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National Sports Headlines: Sat., 12/27/14


December 27th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ATLANTA (AP) — Jared Dudley came off the bench to score a season-high 24 points on 10 of 10 shooting as Milwaukee clobbered Atlanta 107-77. Dudley’s marksmanship included four 3-pointers that help the Bucks send the Hawks to their second-worst loss of the season. Brandon Knight added 16 points as the Bucks handed Atlanta just its third loss in 16 games.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Josh Smith scored 21 points and had eight rebounds in his Houston Rockets debut, a 117-111 win against Memphis in overtime. Smith shot 9 of 21 while playing 31 minutes off the bench, two days after he was officially released by the Detroit Pistons. James Harden finished with 32 points and 10 assists to help the Rockets overcome Marc Gasol’s (gah-SAHLZ’) 29 points.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard poured in 28 points and had nine assists as the Portland Trail Blazers whipped Philadelphia 114-93. Wesley Matthews hit seven 3-pointers and finished with 25 points to help the Trail Blazers improve to 13-2 at home. The Blazers shot 42 percent from 3-point range, hitting 18 of 43.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — North Carolina State shredded Central Florida’s top-10 defense for 488 total yards in a 34-27 victory at the Bitcoin Bowl in St. Petersburg. Jacoby Brissett threw for 262 yards and one touchdown, and Matt Dayes scored on runs of 24 and 15 yards to help the Wolfpack finish 8-5.

DALLAS (AP) — Houston Bates had 4 1/2 sacks against his former team and Kenneth Dixon scored one of his two touchdowns on an 80-yard reception as Louisiana Tech topped Illini 35-18 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Xavier Woods scored on a 69-yard interception for the Bulldogs, who also had touchdown runs from Jarred Craft and Blake Martin. Dixon became Louisiana Tech’s career leader in yards rushing, finishing with 63 for a total of 3,410 in three seasons.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Running back Ryan Mathews has been ruled out of San Diego’s game Sunday at Kansas City, which the Chargers must win to clinch a wild-card berth. Mathews will miss his third straight game with what’s believed to be a high ankle sprain. Also ruled out on Friday was punter Mike Scifres, who broke his left collarbone in the loss to New England.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith will miss Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers because of a lacerated spleen. Chase Daniel will start in his place. Team trainer Rick Burkholder said Friday that Smith was likely hurt on a hit during the third quarter of last weekend’s loss to the Steelers, but the quarterback didn’t have significant symptoms. If the Chargers beat Kansas City, they make the playoffs. The Chiefs would need to win and have Baltimore and Houston lose to earn a postseason berth.

Sweet 16 Cyclones highlight year in Iowa sports


December 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – In 2014, Iowa State rose to heights it hadn’t seen in over a decade.
Coach Fred Hoiberg and the Cyclones might go even further in 2015. Iowa State won the Big 12 tournament for the first time since 2000 in March, a thrilling three-day run through Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor. The Cyclones reached the Sweet 16 after a last-second win over North Carolina before falling to eventual national champion Connecticut.

Iowa State started this season at 9-1, including a 90-75 blowout of rival Iowa in Iowa City, and were ranked 12th as on Monday. The Cyclones kick off Big 12 play on Jan. 6 against Oklahoma State. While the league is arguably the nation’s toughest, Iowa State is a legitimate threat to win its first Big 12 regular season title in 14 years.

Here were some of the other moments that defined Iowa sports in 2014….

HAWKEYES RISE…AND FALL: Iowa reached the top 10 in late January last season and appeared poised to fulfill its promise under fourth-year coach Fran McCaffery. But the Hawkeyes dropped six of their final seven Big Ten games and stumbled into the First Four matchup in the NCAA tournament, where it lost to Tennessee in overtime. The collapse on the court was overshadowed by the cancer diagnosis given to McCaffery’s 14-year-old son Pat in early March. Thankfully, doctors declared Pat cancer-free in June. Iowa got off to a disappointing start to 2014-15 as well. It will enter Big Ten season at 9-4 and in need of a major revival to return to the NCAA tournament.

