Men’s Hoops Slams Home Sixth Straight SEC Win

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) – Jalen Jones scored 15 points, Alex Caruso added 14 points with 10 assists, and Texas A&M extended its winning streak to six games with a 69-58 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday.

It’s the first time the Aggies have won six consecutive conference contests since 2009 when they were in the Big 12.

Texas A&M (15-5, 6-2) led from start to finish and maintained a double-digit lead for most of the game. But an 11-3 run by the Commodores got them within 59-52 with about seven minutes left. That run was powered by three 3-pointers, capped by Luke Kornet’s 3 from the corner under heavy pressure.

A&M scored three quick points to end the run and push the lead back to 10 and hold on for the victory

Wade Baldwin’s 12 points led Vanderbilt (11-10, 1-7), which has dropped seven in a row.

The Aggies got a big game from their reserves, with their bench outscoring Vanderbilt’s 25-14, led by 13 points from Danuel House.

Vanderbilt trailed by 16 at halftime before opening the second half with an 8-1 run to get within 40-31. Alex Caruso gave A&M its first field goal of the second half with a 3-pointer after that to start a 12-6 run that extended the lead to 52-37 with about 12 minutes left.

A highlight of the game came when House was fouled on a 3-pointer, but made it anyway and added the free throw to push A&M’s advantage to 56-41 with 10 minutes remaining.

Kourtney Roberson led the Aggies with 11 rebounds and Caruso had eight, to finish just two rebounds shy of a triple double. He also topped the team with four steals.

The Aggies jumped out to a 13-0 lead punctuated by a dunk by Jordan Green. The Commodores missed their first eight shots, including five layups, and had three turnovers to help A&M build the early lead.

Vanderbilt finally got on the board on a dunk by James Siakam with less than 15 minutes remaining in the first half.

Matthew Fisher-Davis followed that shot with a 3-pointer, but A&M then used a 9-2 run to extend the lead to 22-7 midway through the first half.

Texas A&M was up by 16 points later in the half when the Commodores used a 10-3 spurt to cut the lead to 31-22 with two minutes left in the half. Damian Jones led the way with five points, including two dunk, in that stretch.

The Aggies got going again after that, closing the half with an 8-1 run to lead 39-23 at halftime.


 

Billy Kennedy

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Jordan Green, Kourtney Roberson, Alex Caruso

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Kevin Stallings

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TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES

● Texas A&M ran its winning streak to six games on Saturday afternoon inside Reed Arena by defeating Vanderbilt 69-58 … the streak matches the Aggies’ longest in league play since a similar six-game run against Big 12 competition from Feb. 16 to March 7, 2011.

● The Aggies are now 10-1 at Reed Arena this season.

● The victory was Texas A&M’s first ever over the Commodores, who now lead the all-time series with A&M 4-1.

TEAM NOTES

● The Aggies did not trail in the contest, beginning the game on a 13-0 run to mark the second consecutive game in which they have never been behind on the scoreboard at any point… Texas A&M has not trailed a game since tying the score at 11-11 with 13:22 to play in the first half of Jan. 24th contest at Tennessee, a total of 113:22.

● A balanced scoring attack highlighted the Aggies’ post-game stat sheet as A&M posted its sixth game this season featuring four or more players with double-digit points (Jones-15, House-13, Caruso-12, Green-10).

● The Aggies once again displayed great ball movement as they were credited with 19 assists on 25 made baskets.

● Texas A&M shot 53.2 percent for the game (25-for-47), marking the seventh game this season the team has shot 50 percent or better in a game.

● The crowd of 12,722 was the largest of the Billy Kennedy era and the biggest since drawing 13,300 against Texas on Jan. 31, 2011.

● The Aggies used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Jordan Green, Danuel House, Jalen Jones and Kourtney Roberson for the 12th time this season (10-2).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

● Junior guard Alex Caruso notched his first career double-double and came close to producing the first triple-double by an Aggie since Bernard King in 2002 … The third-year Aggie finished with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting with 10 assists and eight rebounds … he also added four steals in 34 minutes.

● Caruso’s double-digit assist showing was his sixth career game with 10 or more helpers.

● Junior forward Jalen Jones continued his consistent play and reached double-digits points for the 15th time in 18 games played this season, finishing with 15.

● Junior guard Danuel House came off the A&M bench to contribute 13 points.

● Seniors Jordan Green and Kourtney Roberson also played significant roles in the win with Green notching 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting and Roberson pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.

● On the defensive end, Roberson spearheaded an A&M defensive charge that limited the Commodores’ leading scorer, Damian Jones, to just seven points on 2-of-11 shooting …  Jones began the day averaging 15.6 points per outing.

● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 65-54 in his fourth season at Texas A&M and 276-233 in 17 years as a head coach.

UP NEXT

● The Aggies are back on the road next week as they travel to Oxford, Miss., to face Ole Miss in the first half of back-to-back road contests … the match-up with the Rebels will be nationally televised by the SEC Network.


TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY

Opening Statement…

“Really, I thought the first half we played about as well as we could play in a lot of areas. Offensively, we shared the ball. Defensively, they only scored nine or 12 points in the first 14 minutes of the game. Fortunately, we played that well and gave ourselves a cushion because I thought Vandy did a good job coming back in the beginning of the second half, while we got a little complacent with the ball and gave them some easy lay ups to get their confidence going.”

On keeping Vandy leading scorer Damian Jones in check…

“I thought Kourtney did a really good job on him. Frustrated him in the first half and we dug in at the post. We forced the turnovers. Forced some bad shots that he took, because he’s really a good player I’ve got a lot of respect for what he can do.”

On earning 2nd place in the conference…

“Like I told my guys, obviously, we’re thankful but I mean we’ve got a lot of games left. There’s no need to celebrate where we’re at in the standings. We need to celebrate the win, get past it and get better tomorrow. We’ve just got to continue to get better. There are a lot of areas we can get better. We got outscored in the second half, but those are the things that I see, you know three point shooting, just little things. Too many turnovers, 16 turnovers, it’s just too many, but we got better as a team. Davonte Fitzgerald stayed ready. We’ve got some guys that keep their head in what they’re doing like Tonny and Davonte. They came off the bench and gave us some really good minutes. I think that’s one of the biggest advantages we have over some of the other teams we’re playing, we’re deeper and we’re older.”

 

On the energy at the start of game…

“The energy, the buzz, you know we’re winning games. We had a great crowd. Our guys appreciate that. We value the people who come to our games. Our guys have played in games where we didn’t have great crowds, so we’ve got to know the group is embracing this opportunity. If we can continue to get better, there will be more great crowds. I’m just thinking our guys are hungry, they’re thankful, and I want to keep it that way.”

TEXAS A&M SENIOR KOURTNEY ROBERSON

On reaching second place…

“It feels great. We haven’t been in second place since my first year. We’ve been going hard since the beginning of the year, and it’s showing.”

 

 

TEXAS A&M JUNIOR ALEX CARUSO

On nearly clenching a triple-double…

“I didn’t think I was that close to be honest. I was just playing hard. The ball fell my way a couple times. I was just out there playing hard. You realize when you’re playing that you have a bunch of points and rebounds and assists, but you never really know how many it is. I just continued to play my hardest.”

On beating a team they’re supposed to beat…

“We expect to win every game, regardless of who it is coming into our place. But it is good to take care of the wins you’re ‘supposed’ to win according to the media, coaches and other people. We talked about the most important game is whichever one is next. We took care of business and now we’re on to the next one.”

On the largest home crowd in his career…

“It’s really big. We got off to a fast start because we had energy. We had people yelling us on. It’s just that little spark you need to get that little extra effort. It’s great to see everybody coming out and supporting us, and I hope they’ll be back. We’ll continue to play hard for them.”

 

 

TEXAS A&M SENIOR JORDAN GREEN

On the importance of the fast start…

“We’ve had lows in the beginning of the last couple games. We wanted to start out and make sure we establish our presence on defense first. That’s how we got on the fast start. We knew they were a really good shooting team. We just wanted to make sure the pressure was on in the first five minutes of the game.”

