Houston promotes Major Applewhite to head coach

By KRISTIE RIEKEN

HOUSTON (AP) _ Major Applewhite has been hired to replace Tom Herman as coach at Houston.

It’s the first head coaching job for the 38-year-old Applewhite, who served as Herman’s offensive coordinator the last two seasons. Herman recently left Houston to become the coach at Texas after two years with the Cougars.

Applewhite steps into a program that has had lot of success in the last 10 years and has become a launching pad for coaches. Art Briles went 34-28 with a Conference USA title at Houston from 2003-07 before moving on to Baylor. Kevin Sumlin went 35-17 from 2008-11 before leaving for Texas A&M. Herman went 22-4 with an American Athletic Conference championship in 2015.

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Women’s Basketball Earns Road Win at TCU

FT. WORTH, Texas- Texas A&M picked up a key road win, defeating TCU 75-67 in a women’s basketball game at Schollmaier Arena. The Aggies never trailed in the second half of the game.

The first half featured eight lead changes and six ties, but Texas A&M (6-2) took command of the game with a 10-0 run that spanned halftime, where the Aggies held a 38-30 lead over the Horned Frogs (5-3).

The Aggies were buoyed by three double-digit scorers, led by Danni Williams, who had 19. Khaalia Hillsman added a double-double with 17 points and a career-high 14 boards, while Curtyce Knox had a career-high 16 points and eight assists.

Texas A&M led by as many as 12 in the second half, but never quite put TCU away, as TCU cut the lead to as few as five. The Aggies shot 85.7% (24-28) from the free throw line, which kept the Horned Frogs at bay during their final charge.

The Aggies return home on Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m. to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on SEC Network Plus.


QUICKIE NOTES
• The Aggies avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2012-13, a span of 114 games without losing three in a row.
• Texas A&M is now 6-2 on the season, while the Horned Frogs fall to 5-3
• Khaalia Hillsman and Danni Williams have scored 10+ points in all eight games this season. Hillsman has 21 career double-digit games, and Williams has nine.
• Khaalia Hillsman collected her third double-double of the season and the sixth of her career
• Hillsman had a career-high 14 rebounds and matched a season-high with four blocks.
• Curtyce Knox had a career-high 16 points. It marks her fourth career 10+ point game and her first this season.
• Anriel Howard had 10+ rebounds for the seventh straight game. She is the only player in the Gary Blair era with seven straight 10+ rebound games
• Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 315-131 in 14 seasons at Texas A&M, and 723-294 in his Hall of Fame career. Blair ranks eighth among active coaches and 14th all-time in career wins.
• Texas A&M returns to Reed Arena on Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m. to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on SEC Network Plus

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Garrett Named to Walter Camp All-America Team

ATLANTA — Texas A&M junior defensive end Myles Garrett was named to the Walter Camp All-America team for a second straight season on Thursday after a strong campaign for the Aggies.

Garrett, from Arlington, Texas, received the honor in conjunction with the 2016 Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which was broadcast via ESPN from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Ga. Garrett was at the Award ShowS as a finalist for the Bednarik Award, which is given annually to the college defensive player of the year. Also named to the All-SEC first team by the league head coaches this week, Garrett finished the regular season with a team-best 8.5 sacks, 15.0 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

2016 WALTER CAMP ALL-AMERICA TEAM

First Team Offense
Pos. Name, School                                             Hgt     Wgt    Class      Hometown
WR   Dede Westbook, Oklahoma                    6-0     175    Senior    Cameron, TX
WR   Zay Jones, East Carolina                           6-1     197    Senior    Austin, TX
TE     Jake Butt, Michigan                                   6-6     250    Senior    Pickerington, OH
OL    Cam Robinson, Alabama                          6-6     310    Junior    Monroe, LA
OL    Cody O’Connell, Washington State       6-8     354    Junior    Wenatchee, WA
OL    Roderick Johnson, Florida State             6-7     311    Junior    Florissant, MO
OL    Connor Williams, Texas                            6-6     288    Soph.     Coppell, TX
C       Pat Elfein, Ohio State                                6-3     300    Senior    Pickerington, OH
QB    Lamar Jackson, Louisville                         6-3     205    Soph.     Pompano Beach, FL
RB    Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State       5-9     180    Senior    Las Vegas, NV
RB    Dalvin Cook, Florida State #                     5-11  213    Junior    Miami, FL
PK    Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State                  6-1     190    Senior    Deer Park, TX

First Team Defense
Pos. Name, School                                             Hgt     Wgt    Class      Hometown
DL    Myles Garrett, Texas A&M *                    6-5     270    Junior    Arlington, TX
DL    Jonathan Allen, Alabama                          6-3     291    Senior    Leesburg, VA
DL    DeMarcus Walker, Florida State             6-4     280    Senior    Jacksonville, FL
DL    Derek Barnett, Tennessee                        6-3     265    Junior    Nashville, TN
LB     Reuben Foster, Alabama                          6-1     228    Senior    Auburn, AL
LB     Jabrill Peppers, Michigan                         6-1     205    Junior    East Orange, NJ
LB     Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt                6-4     230    Junior    Pinson, AL
DB    Jourdan Lewis, Michigan #                      5-11  186    Senior    Detroit, MI
DB    Malik Hooker, Ohio State                         6-2     205    Soph.     New Castle, PA
DB    Adoree’ Jackson, USC                               5-11  185    Junior    Belleville, IL
DB    Tre’Davious White, LSU                            6-0     197    Senior    Shreveport, LA
P       Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah                        6-2     220    Soph.     Gosnells, Australia
KR    Quadree Henderson, Pittsburgh            5-8     190    Soph.     Wilmington, DE

