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Archive for November, 2012

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team’s record now stands at 6-2 with recent wins over Neosho County Community College of Chanute, Kan., and Angelina College of Lufkin, Texas.


The Grizzlies defeated the Neosho County Panthers 63-47 Tuesday night, Nov. 20, in a home contest at the West Plains Civic Center, then traveled to Texas for a Sunday afternoon match up on Nov. 25 and beat the Angelina Roadrunners 74-65.


Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said Sunday’s contest “was a great test and learning experience for our team.  We went on the road to a different state, faced adversity, absorbed our opponent’s scoring runs and executed on both ends of the floor well enough to get our first true road win.”


Sunday’s game was reminiscent of the teams’ earlier meeting Nov. 2 in the Grizzly Tip-Off Classic, Walker said.  “We got a lead in the first half, and they fought back to tie it at halftime.  We didn’t get as large of a lead, but we made the right plays and made free throws down the stretch to secure the win,” he explained.  “This was really a tough game to execute in because they played zone almost the entire game.  We got a little stagnant offensively a few times, but we had good ball movement most of the game.”


Offensively, the Grizzlies connected on 28 of their 61 shots from the field for 45.9 percent, seven of their 22 3-point attempts for 31.8 percent and 11 of 16 shots from the free throw line for 68.9 percent.  They also gathered 36 rebounds, including 10 offensive rebounds, handed out 12 assists, grabbed four steals, blocked three shots and committed 12 turnovers.


Sophomore forward Kris Frazier led the team in scoring with 16 points, hitting seven of his nine field goal attempts and both of his free throws.  He also had 14 rebounds, including six offensive rebounds, for a double-double performance.


Freshman guard Isiah Rogers had 15 points and three assists, and sophomore forward Keaton Jackson added 11 points.


The Roadrunners were 20 of 63 from the field for 31.7 percent, six of 24 from 3-point range for 25 percent, and 19 of 25 from the charity stripe for 76 percent.  Jaylen Daniel led the team in scoring with 23 points, followed by Victor Mbachu with 15.


“We still have to make improvements guarding the ball, but our overall defense was solid,” Walker said.  “Going into the game, Angelina had moved into the top 20 in the nation in 3-pointers made per game, and we held them to six; however, we let them get to the free throw line too many times.


“This was a great experience for our team,” he continued.  “It was a big step for our team to get this road win.  I’m proud of how they responded and came through in a tough situation.”


Against the Panthers, Walker said, “there are definitely some good things to take away from this game, but it is easy to see that we have some things to work on, as well.  We didn’t convert well on fast break opportunities, and we didn’t guard quite as well as the score may lead some to believe.  We have to get our opponents’ shooting below 40 percent from the field.  Our feet were pretty good on our closeouts, but we didn’t have our hands up.”


Statistics show the Grizzlies hit 25 of 51 attempts from the field for 49 percent, five of 14 3-point shots for 35.7 percent and seven of 13 attempts at the free throw line for 53.8 percent.  Frazier led the team in scoring with 13 points, followed by Rogers and fellow freshman guards Jon Tshibuy and Delvonte Pierre with 9 points each.


The Panthers hit 15 of their 32 attempts from the field for 46.9 percent, three of nine 3-point attempts for 33 percent and 13 of 14 free throws for 92.9 percent.  Leading scorers were Mark Gray and D’Marco Smith, both of whom had 8 points.


“Neosho County did a good job of running their offense.  We were only up 10 at halftime, but we were able to build the lead in the second half,” Walker said.  “Offensively, we shot the ball pretty well.  We do need to do a better job of finishing around the basket, though.


“We had pretty good balance with scoring,” the coach continued.  “Kris was the only one in double figures, but Isiah, John and Delvonte added nine apiece, Arroyo Edwards threw in eight, and Devaugntah Williams scored seven.”


The Grizzlies return to the road later this week to compete in the Coffeyville Resources JUCO Elite 8 Tournament Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 1, hosted by Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kan.  The Grizzlies will open the tournament against Cowley County Community College, Arkansas City, Kan., at 2 p.m. Thursday.  The outcome of that game will determine the Grizzlies’ next playing time on Friday.


In addition to the host team, the Grizzlies and Cowley County, other teams participating in the tournament include Moberly Area Community College, Moberly, Mo.; Dodge City (Kan.) Community College; Pratt (Kan.) Community College; Quakerdale Promise Academy Prep, New Providence, Iowa; and Seminole State College, Seminole, Okla.


For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit the team’s website at or call the Grizzly Basketball office at 417-255-7993.

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) – Missouri coach Frank Haithdidn’t need a stat sheet to see what cost his team a chance at beating the No. 2 team in the country.

