Australian Open Men’s Final Set

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Novak Djokovic needed five sets to defeat defending champ Stan Wawrinka in the men’s semi-final at the Australian Open. The 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 victory puts the top-seeded Djokovic into Sunday’s men’s final against Andy Murray.

Top 25 College Men’s Basketball

UNDATED (AP) _ Top-ranked Kentucky is 20-0 for only the third time in school history following a road win against struggling Missouri.

Andrew Harrison scored 15 points and twin brother Aaron added 11 to lead the Wildcats to a 69-53 win over the Tigers. The Harrisons scored all of Kentucky’s points during a 10-2 run that put the Wildcats ahead by 14 midway through the second half.

Missouri has dropped six straight for the first time since 2006.

In other top-25 men’s basketball finals:

_ Domantas Sabonis had 13 points and 11 rebounds as No. 3 Gonzaga beat Portland 64-46. Przemek Karnowski added 10 points and 11 boards to help the Bulldogs extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 37 games.

_ Marc Loving scored 19 points and D’Angelo Russell added 18 points and 14 rebounds as Ohio State ripped No. 16 Maryland 80-56 in Columbus. Jae’Sean Tate added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Buckeyes, who are 6-3 in the Big Ten following their third straight win.

Razorback Invitational First Road Trip For Nationally Ranked Aggies

FAYETTEVILLE – Texas A&M’s first road trip of the indoor track and field season has them competing in a very competitive Razorback Invitational this Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

The Aggies, with the women ranked No. 3 and the men at No. 4, take on a nationally ranked field of teams in the scored meet. Schools competing in the Razorback Invitational include Arkansas (men No. 3, women No. 5), Florida (men No. 2, women No. 1), Florida State (men No. 15, women No. 11), Iowa State (men No. 23), Kansas, LSU (men No. 9), Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State (men No. 16, women No. 13), Purdue (men No. 20), Stanford (men No. 7, women No. 10), Texas (men No. 10, women No. 7) and Tulsa.

Coverage of the meet will be available on SEC Network + through the Watch ESPN app. Links for the webcast are Friday (5 p.m. start) – http://es.pn/1xXcS7a, Saturday (noon start) – http://es.pn/1CB6C9z. Start list and live results are available here:http://flashresults.com/2015_Meets/Indoor/01-30_Razorback/index.htm.

Various events in the Razorback Invitational have a defending NCAA champion or multiple returning finalists from last year’s NCAA Indoor meet.

Bowerman Award winner Deon Lendore will be part of A&M’s 4×400 unit, which will be in the same section as Arkansas, Notre Dame and Purdue. The Aggies set a collegiate record indoors last season in winning the SEC title while the Razorbacks finished third at the NCAA Indoor and the Irish were eighth.

A pair of Aggies, Shavez Hart and Bralon Taplin, enter the weekend with world-leading times in the 200 and 400 meters. Hart ran 20.76 in the 200 a couple of weeks ago while Taplin posted a 45.74 in the 400 this last weekend after clocking 20.80 in his opening race. Both sprinters earned SEC Runner of the Week honors for their endeavors.

Hart will contest the 60 and 200 at Arkansas while Taplin is scheduled to race at 200 meters. In the 200 the field includes a strong trio in LSU’s Aaron Ernest, Tulsa’s Bryce Robinson and Raheem Mostert of Purdue. A&M’s Devin Jenkins joins Hart in the 60 along with Oklahoma State’s John Teeters, who shares the nation’s lead with a 6.54 this season.

The women’s 200 will have Aggies Kamaria Brown, Olivia Ekponé, Shamier Little and Ashton Purvis racing in a field that includes Kyra Jefferson, Destinee Gause and Robin Reynolds of Florida as well as Jada Martin of LSU.

Brown, who posted a 52.96 in the 400 last week, is the top returning 200m runner this season with a 22.50 set last season. The race includes a trio of NCAA Indoor finalists from 2014 with Jefferson (second), Purvis (fourth), and Gause (fifth).

Ekponé and Purvis will also contest the 60 meters with teammates Aaliyah Brown and Jennifer Madu. Leading the entries in the 60 is Florida’s Shayla Sanders, who ran 7.20 in 2014 on the way to a sixth place finish in the NCAA Indoor final. Madu, Ekponé and A. Brown were eighth, ninth and 10th in the 2014 NCAA Indoor.

In the men’s pole vault A&M’s Chase Wolfle squares off against former NCAA champion Andrew Irwin of Arkansas. The women’s vault is headlined by Sandi Morris of Arkansas, who held the collegiate record of 15-1.5 for a day earlier this month, while the Aggies enter the trio of Brittany Wooten, Sara Kathryn Stevens and Emily Gunderson.

Brea Garrett, the defending NCAA weight throw champion, will get to experience the new throwing venue at Arkansas that will be used during the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. She will also contest the shot put this weekend where LSU’s Tori Bliss (57-4.75) in the top entrant and current collegiate leader.

The men’s weight throw features Purdue’s Chukwuebuka Enekwech, who has produced a mark of 78-10.5 this season and placed third at the 2014 NCAA Indoor, with A&M’s Austin Cook the only other thrower over 66 feet.

Challengers in the long jump for Aggie Olabanji Asekun include defending NCAA Indoor champion Jarrion Lawson of Arkansas and Florida’s Marquis Dendy, the defending NCAA Outdoor champ.

