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Poplar Bluff takes care of Lafayette 71-56

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  • Poplar Bluff takes care of Lafayette 71-56

    By JEFF McNIELL ~ Assistant Sports Editor
    ST. LOUIS -- All of the sudden, cold-shooting Poplar Bluff seemingly can't miss from the outside.

    "I could even pitch it out to (junior varsity player) Kevin Hutson sitting on the bench and he'll hit one," senior forward Tyler Hansbrough joked.

    Hutson is one of the few Mules not knocking down long shots these days.

    Second-ranked Poplar Bluff got 3-pointers from five different players - and eight in all for the second straight game - to knock off No. 7 Lafayette 71-56 in front of a capacity crowd Saturday afternoon.

    "It shows you how we can play," Hansbrough said. "If we can come in here in front of their home crowd, it really shows us how good we can be."

    The Mules (6-2) went to the perimeter to complete a two-day sweep of two of the state's top-ranked teams. Less than 24 hours after hitting eight 3s in a 30-point blowout of Dexter, ranked fourth in Class 4, Poplar Bluff was 8-for-14 from downtown against the Lancers.

    Reserves Allan Spencer and James Dixon combined for five 3s to help loosen the inside for Hansbrough, who led the way with 27 points and eight rebounds.

    "It's real noticeable that our guards are starting to play better," Poplar Bluff coach John David Pattillo said. "Our guys are coming in off the bench and playing well, and we need that."

    A rematch of last year's Class 5 state semifinal - which the Mules also won - was even most of the way. There were 10 lead changes, two ties and despite falling behind by nine midway through the second quarter, Lafayette (6-2) rallied to retake the lead midway through the third.

    That's when the defending state champions took control.

    With Poplar Bluff trailing 41-40, Spencer canned a 3-pointer from the right wing to spark a 15-2 run that carried over into the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Spencer had a jumper and transition layin sandwiched by a monster Hansbrough slam as the Mules went ahead 55-43 with 6:32 left.

    Hansbrough, whose putback dunk at the end of the second quarter was waved off by the officials, scowled at the crowd after taking flight and throwing down a hard one-handed fastbreak dunk.

    "I was feeling bad because that's the only one I had, so I felt like I would just crush it and break the whole thing," Hansbrough said. "I wanted to bring the roof down with it."

    Ben Hansbrough went 12-for-15 at the free-throw line en route to 17 points for the Mules, who were 11-for-16 (68.8 percent) from the field in the second half. Spencer scored 12 points and Dixon hit three 3-pointers for nine points.

    Austin Peay recruit Landon Shipley scored a game-high 28 points for the Lancers. Missouri-bound guard Matt Lawrence had eight.

    Pattillo met Lafayette coach Dave Porter on the hardwood for the first time since the two had an emotional exchange on the Hearnes Center court in March after the Mules clinched the school's first basketball state title. Pattillo said squaring off against his former high school coach, mentor and good friend hasn't lost meaning over the years.

    "Never. It's always special," Pattillo said. "After you lose your father, and that was someone very close to me, you've got somebody there that kind of fills that void. That's what he's always been to me."

    Pattillo, a former Lafayette assistant under Porter, spent several minutes beforehand mingling with old friends. He even had a surprising chat with Porter, who coached at Poplar Bluff from 1978-85, when he walked within several feet of the Mules' bench late in the fourth quarter.

    "He was doing what he normally does. He was complaining about the referees," Pattillo said with a laugh.

    The Mules threatened to pull away early in the second quarter when Dixon connected from beyond the arc and Ben Hansbrough converted a baseline drive while being fouled to make it 22-16. But Lafayette answered with baskets from four different players - capped by a Cartez Parker layup - to pull even at 24-all.

    Tyler Hansbrough nailed a 3 from the top of the key and Dixon made a wide-open trey from the right wing to give Poplar Bluff a nine-point lead late in the second quarter. But the Lancers again rallied, this time with a Parker jumper and Lawrence 3-pointer to make it 34-30 at the half.

    Jared Kreienkamp completed the Lancers' comeback with a short jumper that gave them a one-point lead with four minutes left in the third quarter.