He had 23 reasons to know why the 13th-ranked Tigers lost 84-61 to Louisville on Friday night in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

“We shot well but it was the turnovers,” he said. “We just made some careless plays. We have to find a way to make plays. Guys were trying to make home run plays instead of the easy play. That’s not who we are. Bonehead plays gives teams energy. Lots of turnovers were us forcing plays.”

Luke Hancock scored 19 points and Russ Smith had 18 points and six steals for Louisville, which had a rougher-than-expected opening-round game, a 51-46 victory over Northern Iowa.

The Cardinals (5-0) will face No. 5 Duke in Saturday night’s championship game. The Blue Devils beat VCU 67-58.

“We consider it a big treat to play them for a championship,” Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said. “We feel we have got the guys to play in that championship and win.”

Louisville was back to being one of the better defensive teams in the nation against the Tigers, forcing the 23 turnovers that the Cardinals turned into 31 points.

“Our guys played a heck of a game tonight,” Pitino said. “We had five guys in double figures. We had serious foul trouble and our bench gave us a big lift. That was exciting.”

The Cardinals played zone the entire game. Pitino said it was because they didn’t have enough time to put in a plan to play man-too-man.

“We were expecting that,” Pressey said of the zone. “We just didn’t execute. That’s what their defense does, force turnovers. I felt I was careless. The mistakes were mental, ones I myself don’t usually make. I felt that was the big difference.”

Missouri’s shooting percentage (46.0) looked better than it was considering the Tigers were able to get off 50 shots, 13 less than Louisville which shot 49.2 percent.

“We shot well. It was the turnovers,” Haith said. “We just had some careless plays. We have to find a ways to make plays. Guys were trying to make home run plays instead of the easy plays.”

Chane Behanan and Peyton Siva both had 13 points for Louisville, which forced 86 turnovers coming in and had double-figure steals in each game. The Cardinals had 12 steals Friday with Smith getting half of them.

Pitino used the same baseball analogy Haith did when describing Smith.

“Russ is a home run player. Every possession you really have your heart in your mouth, but he really hits a lot of home runs,” Pitino said. “He bothers everybody, and he allows Peyton to do a lot of good things out there because he is so intense and Peyton knows he is going to gamble. But you have got to give Russ his free reign.”

Alex Oriahki and Pressey both had 15 points for MISSOURI (4-1), which beat Stanford 78-70 in the first round. Pressey had seven assists.

The Tigers scored the first four points of the second half to get within 39-35. The Cardinals went on an 11-0 run that featured 3-pointers by Smith and Hancock and Missouri was never within 10 points the rest of the way. Of the Tigers’ three possessions during the big run, two ended in turnovers, the other with two missed free throws.

Oriahki had eight rebounds for Missouri, which finished with a 37-32 advantage on the boards.

“We just had mental breakdowns,” Oriakhi said. “Honestly, I felt we beat ourselves. Honestly, we needed this to get our heads where they should be.”

The River Country Classic, hosted by the Thayer Bobcats, will take place Monday night.  The MVBT Liberty Eagles will take on Arkansas State Champs, the Mammoth Spring Bears at 5:15.  Listen to that game live on the Fox 96.9!

Friday night was the opening night of the 2012 Current River Challenge.  It was the first opportunity for high school teams to see their future opponents this season.  Brian Ingles has the story from day 1:

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Here are the final scores from day one:

Alton 96 over Bunker 32

Greenville 54 over Couch 48

Gideon over Zalma 39

Ellington 54 over Meadow Heights 52

Doniphan 53 over Winona 39

East Carter 67 over Mt View 62- OT

Eminence 81 over Puxico 67

Van Buren 78 over Clarkton 71

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) – The second half is becoming Laurence Bowers’ time to take over and that’s just fine with No. 13 Missouri.

Bowers scored 19 points, as usual most were in the second half, and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Tigers beat Stanford 78-70 in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis on Thursday.

Bowers, who had 13 points in the second half Thursday, has scored more points after halftime in every game this season for the Tigers (4-0). He came in averaging 15.5 points per game, 14.0 in the second half.

“Second half is when you put the team away,” Bowers said. “On an individual standpoint, I would love to play better in the first half, but whenever I get the opportunity to step up for my team, that is what I am going to do. And if that is in the second half, I am going to try and continue to do that.”

Missouri will face the winner of the first-round game between No. 2 Louisville and Northern Iowa in Friday’s semifinals.