Over 800 meters Josh and Hector Hernandez get a preview of the SEC meet as they race against Patrick Rono of Arkansas, the NCAA Indoor bronze medalist in 2014, along with the Florida duo of Ryan Schnulle, who placed fifth in the NCAA Indoor final, and Andres Arroyo.

Grace Fletcher and Hillary Montgomery race in the mile while Karis Jochen competes in the 3,000 meters. Cameron Villarreal moves up to the 3,000 meters this weekend after winning races at 800 and the mile the past two weeks.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggie Divers Compete at Air Force Invitational

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Texas A&M men’s and women’s diving crew will compete in the Air Force Academy Diving Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Cadet Natatorium.

Representing Texas A&M at the competition are senior Ford McLiney (Kansas City, Mo.), sophomore Colton Haffey (Houston, Texas), sophomore Zachary Stockton (Houston, Texas) and freshman Tyler Henschel (Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) from the men’s team and sophomore Courtney Hattie (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) and sophomore Destine’e O’Neal (Allen, Texas) from the women’s squad.

The meet is the Aggie divers’ final tuneup before the Southeastern Conference Championships, which will be contested at Auburn University on Feb. 17-21. Friday’s diving starts at 10:30 a.m. CT and Saturday’s schedule begins at 10 a.m. CT. Live results can be accessed at www.divemeets.com.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Stars Beat Senators 6-3 in Spezza’s Return to Ottawa

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) _ Jamie Benn scored two goals, and the Stars beat the Senators 6-3 on Thursday night in Jason Spezza’s first game in Ottawa since he was traded to Dallas in the offseason.

John Klingberg, Colton Sceviour, Ales Hemsky and Trevor Daley also scored for Dallas, and Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves.

Mika Zibanejad, Bobby Ryan and Alex Chiasson scored for Ottawa. Robin Lehner, making his first start since Jan. 13, stopped 35 shots.

Spezza made his NHL debut with Ottawa in 2002 and had spent his entire career with the Senators before the trade. The former Senators captain got a standing ovation from the crowd of 18,752 following a video tribute early in the first period.

Top 25 Men’s Basketball Scores

Irish drop Blue Devils

UNDATED (AP) _ Notre Dame remains second in the ACC after winning a battle of top-10 teams.

Jerian Grant scored 23 points and had 12 assists as the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish knocked off No. 4 Duke 77-73. Grant hit a jumper as the 24-second clock was expiring to put the Irish ahead 73-70 with 1:07 to play. Steve Vasturia later beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer that made it 76-72.

Notre Dame is 20-2 overall and 8-1 in the conference. Duke is 4-3 in the ACC, its worst start in league play since 1995-96.

In other top-25 action:

_ Sixth-ranked Arizona is 7-1 in the Pac-12 after Grab York dropped in 16 points and Brandon Ashley had 13 in a 90-56 pounding of Oregon. Stanley Johnson had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Wildcats.

_ No. 9 Kansas trailed by a point before Frank Mason III hit a layup to spark a 12-0 run in the Jayhawks’ 64-61 victory at TCU. Mason had 16 points and provided the Jayhawks’ final basket with 3:35 remaining.

_ Chris Jones scored 28 points and Terry Rozier contributed 23 in 10th-ranked Louisville’s 81-72 win at Boston College. The Eagles cut a 10-point deficit to 62-61 with about five minutes left before Jones scored 10 of the Cardinals’ next 12 points.

_ Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 27 points to lead No. 12 Wichita State past Loyola 58-47. Ron Baker added 16 points for the 19-2 Shockers, who are 9-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

_ Paul Jesperson matched his season-high with 13 points and Seth Tuttle also had 13 as 18th-ranked Northern Iowa earned a 59-52 win over Southern Illinois. Jesperson had scored 12 points in his previous eight games before shooting 5-for-6 from the field, helping the Panthers improve to 8-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

_ Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 24 points and Georgia Tech earned its first ACC victory of the season by shocking No. 23 Miami 70-50. The Yellow Jackets shot a season-high 57 percent and scored 34 points in the paint.

_ Purdue knocked off No. 22 Indiana 83-67 as Raphael Davis scored 19 points. The Boilermakers allowed just one basket during a 10 1/2-minute stretch of the first half to go ahead 30-15.

_ Ryan Spangler scored a season-high 20 points and No. 24 Oklahoma allowed the fewest points ever in a Big 12 conference game, crushing Texas Tech 81-36. Buddy Hield scored 15 points and Isaiah Cousins added 13 as the Sooners handed Tubby Smith the most lopsided loss of his coaching career.

Murray Into Australian Open Final With Win Over Berdych

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Andy Murray advanced to his fourth Australian Open final and a chance to win his third Grand Slam title with a 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 semifinal win over Tomas Berdych on Thursday.

Murray broke Berdych’s serve in the 11th game of the final set and clinched the match with an ace to advance to Sunday’s final against either Novak Djokovic or defending champion Stan Wawrinka.

Murray’s former coach, Dani Vallverdu, was hired by Berdych a few weeks after Murray cut ties with the Venezuelan. On Thursday, there appeared to be several verbal exchanges between the players and the coaching boxes.

Murray lost Australian Open finals to Roger Federer in 2010 and Djokovic in 2011, both in straight sets, and again to Djokovic in four sets in 2013.

Howard-less Rockets Top Mavericks; Spurs Stave Off Hornets

Smith and Harden lead Rockets over Mavericks 99-94

HOUSTON (AP) _ Josh Smith scored 18 points and James Harden added 17 as the Houston Rockets used a balanced scoring effort to outlast the Dallas Mavericks for a 99-94 victory on Wednesday night.

