced

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (December 22, 2009) The referees, assistants and fourth officials participating in the seventh edition of InterLiga, the tournament that determines two Mexican berths to the prestigious Copa Libertadores, were announced today. The tournament will begin on Saturday, January 2, 2009 at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas with Group A action.

Each match’s official referee designations will be announced 24 hours before each match on the tournament’s official website,

The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) oversees the designation, evaluation and training of all the officials in the United States, and will assign the teams of four to officiate each match of the tournament. USSF, currently in partnership with the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), will also assign referees from the CSA to participate in these matches. The referee pool follows below:


Mark Geiger

Baldomero Toledo

Jair Marrufo

Ricardo Salazar

Jorge Gonzalez

Silviu Petrescu

Alex Prus

Kevin Stott

Terry Vaughn

Paul Ward


Adam Garner

Adam Wienckowski

Anthony Vasoli

Brian Poeschel

Chris Strickland

Corey Rockwell

Daniel Belleau

Eric Boria

Fabio Tovar

Frank Anderson

Greg Barkey

Hector Vergara

Jason Cullum

Jeff Hosking

Joe Fletcher

Kermit Quisenberry

Peter Balciunas

Peter Manikowski

Steven Taylor

Thomas Supple


Alex Prus

Baldomero Toledo

Jair Marrufo

Jasen Anno

Kevin Stott

Paul Ward

Ramon Hernandez

Ricardo Salazar

Terry Vaughn

Yader Reyes

All the matches will be broadcast in the United States on Fox Sports en Español and ESPN Deportes Radio. For more information, visit the official tournament website,

Dynamo’s Cameron, Davis Up for U.S. National Team Camp

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 22, 2009) Houston Dynamo midfielders Geoff Cameron and Brad Davis were named to the roster for the United States national team’s January training camp in California, U.S. Soccer announced today.

Cameron and Davis were among 30 players, including 25 from Major League Soccer, named to the squad that will train at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 4-23, concluding the camp with a friendly against Honduras on Jan. 23.

Cameron, 24, was invited to his first national team camp last January but was forced to withdraw due to injury on the second day of the camp. In 2009, his second season as a professional, he was named to the MLS Best XI, was a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year, and won the Dynamo’s Defender of the Year and Defensive Play of the Year awards. Cameron made 22 starts on defense and seven in midfield in league play for the Dynamo but began his pro career as a midfielder in 2008 and is listed as a midfielder by United States head coach Bob Bradley.

Davis, 28, had a career year in 2009 and was named the Dynamo’s MVP after factoring directly in a career high 17 goals (5 goals, 12 assists) during the regular season. The left-sided midfielder tied for the league lead with 12 assists, was named to the MLS All-Star Game, and scored the All-Stars’ goal in a 1-1 tie with Everton. He made a career-high 26 starts during the 2009 regular season. Davis has three previous for the United States, with his last appearance coming on January 19, 2007, in a win over Sweden. Davis also helped the U.S. to the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup title with a game-winning penalty kick in the championship shootout win over Panama.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


FORT WORTH, TEXAS (December 6, 2009) The 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will pit the top passing team in the country against the school with the best defense against the pass as this year’s New Year’s Eve game will feature a rematch between the University of Houston and the United States Air Force Academy at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

For only the seventh-time in the history of collegiate football bowl competition, two schools will face each other in back-to-back post-season games as the “pass first” 10-3 Cougars of Houston (ranked 25th in the USA Today poll this week and 27th in the AP rankings) meet the 7-5 “pass defensive first” Falcons of Air Force in the seventh annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl here December 31 for the 11 a.m. (CST) game at Amon G. Carter Stadium to be aired live on ESPN.
Previous bowl games with back-to-back match-ups were the Cotton (1970-1971, Notre Dame and Texas; 1993-1994, Notre Dame and Texas A&M), Rose (1973-1974-1995, USC and Ohio State), Orange (1990-1991, Notre Dame and Colorado; 1993-1994, Florida State and Nebraska) and the Outback (2001-2002, South Carolina and Ohio State). Three of the previous six match-ups featured splits with Notre Dame (Texas A&M), Florida State and South Carolina completing two-game sweeps.

“We are excited about our match up that brings the nation’s top passing team in Houston to Amon G. Carter Stadium to play an Air Force team that has the country’s best pass defense,” said Brant B. Ringler, the executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. “The game also presents two contrasting styles of offensive football as Air Force continues to feature one of the best rushing attacks in the country. It will be a very attractive matchup for the fans.”

With the second-best scoring offense in the nation among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools with 43.9 points a game, Houston will be seeking to duplicate its 34-28 win over the Falcons in the 2008 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars compiled 415 total yards against the Falcons last New Year’s Eve to even the series between the two schools at 1-1.

The ESPN Regional Television (ERT) owned-and-operated event will feature Houston’s top-ranked offensive (581.2 yards per game) and passing attack (450.0) against an Air Force defense that is listed first in pass defense (148.1), third in turnover margin (1.42 per game), ninth in scoring defense (15.3) and 10th in total defense (284.8).

On the other side of the ball, Air Force ranks fourth in the nation in rushing offense (273.6) and Houston is 112th in rushing defense (213.1). The Falcons offense in 2009 compiled 355.9 total yards and 28.3 points a game. The Falcons did score 28 points in last year’s Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl while accumulating 352 total yards.

The past two Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have featured record crowds as the 2007 game between Air Force and Cal attracted 40,905 fans while Houston’s win over the Falcons last New Year’s Eve was witnessed by 41,127 in-house fans at the sold out 44,358-seat Amon G. Carter Stadium. Prior to 2007, the best attendance mark was for the inaugural game in 2003 when Boise State defeated TCU 34-31 before 38,028 fans.

Houston second-year coach Kevin Sumlin has utilized the talents of Case Keenum to help lead the Cougars to a 10-3 record this season. Keenum has passed for 5,449 yards by completing 71 percent of his attempts for 43 touchdowns. A junior from Abilene, Texas, Keenum has passed for 12,728 yards and 101 touchdowns in his career.

With three-straight winning seasons under third-year coach Troy Calhoun, the 7-5 Falcons are led offensively by running backs Jared Tew (66.4 yards rushing a game) and Asher Clark (61.3). Air Force also has one of the nation’s top placekickers in Erik Soderberg, who is tied for seventh nationally in field goals made per game (1.7).
2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, December 6, page 2

With a combined 17 wins, six of the two school’s eight losses were by a touchdown or less. All three of the Houston setbacks were in league play, including a 38-32 setback at East Carolina Saturday in the Conference USA championship game where Keenum passes for 527 yards and five touchdowns. The Cougars opened 2009 with back-to-back wins over Big 12 Conference schools Oklahoma State (46-35 at Stillwater) and Texas Tech (29-28 at home).

Four of the five Air Force defeats were by a touchdown or less with two setbacks in overtime. Three of the Falcon losses were to MWC schools (TCU, BYU and Utah) ranked among the top 25 teams in last week’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings. The fourth and fifth setbacks were to bowl-bound Minnesota of the Big Ten Conference and to independent Navy in overtime.

The 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be the 20th post-season game for both schools as each owns an 8-10-1 record bowl record. Houston will be playing in its sixth bowl in the last seven seasons while Air Force will be appearing in the post-season for the third-straight year after being absent the previous four seasons.

The Cougars, who snapped an eight-game bowl losing streak by defeating Air Force last New Year’s Eve, will be making their 13th appearance in a bowl game played in the state of Texas. Houston, who also competed in the 2005 Fort Worth Bowl with a 42-13 setback to Kansas, is 5-6-1 in Texas bowls while Air Force is 1-2-1, including a 42-36 setback to Cal in the 2007 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

This year’s New Year’s Eve contest will be the third meeting between the two schools. Air Force won the initial meeting between the two teams in 2008 with a 31-28 victory over the Cougars as the September 13 game was moved from Houston to SMU’s Ford Stadium due to Hurricane Ike. Houston evened the series mark 110 days later as running backs Bryce Beall and Jared Tew were named the most valuable players for the Cougars and Falcons, respectively.

Both Houston (33-15) and Air Force (30-11) have had success against teams from Conference USA and the Mountain West, respectively. In bowl games between the two conferences, Conference USA leads 7-5 with Houston playing in the last two post-season meetings, including a 20-13 setback to TCU at the 2007 Texas Bowl.

