Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Get Your Sports Headlines and More Right Here!!

LSU all-American running back, Leonard Fournette announced via his twitter account that he will make himself available for the 2017 NFL Draft, giving up his last year of college eligibility. Fournette posted his “farewell letter” to LSU fans Monday afternoon, thanking his supporters who have been rooting for him from his high school playing days until now.

Fournette, expected to be a top-10 draft choice, thanked the fans, his teammates, the LSU support staff, his coaches and one specific shout-out to Ed Orgeron for stepping in this season.

Fournette’s final season started with his name mentioned prominently among the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy. An ankle injury suffered in a scrimmage just before the season opener against Wisconsin hampered him throughout the season, causing Fournette to miss numerous games. In his farewell letter, he makes it clear that he intends to rehab his ankle and suit up for the Tigers in their New Year’s Eve Citrus Bowl date with Louisville.
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The Heisman Trophy finalists were announced Monday… making the trip to New York City this weekend for the ceremony will be front-runner Lamar Jackson, the Louisville Cardinals quarterback who becomes LSU’s problem in the Citrus Bowl.

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers and Oklahoma’s pass-catch combo of quarterback Baker Mayfield and wide receiver Dede Westbrook were also named finalists for the award given to college football’s most outstanding player.
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Louisiana Tech wore out Alcorn State, 98-65 in a men's basketball game Monday night in the Thomas Assembly Center. Jacobi Boykins, Erik McCree and Derric Jean each scored 20 points to pace the Dogs to victory.

Head coach Eric Konkol had his players ready to roll from the opening tip, evident by a game-starting 11-0 run. The home team buried 8-of-11 three point shots in the first half to help establish a 47-22 halftime lead. Tech cooled off a smidge in the second half from behind the arc, but still managed to finish 13-of-21 from long range as part of a 56% shooting night overall.
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The New Orleans Pelicans dueled Memphis to the wire and beyond, but came up short in a 110-108 double overtime loss at home.

Grizzlies all-star, Marc Gasol was a difference maker on both ends of the floor. He hit a three-point shot with seven seconds to play in regulation to send the game into overtime. In the first extra session, he blocked a pair of shots, including the potential game winner from Terrence Jones in the closing seconds. In the second overtime, Gasol’s jumper with 1:16 to play proved to be the game winning points.

The loss is the third in a row for New Orleans after a nice little four game winning streak. Anthony Davis led the Pels with 28 points and 17 rebounds. Baton Rouge native, Langston Galloway scored a season best 26 points with 18 of those coming on long range bombs.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Here's Some Sports For You

The Camping World Independence Bowl has their SEC vs. ACC matchup. A pair of first-time visitors will be the guests of honor in the 41st edition of the bowl game, Vanderbilt from the SEC and North Carolina State from the ACC.

The Commodores and Wolfpack are each 6-6 and riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak into Shreveport.

The game kicks off at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, December 26th in Independence Stadium.
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LSU is heading to Orlando for a New Year’s Eve date with Louisville and likely Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson. The Tigers and Cardinals pre-game meal will be breakfast thanks to a 10:00 a.m. kickoff.

Louisville was in the mix for the college football playoffs three weeks ago, but a lopsided loss to Houston two weeks ago and a 41-38 loss to Kentucky in the regular season finale sent Bobby Petrino’s squad from the penthouse to Mickey’s house.

LSU will play for the first time with Ed Orgeron as the certified head coach. It will also be the first time the Tigers play with defensive coordinator Dave Arranda serving as the associate head coach. That new title came with a hefty raise---Fox Sports reported Sunday that Arranda will earn between $1.8 and $1.9 million per year for the next three years, a bump up from the $1.3 million he was paid during this year, his first on the job.
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Louisiana Tech is bowling for the third season in a row. The Bulldogs will face 25th-ranked Navy in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on December 23rd in Fort Worth, hoping to extend their post-season winning streak to three.

Both teams advanced to their respective conference championships, with Tech losing to Western Kentucky in the Conference USA title game and the Midshipmen were handled by Temple in the American Athletic Conference game.