On rising to second place…

“This year we’re closer than ever. That’s a testament to Coach Kennedy. The last four years he’s been the same coach. He hasn’t changed, and he’s pushed us. We just have good guys. Testaments to our hard work in the summer and our practices. I just want to give up to all our teammates. It’s been awesome.”

VANDERBILT HEAD COACH KEVIN STALLINGS

Opening Statement…

“Well, this was a disappointing performance for us really from start to finish. I thought A&M dictated the entire game, how the game was played, the flow of it, the physicality of it and drove us when they wanted to, made shots, so just not a good enough performance by our team to be a little more competitive than we felt we might be.”

On Alex Caruso…

“He’s a good player, and you know he’s deceptively good on the defensive end. He gets his hands on a lot of balls and leads things, and picks up things so he kind of had his way with us, and so did Roberson. Roberson, he started dictating how the game was going to be played inside.”

On picking up in second half…

“I don’t know we probably blocked a few more shots, were a little more active at the goal maybe, but I’m not sure we did anything. I’m not sure that they didn’t just get bored.”

On A&M’s performance…

“It felt like in the first half, I never thought it to be very hard to make a lay up and I felt like that was about all they shot in the first half. So, I guess that felt like it was us but then they got their head up. We started the game out, we get a point-blank lay up there and the first possession and actually that’s two shots right next to the basket, maybe three, and they come down and make a couple so the energy starts for them. They played well. They’re a good passing team. They’re a very good defensive team. You know, they can struggle to score at times, but certainly not this afternoon. But, they’re a very good veteran team that knows how to play, and know all the rules and play well together. They have good pieces inside, got a guy that’s real physical, another guy that knows how to get the ball in the basket. They’ve just got a lot of ways to deal with things, and they’re good at doing what they do and so they’re going to be tough for people to beat. They’re a good team.”

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggies Threaten Their 4X400 Collegiate Record With 3:03.23

FAYETTEVILLE – Capping the two-day Razorback Invitational with the men’s 4×400 relay, the Aggies showcased their collective speed with a near collegiate record of 3:03.23 in front of 1,531 fans at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Texas A&M set the collegiate record of 3:03.20 on its home track during the 2014 SEC Championships. On this day the 3:03.23 they produced is the second fastest collegiate time in history and the world-leading mark for 2015. It’s also the eighth fastest performance on the all-time world list and the fastest 4×400 ever recorded in the month of January.

“I’m extremely pleased with the men’s mile relay in running that fast at the end of January,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry.

“This was a meet where aimed to do a few things we felt we needed to do. Such as some double backs with a couple of people that were important to see, and we saw some things we didn’t want to see with double backs. It’s January, so we’re trying to figure those things out.”

The Aggie relay foursome consisted of Gregory Coleman (47.15), Bralon Taplin (44.79), Shavez Hart (46.18) and Deon Lendore (45.13). The competition in the race was well back with Notre Dame (3:09.90) and Purdue (3:09.97) placing second and third. LSU was an early challenger, but faded to a 3:16.69 fifth place finish.

“As the legs went by and they started calling out the splits I realized we were in a good position to run fast,” said Lendore. “So, after seeing all the guys doing the hard work I knew it was up to me to do hard work as well.

“We came close to our record, but its January so we can go back to practice and work on the finer stuff and be ready for the championship races to try to do better.”

The relay victory moved the Aggies within two points of winning the meet. Arkansas scored 85.5 points to hold off SEC foes Florida (85), Texas A&M (84), and LSU (81.5). The rest of the field included Oklahoma (70), Purdue (52), Stanford (46.5), Iowa State (43), Oklahoma State (38), Tulsa (38), Notre Dame (21.5) and Florida State (10).

In the women’s team chase the Razorbacks won with 111 points over the SEC crew of Florida (84), LSU (81), and Texas A&M (70). The remainder of the field included Iowa State (51), Stanford (48), Purdue (43), Notre Dame (43), Oklahoma (35), Oklahoma State (34), Tulsa (13) and Florida State (6).

Coleman gave the Aggies a solid lead on his opening leg carry and Taplin put the hammer down with his split of 44.79. Then Hart was able to cruise as he maintained the lead before passing the baton off to Lendore.

“I thought I was Deon Lendore out there,” Taplin quipped. “I knew Shavez had a couple of rounds in the 60 earlier in the meet, so I told him I was going to give him a gap and take the pressure off him. Before the race Coach Henry told us he wanted the number one time in the nation, so that’s what we did.”

Hart noted: “I had a good lead, so the only thing I was thinking about was to get out and hold on as fast as I could. We ended up doing pretty good and I ran fast. I wanted to help the team as best as I could.”

Earlier in the meet Coleman produced a 46.85 in the 400 meters, placing second in his section and seventh overall, while Carlyle Roudette posted a 47.64 for 12thoverall.

“All I was thinking about before the relay race was putting those guys in a good position to run fast,” said Coleman. “As soon as I heard what Taplin split I knew we were going to run fast. It would have been a better race if a couple of the other teams would have been a part of it too. It was just a great race run by this group of Aggies.”

Three rounds of action in the 60 meters had Hart and Devin Jenkins producing a 1-2 finish for A&M. Hart claimed the final in 6.71 with Jenkins runner-up with a 6.72 ahead of a 6.73 for LSU’s Tremayne Acy and a 6.79 by Florida’s Antwan Wright. After posting times of 6.55 and 6.56 in the prelim and semifinal, Oklahoma State’s John Teeters did not run in the final.

“Throughout the rounds my focus was to work on my push and focus on my finish,” said Hart. “In my first race I reacted well, in the second one I finished strong. So, in the finals I just wanted to put it all together. There’s still a whole lot more in the tank.”

An indoor best of 4:51.71 by Hillary Montgomery placed her second in the mile behind a 4:48.19 for Oklahoma State’s Anna Boyert. A&M’s Grace Fletcher finished 11th in 5:00.30.

With three laps remaining Montgomery moved into the lead after running in second place for the first half of the race. Then she shared the lead with Boyert going into the final lap. Montgomery improved on her previous best of 4:51.88 as she moved to No. 3 on the Aggie all-time list with the No. 5 performance.

Aaliyah Brown sped to a 7.31 runner-up finish in the 60 meters, trailing only a 7.29 by Florida’s Shayla Sanders while A&M teammate Jennifer Madu claimed third in 7.32. Brown just missed her career best of 7.30 that she recorded three times last season, twice at the SEC Championships and again in the prelims of the NCAA Championships.

Brown came back later in the meet to run a leg on the women’s 4×400 that posted a time of 3:38.14. Initially the Aggies placed third behind Stanford (3:36.81) and LSU (3:37.64), but the Tigers were disqualified. So A&M moved into second place with Notre Dame (3:38.17) third.

The relay crew for the Aggies included Ebony Crear (56.83), Olivia Ekpone (53.78), A. Brown (55.48) and Shamier Little (52.07). In fifth place when she received the baton Little moved A&M into the eventual second place finish on her carry, which was the fastest split in the women’s race.

“Shamier looked really good on the relay today, but she needs to have some people in front of her,” noted Henry. “We’re not real healthy and not ready to run a couple of ladies who would help out the relay.”

An indoor best of 1:49.44 placed Hector Hernandez fourth in the Invitational 800 meters while Josh Hernandez clocked 1:50.79 to place third in the first section of the event and finish ninth overall. Hector lowered his previous best of 1:49.66 and remained No. 5 on the Aggie all-time list behind a 1:49.15 best by Josh.

In an earlier section of the 800 meters, Gaines Kinsey clocked 1:51.11 as runner-up while Efrain Hernandez dominated his heat in 1:52.57 to place seventh.