Ticket prices for the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl are $50 for sideline seats, $40 for upper deck seats and $20 for end-zone tickets. Military veterans receive half off any $50 or $40 seat and active-duty personnel get in free via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. A portion of local ticket sales will go to designated military charities (USO & Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund). Tickets for this year’s game can be obtained by calling the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl office at 817/810-0012, or by going to the Web site for more information at

Saturday, December 05, 2009

UH-East Carolina Football: Half Time Update

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (December 5, 2009) With rain beginning to fall to begin at the second half at the 2009 Conference USA Football Championship Game, Houston has jumped out to a 19-14 lead over East Carolina.

Houston QB Case Keenum broke the C-USA championship game record for completions in the first half with 31. His 31-of-37 for 289 yards and three touchdowns. The three TD passes match the C-USA Championship Game record.

James Cleveland has rocked the first half for the Cougars, shattering the C-USA Championship Game record for receptions with 11 in the first half (for 140 yards and two scores). The old record was eight, held by Tulsa's Garrett Mills (2005) and Houston's Vincent Marshall (2007).

Dominique Lindsay and Giavanni Ruffin each have rushing touchdowns for East Carolina.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

University of Houston vs. East Carolina: C-USA Championship Preview

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 3, 2009) The Houston Cougars travel to Greenville, N.C. to play East Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009. Coach Sumlin and UH players talk about the matchup and the road to the C-USA Championship Game.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

UH Defeats Rice to Win Bayou Bucket

Charles Sims (#5) rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns in Houston's 73-14 defeat of Rice. (Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography-Copyright 2009 All Right Reserved)

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 28, 2009) With a crowd of 28, 243 in attendance, the Houston Cougars (10-2 overall, 6-2 Conference USA) overwhelmed a struggling Rice Owls team (2-10 overall, 2-6 in Conference USA), defeating their cross-town rivals 73-14 at Robertson Stadium to win the Bayou Bucket.

The Cougars, who bolted out to a 24-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and increased their lead to 59-0 at the half, never was challenged by Rice in winning the Conference USA West title.

Houston’s junior quarterback Case Keenum, a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, went 24 for 31 and 323 yards in the air with two touchdowns. He also rushed for 8 yards and scored one touchdown on a 1-yard run with 10:10 to go in the first quarter.

Keenum left the second half to his backups, Cotton Turner and Austin Elrod. Turner went 6 for 8 and 52 yards passing with 1 touchdown; while Elrod rushed for 16 yards on 3 carries.

Houston tallied a total of 684 yards total offense (221 yards rushing and 463 yards passing) while holding Rice to 377 yards (243 yards rushing and 134 yards passing).

Rice never seemed to get into the offensive end of the game until the second half, when the Cougars virtually cleared their bench to allow players down on the depth chart a chance to play.

In fact, Houston ran off a string of 66 unanswered points before Rice could get on the board. Rice finally scored with 9:00 left in the 3rd quarter on an 11-yard run by Charles Ross to take the score to 66-7.

Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin was quoted in saying his players knew how important the game was. “Everyone knew what was at stake here tonight from a big-picture standpoint. The more you can reduce things to feelings about rivalry games, the more I think it helps the guys focus a little better. Our guys came out today and showed how important this game is to them.”

Sumlin was further quoted “This was one of our primary goals – to win the West. We haven’t been perfect but we’ve gotten better and have gone through quite a bit but our guys keep fighting,” Sumlin said. “They have put our team in a position to win a championship and as a coach and program, that’s where you want to be. The only way to do that is to win games. These guys have fought to do that and that’s where we’re at right now but the season isn’t over yet.”

Now it is off to Greenville, North Carolina to face the East Carolina Pirates (8-4 overall, 7-1 Conference USA) on Saturday, December 5 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for the 2009 Conference USA Football Championship.

Houston-Rice Faceoff for Bayou Bucket

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 28, 2009) The #20 Houston Cougars face off on Saturday night against their cross town rivals, the Rice Owls, in their annual battle for the “Bayou Bucket.”

The Houston-Rice game is the longest running series in Houston football history.

This will be the 36th meeting between the two rivals, and is only one of two Football Bowl Subdivisions rivalries that pit two schools from the same city. The only other same city ribvalies is USC-UCLA.

Houston boosts 25 victories over Rice and is the most the Cougars have against any other teams in its 64-year history.

The Cougars have won three straight at home in the series and have a 4-1 mark over the Owls in Robertson Stadium.

The two teams faced off in the debut of John O’Quinn Field on September 4, 1999 and the Cougars have recorded a 3-1 record versus the Owls while members of Conference USA.

Houston also holds a 16-4 mark over the Owls while a member if the now defunct Southwest Conference.

The Cougars also hold the longest winning streak in the series; a six-game sets from 1987-1992

This game marks the 15th time the Cougars and Owls have met in their season finale for both squads.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rice Beats No. 17 LSU in Volleyball

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 27, 2009) All-Conference USA setter Meredith Schamun posted a remarkable 51 assists (17.0 assists per set) in leading the Rice Owls volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep over No. 17 LSU in front of 1,063 fans inside Tudor Fieldhouse. Rice’s victory was its ninth in a row and its first over an AVCA top 25 ranked team since Sept. 9, 2006, when the Owls defeated 21st-ranked University of Arizona 3-2 in Tucson, Ariz.

Set scores were 32-30, 25-20, and 25-20. The Owls improve to 23-9 on the season, while the Tigers, league champions of the Southeastern Conference (18-2), fall to 24-6.

The Owls, after earning Conference USA’s NCAA automatic bid last weekend by winning the C-USA tournament title, will learn where it plays its NCAA first round match via ESPNNews on Sunday at 2 p.m. (Central).

Rice was led by Natalie Bogan’s 14 kills and .367 hitting percentage, while Ashleigh McCord had 13 kills. Jessie Boulavsky hit a match-high .500 attack percentage with 10 kills. Freshman Nancy Cole also had 10 kills and a .474 attack percentage. Two-time C-USA Libero of the Year Tracey Lam had a match-high 21 digs, while Jenn McClean had 19 digs to go with 9 kills. Megan White also had 12 digs and Channing Grigsby dug up 8 digs

The Owls had 59 kills and a .338 hitting percentage for the match, while LSU hit .275 with 52 kills. One huge statistical advantage in Rice’s favor was that the Owls dug up 74 digs to LSU’s 57.

Marina Skender led the Tigers with 13 kills and Brittnee Cooper had 11 kills and a .409 attack percentage.

In an exciting first set, Rice rallied from a four-point deficit (18-14) to tie it at 23-23. The Owls then fought off LSU set point at 24-23 and had three set points of their own before winning 32-30. A kill by Nancy Cole gave Rice a 31-30 lead and the ensuing LSU hitting error gave the Owls the win.

Rice had 22 kills and was led Ashleigh McCord’s 7 kills. Natalie Bogan had 5 kills and the aforementioned Cole had 4 kills.

LSU smacked 21 kills and were led by Brittnee Cooper’s 6 kills. The Tigers hit .268 to Rice’s .258.

Rice started set two with an 11-6 lead, but the Tigers battled back to tie it at 13. Rice then outscored LSU 10 to 7 for a 23-20 lead. Back-to-back kills by McCord and Cole gave Rice a 2-0 match lead.

Jenn McClean led the Owl attack with 5 kills in set two, while McCord and Cole had 4 apiece. Rice totaled 20 kills and a sterling .364 hitting percentage. Owl setter Meredith Schamun tallied 17 assists.

LSU hit .244 with 14 kills in set two and was led by Marina Skender’s 6 kills.

Set three saw LSU forge an early 6-3 lead, but Rice hung tough and tied it at 9 on a kill by Bogan. It was 14-14 when the Owls outscored LSU 4 to 1 to take a 19 lead that it would not relinquish. Rice was the beneficiary of two LSU errors and then tallied kills, one by McClean and two by Jessie Boulavsky in the mini-run. At 24-20, a kill by McCord sealed the victory.

Boulavsky and Bogan led Rice in the decisive set with 5 kills each as the Owls totaled 17 kills and a .455 hitting percentage.

