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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The NCAA announced Wednesday that it has awarded the City of St. Louis with four more NCAA Championships. Missouri will partner with the St. Louis Sports Commission to host the 2015 and 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships and the 2017 and 2018 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships. The wrestling tournaments will be held at the Scottrade Center while the gymnastics tournaments are set to be hosted in Chaifetz Arena.
St. Louis owns four of the top-five attendance figures in NCAA Wrestling Championship history.
The Scottrade Center has already played host to six NCAA Wrestling Championships since the turn of the century, housing the event in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2012. In 2012, St. Louis set the NCAA Wrestling Championships record in attendance with 109,450 patrons attending during the three-day tournament. In fact, St. Louis owns four of the top-5 attendance numbers in NCAA Wrestling Championship history. The committee chose St. Louis because of the city’s proven ability to host the tournament and the site’s popularity among coaches and student-athletes.
“To me, it is like Christmas came early,” said Missouri Head Coach Brian Smith. “Getting to co-host our 7th and 8th NCAA’s in the best facility and city – St. Louis – it’s outstanding. College wrestling fans love the event in St. Louis and the NCAA has most certainly listened.
The University of Missouri hosted the past six wrestling championships in St. Louis and will once again assist the St. Louis Sports Commission in overseeing the organizing committee. The tournaments will be held March 19-21, 2015, and March 16-18, 2017.
“I know Chris Roseman and his people at the St. Louis Sports Commission go above and beyond to make this event something special, not only for the fans but for the student-athlete,” said Smith. “Their work in the recent years has made St. Louis the City for NCAA Wrestling Championships.”
The 2017 Gymnastics Championships will mark the first time that St. Louis will host the tournament. Located on the St. Louis University campus, Chaifetz Arena will be the site for National Championships April 14-16 in 2017 and April 20-22, 2018. Constructed in 2008, the arena seats 10,600 fans and is home to the St. Louis University Billikens men’s and women’s basketball programs.
“The awarding of these events to St. Louis is the product of tremendous collaboration and support from many partners, especially our academic institutions, sport venues and the state of Missouri,” said Chris Roseman, the Sports Commission’s vice president of events. “We look forward to producing eight outstanding championships, and we’re excited about the impact these events will have on our region to energize our community, bring visitors to St. Louis, showcase the area, inspire young people and elevate our quality of life.”
Four Razorbacks were recognized on the Associated Press All-SEC teams released Monday.
Running back Alex Collins was named Freshman of the Year, and center Travis Swanson was a first-team All-SEC selection. Tight end Hunter Henry and kicker Zach Hocker were both included on the All-SEC second-team.
Collins is the second Razorback to earn AP Freshman of the Year honors, joining Darren McFadden in 2005. Collins is the first freshman in SEC history to begin his career with three straight 100-yard rushing games and the conference’s 10th true freshman to rush for 1,000 yards. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native finished the year with 1,026 yards and four touchdowns on 190 carries and added 63 yards on 11 receptions for a team-high 1,089 all-purpose yards. His rushing yards are the most by a freshman in the NCAA this season, and he ranks seventh in the SEC with an average of 85.50 rushing yards per game. Collins leads the SEC and ranks ninth in the NCAA with 355 rushing yards in the fourth quarter, and his 382 rushing yards against ranked opponents are 12th in the nation. His four 100-yard rushing games are second in school history among freshmen, trailing only McFadden’s five.
Swanson earned all-conference honors for the second straight year after being a second-team pick in 2012. The Kingwood, Texas, native led an offensive line that blocked as Collins and Jonathan Williams became the second Razorback duo to each reach at least 900 rushing yards in one season. The offensive line, which featured two true freshmen starting the final eight games, also broke the single-season school record by only allowing 8.0 sacks. Arkansas leads the SEC and is tied for second in the NCAA with an average of 0.67 sacks allowed per game. The Razorbacks’ average of one sack allowed for every 37.63 pass attempts is the best in the conference and seventh in the nation. Swanson started all 50 games of his career, becoming the first Razorback with 50 straight starts and just the second to start 50 total games, and is the 11th two-time team captain in program history.
