Digest for 01-15-14


COMMUNITY

Mid-Winter Invitational bowhunting this weekend

The Pine Bluff Bowhunters will host the 22nd annual Mid-Winter Invitational Saturday and Sunday at their complex, just off Island Harbor Marina Road.

Divisions include Pro, Men’s and Ladies’ Open, Longbow, Recurve, Seniors, BHR, Ladies’ BHR, Novice, Youth (ages 13-15), Cub (ages 9-12) and PeeWee (8-under). Pros receive a 50 percent payback and a first-place plaque, while plaques for the top three in each remaining division will be won.

Entry fees are $20 for Pro, $15 for adult and $10 for youth. Cub and PeeWee shooters enter for free with a bonus shot of $1.

The Invitational will be held from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday with a stagger start (register from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.), and will resume with a 10 a.m. shotgun start Sunday (register from 8-9 a.m.). The awards presentation will be at 4 p.m. Sunday.

LOCAL

Greek Night, White Out set for UAPB basketball games

Saturday’s Arkansas-Pine Bluff basketball doubleheader against Southern at H.O. Clemmons Arena is Greek Night.

The women’s game Saturday will begin at 5 p.m., with the men to start at approximately 7:30. Fans are encouraged to wear their respective Greek paraphernalia.

Monday’s games against Alcorn State at Clemmons Arena will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the women’s game, followed by the men at approximately 7:30.

Monday is “White Out” night. All fans are asked to wear all white during these games.

Blossoms picked third, Weevils fourth on diamonds

MONTICELLO — The Arkansas-Monticello softball team has been picked to finish third in the Great American Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Cotton Blossoms earned 75 poll points and two first-place votes to fall behind defending champion Southeastern Oklahoma State (97 points, seven first-place votes) and East Central (87 points, two first-place votes).

The UAM baseball team, which finished as the GAC runner-up a year ago, is picked to finish fourth in the conference. The Boll Weevils earned 63 poll points, winding up behind defending champion Southern Arkansas (100 points, 10 first-place votes), Arkansas Tech (88 points, one first-place vote) and Southwestern Oklahoma State (78 points).

UAM opens its softball and baseball seasons on Feb. 1. The softball team will host Christian Brothers of Memphis, and the baseball team will compete at the Houston Astros Winter Invitational.

STATE

Arkansas’ Berna placed on Lieberman watch list

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas women’s basketball junior point guard Calli Berna has been named to the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List, as announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

One of 29 student-athletes nominated to the initial award watch list, the Nancy Lieberman Award recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.

Berna leads the SEC and is fourth in the NCAA with 128 assists so far this season, averaging a league-leading 7.5 assists per game. The Fayetteville native is also first in the conference and fourth in the NCAA in assist/turnover ratio (3.7).

REGIONAL

Grizzlies slip past Thunder

MEMPHIS — Courtney Lee scored a season-high 24 points and Zach Randolph recorded a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 90-87 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder from FedEx Forum.

Mike Conley finished with 19 points and seven assists for Memphis, which has won three straight games. Marc Gasol returned to the Grizzlies’ lineup after a 23-game absence because of an MCL sprain and finished with 12 points and four rebounds in the win.

Kevin Durant poured in 37 points for Oklahoma City, which has lost three straight on the road. Reggie Jackson added 17 points and Serge Ibaka scored 11 points with nine rebounds and four blocks in the setback.

Former Tar Heel Hairston joins D-League team

FRISCO, Texas — Former North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston has been acquired by the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League, though he won’t be eligible to be called up to the NBA this season.

Hairston is the first player to enter the NBADL mid-season after being enrolled in college at the start of the season, the Legends said Tuesday in a release announcing they had added him to their roster.

Hairston led UNC in scoring last season, averaging 14.6 points per game, but was suspended by Tar Heels coach Roy Williams in July. Last month, the school said it would not seek reinstatement for Hairston, who was under scrutiny for several traffic violations during the offseason.

When he was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and driving without a license in June, the guard was driving a vehicle linked to a convicted felon. The charges were later dropped.

Hairston, who will enter the NBA Draft in June, is expected to be in uniform for Saturday’s game against the Austin Toros. He thanked the Legends and said he was “grateful” the team believed in his abilities.

— Staff and wire reports