It was the third straight win for the Rockets, who played without Dwight Howard (sprained ankle), and the fourth loss in a row for Dallas.

The Mavericks were down by 3 with 15.9 seconds left when Harden knocked Tyson Chandler down on a shot. He was given a flagrant foul after a review, but Chandler missed both free throws.

Terrence Jones blocked a shot by Monta Ellis but knocked it out of bounds, giving Dallas another chance. The inbounds pass by Chandler Parsons sailed out of bounds to give Houston the ball. Harden made two free throws after that to secure the win.

 

Parker scores 17 to lift Spurs past Hornets 95-86

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Tony Parker scored 17 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame another lethargic third quarter to beat the Charlotte Hornets 95-86 Wednesday night.

Danny Green had 16 points and Tim Duncan added 12 points and 14 rebounds as San Antonio won its sixth straight at home.

Gerald Henderson scored 18 points, Al Jefferson had 17 points and 16 rebounds and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 14 points for Charlotte. The Hornets were without star guard Kemba Walker, who will be out at least six weeks following surgery on his left knee.

San Antonio led by 18 in the first half but then shot 4 for 21 from the field in the third quarter, maintained the lead by hitting five free throws in the final 2 minutes.

Bonner’s 3-pointer to open the fourth ended an 8:22 drought and reinvigorated the Spurs, who made four 3s in the period to rebuild a double-digit lead.

Bryan Edges A&M Consolidated Boys Basketball Team on Late Free Throw

Story by David Campbell

In a game that already featured 53 fouls, what’s one more?

The game winner.

Bryan’s Sterling Whitley banked a free throw with 1.9 seconds gave the Vikings a 70-69 win over A&M Consolidated in District 18-5A boys basketball action Tuesday at Tiger Gym.

“[Coach] told me to shoot it off my fingertips and shoot it soft,” Whitley said. “I shot it soft and hit the backboard and it went in. I didn’t call it.”

The winning bank-shot free throw, Whitley’s only point of the game, gave Bryan (12-9, 8-0) its first lead since the first quarter as the Vikings came off the ropes to remain undefeated in 18-5A play. Whitley’s free throw completed an 18-point second-half rally after Consol led 38-22 at halftime.

“It was a great effort,” Bryan coach Chris Jones said. “We didn’t get some shots to go, but we stayed after it on the boards. The guys picked up the intensity and focus and stayed with it. We came out a little flat and got it going in the second half.”

A critical double foul with 1:43 left in the game hurt the Tigers’ upset bid. Consol (13-13, 3-5) lost 6-foot-2 junior guard Trey Pulliam in the exchange with his fifth foul. Pulliam, who had 17 points, had displayed a knee-buckling crossover dribble whenever he needed it. The Tigers lost his ability to drive and the free-throw shooting that could have come with it — Pulliam hit 7 of 8 free throws.

Consol didn’t losing the lead until 22 seconds were left, when Eric Bazy set up Quaylon Newton for a tying bucket inside to even the game at 69. The Tigers missed their attempt to regain the lead, and when Whitley grabbed the ball, officials called a foul as the buzzer sounded.

Officials huddled and determined there was time remaining, and Whitley walked to the other end of the court to hit the winning free throw.

Bryan chipped away at the lead throughout the fourth quarter and got a emotional boost when Christian Ely swished the Vikings’ only 3-pointer of the game to cut the Tigers’ advantage to 59-57.

With two minutes remaining, Consol sophomore Tre Flowers connected on two free throws, pushing his point total to a game-high 31 and giving the Tigers a 67-63 edge. The Tigers appeared set to get the ball back, but Newton made a leaping play jumping out of bounds in the corner and got the ball back to B.J. Ross, who scored for Bryan.

Garrett Peters followed with two free throws, but the Vikings countered with one each from B.J. Ross and Newton, setting up Newton’ game-tying bucket in the lane.

Darius Ross, easily Bryan’s most consistent threat to score in the lane, had a team-best 22 points and was good on 6 of 9 free throws. As a team, the Vikings hit only 17 of 35 free-throw tries. Newton had 18 points, and A.J. Lawson fouled out with 13.

“We came out and took a good punch from [Consol],” Jones said. “They played hard. Their kids really got after it and made shots. We didn’t make shots early.”

Jones cherished the fact that Bryan had to come from behind — and did — to remain atop the 18-5A standings.

“It makes you better,” Jones said.

Foul trouble hurt Consol throughout the game. By halftime, three of the Tigers’ eight players had three fouls.

But a poor-shooting first quarter from the field and the line stretched to halftime for Bryan. Consol’s shooting, which was cold early, went the opposite way staring late in the first quarter. Consol shooters got into a smooth stroke on their 3-pointers and stretched the lead because of it.

Flowers hit four of Consol’s six first-half 3-pointers.

“I told the boys at halftime that making 3s is not something that happens all of the time,” Consol coach Rick German said. “You’re going to have your ups and down. We just let them get inside too much. They just controlled us at will inside.”

Flowers buried the first of five Tiger 3-point shots in the second quarter, and Consol stretched an 11-9 first quarter advantage to a 16-point halftime lead. Flowers, who had great range on his shot, hit his fourth trey and followed it up with a steal and a driving bucket in the final minute.

Bryan 70, Consol 69

BRYAN (12-9, 8-0) — A.J. Lawson 4 5-10 5 13; Quaylon Newton 7 4-11 1 18; Christian Ely 1 0-0 0 3; Sterling Whitley 0 1-2 4 1; Eric Bazy 1 0-0 3 2; B.J. Ross 4 1-3 4 9; Darius Ross 8 6-9 4 22; KeeKee Johnson 1 0-0 4 2.