Kickoff in Fort Worth will be 3:00 p.m. on the 23rd.
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In a game that could have been much more lopsided, Detroit blasted New Orleans Sunday, 28-13, sending the Saints to 5-7, two games behind division co-leaders Atlanta and Tampa Bay.

The Lions entered the Red Zone five times in the Superdome, but only cashed in one touchdown, settling for four Matt Prater field goals to keep the Saints in the game. After the home team crept within 19-13, Matt Stafford connected with a wide-open Golden Tate, who outraced a pair of Saints defenders to the end zone to cap a back-breaking 66-yard scoring play.

The Lions defense shut down the Saints running game, limiting the black and gold to 50 yards on just 12 carries. The visitors also did something no team has accomplished in the recent Drew Brees era—they kept number 9 from throwing a touchdown pass at home for the first time in his last 60 games in the Superdome.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Headlines for December 1, 2016

Dak Prescott and the front-running Dallas Cowboys visit Minnesota tonight in a matchup of playoff contenders. The Vikings are just a game back of Detroit in the NFC North, almost despite the play of their quarterback, Sam Bradford, while the football-loving world is well aware of the high level of play exhibited by Prescott, the rookie with a Haughton High diploma.

Prescott is the top-rated QB in the league according to ESPN’s Total QBR, while Bradford languishes in 22nd place.

Prescott and the Cowboys face several obstacles tonight---the Vikings are the third-ranked defense in the league, second against the pass and have created a second best-20 turnovers. One other thing? U.S. Bank Stadium is ultra-loud, with a design that redirects sound toward the visiting bench at around 110 decibels.
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Louisiana Tech pushed Cal to overtime last night in a road game, but went stone-cold in OT to lose 68-59. The loss drops the Bulldogs early season record to 3-3. Tech only scored two points in the extra frame while the Bears made just one shot from the floor as well---but hit 8-12 free throws to improve to 5-1.

Ivan Rabb led Cal with 25 points, including five in overtime, to lead all scorers. Erik McCree posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Dogs.
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Tiger Woods hasn't played a competition round of golf in 465 days—but that changes today when he tees it up in The Bahamas at the Hero World Challenge. Woods, formerly the clear choice as the game's greatest golfer, has slipped all the way to number 890 in the World Golf Rankings.

Tiger’s last round against PGA competition came in the Wyndham Championship on August 23, 2015 when he posted a final round 70 to finish 10th. Two back surgeries and a load of rehab later, Woods will be back on the tee box today at high noon.
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Major League Baseball has a new five-year collective bargaining agreement in place to keep the peace between owners and players. The deal was announced Wednesday. In addition, the league has decided to no longer award home field advantage in the World Series to the team representing the league that wins the All-Star Game. Instead, the club in the Series with the best regular season record will get home-field advantage.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sports Headlines For Thursday the 17th

SAINTS GO FOR SWEEP OF PANTHERS TONIGHT

If not a must-win, tonight’s game between the Saints and Panthers in Carolina is a “don’t lose” for each of these NFC South rivals. As gut-wrenching as New Orleans loss to Denver was on Sunday dropping their record to 4-5, the ‘fleur-de-lis-fellas’ are a game ahead of the defending NFC Champs in the standings.

Carolina watched a fourth-quarter 17-3 lead over Kansas City vanish into the “L” column last Sunday, sending the Panthers tumbling to 3-6. No team that started a season with a 3-7 record has made it to the post-season.

In the two teams’ previous meeting this year on October 16th, Drew Brees toasted the Panthers secondary for 465 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-38 win. He will be without his Pro Bowl blind-side protection tonight with Terron Armstead out with knee and quad injuries.

Tonight’s game is a “color rush” game. The Panthers will be suited up in all-blue uniforms while the Saints will wear white pants with white jerseys.
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LOCAL HOOPS FANS SHOULD BE IN HEAVEN THIS WEEKEND

The MetroPCS Battle on the Hardwood Classic, started by the coaching staff of Fair Park’s girls and boys teams and presented by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, tips off tonight at three different gyms.