    "They did a nice job of getting miss-matches at times and making it tough on us on our defensive end," Pattillo said. "They kept it out of Tyler's hands some and we kept it out of Tyler's hands some, but all in

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  • txramsfan
    Poplar Bluff wins Rumble on the Ridge tourney
    by txramsfan

    Mules off to 3-0 start with title

    By STEVE FREY ~ Sports Writer
    FORREST CITY, Ark. -- Not often does a foul completely change the momentum of a game. But that was the case Saturday night in Poplar Bluff's 65-60 win over Bolivar (Tenn.) Central in the championship game of Rumble on the Ridge.

    Trailing by three points with 2:37 to play in the game, the 6-foot-9 Tigers center Wayne Chism picked up his fourth foul. The junior argued the call and picked up a technical foul and exited the game.

    Tyler Hansbrough, the tournament MVP, converted all four ensuing free-throw attempts to give the Mules the lead for good.

    "It was big for us," Poplar Bluff coach John David Pattillo said of the technical foul. "We needed a little something there. We made the free throws, held on and were able to win it from there."

    Hansbrough finished 8-for-8 from the field and 12-of-15 from the charity stripe en route to a team-high 28 points. The senior All-American added 12 rebounds and was named to the all-tournament team.

    Willie Kemp, a 6-2 guard, kept Bolivar afloat by scoring a game-high 36 points on 16-of-24 shooting.

    "We let him go crazy on us," Pattillo said. "Hopefully we will do a better job on someone like that next time."

    Bolivar, the defending Class AA Tennessee state champs took an 18-16 advantage after one quarter.

    The Mules took their first lead (23-22) on a jumper by Hansbrough with 4:37 to play in the half. After Bolivar went ahead with two consecutive field goals, Brad Chronister knotted the game at 26-all with a 3-pointer. Poplar Bluff took the lead on bucket by Chronister with 3:28 to play in the first half and the Mules led 32-29 at the intermission.

    After Poplar Bluff went up on Hansbrough's four free throws in the fourth quarter, the Mules increase the lead to 62-59 on a turnaround bucket by Hansbrough.

    The all-stater then picked up a clutch block at the other end and the Mules sank 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

    Chronister had 12 points, 10 coming in the first quarter. James Dixon added 10 points off the bench, including two clutch jumpers late in the game.

    "James did a good job of scoring it for us tonight and handling it for us," Pattillo said. "It was a good game all-in-all."

    Ben Hansbrough, who was named to the all-tournament second team, had nine points while Ross Whelan added all six of his points in the first quarter.

    The Mules shot 59.5 percent from the field and hit 17-of-27 from the free throw line. The Tigers, meanwhile, converted 4-of-9 attempts.

    The Mules committed 15 turnovers to Bolivar's 11. Chism had 10 points before...
    -11-29-2004, 12:57 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Purdue's dream season becomes a nightmare
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 31, 2004 wire reports

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Three short weeks ago, Purdue and Kyle Orton were on the verge of one of those magical seasons.


    The Boilermakers had climbed to No. 5 in the country, their best start in almost 60 years, and fans were thinking Orange Bowl, not the Rose Bowl. Orton was on the fast track to the Heisman Trophy, piling up touchdowns and yardage with dizzying ease.

    Now Orton's starting job is in jeopardy and the Boilermakers are in shambles, on the wrong end of a three-game losing streak and wondering how things became so bad, so fast.

    "We're disappointed. We're trying to get a win, we're trying to play well," Orton said after being benched in Purdue's latest loss, a 13-10 upset at Northwestern on Saturday afternoon that dropped the Boilermakers out of the Top 25.

    "We just have to get a win and try to get back on track."

    But what derailed the Boilermakers (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) in the first place?

    Purdue looked almost invincible as it raced out to a 5-0 start. Orton threw 18 touchdown passes in those first five games, and the high-octane offense churned out more than 500 yards and 45 points a game. The young defense looked as nasty as its predecessor, which sent seven players to the NFL.

    But something happened in that fifth game. The Nittany Lions clamped down tight on Purdue's receivers, clutching and grabbing and getting as close to pass interference as they could without drawing a flag. Purdue still won 20-13, but other teams now had a blueprint for how to attack the Boilermakers.