Henry is one of four freshmen on the all-conference teams and the first Razorback All-SEC tight end since D.J. Williams in 2010. Henry appeared in all 12 games and made seven starts. The Little Rock, Ark., native tied for the team lead with four receiving touchdowns and ranked second on the team with 28 receptions for 409 yards. His receiving yards total ranks second among NCAA freshmen tight ends and 20th overall at his position. He is the only tight end in the SEC and one of three freshmen in the conference with a 100-yard receiving game, totaling 109 yards vs. No. 10 Texas A&M. He ranks first among SEC tight ends and fourth overall in the conference by gaining a first down on 78.6 percent of his receptions, and his average of 14.6 yards per catch ranks second among the conference’s tight ends.
Hocker wrapped up his career holding school records for points and points by a kicker with 354, field goal percentage at 77.2 percent, PATs made with 171, PAT attempts with 173 and 61 made field goals. He also ranks sixth on the SEC’s career PATs made list, seventh in PAT attempts, eighth in points scored and tied for 10th in field goals made. This season, the Russellville, Ark., native scored 67 points, 28-of-28 on PATs and 13-of-15 on field goals. Three of his field goals rank among the 15 longest in school history, including a 54 yarder that is tied for the eighth-longest by a Razorback. Hocker also kicked off 50 times, averaging 63.2 yards per kickoff with 34 touchbacks. His touchback percentage of 68 percent ranks second in the SEC and fifth in the NCAA, and his average is fourth in the conference and 18th in the nation.
For more information on Arkansas football, follow @RazorbackFB on Twitter.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR took the final step toward setting its 2014 rules package with a critical test session Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The test featured four simulated races with four configurations on the Gen-6 Sprint Cup Series car. Drivers had to attend a mandatory debrief with NASCAR following each session to give feedback on the aerodynamic, engine and suspension combinations.
NASCAR had 30 cars participating in the test, and planned to choose the configuration most favorable among drivers to test with a tapered spacer designed to reduce engine horsepower.
The goal of the test is to improve the racing at 1.5-mile superspeedways, which has been a stated goal of NASCAR Chairman Brian France. He was scheduled to attend the test Monday, but rain postponed it until Wednesday.
“Really what we’re attempting to do here is to get closer competition and more passing, closer competition, the cars running closer in the pack, passing more with an eye for the fans,” Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR’s vice president of innovation and racing development.
“We’re using various metrics to look at that, like the first to fifth time differentials, the time differentials between the 10 fastest laps, those types of things.”
NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the goal was to use the data collected Wednesday to set 2014 rules “ASAP. Hopefully beginning of next week.”
Testing for the season-opening Daytona 500 begins Jan. 9 at Daytona International Speedway.
Among the four test car configurations on which data was accumulated and will be sorted through over the coming hours and days were:
—Splitters with a square leading edge.
—Skirts at four-inch minimum ground clearance on both sides of car.
—Rear fascia trimmed 1.375 inches higher in current scallop region.
—9-inch rear spoiler with 1-by-14-inch-wide end tabs.
—8.375-inch rear spoiler with 1-by-14-inch end tabs.
—1.5-inch high by 37.5-inch wide roof strip.
—43-inch wide by 13-inch long radiator pan.
—Intake manifold to throttle body plate that yields engine power of 750 horsepower
NASCAR tested six cars at Charlotte in October, and Stefanyshyn said Wednesday’s test with actual races was critical to choosing the proper rules package.
“When it’s all said and done, there is no wind tunnel where you can put 30 cars in, or (a computer model) where you can do that,” he said. “We do all that to get our best hypothesis or answer. But then really what it comes down to is 30 cars running around the track and seeing how it all works and measuring that.”
ST. LOUIS — Tony La Russa noticed a change between his first game as a big league manager in 1979 and his last in 2011.
“I was right at the beginning of guaranteed contracts. So right away, players had security, potential security, and they were motivated by, ‘Get yours. Get yours,” La Russa said.
“And then the media — ESPN started in September of ’79. There was all kind of distractions. Fame and fortune. So what I really believed, and this is something we learned over time, leadership is more important than ever in professional sports.”
After leading Oakland to the 1989 World Series title and St. Louis to a pair of championships in 2006 and ’11, La Russa was unanimously elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Monday along with former managerial colleagues Bobby Cox and Joe Torre.