Second Team Offense
Pos. Name, School                                             Hgt     Wgt    Class      Hometown
WR   Corey Davis, Western Michigan             6-3     213    Senior    Wheaton, IL
WR   Mike Williams, Clemson                           6-3     225    Junior    Vance, SC
TE     Evan Engram, Ole Miss                             6-3     235    Senior    Powder Springs, GA
OL    Dorian Johnson, Pittsburgh                   6-5     315    Senior    Belle Vernon, PA
OL    Ryan Ramczyk, Washington                    6-6     314    Junior    Stevens Point, WI
OL    Billy Price, Ohio State                                6-4     315    Junior    Austintown, OH
OL    Dan Feeney, Indiana                                  6-4     305    Senior    Orland Park, IL
C       Ethan Pocic, LSU                                        6-7     302    Senior    Lemont, IL
QB    Deshaun Watson, Clemson #                 6-3     215    Junior    Gainesville, GA
RB    D’Onta Foreman, Texas                            6-1     249    Junior    Texas City, TX
RB    Christian McCaffrey, Stanford #             6-0     200    Junior    Castle Rock, CO
PK    Daniel Carlson, Auburn #                         6-4     218    Junior    Colorado Springs, CO

Second Team Defense
Pos. Name, School                                             Hgt     Wgt    Class      Hometown
DL    Christian Wilkins, Clemson                     6-4     310    Soph.     Springfield, MA
DL    Harold Landry, Boston College               6-3     250    Junior    Spring Lake, NC
DL    Hunter Dimick, Utah                                 6-3     272    Senior    Syracuse, UT
DL    Ejuan Price, Pittsburgh                             6-1     255    Senior    Rankin, PA
LB     Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State #           6-2     243    Junior    Hinesville, GA
LB     Kendall Beckwith, LSU                              6-3     247    Senior    Clinton, LA
LB     Ben Boulware, Clemson                           6-0     235    Senior    Anderson, SC
DB    Rasul Douglas, West Virginia                  6-2     203    Senior    East Orange, NJ
DB    Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama                   6-1     203    Soph.     Old Bridge, NJ
DB    Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State          6-2     198    Soph.     Fort Lauderdale, FL
DB    Desmond King, Iowa *                              5-11  203    Senior    Detroit, MI
P       Cameron Johnston, Ohio State              5-11  198    Senior    Geelong, Australia
P       JK Scott, Alabama                                      6-6     202    Junior    Denver, Colorado
KR    Adoree’ Jackson, USC                               5-11  1185  Junior    Belleville, IL

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Briles sues Baylor officials for libel and conspiracy

By JIM VERTUNO

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Former Baylor football coach Art Briles is suing three school regents and a vice president for libel and slander, accusing them of falsely stating he knew of reported assaults and alleged gang rapes by players and didn’t report them.

The lawsuit also asserts that Baylor officials conspired to keep him from getting another coaching job.

Briles was fired last May after an investigation determined Baylor mishandled reports of alleged sexual and physical assaults, some by football players. Briles denies he knew about and failed to report alleged assaults.

The lawsuit was filed in Llano County in Central Texas. It names Baylor regents Chairman Ronald Murff, board members J. Cary Gray and David Harper, and Baylor Vice President Reagan Ramsower.

Baylor officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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McCoy and Williams Earn SEC All-Freshman Honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Dec. 8, 2016)—– Texas A&M center Erik McCoy and running back Trayveon Williamsearned SEC All-Freshman honors as the Southeastern Conference announced the elite squad today from Birmingham.

The team was voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own players.

McCoy is a redshirt freshman from Lufkin, Texas, and he started every game for the Aggies at center on the offensive front. In addition to handling the majority of the calls up front, McCoy was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week following the Texas A&M 31-24 overtime win against UCLA (Sept. 3). The offensive line did not allow a sack and the offensive line cleared the way for 203 yards on the ground.

Williams is a true freshman from C.E. King High School in Houston. Williams became the first Aggie true freshman to rush for at least 1,000 yards with 1,024 through the regular season. His 217 yards against Tennessee this fall was the second-best rushing performance by any freshman, true or redshirt.

Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, an SEC All-Freshman Team honoree at quarterback, was named the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year on Wednesday.

2016 SEC All-Freshman Team 
Offense
TE –   Isaac Nauta, Georgia

OL –  Jonah Williams, Alabama
Jawaan Taylor, Florida
Greg Little, Ole Miss
Logan Stenberg, Kentucky

C –     Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

WR – Dimetrios Mason, Missouri
Van Jefferson, Ole Miss

QB – Jalen Hurts, Alabama

RB – Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky
Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M

AP – Jonathan Johnson, Missouri

Defense
DL – Jabari Zuniga, Florida
Marlon Davidson, Auburn
Ed Alexander, LSU
McTelvin Agim, Arkansas*
Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State*

LB –   Leo Lewis, Mississippi State
Devin White, LSU
De’Jon Harris, Arkansas

DB – Javaris Davis, Auburn
Nigel Warrior, Tennessee
Ronnell Perkins, Missouri
Jaylon Jones, Ole Miss

Special Teams
PK – Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia
P –     Josh Growden, LSU
RS – Jonathan Johnson, Missouri

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Hampton Shoots A&M Past Denver, 80-58

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Texas A&M guard JC Hamptonscored a season-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting as the Aggies defeated Denver 80-58 on Wednesday night.

The Aggies (6-2) led 34-23 at halftime and the Pioneers (3-5) never threatened their larger opponent from the Southeastern Conference in the second half. A&M forced nine turnovers while committing only four of their own in holding a 16-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

Hampton, a senior transfer from Lipscomb, made 5 of 7 3-pointers, while the rest of his teammates made 2 of 19 from the 3-point line. The Aggies dominated inside, holding a 30-12 edge in points in the paint.

Tonny Trocha-Morelos added 15 points in making all six of his field-goal attempts, and he was the only Aggie besides Hampton to score in double figures. Joe Rosga led Denver with a game-high 24 points — no other Pioneer scored in double figures — and A&M’s Tyler Davis snagged a game-high eight rebounds.


