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Archive for February, 2013

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team made sure it remained atop the Region 16 rankings Saturday, Feb. 16, by defeating the Three Rivers College Raiders, Poplar Bluff, Mo., 77-68 in the annual homecoming game at the West Plains Civic Center.


The Grizzlies (20-9) are now 5-2 in region play and tied for first place with the State Fair Community College Roadrunners (20-7) of Sedalia, Mo., who defeated Moberly Area Community College (21-7) of Moberly, Mo.,  86-80 Saturday night in Sedalia.  Moberly drops to 4-3 in the region, while the Raiders (13-14) finish region campaign with an 0-8 record.


The Grizzlies will play Moberly Saturday night, Feb. 23, at the civic center in the final regular season game of the year.  State Fair will meet Mineral Area College (21-6) of Park Hills, Mo., Saturday, as well.  The Cardinals are tied with Moberly for third place in the region with a 4-3 record.  The games will determine the final seedings and pairings for the Region 16 Championship Tournament.


As for the homecoming victory Saturday night, Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said, “we were due for a game like this.  It is incredibly hard to maintain the level of focus and concentration needed to go on a winning streak.  Our concentration level dropped substantially when we found out that they weren’t at full strength.  We were able to do enough to come away with a win.”


For the game, the Grizzlies hit 18 of 46 attempts from the field for 39.1 percent, seven of 17 3-point attempts for 41.2 percent and 34 of 41 free throw attempts for 82.9 percent.  They also collected 23 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and eight steals while committing nine turnovers.


“We did a good job attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line,” Walker said.  “We didn’t have very many assists, but we didn’t shoot very well and the baskets we did make were off of penetration.”


Leading scorers for the Grizzlies were freshmen guards Devaugntah Williams, Delvonte Pierre and Arroyo Edwards, who had 20, 13 and 12 points, respectively.  Sophomore forward Keaton Jackson, who scored 9 points, grabbed 11 of the team’s 23 rebounds.


The Raiders hit 28 of their 47 attempts from the field for 59.6 percent, seven of their 16 3-point shots for 43.8 percent and five of their eight free throw attempts for 62.5 percent.  They also collected 19 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals while committing 13 turnovers.  Leading scorers were Eli Sample and Brandon Strickland, each with 12 points.


“We have to find that burning inside that allowed us to play well defensively against Mineral Area, Moberly and State Fair,” Walker said.  “Our crowd Saturday was outstanding.  We’ll need that same type of help against Moberly Saturday night.”


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

Courtesy Missouri State Athletics

Missouri State (8-19, 6-9 MVC) got 20 points from Anthony Downing and 8 rebounds from Keith Pickens, but home standing Southern Illinois (11-15, 4-11) had an answer for every Bears’ run in a 62-54 Salukis’ win here on Saturday in Missouri Valley Conference play.

The Bears started the second half on a 10-2 run to trim a 31-22 halftime deficit to one. Downing notched 9 of the Bears’ points in the first 3 minutes, 39 seconds of the second stanza that made it a 33-32 contest.

Southern rallied from there with 6 unanswered points to make it 39-32, including 4 by Jeff Early who shared game-high honors with Downing with his 20 points for SIU.

Just over seven minutes into the second half, Christian Kirk etched the Bears closer with a 15-footer on the right baseline, and Dorrian Williams converted a layup after a hustle play by Pickens who tipped a contested rebound six times before dishing to Williams to make it 39-36 at 11:47.

A minute later, Gavin Thurman made it a 40-38 game with a 20-footer from the left wing. Williams returned to the line at the 10:05 mark with a chance to tie the game, but missed both ends. The Bears fought for two offensive rebounds after the second miss, but could not convert. SIU then reeled off 10 unanswered points to give the Salukis their biggest lead of the night, 50-38, at the five-minute mark.

The Bears hung around and cut their deficit to six twice more. With just over a minute to go and the SIU possession in jeopardy with a diminishing shot clock, Downing gathered a steal and headed down the sideline for a dunk to bring the Bears back within four. But a late whistle called Downing out of bounds on the drive to the bucket, nullifying the basket. SIU converted 3-of-4 free throws thereafter and stretched it back to a 9-point lead.