WEST HOPES DASHED: A host of returning starters and a seemingly favorable schedule had many pegging Iowa among the favorites to win the inaugural Big Ten West title. But the Hawkeyes dropped close games against Wisconsin and Nebraska and finished the regular season at 7-5. Much like its basketball team, Iowa will face Tennessee in an unexpectedly underwhelming postseason game, the Taxslayer Bowl on Jan. 2.

FIELD HOCKEY FIRING: Iowa field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum was fired in August over allegations of player mistreatment, setting off protests from supporters who demanded that Griesbaum be reinstated. Griesbaum is planning legal action against the university, contending that athletic director Gary Barta discriminated against her and other gay female coaches. Barta has rejected discrimination claims. The Hawkeyes finished 11-7 under interim coach Lisa Cellucci.

CYCLONES STUMBLE AGAIN: Iowa State’s football team followed up a 3-9 season with a 2-10 one this fall, putting coach Paul Rhoads on the hot seat for 2015. The Cyclones allowed 38.8 points a game, and their offense struggled under first-year coordinator Mark Mangino. Iowa State will bring back a lot of starters next fall, along with a handful of highly touted junior college transfers who are expected to plug gaps. But unless the Cyclones improve drastically, they could be looking for a new head coach next December.

SPEEDWAY SUCCESS: NASCAR’s first year running the Iowa Speedway was a smooth one. Sprint Cup star Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr. won Nationwide races in Newton, and Ryan Hunter-Reay passed half the field in his final 10 laps to win the IndyCar event. The track will again host two races in the newly-branded NASCAR XFINITY series, along with IndyCar and trucks races, in 2015.

PARKER’S PASSING: Longtime Iowa coordinator Norm Parker, whose defenses were the cornerstone of the program’s success under head coach Kirk Ferentz, died in January at age 72. Parker spent 13 seasons under Ferentz, and his defenses routinely ranked among the nation’s best. Iowa State defensive assistant Curtis Bray died at the age of 43 just two days after Parker’s passing.

UNI REVIVAL: Northern Iowa appears set to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years. The Panthers got off to a 10-1 start, highlighted by a 56-44 win over the Hawkeyes in Des Moines on Dec. 20, and could threaten Wichita State for the Missouri Valley title.

I-CUBS ON THE RISE: The Triple-A Iowa Cubs didn’t even make the International League playoffs. But the list of players who went through Des Moines might look staggering in a few years. Third baseman Kris Bryant finished his remarkable season in Iowa, hitting 43 home runs with a .325 batting average overall. Middle infielders Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara also stopped by Des Moines before ending up in Chicago – and even Manny Ramirez spent a few months there as a hitting coach, mentor and part-time player.

DES MOINES LANDS THE NCAAs: Des Moines was selected to host the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for the first time, a further sign of the capital city’s rise in last 15 years. Wells Fargo Arena will host first and second-round games in 2016.

Chiefs QB Alex Smith out with lacerated spleen


December 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith will miss Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers because of a lacerated spleen. Team trainer Rick Burkholder said Friday that Smith was hurt on a hit during the third quarter of last weekend’s loss to the Steelers, but the injury was not initially obvious. Smith will not need surgery.

If the Chargers beat Kansas City on Sunday, they make the playoffs. The Chiefs would need to win and have Baltimore and Houston lose to earn a postseason berth.

(Podcast) KJAN Sports Report, 12/26/14

Podcasts, Sports

December 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The 7:18-a.m. Sportscast, with Ric Hanson.