Texas A&M Basketball
Postgame Notes
Texas A&M 80, Denver 58
Dec. 7, 2016 ? Reed Arena (College Station, Texas)

RECORDS & SERIES NOTES

  • The Aggies improved to 6-2 on the season with an 80-58 victory over Denver on Wednesday night at Reed Arena.
  • Texas A&M now leads the all-time series with the Pioneers 2-0.

TEAM NOTES

  • The Aggies dished out an impressive 20 assists in the contest while committing just four turnovers.
  • Texas A&M shot 50 percent from the field (28-for-56) and limited the Pioneers to just 35.2 percent shooting (19-for-54).
  • Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of JC Hampton, Admon Gilder, DJ Hogg, Tonny Trocha-Morelosand Tyler Davis for the eighth time this season (6-2).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Senior JC Hampton scored a season-best 21 points in the win, going 7-of-10 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point range … His five 3-point baskets tied the most by an Aggie this season, matching DJ Hogg‘s total against USC on Nov. 18.
  • Last season at Lipscomb, Hampton also matched up against Denver and scored an identical 21 points vs. the Pioneers.
  • Junior center Tonny Trocha-Morelos enjoyed a career-high-tying 15-point performance, going a perfect 6-of-6 from the field.
  • Senior forward Tavario Miller also set a season-best with nine points in the win, while rookie Robert Williamsblocked four shots, just one off his career high.
  • Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy improved to 105-72 in his sixth season at Texas A&M and 316-251 in 19 seasons as head coach.

UP NEXT

  • The Aggies’ three-game homestand concludes Saturday when they host South Carolina State in a 7 p.m. contest inside Reed Arena … The game will be nationally televised on SEC Network.

TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
Opening Statement…
“I was proud of our guys. I thought we got better against a Denver team that played really well the first half. We shared the ball, played really good defense the first fifteen minutes of the first half, and I just thought all the way around we played better on both ends of the floor.”

On JC Hampton
“When he takes shots out of the offense, he is pretty good. I thought he did that. He passed up on a couple of shots that he wasn’t ready for. He is a hard worker and a smart kid. I’m happy to see him have success.”

On rebounding…
“They got some long rebounds in the first half. I think they scored five points at the end of the half on second shot threes, but I thought the second half we were better. That is something defensively that we have to continue to get better at especially in the zone. Our guards have to get better about rebounding.”

On game performance…
“I like where we are at with our team right now. I thought we improved from last game to this game. With this team, that is what we are trying to focus on. With twenty assists and four turnovers, you are going to win a lot of games no matter who you play. When you have eight blocks defensively, guys are looking over their shoulders a little bit. We made our free throws today.”

On Robert Williams and Tonny Trocha-Morelos….
“He covers a lot of ground as long and athletic as he is. He can play better and we have to continue to get him better, but anytime he is on the floor good things happen. We know that he is a weapon for us. He is a good player. Tonny was really good. He was six for six from the field with fifteen points and three assists in nineteen minutes. He continues to play well for us. Tonny is a weapon inside. He likes to be out on the perimeter shooting threes, but he is really skilled around the basket.”

TEXAS A&M JUNIOR TONNY TROCHA-MORELOS
On his shooting…
“They just find me in the open spot. I just try to do my job by moving beyond the ball and making it easy for my teammates to find me. Whenever I get the shot, I have to make it so they can give me the ball again.”

On Monday’s game vs. tonight’s game…
“When you had a week without playing basketball and you come back and play, you get all anxious to play and you want to do good stuff. You don’t want to mess it up and I think the difference was that we played better defense. We went for the offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds and we took good care of the ball.”

TEXAS A&M GRADUATE SENIOR JC HAMPTON
On looking for his shot…
“I wasn’t necessarily looking for it, but I got a good text from Tyler [Davis] after my last night game and he told me to be more aggressive on offense, so the way they played defense on our bigs, I had open shots and my teammates were looking for me.”

On if he was surprised to get the text from Davis…
“No, I had a meeting with Coach Kennedy last week and we talked about me being more effective on offensive. I’ve had plenty of talks with my teammates during practice, but I knew it was coming and that just gave me more confidence.”

DENVER HEAD COACH RODNEY BILLUPS
Opening Statement…
“Coming into the game, it was a great opportunity to see what a really good team looks like. Not just to be able to compete with them and to play with them, but to beat them. We prepared for it. Our assistants did a really good job of prepping our team to play and compete. I’m not sure why our team’s effort was compromised early in the game. Our offense dictated our defense. With a young group, that happens, but we were never able to come back from that.”

On Denver’s Joe Rosga…
“He shot the ball really well. With the exception of him, nobody shot the ball really at all. Joe is always going to be our leading scorer whether he likes it or not. I rely on him a lot to score and his ability to get in the lane and make plays. He is really good offensively, but he’s got work to do defensively.”

On Texas A&M’s Robert Williams…
“When I shook hands with their staff I said ‘man, where did you get Williams from?’ He is really talented defensively. He is a special athlete. He is really talented and I think he is going to make a lot of money. [His blocks] are not a shock. It might be a shock to the players, but not to my eyes.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Gomez agrees to $11.5M deal to stay with Rangers

By RONALD BLUM

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) _ Two people familiar with the negotiations say outfielder Carlos Gomez has agreed to an $11.5 million, one-year contract to remain with the Texas Rangers.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the agreement was subject to a physical and had not been announced.

Gomez, who turned 31 last weekend, figures to play center field in an outfield that includes Shin-Soo Choo in right and Nomar Mazara in left.

He was released by Houston in August, signed with Texas and hit .284 with eight homers and 24 RBIs in 33 games. An All-Star in 2013 and ’14 with Milwaukee, Gomez has a .257 average and 116 home runs in 10 big league seasons.