In the final minute, SIU made 10-of-12 charity shots and finished 16-for-20 (.800) for the game from the line.

Kirk had 13 points off the bench to help MSU’s efforts. The Bears had just 10 turnovers, including 4 in the second half, and shot 43.5 (20-for-46) percent from the field. The Bears were just 3-for-16 (.188) from beyond the arc and finished 11-for-14 (.786) at the line.

The teams split 50 rebounds, 25-25.

SIU also got 11 points from Desmar Jackson. The Salukis were 22-for-43 (.512) from the field and 2-of-12 (.167) from downtown with 8 turnovers.

Missouri State spotted the Salukis the first 10 points of the game and outscored them over the last 15 minutes of the first half, only to trail 31-22 at the intermission.

After the early 10-0 deficit, MSU began clawing back into the game and made it a 12-9 contest with a layup by Downing on a great pass from Pickens at the 11:12 mark.

The SIU lead teetered between 5 and 7 points until a 3-pointer by Kendal Brown-Surles with just over three minutes left in the opening period made it 25-17. Davante Drinkard added a hook shot on SIU’s next possession to push the home club’s lead to 10 and match SIU’s largest lead of the half.

MSU reeled off the game’s next 5 points with a 3-pointer by Marshall and a short jumper by Downing that made it a 27-22 game with 1:17 to play. But Early scored the last four points of the half for SIU to stretch the home lead back to 9 at the break.

The Bears return to JQH Arena on Tuesday for a White Out game against Northern Iowa (16-11, 9-6) at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for the second-to-last home contest of the season are on sale now at or during regular box office hours at the Chevy Pickup Window at JQH Arena and by phone at (417) 836-7678.

Courtesy Missouri State Athletics

San Marcos, Tx. — Missouri State built a 3-0 lead, then withstood a late rally by Sam Houston State to notch its second straight victory with a 3-2 win over the Bearkats Saturday evening at the CenturyLink Bobcat Invitational. Senior pitcher Cody Schumacher matched a career high with nine strikeouts over seven strong innings, and Erik Shannahan closed the door to help the Bears improve to 2-0 for the first time in five years.

Schumacher (1-0) was in control for most of the evening, scattering six hits while walking just one and striking out six of the first 10 hitters he faced to allow his club time to establish the upper hand.

Shannahan got the job done on the hill late for the Bears to earn his first save of the year. The senior right-hander entered in the eighth inning with the tying run 90 feet from home and promptly retired Carter Burgess on a ground ball before closing out the decision with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.

Missouri State took advantage of a touch of wildness from Sam Houston State starter Cody Dickson to build an early three-run lead. After issuing a walk to Dylan Becker to start the game, Dickson unloaded a two-out wild pitch to allow the Bears’ second baseman to score with the game’s first run.

The Bears came up with another two-out tally in the third after Tate Matheny drew a base-on-balls, moved to second on a Travis McComack sacrifice and scored when Keenen Maddox lined a double down the left-field line. Dickson put both Becker and McComack on to begin the fifth, and Luke Voit would make the Bearkats pay by driving an RBI single to center for a 3-0 Bears’ advantage.

Sam Houston State (0-2) finally broke through against Schumacher in the sixth courtesy of a Ryan O’Hearn RBI single that scored Luke Plucheck and snapped the Bears’ string of 16 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to begin the season. With Schumacher out of the game after a 109-pitch night, the Bearkats would gear up their offense in the eighth, striking for three straight hits to pull to within 3-2.

But Shannahan would relieve Zach Merciez and come up with perhaps the key out of the game by coaxing a bouncer to short off the bat of Burgess, who had hits in two of his previous three trips to the plate. Shannahan would give up a two-out hit to Colt Atwood in the ninth, but extinguished the Bearkats hopes by fanning Plucheck for the final out.

MSU, which was out-hit 10-3 by SHSU, drew seven walks on the night and got an offensive lift from Becker for the second day in a row. The sophomore infielder walked twice and scored two times–including the game-winner–against the Bearkats after driving in the go-ahead run in the Bears’ 11-inning win over Texas State on Friday.

