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(West Plains) – A strong total team effort helped the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team pick up a key 82-70 win on the road Tuesday evening, Nov. 18, against Redlands Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma.

“This was a great team road win,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said. “We had different guys step up both offensively and defensively in different parts of the game. Since we’re pretty young, I’m not sure these guys know what they accomplished. Redlands soundly defeated the 15th ranked team in the nation on the road and really hadn’t been touched since. We went to their place and held them to their lowest point total of the season.”

The game stayed tight in the first half. Neither team led by more than 5 points in the half, and the lead changed 12 times during the period before they knotted the score at 39-39 at halftime. Although Redlands jumped out to an early lead in the second half, a 3-point shot by freshman forward Terrel Martin-Garcia put the Grizzlies up 45-44 at the 17:42 mark, and the Grizzlies continued build their advantage for the remainder of the game, using great defense to shut down Redlands’ scoring for nine minutes during the period.

“We held a team averaging 95 points a game scoreless for nine minutes of the second half. That’s a huge accomplishment for any team at any level,” Walker said. “We didn’t play poorly in the first half, but they were playing with a lot of confidence. We had to weather that storm, and we did.”

The Grizzlies’ ability to score in transition and off second chance points played a key role in the win. The Grizzlies scored 14 points in transition compared to Redlands’ 2 and 20 second chance points to Redlands’ 6.

“We had a lot more success than they did in transition and in second chance points,” Walker said. “We told the team before the game that we had to keep them out of transition, and we had to limit their second chance points. We did a good job at both and were able to put together a great win.”

Overall, the Grizzlies hit 26 of 64 shots from the field for 40.6 percent, eight of 27 3-point attempts for 29.6 percent and 22 of 28 free throws for 78.6 percent. They also had 40 rebounds (13 offensive), 13 assists, 17 turnovers, eight blocks and 12 steals.

Leading the way was sophomore guard Jameel Moore, who had 22 points, two rebounds and four assists. Martin-Garcia had 19 points, nine rebounds (two offensive), one assist and two blocks. Freshman guard Chris Kouakou added 11 points. Also noteworthy were the blocks made by freshman forward Ngor Barnaba and sophomore forward Desmond Rorie, both of whom had two.

Redlands connected on 26 of 67 attempts from the field for 37.3 percent, nine of 26 3-point attempts for 34.6 percent and 11 of 20 free throws for 55 percent. The team also recorded 37 rebounds (15 offensive), 16 assists and 18 turnovers. Leading scorers were Jerry Owens with 18 points, and Daniel Hurtt 11.

The Grizzlies return to the road Saturday, Nov. 22, to face Eastern Oklahoma State College in a 3 p.m. contest in Wilburton. “We have to keep pushing forward,” Walker said. “We have a tough Eastern Oklahoma team on Saturday. Our fans will remember their coach, Scott Edgar, from his days as the head coach at Southeast Missouri State University and as an assistant at the University of Arkansas when Nolan Richardson was the head coach.”.

A strong total team effort helped the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Basketball team pick up a key 82-70 win on the road Tuesday evening, Nov. 18, against Redlands Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma.

“This was a great team road win,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said.  “We had different guys step up both offensively and defensively in different parts of the game.  Since we’re pretty young, I’m not sure these guys know what they accomplished.  Redlands soundly defeated the 15th ranked team in the nation on the road and really hadn’t been touched since.  We went to their place and held them to their lowest point total of the season.”

The game stayed tight in the first half.  Neither team led by more than 5 points in the half, and the lead changed 12 times during the period before they knotted the score at 39-39 at halftime.  Although Redlands jumped out to an early lead in the second half, a 3-point shot by freshman forward Terrel Martin-Garcia put the Grizzlies up 45-44 at the 17:42 mark, and the Grizzlies continued build their advantage for the remainder of the game, using great defense to shut down Redlands’ scoring for nine minutes during the period.

“We held a team averaging 95 points a game scoreless for nine minutes of the second half.  That’s a huge accomplishment for any team at any level,” Walker said.  “We didn’t play poorly in the first half, but they were playing with a lot of confidence.  We had to weather that storm, and we did.”

The Grizzlies’ ability to score in transition and off second chance points played a key role in the win.  The Grizzlies scored 14 points in transition compared to Redlands’ 2 and 20 second chance points to Redlands’ 6.

“We had a lot more success than they did in transition and in second chance points,” Walker said.  “We told the team before the game that we had to keep them out of transition, and we had to limit their second chance points.  We did a good job at both and were able to put together a great win.”

Overall, the Grizzlies hit 26 of 64 shots from the field for 40.6 percent, eight of 27 3-point attempts for 29.6 percent and 22 of 28 free throws for 78.6 percent.  They also had 40 rebounds (13 offensive), 13 assists, 17 turnovers, eight blocks and 12 steals.