National Sports Headlines: Fri., 12/26/2014


December 26th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MIAMI (AP) — The Heat spoiled LeBron James’ return to South Beach as Dwyane (dwayn) Wade scored 24 of his 31 points in the first half of Miami’s 101-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Luol Deng finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Heat, who blew a 17-point lead and trailed early in the fourth quarter before handing the Cavaliers their fourth loss in 16 games since a 5-7 start. James scored a game-high 30 in his first game at Miami since he left the Heat to return to the Cavaliers.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Warriors have their second two-game skid of the season after Jamal Crawford hit four 3-pointers and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Clippers past Golden State 100-86. Blake Griffin finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Deandre Jordan had 14 points and 12 boards for the Clippers. Klay Thompson led the Warriors with just 15 points on 6 of 18 shooting.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka led the Oklahoma City Thunder to their sixth consecutive regular-season win over the Spurs, a 114-106 triumph against the defending NBA champs at San Antonio. Westbrook had a game-high 34 points and a team-best 11 assists, while Ibaka delivered 21 points and nine rebounds. Steven Adams added 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Thunder, who played their fourth straight game without Kevin Durant because of a sprained right ankle.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Washington Wizards handed the New York Knicks their 16th loss in 17 games as John Wall’s 24 points and 11 assists led a 102-91 triumph at Madison Square Garden. Bradley Beal chipped in 17 points to help the Wizards end a two-game skid and improve to 20-8. The Knicks fell to 5-26 despite Carmelo Anthony’s game-high 34 points.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls cruised to a 113-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers as Pau Gasol had 23 points and 13 rebounds against his old team. Jimmy Butler finished with 21 points and Derrick Rose added 20 points in the Bulls’ fifth consecutive win. The Lakers played their second straight game without Kobe Bryant, who says his knees, Achilles tendons, feet and back are all sore.

(Podcast) KJAN Sports report, 12/25/2014

Podcasts, Sports

December 25th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The 7:20-a.m. sportscast w/Chris Parks.


(Podcast) KJAN Sports, 12/24/2014

Podcasts, Sports

December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The 7:20-a.m. Sports report, with KJAN’s Chris Parks.


Jordan Walden, Cardinals agree to $6.6M, 2-year deal


December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Reliever Jordan Walden and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a $6.6 million, two-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. The 27-year-old right-hander gets a $350,000 signing bonus and salaries of $2.5 million next year and $3.5 million in 2016 as part of Tuesday’s deal. The Cardinals have a $5.25 million option for 2017 with a $250,000 buyout.

Walden was obtained by the Cardinals from Atlanta with outfielder Jason Heyward on Nov. 17 for pitchers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins. Walden made $1.49 million last season, when he was 0-2 with a 2.88 ERA and three saves as a setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel.

Walden has appeared in 50 or more games in three of the past four seasons and has a 12-13 career record with a 3.10 ERA, 38 saves and 254 strikeouts in 211 2-3 innings. He was an AL All-Star in 2011, when he had 32 saves for the Los Angeles Angels.

Western IA high school basketball scores from Tue., 12/23/14


December 24th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

MOC-Floyd Valley 60, Sioux Center 57
Rock Valley 54, West Lyon, Inwood 45

Sioux Center 90, MOC-Floyd Valley 60
West Lyon, Inwood 74, Rock Valley 57

Cyclones Land Marquette Transfer Deonte Burton


December 23rd, 2014 by Jim Field

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg has announced the addition of Marquette transfer Deonte Burton to the roster.

Burton, a consensus top-100 recruit out of high school, will attend Iowa State starting in January and sit out until the end of the first semester in 2015-16. Burton, who signed a financial aid agreement, will have one and a half seasons to play for the Cyclones when he becomes eligible next December.

A strong and athletic 6-4 wing, Burton was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie team in 2013-14. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native averaged 6.9 points and posted a team-high 35 steals as a freshman. This season, Burton averaged 6.4 points and shooting 47.2 percent from the field in eight games. Off the court, Burton was recognized with Marquette’s Academic Excellence Award for his efforts in the classroom.

“We are excited to add Deonte to our program,” Hoiberg said. “Deonte is an elite athlete and a great student as well. He’s got the ability to stretch the defense and knock down shots on the perimeter. He’ll be a good fit for our program and what we like to do offensively.”

Burton played his high school ball at Vincent High School in Milwaukee, the same high school as former Cyclone standout Diante Garrett. Burton was ranked as high as 39th by ESPN.com.