In the sabermetric age, La Russa was a bit of a throwback. He was part of the revolution of batter-pitcher matchups, creating the one-inning closer with Dennis Eckersley. But he was dismissive of a “Moneyball” culture valuing esoteric statistical data in favor of trusting what he saw.
“The metrics part of it is a really good preparation tool, but when you start replacing the manager, his decision-making, what you’re doing is undercutting his opportunity to earn respect, and his leadership gets affected,” he said. “Because who gets the credit for those decisions? That’s 180 degrees the wrong place. So leadership is more important. The more than you can support your leader, which is the coaching staff and manager, the better chance you have to win.”
Ever intense, the 69-year-old La Russa has spent the last two years as an adviser to baseball commissioner Bud Selig. La Russa would like to become a club executive.
“I miss the winning and losing,” he said after his election was announced at the baseball winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. “Some day I’ll be with a team, I think. I’d like to be part of the competition again.”
Even with a large lead, there was no let up in La Russa’s dugout. Lips tightly pursed, he pondered the possibilities from his spot in the corner nearest the steps to the clubhouse.
An innovator, he batted his pitcher eighth in the batting order 432 times, ostensibly to set up a more favorable scenario for Albert Pujols.
Until La Russa made his final move, walking off from the 2011 World Series parade into retirement, the guard never really came down. And in some ways it still hasn’t, as evidenced by fierce attachments to favorite players, general managers and owners.
Cerebral, and often combative and cranky, La Russa compiled a regular-season record of 2,728-2,365 in 33 seasons. He had 70 postseason victories, trailing only Torre’s 84, and joined role model Sparky Anderson as the lone managers to win Series in both leagues.
In all, La Russa managed 12 first-place finishes and six pennants and was picked as Manager of the Year four times. He went to the World Series three straight years from 1988 to 1990, and also lost in the Series in 2004 when the Cardinals were swept by Boston.
A career .199 hitter with no home runs, La Russa made his big league debut as a teen infielder with the 1963 Kansas City Athletics. He got his first managing job at age 35 with the Chicago White Sox in 1979.
In 1983, La Russa guided the White Sox to their first postseason berth in 24 years. He rewarded new Cardinals owners with a division title his first season in St. Louis in 1996, ending the franchise’s nine-year postseason slump, and made it to the playoffs nine times in 16 seasons overall.
The Oakland connection of La Russa and GM Walt Jocketty led to a trade for Mark McGwire, who shattered Roger Maris’ record of 61 homers that had stood since 1961 with 70 homers in 1998. Though since tainted by McGwire’s admission of steroid use, Big Mac was a one-man show that had fans clamoring to see him launch batting practice fastballs into the seats and helped regularly sell out Busch Stadium despite the team’s so-so record.
La Russa consistently denied knowledge or involvement in the steroids scandal.
The manager’s no-nonsense and refusal to relocate to the Midwest left a bit of distance from a fan base that adored Whitey Herzog’s folksy approach. La Russa softened and gained perspective during the 2001 season, marred by the death of pitcher Darryl Kile.
The final season was trying. A painful bout of shingles sapped energy early in the season and he informed GM John Mozeliak of his decision in August before the Cardinals rallied from a 10 1/2-game deficit in the NL wild-card race to upset Philadelphia and Milwaukee in the playoffs.
Down to their final strike in two different innings in Game 6, the Cardinals came back in Game 6 of the World Series against Texas and then won the title.
Soon after that, he met with his players and told them he was leaving for good.
“Some grown men cried,” La Russa said later. “I kind of liked that because they made me cry a few times.”
(West Plains) – Nella Ioramo, a sophomore outside/middle attacker for the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team, has been named to the NJCAA second team All-America team.
The 6-2 sophomore from Union City, California, led the Grizzlies in kills this season and scored 4.5 points per set.
Coach Paula Wiedeman talks about the program’s latest All-American:
Nella Ioramo is the 32nd player to receive NJCAA All-America recognition with the Grizzly program since 1994
Two men’s soccer players recognized by collegiate coaches as region’s bests
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced today that Missouri State’s James Fawke was named to the NSCAA’s NCAA Division 1 Men’s All-Midwest Region First Team and Trevor Spangenbergwas named to the Third Team. The 2013 NSCAA/Continental Tire All-Region Teams were named for the three NCAA divisions, NAIA, and Junior Colleges.