LSU was led by Michele Williams’ 4 kills and it totaled 17 kills and a .311 attack percentage.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Frogs Split Home Opener Against Wyoming

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (November 22, 2009) – The TCU swimming and diving programs earned a split against Wyoming Saturday, as the men picked up their third win, 180-114, while the women fell, 182-118.

"It was good to see our men remain undefeated," TCU head coach Richard Sybesma
said. "This puts us in good shape within the conference and I saw some good
things from our women today as well."

TCU’s men’s squad dominated the Cowboys, garnering victories in 13 of the 16
events. The Frogs were led by sophomores Edgar Crespo and Laszlo Gyurko, as each
tallied four wins, including a pair of relay victories.

After spending the week in Sucre, Boliva, representing his native country of
Panama at the 2009 Bolivarian Games, Crespo swept the breaststroke events,
clocking in with a time of 55.84 in the 100-breast, while pacing the field with
a lifetime-best clocking in the 200-breast at 2:02.55. His 100-breast time
serves as the third-best in TCU history. The Panama City native has failed to
lose a race this season, improving to 14-0 for the season with nine relay

Gyurko took a pair of freestyle events, claiming the 100-free (46.03) and the
200-free (1:41.44). Gyurko has yet to fall in the 200-free this season. Senior
Josh Bagby led the way in the 50-free, picking up his third win of the year with
a time of 21.07. Sophomore Friedrich Grott won the 200-fly for TCU with a time
of 1:52.58.

Juniors Edgar Peyro and Jeff Gettel didn’t get left out, each claiming wins
Friday. Gettel continued his supremacy in the backstroke events, earning a
100-back win with his personal-best time of 50.17, while also garnering the
200-back title in 1:49.96. Peyro ripped ahead of the pack in the 100-fly with a
career-best time of 50.43.

Junior diver Kyle Callens also resumed his reign from the sky, sweeping the
springboard events. Coming off his second Mountain West Conference Male Diver of
the Week performance in San Diego, Callens besting both of his season-opening
scores Friday with a score of 336.07 on the one-meter, followed by a remarkable
362.85 mark from the three-meter dive. His three-meter output sits as his best
performance from that height and ranks second all-time in Horned Frog history,
while his one-meter dive lists as the third-best score for TCU.

TCU’s relay squads served as perfect bookends to the afternoon, swimming the
fastest times of the year. To start the meet, the team of Gyurko, Crespo, Peyro
and Bagby torched through the 200-medley relay (1:31.56), while Crespo, freshman
Devin Price, Gyurko and Bagby rounded out the evening with a 3:05.91 timing in
the 400-free relay.

On the women’s side, senior Stephanie Futscher maintained her dominance in the
200-fly, leading the way with a time of 2:05.57. After setting the TCU record
for the 200-fly at the 2009 MWC Championships, the Irving, Texas product has
gotten off to a 4-0 in the event to start the season.

Sophomore Ashley Bolin stole the 200-free event with her season-best time of
1:52.09. Junior Brittney Martinez followed suit with a win in the 200-back,
tapping in at 2:05.91. Junior Maria Paula Alvarez wrapped up the winning for the
women in the 500-free, finishing with a time of 5:03.60. Alvarez also took
runner-up honors in the 1000-free at 10:25.81.

Other strong performances came from senior Jennifer Ferguson, sophomore Jennifer
Oster and freshman Ali Berry. Ferguson garnered a runner-up finish in the
three-meter diver (286.57), while Oster took silver honors in the 100-fly
(57.56) and 100-back (58.45). Berry, a Houston product, took home second-place
recognition in the 500-free (5:04.32) and third-place accolades in the 200-free
at 1:52.75.

The Frogs will now prepare to send members to the U.S. Short Course National
Championships in Federal Way, Wash., Dec. 3-6, while the divers will make a trip
to Austin, Texas for the Texas Invitational.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rice Beats No. 1 Seed Southern Miss 3-1 in C-USA Volleyball Semi-Final

HOUSTON, TEXAS (November 21, 2009) With four players in double-figures in kills, the fourth-seeded Rice Owls volleyball team steam rolled number one seed Southern Miss 3-1 in a semi-final match of the Conference USA Volleyball Championship in Rice’s Tudor Fieldhouse. With the victory, the Owls now meet Tulsa in the championship match on Sunday at 1 p.m. It is Rice’s first-ever appearance the C-USA championship final which will be shown on CBS College Sports. Tulsa advanced to the final with a 3-0 win over Tulane.

Set scores were 25-16, 16-25, 25-14, 25-13. The Owls improve to 21-8 overall, while the Golden Eagles are now 27-5. Southern Miss had previously defeated Rice in the regular season 3-2 in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Jessie Boulavsky led the balanced Owl attack with 13 kills (.393), while Natalie Bogan followed with 12 kills (.500), and Ashleigh McCord pounded 11 kills. Jennifer McClean had a double-double10 kills and 16 digs.

Setter Meredith Schamun directed Owl offense and she racked up a match-high 42 assists and 9 digs. Owl libéro Tracy Lam had a match-high 25 digs (6.25 digs per set average) and even 2 kills.

Today’s win was the result of a complete team-effort on Rice’s part.

“It was the ultimate team win and our defense we really came through and that’s been keeping us going the whole time as it has always been strong,” said Rice head coach Genny Volpe. “But today, we were not only digging balls up we were making the plays, the smart plays to finish off the point.”

“I thought Rice completely outplayed us,” commented C-USA Coach of the Year Southern Miss’ Ricci Luyties. “They outhustled us and they were the better team today by far. They kept the pressure on us, they were hustling, and getting balls up that I think our girls weren’t expecting them to and (consequently) got frustrated.”

Ashley Mell led USM with 16 kills.

In set one, the Owls started off with a 4-2 lead and did not let up. Rice was even up 20 to 10 with five of Southern Miss’ points coming from five Rice service errors. USM staged a mini-comeback to cut the deficit to 20-14, before an Ashleigh McCord kill ended the run and catapulted Rice to a 25-16 win.

The Owls hit a remarkable .424 in the first set with 17 kills (3 errors) in 33 attack, while USM hit .065 with 8 kills (6 errors) in 31 attempts. The Owls also had 12 digs to the Golden Eagles’ 7.

Jessie Boulavsky led the Owls with 5 kills and Meredith Schamun had 14 assists.

In set two USM equalized the match at 1-1 with a 25-16 win. The Golden Eagles jumped out a 7-3 and never looked back. USM hit .273 with 14 kills, while Rice came back to earth and only hit .056 with 9 kills. The Golden Eagles also collected 17 digs to Owls’ 12.

Rice was up 15-10 in the third set and was ahead 19-14 before scoring six unanswered points to go up two sets to one. The Owls hit .333 with 16 kills and 22 digs, while USM hit .071 with 11 kills.

Bogan and McCord had 4 kills for Rice. Schamun posted 13 assists and Lam led the Owl defense with 10 digs.

The Owls kept the pressure up in set four with an early 8-5 lead, but that would be as close as it would get. Rice extended that lead to 18 to 9 and then kept the train of pain rollin’ for a 25-13 win.

Rice in the fourth stanza hit .314 with 12 kills (1 error) in 35 attacks, collected 22 digs, and had 4 team blocks. The Golden Eagles could not get on track and hit only .020 with 12 kills and 11 errors.

Bogan led Rice in the fourth set with 5 kills, while Nancy Cole had three block assists.

San Jac volleyball rebounds on second day of NJCAA national tournament

Freshman Amanda Deem hit the court for a team-high 18 digs in San Jac’s 3-2 win over Northwest College, Friday, at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) volleyball national championship. (Photo courtesy of Amanda L. Booren, San Jacinto College marketing department.)

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA (November 20, 2009) On the second day of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) volleyball tournament, San Jacinto College rebounded from a first-round loss with a straight-set win over Wallace State, and 3-2 victory over Northwest College, Friday, at the Mid-America Center.

In the first match of the day, San Jac (32-8) pulled out an easy win against 15th-seed Wallace State 25-20, 25-18, 25-19. Sophomore Christie Dorch (Friendswood / Friendswood HS) and freshman Alyssa Dibbern (Bay City / Bay City HS) led San Jac with 10 kills each. Dibbern hit a team-high .526 and also had a solo block and one block assist. Libero Amanda Deem (Pearland / Pearland HS) was the team’s dig leader with 15.