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Four Aggies Named to All-SEC Football Team

Birmingham, Ala. — Alabama led the way with 11 representatives on the 2016 All-Southeastern Conference Coaches’ Football Team, including seven on the first team, it was announced Tuesday. LSU had nine selections, followed by Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M with six each.

Ten of the 14 SEC schools placed a member on the first team, while 11 institutions had at least two total All-SEC selections.

The 2016 list includes 21 student-athletes who have made multiple appearances on the All-SEC Team. Ole Miss’ Evan Engram, Texas A&M’s Myles Garret and Tennessee’s Derek Barnett have been voted All-SEC for the third time. Garrett, Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Jonathan Allen, Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham, Florida’s Jalen Tabor and Auburn’s Daniel Carlson were named to the first team for the second consecutive season.

Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

The SEC individual award winners will be released Wednesday and the All-Freshman Team will be announced Thursday.

2016 All-SEC Football Team:

POSITION NAME SCHOOL
OFFENSE
TE Evan Engram Ole Miss
OL Cam Robinson Alabama
OL Dan Skipper Arkansas
OL Avery Gennesy Texas A&M
OL Will Clapp LSU
C Ethan Pocic LSU
WR Christian Kirk Texas A&M
WR ArDarius Stewart Alabama
WR
QB Jalen Hurts Alabama
RB Kamryn Pettway Auburn
RB Derrius Guice LSU
AP Christian Kirk Texas A&M
DEFENSE
DL Myles Garrett Texas A&M
DL Jonathan Allen Alabama
DL Carl Lawson Auburn
DL Derek Barnett Tennessee
LB Kendell Beckwith LSU
LB Zach Cunningham Vanderbilt
LB Reuben Foster Alabama
DB Teez Tabor Florida
DB Tre’Davious White LSU
DB Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama
DB Aarion Penton Missouri
SPECIAL TEAMS
PK Daniel Carlson Auburn
P JK Scott Alabama
RS Christian Kirk Texas A&M
Second Team All-SEC
POSITION NAME SCHOOL
OFFENSE
TE O.J. Howard Alabama
OL Braden Smith Auburn
OL Will Holden Vanderbilt
OL Martez Ivey Florida
OL Alex Kozan Auburn
C Jon Toth Kentucky
WR Calvin Ridley Alabama
WR Fred Ross Mississippi State
QB Joshua Dobbs* Tennessee
QB Chad Kelly* Ole Miss
RB Rawleigh Williams lll Arkansas
RB Ralph Webb* Vanderbilt
RB Leonard Fournette* LSU
AP Derrius Guice LSU
DEFENSE
DL Arden Key LSU
DL Montravius Adams Auburn
DL Charles Harris Missouri
DL Caleb Brantley Florida
LB Tim Williams Alabama
LB Jarrad Davis Florida
LB Jordan Jones Kentucky
DB Jamal Adams LSU
DB Eddie Jackson Alabama
DB Quincy Wilson Florida
DB Justin Evans Texas A&M
SPECIAL TEAMS
PK Gary Wunderlich Ole Miss
P Johnny Townsend Florida
RS Evan Berry Tennessee

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Baylor names Temple’s Matt Rhule as new football coach

By STEPHEN HAWKINS

Matt Rhule is the new coach at Baylor, where he takes over a beleaguered Big 12 Conference program after winning 20 games over the past two seasons at Temple.

Rhule becomes the full-time replacement for two-time Big 12 champion coach Art Briles, who was dismissed after a scathing report over the university’s handling of sexual assault complaints, including some against football players.

Former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe had been out of coaching two years when he put his retirement on hold in May to serve as Baylor’s acting head coach this season. The Bears are 6-6, and headed to the Cactus Bowl even with a six-game losing streak.

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Texas A&M’s Knight Named 2016 Wuerffel Trophy Winner

NEW YORK — Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight was named the winner of 2016 Wuerffel Trophy during today’s National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach.

Knight, a graduate transfer from San Antonio, Texas, was a finalist for the award in 2014 when he was at the University of Oklahoma. He was instrumental in the organization of a diverse group of Texas A&M student-athletes that went on a humanitarian trip to Haiti last summer and Knight has been a part of four excursions at Texas A&M and OU to the impoverished island nation. He’s also been extremely active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at both schools.

Knight related what drives his commitment to community service.

“When I was a kid, I looked up to guys like Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford, Stephen McGee – I wanted to do exactly what they were doing,” Knight said. “When I got to college, I knew I had a four-to-five year window where I would have a platform and I wanted to make sure I used it to help people. If you don’t take advantage of your platform as an athlete, you’re selling yourself short. It’s been an incredible ride over the last five years and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Fifth-year Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin lauded Knight for his ability to impact so many people in a short amount of time since enrolling at Texas A&M in January.

“The impact that he’s had on the team and in regard to service to the community has been impressive,” Sumlin said. “It’s been a short time – about 11 months – but his impact will be felt at Texas A&M for a long time. He came in first as a teammate and then became a leader. He helped unite our team and the athletics department as a whole. It wasn’t just the football team that went to Haiti, it was a group of student-athletes from a bunch of different sports at Texas A&M. He’s had a huge impact and it’s very powerful for someone that’s only been here for a short time.

Knight will be interviewed at “The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show” on ESPNU and ESPN3 on Dec. 8, 2016, airing at 6 p.m. EST/5 p.m. CST, featuring interviews with award winners and finalists as they enter The Home Depot College Football Awards Show at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta, Ga. The presentation of the 2016 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 48th Annual All Sports Association Awards Banquet on Feb. 10, 2017, in Fort Walton Beach.

The Wuerffel Trophy, named after Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from the University of Florida, is awarded to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Voting for the Wuerffel Trophy is performed by a National Selection Committee that includes college football television and print media, industry notables, former head coaches and prior Wuerffel Trophy recipients.