Cameron Villarreal posted a time of 8:12.92, moving him to No. 12 on the A&M all-time list, as he placed third in the first section of the 3,000 meters. Florida State’s Zak Seddon won the race in 8:11.39 with Iowa State’s Brian Llamas runner-up at 8:12.68. In the women’s 3,000m Karis Jochen finished eighth in the first section with a time of 9:49.73.

Aaron Murray claimed the first section of the men’s mile with a 4:10.59 that placed him fourth overall. Alex Riba finished fourth in the second section with a 4:11.09, placing fifth overall. Ryan Teel posted a 4:13.19 that had him fourth in the first section with Murray and 10th overall.

After winning the weight throw on Friday, Brea Garrett came back to finish sixth in the shot put with a toss of 50-0 ¾ (15.26) that she produced in the sixth round. Jeffrey Protho placed sixth in the men’s triple jump with an indoor best of 50-1 ¼ (15.27). Jeff Bartlett placed seventh in the shot put with a toss of 55-1 ½ (16.80).

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Equestrian Completes Weekend Sweep With 12-3 Victory

College Station, TEXAS – The No. 8 Texas A&M equestrian team completed their weekend sweep with a 12-3 victory over No. 10 New Mexico State Saturday.

The Aggies defeated NMSU in three of four disciplines, taking home the MVP honors in each event.

The Aggies opened the day with a victory in equitation over fences and a draw in horsemanship, 4-0 and 2-2, respectively. A dominant equitation performance, highlighted by victories from Leah Chenelle, Alex Desiderio, Marlena Parker and Haley Webster, was won by a decisive 321-273 margin. Chenelle, Desiderio and Parker all notched eighty-plus point performances, with Desiderio taking home her first MVP honors of the year.

Haley Buchmiller and Parker brought home victories in equitation on the flat, with Buchmiller earning her second MVP award and first since the UT-Martin meet. She also received her second highest score of the season with an 84.

Western wins for the Aggies came from Kaci Fisher and Molli Jacobs, with Jacobs earning her first MVP award. Fisher extended her undefeated streak to 8-0 and heads into competition at the Sun Circuit Invitational on Sunday. As one of eight collegiate riders invited to the event, Fisher was able to see two of her competitors first hand this weekend.

A&M’s excellent western performance was continued by the reining squad, where all four Aggie starters claimed victories to seal the victory. Madison Bohman took home MVP honors in her second start for the Maroon & White. Hannah Jechow, Logan Pluhar and Laura Sumrall rounded out the reining victories.

The Aggies will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 7, as they head to Waco to take on the No. 1 ranked Baylor Bears.

Check back to 12thMan.com and follow @AggieEquestrian on Twitter for the latest news and results of the 2014-15 season.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggies Currently in Second Place at Razorback Invitational

FAYETTEVILLE – Aggie senior Brea Garrett posted a victory in the weight throw during the first day of the Razorback Invitational at Randal Tyson Track Center while runner-up performances were supplied by Austin Wells in the 5,000 meters and Austin Cook in the weight throw.

Texas A&M currently is in second place in both men’s and women’s team scoring through seven finals held on Friday.

The top six women’s schools among the 12-team field include Arkansas (48), Florida and Texas A&M (44), Iowa State and Oklahoma (31), along with Purdue (19). In the men’s field the leading teams are LSU (46 ½), Texas A&M (43), Arkansas (34), Tulsa (28), Florida (24) and Purdue (19).

Garrett dominated the weight throw in Arkansas’ new throwing facility, claiming victory with a best mark of 69-1 ½ (21.07) in the second round. Garrett opened with a 59-1 ½ (18.02) in round one and improved by 10 feet on her next effort. In the fourth round she went 64-5 ¾ (19.65). Runner-up to Garrett was a 59-4 ¾ (18.10) mark from Oklahoma’s Julia Reedy.

“I like the ring, it has a good feel to it,” noted Garrett. “I just need to get comfortable with my technique again. It’s important to get comfortable in the ring. I’ll have another chance to throw here when we come back for the Tyson meet in a couple of weeks. I want to hit something good so that I know that this ring can’t defeat me, but I can defeat it.”

Teammate Alison Ondrusek finished sixth with a 57-2 ¾ (17.44) distance. Shelbi Vaughan (53-6 ¼) and Carissa van Beek (53-3 ½) placed 12th and 13th.

In the men’s weight throw Austin Cook improved to second place with a fifth round throw of 62-7 ¾ (19.09) to move ahead of LSU’s Jeremy Tuttle (61-11). Purdue’s Chukwuebuka Enekwechi won the event with a 77-10 ¾ (23.74) toss as he registered six marks over 74 feet. A&M’s Ben Skrla finished 12th with a 54-5 ¼ (16.59).

“We come back in two weeks and I need that to be a redemption week,” stated Cook. “We threw against some really good people today. All of us besides the winner had a pretty rough day though. It’s fun to throw here now since we don’t have to use the wooden ring anymore.”

Austin Wells improved his time in the 5,000 by 10 seconds as the runner-up with a 14:26.72, which moved him to No. 7 on the Aggie all-time list. Tulsa’s Tim Rackers won the race in 14:11.28.

Deon Lendore ran the 400m leg of the distance medley relay for Texas A&M, splitting 45.58 as he moved the Aggies from fourth to second place. The squad placed fourth in 9:34.30, the third fastest time ever at A&M. The only two faster efforts in school history include a 9:29.71 from 2012 and a 9:33.12 from 2004.

Cameron Villarreal ran the first leg, covering the 1,200m distance in 2:55.90. Villarreal was in seventh place in the early stages of the race and moved into fourth place when he handed the baton to Lendore.

Only Iowa State remained ahead of the Aggies when Lendore gave the baton to Hector Hernandez for the 800m leg. Hernandez passed the Cyclone runner on his first lap and kept A&M in the lead with a 1:49.98 split.

Isaac Spencer handled the anchor leg of 1,600m as he kept the Aggies in front of Iowa State, Stanford, Oklahoma State and Arkansas for a couple of laps. With two laps remaining Stanford claimed the lead in front of Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas A&M.

The final lap had the Cowboys moving to the front with Stanford and Arkansas giving chase. They finished in that order with Oklahoma State winning in 9:30.65 over Stanford’s 9:32.08 and a 9:32.43 from Arkansas. The Aggies (9:34.30) out-leaned Iowa State (9:34.36) at the finish.

Ashton Purvis and Kamaria Brown both ran 23.33 seconds in separate sections of the 200m to place third and fourth overall behind a 1-2 finish by Florida’s Kyra Jefferson, who ran a world-leading 23.06, and Destinee Gause (23.22). Shamier Little (23.91) and Olivia Ekponé (23.96) finished seventh and ninth overall. India Daniels won an earlier section in 24.36 to place 17th overall.

The men’s 200 also had a third and fourth place effort from A&M’s Devin Jenkins (20.91) and Bralon Taplin (20.95) while Shavez Hart (21.01) placed sixth. Tulsa’s Bryce Robinson posted a winning time of 20.78 while LSU’s Tremayne Acy posted a 20.85 as runner-up. Aggies Gregory Coleman (21.48) and Deon Hickey (21.56) placed 11th and 12th overall.

Jennifer Madu placed third in the long jump with a leap of 19-7 ½ (5.98) while Carl Johansson finished fourth in the pole vault with a 17-0 ¾ (5.20) clearance.

Brittany Wooten led the Aggie effort in the pole vault, clearing a height of 12-9 ½ (3.90) for fifth place. Wooten needed three attempts to get over 12-3 ½ (3.75), but managed 12-9 ½ on one attempt. She completed her day with three attempts at 13-3 ½ (4.05). Emily Gunderson placed seventh at 12-3 ½ and Sara Kathryn Stevens finished 10th with an 11-7 ¾ (3.55) make.

Qualifying for Saturday’s semifinals in the 60 meters and 60 hurdles went smooth for the Aggies.