As a team, SJC hit .294 to Wallace State’s .105. Both teams had six blocks, while San Jac took the edge in kills 42-32.

In San Jac’s second match of the day, SJC defeated 11th-seed Northwest College (NWC) 3-2 (25-22, 25-17, 17-25, 21-25, 15-13). Four players recorded double-digit kills for San Jac, including Dorch and Dibbern with 15 apiece. Dorch also added a team-high 18 digs for her second double-double of the tournament. Sophomore Brittney Wood (Kingwood / Kingwood HS) had three solo blocks.

As a team, San Jac hit .262 to NWC’s .206, and out-dug Northwest 86-85.

San Jac will play for ninth place on Saturday at noon against Hutchinson Community College (Kan.).

Friday, November 20, 2009


PRAIRIE VIEW, TEXAS (November 20, 2009) Prairie View A&M head football coach Henry Frazier III will appear on the nationally syndicated sports talk show FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW is the sports talk show which places major emphasis on HBCU Sports. The show airs weekly on 29 radio stations around the country.

For a list of radio stations that carry the show click here The show can be heard on-line Saturdays from 1 - 2 p.m. CT at Click on the LISTEN LIVE link.

Guests such as Tony Dungy, Jim Brown, Serena Williams, Demarcus Ware actor/comedian Anthony Anderson, and Stephen A. Smith have all appeared on FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW over the four years that the show has been on the air. FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW celebrated its 200th show on August 29. The show broadcast live from Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa and was credentialed to cover the game. Other events FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW has covered include 2009 NBA Finals, 2009 MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis and NBA All-Star Weekend.

For more information, please log onto

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Keenam Leads Cougars to 50-43 Win Over Southern Miss

UH quarterback Case Keenam threw for 559 yards in the Cougars' 50-43 win over Southern Miss. (Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 31, 2009) The chances for the Houston Cougars to win the Conference USA Championship may have been dashed if not for a 28-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenam to Patrick Edwards with 21 seconds left in the game to give the Cougars a 50-43 victory over rival Southern Miss.

Southern Miss tied the game 43-43 with 57 seconds left on the game, giving Houston one last possession to get the ball into the end zone.

Case Keenam showed why he is one of the top quarterbacks in the country, passing for four plays and covering 77-yards to give in 36-seconds to secure the win. He threw for a career high 559-yard, completing 43 of 53 passes with one interception.

In a strictly offensive battle, the Cougars and Golden Eagles virtually traded scores the entire game in a game that saw a total of 1,358 yards of combined total offense from both teams.

Southern Miss got on the scoreboard first on a 6-yard run by Damion Fletcher at the 13:38 mark in the first quarter. Justin Esten’s kicked was blocked to make the score 6-0.

The Cougars quickly answered back on a 31-yards run by Charles Sims and a successful Matt Hogan kick to take the score to 7-6.

Southern Miss quarterback Martevious Young came back with 1:00 left in the quarter, hitting Gerald Baptiste on a seventy yard pass play to take the lead by one.

Houston came on like gang-busters in the second quarter, scoring 23 points against nine points for the Golden Eagles.

The Cougars added a field goal in the 3rd quarter to take their lead to 33-22 with 15 minutes to go.

Baptiste added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 43-43.

Then Keenan put on the 36 second show that brought down the curtain on Southern Mississippi.

Keenum had one of the best games of his career; throwing for five touchdowns while only being sacked once. His 557 yards was the highest ever thrown against a Golden Eagles’ team. The previous high was Eric Zeier from Georgia who threw for 544 yards in 1993.

UH's Posdniakova Sets Pool Records to Guide Cougars at UNC-Wilmington

WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA (October 31, 2009) Senior diver Anastasia Pozdniakova set two pool records at the Seahawk Natatorium on the campus of UNC Wilmington Saturday afternoon as the University of Houston swimming and diving team competed against the Seahawks and Emory.

Pozdniakova won the 1-meter event with a record 354.75 points and followed that up with 359.95 points to take the 3-meter title. The Russia native also set pool records in both diving events on Friday at the Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion in Durham, N.C., on the campus of Duke University. Pozdniakova's total in the 1-meter event was also the sixth most points scored in the event in a dual meet in school history.

Sophomore Jessalyn Almond turned in a second place finish in both the 1- and 3-meter events with scores of 254.50 and 246.35, respectively. This was the second time this season that the duo of Pozdniakova and Almond combined to take the top two spots in both diving events. During the season opener, they took the top two honors at the Phill Hansel Duals.

Sophomore Kimberley Eeson followed up her win yesterday in the 200-yard freestyle by taking top honors again on Saturday with a time of 1:53.18. The win was also a pool record. Sophomore Olga Bordatcheva followed in 10th with a time of 2:00.39. Eeson's second win of the day came with her 5:07.08 finish in the 500-yard freestyle. Bordatcheva trailed in eighth 9(5:16.82) and sophomore Rachel Holcomb was 12th (5:37.70). Eeson also turned in a third place performance in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.95 and freshman Holli Pisarski followed in 10th (57.82).

Senior Jessica Shamburger gave the Cougars another win with a 57.93 finish in the 100-yard backstroke, while freshman Kimmie Ballo was sixth (1:00.68) and sophomore Rachel Johnson was 10th (1:12.64). Shamburger also turned in a sixth place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:09.19. Other swimmers included Ballo in ninth (2:10.32) and Johnson in 12th (2:34.38).

Another Cougar event win came in the 100-yard breaststroke. Sophomore Beccy Hillis turned in a time of 1:05.88, following up her win in the event a day ago. Other competitors include Pisarski in eighth (1:10.26), freshman Christine Salinas in ninth (1:12.46) and freshman Catherine Finley in 10th (1:17.74). Hillis completed the sweep of the breaststroke events with a time of 2:21.70 in the 200-yard event. Freshman Reka Kovacs was second in 2:24.57 and Finley was 11th (2:50.68).

Kovacs was a winner in the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:31.98 and sophomore Natalie Newcomb was fifth with a time of 4:38.45. Kovacs also finished fifth in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:37.49 and Newcomb was sixth (10:50.96).

Junior Andrea Kells recorded a second place finish of 2:10.26 in the 200-yard butterfly and Newcomb trailed her in seventh (2:13.37) and Holcomb was 11th (2:32.37). Kells also notched a third place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.67 and Ballo was 11th in 1:04.66. Houston also had three competitors in the 50-yard freestyle. Pisarski was 10th (26.42), Johnson as 11th (28.90) and Finley was 12th (29.93).

In the relay events, Houston finished second in the 200-yard medley with a time of 1:48.05. Members of that relay team included Shamburger, Hillis, Kells and Eeson. Houston's `B' team of Johnson, Finley, Holcomb and Bordatcheva finished 10th with a time of 2:08.31.

The final relay event of the day was the 400-yard freestyle relay. The `A' team of Shamburger, Salinas, Ballo and Hillis was fourth with a time of 3:41.78 and the `B' team of Bordatcheva, Kells, Pisarski and Kovacs was fifth with a time of 3:50.09.

UNCW defeated the Cougars in the overall standings 162-135, while the Cougars came up short against Emory 152-141.

Houston will be back in action Nov. 20-22 when they host the Cougar Classic Fall Invitational at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium. Team scheduled to compete at the invitational include SMU, LSU, UNLV, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Tulane, Kansas and New Mexico.

Houston’s Cross Country Men’s and Women’s Teams Both Take Fifth at C-USA Championships

THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (October 31, 2009) Nate Pineda, David Smith and Stephanie Aldea finished in the top 21 to secured Conference USA All-Conference honors to help the University of Houston men’s and women’s cross country teams finish in fifth place.

The men’s squad ran in a highly competitive field with defending champion and nationally ranked No. 29 Tulsa, UTEP, ranked No. 7 in the Mountain Region, and Rice, ranked No. 9 In the South Central Region.

With a combined score of 122, the Cougars made a one spot improvement from the 2008 championships. Sophomore Nate Pineda led the Cougar pack in the 8K, crossing the finish line at the 26:02 mark – good for 19th place. The San Antonio native made an 11 spot improvement from last year and shaved 52 seconds off of his time. Making his first appearance at the championship, freshman David Smith followed close behind finishing in 21st with a time of 26:10. Pineda’s and Smith’s time awarded them a place on the All-Conference Third Team.