Past winners of the Wuerffel Trophy are: 2015 Ty Darlington, University of Oklahoma; 2014 Deterrian Shackelford, University of Mississippi; 2013 Gabe Ikard, University of Oklahoma; 2012 Matt Barkley, University of Southern California; 2011 Barrett Jones, University of Alabama; 2010 Sam Acho, University of Texas; 2009 Tim Hiller, Western Michigan University; 2008 Tim Tebow, University of Florida; 2007 Paul Smith, University of Tulsa; 2006 Joel Penton, Ohio State University; and 2005 Rudy Niswanger, Louisiana State University.

Other finalists for the 2016 award were Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and New Mexico offensive lineman Garrett Adcock.

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Men’s Basketball Tops the Islanders, 86-69

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, TexasTyler Davis scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting as Texas A&M defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 86-69 on Monday night.

The Aggies (5-2) led 45-33 at halftime and kept the Islanders (5-2) at arms’ length the rest of the way, overwhelming their undersized opponent down low and outscoring TAMU-CC 40-24 on points in the paint.

Admon Gilder tied his season high with 17 points for A&M and Tonny Trocha-Morelos scored 13. Cole Martinez had 13 points and Rashawn Thomas added 12 for the Islanders.

The Islanders outrebounded the Aggies 39-31, but committed 16 turnovers, including seven by Thomas, and the Texas A&M outscored TAMU-CC 19-11 on points off turnovers.

Texas A&M had 21 assists on 31 field goals and shot 54 percent overall.

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Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy

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Guard Chris Collins, Center Tyler Davis

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Texas A&M-Corpus Christi head coach Willis Wilson

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Postgame Notes
Texas A&M 86, A&M-Corpus Christi 69
Dec. 5, 2016 Reed Arena (College Station, Texas)

RECORDS & TOURNAMENT NOTES

  • Texas A&M improved to 5-2 on the season with an 86-69 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Monday night inside Reed Arena.
  • The win was the Aggies’ fifth consecutive in the series against the Islanders, which stands at 5-1 in favor of A&M.

TEAM NOTES

  • Texas A&M limited the Islanders to a season-low 69 points in the contest, marking the sixth opponent in seven games that the Aggies have held their lowest point total of the season.
  • The Aggies set season-highs in both shooting percentage (54.4) and assists (21) in the contest … A&M also owned a 40-24 edge for points in the paint, despite being outrebounded 39-31.
  • Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of JC Hampton, Admon Gilder, DJ Hogg, Tonny Trocha-Morelosand Tyler Davis for the seventh time this season (5-2).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Sophomore center Tyler Davis enjoyed a career-best 25-point performance, converting 9-of-12 field goal opportunities while making 7-of-9 shots from the free throw line … Davis also added eight  rebounds and two blocked shots.
  • Despite not having a great shooting night, second-year forward DJ Hogg was able to contribute in other ways by logging career highs in both assists (9) and blocks (3) while chipping in seven points, three rebounds and a steal.
  • Sophomore guard Admon Gilder tied his personal best with 17 points and four made 3-point baskets … The Dallas native also dished out six assists.
  • RS Sophomore guard Chris Collins also set a career best with six points in the win.
  • Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy improved to 104-72 in his sixth season at Texas A&M and 315-251 in 19 seasons as head coach.

UP NEXT

  • The Aggies’ three-game homestand continues on Wednesday when they host Denver in a 7 p.m. contest inside Reed Arena.

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Furious Rally Falls Just Short at SMU, 54-53

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

DALLAS- Texas A&M rallied from a 16-point deficit, but could not complete the comeback, falling 54-53 to SMU in a women’s basketball game at Moody Coliseum on Monday night.

The Aggies (5-2) trailed 29-13 at halftime, but closed the gap to a single point with 12.5 seconds left, but did not convert on their last possession, giving SMU (6-3) a 54-53 win.

Danni Williams led the Aggies with 21 points, with 16 of her points coming in the second half. Khaalia Hillsman added 12, and Anriel Howard had her fourth straight double double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Curtyce Knox led the Aggies with 10 assists.

The Aggies return to action on Thursday, December 8 to take on TCU at 7:30 p.m. on FS1. Texas A&M returns home on Dec. 10 to host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 2 p.m.


QUICKIE NOTES

  • Texas A&M falls to 5-2, while SMU improves to 6-3
  • Texas A&M leads the all-time series against SMU, 27-18.
  • Khaalia Hillsman and Danni Williams have scored in double figures in every game this season.
    • Hillsman has 20 career double-figure scoring games
    • Williams has eight career double-figure scoring games
  • Danni Williams scored 20+ points for the fourth time this season, but the first time since Nov. 20
  • Anriel Howard posted her fourth straight double double with 10 points and 14 rebounds
  • Howard picked up double-digit rebounds for the six straight game, making her the first player in the Gary Blair era with six straight 10+ rebound games
  • Curtyce Knox had 10+ assists for the third straight game and fifth time this season. She is the first Aggie with three straight 10+ assist games since Jordan Jones had six in a row from Feb. 27-Mar. 25, 2014.
  • Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is 314-130 in 14 seasons at Texas A&M and 722-293 in his Hall of Fame career. He ranks eighth among active coaches and 14th all-time in career wins.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Texas A&M Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Jason Cook heading to Baylor

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

Texas A&M Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Jason Cook says he has taken a job as vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing officer at Baylor University.

The Eagle was the first to report the story.

Cook, who has been at Texas A&M for 13 years, released a statement via Twitter Monday afternoon:

“I want to thank Texas A&M for the opportunity to serve such a great university for over a decade. Aggieland will always be a special place for me and my family, and we have many colleagues and friends with whom we have formed lifelong bonds. I have had the honor and privilege to work at Texas A&M during a “golden age” in which we were able to significantly elevate the university’s brand across the country. I am now looking forward to the next chapter of my career at Baylor University as we work toward the future and tell the special story of this Christian-based research institution. Leann, Brayden, Jace and I truly appreciate all of the love and support of Aggies everywhere.” – @jason_cook

Baylor University also released a statement on Cook’s hiring:

WACO, Texas (Dec. 5, 2016) – Baylor University Interim President David E. Garland today announced the appointment of Jason D. Cook as vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing officer. Cook comes to Baylor from Texas A&M University and will begin a transition to Baylor in mid-December.