Four A&M women sprinters advanced in the 60 meters as Madu posted the top qualifying time with a 7.34. Joining Madu in the semifinals were Aaliyah Brown (7.38), Ekponé (7.43) and Purvis (7.49). LSU also had four sprinters qualify while Florida advanced a pair.

A 6.55 from John Teeters of Oklahoma State topped the men’s 60 field as Hart (6.70) and Jenkins (6.71) recorded the third and fourth fastest times moving on to the semifinal. Tulsa’s Bryce Robinson turned in a 6.66, which was second best overall.

In the women’s 60 hurdles, three A&M multi-event athletes advanced. They were led by Jena Hemann (8.91) and included Annie Kunz (8.94) and Ashtin Zamzow (8.96).

Kunz and Hemann tied for sixth place in the high jump with a 5-5 clearance while Zamzow tied for ninth at 5-3. In the men’s high jump Sam McSwain placed sixth with a 6-9 effort.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggie Divers Nab Three Top Eight Finishes at AFA Invitational

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Texas A&M divers earned a trio of top eight finishes on the first day of the Air Force Diving Invitational on Friday at the Cadet Natatorium.

Sophomore Courtney Hattie (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) logged the Aggies’ top finish of the day with a fifth-place effort in the women’s one-meter dive with a score of 252.30. In the men’s three-meter dive, redshirt freshman Tyler Henschel (Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) and sophomore Colton Haffey (Houston, Texas) were sixth and seventh with point totals of 327.70 and 327.30, respectively.

The Aggies return to action on Saturday with the men’s and women’s platform, the women’s three-meter and the men’s one dive.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Australian Open Men’s Final Set

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Novak Djokovic needed five sets to defeat defending champ Stan Wawrinka in the men’s semi-final at the Australian Open. The 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 victory puts the top-seeded Djokovic into Sunday’s men’s final against Andy Murray.

Top 25 College Men’s Basketball

UNDATED (AP) _ Top-ranked Kentucky is 20-0 for only the third time in school history following a road win against struggling Missouri.

Andrew Harrison scored 15 points and twin brother Aaron added 11 to lead the Wildcats to a 69-53 win over the Tigers. The Harrisons scored all of Kentucky’s points during a 10-2 run that put the Wildcats ahead by 14 midway through the second half.

Missouri has dropped six straight for the first time since 2006.

In other top-25 men’s basketball finals:

_ Domantas Sabonis had 13 points and 11 rebounds as No. 3 Gonzaga beat Portland 64-46. Przemek Karnowski added 10 points and 11 boards to help the Bulldogs extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 37 games.

_ Marc Loving scored 19 points and D’Angelo Russell added 18 points and 14 rebounds as Ohio State ripped No. 16 Maryland 80-56 in Columbus. Jae’Sean Tate added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Buckeyes, who are 6-3 in the Big Ten following their third straight win.

Razorback Invitational First Road Trip For Nationally Ranked Aggies

FAYETTEVILLE – Texas A&M’s first road trip of the indoor track and field season has them competing in a very competitive Razorback Invitational this Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

The Aggies, with the women ranked No. 3 and the men at No. 4, take on a nationally ranked field of teams in the scored meet. Schools competing in the Razorback Invitational include Arkansas (men No. 3, women No. 5), Florida (men No. 2, women No. 1), Florida State (men No. 15, women No. 11), Iowa State (men No. 23), Kansas, LSU (men No. 9), Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State (men No. 16, women No. 13), Purdue (men No. 20), Stanford (men No. 7, women No. 10), Texas (men No. 10, women No. 7) and Tulsa.

Coverage of the meet will be available on SEC Network + through the Watch ESPN app. Links for the webcast are Friday (5 p.m. start) – http://es.pn/1xXcS7a, Saturday (noon start) – http://es.pn/1CB6C9z. Start list and live results are available here:http://flashresults.com/2015_Meets/Indoor/01-30_Razorback/index.htm.

Various events in the Razorback Invitational have a defending NCAA champion or multiple returning finalists from last year’s NCAA Indoor meet.

Bowerman Award winner Deon Lendore will be part of A&M’s 4×400 unit, which will be in the same section as Arkansas, Notre Dame and Purdue. The Aggies set a collegiate record indoors last season in winning the SEC title while the Razorbacks finished third at the NCAA Indoor and the Irish were eighth.

A pair of Aggies, Shavez Hart and Bralon Taplin, enter the weekend with world-leading times in the 200 and 400 meters. Hart ran 20.76 in the 200 a couple of weeks ago while Taplin posted a 45.74 in the 400 this last weekend after clocking 20.80 in his opening race. Both sprinters earned SEC Runner of the Week honors for their endeavors.

Hart will contest the 60 and 200 at Arkansas while Taplin is scheduled to race at 200 meters. In the 200 the field includes a strong trio in LSU’s Aaron Ernest, Tulsa’s Bryce Robinson and Raheem Mostert of Purdue. A&M’s Devin Jenkins joins Hart in the 60 along with Oklahoma State’s John Teeters, who shares the nation’s lead with a 6.54 this season.

The women’s 200 will have Aggies Kamaria Brown, Olivia Ekponé, Shamier Little and Ashton Purvis racing in a field that includes Kyra Jefferson, Destinee Gause and Robin Reynolds of Florida as well as Jada Martin of LSU.

Brown, who posted a 52.96 in the 400 last week, is the top returning 200m runner this season with a 22.50 set last season. The race includes a trio of NCAA Indoor finalists from 2014 with Jefferson (second), Purvis (fourth), and Gause (fifth).

Ekponé and Purvis will also contest the 60 meters with teammates Aaliyah Brown and Jennifer Madu. Leading the entries in the 60 is Florida’s Shayla Sanders, who ran 7.20 in 2014 on the way to a sixth place finish in the NCAA Indoor final. Madu, Ekponé and A. Brown were eighth, ninth and 10th in the 2014 NCAA Indoor.

In the men’s pole vault A&M’s Chase Wolfle squares off against former NCAA champion Andrew Irwin of Arkansas. The women’s vault is headlined by Sandi Morris of Arkansas, who held the collegiate record of 15-1.5 for a day earlier this month, while the Aggies enter the trio of Brittany Wooten, Sara Kathryn Stevens and Emily Gunderson.

Brea Garrett, the defending NCAA weight throw champion, will get to experience the new throwing venue at Arkansas that will be used during the NCAA Indoor Championships in March. She will also contest the shot put this weekend where LSU’s Tori Bliss (57-4.75) in the top entrant and current collegiate leader.

The men’s weight throw features Purdue’s Chukwuebuka Enekwech, who has produced a mark of 78-10.5 this season and placed third at the 2014 NCAA Indoor, with A&M’s Austin Cook the only other thrower over 66 feet.

Challengers in the long jump for Aggie Olabanji Asekun include defending NCAA Indoor champion Jarrion Lawson of Arkansas and Florida’s Marquis Dendy, the defending NCAA Outdoor champ.

Over 800 meters Josh and Hector Hernandez get a preview of the SEC meet as they race against Patrick Rono of Arkansas, the NCAA Indoor bronze medalist in 2014, along with the Florida duo of Ryan Schnulle, who placed fifth in the NCAA Indoor final, and Andres Arroyo.

Grace Fletcher and Hillary Montgomery race in the mile while Karis Jochen competes in the 3,000 meters. Cameron Villarreal moves up to the 3,000 meters this weekend after winning races at 800 and the mile the past two weeks.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggie Divers Compete at Air Force Invitational

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Texas A&M men’s and women’s diving crew will compete in the Air Force Academy Diving Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Cadet Natatorium.

Representing Texas A&M at the competition are senior Ford McLiney (Kansas City, Mo.), sophomore Colton Haffey (Houston, Texas), sophomore Zachary Stockton (Houston, Texas) and freshman Tyler Henschel (Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) from the men’s team and sophomore Courtney Hattie (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) and sophomore Destine’e O’Neal (Allen, Texas) from the women’s squad.