Fawke, a defender from Cheltenham, England, had a tremendous junior campaign for the Bears. The Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year captained the nation’s top defense en route to Missouri State’s fifth conference regular season championship. Outside of Spangenberg in goal, Fawke led the Bears in minutes played, and earned recognition as a first team All-MVC and MVC Scholar-Athlete first team selections. Fawke’s defense leads the NCAA Division 1 in goals against average (0.41) this season.
Spangenberg had a career year in net for the Bears. In addition to being nationally ranked in goals against average (3rd) and save percentage (14th), Spangenberg and the Bears set the MVC record for fewest goals allowed in a season (8) and goals against average in conference games (0.16). Following Spangenberg’s season, the Valparaiso, Ind., senior became the university’s all-time career leader in goals against average and holds Missouri State records for consecutive shutouts (7) and single-season goals against average (0.41). Spangenberg was a first team All-MVC selection as well.
Missouri State is eligible to earn additional recognition from the NSCAA this week. Any remaining NSCAA/Continental Tire All-America Teams yet announced will be released throughout the week, including College Scholar All-Region teams. The NSCAA awards will culminate with the NCAA men’s All-Americans on Friday, Dec. 13.
ORU leads the all-time series, 5-4, in a rivalry that dates back to 1981. Missouri State is 2-3 in Tulsa, having split the last two games at the Mabee Center, including an 88-76 win there on 12/7/05.
The Golden Eagles have won two in a row in the series, including last year’s 72-52 win at JQH Arena — the Bears’ worst loss ever at JQH Arena at the time. In that game, Warren Niles (21) and Shawn Glover (14) led ORU in scoring as the visitors jumped out to a 40-15 halftime lead and never looked back. MSU got 18 points from Anthony Downing and 10 points and 8 rebounds from Christian Kirk to help overcome a slow start and 2-for-26 team effort from 3-point range.
Paul Lusk (Southern Illinois, 1995) is 34-39 (.466) in his third season at MSU and 36-62 (.367) in his fourth season overall as a head coach. He is 16-20 in MVC games (10-7 at home, 6-13 on the road), 1-2 in MVC Tournament games and 18-19 in all non-conference games (11-6 at JQH Arena, 5-6 away and 2-7 at neutral sites). He is also 21-14 in all home games, 11-18 on the road, and 2-7 at neutral sites. He is 0-2 against Oral Roberts (0-1 in Tulsa).
The 42-year-old Lusk took the reins as MSU’s 17th head coach on April 1, 2011. He came to Springfield after seven seasons at Purdue (2004-11), including his last three as associate head coach there. Now in his 16th season in the coaching profession, Lusk has previous assistant coaching stops at Southwestern Illinois (1996-97), Missouri Southern (1999-2002) and Southern Illinois (2003-04) in addition to a one-year head coaching stint at (Div. III) Dubuque (2002-03). Lusk has played or coached in 10 NCAA Tournaments.
With the seventh-youngest team in Division I basketball last year, Lusk led MSU to its 42nd straight winning record at home and the fifth-best turnover average in the nation (10.2). The 2012-13 Bears also set high-water marks for most games against ranked opponents with six and the best single-season scoring total for a freshman class in program history (855).
The Bears got 18 points off the bench from Ron Mvouika and committed just six turnovers to dispatch visiting Cameron University, 81-57.
MSU, which never trailed, was also helped on the offensive end by freshman standouts Tyler McCullough and Austin Ruder who pitched in 11 and 10 points, respectively. Jarmar Gulley also added 9 points and a game-high 9 rebounds in the victory.
Cameron was paced by Division II preseason player of the year Craig Foster who tallied 10 points and 5 assists, while Sean McGary added 10 points in a reserve role for the Aggies.
The Bears, who secured their 600th victory as a Division I program, extended their JQH Arena win streak to six games with a solid defensive effort that saw the home club snag eight steals and force 14 CU turnovers. After going into the half with a 16-point advantage, the Bears used pressure defense and timely rebounding to run their advantage to 50-29 less than five minutes into the second stanza.