Totals: 26 17-35 25 70.

CONSOL (13-13, 4-4) — Garrett Peters 4 2-2 2 11; Layton Dimery 2 0-0 5 5; Tre Pulliam 5 7-8 5 17; Stevie Little 0 0-0 2 0; Kolby Peel 0 1-4 3 1; Tre Flowers 10 7-10 3 31; Ryan Bednarsky 1 0-0 5 2; Naaman Outing 0 2-4 4 2.Totals: 22 19-28 29 69.

Bryan 9 13 20 28 — 70

Consol 11 27 15 16 — 69

3-pointers: BRYAN — Ely. CONSOL — Flowers 4, Peters, Dimery.

JV: Consol won 51-50

Next: Consol at Caney Creek and Bryan at Willis, Friday

Courtesy of the B/CS Eagle

A&M Consolidated Girls Basketball Team Beats Bryan 65-39

Story by Larry Bowen

A&M Consolidated coaches were without their statistician, so they’ll have to watch video to determine how many rebounds Tori Carraway grabbed against Bryan.

Carraway won’t be hard to spot. The junior forward was all over floor Tuesday night, leading with her hustle as the 15th-ranked Lady Tigers dominated Bryan 65-39 in District 18-5A girls basketball action at Viking Gym.

If the video supports the game at a glance, Carraway should end up with between 15 and 20 rebounds to go with her game-high 19 points. The relentless 5-foot-9 Carraway helped Consol dominate the boards 47-32, and the Lady Tigers parlayed 22 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points.

“Tori was amazing,” Consol coach Karen Heintz said. “That’s what she does. She’s got length, and she’s so persistent. Tori is a warrior. She’s going to battle and do whatever it takes.

“We felt like she’d have a mismatch bringing the ball up the floor. Dadgum if she didn’t just bring it up and take it all the way and score.”

Most importantly, Carraway set an aggressive tone that her teammates mirrored defensively and while attacking the boards. The Lady Tigers forced 27 turnovers and allowed Bryan to shoot only 32 percent from the floor (16 of 49).

“[Consol] came in here ready to go, and they kicked our tails,” Bryan coach Beth Jesurun said. “You’ve got to give them credit. They played their butts off. We didn’t play very well, and part of that has to do with them.”

The matchup looked scary for Consol. The Lady Tigers have been without their top ball-handler for three weeks, and Bryan’s program has been trending up.

Bryan stayed within a point after the first quarter, but Consol took command with a dominating second period. The Lady Tigers outscored Bryan 20-7 in the quarter, forcing 10 turnovers and putting together a 15-2 run.

Senior guard Myeisha McAlister and junior guard Aerial Starks fueled the charge, comfortably handling the ball as Consol scored on fastbreaks and slicing drives to the basket. McAlister scored seven of her 14 points in the period.

Consol’s 31-17 halftime lead was built on 16 points after turnovers and 11 second-chance points.

“I’m very pleased,” Heintz said. “We felt like we made them work hard to score. Forced turnovers and rebounds, that is all a blue-collar team. That’s what we are. We work hard.”

The Lady Vikings got no closer than 11 points in the second half. Consol took a 42-29 advantage into the fourth quarter and extended it by making 10 of its last 14 shots.

Beth Ashley scored 14 points for Consol, which got eight from Starks and six from Dayquina Davis.

Lorenzia Nowlin and Jordan Lopez-Rhodes topped Bryan with eight points apiece.

Consol 65, Bryan 39

(numbers after names indicate field goals, free throws made-attempted, fouls, points)

CONSOL (26-4, 9-1) — LaDavia White 0 0-1 0 0; Myeisha McAlister 6 2-4 3 14; Aerial Starks 4 0-0 3 8; Tori Carraway 9 0-0 1 19; Briana Gooden 1 0-0 0 2; Dayquina Davis 2 2-4 1 6; McKenzie Dimery 0 0-2 0 0; Beth Ashley 4 4-4 2 14. Totals: 26 8-15 10 65.

BRYAN (15-13, 7-3) — Lorenzia Nowlin 3 2-5 3 8; Jordan Lopez-Rhodes 3 0-0 0 8; Kee Kee Nowlin 1 0-0 1 2; Keosha Lee 0 0-0 1 0; Keyoshia Washington 2 1-2 2 5; Davish Isaac 2 1-2 2 5; Faith Simpson 1 0-0 1 2; Chahnyce Foster 1 1-2 2 3; Chassiday Rusk 1 0-0 2 2; Kentavia Bowers 1 0-0 1 2. Totals: 16 5-11 15 39.

Consol 11 20 11 23 — 65

Bryan 10 7 12 10 — 39

Field goal shooting: Consol 27-64, Bryan 16-49.

3-point shooting: Consol 3-11, Bryan 2-7.

Rebounds: Consol 47, Bryan 32.

Turnovers: Consol 19, Bryan 27.

Courtesy of the B/CS Eagle

Former Texas A&M Track and Field Coach Charlie Thomas Passes Away

Charlie Thomas, former Texas A&M track and field head coach for 32 years, passed away Monday in Bryan at the age of 83. Named the head coach at Texas A&M at the age of 28 in 1959, Thomas coached his share of great athletes while some of the world’s best sharpened their skills under his direction.

Even after his retirement in 1990, his enthusiasm for the sport and the success of Aggie endeavors never wavered.