The meet is the Aggie divers’ final tuneup before the Southeastern Conference Championships, which will be contested at Auburn University on Feb. 17-21. Friday’s diving starts at 10:30 a.m. CT and Saturday’s schedule begins at 10 a.m. CT. Live results can be accessed at www.divemeets.com.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Stars Beat Senators 6-3 in Spezza’s Return to Ottawa

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) _ Jamie Benn scored two goals, and the Stars beat the Senators 6-3 on Thursday night in Jason Spezza’s first game in Ottawa since he was traded to Dallas in the offseason.

John Klingberg, Colton Sceviour, Ales Hemsky and Trevor Daley also scored for Dallas, and Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves.

Mika Zibanejad, Bobby Ryan and Alex Chiasson scored for Ottawa. Robin Lehner, making his first start since Jan. 13, stopped 35 shots.

Spezza made his NHL debut with Ottawa in 2002 and had spent his entire career with the Senators before the trade. The former Senators captain got a standing ovation from the crowd of 18,752 following a video tribute early in the first period.

Top 25 Men’s Basketball Scores

Irish drop Blue Devils

UNDATED (AP) _ Notre Dame remains second in the ACC after winning a battle of top-10 teams.

Jerian Grant scored 23 points and had 12 assists as the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish knocked off No. 4 Duke 77-73. Grant hit a jumper as the 24-second clock was expiring to put the Irish ahead 73-70 with 1:07 to play. Steve Vasturia later beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer that made it 76-72.

Notre Dame is 20-2 overall and 8-1 in the conference. Duke is 4-3 in the ACC, its worst start in league play since 1995-96.

In other top-25 action:

_ Sixth-ranked Arizona is 7-1 in the Pac-12 after Grab York dropped in 16 points and Brandon Ashley had 13 in a 90-56 pounding of Oregon. Stanley Johnson had 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Wildcats.

_ No. 9 Kansas trailed by a point before Frank Mason III hit a layup to spark a 12-0 run in the Jayhawks’ 64-61 victory at TCU. Mason had 16 points and provided the Jayhawks’ final basket with 3:35 remaining.

_ Chris Jones scored 28 points and Terry Rozier contributed 23 in 10th-ranked Louisville’s 81-72 win at Boston College. The Eagles cut a 10-point deficit to 62-61 with about five minutes left before Jones scored 10 of the Cardinals’ next 12 points.

_ Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 27 points to lead No. 12 Wichita State past Loyola 58-47. Ron Baker added 16 points for the 19-2 Shockers, who are 9-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

_ Paul Jesperson matched his season-high with 13 points and Seth Tuttle also had 13 as 18th-ranked Northern Iowa earned a 59-52 win over Southern Illinois. Jesperson had scored 12 points in his previous eight games before shooting 5-for-6 from the field, helping the Panthers improve to 8-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

_ Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 24 points and Georgia Tech earned its first ACC victory of the season by shocking No. 23 Miami 70-50. The Yellow Jackets shot a season-high 57 percent and scored 34 points in the paint.

_ Purdue knocked off No. 22 Indiana 83-67 as Raphael Davis scored 19 points. The Boilermakers allowed just one basket during a 10 1/2-minute stretch of the first half to go ahead 30-15.

_ Ryan Spangler scored a season-high 20 points and No. 24 Oklahoma allowed the fewest points ever in a Big 12 conference game, crushing Texas Tech 81-36. Buddy Hield scored 15 points and Isaiah Cousins added 13 as the Sooners handed Tubby Smith the most lopsided loss of his coaching career.

Murray Into Australian Open Final With Win Over Berdych

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Andy Murray advanced to his fourth Australian Open final and a chance to win his third Grand Slam title with a 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 semifinal win over Tomas Berdych on Thursday.

Murray broke Berdych’s serve in the 11th game of the final set and clinched the match with an ace to advance to Sunday’s final against either Novak Djokovic or defending champion Stan Wawrinka.

Murray’s former coach, Dani Vallverdu, was hired by Berdych a few weeks after Murray cut ties with the Venezuelan. On Thursday, there appeared to be several verbal exchanges between the players and the coaching boxes.

Murray lost Australian Open finals to Roger Federer in 2010 and Djokovic in 2011, both in straight sets, and again to Djokovic in four sets in 2013.

Howard-less Rockets Top Mavericks; Spurs Stave Off Hornets

Smith and Harden lead Rockets over Mavericks 99-94

HOUSTON (AP) _ Josh Smith scored 18 points and James Harden added 17 as the Houston Rockets used a balanced scoring effort to outlast the Dallas Mavericks for a 99-94 victory on Wednesday night.

It was the third straight win for the Rockets, who played without Dwight Howard (sprained ankle), and the fourth loss in a row for Dallas.

The Mavericks were down by 3 with 15.9 seconds left when Harden knocked Tyson Chandler down on a shot. He was given a flagrant foul after a review, but Chandler missed both free throws.

Terrence Jones blocked a shot by Monta Ellis but knocked it out of bounds, giving Dallas another chance. The inbounds pass by Chandler Parsons sailed out of bounds to give Houston the ball. Harden made two free throws after that to secure the win.

 

Parker scores 17 to lift Spurs past Hornets 95-86

SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Tony Parker scored 17 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame another lethargic third quarter to beat the Charlotte Hornets 95-86 Wednesday night.

Danny Green had 16 points and Tim Duncan added 12 points and 14 rebounds as San Antonio won its sixth straight at home.

Gerald Henderson scored 18 points, Al Jefferson had 17 points and 16 rebounds and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 14 points for Charlotte. The Hornets were without star guard Kemba Walker, who will be out at least six weeks following surgery on his left knee.

San Antonio led by 18 in the first half but then shot 4 for 21 from the field in the third quarter, maintained the lead by hitting five free throws in the final 2 minutes.

Bonner’s 3-pointer to open the fourth ended an 8:22 drought and reinvigorated the Spurs, who made four 3s in the period to rebuild a double-digit lead.

Bryan Edges A&M Consolidated Boys Basketball Team on Late Free Throw

Story by David Campbell

In a game that already featured 53 fouls, what’s one more?

The game winner.

Bryan’s Sterling Whitley banked a free throw with 1.9 seconds gave the Vikings a 70-69 win over A&M Consolidated in District 18-5A boys basketball action Tuesday at Tiger Gym.

“[Coach] told me to shoot it off my fingertips and shoot it soft,” Whitley said. “I shot it soft and hit the backboard and it went in. I didn’t call it.”

The winning bank-shot free throw, Whitley’s only point of the game, gave Bryan (12-9, 8-0) its first lead since the first quarter as the Vikings came off the ropes to remain undefeated in 18-5A play. Whitley’s free throw completed an 18-point second-half rally after Consol led 38-22 at halftime.

“It was a great effort,” Bryan coach Chris Jones said. “We didn’t get some shots to go, but we stayed after it on the boards. The guys picked up the intensity and focus and stayed with it. We came out a little flat and got it going in the second half.”

A critical double foul with 1:43 left in the game hurt the Tigers’ upset bid. Consol (13-13, 3-5) lost 6-foot-2 junior guard Trey Pulliam in the exchange with his fifth foul. Pulliam, who had 17 points, had displayed a knee-buckling crossover dribble whenever he needed it. The Tigers lost his ability to drive and the free-throw shooting that could have come with it — Pulliam hit 7 of 8 free throws.

Consol didn’t losing the lead until 22 seconds were left, when Eric Bazy set up Quaylon Newton for a tying bucket inside to even the game at 69. The Tigers missed their attempt to regain the lead, and when Whitley grabbed the ball, officials called a foul as the buzzer sounded.

Officials huddled and determined there was time remaining, and Whitley walked to the other end of the court to hit the winning free throw.

Bryan chipped away at the lead throughout the fourth quarter and got a emotional boost when Christian Ely swished the Vikings’ only 3-pointer of the game to cut the Tigers’ advantage to 59-57.