The round-robin, non-tournament format, will be staged at Fair Park, Huntington and Captain Shreve starting today at 4:30. BTW’s gym will be utilized as well on Friday with a full slate of games Saturday morning and early afternoon at Fair Park and Centenary’s Gold Dome starting at 9am with the nightcap, featuring a rematch of last year’s Class 4A title tilt between Bossier and Washington-Marion tipping off at 8:30 Saturday night.

Tickets are $10 per game…. Or, $20 for a three day tournament pass.
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BAYLOR LOOKING AT LES TO TAKE OVER FOOTBALL PROGRAM?

Les Miles is on the short list of candidates for the Baylor head coaching position, according to CBS Sports. The report also lists former Louisiana Tech and current Cal Bears head coach Sonny Dykes and North Carolina’s Larry Fedora as other serious candidates.

Miles buyout from LSU is $9.6 million over the next six years, payable as long as he actively seeks a coaching post.
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SCHERZER, PORCELLO WIN CY YOUNG AWARDS

Cy Young Awards were doled out Wednesday.

Washington ace, Max Scherzer was an easy choice as the top pitcher in the National League, becoming the sixth pitcher to win the award in both leagues. He won the American League Cy Young award in 2013 with Detroit… a rotation that included Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander. Those two gents were the top two vote-getters for the American League Cy Young, with Porcello, now pitching for Boston, nipping his former teammate.

Porcello was voted first on eight ballots turned in by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America while Verlander received fourteen first place votes. However, all 30 voters named Porcello on their ballot somewhere, while two voters completely left Verlander off their ballots. This action caused some angst on twitter from Verlander’s significant other, Kate Upton as well as his brother.

MVP’s in both leagues will be announced today

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hump Day Sports

ROMO ADDRESSES ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Dallas Cowboys star, veteran quarterback Tony Romo is healthy enough to return to work, but he made it clear Tuesday, he has no plan to stop the momentum created largely by rookie Dak Prescott, a Haughton alum.
Reading from a prepared statement, Romo addressed the media for the first time this season, taking on the elephant in the room by the trunk. Early in the presser, Romo said, “Football is a meritocracy. You aren’t handed anything. You earn everything, every single day, over and over again you have to prove it. That’s the way the NFL, football works.

“A great example of this is Dak Prescott. He’s earned the right to be our quarterback. As hard as that is for me to say, he’s earned that right. He’s guided our team to an 8-1 record and that’s hard to do. If you think for a second that I don’t want to be out there, then you probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning. That hasn’t left me. In fact, it may burn now more than ever.

Wrapping up what had to be a gut-wrenching address, Romo said, “I’m not gonna allow this situation to negatively affect Dak or this football team by becoming a constant distraction. I think Dak knows that I have his back, and I think that he has mine. Ultimately it’s about the team… it’s what we’ve preached our entire lives.”

The Cowboys entertain the Ravens Sunday at noon.
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TIGERS SQUASH SOUTHERN MISS

A red hot Antonio Blakeney led LSU past Southern Miss Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, 78-61. The Tigers improve to 2-0 with the win. Blakeney, a sophomore from Sarasota, Florida, must have felt like he was on the beach trying to toss jumpers into the ocean with a 9-14 shooting night including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. In addition to the 26 points in the box score, Blakeney added six assists and one steal.

Australian import, Duop Reath combined with Blakeney to stretch a first half five-point lead into a fourteen point advantage by reeling off nine straight points. Reath finished with 10 points as did Wayde Sims. Brandon Sampson was the second-leading scorer with 11 points.

Southern Miss closed the 12-point halftime deficit to four early in the final frame. Sims and Jaln Patterson buried a three-pointer apiece to stretch it back to a ten point lead. Blakeney’s sharp-shooting finished off the threat with a seven-point flurry over a four minute stretch.

LSU next faces North Florida Friday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS ELICIT... A YAWN

The College Football Playoff rankings for November 15th included less shake-up than expected after a round of upsets last weekend. Despite losses by Clemson (previously ranked #2), Michigan (#3) and Washington (#4) didn't result in massive turnover in potential playoff participants.