A 10-2 Bears run early in the second half included four points apiece by McCullough and Emmanuel Addo. Later in the half, Nathan Scheer capped a 6-0 run by the home squad with a layup in traffic afterChristian Kirk and Gavin Thurman started the stretch with scores that pushed MSU ahead by its largest margin of the night, 66-41 with 8:08 remaining.
Mvouika scored 11 of his points in the final seven-and-a-half minutes, while Michael Simpsoncontributed a steal and layup in crunch time to put the game away. Mvouika finished 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and 6-of-10 from the field.
Ruder was the only other MSU player to score multiple 3-pointers as he finished 2-for-5 from downtown with a career-high 3 steals and a pair of assists.
For the night, Missouri State was 28-for-62 (.452) from the field, but just 7-of-24 (.292) from bonus distance. The Bears had another good night at the foul line, knocking down 18-of-23 (.783) attempts.
Despite being out-rebounded by a 37-34 margin, the Bears surrendered just one second-chance point on the night and used 38 bench points and 38 points in the paint to keep the Aggies at arm’s length most of the night.
Also Named Finalist for FWAA National Coach of the Year
COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel has been recognized for the outstanding job his program has done in the 2013 season. Pinkel has been named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coach of the Year for Region 2, in acknowledgement for his Tigers putting together an 11-2 season which included an Eastern Division championship in the Southeastern Conference.
Additionally, Pinkel has also been named one of eight finalists for the prestigious Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year, as awarded by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). The winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 16th, and Pinkel will be considered along with fellow finalists Art Briles (Baylor), David Cutcliffe (Duke), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Gus Malzahn (Auburn), George O’Leary (UCF) and David Shaw (Stanford).
Pinkel has guided Mizzou to one of its top seasons in program history in 2013. After being picked to finish sixth in the seven-team SEC East in the pre-season, his Tigers went 11-1 in the regular season, and turned in a 7-1 mark in SEC play to claim the East Division outright – marking MU’s fourth division title in the last seven years (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013). Mizzou reached as high as 5th in the weekly polls, and after last week’s defeat to Auburn in the SEC Championship Game, the Tigers landed 8th in the final Bowl Championship Series season poll. Pinkel’s 101 wins at Mizzou in 13 seasons have him tied with former Coach Don Faurot for most in school history. He’ll go for sole possession of the record on Jan. 3rd, when his team plays in the 2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic against former conference foe Oklahoma State.
The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association’s five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are selected by Active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions.
The 2013 Regional Coach of the Year winners will be recognized at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the 2014 AFCA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, January 14.
(West Plains) – Nella Ioramo, a sophomore outside/middle attacker for the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team, has been named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) second team All-American Team.
“I am incredibly proud of Nella being named an NJCAA All-American,” Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said. “She helped us remain as one of the top programs in the country again this year, and it is a direct result of the effort she put in during the spring and summer prior to the season.”
The 6-foot, 2-inch middle/outside attacker from Union City, Calif., left an indelible imprint on the Grizzlies’ stat book this season. She recorded 553 kills on 1,342 attempts with 220 errors for a season attacking percentage of .248 and 3.98 kills per game. She also had 28 service aces, 288 digs, 2.07 digs per game, 61 total blocks (16 solo blocks), 619.5 points earned and 4.5 points per set.
“Nella had a tremendous sophomore season for us, leading us offensively in kills, kills per set, total points and points per set,” Wiedemann said. “The improvement she made in her ability to play six rotations and to terminate the ball from her freshman to sophomore year was amazing. Even during the course of this season, she improved from 3.21 to 4.97 kills per set during the last half of the year, which is extraordinary.
“I couldn’t be happier for Nella,” Wiedemann continued. “The hard work and commitment she put into improving as a player has been fun to watch. This is an example of hard work paying off in many ways, and knowing her, she will continue to push herself to keep getting better. The time and effort it takes to improve as a player cannot be taken for granted, and Nella made it her goal to be that kind of a player. This is a wonderful honor for her, and it caps off a great season for Grizzly Volleyball.”
For a full list of this year’s All-American honorees, visit www.njcaa.org. For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/.
(Coffeyville) – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team will go into the Grizzly Holiday Classic this weekend with a 9-5 record after posting a 1-2 record at the Coffeyville Resources Juco Elite 8 Tournament Dec. 5-7 hosted by Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kan.