    Wisconsin did it to perfection two weeks ago, smothering the receivers and harassing Orton all afternoon. When he fumbled late in the fourth quarter, the Badgers scooped it up and returned it for the game-winning touchdown. Michigan was equally tough, allowing top receiver Taylor Stubblefield only one catch and limiting Orton to 213 yards passing.

    Northwestern wasn't supposed to be nearly so difficult. Not only had Purdue won its last seven against Northwestern, but the Wildcats were giving up more yardage in the air than a frequent-flier program.

    "We were thinking coming in we were going to throw the ball down the field," Orton said.

    Instead, the Wildcats (4-4, 3-2) made Orton look ordinary. Hobbled by an aching left hip flexor -- not to be confused with the right hip pointer he suffered against Michigan -- Orton had his worst day of the season and was yanked for Brandon Kirsch late in the third quarter.

    Orton was just 15-of-33 for 143 yards. He also threw an interception and had a fumble in the first quarter that set up Northwestern's first score.


    "I couldn't...
    -11-01-2004, 09:44 AM
  • DJRamFan
    North Dakota 19, Grand Valley State 15
    by DJRamFan

    Associated Press

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Two players listed as second stringers on the University of North Dakota football team combined to make a first-string play on a day dominated by defense.

    Linebacker Dan Ullsperger forced a fumble and nose guard Adam Wolff recovered it to set up the game-winning touchdown in a 19-15 victory over Grand Valley State in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals on Saturday.

    The Sioux (11-2) rallied with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to defeat the two-time defending champion Lakers (10-3), who led 15-6 with about 12 minutes left.

    "Obviously they made one more big play than us," said Lakers coach Chuck Martin. "We would like to have that play back."

    North Dakota advances to the semifinals against Pittsburg State, which beat Northwest Missouri State 50-36 on Saturday.

    The Lakers were clinging to a 15-12 lead late in the game when Ullsperger blitzed on a third-and-15 play to sack quarterback Cullen Finnerty. A surprised Wolff picked up the ball and was tackled at the Grand Valley 29.

    "Usually when you're playing the nose position you don't get to see a lot of those opportunities come your way," Wolff said. "My eyes got real big."

    Wolff, who rotates with Shane Duchscher at nose guard, thought he could score on the play.

    "I was kind of counting my chickens before they hatched," he said. "I was looking for a nice little celebration to do but I got wrapped up."

    Quarterback Chris Belmore, who replaced starter John Bowenkamp in the second half, scored four plays later on a 2-yard run with 4:59 left to make it 19-15. The Lakers were forced to punt on their next possession and the Sioux ran out the clock.

    The win was the 18th straight at home for the Sioux, who have not lost a playoff game at the Alerus Center. Ullsperger credited a noisy crowd of 8,222 for forcing several of Grand Valley's 13 penalties.

    "That's a big credit to the fans, especially to come out on Thanksgiving weekend," said Ullsperger, who rotates with Jake Nordick at outside linebacker.

    The loss snapped a playoff winning streak at 10 games for the Lakers.

    "We knew it was going to be a heavyweight fight," Martin said. "Obviously we had them on the ropes, but you knew they weren't going to lie down."

    The Lakers went ahead 15-6 after Brandon Langston took a swing pass and rambled 74 yards for a touchdown with 12:17 left. But the Sioux took the ensuing kickoff and drove 68 yards in four plays, capped by Brandon Strouth's 24-yard touchdown run, making it 15-12.

    "It was a do-or-die situation for us," Sioux coach Dale Lennon said of the drive. "If we don't have that drive, I think the game...
    -11-28-2004, 05:27 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Turnovers Bite Huskies at Michigan
    by DJRamFan
    No. 4 Michigan 33, Northern Illinois 17

    Sept. 3, 2005

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Michigan made Northern Illinois pay for its mistakes, using turnovers to turn a competitive game into a lopsided win.

    Mike Hart ran for 117 yards and a scored two touchdowns, and the fourth-ranked Wolverines took advantage of five Northern Illinois giveaways to beat the Huskies 33-17 on Saturday.

    A season after leading the nation by losing only one fumble, the Huskies lost four fumbles and threw an interception while the Wolverines turned it over only once.

    "If you win the turnover battle, statistics say you win 79 percent of the time," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "If the turnovers were 1-1, the score would've been much different."