The new rankings include Alabama, of course, remaining in the top spot. The Crimson Tide still have a mulligan at their disposal; they can afford to lose the Iron Bowl or the SEC Championship and most likely find themselves in the Field Of Four vying for the national championship. Clemson's loss at home to unranked Pitt dropped the Tigers from that number 2 spot "all the way down" to 4th in the rankings. Michigan lost on the road against a middle of the road Iowa team and was punished by dropping from 3rd to... uh, 3rd. Apparently, the playoff committee was just waiting for Washington to lose, dropping the Huskies to 6th.

The new top four begins with Alabama, followed by one-loss Ohio State, Michigan and Clemson. Louisville is on the outside looking in at 5th, followed by the Huskies, Wisconsin, Penn State, Oklahoma and Colorado. LSU moved north eight spots, from 24th to 16th after their dominating win over Arkansas.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Sports, Your Sports, Make it, "Our Sports" For November 15th

LSU GEARS UP FOR GATORS

LSU moves into second gear today, prepping for Saturday’s home game against Florida. The game, originally scheduled for Gainesville on October 8th, was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. The two school’s athletic directors and SEC officials could not work out a playing date or location at the time, which led to the game moving to this Saturday. Florida had to buy out a game against Presbyterian and LSU had to pay off South Alabama, the two teams on the schedule for the Gators and Tigers on November 19th.

Florida can wrap up the SEC East with a win while LSU has realistic hopes of reaching the Sugar Bowl with wins in their final two regular season games. In addition, several Tigers have made it clear they want to win to bolster the chance of Ed Orgeron getting “interim” removed from his head coaching name tag.

The game features a pair of Purdue transfers starting at quarterback. Austin Appleby replaces the injured Luke Del Rio for the Gators while Danny Etling continues to guide the Bayou Bengals. Appleby actually beat Etling out of the starting position at Purdue before both transferred, Etling over lack of playing time and Appleby is a graduate transfer who split time last year as the Purdue starter. Orgeron said, “I want to know who's evaluating those quarterbacks at Purdue. I want to give them a call.”

Whichever team ends up on top Saturday afternoon in Death Valley, perhaps the appropriate drink to toast the victory would be a Boilermaker.
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PELICANS ON A ROLL? SURE!

The Pelicans won for the second time in three games after an 0-8 start to the season, knocking off Boston, 106-105 Monday night. Anthony Davis turned in another sterling outing, leading the way with 25 points, 16 rebounds 4 blocks and 2 steals. Baton Rouge native, Langston Galloway scored a season-best 21 in a supporting role.

Isaiah Thomas tied the game for Boston with seven seconds to play on a driving layup. The Celtics fouled Tim Frazier with 2.5 seconds to play and he sank one of two free throws to deliver the win.

Thomas led Boston with 37 points.

The Pelicans take on the Magic in Orlando Wednesday night.

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CALVARY EX, LSU TIGERS EARN SEC AWARDS

Former Calvary Cavaliers quarterback, Shea Patterson was named the SEC Freshman of the week after his record-setting debut as the Ole Miss starting quarterback. Patterson led the Rebels to a 29-28 win at 8th-ranked Texas A&M Saturday night.

Trailing by 15 in the final quarter, Patterson turned hotty-toddy frowns upside down with a pair of touchdown tosses and a final drive that ended with a game-winning field goal. Patterson, a two year starter for the Cavaliers before transferring to IMG Academy for his senior season, set new marks for Ole Miss freshmen with 338 passing yards and 402 total yards.

LSU double-dipped into the weekly SEC honors. Sophomore Darius Guice earned co-offensive player of the week with his 252 yard rushing performance against Arkansas. Guice had two touchdowns, including an LSU record for longest rush from the line of scrimmage of 96 yards.