In addition to Burgess’s two-hit day for the Bearkats, O’Hearn and Miller each went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Dickson suffered the loss for the Bearkats after allowing all three MSU runs in 4.0 innings of work. Jason Simms came on to pitch valiantly, tossing four scoreless innings of one-hit ball to keep SHSU in the contest.

Missouri State will conclude play in the tournament Sunday with an 11 a.m. game against Tulane (1-1).

Dalton Freshour

Dalton Freshour


West Plains High School Senior, Dalton Freshour, signed with Williams Baptist College of Walnut Ridge Arkansas to play baseball and attend school in the fall of 2013.  Freshour received an academic and athletic scholarship.  During Freshour’s junior year, he pitched in 51 innings, had 57 hits, struck out 27, 24 runs and 12 walks.  In 49 at bats he had 13 hits, 10 singles, three doubles, six RBIs, and 12 walks,  Freshour is sitting next to his parents Archie and Rhonda Freshur.  In the back row is WPHS Activities Drector Greg Simpkins, Head Baseball Coach Chris Quart and Assistant Coach Caleb Dudley.

     The Summersville PTO and the Wildcat Booster Club are teaming up to bring you an action-packed evening of tricks, hoops, and alley-oops as the world-renowned Harlem Wizards come to our little town to take on The Wild Ball Hogz. This will be a basketball game like you have never seen before. The Hogz are a team made up of Summersville alumni and staff, as well as players from the Eminence and Mtn. View communities. They will challenge six of the Wizards professional ball handling, high flying hoopers led by Eric “Broadway” Jones. The game will be held at the Summersville High School, and will start at 6:30 on Tuesday, February 26. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and we will have food and drink, souvenirs, and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are available at Summersville elementary and high schools, Summersville Community Bank and Video Village. In Mountain View, you can buy tickets at the elementary and high schools and at Byrne Enterprise in Eminence. Get your tickets in advance and save! Tickets for students and sr. citizens are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, for everyone else $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Children 4 and under get in free. If you purchase a ticket for an elementary student from Summersville, Mtn. View, or Eminence, please write down that sudent’s name and turn it in to the ticket seller. We will be drawing the name of one elementary student from each participating school to sit on the bench with the Harlem Wizards during the game. This only applies to students that have pre-bought a ticket as the drawing will be held the day before the game at the school assemblies. We invite everyone from the area communities to come out and join us for this awesome experience the whole family will never forget!

     STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Devyn Marble scored 22 points and Melsahn Basabe blocked a potential game-tying layup with 21 seconds left to help Iowa hold off Penn State 74-72 on Thursday night.
     Iowa (16-9, 5-7 Big Ten) led by at least 10 twice in the game but couldn’t put away the league’s last-place team until late.
     The Nittany Lions (8-16, 0-12) went 0 for 2 from the field in the last 30 seconds with a chance to tie or take the lead, capped by Basabe’s block of Jermaine Marshall’s drive to the paint.
     Marble was fouled on the ensuing inbounds and hit two foul shots for a four-point lead with 20.9 seconds left.
     Penn State had one last chance, down three with 1.5 seconds left and Marshall on the foul line. Marshall hit both shots, but the Nittany Lions whiffed on a chance for a game-tying putback if Marshall had missed at the line.
     STANFORD, Calif. (AP) – Jio Fontan scored 15 points and Southern California survived a late rally by Stanford to win 65-64 on Thursday night. 
     Dewayne Dedmon added 13 points and eight rebounds and J.T. Terrell had 12 points for the Trojans (12-13, 7-5 Pac-12), who have won four in a row. USC had lost nine of its previous 10 games at Maples Pavilion.
     USC also swept the season series, having beaten Stanford 71-69 on Jan. 3 in Los Angeles.
     Josh Huestis led the Cardinal (15-10, 6-6) with a career-high 22 points. Chasson Randle scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers, but missed a 3 attempt at the buzzer for Stanford.
     Dwight Powell finished with 17 rebounds, the most by a Cardinal since Brook Lopez had 15 boards in 2008.
     LOS ANGELES (AP) – Chris Paul had 24 points and 13 assists, Blake Griffin scored 18 of his 22 points in a spectacular first quarter, and the Clippers cemented their supremacy in Los Angeles with a 125-101 victory over the Lakers on Thursday night.
     Chauncey Billups hit five 3-pointers while scoring 21 points for the Clippers, who never trailed as they roared into the All-Star break by clinching the season series in their city rivalry for the first time in 20 years.
     The Clippers have won the Staples Center co-tenants’ first three games of the year, with Los Angeles’ longtime underdogs burying the 16-time champions in this latest meeting under a wave of 16 3-pointers.
     Kobe Bryant had 20 points and 11 assists for the Lakers, who head to the break in 10th place in the Western Conference.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

