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Chiefs release linebacker James, tight end Jones


March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Chiefs released linebacker Robert James and tight end Dominique Jones on Thursday as they prepare for the start of free agency next week. James was signed near the end of last season when James Michael-Johnson went on injured reserve. Jones spent time on the practice squad before making the 53-man roster at the tail end of the season, but he did not have a catch with the Chiefs.

The Chiefs were already in the market for a linebacker to provide depth, either through the draft or free agency. Jones was expendable with the anticipated return of tight end Travis Kelce, their third round pick last year who missed the season with a knee injury.

Cardinals-Twins rained out Thursday


March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – The exhibition game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins scheduled for Thursday was rained out.   The game was called off before it started. Ricky Nolasco was set to start for the Twins. With rain in the forecast, he pitched a simulated game instead.

ISU Guard Bubu Palo mulling hardship waiver


March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State senior guard Bubu Palo says he might petition the NCAA for a hardship waiver that would allow him to transfer to another school and play one more season. Palo missed much of 2013-14 after being dismissed from the team following sexual assault charges that were later dropped. Palo was reinstated by a district court judge in January, but he hasn’t played this season.

Palo says he and coach Fred Hoiberg have discussed the possibility of a waiver, adding that he might sit out Saturday’s home finale against Oklahoma State to aid those efforts. Palo redshirted as a freshman in 2009-10 and was suspended for 18 games in 2012-13. He will be honored in pre-game festivities for Iowa State’s seniors on Saturday.

Evansville defeats Drake 69-61 in MVC opener


March 7th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Egidijus Mockevicius tied a career-high with 19 points, had a career-best eight blocks and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 9 seed Evansville defeated eighth-seeded Drake 69-61 in the opening round of the Missouri Valley tournament Thursday night. D.J. Balentine added 30 points for Evansville (14-18) which faces top-seeded Wichita State in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Jordan Daniels scored to give Drake a 21-19 lead with 8:10 to play in the first half. Evansville answered with a 14-0 run, including six points by Balentine, to take a 33-21 lead and the Purple Aces led the rest of the way. Daniels scored seven straight points and Daddy Ugbede made a layup to cap a 9-0 to pull Drake within six points, 58-52 with 8:49 remaining, but the Bulldogs did not get any closer. Richard Carter scored 26 points and Daniels finished with 11 to lead Drake (15-16).

Doolittle Sparks No. 23 Iowa Past Illinois 81-62


March 6th, 2014 by Jim Field

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bethany Doolittle scored a career-high 26 points, hitting 10 of 14 shots, as fifth-seeded and 23rd-ranked Iowa defeat Illinois 81-62 in the first round of the Big 10 tournament on Thursday.

Melissa Dixon added 15 points and Ally Disterhoft 14 with 12 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (24-7), who face No. 17 Purdue (21-7), the fourth seed, in the quarterfinals Friday.

Amber Moore had 26 points for the Illini (9-21), who have lost 11 straight). Ivory Crawford had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Iowa opened the game with an 11-2 run and after Illinois regrouped to take a 27-26 lead, the Hawkeyes closed the half with a 15-2 surge for a 41-29 lead.

Iowa shot 54 percent from the field, made 21 of 26 free throw and had a 45-31 rebounding edge to offset 24 turnovers. The Illini shot just 32 percent and got to the line 14 times, making 10.

Browns Agree to Terms with Kicker Cundiff


March 6th, 2014 by Jim Field

CLEVELAND (AP) — Kicker Billy Cundiff has agreed to terms on a contract extension with the Browns.

Cundiff was eligible to hit the free-agent market next week, but he’ll stay with the Browns. Terms of the deal announced Thursday were not immediately available.

After Phil Dawson left for San Francisco before last season, the Browns signed Cundiff, who made 21 of 26 field-goal attempts and made 32 extra points in 16 games. Cundiff also set a franchise record with 42 touchbacks.

Cundiff made the Pro Bowl with Baltimore in 2010. He kicked in five games for the Browns in 2009 and has also played for Dallas, New Orleans and Washington. He was in training camp with the New York Jets last summer before he was waived on Aug. 28.