Tigers center Ethan Pocic was named co-offensive lineman of the week after a dominant performance against the Razorbacks. Pocic played all 67 offensive snaps for LSU and recorded 11 knockdown blocks to help pave the way to a 547 total yard effort.
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HOGS WIN, FANS GET A TONGUE-LASHING

Mike Anderson’s Arkansas Razorbacks knocked off Southern Illinois 90-65 in Bud Walton Arena last night to improve to 2-0. This batch of Hogs are expected to reside among the upper echelon in SEC play this year, but the crowd last night didn't reflect that. Only 4,270 fannies were in the seats for the game, a dismal showing according to the head coach… of Southern Illinois.

During his post-game press conference,SIU head coach ,Barry Hinson laid into the Razorback faithful for not showing up to support the Hogs:





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NORTH CADDO'S WILLIAMS HELPS AGGIES ROLL

Former North Caddo Rebel and Mr. Basketball in Louisiana, Robert Williams had 10 points and two blocked shots to help Texas A&M roll past American 76-53 last night in College Station. The Aggies improved to 3-0 with the win and were led by Tyler Davis with 17 points in just a 20-minute workday.

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GIANTS CLOSE OUT BENGALS, REMAIN ON HEELS OF COWBOYS

In Monday Night Football, the New York Giants improved to 6-3 with a 21-20 win over Cincinnati in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Eli Manning was picked off twice, but countered the turnovers with three touchdown passes—the third coming on fourth down in the fourth quarter. Former LSU Tiger Odell Beckham, Jr. had 10 catches for 97 yards and one of those scores. Another former Bayou Bengal, Jeremy Hill had 46 yards rushing for Cincinnati and a touchdown.

The Giants remain two games behind Dallas in the NFC East with a 6-3 record, matching their win total from each of the last two seasons. Chicago and Cleveland are next on the schedule for the Giants.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Saints find new, excruciating way to lose

It came down to shoe color for the New Orleans Saints.

Will Parks scooped up a blocked extra point in the waning moments and scampered all the way to the end zone for the final points in a 25-23 Denver Broncos victory in the Superdome.

Drew Brees connected with Brandon Cooks to tie the game at 23 apiece with one minute 21 seconds remaining. The Saints lined up for the point after to take the lead but Justin Simmons leapt over snapper Justin Drescher, blocked the kick easily, which led to Parks two-point’er. As Parks was racing down the sideline in front of the Saints bench it appeared that he stepped on the sideline however his white shoes matched the paint of the sideline making it inconclusive for replay officials, leaving the points on the board. The Saints onside kick on the next play was unsuccessful, and Denver kneeled out the clock to wrap up their seventh win.

The Saints fell to 4-5, unable to move over .500 yet again. The 2014 team, which lost in the second round of the playoffs, is the last New Orleans team to have a wining record.

Denver grabbed a 10-0 lead after their second interception of Brees, turning the turnover into three points early in the second quarter. The Broncos were driving late in the second quarter but Sterling Moore intercepted Trevor Simien, giving Brees and Co. a chance to drive deep enough to set up a Will Lutz field goal.

Brees and Willie Snead combined for a pair of pass and catch combo Touchdowns in the third quarter to give the Saints a 17-10 lead. The fourth quarter was a nightmare for Saints rookie receiver, Michael Thomas. His first fumble in the final stanza led to a Simien-to-Demaryius Thomas game-tying touchdown. Thomas fumbled again on the possession after Denver grabbed a 20-17 lead, giving the ball to the Broncos at the Saints 20 yard line.

New Orleans defense rose to the occasion, keeping Denver out of the end zone as the Broncos settled for a Brandon McManus field goal to make it, 23-17 Broncos.

Brees guided the Saints 75 yards in just six plays, finishing with the strike to Cooks. What followed was the first time in NFL history the game-winning points came on a blocked extra point returned for two points. Afterward, Saints head coach, Sean Payton commented on the possibility that Parks steeped out of bounds, "it's hard to tell. Those guys are doing their best to look at it. He's got white shoes on, the sideline is white, so, there's not a real good picture, so... I understand."

The Saints have a quick turnaround as they face Carolina in Charlotte Thursday night.