With two minutes remaining, Consol sophomore Tre Flowers connected on two free throws, pushing his point total to a game-high 31 and giving the Tigers a 67-63 edge. The Tigers appeared set to get the ball back, but Newton made a leaping play jumping out of bounds in the corner and got the ball back to B.J. Ross, who scored for Bryan.

Garrett Peters followed with two free throws, but the Vikings countered with one each from B.J. Ross and Newton, setting up Newton’ game-tying bucket in the lane.

Darius Ross, easily Bryan’s most consistent threat to score in the lane, had a team-best 22 points and was good on 6 of 9 free throws. As a team, the Vikings hit only 17 of 35 free-throw tries. Newton had 18 points, and A.J. Lawson fouled out with 13.

“We came out and took a good punch from [Consol],” Jones said. “They played hard. Their kids really got after it and made shots. We didn’t make shots early.”

Jones cherished the fact that Bryan had to come from behind — and did — to remain atop the 18-5A standings.

“It makes you better,” Jones said.

Foul trouble hurt Consol throughout the game. By halftime, three of the Tigers’ eight players had three fouls.

But a poor-shooting first quarter from the field and the line stretched to halftime for Bryan. Consol’s shooting, which was cold early, went the opposite way staring late in the first quarter. Consol shooters got into a smooth stroke on their 3-pointers and stretched the lead because of it.

Flowers hit four of Consol’s six first-half 3-pointers.

“I told the boys at halftime that making 3s is not something that happens all of the time,” Consol coach Rick German said. “You’re going to have your ups and down. We just let them get inside too much. They just controlled us at will inside.”

Flowers buried the first of five Tiger 3-point shots in the second quarter, and Consol stretched an 11-9 first quarter advantage to a 16-point halftime lead. Flowers, who had great range on his shot, hit his fourth trey and followed it up with a steal and a driving bucket in the final minute.

Bryan 70, Consol 69

BRYAN (12-9, 8-0) — A.J. Lawson 4 5-10 5 13; Quaylon Newton 7 4-11 1 18; Christian Ely 1 0-0 0 3; Sterling Whitley 0 1-2 4 1; Eric Bazy 1 0-0 3 2; B.J. Ross 4 1-3 4 9; Darius Ross 8 6-9 4 22; KeeKee Johnson 1 0-0 4 2.

Totals: 26 17-35 25 70.

CONSOL (13-13, 4-4) — Garrett Peters 4 2-2 2 11; Layton Dimery 2 0-0 5 5; Tre Pulliam 5 7-8 5 17; Stevie Little 0 0-0 2 0; Kolby Peel 0 1-4 3 1; Tre Flowers 10 7-10 3 31; Ryan Bednarsky 1 0-0 5 2; Naaman Outing 0 2-4 4 2.Totals: 22 19-28 29 69.

Bryan 9 13 20 28 — 70

Consol 11 27 15 16 — 69

3-pointers: BRYAN — Ely. CONSOL — Flowers 4, Peters, Dimery.

JV: Consol won 51-50

Next: Consol at Caney Creek and Bryan at Willis, Friday

Courtesy of the B/CS Eagle

A&M Consolidated Girls Basketball Team Beats Bryan 65-39

Story by Larry Bowen

A&M Consolidated coaches were without their statistician, so they’ll have to watch video to determine how many rebounds Tori Carraway grabbed against Bryan.

Carraway won’t be hard to spot. The junior forward was all over floor Tuesday night, leading with her hustle as the 15th-ranked Lady Tigers dominated Bryan 65-39 in District 18-5A girls basketball action at Viking Gym.

If the video supports the game at a glance, Carraway should end up with between 15 and 20 rebounds to go with her game-high 19 points. The relentless 5-foot-9 Carraway helped Consol dominate the boards 47-32, and the Lady Tigers parlayed 22 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points.

“Tori was amazing,” Consol coach Karen Heintz said. “That’s what she does. She’s got length, and she’s so persistent. Tori is a warrior. She’s going to battle and do whatever it takes.

“We felt like she’d have a mismatch bringing the ball up the floor. Dadgum if she didn’t just bring it up and take it all the way and score.”

Most importantly, Carraway set an aggressive tone that her teammates mirrored defensively and while attacking the boards. The Lady Tigers forced 27 turnovers and allowed Bryan to shoot only 32 percent from the floor (16 of 49).

“[Consol] came in here ready to go, and they kicked our tails,” Bryan coach Beth Jesurun said. “You’ve got to give them credit. They played their butts off. We didn’t play very well, and part of that has to do with them.”

The matchup looked scary for Consol. The Lady Tigers have been without their top ball-handler for three weeks, and Bryan’s program has been trending up.

Bryan stayed within a point after the first quarter, but Consol took command with a dominating second period. The Lady Tigers outscored Bryan 20-7 in the quarter, forcing 10 turnovers and putting together a 15-2 run.

Senior guard Myeisha McAlister and junior guard Aerial Starks fueled the charge, comfortably handling the ball as Consol scored on fastbreaks and slicing drives to the basket. McAlister scored seven of her 14 points in the period.

Consol’s 31-17 halftime lead was built on 16 points after turnovers and 11 second-chance points.

“I’m very pleased,” Heintz said. “We felt like we made them work hard to score. Forced turnovers and rebounds, that is all a blue-collar team. That’s what we are. We work hard.”

The Lady Vikings got no closer than 11 points in the second half. Consol took a 42-29 advantage into the fourth quarter and extended it by making 10 of its last 14 shots.

Beth Ashley scored 14 points for Consol, which got eight from Starks and six from Dayquina Davis.

Lorenzia Nowlin and Jordan Lopez-Rhodes topped Bryan with eight points apiece.

Consol 65, Bryan 39

(numbers after names indicate field goals, free throws made-attempted, fouls, points)

CONSOL (26-4, 9-1) — LaDavia White 0 0-1 0 0; Myeisha McAlister 6 2-4 3 14; Aerial Starks 4 0-0 3 8; Tori Carraway 9 0-0 1 19; Briana Gooden 1 0-0 0 2; Dayquina Davis 2 2-4 1 6; McKenzie Dimery 0 0-2 0 0; Beth Ashley 4 4-4 2 14. Totals: 26 8-15 10 65.

BRYAN (15-13, 7-3) — Lorenzia Nowlin 3 2-5 3 8; Jordan Lopez-Rhodes 3 0-0 0 8; Kee Kee Nowlin 1 0-0 1 2; Keosha Lee 0 0-0 1 0; Keyoshia Washington 2 1-2 2 5; Davish Isaac 2 1-2 2 5; Faith Simpson 1 0-0 1 2; Chahnyce Foster 1 1-2 2 3; Chassiday Rusk 1 0-0 2 2; Kentavia Bowers 1 0-0 1 2. Totals: 16 5-11 15 39.

Consol 11 20 11 23 — 65

Bryan 10 7 12 10 — 39

Field goal shooting: Consol 27-64, Bryan 16-49.

3-point shooting: Consol 3-11, Bryan 2-7.

Rebounds: Consol 47, Bryan 32.

Turnovers: Consol 19, Bryan 27.

Courtesy of the B/CS Eagle

Former Texas A&M Track and Field Coach Charlie Thomas Passes Away

Charlie Thomas, former Texas A&M track and field head coach for 32 years, passed away Monday in Bryan at the age of 83. Named the head coach at Texas A&M at the age of 28 in 1959, Thomas coached his share of great athletes while some of the world’s best sharpened their skills under his direction.

Even after his retirement in 1990, his enthusiasm for the sport and the success of Aggie endeavors never wavered.

“Charlie was a great athlete and coach, but just as important as that he was also a true gentleman and leader within our sport,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “He was a great Aggie who loved Texas A&M. He will never be forgotten in the track and field world and will live on here at Texas A&M for being the coach and man he was for his athletes and this institution.”

The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Friday, January 30, 2015 at Memorial Funeral Chapel in Bryan. A private family graveside service will be held at a later time.