Phil Pressey had 18 points and eight assists for Missouri, which had just three field goals over the final 9:10 and they were all grouped in a 1:57 span starting with 2:12 to play. It didn’t matter as the Tigers were 10 of 11 from the free throw line over that span. They were 22 for 25 for the game.

“When you have your big men make free throws, that is key,” said Pressey, who made all six of his free throws. “When Alex (Oriakhi) makes his free throws and your guards, that is a given – they have to make their free throws, overall that just helps you out.”

Bowers missed last season with a torn knee ligament.

“I am definitely getting better day by day, both physically and mentally,” Bowers said. “Taking hard hits or anytime I end up on the ground that just builds my confidence that much more on my knee.

“I am very comfortable with Phil Pressey on the floor and think our chemistry is coming along greatly and with the other guys as well. I just have to get better with progression day by day.”

Chasson Randle had 22 points for the Cardinal (3-2), who have lost two straight after an eight-game winning streak.

“They made a lot of plays when it counted – a lot of offensive rebound putbacks, beat us to loose balls,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “They did a good job in those areas.”

Missouri finished with a 43-39 rebound advantage including 19-12 on the offensive end.

“I thought it was a very physical game and thought we responded very well after the first part of the game,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “We had some guys make some big plays down the stretch.

“Rebounding and defense is a big part of who this team is. I thought we did that much better in the second half and were able to come out with a win.”

Stanford, which trailed by 12 points in the first half, stayed within reach in the second half and was down 72-68 with 1:15 left on a long jumper by John Gage.

Pressey took over from there, scoring the Tigers’ last four points and assisting on the two before that.

Oriakhi, who played in this tournament last season with Connecticut, had 13 points for Missouri. Oriakhi transferred after the season and did not have sit out a season because Connecticut was put on probation.

Earnest Ross had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers but he was 3 for 19 from the field and missed all five 3-point attempts.

Missouri shot 36.6 percent from the field, just 31.9 percent in the second half.

“When your shots don’t fall, that doesn’t mean you can’t win,” Haith said. “You have to find a way.”

Dwight Powell had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal while Gage added 10 points.

“It definitely was a physical game. We learned a lot from it,” Powell said. “Those guys competed hard especially offensively and showed us that we have to have five guys rebound and we cannot allow them to bully us underneath like they did today. Something we can definitely improve on.”

Randle was coming off a 2-for-16 effort from 3-point range in the loss to Belmont and he was 1 of 6 from there against Missouri. The Cardinal were 6 for 26 from beyond the arc while Missouri was 4 of 19.

The West Plains Lady Zizzers have been ranked 6th by the MBCA/Mo Sports poll.  The Lady Zizzers open their season Monday November 26.  Listen live on KWPM 1450 AM!


1.  Walnut Grove (26-6)
2.  North Mercer (28-1)
3.  Chamois (23-5)
4.  Marion County (30-1)
5.  Wellington  Napoleon (24-6)
6.  Jefferson (28-3)
7.  Montrose (27-1)
8.  Meadville  (23-5)
9.  Southwest (25-2)
10.  Meadville  (23-5)


1.  Seymour  (30-2)
2.  Harrisburg  (21-5)
3.  Clopton (24-4)
4.  New Haven  (18-13)
5.  Windsor  (21-5)
6.  North Platte  (22-8)
7.  Fordland(26-4)
8.  Neelyville (20-7)
9.  Maysville (23-4)
10.  Marionvile (21-10)


1.  Principia? (26-4)
2.  Hermann (26-2)
3.  Ash Grove (19-7)
4.  California  (22-6)
5.  Hallsville (26-5)
6.  Bowling Green  (22-6)
7.  Mt. Vernon (26-7)
8.  St. James (18-9)
9.  Licking (17-9)
10.  Lawson (25-5)


1.  Incarnate Word (26-7)
2.  Republic (23-8)
3.  Smithville (26-6)
4.  Miller Career (23-6)
5.  Westminster  (26-5)
6.  West Plains (23-4)
7.  Pleasant Hill  (25-4)
8.  Helias (21-8)
9.  Dexter (24-5)
10.  Bolivar(20-7


1.  Rock Bridge (27–5)
2.  Blue Springs  (27-5)
3.  St. Joseph’s  Academy (25-6)
4.  Ozark (24-5)
5.  Nixa (21-7)
6.  Francis Howell Central (20-10)
7.  Parkway South (15-14)
8.  Glendale  (22-4)
9.  Marquette?  (15-11)
10.  Lee’s Summit  North (22-4)