Sophomores Anthony Jordon and Andres Santaolalla placed 26th and 27th, respectively, finishing with a time of 26:21. Both runners improved their time from last season by at least 30 seconds. Rounding out the top five was sophomore Cole Bessner with a time of 26:50 – good for 35th place.

The women’s team, tallying 138 points, also placed fifth, matching its best finish since 2002 when the Cougars claimed fourth place. Houston squared off against an equally competitive field, facing UTEP who is ranked No. 25 in the nation. The Cougars also ran against defending champion SMU, ranked No. 3 in the South Central Region, and Rice, ranked No. 5.

Sophomore Stephanie Aldea led the squad in 17th place in the 5K, crossing the finish line at 18:58. Aldea’s placement secured a spot on the All-Conference Third Team. Her award marked the second consecutive year that the Windsor, Ontario native received a conference honor, claiming the Freshman of the Year title at the 2008 championships.

Sophomore Starla Garcia finished second on the team in 25th place with a time of 19:27. Freshman Kathryn Ducommun, sophomore Brandi Witte and sophomore Megan Munoz rounded off the top five, finishing together. Ducommun finished the race in 19:45 minutes – good for 31st place. Witte claimed 32nd place with a time of 19:46. Running less than a second behind, Munoz finished in 33rd place.

The Cougars continue to the NCAA South Central Regional in Waco, Texas on Nov. 14 to contend for a bid to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23 in Terra Haute, Ind.

Houston to Host Southern Miss in Conference USA Football Action

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 31, 2009) The University of Houston Cougars (6-1 overall, 2-1 in Conference USA) face off against the Southern Miss Eagles (5-3 overall, 3-1 in Conference USA) at Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston.

This will be the first meeting between Houston and Southern Miss since the 2006 Conference USA championship game in Houston and the first regular season meeting in Houston since a 25-24 Cougar victory on November 13, 2005.

The game was originally scheduled to be played on September 24, but was rescheduled to November 13 when Southeast Texas as the Greater Houston area was threatened by Hurricane Rita.

Houston has won the last two games played at home, defeating both SMU 38-14 last Saturday and Texas Tech 29-28 on September 26.

The Cougars have never defeated Southern Miss in Hattiesburg. The only victory in Mississippi occurred on November 9, 1957 in Jackson, Mississippi.

In the first Conference USA encounter between the schools in 1996, the Cougars prevailed 56-49, in overtime. The Cougars would go on to win its first Conference USA title with the win over Louisville.

Weather in Houston is projected to be sunny, clear and mild; with the temperature in the mid-60s. There is no chance of rain. Game time is set for noon CST.

Friday, October 30, 2009

UH Swimming, Diving Drops Dual Competition Against Duke, Georgia Tech

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA (October 30, 2009) University of Houston swimming and diving team dropped duals against Duke and Georgia Tech Friday night at the Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion in Durham, N.C.

The Blue Devils topped the Cougars with a score of 188-110 and Georgia Tech came away with the 179-119 win. This was the first ever competition between the two schools in the pool.

Despite dropping the team scores, Houston still competed tough and finished with three pool records and six individual event wins.

"It was an outstanding meet overall," head coach Mark Taylor said. "We just need more depth to be able to finish off our competition. I was excited about our times today and I look forward to being able to compete against two good schools tomorrow."
Today was a learning experience and we swam against two great universities."

Continuing her domination on the diving board, senior Anastasia Pozdniakova set pool records in both the 1- and 3-meter competitions. The Russia native finished with an NCAA `A' mark of 344.85 in the 1-meter competition. She followed that up with a 368.25 finish in the 3-meter competition for another `A' mark.

Freshman Jessalyn Almond rounded out the diving competition with a 254.15 mark in the 3-meter and a 259.60 fifth-place finish in the 1-meter competition. Her 1-meter score was a NCAA `B' mark.

Sophomore Beccy Hillis set a third pool record at the competition. She turned in a first place finish of 2:16.80 in the 200-yard breaststroke, which was also an NCAA `B' time. After turning in a pool record finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, Hillis followed that up with a win of 1:04.03 in the 100-yard breaststroke. Freshmen Christine Salinas (10th), Holli Pisarski (11th) and Catherine Finley (12th) also competed in the event.

Ironically, Houston's three pool record set on the afternoon push the Houston total to five at the Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion. In 1978, Duke hosted the AIAW National Championship and Diane Johannigman set the pool record in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly and those records still stand today.

Freshman Reka Kovacs added another Cougar win with her 2:07.02 finish in the 200-yard IM. Hillis was fourth (2:09.88) and sophomore Natalie Newcomb was 11th (2:15.46) in the 200-yard IM.

Kovacs added a fourth place finish of 10:23.76 in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Newcomb was sixth (10:40.91) and sophomore Rachel Holcomb was ninth (11:36.12). Kovacs third event of the meet was a fourth place finish of 2:04.71 in the 200-yard backstroke. Freshman Kimmie Ballo turned in an eighth place finish (2:08.08) and sophomore Rachel Johnson was 11th (2:32.83).

Houston also recorded a win in the 200-yard freestyle when sophomore Kimberley Eeson turned in a 1:51.83 finish, while sophomore Olga Bordatcheva was 10th with a finish of 1:59.78. Eeson added a third place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.13 and was followed in ninth by freshman Christine Salinas and Bordatcheva in 11th.

Eeson was also third in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:01.75. Bordatcheva trailed her in 10th (5:22.04) and Holcomb was 11th (5:44.01).

Senior Jessica Shamburger finished in second place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.04. Teammates, freshman Kimmie Ballo and Johnson turned in 10th (1:01.00) and 11th (1:09.90) place finishes respectively.

The trio of junior Andrea Kells, Newcomb and Holcomb finished eighth, ninth and 10th in the 200-yard butterfly. Shamburger turned in an eighth place finish in the 50-yard butterfly, while Salinas was ninth and Pisarski was 11th. Kells was also eighth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 58.71 and Ballo was 10th (1:03.58).

Houston's 400-yard medley relay team of Shamburger, Hillis, Kells and Eeson finished second with a time of 3:50.32. The `A' relay team of Shamburger, Salinas, Ballo and Kovacs were fifth in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:40.55 and the `B' team of Pisarski, Bordatcheva, Kells and Johnson were eighth (3:54.34).

Houston will be back in action at 10 a.m. tomorrow for duals against UNC-Wilmington and Emory.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cougars Kick off vs. Golden Eagles, at Noon, Saturday, at Robertson Stadium

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 29, 2009) It will be an exciting time on the University of Houston campus this weekend as the 15th-ranked Cougar Football team plays host to Conference USA rival Southern Miss.

The Cougars kick off at noon, Saturday, against the Golden Eagles on John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium. However, prior to Saturday's game, fans will have plenty of chances for fun and excitement around the stadium.

TRICK OR TREATING Children and their parents are invited to get a head start on trick-or-treating prior to Saturday's game. Children are invited to wear their scariest costumes to Robertson Stadium and can collect candy while treat-or-treating in Tailgate Village. In addition, prizes will be awards to those wearing the best costumes.

Saturday's game will be part of UH Day at Robertson Stadium. Students from any University of Houston satellite campus will be admitted free with a valid ID.

• The Cougar Walk will take place at 10 a.m. on the west side of the stadium (Scott Street) in Tailgate Village. Fans are invited to take part and welcome the Cougar Football team as players arrive at the stadium and make their way to the locker room.

• Cougar Authentic will not be open in the Athletics/Alumni Center on Saturday morning. Locations outside Gate 7 and Gate 8 will open at 9 a.m. Saturday's Item of the Game will be select Nike hats for only $15.

• Actors from the Mary Poppins Broadway musical will perform the National Anthem.

• Houston alumnus and actor Lou Martini, Jr. will serve as honorary captain. Martini has appeared on The Sopranos, Law and Order and The Godfather during his career.

• As part of the third annual Thanks for Giving campaign, fans can deliver non-perishable food items to the Star of Hope Mission truck at Gate 7.

