Digest for 03-28-14


LOCAL

Weevils change weekend schedule

MONTICELLO – This weekend’s Great American Conference baseball series between No. 25 Arkansas-Monticello and East Central at Weevils Field has been pushed back one day to a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. and a single nine-inning game on Sunday at noon.

Both teams have reached the 20-win status heading into the weekend. UAM (21-10, 11-7 GAC) is coming off a three-game sweep over then-ranked No. 30 Harding last weekend at home, while ECU (20-10, 9-6) comes to Monticello riding a 10-game winning streak, including a three-game GAC sweep over Southern Nazarene last weekend at home in Ada, Okla.

STATE

A-State baseball adjusts Sunday start time

JONESBORO — The start time for Arkansas State’s baseball game against Texas State on Sunday has been changed to 11 a.m. to accommodate the travel plans of the Bobcats’.

The teams will open the series on Friday night at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s game is slated to begin at 4 p.m. Sunday’s game will begin at 11 a.m. with no inning starting later than approximately 3:20 p.m. to allow the Bobcats’ to travel back to Texas.

Arkansas in Top 10 in Directors Cup standings

FAYETTEVILLE — Bolstered by strong NCAA Championship finishes by its men’s and women’s indoor track teams, Arkansas has moved into the nation’s top 10 in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup. The Razorbacks are tied for ninth nationally with a total of 377 points in the first set of winter standings released on Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

Arkansas leads all Southeastern Conference programs and is the only SEC program within the top 10. Only three other SEC programs are ranked in the top 25 of the most recent standings. The first winter standings reflect points awarded for men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s water polo, skiing, rifle, women’s volleyball and field hockey.

The Razorback men’s track and field team earned 90 points for a national runner-up finish earlier this month at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. Coach Chris Bucknam’s squad won the SEC team title before earning its third-consecutive indoor national championship or national championship runner-up finish.

Coach Lance Harter led the women’s track and field team to another top 10 national finish as well. The Razorbacks earned 73.5 points for a sixth-place finish at the national meet. Arkansas earned the first NCAA Distance Medley Relay in school history and Razorback student-athletes earned 19 All-America honors for their performances at the national meet.

The Directors Cup is a competition that tracks the nation’s most successful intercollegiate athletic programs for their athletic performances throughout the year. Directors Cup standings are divided into three intervals reflecting fall, winter and spring sports. The next edition of the winter standings will be released on April 10.

NATIONAL

Rice indicted on aggravated assault charge

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice could face three to five years in prison.

Rice was indicted by a grand jury in Atlantic City, N.J. Thursday on one count of third-degree aggravated assault.

It was not a good day for Rice, who had initially faced a charge of simple assault for allegedly striking his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in the Revel Casino on Feb. 15.

After the incident occurred, a video obtained and posted online by TMZ.com showed Rice lifting Palmer by her arms out of an elevator and laying her on the floor.

Prosecutors increased Rice’s charge to aggravated assault and dismissed the charges on Palmer, who also had been charged with simple assault.

Rice also could face punishment from the NFL in the form of a suspension, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that he has yet to make a decision on the case.

Syracuse’s Ennis entering draft

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis announced Thursday his plans to forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility and declare for the NBA Draft.

Ennis heads to the pros off one outstanding season with the Orange in which he averaged 12.9 points, 5.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals while starting all 34 games. His performance helped Syracuse put together a school-record 25-0 start to the 2013-14 season and a No. 1 overall ranking in the national polls for three weeks.

Ennis, a finalist for the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award, is widely regarded to be taken in the first round in this year’s draft.

76ers tie NBA record with 26th straight loss

HOUSTON — The Philadelphia 76ers have taken tanking to a new level.

The Sixers tied the NBA record of 26 straight losses with a 120-98 defeat to the Houston Rockets on Thursday.

Philadelphia, which hasn’t won since a buzzer-beating victory in Boston over the Celtics on Jan. 29, joins the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers as the only two teams to drop 26 in a row.

The Sixers can set the NBA record with a loss to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

Dolphins, Moreno agree to one-year deal

The Miami Dolphins have reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year contract with former Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno.

The team did not confirm the move, but multiple media outlets reported the deal to be worth about $3 million for the 2014 season.

Moreno broke out for career-highs in nearly every category last season, racking up 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground while adding 60 catches for 548 yards and three scores in 16 games, all but one as Denver’s starting running back.

The 26-year-old University of Georgia product had spent his entire five-year career with the Broncos after being selected 12th overall by the club in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Over 60 games, including 45 starts, Moreno has rushed for 3,468 yards and 26 touchdowns and caught 157 passes for 1,401 yards and nine scores.