By R.B. FALLSTROM ~ The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter hasn’t ruled out pitching again, including this year.

If that seems remarkable, remember that it’s Carpenter, whose sporadically brilliant career has included several comebacks from injury.

The 37-year-old Carpenter met with reporters at Busch Stadium on Monday as pitchers and catchers reported to spring training in Jupiter, Fla. Last week, the team said it wasn’t counting on the long-time staff ace this season, shut down this time due to apparent circulation problems that left his pitching hand aching and discolored for hours after he left the mound.

Against odds, perhaps, there’s dogged optimism.

“Maybe I don’t ever want it to end,” Carpenter said. “I don’t think I’ll ever retire, to be honest with you. I’ll never say that word. There might always be hope. Maybe like when I’m 48 I can come back and pitch some more.”

The 2005 NL Cy Young winner plans on meeting with team medical personnel returning after doing physical exams in Florida. He hadn’t responded to text messages from numerous well-wishers, nor one from Dr. Greg Pearl of Dallas, who performed radical surgery last July to relieve nerve compression in the shoulder that involved removing a rib, because he “didn’t know what to say.”

“It was supposed to be fine,” Carpenter said. “And it hasn’t been. So we’ll see what happens.”

When Carpenter was shut down last spring, the symptoms were numbness and tingling up and down the right side of the body, including his face. Carpenter had been confident at the team’s Winter Warm-up in mid-January that he’d be ready to go. Not long afterward, he had to cut short his first attempt throwing off a mound. He gave it a few more tries before informing the team.

“I was trying to think of reasons to be positive about what’s going on,” Carpenter said. “My arm felt pretty good, my hand was a little messed up. It just continued to go downhill.”

The fourth session, Carpenter said, he was throwing at 70 percent effort and “had no idea where the ball was going.”

Carpenter is entering the second year of a two-year, $21 million contract and said he owed it the organization to keep trying. But after undergoing an eighth surgery last season that “absolutely” left concerns about long-term health, he said there would not be a ninth.

He declined invitations to attend spring training from manager Mike Matheny, general manager John Mozeliak and teammates who consider him a clubhouse leader. Carpenter said he did not want to be a distraction for a team now looking for two new starting pitchers after Kyle Lohse left for free agency, and wasn’t ready to be a full-time mentor, especially after getting shut down early in spring training last year.

“I keep hounding on him about it,” Matheny said in Jupiter, Fla. “Every time he’s around, he brings value. I’d love to have him here. Where he is right now, it’s not an easy situation.”

Concern about lefty Jaime Garcia’s shoulder adds more uncertainty to the rotation from an NL wild card team that lost to the Giants in the NLCS last fall. Young right-handers Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal are candidates for spots.

“When you’re in this situation once it’s hard enough. When you’re in it three or four times it becomes a big pain,” Carpenter said. “Mentally and physically it’s hard to come in every day and try to think you’re part of it when you’re not.”

Carpenter was 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA in 2005, led the National League with a 2.24 ERA in 2009 and has a career 10-4 record and 3.00 ERA in 18 postseason starts. He was 4-0 in the 2011 postseason, beating the Rangers twice in the World Series.