    The Wolverines led just 14-10 early in the second quarter before scoring 19 straight points in the opener for both schools.

    The Huskies ran for 211 yards and threw for 200, but they were doomed by the turnovers and a blocked field goal.

    "I honestly thought we had a shot if we didn't turn it over," said coach Joe Novak, who has built Northern Illinois into a mid-major power after it lost 23 straight from 1996-98.

    Michigan's Chad Henne was 20-of-31 for 227 yards and two TD passes. Jason Avant had nine receptions for 127 yards and a score. Hart had 27 carries and ran for more than 100 yards for the sixth time in his last eight games. He also caught four passes for 49 yards.

    The Wolverines scored TDs on their first three drives, missed a field goal on their fourth and led 27-10 at halftime after converting 8 of 10 third downs.

    "Offensively, we played as well in the first half as any team since I've been at Michigan," said Carr, in his 11th year as head coach.

    Adrian Arrington, Michigan's promising No. 3 receiver, was carted off the field with ice packed on his right ankle after he returned a kickoff early in the second quarter. Carr said he's going to miss some time, but didn't elaborate.

    Garrett Wolfe had 17 carries for 148 yards and a TD for the Huskies, but his fumble in the second quarter was the first of their turnovers.

    "With my fumble, everything started to turn around," he said. "The game started to go downhill for us."

    Phil Horvath was 17-of-25 for 200 yards with an interception and a fumble.

    Northern Illinois had some success against the Wolverines' high-powered offense, but not when it counted most on third downs.

    Michigan opened with a 14-play drive - converting four third downs - ending with Avant's leaping 4-yard catch in the corner of the end zone.

    The Huskies responded with a 16-play possession, but they missed their first of many opportunities...
    -09-05-2005, 08:21 AM
  • DJRamFan
    I-AA Wrapup: Shakedown Saturday
    by DJRamFan
    Changes in the elite are emerging

    Oct. 3, 2004

    By David Coulson, Senior Columnist,
    Special to from

    As a youngster, I used to watch reruns of Star Trek every day after school. And I always wondered what it would be like to have Scotty's transporter in my house.

    Just think about how cool it would be to quickly beam yourself from one place to another.

    I could have used that device on Saturday to keep track of some great matchups in I-AA football -- matchups that will have obvious repercussions on the NCAA playoffs in the next month and a half.

    I would have started my journey by beaming to Tubby Raymond Field for the Delaware-Maine showdown in the Atlantic 10. As it was, I had to settle for watching the No. 4 Blue Hens and No. 8 Black Bears play a instant classic on my trusty, though less flashy VCR.

    This was a game that many thought would be a defensive struggle, but instead the two teams combined for 81 points and 954 yards of total offense.

    Delaware, which had showed almost no offensive consistency this season, jumped to a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter and had beaten its best scoring output of the season by the middle of the second period with a 27-7 advantage.

    Maine, which usually likes to control the ball on the ground behind big, senior tailback Marcus Williams, was forced to almost completely abandon its rushing attack and came charging back behind the arm of sophomore quarterback Ron Whitcomb.

    Whitcomb completed 22-of-40 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns, two of the scoring aerials to Christian Pereira (nine catches for 143 yards).

    When Whitcomb connected with Pereira on a 10-yard scoring strike early in the fourth quarter, the Black Bears pulled within 37-35 and Mike Mellow's 21-yard field goal finally gave Maine the lead with 7:12 to play, 38-37.

    But Saturday was the day that Delaware quarterback Sonny Riccio finally arrived. Much was expected when Riccio transferred last spring from Missouri to fill the void left by the graduation loss of I-AA.Org offensive player of the year Andy Hall.

    Riccio struggled in his first three games as a Blue Hen, games that included a loss to New Hampshire and two unimpressive wins over Towson and Division II West Chester.

    But Riccio hit 33-of-51 passes for 415 yards and a 28-yard touchdown and added a 12-yard scoring run against Maine. And he led Delaware on a clutch drive that resulted in a last-minute, game-winning touchdown.

    As soon as the gun sounded in Newark, Del., I would have been ready to say: "Scotty, beam me to Carbondale, Ill. for the Southern Illinois-Northern Iowa showdown."

    It looked for a half like it would be another week for the curse...
    -10-04-2004, 11:58 AM