“Charlie was a great athlete and coach, but just as important as that he was also a true gentleman and leader within our sport,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “He was a great Aggie who loved Texas A&M. He will never be forgotten in the track and field world and will live on here at Texas A&M for being the coach and man he was for his athletes and this institution.”

The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Friday, January 30, 2015 at Memorial Funeral Chapel in Bryan. A private family graveside service will be held at a later time.

During his coaching career at Texas A&M, Thomas coached eight world and American record holders, three Olympic gold medalists, two Olympic silver medalists, nine Olympic qualifiers, 22 NCAA individual champions, and seven collegiate record holders.

Aggie athletes under his direction were awarded 105 All-America honors and included 124 SWC individual champions. His teams also excelled in winning SWC outdoor and indoor titles as well as placing among the top 10 at the NCAA Championships with second, third, fourth, and sixth place finishes among Texas A&M’s best efforts.

Coach Thomas was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Honor in 1981, Meet of Champions Hall of Fame in 1985, Border Olympics Hall of Fame in 1990 and The Texas A&M Hall of Fame in 1996.

He joins D.X. Bible as the only two people to be honored by the Longhorn Hall of Honor and the Texas A&M Hall of Fame.

In high school Thomas won five gold medals in the Texas State meet as a sprinter at Splendora and Cleveland high schools between 1948 and 1950.

While attending the University of Texas, he never lost a 220 yard race in the state of Texas during his career. In 1952, he anchored the University of Texas world record in the 440 yard sprint relay. In 1954 he ranked number one in the world in the 220 yard sprint.

Thomas competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1952 after his sophomore season and finished fourth in the 220 yard trials; missing a place on the U.S. Olympic team by inches. He could not compete in the 1956 trials because he was considered a “professional” as a track coach.

After graduating from the University of Texas with a certificate as an athletic trainer, Charlie was the head track coach at East Texas State University from 1956-1958; leading his teams to three straight Lone Star Conference championships. While coaching at East Texas State, he received his Master’s Degree.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

A&M Sprinter Bralon Taplin Earns SEC Runner of the Week Honors

BIRMINGHAM – Texas A&M senior sprinter Bralon Taplin earned SEC Runner of the Week honors following his winning performance in the 400 meters at the Texas A&M Quadrangular this past weekend.

Taplin produced a world-leading time of 45.78 seconds for the 2015 indoor season, moving to No. 3 on the Aggie all-time list. Taplin won the race by a full second as he generated the second fastest time ever indoors in a dual, triangular or quadrangular meet. The record for the 400 is a 45.74 set by teammate Deon Lendore in 2014.

Also in the meet Taplin anchored the A&M 4×400 relay to a 3:07.28 victory with a split of 46.11.

Updated USTFCCCA national team computer rankings this week have the Aggie women No. 3 and the A&M men No. 4 as they head to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the Razorback Invitational this Friday and Saturday.

In addition to the Aggies and host Arkansas (men No. 3, women No. 5) the scored meet will feature additional SEC foes in Florida (men No. 2, women No. 1) and LSU (men No. 9) along with national-caliber squads from Florida State, Iowa State, Kansas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Stanford, Texas and Tulsa.

Coverage of the meet will be available on SEC Network + through the Watch ESPN app. Links for the webcast are Friday (5 p.m. start) – http://es.pn/1xXcS7a, Saturday (noon start) – http://es.pn/1CB6C9z.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Texas A&M Trio Earns SEC Weekly Honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Three Texas A&M swimmers earned Southeastern Conference weekly honors on Tuesday after strong performances in the Aggies’ men’s and women’s sweep of the LSU Tigers last weekend.

Earning recognition from the SEC were senior team captain Luke Shaw (Men’s Swimmer of the Week), freshman Mauro Castillo (Men’s Freshman of the Week) and freshman Béryl Gastaldello (Women’s Freshman of the Week).

Shaw, from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, Texas, had the “best meet of his career” against LSU, according to head coach Jay Holmes, and the results back that assertion up. Shaw swept his three individual races – all in season-best fashion — and helped the Aggies close out the Tigers with a victory in the 200 free relay. Shaw won the 200 free in 1:36.10, the 100 free in 43.64 and the 100 fly in 47.56. Shaw, who has a season-best of 20.73 in the 50 free, threw down a quick 20.01 split on the 200 free relay.

Castillo, from Zacatecas, Mexico, set the tone for the day with a quick 53.52 breaststroke split on the Aggies’ winning 400 medley relay to open the dual meet against LSU. He posted his first individual victory of the day with a win in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 53.78, which lowered his career best by nearly three seconds. Later, he crushed the field in the 200 breaststroke with a school record effort of 1:55.65, which ranks No. 14 nationally and No. 3 in the SEC this season.

Showing off her impressive versatility, Gastaldello, from Miramas, France, swam the butterfly leg on the winning 400 medley relay, won the 100 backstroke and contributed the fastest 50 free split of the day on the victorious 200 free relay. She contributed a 54.38 fly split on the Aggies’ 400 medley relay, won the 100 back in 54.14, placed third in the 200 IM in 2:03.02 and then threw down a 22.60 anchor split on the 200 free relay, which was the only sub-23 second split of the day.

———————————

Male Swimmer of the Week

Luke Shaw • Texas A&M

Senior • San Antonio, Texas

Against SEC opponent and longtime regional rival LSU, Shaw swept his three individual races – all in season-best fashion — and helped the Aggies close out the Tigers with a victory in the 200 free relay. He won the 200 free in 1:36.10, the 100 free in 43.64 and the 100 fly in 47.56. Shaw, who has a season-best of 20.73 in the 50 free, threw down a quick 20.01 split on the 200 free relay.