Leading the way was sophomore guard Jameel Moore, who had 22 points, two rebounds and four assists.  Martin-Garcia had 19 points, nine rebounds (two offensive), one assist and two blocks.  Freshman guard Chris Kouakou added 11 points.  Also noteworthy were the blocks made by freshman forward Ngor Barnaba and sophomore forward Desmond Rorie, both of whom had two.

Redlands connected on 26 of 67 attempts from the field for 37.3 percent, nine of 26 3-point attempts for 34.6 percent and 11 of 20 free throws for 55 percent.  The team also recorded 37 rebounds (15 offensive), 16 assists and 18 turnovers.  Leading scorers were Jerry Owens with 18 points, and Daniel Hurtt 11.

The Grizzlies return to the road Saturday, Nov. 22, to face Eastern Oklahoma State College in a 3 p.m. contest in Wilburton.  “We have to keep pushing forward,” Walker said.  “We have a tough Eastern Oklahoma team on Saturday.  Our fans will remember their coach, Scott Edgar, from his days as the head coach at Southeast Missouri State University and as an assistant at the University of Arkansas when Nolan Richardson was the head coach.”

For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit the team’s website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb.htm or call the Grizzly Basketball office at 417-255-7993.  Complete game statistics can be found at http://stats.njcaa.org/sports/mbkb/2014-15/div1/teams/missouristateuniversitywestplains.

FILE - In this Aug. 9, 2014, file photo, Kansas City Royals' Billy Butler runs to third as he advances on an Alex Gordon single in the seventh inning during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Kansas City, Mo. A person with knowledge of the negotiations says free agent designated hitter Butler and the Oakland Athletics have agreed to a $30 million, three-year contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night, Nov. 18, 2014, because the A's had not announced the deal, their typical practice until a new player passes a physical. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga. File)

FILE – In this Aug. 9, 2014, file photo, Kansas City Royals’ Billy Butler runs to third as he advances on an Alex Gordon single in the seventh inning during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Kansas City, Mo. A person with knowledge of the negotiations says free agent designated hitter Butler and the Oakland Athletics have agreed to a $30 million, three-year contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night, Nov. 18, 2014, because the A’s had not announced the deal, their typical practice until a new player passes a physical. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga. File)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Free agent designated hitter Billy Butler and the Oakland Athletics have agreed to a $30 million, three-year contract, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday night.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the A’s had not announced the deal, their typical practice until a new player passes a physical. Butler would provide a right-handed bat with power who can also play first base.

Butler helped the Kansas City Royals reach the World Series last month after a 29-year playoff drought. In the postseason opener, they rallied late to eliminate Oakland in the AL wild-card game. Butler contributed two hits and two RBIs.

After losing to the San Francisco Giants in seven games, the Royals declined their $12.5 million option on Butler for next season, making the 2012 All-Star a free agent for the first time in his eight-year career.

The Royals, who selected Butler with the 14th overall pick in the 2004 draft, owed him a $1 million buyout.

The blog MLB Daily Rumors first reported his deal with the A’s earlier Tuesday.

Oakland used several players at first base this year, including catcher Stephen Vogt when he was dealing with a foot injury that required surgery after the season.

A steady and productive hitter for most of his career, the 28-year-old Butler is coming off a down season. He batted .271 with nine home runs and 66 RBIs in 151 games this year, 108 of those as a DH.

Before that, he played at least 158 games in each of the five previous years, including all 162 in 2013.

Butler’s best season was 2012, when he batted .313 with 29 homers and 107 RBIs. He made the All-Star team that year, when the game was played in Kansas City.

He dropped off to 15 homers and 82 RBIs in 2013, then struggled at the plate this year. As the Royals chased a playoff berth during the stretch run, he was regularly held out by manager Ned Yost in late September.

Once the Royals qualified for the playoffs, though, Butler returned to the lineup.

In his first postseason, he hit .262 (11 for 42) with eight RBIs, three doubles and a stolen base in 13 games as Kansas City won its first pennant since 1985.

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40), of Finland, makes a save on a shot by St. Louis Blues left wing Joakim Lindstrom (10), of Sweden, during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Rask shut out the Blues in a 2-0 win. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40), of Finland, makes a save on a shot by St. Louis Blues left wing Joakim Lindstrom (10), of Sweden, during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Rask shut out the Blues in a 2-0 win. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins were content being outshot by nearly a 2-to-1 ratio against St. Louis.

The Bruins focused on defense, forcing the Blues outside for shots that Tuukka Rask saw clearly and had no trouble stopping in a 2-0 win Tuesday night.