During his coaching career at Texas A&M, Thomas coached eight world and American record holders, three Olympic gold medalists, two Olympic silver medalists, nine Olympic qualifiers, 22 NCAA individual champions, and seven collegiate record holders.

Aggie athletes under his direction were awarded 105 All-America honors and included 124 SWC individual champions. His teams also excelled in winning SWC outdoor and indoor titles as well as placing among the top 10 at the NCAA Championships with second, third, fourth, and sixth place finishes among Texas A&M’s best efforts.

Coach Thomas was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Honor in 1981, Meet of Champions Hall of Fame in 1985, Border Olympics Hall of Fame in 1990 and The Texas A&M Hall of Fame in 1996.

He joins D.X. Bible as the only two people to be honored by the Longhorn Hall of Honor and the Texas A&M Hall of Fame.

In high school Thomas won five gold medals in the Texas State meet as a sprinter at Splendora and Cleveland high schools between 1948 and 1950.

While attending the University of Texas, he never lost a 220 yard race in the state of Texas during his career. In 1952, he anchored the University of Texas world record in the 440 yard sprint relay. In 1954 he ranked number one in the world in the 220 yard sprint.

Thomas competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1952 after his sophomore season and finished fourth in the 220 yard trials; missing a place on the U.S. Olympic team by inches. He could not compete in the 1956 trials because he was considered a “professional” as a track coach.

After graduating from the University of Texas with a certificate as an athletic trainer, Charlie was the head track coach at East Texas State University from 1956-1958; leading his teams to three straight Lone Star Conference championships. While coaching at East Texas State, he received his Master’s Degree.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

A&M Sprinter Bralon Taplin Earns SEC Runner of the Week Honors

BIRMINGHAM – Texas A&M senior sprinter Bralon Taplin earned SEC Runner of the Week honors following his winning performance in the 400 meters at the Texas A&M Quadrangular this past weekend.

Taplin produced a world-leading time of 45.78 seconds for the 2015 indoor season, moving to No. 3 on the Aggie all-time list. Taplin won the race by a full second as he generated the second fastest time ever indoors in a dual, triangular or quadrangular meet. The record for the 400 is a 45.74 set by teammate Deon Lendore in 2014.

Also in the meet Taplin anchored the A&M 4×400 relay to a 3:07.28 victory with a split of 46.11.

Updated USTFCCCA national team computer rankings this week have the Aggie women No. 3 and the A&M men No. 4 as they head to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the Razorback Invitational this Friday and Saturday.

In addition to the Aggies and host Arkansas (men No. 3, women No. 5) the scored meet will feature additional SEC foes in Florida (men No. 2, women No. 1) and LSU (men No. 9) along with national-caliber squads from Florida State, Iowa State, Kansas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Stanford, Texas and Tulsa.

Coverage of the meet will be available on SEC Network + through the Watch ESPN app. Links for the webcast are Friday (5 p.m. start) – http://es.pn/1xXcS7a, Saturday (noon start) – http://es.pn/1CB6C9z.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Texas A&M Trio Earns SEC Weekly Honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Three Texas A&M swimmers earned Southeastern Conference weekly honors on Tuesday after strong performances in the Aggies’ men’s and women’s sweep of the LSU Tigers last weekend.

Earning recognition from the SEC were senior team captain Luke Shaw (Men’s Swimmer of the Week), freshman Mauro Castillo (Men’s Freshman of the Week) and freshman Béryl Gastaldello (Women’s Freshman of the Week).

Shaw, from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, Texas, had the “best meet of his career” against LSU, according to head coach Jay Holmes, and the results back that assertion up. Shaw swept his three individual races – all in season-best fashion — and helped the Aggies close out the Tigers with a victory in the 200 free relay. Shaw won the 200 free in 1:36.10, the 100 free in 43.64 and the 100 fly in 47.56. Shaw, who has a season-best of 20.73 in the 50 free, threw down a quick 20.01 split on the 200 free relay.

Castillo, from Zacatecas, Mexico, set the tone for the day with a quick 53.52 breaststroke split on the Aggies’ winning 400 medley relay to open the dual meet against LSU. He posted his first individual victory of the day with a win in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 53.78, which lowered his career best by nearly three seconds. Later, he crushed the field in the 200 breaststroke with a school record effort of 1:55.65, which ranks No. 14 nationally and No. 3 in the SEC this season.

Showing off her impressive versatility, Gastaldello, from Miramas, France, swam the butterfly leg on the winning 400 medley relay, won the 100 backstroke and contributed the fastest 50 free split of the day on the victorious 200 free relay. She contributed a 54.38 fly split on the Aggies’ 400 medley relay, won the 100 back in 54.14, placed third in the 200 IM in 2:03.02 and then threw down a 22.60 anchor split on the 200 free relay, which was the only sub-23 second split of the day.

———————————

Male Swimmer of the Week

Luke Shaw • Texas A&M

Senior • San Antonio, Texas

Against SEC opponent and longtime regional rival LSU, Shaw swept his three individual races – all in season-best fashion — and helped the Aggies close out the Tigers with a victory in the 200 free relay. He won the 200 free in 1:36.10, the 100 free in 43.64 and the 100 fly in 47.56. Shaw, who has a season-best of 20.73 in the 50 free, threw down a quick 20.01 split on the 200 free relay.

Male Diver of the Week

Clark Thomas • Missouri

Junior • Olathe, Kan.

Thomas swept the 1-meter and 3-meter in Mizzou’s 133-81 dual win over Drury on Jan. 23. The Olathe, Kan., native scored 426.23 points to win 3-meter, a tally three points better than his old personal best, which was set on Oct. 31 against Missouri State. Thomas also posted a season best total of 386.85 on 1-meter, a score seven points better than his previous best this year and a little more than 10 points off his personal high. Thomas has now won seven 1-meter crowns and six 3-meter titles during the 2014-15 season.

Male Freshman of the Week

Mauro Castillo • Texas A&M

Freshman • Zacatecas, Mexico

Castillo recorded a 53.52 breaststroke split on the Aggies’ winning 400 medley relay to open the dual meet against LSU. He posted his first individual victory of the day with a win in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 53.78, which lowered his career best by nearly three seconds. In the 200 breaststroke, Castillo registered a school-record effort of 1:55.65, which ranks No. 14 nationally and No. 3 in the SEC this season. It was the Aggies’ first school record swim prior to the conference championships since 2011. His 100 breaststroke time put him at No. 5 on A&M’s all-time top 10 list in the race.

Female Swimmer of the Week

Hali Flickinger • Georgia

Junior • Spring Grove, Pa.

In No. 1 Georgia’s win at No. 7 Tennessee, Flickinger won three individual events. She claimed the 200 freestyle in 1:46.99, the 200 backstroke in 1:56.77 and the 200 individual medley in 1:59.94.  Her 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley times were season bests and reached the NCAA provisional qualifying standards. Behind Flickinger, Georgia improved to 10-0 and concluded the SEC portion of the season at 5-0.

Female Diver of the Week

Kahlia Warner • Florida

Junior • Queensland, Australia

In Florida’s victory at Auburn, Warner took first place in the one-meter with a personal-best score of 322.13. She also garnered first place in the three-meter with a final score of 322.58.

Female Freshman of the Week

Béryl  Gastaldello • Texas A&M

Freshman • Miramas, France

In the Aggies’ dual meet vs. LSU, Gastaldello swam the butterfly leg on the winning 400 medley relay, won the 100 backstroke and contributed the fastest 50 free split of the day on the victorious 200 free relay. The freshman from France contributed a 54.38 fly split on the Aggies’ 400 medley relay, won the 100 back in 54.14, placed third in the 200 IM in 2:03.02 and then threw down a 22.60 anchor split on the 200 free relay, which was the only sub-23 second split of the day.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Red-Hot Men Win Fifth in a Row, Down Auburn 71-61

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Danuel House scored 23 points and hit six 3-pointers to lead streaking Texas A&M to a 71-61 victory over Auburn on Tuesday night.