Male Diver of the Week

Clark Thomas • Missouri

Junior • Olathe, Kan.

Thomas swept the 1-meter and 3-meter in Mizzou’s 133-81 dual win over Drury on Jan. 23. The Olathe, Kan., native scored 426.23 points to win 3-meter, a tally three points better than his old personal best, which was set on Oct. 31 against Missouri State. Thomas also posted a season best total of 386.85 on 1-meter, a score seven points better than his previous best this year and a little more than 10 points off his personal high. Thomas has now won seven 1-meter crowns and six 3-meter titles during the 2014-15 season.

Male Freshman of the Week

Mauro Castillo • Texas A&M

Freshman • Zacatecas, Mexico

Castillo recorded a 53.52 breaststroke split on the Aggies’ winning 400 medley relay to open the dual meet against LSU. He posted his first individual victory of the day with a win in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 53.78, which lowered his career best by nearly three seconds. In the 200 breaststroke, Castillo registered a school-record effort of 1:55.65, which ranks No. 14 nationally and No. 3 in the SEC this season. It was the Aggies’ first school record swim prior to the conference championships since 2011. His 100 breaststroke time put him at No. 5 on A&M’s all-time top 10 list in the race.

Female Swimmer of the Week

Hali Flickinger • Georgia

Junior • Spring Grove, Pa.

In No. 1 Georgia’s win at No. 7 Tennessee, Flickinger won three individual events. She claimed the 200 freestyle in 1:46.99, the 200 backstroke in 1:56.77 and the 200 individual medley in 1:59.94.  Her 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley times were season bests and reached the NCAA provisional qualifying standards. Behind Flickinger, Georgia improved to 10-0 and concluded the SEC portion of the season at 5-0.

Female Diver of the Week

Kahlia Warner • Florida

Junior • Queensland, Australia

In Florida’s victory at Auburn, Warner took first place in the one-meter with a personal-best score of 322.13. She also garnered first place in the three-meter with a final score of 322.58.

Female Freshman of the Week

Béryl  Gastaldello • Texas A&M

Freshman • Miramas, France

In the Aggies’ dual meet vs. LSU, Gastaldello swam the butterfly leg on the winning 400 medley relay, won the 100 backstroke and contributed the fastest 50 free split of the day on the victorious 200 free relay. The freshman from France contributed a 54.38 fly split on the Aggies’ 400 medley relay, won the 100 back in 54.14, placed third in the 200 IM in 2:03.02 and then threw down a 22.60 anchor split on the 200 free relay, which was the only sub-23 second split of the day.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Red-Hot Men Win Fifth in a Row, Down Auburn 71-61

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Danuel House scored 23 points and hit six 3-pointers to lead streaking Texas A&M to a 71-61 victory over Auburn on Tuesday night.

The Aggies (14-5, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) never trailed on their way to a fifth straight win.

House got off to a hot start and missed only one 3-point attempt after coming in averaging 18.6 points over the last five games. The rest of the damage was mostly done in the paint, where Texas A&M outscored the Tigers (10-10, 2-5) 42-14.

Auburn has lost three straight games.

Jalen Jones added 13 points for the Aggies while Alex Robinson drove to the basket repeatedly and scored 12.

Antoine Mason led Auburn with 16 points and Cinmeon Bowers finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. KT Harrell scored 11.

The Aggies made half of their 56 field goals while holding Auburn to 15-of-44 shooting (34.1 percent).

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggies Look to Continue Roll Tonight at Auburn on WTAW

Aggie Basketball Game #19:

Texas A&M (13-5, 4-2 SEC) at Auburn (10-9, 2-4 SEC)

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 · 8 p.m. (CT)

Auburn Arena (9,121) · Auburn, Ala.

 

TV: SEC Network (For more info – 12thMan.com/TV)

Dari Nowkhah, Play-by-Play

Joe Dean, Jr., Commentary

 

RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network

  Dave South, Play-by-Play

Mike Caruso, Commentary

Local: WTAW 1620 AM (College Station/Bryan)

Satellite Radio (Auburn Broadcast): Sirius Ch. 108 / XM Ch. 191

 

LIVE AUDIO/STATS: 12thMan.com

LIVE MOBILE LIVE STATS: tamustats.com

COLLEGE STATION – The Aggie men’s basketball team will put its four-game winning streak on the line Tuesday night when it travels to the plains of Alabama to face Auburn in an 8 p.m. contest inside Auburn Arena.

Texas A&M (13-5, 4-2 SEC) has surged up the SEC standings by winning its last four contests and enters the week sharing the league’s No. 2 spot with Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee. Auburn (10-9), meanwhile, currently sits in a tie for 10th place alongside Mississippi State, with a 2-4 record in conference games.

Tuesday’s contest will be nationally televised on SEC Network with Dari Nowkhah calling the play-by-play and Joe Dean, Jr. providing color commentary. Additionally, radio coverage will be provided on the Aggie Sports Network, which can be heard locally in the Bryan/College Station area on WTAW (1620 AM).

The match-up at Auburn will be the second straight away affair for Texas A&M, which is in the midst of its most road-heavy stretch of the regular season and plays four of five games away from Reed Arena. During their lone visit to Auburn Arena, which opened in 2010, the Aggies earned a 71-62 win on Feb. 20, 2013.