Before his current position as senior associate athletics director for external affairs at Texas A&M, he served from 2008 to 2013 as A&M’s vice president for marketing and communications. At Baylor, he will lead the Division of Marketing and Communications, which directs the marketing, media and electronic communications of the university and works closely with Baylor’s schools and administrative areas to advance university priorities and increase awareness of the mission of Baylor University.

“After spending time talking with Jason and hearing his passion for telling the Baylor story and his belief in our Christian mission, the selection team and I knew he was the right person to fill this important role,” Garland said. “His varied experiences in corporate marketing, crisis management, athletics communication and higher education marketing will be an invaluable addition to the university’s leadership team. He will lead an outstanding staff of marketing professionals as we move Baylor University forward.”

“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to join the Baylor Family at this important time, and I am humbled to serve such an outstanding university,” Cook said. “Baylor holds a special place in higher education with its commitment as a research institution founded upon a Christian mission. I appreciate the opportunity entrusted to me by Dr. Garland and the university leadership, and I look forward to telling this unique story and strengthening the awareness and engagement with Baylor University across the country.”

During his tenure leading A&M’s Division of Marketing and Communications, Cook directed institution-wide marketing, communications, branding, social media, collegiate licensing, media relations and business development functions. He provided strategic communications counsel to A&M’s president, executive team and academic deans, and served as the institution’s chief spokesperson. He played a key role in A&M’s transition to the SEC in 2012 and the establishment of the university’s “one brand” approach. For his efforts, Cook was named the International Brand Master of the Year by the Educational Marketing Group.

From 2010-2011, Cook also served in a dual capacity as chief communications officer for The Texas A&M University System, one of the largest such entities in higher education with 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center and seven state agencies. In this role, Cook was a strategic advisor to the Board of Regents, the Chancellor and the CEOs of the respective system members.

During his three-and-a-half years in A&M’s athletic department, Cook directed athletics-related branding and marketing, media relations, broadcast initiatives, sponsorships, lettermen’s activities and strategic partnerships. He was very involved in the branding, operations and fan experience components of the redevelopment of A&M’s Kyle Field, including the Hall of Champions, an interactive space that celebrates athletic and academic success across all sports. Cook was also instrumental in the launch of the SEC Network, assisting both SEC and ESPN leadership.

Prior to joining A&M’s leadership team in February 2008, Cook served as director of communications and marketing for Texas A&M AgriLife. In this capacity, he oversaw all of the organization’s communications and marketing efforts, which included the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, both members of the A&M System.

From 2003 to 2007, Cook was director of public relations and marketing for the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), another state agency under the A&M System. While at TEEX, Cook was the official spokesperson for the acclaimed Texas Task Force 1 search-and-rescue team, and coordinated communications and marketing activities for the Brayton Fire Training Field, Disaster City and the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center.

Before joining the A&M System in 2003, Cook served six years as assistant vice president of media and communications for Birmingham, Alabama-based HealthSouth Corp., then a Fortune 500 company. He was responsible for media relations and communications for more than 1,900 healthcare facilities in all 50 states as the company recovered from one of the largest accounting frauds in U.S. history.

A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, and the son of a Baptist minister, Cook received his bachelor’s degree in communications summa cum laude from Mississippi State University. He earned his accreditation in public relations from the Public Relations Society of America in 2000. Cook and his wife, Leann, a 1992 Texas A&M graduate and former assistant commissioner of the SEC, have two teenage sons, Brayden and Jace.

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Packers get back to .500, beat Texans 21-13

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Aaron Rodgers threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and the Green Bay Packers pulled away from the Houston Texans with two fourth-quarter touchdowns for a 21-13 win Sunday to get back to .500.

The Packers (6-6) weathered snowy conditions at Lambeau Field, making just enough plays on the cold turf to even their record for the first time since they were 4-4 after losing to Indianapolis on Nov. 6.

Brock Osweiler connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 44-yard touchdown pass with 1:51 left to get within eight for Houston. Nick Novak missed the extra point, with footing slippery at Lambeau.

The Texans (6-6) had one last shot after the Packers failed to run out the clock. But Osweiler’s last-ditch pass-and-lateral play from Houston’s 12 with 4 seconds left failed, handing Houston its third straight loss.

The Packers broke a 7-all tie when Rodgers found Jordy Nelson open in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 12:42 left after Texans cornerback Charles James slipped on the turf.

Nelson finished with eight catches for 118 yards.

Aaron Ripkowski’s 3-yard touchdown run with 4:11 left proved to be the decisive score for Green Bay, which has won two straight following a four-game losing streak.

Hopkins finished with just two catches for 55 yards for the Texans.

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Texas A&M Accepts Invitation to AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

Texas A&M has accepted a bowl invitation to the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl in Houston, and will face off against Kansas State of the Big 12 Conference in NRG Stadium on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The Aggies (8-4) will be seeking to win its fourth bowl game in five tries under fifth-year head coach Kevin Sumlin when they take on the Wildcats (8-4) in the Texas Bowl, which will kick off at 8 p.m. and be televised nationally by ESPN. It’s the eighth straight season that Texas A&M will play in a bowl game, which is a program first.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to compete against a coaching legend like Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats in the Texas Bowl,” Sumlin said. “A large portion of our team is from the Houston area, and we have a tremendous fan base in the city of Houston. We look forward to getting the chance to play in front of 12th Man in NRG Stadium, which is one of the top football venues in world.”