For young fans, the Cougar Fun Zone is a great chance to play games and visit with current Cougar student-athletes. The Cougar Fun Zone is located in Tailgate Village near Gate 7 on the Scott Street side of Robertson Stadium.

Players from the Houston softball team will be in the Fun Zone, playing games with young fans, signing autographs and helping with face painting.

The Spirit of Houston will entertain with a special Halloween performance.

The Athletics Ticket Office will be open from 8 a.m., to 10 a.m., Saturday, in its first-floor office at the Athletics/Alumni Center. Officials will sell tickets at Gate 4 and Gate 11 at Robertson Stadium, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The will call window is located between Gate 9 and Gate 10 at Robertson Stadium.

The Students Gate will open at 10 a.m., while gates for the general public will open at 10:30 a.m.

To order tickets before the game, fans can visit the Athletics Ticket Office (located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center, 3100 Cullen Blvd.), or call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) Monday through Friday, during regular business hours.

Fans always can purchase tickets to UH events, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by visiting and clicking the Tickets link.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Houston Jumps Out to 24-3 Lead at Halftime Over SMU

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 24, 2009) The Houston Cougars have jumped out to a 24-3 halftime lead over Conference USA rival SMU at Houston’s Robertson Stadium.

Play was virtually identical with the deference being third down conversions. Houston was able to convert 5 of 9, while SMU failed on seven attempts.

Houston first got on the scoreboard with a 20-yard Charles Sims run up the middle and a Matt Hogan kick to make the score 7-0.

With 1:58 left in the first quarter, quarterback Case Keenum handed the ball to Bryce Beall, who barreled into the end zone for the Cougars’ second touchdown. Hogan again kicked the conversion to make the score 14-0 at the end of 15 minutes.

At 12:44 left in the 2nd quarter, Hogan booted a 22 yard field goal to take the score 17-0.

SMU came back at 8:05 with a Matt Szymanski field goal from the 27 yard line to get the Mustangs’ first score.

Houston closed out the half on a 7 yard pass from Keenum to Patrick Edwards for their final score of the half.

Houston hit locker room at halftime leading 24-3, with 206 total yards of offense, 12 first downs, and 4 out of 4 red-zone scores.


By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 24, 2009) The Houston Cougars look to improve on their 1-1 Conference USA record tonight as they take on rival SMU at Robertson Stadium.

Houston, who is coming off a 44-16 win over Tulane last Saturday and a 58-41 loss to UTEP on October 3, is 5-1 for the season.

SMU, who is 2-0 in conference play and 3-3 for the season, is coming off a 38-35 overtime loss to Navy. They have previously defeated University of Alabama at Birmingham 35-33 on September 12 and East Carolina 28-21 two weeks ago to lead Conference USA.

The Mustangs will have a tough time against Houston, who is averaging 44 points and 431 yards offensively a game.

Tonight’s game is the fifth straight season UH and SMU have faced off. Houston has won three straight in the current series and six of the last seven. Houston is 2-1 against the Mustangs in Robertson Stadium.

The Cougars and Mustangs met on a neutral field on November 26, 1983, when they played in the Mirage Bowl in Tokyo, Japan.

The last four meetings against SMU have been decided in the fourth quarter, with Houston rallying for wins in 2006, ands 2008, holding on for a win in 2007 and losing a lead in 2005.

While members of the now defunct Southwest Conference, Houston posted a 10-7-1 record against SMU.

Houston and SMU have only met twice while not conference foes; on September 27, 1975, in a game SMU won 26-16, and September 20, 2000, in which the Cougars won 17-15.

Game time is set for 6:34pm CDT and will be broadcast on CBS College Sports.

Monday, October 05, 2009

USA Gymnastics Names Teams for 2009 World Championships

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS (October 5, 2009) 2008 Olympic team silver-medalist and 2009 U.S. all-around champion Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind., Sharp's Gymnastics; Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas, WOGA Gymnastics; Ivana Hong of Lovejoy, Texas, WOGA Gymnastics; and Kayla Williams of Nitro, W.V., Gym Nest Inc., will represent the United States on the U.S. Women’s Team at the 2009 World Championships, Oct. 13-18, in London, England.

The alternates are Kytra Hunter of Frederick, Md., Hill's Gymnastics and Mackenzie Caquatto, Naperville, Ill., Naperville Gymnastics Club.

The format for this year’s World Championships features all-around and individual event competition. The U.S. Women’s Team was selected based on performances at the 2009 Visa Championships in Dallas, Texas, and two U.S. Women’s Team Selection Camps, which were held at USA Gymnastics Women’s National Team Training Center in Huntsville, Texas.

Sloan, a member of the 2008 silver-medal winning Olympic Team, won her first U.S. all-around title, as well as the uneven bars and floor exercise crowns, at the 2009 Visa Championships in August. 2008 Olympic Team alternate Hong finished a close second in the all-around and won the U.S. balance beam title. 2007 U.S. junior champion Bross was third in the all-around. Williams won the vault title at the 2009 Visa Championships.

The competition will be held at the O2, the gymnastics venue at the 2012 Olympic Games. Qualification rounds determine advancement to the all-around and apparatus finals. The top 24 men and women compete in the all-around finals on Oct. 15-16. For individual events, the top eight on each apparatus from the qualification rounds advance to the finals (Oct. 17-18).

The U.S. Men’s Team for the World Championships was named earlier and is comprised of: Jake Dalton, Sparks, Nev./University of Oklahoma; Wes Haagensen, Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center; Jonathan Horton, Houston/Cypress Gymnastics Academy; Steven Legendre, Flower Mound, Texas/University of Oklahoma; Danell Leyva, Miami/Universal Gymnastics; and Tim McNeill, Falls Church, Va./University of California – Berkeley.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

UH Soccer Notches First Tie of the Season Against SMU in Double Overtime

DALLAS, TEXAS (October 5, 2009) In a televised match by CBS College Sports, the University of Houston soccer team notched its first tie of the season in double overtime against the SMU Mustangs Sunday afternoon on Westcott Field.

The knot puts Houston at 3-7-1, 1-2-1 on the season and SMU records a 4-6-1, 1-2-1. With the all-time series standing at 0-9-1 in SMU’s favor, this is the first time in program history that the Mustangs were not able to garner a win over the Cougars.

On the verge of a scoreless first half, the Mustangs broke the deadlock at the 39:42 mark when freshman midfielder Allegra Nigh collected the rebound off a free kick and sent the ball into the net.

After play resumed, Houston tied the game in the 81st minute when senior defender Stephanie Beyelia passed to the top of the box to freshman midfielder Avery Blasi who put the ball in the top corner of the net. Blasi recorded her second goal of the season while Beyelia tallied her first career assist.

The score remained a stalemate for the duration of the game, as neither team was able to draw more blood in the first or second overtime period.

The Cougars return home next weekend for their last home stand of the season. The campaign features four games - three will be played on soccer's home field, Robertson Stadium, with the last tilt at the Carl Lewis Complex, the team's practice facility.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Men’s Hoops Schedule Announced; Lumberjacks to play 16 home games in 2009-10

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS (September 23, 3009) The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team announced its 2009-10 schedule Wednesday, and the slate includes 16 home games, which ties for the program’s heaviest home schedule since the 1985-86 season. The 16-game Johnson Coliseum ledger includes the four-team Etech Lumberjack Classic in December and a November match-up with Texas Tech.

“I was very pleased to finally come up with a schedule that gives us a good number of home games,” said SFA head coach Danny Kaspar. “Certainly, the Etech Lumberjack Classic helped us in a huge way, in that respect. Having Texas Tech come to Nacogdoches is also a big thing and should be a huge draw with our fans. I think season-ticket holders will get their money’s worth this year.”

The 16 home games tie with the Lumberjacks’ 2003-04 total for the most in Kaspar’s tenure at SFA.

SFA will host Northwest Oklahoma State in an exhibition game on Nov. 9, then begins the season in earnest on Nov. 16 with a road game against Big 10 team Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are coming off a 2008-09 season that saw them post a 22-11 record, finishing seventh in the Big 10 and earning a trip to the NCAA Championships.