He has converted 76 percent of his career field-goal attempts.

The former Drake University player is a Harlan alum.

Christofferson One of Four Cyclones to Earn Big 12 Conference Honors


March 6th, 2014 by Jim Field

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State senior Hallie Christofferson was named to the All-Big 12 First Team, while sophomore Nikki Moody was a Second-Team selection and Jadda Buckley and Seanna Johnson earned spots on the All-Freshman Team.

Christofferson, a forward from Hamlin, Iowa, was a first-team pick after averaging 18.5 points and 7.2 rebounds. In conference play, Christofferson averaged 16.5 points and was in the top-15 in the league in field goal percentage at 46.4 percent for the season. She was also second in the league with an 89.2 percent clip at the free-throw line.

Christofferson, who tallied seven double-double this season, was in double figures in 27 of 29 games, including 15 games with 20 or more points.

Moody, a junior guard from Euless, Texas, earned second-team honors for the first time in her career. She averaged 12.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game this season. Moody tallied 20 points on three occasions and scored in double digits 17 times. She recorded five or more assists 18 times including two games with 10 or more assists.

Johnson and Buckley have enjoyed standout freshman campaigns earning eight of the 18 Big 12 Freshman of the Week awards between the two. Iowa State’s two nods on the All-Freshman team is the first time in the history of the award that a school has placed two on the team in the same year.

Buckley, a guard from Mason City, Iowa, is averaging 11.0 points per game, 3.2 assists per game and 2.2 rebounds per game. Buckley has grabbed three Freshman of the Week honors for the Cyclones and scored 20-plus points on two occasions. She has also scored in double-digits 16 times this season.

Johnson, a guard from Brooklyn Park, Minn., is averaging 10.6 points and 8.1 rebounds. She has earned five Freshman of the Week honors and scored in double-digits 16 times. Johnson has also recorded nine double-digit rebounding games.

2013-14 Phillips 66 All-Big 12 Awards

  • Coach of the Year: Mike Carey, West Virginia
  • Player of the Year: Odyssey Sims, Baylor **
  • Freshman of the Year: Nina Davis, Baylor
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Odyssey Sims, Baylor
  • Sixth Man Award: Taylor Palmer, West Virginia

All-Big 12 First Team (all honors listed alphabetical by school)

  • Nina Davis Baylor F 5-11 Fr Memphis, Tenn.
  • Odyssey Sims^~!** Baylor G 5-8 Sr Irving, Texas
  • Hallie Christofferson^ Iowa State F 6-3 Sr Hamlin, Iowa
  • Chelsea Gardner Kansas F 6-3 Jr DeSoto, Texas
  • Aaryn Ellenberg^~** Oklahoma G 5-7 Sr Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Tiffany Bias%+** Oklahoma State G 5-6 Sr Andover, Kan.
  • Zahna Medley TCU G 5-6 So Springfield, Ill.
  • Nneka Enemkpali Texas F 6-1 Jr Pflugerville, Texas
  • Asya Bussie West Virginia C 6-4 Sr Randallstown, Md.
  • Bria Holmes** West Virginia G 6-1 So New Haven, Conn.

All-Big 12 Second Team

  • Nikki Moody Iowa State G 5-8 Jr Euless, Texas
  • Leticia Romero Kansas State G 5-8 Fr Las Palmas, Spain
  • Morgan Hook Oklahoma G 5-10 Sr Lowell, Ark.
  • Imani McGee-Stafford Texas C 6-7 So Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Amber Battle Texas Tech G 5-9 Jr Albuquerque, N.M.

All-Big 12 Honorable Mention

Niya Johnson (Baylor), Makenzie Robertson (Baylor), Natalie Knight (Kansas), Sharane Campbell (Oklahoma), Nicole Griffin (Oklahoma), Liz Donohoe (Oklahoma State), Brittney Martin (Oklahoma State), Chassidy Fussell (Texas)

Big 12 All-Defensive Team

  • Odyssey Sims Baylor G 5-8 Sr Irving, Texas
  • Tiffany Bias Oklahoma State G 5-6 Sr Andover, Kan.
  • Latricia Lovings TCU C 6-3 Sr Fort Worth, Texas
  • Asya Bussie West Virginia C 6-4 Sr Randallstown, Md.
  • Jess Harlee West Virginia F 6-1 Sr Bel Air, Md.