Texas A&M Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said “It’s an honor to accept the invitation for Texas A&M to play in the 2016 Advocare V100 Texas Bowl. NRG Stadium is a great setting for a bowl game, and I know the city of Houston will be a tremendous host for the team and our fans. It’s a great opportunity to play a game in the middle of a large concentration of Aggie fans against an opponent that is very well-known to the 12th Man.”

Texas A&M’s invitation to the 2016 Advocare V100 Texas Bowl marks the 38th bowl game in program history. Texas A&M has played in three bowl games in the city of Houston, and the Aggies have compiled a 2-1 record in those games. Most recently, the Aggies beat Northwestern, 33-22, in the 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at Reliant (now NRG) Stadium. The Aggies also defeated TCU, 28-9, in the 2001 Galleryfurniture.com Bowl in the Astrodome and lost to USC, 47-28, in the 1977 Bluebonnet Bowl in the Astrodome.

Texas A&M and Kansas State were both members of the Big 12 Conference from the league’s inception in 1996 until the Aggies’ departure to the Southeastern Conference after the 2011 season. The Aggies and Wildcats have played 15 times with the Aggies holding a narrow 8-7 lead in the series, but the Wildcats have won the last three matchups. As conference foes, the two teams split 10 games with one of the Aggies’ victories producing the school’s most recent conference championship in 1998. In the 1998 Big 12 Championship game, the Aggies rallied from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime and then won it in the second overtime on a 32-yard catch-and-run by running back Sirr Parker from quarterback Branndon Stewart.

For ticket information, go to: 12thMan.com/bowltickets.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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No.7 Texas A&M Sweeps Owls to Finish out Fall Season

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 7-ranked Texas A&M women’s swimming team concluded the fall portion of its 2016-17 season with a 150.5-99.5 clean sweep over Rice on Saturday afternoon at the Student Recreation Natatorium. The Aggie divers also took on the University of Houston with second- and third-place finishes in both dives.

“We had good, solid racing all the way through and it’s a good way to keep them engaged and competitive instead of taking a long break from the invite until our first meet in January,” head coach Steve Bultman said following the meet. “Between now and when exams end, we are just trying to maintain conditioning. While school is out of session and we are back here training, we will start gearing people up for SECs. We have about 10 girls qualified right now [for NCAA’s], but we want to get more girls qualified.”

The Aggies concluded their fall portion of their season 4-1 in dual meet action, undefeated in SEC competition, and as champions at the Art Adamson Invitational. Texas A&M will begin the second half of their season on Saturday, January 7 against the Auburn Tigers.

Texas A&M won all 14 races against Rice, while claiming the top three spots in seven races and finishing 1-2 in four others. Leading the way for the Aggies was junior Bethany Galat with first place finishes in the 200-yard butterfly (2:01.62) and the 200 IM (2:02.12). Trailing Galat in the 200 fly were sophomores Alexandra Buscher and Tiffany Futscher, while sophomore Sydney Pickrem and junior Lisa Bratton rounded out the top three in the 200 IM.

The Aggies opened the meet by claiming the top two times in the 200-yard medley relay. The trio of juniors Lisa Bratton, Jorie Caneta, and Galat gave the Aggies a strong lead and redshirt freshman Raena Eldridge anchored the Aggies to a winning time of 1:42.15. The foursome of junior Laura Norman, junior Franko Jonker, freshman Golf Sapianchai, and junior Kristin Malone claimed second.

Bratton also clinched a win in the 100 back in 55.32. Trailing Bratton in second and third were Norman and freshman Sam Siebenaller. Norman also had an individual victory in the 100 free in 51.04 just edging out freshman Amy Miller with a time of 51.47.

Caneta came away with an individual victory in the 100 breast (1:01.02), which was a NCAA “B” qualifying time. Jonker was close behind in second (1:01.72) with senior Ashley McGregor in third. Caneta and Jonker went 1-2 in the 200 breast with Jonker touching first in 2:12.70 and Caneta following behind in 2:13.39, both earning “B” qualifying cuts.  Junior Esther Gonzalez claimed third. Gonzalez also earned an individual victory after her strong, long distance performance in the 1000 free (10:11.88).

Other Aggies first place times were senior Sycerika McMahon who dominated the 500 free after winning by over six seconds with a time of 4:54.07 and freshman Sara Metzsch in the 200 back in 2:00.55, which was her first individual win. Eldridge also claimed her first individual victory of the season in the 50 free with a time of 23.47, with Sapianchai coming in a close second (23.82). McGregor touched first in the 100 fly (55.58), with Eldridge and Sapianchai rounding out the top three, and sophomore Claire Rasmus winning the 200 free in 1:48.67.

Across the natatorium, the dive team took on the University of Houston and claimed second and third in both dives. In the one-meter, sophomore Alais Kalonji scored 257.48 to earn second with junior Zoe Alaniz take third. In the three-meter dive, senior captain Madison Hudkins placed second with 305.48 and Kalonji was third.

Closing out the meet for the Aggies was the foursome of Eldrige, Rasmus, Siebenaller, and Metzsch who clinched the 200 free relay victory (1:34.96).

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Season Ends with Loss to SMU

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas A&M Aggies saw their 2016 campaign come to a close with a 3-0 loss to the SMU Mustangs in the first round of the NCAA Championship at Gregory Gym. The Mustangs completed the sweep by scores of 25-23, 25-23 and 25-18.

Making their sixth consecutive and 24th NCAA Championship appearance, the Aggies ended the season with a 21-9 record.

Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn Blake led the Aggies’ attack with a .500 attack percentage and 11 kills. Senior middle blocker Jazzmin Babers posted a .304 attack percentage and 11 kills, and freshman outside hitter Hollann Hans notched a team-high 13 kills while hitting .250. Junior setter Stephanie Aiple closed out the match with 38 assists and nine digs.