TIGERS GET ONE LAST SHOT IN 2012    The swan song for the 2012 regular season is set for this Saturday in College Station, Texas, where the Missouri Tigers (5-6 overall, 2-5 in Southeastern Conference play) will take on the high-flying 9th/10th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (9-2, 5-2).  Kickoff between the former Big 12 conference mates at Kyle Field is set for 6:10 p.m. central Saturday, with the game being televised on ESPN2.    Mizzou will get one last chance to attain bowl eligibility, and keep alive hopes of extending its bowl season streak to eight.  Those hopes were put on hold last Saturday in Columbia, as the Tigers dropped their home finale to Syracuse, 31-27.  Mizzou got out to a 17-3 versus Syracuse, only to see the Orange storm back with 21 4th-quarter points to claim the win.  The Tigers hung tight, despite losing starting QB James Franklin (head injury) in the 4th quarter, and took leads of 24-17 and 27-24 under the guidance of backup QB Corbin Berkstresser, but the Orange passing attack proved too hard to hold.  Syracuse threw for 385 yards on the night, including a 17-yard TD pass with just :20 seconds left for the win.    Texas A&M comes into Saturday’s matchup riding a 4-game winning streak, which includes impressive wins at Auburn (63-21), at #15 Mississippi State (38-13) and at #1 Alabama (29-24), as the Aggies handed the Crimson Tide their only loss to date.  A&M downed Sam Houston State in a tune-up game last Saturday by a 47-28 count.  Both of A&M’s losses have come at home in 2012, with both coming against ranked foes – #24 Florida and #6 LSU.

MIZZOU STUNG BY LATE SYRACUSE RALLY      The Mizzou Tigers had things rolling early last Saturday against Syracuse, in a game featuring teams with identical 5-5 records.  Mizzou held a 17-3 in the 2nd quarter, but the Orange scored 21 4th-quarter points, and took their first and only lead of the game on a 17-yard TD pass with just :20 seconds left to claim a 31-27 win and crush Mizzou’s hopes for a celebration on its Senior Night.      Knowing a win would make them bowl eligible, the Tigers came out on fire, scoring TDs on their first two possessions, on TD passes by QB James Franklin of 70 yards and 30 yards, respectively, to freshman WR Dorial Green-Beckham and sophomore WR Jimmie Hunt.  The lead was extended to 17-3 midway through the 2nd quarter, but the Orange hung around with a late TD before halftime to make it 17-10.      After a scoreless third quarter, Syracuse started their onslaught with a 13-yard TD pass with 14:14 to play to tie the game at 17-apiece.  The Tigers appeared poised to answer that score with one of their own, and reached the Orange 22-yardline, but MU was stuffed on 2nd-and-1 and 3rd-and-1 run tries, and forced to settle for a 42-yard field goal attempt, which was no good.      The Tiger defense bowed its backs and forced a 3-and-out, and MU’s offense, now run by backup QB Corbin Berkstresser, who subbed for Franklin, (woozy from a hit in the head on the previous 3rd-and-1 keeper).  Berkstresser calmly led a 6-play, 79-yard drive which ended with TB Kendial Lawrence’s 3-yard TD run to give MU a 24-17 lead with 7:07 to play.      But Syracuse wouldn’t stand down, and responded with a 7-play, 75-yard drive which took only 1:34 off the clock, and suddenly it was tied again, at 24-24 with 5:33 remaining.  Mizzou’s next drive stalled, but the Tigers got a turnover, when CB Randy Ponder picked off a deflected pass on the MU 39-yardline and returned it to midfield.  Lawrence ran twice for 16 yards and Berkstresser hit WR Marcus Lucas for 9 yards to get it to a 3rd-and-1 at the Syracuse 25-yardline with around two minutes left, but once again the Tigers couldn’t get the push they needed, and Lawrence was thrown for a loss on the 3rd-and-short rush attempt.  That forced a 46-yard field goal, which PK Andrew Baggett nailed with 1:52 to play to give MU what would be its last lead, at 27-24.      On Syracuse’s ensuing possession, armed with only one timeout, the Orange needed only two plays to reach the MU 36-yardline.  Three straight incompletions set up a 4th-and-10 there, and needing only one more stop, the Tiger defense was hit for a 19-yard gain to the Tiger 17.  On the next play, Orange QB Ryan Nassib hit a wide-open Alec Lemon for the back-breaking TD with just :20 seconds left, and the game ended with Syracuse the victors, 31-27.


Jacksonville rode a red-hot second-half shooting performance to a double-digit advantage over Missouri State, then held off the Bears’ frantic rally to notch a 64-58 victory Monday evening at JQH Arena. JU’s Keith McDougald led the way for the visitors with 17 points, including a critical bucket with 34 ticks left on the clock that helped stem the Bears’ late push.