Rask made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season, which came against a Blues team that had won 10 of 11.

“You’re always going to get little ups and downs during the games, but for the most part we kept things tight and played a good game,” said Rask, who didn’t leave many rebound opportunities. “Whenever we play defense like that and keep them on the outside for the most part, it makes my job easier and I expect to make those saves. That was my job.”

Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug scored for the Bruins, who ended a six-game home losing streak against the Blues. Boston hadn’t won at home against the Blues since Jan. 30, 2001.

“We have to realize that for a long time now, every team was ready to play us,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “This is a good team to measure ourselves up against. So those are easier games to get up for. We’ve been on the other side of that, where we’ve seen every team come hard at us in the past, and that’s what we face.”

Brian Elliott made 15 saves for St. Louis, which outshot Boston 33-17 but was outplayed by the Bruins.

“They kept us on the perimeter all night. I know we had a lot of shots on goal, but we weren’t really a threat,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We were trying to make the extra play all night, rather than pound it in and look for the grease goal.”

Bergeron scored 5:45 into the game after Matt Fraser forced a turnover with Elliott caught behind the net. The Blues’ pass went right to Bergeron at the side and he one-timed the puck into the net as Elliott scrambled to get back into position.

While the goal was unassisted, Bergeron credited Fraser for setting up the play with his forechecking.

“He was solid from the first shift on and made some great plays. He uses his feet a lot and it definitely works to his advantage,” Bergeron said. “He caused a turnover and I was lucky enough to get the puck there.”

That stood as the only goal until Krug made it 2-0 on a wrist shot that deflected off Blues defenseman Ian Cole’s hip and got past Elliott with 8:29 left in the second period. Loui Eriksson and Matt Bartkowski got assists, and Bartkowski added a great defensive play with just under 2 minutes left in the period.

Vladimir Tarasenko split two Boston players inside the blue line and was headed in alone on Rask when Bartkowski recovered with a diving sweep from behind. Bartkowski knocked away the puck without touching Tarasenko, who leads St. Louis with 10 goals.

Bergeron had a chance at an empty-net goal with 2:01 left but was hooked by Paul Stastny. While the penalty likely saved St. Louis from another goal, it left the Blues short-handed for the remainder of the game.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kevin Vickerson has been a part of some stellar defensive fronts, whether he was playing next to Albert Haynesworth and Jevon Kearse in Tennessee or Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil in Denver.

Still, the Kansas City Chiefs are on pace to do something that neither of those defenses did – in fact, something that has never been done in the history of the NFL.

They still have not allowed a touchdown on the ground this season.

Sure, opponents have come close. Just last Sunday, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was repelled at the 2-yard line, setting up fourth down. Seattle threw a pass incomplete, and Kansas City went on to win a 24-20 nail-biter against the defending Super Bowl champions.

Other teams have come close to scoring on the ground, too. But none of them succeeded yet.

“It’s all about communication and knowing assignments,” said Vickerson, a veteran defensive tackle signed early this season. “When you know your assignments you can play fast. You’re not over there thinking. Communication is very important. That’s what we’ve been doing pretty good.”

The previous time a defense refused to allow a touchdown rushing this deep in the season was 2011, when the San Francisco 49ers went the first 14 games without one. That team went on to finish 13-3 behind current Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, losing to the Giants in the NFC title game.

The fewest touchdowns rushing allowed in any season is two, shared by the 1971 Vikings, ’68 Cowboys and ’34 Lions. All but the Lions reached the playoffs – Detroit went 10-3 and was second in its division in an era when fewer teams qualified for the postseason. Minnesota and Dallas each won its division, something the Chiefs have their sights set on this year.

They’re tied with Denver at 7-3 heading into Thursday night’s game in Oakland.

“You know, it’s a tribute to the guys for doing what they do,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I mean, sometimes that’s just how things fall. The guys obviously take a lot of pride in that.”

That was evident in the way they whooped it up heading to the sideline after stopping Lynch and the Seahawks on Sunday. It was as if the entire team has become invested in the way the defense played in the red zone, in Reid’s mind a sure sign of unity within the locker room.

Kansas City has only allowed opponents to score 41.9 percent of the time inside its 20-yard line, second only to Jacksonville for the best rate in the NFL.

“Everybody has stepped up and played together. Everybody has one goal,” said defensive end Allen Bailey, whose breakout season recently earned him a $25 million contract extension.

“I don’t know, man. It’s hard. Everybody is trying to stop the run, that’s our first goal,” Bailey said. “Stop the run, then rush the passer.”