On Thursday, the Grizzlies fell to Pratt (Kan.) Community College 69-52, on Friday they lost to Quakerdale Prep, New Providence, Iowa, 86-76, and on Saturday, they defeated Cowley County Community College, Arkansas City, Kan., 95-92.
“All in all, this was a rough week,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said. “This was a good tournament. The two teams that came into the weekend ranked, Dodge City (Kan.) Community College and Moberly Area Community College, Moberly, Mo., left with 1-2 records. Quakerdale went 2-1 in the tournament for the second year in a row. There just were no bad teams. We found ourselves a little bit on the last day and fought through almost every kind of adversity we could.”
This included losing two players to injury during the contest. Freshman guard Jameel Moore was poked in the eye, and freshman forward Lukasz Bonarek was elbowed above the eye. Both ended up at the hospital before the game was over, Walker said.
“This was a physical game. Jameel was shooting really well from the field until he got poked in the eye,” the coach said, pointing out he had hit three of four 3-pointers before the injury.
In addition, the Grizzlies found themselves in foul trouble. Sophomore guard Arroyo Edwards fouled out, and freshman forward Justin Jamison, redshirt freshman forward Ed Seay, Jr., and freshman guard Craig Eubanks each ended the game with four fouls.
“We needed to do a better job of rebounding on the defensive end and keeping the ball out of the paint in this game, but part of the reason we struggled with that was due to our foul trouble. We couldn’t afford to lose any more players,” Walker said.
“This was the most important game of the tournament for us,” Walker added. “There is a huge difference in 1-2 and 0-3 on the weekend. We handled everything they threw at us. They are normally a zone team, and they played 90 percent man-to-man.”
Offensively, the Grizzlies were led on the scoreboard by sophomore guard Devaugntah Williams with 26 points, followed by Jamison with 18, Edwards with 16 and freshman guard Jeremiah Jackson with 10. Eubanks led the team in assists with five. Jamison led the team in rebounds with 10, giving him a double-double for the game.
“It took all of us to win this game,” Walker said. “Craig stepped up and ran the floor for us and did a great job. Justin Jamison was very good inside, and we used him pretty well. We took pretty good shots and executed down the stretch. We absorbed their run and made one of our own to end the game. Devaugntah’s shot to end the game was just a good player making a good play.”
Cowley’s top scorers were Earl Bryant with 34 points, NaQuavious King with 33 and Kaleb Ratliff with 10.
Defensive struggles cost the Grizzlies a second win over Quakerdale. “We did a terrible job defending the drive in this game,” Walker said. “That wasn’t an issue when we played them a week before, and it turned out to be the difference in this game. We were far less aggressive this game in attacking the rim. That played a part, as well.”
The Grizzlies held a 49-36 lead at halftime, but they failed to stop Quakerdale’s charge in the second half. Leading scorers for the Grizzlies were Williams with 16 points and Seay with 15. Seay recorded a double-double with his team-leading 10 rebounds. Quakerdale was led by Chris Galbreath, Jr., with 26 points, Kaharri Carter 14 and Thomas Wilder 11.
“We have another chance at Quakerdale Friday, and we better be ready,” Walker warned.
Against Pratt, the Grizzlies had built a substantial lead in the first half, only to see Pratt whittle it down to 4 points, 36-32, at the break. “We got to where we were settling for jumpers and forcing some tough shots instead of attacking the rim,” Walker said. “That allowed them to get some easy baskets, and they beat us because of it. Defensively, we were poor in almost every facet.”
Jamison led the Grizzlies in scoring with 14 points, followed by Williams with 12 and Edwards with 10. Pratt was led by Deshun Roberts with 17 and Kevin Allen and Kaion Seales each with 14.
The Grizzly Holiday Classic is set for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14, in the Joe Paul Evans Arena at the West Plains Civic Center. The Grizzlies will play Quakerdale Prep at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and New Mexico Junior College of Hobbs at 7 p.m. Dec. 14. Three Rivers College, Poplar Bluff, also will be competing in the event.
The tournament is being sponsored by CenturyLink, and everyone is asked to bring canned food items for the First Baptist Church’s food bank as part of the Grizzlies’ community service project for the evening.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball team, including complete statistics from the games, visit wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb/.