The Lumberjacks follow that game up with three straight home contests. SFA will entertain Jackson State on Nov. 21 then host Texas Tech on Nov. 24 before wrapping up the home stand with a Nov. 28 game against Huston-Tillotson. The game against Texas Tech will mark the first home contest against a Big 12 foe since SFA hosted the Red Raiders in the 1999-2000 season. The meeting will mark the third straight season for the ’Jacks to square off with Texas Tech.

Following the home stand, SFA will take to the road for a rematch at Jackson State on Dec. 1, then return to Johnson Coliseum to host the inaugural Etech Lumberjack Classic. The four-team field includes Southland Conference foe Central Arkansas, as well as Southern and Cal State-Fullerton. The Lumberjacks will take on Southern on Dec. 4, then square off with Cal State-Fullerton on Dec. 5. This marks the first time in 33 years for SFA to host a classic. The Tall Pines Classic in 1976-77 was the last regular-season tournament held in the Coliseum.

“I’m very appreciative to Etech and their organization for agreeing to sponsor our ’Classic,” Kaspar said. “This is a great example of how help from the community can assist us in creating a first-class, successful basketball program.”

The ’Jacks will travel to Farmville, Va., on Dec. 12 for the program’s first game against Longwood, then travel to take on Arkansas on Dec. 19. The game will mark the third time in four years for SFA to meet the Razorbacks.

The ’Jacks finish off their non-conference schedule with three straight home games. SFA hosts East Central Oklahoma on Dec. 22, Wiley College on Dec. 30, and Texas College on Jan. 2.

SFA starts Southland play on Jan. 9 with a road game against rival Sam Houston State. The Lumberjacks’ SLC home slate includes meetings with Central Arkansas (Jan. 13), UT Arlington (Jan. 20), Southeastern Louisiana (Jan. 23), Nicholls (Feb. 3), Northwestern State (Feb. 10), McNeese State (Feb. 13), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Feb. 27) and UTSA (March 6).

The Southland Conference Tournament is set for March 9-13 at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.

For ticket information, contact the SFA Ticket Office at (936) 468-JACK (5225).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SJC softball team dedicate Fall season to friend with cancer

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 22, 2009) The San Jacinto College (SJC) softball team is trading in their blue and white jerseys for pink Team Gabby T-shirts this Fall in honor of Gabby Romero, their friend who is battling cancer.

Romero, 17, was diagnosed with late stage renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) in June 2008. After enduring surgery, experimental drugs and chemotherapy for more than a year, Romero is now in hospice care. Family and friends are by her side, including best friend Nicole Andrade, who met Romero when the two played softball together at Dobie High School. Up until her diagnosis, Romero was a vivacious teenager who kept a busy schedule as a member of both the school’s softball and volleyball teams.

“We grew a bond really fast,” Andrade said, who now plays for the San Jacinto College softball team. “I don’t think I’ll ever understand why this is happening, but I know that I’m very lucky to have her in my life. I know people always say their parents are their heroes, but Gabby is mine.”

Through Andrade, the SJC softball team and Head Coach Kelly Saenz were recently introduced to Romero during a weekly home church service. After noticing many of her supporters wearing T-shirts in bright pink, Romero's favorite color, the team decided to hang up their jerseys and join Team Gabby.

“We’re a community college that’s here to help the community, and Gabby is a part of it,” Saenz said. “She’s a fellow softball player, and we consider her a part of our team.”

Playing the sport that brought them together is proving to be difficult, Andrade admits. However, she visits Romero’s home almost daily and receives some sound advice from her pal.

“She enjoys talking to me about my future,” Andrade said. “She encourages me to further my education, make my life a good one, and to keep playing softball. Gabby sends a message through her battle with cancer, and that is to live life to its fullest.”

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dibbern, Ivanova nab Region XIV player of the week honors

PASADENA, TEXAS (September 21, 2009) San Jacinto College freshmen Alyssa Dibbern and Nadejda Ivanova have been named the Region XIV player and setter of the week, respectively, for the week of Sept. 14 – 20, 2009.

Dibbern, a 6-3 hitter / middle blocker from Bay City (Bay City High School), was the North Central Texas Invitational Most Valuable Player this past weekend, guiding San Jac to six-straight wins and the tournament title. SJC also defeated Temple College last Monday and Galveston College on Wednesday to open conference play. In the week’s eight matches she tallied 60 kills on 116 swings with only 19 errors, hitting .394. She added 9.5 blocks and 12 aces for the week.

Ivanova was the league’s top setter averaging just under 11 assists per game in San Jac’s eight wins last week. Offensively, the 5-7 setter from Chicago (Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center) added seven kills with one error on 17 attempts, hitting .352. She also served up four aces and hit the floor for 42 digs (2.21 per game).

The eight wins last week gives 10th-ranked San Jacinto College a 17-4 overall record, 1-0 in conference play. San Jac returns home this week to face Lee College on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. All volleyball home games are played on the San Jacinto College Central campus, located at 8060 Spencer Highway in Pasadena.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

McNeese Golf to Play in UTA Classic

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 20, 2009) McNeese State's golf team opens its fall season by playing in the UTA Classic at the Waterchase Golf Course in Ft. Worth, TX on Monday and Tuesday.

Making up the Cowboy team will be Ben Suarez, David Wiggins, Corey Halsell, Derek Bonvillain and Dayton Bordelon.

Suarez led a five round qualifying tournament over the past two weeks by shooting one under par 359 while Wiggins was at 361 and Halsell at 363. Wiggins, Halsell and Bonvillain all posted the low single round, a three under 69.

UTA's tournament calls for 36 holes to be played on Monday and 18 on Tuesday.

It’s going to be a good tournament for the Cowboys to start off in. UTA is one of the stronger teams in the conference and the field will be 17 teams including seven other squads from the Southland.

Other teams entered are Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist, Louisiana Tech, Nicholls State, Oklahoma Christian, Rice, Sam Houston State, SFA, Texas State, UT San Antonio,UC Irvine,UC Riverside,UNO, Wichita State, North Texas and Western Kentucky.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

McNeese State Downs Savannah State 56-0

McNeese's Kentrell Bulter scores on a 44-yard interception return with 14 seconds left in the third quarter. (Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography, Copyright 2009, All Right Reserved)

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 19, 2009) Jumping out to a 28 point lead in the first quarter, number 8 McNeese State totally dominated a weak Savannah State squad, defeating the Tigers 56-0in the first game ever between the two schools.

Lead by running back Todd Pendland and quarterback Derrick Fourroux, the Cowboys raced out to a 42-0 lead at the half.

Pendland (Newton High School, Newton, Texas) gained 109 yards on offense and Fourroux (Erath High School, Erath, Louisiana) threw for three touchdowns; all in the first half, before head coach Matt Viator pulled them.

McNeese first got on the board on a fumble recovery by defensive end Desmun Lighten (Ouachita High School, Monroe, Louisiana) to take the score to 7-0, with the Matt Polansky kick.

The Cowboys followed up with a touchdown runs by Pendland; Fourroux 68-yard touchdown pass to Chris Royal and a second passing touchdown to Friddle to close out the first quarter.

Pendland added a 41-yard run to score his second touchdown with 5:33 left in the half. Fourroux flicked a four-yard pass to tight end Corday Clark (Glen Oaks High School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) to close out the first half.

In the second half, tight end Elrick Jones (Clear Lake High School, Houston, Texas) got in on the scoring with a 4-yard run, followed 1:18 later with a 44-yard interception touchdown by linebacker Kentrel Butler (Patterson High School, Patterson, Louisiana).

Placekicker Josh Lewis (Denham Springs, High School, Denham, Louisiana) was 6-6 on PATs and Matt Polansky (Barbe High School, Lake Charles, Louisiana) went 2-2.

The Cowboys dominated almost every statistic, with 21 first downs to nine for Savannah State.

McNeese had 489 yards of total offense (288 rushing and 201 passing) while limiting Savannah State to 138 total yards.

The Cowboys are now 3-0 on the season while Savannah State falls to 1-2. McNeese will next face Tulane University in New Orleans, while Savannah State travels to Concordia College on October 3.

Attendance for the game was 13,912.

McNeese State Faces Savannah State in Non-Conference Game

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 19, 2009) The top two running backs in the nation will be on display tonight when McNeese State hosts Savannah State in a FCS non-conference game. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Cowboy Stadium.