Junior forward Jalen Jones continues to spearhead the Aggies’ on-court production and is coming off a game-high 18 point, nine-rebound performance during a 67-61 win at Tennessee on Saturday.

Since returning to the lineup after missing the first two games of league play with a sprained ankle, Jones is averaging 17 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest during SEC action.

Junior guard Danuel House, who averages 16.3 points in SEC play, contributed 15 points against the Vols by going a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line while also tying a season-high with six assists.

The duo of Jones and House gives A&M a potent one-two punch on the offensive end as the pair checks in at No. 10 and 11 in scoring by SEC players this season, contributing 14.2 and 13.8 points per game, respectively.

Fellow junior guard Alex Caruso has also stepped up his game against SEC competition, averaging just under 11 points and six rebounds per outing in league play, while dishing out a team-high 19 assists.

The Tigers are under the direction of first-year head coach Bruce Pearl, who returned to the SEC sidelines this season following a six-year run as the head coach at Tennessee (2006-2011).

Senior guard KT Harrell directs the Auburn offensive attack and ranks second in scoring among all SEC players, contributing 17.4 points per outing. On the interior, junior forward Cinmeon Bowers presents a challenge for opponents as the 6-foot-7, 278-pound native of Racine, Wis., averages a double-double with 13.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.

Overall, Texas A&M owns a 5-3 lead in the all-time series with the Tigers but will be looking to avenge a loss in the most recent match-up, a 69-64 Auburn win at Reed Arena on the final day of the regular season last year.

 

QUICK HITS

• Riding the momentum of four consecutive victories that has surged the team into a tie for second place in the league standings, Texas A&M travels to Auburn for a pivotal SEC match-up.

• The Aggies have won four consecutive SEC contests for the first time since joining the league for the 2012-13 campaign …  A&M’s most recent five-game conference winning streak came from Feb. 9-23, 2011, when the Aggies won five straight Big 12 contests.

• Texas A&M is currently in the midst its most road-heavy stretch of the season, playing four of five games away from Reed Arena … The Aggies began the run with a 67-61 win at Tennessee on Saturday.

• Junior forward Jalen Jones has become the king of the ‘near double-double’ recently as he has notched double-digit points and nine rebounds in three consecutive games … overall, Jones has 10 career double-doubles between his time at SMU and Texas A&M and leads the Aggies in both scoring (14.2 points per game) and rebounding (6.4 rebounds per game).

• Third-year Aggie guard Alex Caruso has stepped up his game during league play and is averaging 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in his last five games beginning with the contest against Kentucky on Jan. 10 … the College Station native led the SEC in assists last season and finds himself atop the category again this year, pacing the league with 96 assists and an average of 5.3 per game.

• After struggling during the Aggies’ SEC opener Alabama, junior guard Danuel House has bounced back in a big way during his last five games when the Fresno, Texas, product is averaging 18.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest

 

SERIES HISTORY VS. AUBURN (AUBURN LEADS 5-3)

• Saturday will be the ninth meeting between the Aggies and Tigers on the hardwood … A&M owns a 5-3 edge in the all-time series.

• Last season, the Tigers came to Reed Arena on the final day of the regular season and defeated the Aggies 69-64.

• During the 2012-13 campaign, Texas A&M earned a pair of wins over Auburn, defeating the Tigers 65-56 at Auburn Arena on Feb. 20 before taking a 71-62 decision on March 13 in the opening round of the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

• The first meeting between the schools came on Dec. 22, 1961, in Houston … The Aggies prevailed with a 62-50 win.

• Prior to the Aggies joining the SEC, the schools most recently played a home-and-home series in back to back seasons with A&M winning 72-67 in College Station on Dec. 22, 2005, before earning a 87-58 victory in Auburn on Dec. 22, 2006.

 

UP NEXT

After two straight road games, the Aggies return home to Reed Arena Saturday to host Vanderbilt in a 3:30 p.m. contest that will be nationally televised by the SEC Network.

 

CARUSO MOVING UP ALL-TIME CAREER STEALS & ASSISTS LIST

With a steal against Kentucky on Jan. 10, junior Alex Caruso passed Reggie Roberts (1980-83) to move into fifth place on Aggie basketball’s list of all-time steals (164 career steals). Up next is Darryl McDonald (1986-88), who sits in fourth place with 173 steals.

Additionally, Caruso enters the Auburn game with 378 career assists and needs just one to tie Dash Harris for seventh place all-time in program history.

 

HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS SPARK COME-FROM-BEHIND VICTORIES

Wednesday’s contest against Missouri found the Aggies down at halftime for the third consecutive game and, just like the last two affairs, it saw A&M enjoy a huge second half en route to a come-from-behind victory.

All told this season, the Aggies have won six total games when they trailed at the intermission. Highlighting the list are a pair of contests during which A&M overcame 13-point deficits during the game’s final 20 minutes (Dec. 6 vs Arizona State & Jan. 17 at LSU).

 

ROBERSON ASCENDING AGGIE REBOUNDING LIST

Senior Kourtney Roberson joined the prestigious 500-Rebound Club last season and has continued into his senior season, moving up the list of the most prolific rebounders in school history. The Arcadia, La., native climbed three spots into 12th place on the all-time rebounding list with a six-board performance at Alabama on Jan. 6. Roberson enters the Auburn game with 716 career boards. Up next is Ronnie Peret (1966-69), who pulled down 735 during his Aggie career.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

A&M Consolidated Boys Hoops Hosts Bryan on Zone 1150

The ‘High School Hoops Game of the Week’ returns to the airwaves tonight, with the A&M Consolidated Tiger boys hosting Bryan in a cross-town showdown.

