Digest for 03-06-14


LOCAL

UAM rally falls short at Southern Arkansas

MAGNOLIA — It took nine innings for the 11th-ranked Arkansas-Monticello baseball team to show some promise on offense and despite a four-run ninth fell short against fourth-ranked Southern Arkansas.

The Muleriders built a 7-0 lead and held off the late rally for a 7-4 win over the Boll Weevils on Wednesday at SAU’s Walker Stadium.

UAM (14-5) waited until the ninth inning to show any signs of offense with four runs off five hits after only getting two hits in the first eight innings. Highlighting UAM’s four-run ninth was a two-run single from junior Mitchell Dornblut.

The Muleriders (16-4) used the middle innings for their runs with two in the fourth, two in the fifth and three in the sixth to take a 7-0 lead.

Junior Josh Mingura (1-1) took the loss for UAM in his first appearance since the season-opener in Houston. Mingura allowed two runs off four hits with a pair of strikeouts and walks in the first four innings. Yumezo Densaki (2-1) earned the win for SAU after keeping UAM scoreless on only two hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in the first seven innings of his start.

UAM is back in action this weekend in Arkadelphia in a three-game Great American Conference series against Ouachita Baptist. UAM and OBU are set for a single nine-inning game on Friday at 2 p.m. followed by a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon.

STATE

UA women drop SEC tourney opener

DULUTH, Ga. — Jessica Jackson had 21 points and 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season and second against Ole Miss, but a last-second jumper from the freshman was too strong and the Arkansas women’s basketball team fell 63-62 on Wednesday at the 2014 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament in the Gwinnett Center.

A contested game down the stretch with both sides hitting big baskets late to trade leads, Jackson had a good look on a jumper after a full-court heave and designed play, but it was the Rebels (12-19, 2-14 SEC) who came out with the victory.

Ole Miss finished the game on a 13-2 run capped by a tip in from senior Kenyotta Jenkins. Tia Faleru led the Rebels with 16 points.

Holding an eight-point lead with 3:41 left UA (19-11, 6-10) was held over three minutes without a basket, which allowed Ole Miss to climb back into the game and take a late lead. The two traded big shots back-and-forth down the final minute of the game, but it was Ole Miss who came out on top after Jackson’s last-second jumper from the wing was just too strong and off back rim.

It was a back-and-forth affair in the early part of the second half, as teams traded leads. UA created a balanced scoring attack after Jackson carried the load in the first half, with five different Razorbacks scoring five points or more and UA holding a 43-42 lead with 11:30 to play. It was a battle for position down low offensively, as Ole Miss finished with 44 points in the paint while UA had 36.

A-State women clinch No. 1 seed in Sun Belt

JONESBORO — The Arkansas State women reached 100 points for the first time since the 2002-03 season, but more importantly locked up a No. 1 seed for the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

Wednesday night’s 107-57 win over Louisiana-Monroe (11-18) also earned A-State (19-10, 13-4) at least a share of the conference’s regular season championship.

Head coach Brian Boyer also became the all-time leader in Sun Belt wins with 136.

REGIONAL

Nets use three-pointers to down Grizzlies

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Joe Johnson scored 21 points and led a torrid shooting display from the perimeter for the Brooklyn Nets, who continued their strong second half of the season with a 103-94 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brooklyn went a scorching 15-of-26 from 3-point range in its fourth straight win, with Johnson making 5-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc and Marcus Thornton going 4-of-5 in a 20-point effort off the bench.

Deron Williams tallied 16 points, seven assists and four steals in a game the Nets led wire-to-wire and were ahead by as many as 30 points at one stage.

Playing without leading rebounder Zach Randolph due to illness, the Grizzlies got a mere 24 points out of their starting unit. Jon Leuer paced Memphis with 19 points, while Marc Gasol had 18 along with seven rebounds.

NATIONAL

Collins gets second 10-day deal with Nets

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Brooklyn Nets have signed center Jason Collins to a second 10-day contract.

Collins joined the Nets late last month and became the first openly gay active player in one of North America’s four major team sports when he took the floor for a Feb. 23 game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 35-year-old veteran revealed his sexuality nearly 10 months ago in an article he co-wrote for Sports Illustrated.

Collins has appeared in five games this season and has compiled three points with five rebounds in 36 minutes.

The 7-footer previously played for the New Jersey Nets from 2001-08 and was a member of two NBA Finals teams. The Stanford product has averaged 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 718 career games.

Browner reinstated by NFL

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner says he’s been reinstated by the NFL.

Browner, who is set to become a free agent next week, was suspended by the NFL in December for an indefinite period after he lost an appeal over a one-year ban for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy a second time.

He said on Twitter Tuesday night that the ban was over and thanked his agent and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for resolving the matter “in a positive, productive manner so I can continue my career, provide for my family, and help my team win a Super Bowl.”

Browner was facing a potential one-year ban as a second-time offender when he turned down an offer by the NFL to reduce the penalty and opted to fight the verdict.

He sat out the last four regular-season games in 2012 after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance and missed Seattle’s Super Bowl run this past season.