The Chiefs have been doing a pretty good job of that, too. Justin Houston has a league-leading 12 sacks, and would have had another if not for a penalty last week. Defensive tackle Dontari Poe had his career-best fifth. And the Chiefs have 30 as a team, tied for third-best in the NFL, and an impressive number given the total number of sacks are down across the league this season.

By stuffing the run, the Chiefs have been able to turn loose against the pass in long-yardage situations, and that has resulted in a league-leading pass defense.

Throw it all together and the Chiefs are allowing 17.1 points, second-best in the league.

“You definitely have to stop the run. This is the time of year when people run more. It’s playoff time,” Vickerson said. “When you bow up against the run in the cold months of November, December, January, those are the playoff teams, and if you can stop them, I know from experience … you have a good chance of winning games.”

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Jarekious Bradley scored 15 points and Southeast Missouri picked up its first victory with an 86-49 victory over Hannibal-LaGrange on Tuesday night.

Josh Langford added 13 points, and Nino Johnson and Isiah Jones had 10 apiece for the Redhawks (1-2), who made 30 of 53 shots for 56.6 percent. Bradley made 4 of 8 3-point attempts and the Redhawks hit 8 of 18 from the arc for 44.4 percent.

Both teams had trouble with turnovers. The Redhawks had 23 and the Trojans 24. However, Southeast Missouri enjoyed a 40-22 rebounding advantage.

Jay Jones was the only Trojans player in double figures with 15 points.

The Redhawks, who led 42-29 at halftime, outscored the Trojans 22-4 to open the second half and lead 64-33 with 11:02 remaining.

The game was an exhibition for the NAIA Trojans, who came into the contest 0-4.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Milik Yarbrough contributed nine of his 11 points during a key run and Achraf Yacoubou finished with 15 points, helping Saint Louis get past Indiana State 69-56 on Tuesday night.

Marcus Bartley added 10 points, combining with Yarbrough to shoot 8 of 10 from the field. Yacoubou was 4 of 13 overall, but went 7 of 9 from the free throw line.

The Billikens used a 13-5 run fueled by three layups and a three-point play from Yarbrough to pull away. Mike Crawford’s 3-pointer made it 58-44 with 4:55 remaining.

Saint Louis (2-0) had a balanced scoring attack with 10 of 12 players scoring, leading to a 46-8 advantage in bench points.

Devonte Brown led the Sycamores (1-1) with 16 points and Justin Gant had 12. Indiana State led by 12 in the first half, but Saint Louis reeled off a 14-1 run to lead at halftime.

MSU-WPThe Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzlies traveled to El Reno, Oklahoma Tuesday night, November 18, 2014 to take on the Redlands Community College Cougars.

The voice of the Grizzlies Brian Ingalls has your Grizzly Scoreboard Update:

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Once again the final score for the evening was 82-70 with the MSU-WP Grizzlies getting the win over the Redlands Cougars.

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals will face four teams that made the playoffs this year and five American League squads as part of a 28-game spring training slate that begins on March 5.

The Cardinals will play 18 games at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, their offseason home since 1998. That includes three games as the “road” team against the Miami Marlins, their fellow stadium tenant.

Pitchers and catchers report to Florida on February 19 and start work the following day. Workouts for the rest of the team are scheduled to begin on February 25.

The exhibition season concludes on April 3 in Tennessee against their Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds. The Cardinals released their 2015 spring training schedule Tuesday.

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(West Plains) – The West Plains School District is congratulating the following cross country athletes who were recently voted to the “All District South West High School Cross Country Team” by the Southwest Coaches Association.

1st Team Honors

Jeremy Inman

Jordan Inman

Camden Barrett

Sydney Sanders

Kayli Brower

Hayley Baca

2nd Team

Dylan White

Josh Ingalls

Honorable Mention

Theresa Harto

Madison Brownrigg

Boys Coach of the Year

Joe Bill Dixon

Girls Coach of the Year

Alicia Gunter

Pictured (left to right): Kelsey Collins (senior softball player), Haley Staggs(senior softball player),  Marcus Lipford (Domino's Pizza Manager), Coach Ashley Hamby, Erin Kimbrough (senior softball player), and Cassidy Johnson (senior softball player). (Provided)

Pictured (left to right): Kelsey Collins (senior softball player), Haley Staggs(senior softball player), Marcus Lipford (Domino’s Pizza Manager), Coach Ashley Hamby, Erin Kimbrough (senior softball player), and Cassidy Johnson (senior softball player). (Provided)

(West Plains) – Recently, the West Plains High School Lady Zizzer softball team and Domino’s Pizza of West Plains partnered together for the Delivering the Dough Fundraising campaign.

Members of the Lady Zizzer Softball team raised $1,000 with the help from Domino’s Pizza.

Money raised during the campaign will help with travel expenses and equipment for the team.