Pre-game begins at 6:15 p.m. on Sportsradio 1150 the Zone with tip-off at 6:30.

Jordan Meserole will provide the play-by-play, with color analysis provided by Jason Cornelius.

Jury Convicts 2 ex-Vanderbilt Players of Raping Woman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A jury has convicted two ex-Vanderbilt football players of raping a former student inside a dorm room.

The jury deliberated for about three hours before finding Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey guilty. They face decades in prison.

Prosecutors say Vandenburg brought an unconscious 21-year-old woman he had been seeing back to his dorm room after a night of drinking in 2013 and the assault occurred as he took pictures.

Defense attorneys say Vandenburg took “deplorable” photos but did not take part in the assault. Batey testified that he was so drunk he didn’t remember what happened until he later saw cellphone photos and video.

The alleged victim testified she didn’t remember the alleged assault.

Two other former players are facing charges. Their trials have not been set.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Two former Vanderbilt football players accused in the rape of a woman in a dorm room believed they were entitled athletes who could “get away with anything,” prosecutors said Tuesday.

Defense attorneys countered that the teammates were extremely drunk on the night of the alleged assault, and blamed a college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex.

Jurors started deliberating Tuesday about 2:30 p.m. EST.

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey are each charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. If convicted, they could face dozens of years in prison.

During closing arguments, Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman told jurors that the college culture argument was a “red herring” and that the athletes thought the law didn’t apply to them.

“That’s the culture that you really saw here . their mindset that they can get away with anything,” Thurman said.

Earlier, one of the defense attorneys conceded that Vandenburg took “deplorable” photos, but shouldn’t be convicted of rape because he didn’t take part in it.

“He took photographs that he never should have taken,” Vandenburg attorney Fletcher Long said.

Prosecutors say Vandenburg encouraged three of his teammates to have sex with the unconscious 21-year-old woman in June 2013 and didn’t participate because he couldn’t perform.

Batey testified Monday that he was so drunk he didn’t remember what happened that night in Vandenburg’s dorm room until he later saw cellphone images on his phone.

“I was just drunk out of my mind,” Batey said. “This is something I would never do in my right state of mind. I’m just sorry.”

The woman, who earlier testified that she didn’t remember anything that night, was crying as Batey was on the stand and appeared to be vomiting at one point.

Two other players were also accused in the rape. They have pleaded not guilty. Their trial dates have not been set.

Vandenburg and Batey are on trial together, but represented by different attorneys. Batey’s defense said the photos and videos don’t actually show him having sex with the woman and one of his lawyers blamed a college culture so accepting of binge drinking that many people saw the unconscious woman that night but did nothing to help.

The woman testified that Vandenburg plied her with alcohol at a Nashville night spot and the last thing she remembers is waking up alone in a strange dorm room and feeling sick. She said she still has no memory of what happened.

Police officers who testified said they didn’t find evidence of body fluids on the dorm room floor that would indicate a sexual assault, but they did not go to the dorm room until four days later.

Throughout the trial, jurors have seen graphic images and videos recovered from cellphones and a laptop. Prosecutors said that players took pictures of the assault and that one sent videos to his friends as it was happening.

Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, who is also charged, testified that Vandenburg was “amped” and coaching the players. McKenzie testified that he did not touch the woman himself but took pictures.

A trial date for McKenzie and Brandon Banks, the fourth player accused, has not
been set.

Lynch at Media Day: ‘I’m Here So I Don’t Get Fined’

PHOENIX (AP) _ Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch constantly repeated “I’m here so I don’t get fined” for five minutes before leaving the podium at Media Day.

About 200 reporters crowded around Lynch’s podium for at least 15 minutes before he arrived. But Lynch wouldn’t answer any questions.

He set a timer on his phone, caught a bag of Skittles tossed from the crowd and stopped to pick up a reporter’s recorder off the floor before he walked away.

Howard Questionable for Rockets Game Against Dallas

By KRISTIE RIEKEN

HOUSTON (AP) _ Dwight Howard could miss Houston’s game against Dallas on Wednesday night after tweaking his injured right ankle in practice.

Howard missed Sunday’s game after spraining his ankle on Friday night. He started practice on Tuesday, but left after turning his ankle in the workout.

He says he hopes to play but isn’t sure if he’ll be ready to go.

Also on Tuesday, forward Terrence Jones went through a full practice for the first time since he was injured, and coach Kevin McHale says he could play on Wednesday.

Jones hasn’t played since Nov. 3 because of nerve inflammation in his left leg. McHale is excited about the possibility of Jones returning and says he’s been out so long his return will be like receiving a new player in a trade.

No. 15 Iowa State Holds Off No. 19 Texas 89-86

AMES, Iowa (AP) _ Georges Niang scored 19 points, Bryce Dejean-Jones had 18 and 15th-ranked Iowa State held off No. 19 Texas 89-86 on Monday night.

Jameel McKay had 14 points for the Cyclones (15-4, 5-2 Big 12), who bounced back from a loss at last-place Texas Tech by running up a huge lead that nearly slipped away.

Iowa State broke open a tight game with a 27-12 run and went ahead by 21 with 11:36 left. The Longhorns answered with a furious rally that pulled them to 87-84 on Jonathan Holmes’ 3-pointer with 22 seconds left.

Javan Felix scored 20 points and Isaiah Taylor had 17 for Texas (14-6, 3-4), which has dropped consecutive games for the second time this month.

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