SMU (26-7) started the first set on a 7-3 run with kills by four different players. After trading points to get to 9-5, the Mustangs extended the lead out to 13-5 after a pair of attack errors by the Aggies. Texas A&M, which outhit the Mustangs, .244 to .224 in the frame, went on a 6-1 run to stabilize the match and cut the SMU lead to 14-13. The spurt featured two kills apiece by junior hitters Kiara McGee and Ashlie Reasor.

The Mustangs stretched the advantage back to five points at 18-13 with a surge bracketed by Janelle Giordano kills. The squads exchanged the next four points to give SMU a 20-15 edge. The Aggies went on a 5-1 run with two kills by Babers and one kill each by Hans and Blake to pull within one point again at 21-20. The Mustangs extended the lead to 24-21 when Blake fought off a set point with a pair of kills before Lauren Mills put down the final kill of the stanza for SMU.

The second set was tightly contested with the largest margin for either team being three points. The squads played on an even keel for the first 18 points with the score tied on nine occasions before SMU went on a 3-0 run to take a 12-9 lead. Babers and Blake each put down two kills as the Aggies drew even at 14-14, and Reasor floored a spike as the Maroon and White staked claim to a 15-14 margin.

The score was knotted six more times in the second set on the way to a 22-22 tally. In the waning moments of the set, SMU, which outhit A&M, .239 to .204 in the set, took advantage of two attack errors by Texas A&M to take a 24-22 lead. Hans fended off one set point with a kill before Mills’ successful attack handed SMU the set, 25-23.

The third set was once again a teeter-totter affair early on with teams playing to nine tie scores en route to a 10-10 score. The Mustangs broke away with a 7-1 run featuring two kills apiece by Kristen Stehling and Katie Hegarty. The Aggies, who were outhit, .289 to .075, made a run with two kills by Hans on a 4-0 run to cut the gap to 17-15. It would be the last time the Maroon and White would be within two points of the Mustangs and SMU’s Giordano ended the match with a kill.

In her last career match, Babers moved past Amy Cumings (1987-90) for 12th place on Texas A&M’s career kills list with 1,139. Junior libero Amy Nettles, who led the Aggies with 18 digs, passed Kelsey Black (2008-11) for 15th place on the career digs list with 1,113.

Blake led A&M with four blocks, including three block assists to give her 145 for the season, tying for the third most in a season in program history and only nine short of the all-time record

In addition to Babers, the all-time career leader in both total blocks and block assists, the match also was the last for senior outside hitter Emily Hardesty, defensive specialists Victoria Arenas and Katelyn Labhart and setter Kaysie Shebeneck.

Visit 12thMan.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Rockets best Warriors in 2OT; Mavericks downed by Hornets

Harden’s triple-double leads Rockets over Warriors in 2OT

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ James Harden notched his fourth triple-double of the season with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Warriors 132-127 in double overtime Thursday night to end Golden State’s 12-game winning streak.

Harden put his team ahead on a 30-footer with 3:12 left in the second overtime and hit a pair of free throws with 2:10 to go following a flagrant foul on Draymond Green.

Eric Gordon scored 23 off the bench as Houston snapped an eight-game skid to the Warriors, who lost MVP Stephen Curry with 3:25 left in the last extra session when he was whistled for a charge. Ryan Anderson also scored 29 with five 3-pointers and the teams combined to shoot 88 3s, 44 apiece.

Kevin Durant matched his season high with 39 points to go with 13 rebounds. Green had 20 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.

Walker lifts Hornets past Mavericks, 97-87

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Kemba Walker scored 18 points and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Dallas Mavericks 97-87 on Thursday night for their third win in the last four games.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 14 points and Jeremy Lamb had 12 off the bench for the Hornets, who remained in first place in the Southeast Division.

Harrison Barnes scored 17 points and Justin Anderson added 15 for the Mavericks, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games.

The Hornets led by two when Walker drained a long 3-pointer to beat the shot clock with 3:51 to give his team the spark it needed. Lamb followed with a driving layup that resulted in a three-point play to push the lead to 86-78.

The Mavs would battle back behind Barnes to cut the lead to three, but Lamb hit two free throws and Walker buried a 3-pointer from the right wing with 41 seconds left.

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Crosby leads Penguins past Stars 6-2

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Sidney Crosby broke the game’s final tie and assisted on another score in the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Thursday night.

Crosby scored his league-leading 16th goal in the second period and assisted on Conor Sheary’s sixth as Pittsburgh scored three goals in the final 4 minutes. Eric Fehr’s third of the season was the 100th of his career and Patric Hornqvist’s seventh came on the power play. Nick Bonino and Ian Cole both scored their third for Pittsburgh, which avoided consecutive regulation losses for the first time this season.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for Pittsburgh. Fleury, who won for the first time in five starts, has six wins in his last nine home games.

Tyler Seguin scored his eighth and Devin Shore his second for the Stars, who continue to struggle on the road. Dallas has lost its previous five away from home and has three wins in 14 road games this season. The Stars have lost three straight and seven of their last 10.

Antti Niemi , playing in his 400th career game, stopped 34 shots.

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Cowboys hold on against Vikings for 11th straight win

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Dez Bryant caught four passes for 84 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, helping the Dallas Cowboys win their 11th straight game with a 17-15 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.

Bryant’s 56-yard catch in the first half set up Ezekiel Elliott’s 1-yard plunge. The receiver caught an 8-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter after a fumbled punt by Minnesota’s Adam Thielen.

Elliott rushed for 86 yards on 20 carries for the Cowboys (11-1). They have the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history.

Sam Bradford threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon with 25 seconds to play, but the 2-point conversion failed for the Vikings (6-6), who found out earlier on Thursday that coach Mike Zimmer would not be able to attend the game after having emergency eye surgery on Wednesday night.

Dak Prescott was 12 for 18 for 139 yards passing for Dallas.

The Vikings forced two turnovers from a team that had not coughed one up in the previous four games, including a strip sack by Brian Robison that set up Forbath’s 33-yard field goal for a 9-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.

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