But he totaled 21 1-3 innings in 2007 and ’08 due to elbow and shoulder woes and missed the 2004 postseason due to nerve issues in the shoulder. He made only six starts last year, half of them in the postseason and none of them close to his old form.

“I felt as soon as I got to a certain pitch count, a certain level, the fatigue starting setting in pretty easy,” Carpenter said. “Before I’d never had that problem. I could definitely tell there was a difference.”

On Monday, Carpenter said he had no symptoms. Of course, he hasn’t been pitching.

“If I feel like I can throw again and I’m cleared to start throwing again, I’m sure I probably will,” he said. “I’m not dying, I just have a messed-up arm.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

By DAVID BRANDT ~ The Associated Press
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Keion Bell raced down the floor late in the second half before realizing he wasn’t being followed. 

Then the 6-foot-4 senior slowed down, took his time, and threw down a spectacular 360-degree dunk.

It was a fitting final image: Missouri putting on a show and Mississippi State doing absolutely nothing to stop it.

Bell scored 24 points, Jabari Brown added 20 and Missouri easily beat Mississippi State 78-36 on Wednesday night to hand the Bulldogs their worst home loss in the history of Humphrey Coliseum, which opened in 1975.

Missouri (18-6, 7-4 Southeastern Conference) jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the opening minutes and led 34-10 by halftime. It took Mississippi State (7-16, 2-9) more than nine minutes to score its first basket — a 3-pointer by Colin Borchert — but by then the game was basically finished.

“It was great to get out and get a good start,” Brown said. “Home or on the road, you never want to play from behind.”

Missouri won its first road game of the season. Mississippi State’s losing streak has reached nine games and spanned more than a month.

It is Mississippi State’s longest losing streak since 1987. Trivante Bloodman led the Bulldogs with 13 points.

“To be quite frank, this is an embarrassing loss,” Mississippi State coach Rick Ray said. “We were inept on offense.”

Missouri led by as many as 44 points in the second half.

The Tigers shot 31 of 58 (53.4 percent) from the field.

Bell finished 10 of 16 from the field, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range. His 24 points tied a season high and the performance was punctuated by the 360-degree dunk late in the second half. The 50 or so Missouri fans in the upper deck of Humphrey Coliseum went wild. The rest of the building groaned.

“Keion has really gotten more confident,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “He’s had further to come as far as his game. He’s really starting to learn his shots.”

Brown was 7 of 11 from the field. Missouri outrebounded Mississippi State 46-25.

Missouri’s first road win of the season came with ease. The Tigers pushed ahead 23-4 on Bell’s jumper with 7:11 remaining and were never challenged.

Mississippi State continues to explore the depths of ineptitude with only six scholarship players and two walk-ons in the playing rotation. The Bulldogs haven’t won since beating Georgia on Jan. 12 and now face two road games over the next week against LSU and Alabama.

It took Mississippi State more than nine minutes and 12 shot attempts to score. Borchert finally got the Bulldogs on the board with his 3-pointer, but the points didn’t come much faster after that.

It’s been a trying season for Ray, whose roster has been decimated by defections and injuries during his first season. But nobody in the SEC is going to feel sorry for the Bulldogs, and they found that out once again during Wednesday’s beatdown.

“It’s like one of the coaches said, we’ve got seven games left whether we like it or not,” Mississippi State freshman Gavin Ware said.

Mississippi State shot just 4 of 25 (16 percent) in the first half. Missouri’s Bell outscored the Bulldogs by himself in that half, scoring 16 to lead the Tigers.

The Bulldogs looked a little better early in the second half. A Roquez Johnson free throw pulled Mississippi State within 42-23 with 14:56 left but Missouri scored the next 12 points to erase what little doubt remained.

Mississippi State couldn’t shoot from anywhere. The Bulldogs were just 11 of 46 (23.9 percent) from the field, 3 of 19 (15.8 percent) on 3-pointers and 11 of 22 (50 percent) on free throws.

“I didn’t think we played great defense, but the root of our problems were on the offensive end,” Ray said. “Our inability to make crisp passes or throwing it at guys’ ankles took some good looks away.”