No. 8 ranked McNeese is 2-0 on the season and coming off a 40-35 road victory over then No.2 ranked Appalachian State while Savannah is 1-1 and dropped a three point decision to Alabama State last week.

Toddrick Pendland, who has been instrumental in McNeese’s two victories this season, ranks No. 4 in the nation with a 139.5 yards per game average while Justin Babb has been just as significant in the Savannah offense as he’s averaging 153.5 yards per game rushing and is ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Pendland, a senior from Newton, TX, became the first Cowboy to ever run for more than 100 yards and catch passes for more than 100 yards in a single game when he did it in McNeese’s win over Appalachian State. For his effort he was named the national player of the week by The Sports Network. He also enters the game as the nation’s leading scorer with a 17 point per game average. He scored 20 points against Appalachian.

The Cowboy offense, which netted 522 total yards against Appalachian State, is also led by quarterback Derrick Fourroux. He’s been a solid performer under center in the first two games, completing 69 percent of his passes for 525 yards and four tds and averaging 304 yards per game total offense.

Savannah alternates a pair of quarterbacks, Kurvin Curry who has completed 17 of 28 passes for 225 yards and A. J. DeFilippis who has hit on 10 of 14.

McNeese’s lead receivers are Pendland, wide out Chad Davis and tight ends Corday Clark and Wes Mangan. Pendland has caught 14 passes for 155 yards and two tds, Davis has seven catches for 118 yards, Clark six catches for 137 yards and a score and Mangan five for 29 yards and a td.

Savannah State has one of the nation’s top 10 running games as the Tigers are averaging 237.5 yards a contest.

In its first two games this season, McNeese produced game winning scores late in the contest. Fourroux went over from four yards out in the final minute of play in the 27-24 triumph over Henderson State and rookie place kicker Josh Lewis booted an 18 yard field goals with only four seconds left to give the Cowboys the winning points against Appalachian State.

Next week the Cowboys travel to New Orleans to tackle Tulane and will then have an open date before starting Southland Conference play on Oct. 10 on the road against Stephen F. Austin.

COWBOY NOTES: McNeese will recognize most valuable athletes from the 2008-09 season at halftime of Saturday’s game. Those MVPs were John Pichon in men’s basketball, Shante’ Perry in women’s basketball, Toddrick Pendland in football, Kamryn Koch in soccer, Bethany Stefinsky in softball, Sarah Cartie in volleyball, Victoria Martinez in tennis,Taylor Freeman in baseball, Cory Vincent in men’s golf, Maggie Welch in women’s golf, Ben Chretien in men’s track and DeAnn Washington in women’s track.

FORMER COWBOYS AGAINST EACH OTHER: Former Cowboys Quinten Lawrence, Luke Lawton and Adam Henry will go against each other this weekend when Kansas City and Oakland meet in a NFL football game. Lawrence is a wide receiver and kick returner for Kansas City while Lawton plays fullback and Henry is the tight ends coach for Oakland.

Monday, September 14, 2009

H2O Frogs Release 2009-10 Schedule

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (September 14, 2009) TCU swimming and diving head coach Richard Sybesma announced the schedule for the 2009-10 season on Wednesday. The 14-meet schedule consists of four home meets that will be held at the University Recreation Center.

"I am excited about our schedule," said Sybesma. "It is highly competitive and will be fun to race with some of the best teams in the country."

The Horned Frogs will open the season with the North Texas Relays on Oct. 9 in Mansfield, Texas. The men will take on SMU and Incarnate Word, while the women will face North Texas, SMU, Tulane and Incarnate Word.

After a 13-day break, the women will return to action on Oct. 22 in Fort Collins, Colo., in a dual meet against Mountain West Conference opponent Colorado State. Last season, TCU snapped the Rams' four-meet unbeaten streak with a decisive 128-115 victory in Fort Worth.

The following day, the men will open the season alongside the women against MWC foe Air Force in Colorado Springs. The H2O Frogs return to the Academy for the second-straight year after splitting with the Falcons a year ago.

After hosting the annual Homecoming Alumni meet on Oct. 31, the H2O Forgs will travel to the west coast to battle against another conference rival, San Diego State, along with UC San Diego, Univ. of San Diego and Idaho on Nov. 6. TCU has won three of the four meetings with the Aztecs since joining the league in 2005-06.

The first conference home meet will take place 15 days later on Nov. 21, as the Wyoming Cowboys and Cowgirls will travel to Fort Worth. The Frogs will look to avenge a pair of losses in Laramie last season.

Selected members of the swimming squad will participate in the 2009 U.S. Short Course National Championships in Federal Way, Wash., Dec. 3-6, before wrapping
up the 2009 portion of the schedule at the Chesapeake Elite Pro-Am in Oklahoma
City on Dec. 19-20. The divers will conclude their fall semester in Austin,
Texas for the Texas Invite, Dec. 3-5.

The team will return to practice on Dec. 29, in preparation of opening the
spring season with a two-meet weekend in the Beehive State. TCU will travel to
Provo, Utah, to take on BYU on Jan. 7, before heading to Salt Lake City to
challenge Utah on Jan. 9.

The women return home for a meet against North Texas on Jan. 15, before hosting
New Mexico on Jan. 22. TCU owns a 13-1 overall record against the Mean Green and
have never lost to the Lobos in five meets, including a 127-106 victory last

After both teams travel to Shreveport, La., on Jan. 30 to face Centenary, the
squad's will return home and close out the regular season with "Senior Day"
against UNLV Feb. 6.

Postseason action will begin on Feb. 24-27 with the MWC Championships at the
natatorium on the campus Oklahoma City Community College. The Purple and White
have scheduled a last chance meet, competing in the Austin Grand Prix on March
4. From above, the divers will head to the Zone "D" Diving Meet in College
Station, Texas, March 12-14.

The Women's NCAA Championships will be held March 18-20 in West Lafayette, Ind.,
while the Men's NCAA Championships will run from March 25-27 in Columbus, Ohio.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pendland Leads McNeese to 40-35 Win Over Appalachian State

(Photo courtesy of McNeese State University Sports Information Department)
LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 13, 2009) The 20 points McNeese State senior Toddrick Pendland scored in the Cowboys 40-35 victory over Appalachian State last Saturday made him the FCS national scoring leader after two weeks.

That was the information passed along by the NCAA in its culmination of statistics from over the weekend. Pendland has now scored 34 points on the year for an average of 17 points per game, leading both the nation and the Southland Conference.

The Newton, TX native also ranks among the top five in the nation in all-purpose running and in rushing.

He’s third in all-purpose running with a 221.0 yards per game average and he’s fourth in rushing with 279 yards and a 139.5 game average.

But, that’s not all for the reigning SLC offensive player of the year. Pendland is also tied for 16th in pass receptions per game with a 7.0 mark on 14 catches in two games, is 44th in pass receiving yards per game with 77.5 yards a contest and he’s 78th in total offense with a 139.5 average.

Teammate and Cowboy quarterback Derrick Fourroux who has led McNeese to a 2-0 record, ranks 12th in the nation in total offense with a 304 average, is 18th in passing efficiency with a 160.86 mark and is tied for 78th in scoring with 12 points and a 6.0 average.

Also for the Cowboys, tight end Corday Clark, who is coming off a six catch, 137 yard performance against Appalachian State, is tied for 55th in receiving yards per game with 68.5 and Chad Davis is tied for 77 with a 59 yard average.

Freshman Champlain Babin is 22nd in kickoff return average with a 28.2 mark, and rookie Josh Lewis, whose 18 yard field goal provided the winning points against Appalachian, is tied for 58th in field goals.

As a team, the Cowboys rank among the nation’s top 20 teams in rushing offense (19th at 193.5 per game), are 17th in passing offense (262.5 ypg), 13th in total offense (456 ypg), 19th in passing efficiency (158.14) and tied for ninth in sacks allowed (0.5 per game).

In the Southland Conference team statistics, McNeese is No. 1 in rushing offense and sacks allowed and No. 2 in kickoff return average and turnover margin while Pendland is the leader in rushing, scoring and all-purpose running and Babin is second in kickoff returns.

The Cowboys, now 2-0 on the season, return to action Saturday when they host Savannah State in a 7 p.m. contest at Cowboy Stadium.