The Aggies (14-5, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) never trailed on their way to a fifth straight win.

House got off to a hot start and missed only one 3-point attempt after coming in averaging 18.6 points over the last five games. The rest of the damage was mostly done in the paint, where Texas A&M outscored the Tigers (10-10, 2-5) 42-14.

Auburn has lost three straight games.

Jalen Jones added 13 points for the Aggies while Alex Robinson drove to the basket repeatedly and scored 12.

Antoine Mason led Auburn with 16 points and Cinmeon Bowers finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. KT Harrell scored 11.

The Aggies made half of their 56 field goals while holding Auburn to 15-of-44 shooting (34.1 percent).

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Aggies Look to Continue Roll Tonight at Auburn on WTAW

Aggie Basketball Game #19:

Texas A&M (13-5, 4-2 SEC) at Auburn (10-9, 2-4 SEC)

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 · 8 p.m. (CT)

Auburn Arena (9,121) · Auburn, Ala.

 

TV: SEC Network (For more info – 12thMan.com/TV)

Dari Nowkhah, Play-by-Play

Joe Dean, Jr., Commentary

 

RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network

  Dave South, Play-by-Play

Mike Caruso, Commentary

Local: WTAW 1620 AM (College Station/Bryan)

Satellite Radio (Auburn Broadcast): Sirius Ch. 108 / XM Ch. 191

 

LIVE AUDIO/STATS: 12thMan.com

LIVE MOBILE LIVE STATS: tamustats.com

COLLEGE STATION – The Aggie men’s basketball team will put its four-game winning streak on the line Tuesday night when it travels to the plains of Alabama to face Auburn in an 8 p.m. contest inside Auburn Arena.

Texas A&M (13-5, 4-2 SEC) has surged up the SEC standings by winning its last four contests and enters the week sharing the league’s No. 2 spot with Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee. Auburn (10-9), meanwhile, currently sits in a tie for 10th place alongside Mississippi State, with a 2-4 record in conference games.

Tuesday’s contest will be nationally televised on SEC Network with Dari Nowkhah calling the play-by-play and Joe Dean, Jr. providing color commentary. Additionally, radio coverage will be provided on the Aggie Sports Network, which can be heard locally in the Bryan/College Station area on WTAW (1620 AM).

The match-up at Auburn will be the second straight away affair for Texas A&M, which is in the midst of its most road-heavy stretch of the regular season and plays four of five games away from Reed Arena. During their lone visit to Auburn Arena, which opened in 2010, the Aggies earned a 71-62 win on Feb. 20, 2013.

Junior forward Jalen Jones continues to spearhead the Aggies’ on-court production and is coming off a game-high 18 point, nine-rebound performance during a 67-61 win at Tennessee on Saturday.

Since returning to the lineup after missing the first two games of league play with a sprained ankle, Jones is averaging 17 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest during SEC action.

Junior guard Danuel House, who averages 16.3 points in SEC play, contributed 15 points against the Vols by going a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line while also tying a season-high with six assists.

The duo of Jones and House gives A&M a potent one-two punch on the offensive end as the pair checks in at No. 10 and 11 in scoring by SEC players this season, contributing 14.2 and 13.8 points per game, respectively.

Fellow junior guard Alex Caruso has also stepped up his game against SEC competition, averaging just under 11 points and six rebounds per outing in league play, while dishing out a team-high 19 assists.

The Tigers are under the direction of first-year head coach Bruce Pearl, who returned to the SEC sidelines this season following a six-year run as the head coach at Tennessee (2006-2011).

Senior guard KT Harrell directs the Auburn offensive attack and ranks second in scoring among all SEC players, contributing 17.4 points per outing. On the interior, junior forward Cinmeon Bowers presents a challenge for opponents as the 6-foot-7, 278-pound native of Racine, Wis., averages a double-double with 13.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.

Overall, Texas A&M owns a 5-3 lead in the all-time series with the Tigers but will be looking to avenge a loss in the most recent match-up, a 69-64 Auburn win at Reed Arena on the final day of the regular season last year.

 

QUICK HITS

• Riding the momentum of four consecutive victories that has surged the team into a tie for second place in the league standings, Texas A&M travels to Auburn for a pivotal SEC match-up.

• The Aggies have won four consecutive SEC contests for the first time since joining the league for the 2012-13 campaign …  A&M’s most recent five-game conference winning streak came from Feb. 9-23, 2011, when the Aggies won five straight Big 12 contests.

• Texas A&M is currently in the midst its most road-heavy stretch of the season, playing four of five games away from Reed Arena … The Aggies began the run with a 67-61 win at Tennessee on Saturday.

• Junior forward Jalen Jones has become the king of the ‘near double-double’ recently as he has notched double-digit points and nine rebounds in three consecutive games … overall, Jones has 10 career double-doubles between his time at SMU and Texas A&M and leads the Aggies in both scoring (14.2 points per game) and rebounding (6.4 rebounds per game).

• Third-year Aggie guard Alex Caruso has stepped up his game during league play and is averaging 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in his last five games beginning with the contest against Kentucky on Jan. 10 … the College Station native led the SEC in assists last season and finds himself atop the category again this year, pacing the league with 96 assists and an average of 5.3 per game.

• After struggling during the Aggies’ SEC opener Alabama, junior guard Danuel House has bounced back in a big way during his last five games when the Fresno, Texas, product is averaging 18.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest

 

SERIES HISTORY VS. AUBURN (AUBURN LEADS 5-3)

• Saturday will be the ninth meeting between the Aggies and Tigers on the hardwood … A&M owns a 5-3 edge in the all-time series.

• Last season, the Tigers came to Reed Arena on the final day of the regular season and defeated the Aggies 69-64.

• During the 2012-13 campaign, Texas A&M earned a pair of wins over Auburn, defeating the Tigers 65-56 at Auburn Arena on Feb. 20 before taking a 71-62 decision on March 13 in the opening round of the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

• The first meeting between the schools came on Dec. 22, 1961, in Houston … The Aggies prevailed with a 62-50 win.

• Prior to the Aggies joining the SEC, the schools most recently played a home-and-home series in back to back seasons with A&M winning 72-67 in College Station on Dec. 22, 2005, before earning a 87-58 victory in Auburn on Dec. 22, 2006.

 

UP NEXT

After two straight road games, the Aggies return home to Reed Arena Saturday to host Vanderbilt in a 3:30 p.m. contest that will be nationally televised by the SEC Network.

 

CARUSO MOVING UP ALL-TIME CAREER STEALS & ASSISTS LIST

With a steal against Kentucky on Jan. 10, junior Alex Caruso passed Reggie Roberts (1980-83) to move into fifth place on Aggie basketball’s list of all-time steals (164 career steals). Up next is Darryl McDonald (1986-88), who sits in fourth place with 173 steals.

Additionally, Caruso enters the Auburn game with 378 career assists and needs just one to tie Dash Harris for seventh place all-time in program history.

 

HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS SPARK COME-FROM-BEHIND VICTORIES

Wednesday’s contest against Missouri found the Aggies down at halftime for the third consecutive game and, just like the last two affairs, it saw A&M enjoy a huge second half en route to a come-from-behind victory.

All told this season, the Aggies have won six total games when they trailed at the intermission. Highlighting the list are a pair of contests during which A&M overcame 13-point deficits during the game’s final 20 minutes (Dec. 6 vs Arizona State & Jan. 17 at LSU).

 

ROBERSON ASCENDING AGGIE REBOUNDING LIST

Senior Kourtney Roberson joined the prestigious 500-Rebound Club last season and has continued into his senior season, moving up the list of the most prolific rebounders in school history. The Arcadia, La., native climbed three spots into 12th place on the all-time rebounding list with a six-board performance at Alabama on Jan. 6. Roberson enters the Auburn game with 716 career boards. Up next is Ronnie Peret (1966-69), who pulled down 735 during his Aggie career.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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