Big 12 All-Freshman Team

  • Nina Davis** Baylor F 5-11 Memphis, Tenn.
  • Jadda Buckley** Iowa State G 5-8 Mason City, Iowa
  • Seanna Johnson Iowa State G 5-10 Brooklyn Park, Minn.
  • Leticia Romero** Kansas State G 5-8 Las Palmas, Spain
  • Roshunda Johnson Oklahoma State G 5-7 Little Rock, Ark.

** Unanimous First Team Selection (coaches cannot vote for own players, unanimous denotes voted first team by other nine coaches)

^ 2012-13 All-Big 12 First Team Selection

% 2012-13 All-Big 12 Second Team Selection

~ 2011-12 All-Big 12 First Team Selection

+ 2011-12 All Big 12 Second Team Selection

! 2010-11 All-Big 12 First Team Selection

Iowa men and women play today (Thursday)


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa men and women both play today. For the women, it’s the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis. The Hawkeyes have to win four games in four days to get an automatic N-C-A-A bid, and coach Lisa Bluder says it’s tough. She says they have to go by the old “one game at a time” plan. Pre-game for Iowa versus Illinois gets underway at 1:15 on KJAN.

The Iowa men look to win again after stopping a three-game losing streak against Purdue. They are at Michigan State. Coach Fran McCaffery has been focusing on cutting back the turnovers this season after averaging in the double digits the last few seasons. Iowa had just five turnovers in the win against Purdue. Iowa is 20-9 overal and 9-7 in the Big Ten. They play Michigan State at 8 p-m. Catch the pre-game beginning at 7, also on KJAN.

(Learfield Sports)

Freshmen are making their mark among Big Ten women


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Big Ten women’s basketball tournament starts Thursday in Indianapolis with four games. Regular-season co-champions Penn State (22-6) and Michigan State (21-8), along with Nebraska (22-6) and Purdue (21-7), have earned the top four seeds for the second straight year.

Purdue, which has won six straight games, is the two-time defending champion. The Boilermakers have put together their longest win streak of the season, and the longest current streak in the Big Ten, without injured point guard KK Houser.

Indiana (18-11) plays Ohio State (15-17) in the tournament opener. Other games Thursday match Iowa (23-7) against Illinois (9-20), Michigan (17-12) against Northwestern (15-14) and Minnesota (19-11) against Wisconsin (10-18).

Wednesday’s Girls State Basketball Scores/Thursday Schedule


March 6th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Class 1-A Semifinal

  • Newell-Fonda 65, Colo-NESCO 34

Class 4-A Quarterfinals

  • Ballard 55, Davenport Assumption 45
  • Western Dubuque 53, Bishop Heelan Catholic 44

Class 5-A Quarterfinals

  • Dowling Catholic 62, Waukee 56
  • Iowa City High 68, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 34
  • Southeast Polk 68, WDM Valley 60
  • Waterloo West 69, Des Moines East 57

Thursday Schedule

Class 1-A Semifinal

  • 10:00 a.m. — Janesville (24-1) vs. Burlington Notre Dame (22-3)

Class 2-A Semifinals

  • 11:45 a.m. — Cascade (26-0) vs. Hudson (24-1)
  • 1:30 p.m. — North-Linn (24-1) vs. Western Christian (25-1)

Class 3-A Semifinals

  • 3:15 p.m.. — Crestwood (22-2) vs. Unity Christian (21-4)
  • 5:00 p.m. — MOC-Floyd Valley (24-1) vs. Mediapolis (24-1)

Class 4-A Semifinals

  • 6:45 p.m. – Harlan (24-0) vs. Carlisle (20-6)
  • 8:30 p.m. – Ballard (21-4) vs. Western Dubuque (22-2)