The Dolphins (2-2), who shot .520 (13-of-25) from the field after intermission, led by as many as 14 points before the Bears whittled the margin to one point with just under two-and-a-half minutes to play. After a pair of Keith Pickens free throws made it a 59-58 contest and McDougald misfired from beyond the arc, MSU would have four shots at knocking down the go-ahead field goal, but the Dolphin defense would hold. Following the Bears’ third offensive rebound of the possession, McDougald finally corralled Gavin Thurman’s three-point miss, then drove the lane and converted from close range to give JU some much-needed breathing room with just over a half-minute to play.

MSU failed to get a shot off on its next trip down the court, and McDougald would knock down a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left on the clock to ice the victory.

The close finish came on the heels of a torrid Jacksonville shooting effort in the middle stages of the game that saw the visitors threaten to blow the contest wide open. JU caught fire from the field midway through the opening half to turn the tide in a back-and-forth contest. The Dolphins used a 13-4 scoring run to take control of the game and shot .458 (11-of-24) from the floor in the opening half to build a 30-26 halftime advantage. The visitors kept the heat on the Bears to start the second stanza by cashing in on eight of their first 12 field goal tries to stretch the margin to double figures. Five different Dolphins scored as part of a 12-2 run that turned a four-point game into a 46-32 advantage for JU–the largest lead of the night for either club. Dylan Fritsch delivered the biggest blow during the outburst, sinking a 3-pointer with 14:59 left on the clock to hand the Dolphins their first double-digit lead at 42-32. Kordario Fleming added an easy lay-in, and Tyler Alderman knocked down an 18-foot jumper to cap the run.

But, trailing 52-38 with just under nine minutes to play, the Bears began their comeback, as Thurman scored five straight points in a span of 37 seconds, and Anthony Downing converted 1-of-2 free-throw attempts to pull MSU to within eight. The two teams traded free throws until Keith Pickens went on a personal 7-0 run to slice the Dolphins lead to just three points. The Bears’ junior scored in the paint with 6:08 to go to start the spurt, then converted two free throws before banking home a trey from the left wing to make it a 56-53 game with 4:43 to play.

But McDougald had an answer for Jacksonville, responding with a long three of his own on the Dolphins next possession, temporarily giving JU a six-point lead once again.

Dorrian Williams came right back with another long-distance delivery for MSU just 13 seconds later and, following a key steal, Pickens hit two more free throws to make it a one-point game.

But that would be as close as the Bears would get, as McDougald’s clutch basket started JU’s 5-0, game-clinching run, dropping MSU to 1-2 on the season.

The big finish came after a nip-and-tuck opening that saw both clubs struggle to find enough traction to take over the game. The Bears took an early 5-2 lead behind a Christian Kirk jumper and a Downing 3-pointer, but the Dolphins responded behind the play of McDougald, who accounted for five of their first seven points, including a trey at the 17:43 mark to give his club its first lead of the night.

Neither team led by more than three until seven unanswered Jacksonville points midway through the half handed the visitors a five-point advantage. With the Bears holding an 11-9 lead, Fleming’s lay-up at the 13:23 mark started what would ultimately turn into an 13-4 spurt for JU. Marcellous Bell’s three and a McDougald jumper with 10:41 left on the clock started a stretch that saw the Dolphins hit on five of six tries from the floor to make it a 16-11 game. Glenn Powell’s bucket with just over eight minutes to play capped the run and gave JU its biggest margin of the half at 22-15.

MSU fought back with five straight points from Downing in just over a minute to pull back to within two points, but JU would open its lead back up to five in the closing minutes of the half before settling for a four-point edge at the break.

Missouri State struggled on the offensive end for the second consecutive game, finishing 19-of-55 (.345) from the field, including just 6-of-21 (.286) from three-point range. The Bears had an equally as tough time at the foul line, going 14-of-24 (.583) on free throws.

Led by McDougald’s performance and 10 points from Glenn Powell, Jacksonville shot 49 percent (19-of-55) from the floor for the game and hit 11-of-14 (.786) free-throw attempts.

Downing paced the Bears with 15 points, while Pickens finished with 11 and Kirk added 10.

The Bears continue play in the Hoops For Hope Classic Wednesday night with a 7:05 p.m. tilt against Malone at JQH Arena. Tickets for the contest are available through, the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena and by phone at (417) 836-7678 during regular box office hours

The MSU West Plains Grizzlies defeated Neosho County Community College Tuesday night at the West Plains Civic Center by a final of 63-47.  This puts the Grizzlies at 5-2 this season.  They next play Angelina College from Lufkin, Texas on November 25.  Listen live on KDY 102.5.

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