Lovell leads Lions at the Classic

FORT SMITH — Junior Dylan Lovell shot a season-best 2-under par 142 to lead the UAFS men’s golf team to a 13th-place finish in The Classic at The Tribute on Tuesday at The Colony, Texas.

It was the final tournament of the fall season for UAFS, which was one of 15 teams in the invitational hosted by Texas A&M-Commerce.

UAFS shot a 28-over 605 (298-306) and finished 52 strokes behind champion Cameron University, which shot a 20-under 556 (277-279). Midwestern State finished runner-up with an 8-under 568 (280-288).

Lovell shot rounds of 69-73 and finished 14th to lead the five-player UAFS contingent and the only one to place in the Top 25.

Midwestern State’s Derek Oland shot a sizzling 13-under 131 (65-66) to win the 81-player event by five strokes over Dominican (Calif.) University’s Drew Nelson (67-69).

UCA finish seventh at UAB Fall Bash

GULF SHORES, Ala. — The University of Central Arkansas Bears finished seventh Tuesday at the UAB Fall Beach Bash being played at the Lakes to Marsh Golf Course.

UCA freshman Elisa Axelsen tied for 13th overall, shooting rounds of 74-75—149. Sophomore Sarah Brown tied for 18th at 74-76—150, while senior Carly Dear tied for 25th at 78-74-152 to round out the the Top 25 scorers.

Tulsa won the tournament with a score of 59.


Miller, Hatcher earn GAC hnors

RUSSELLVILLE — The Great American Conference has announced the league’s Offensive Player, Defender and Goalkeeper of the Week for the eighth week of the women’s soccer season. Harding’s Hannah Hatcher and Kaitlyn Miller won the Defender and Goalkeeper of the Week award while Southwestern Oklahoma State’s Miranda Balezentis scored the Offensive Player of the Week honor.

Offensive Player of the Week – Miranda Balezentis, Southwestern Oklahoma State, F, So., Tulsa

Balezentis scored perhaps the most crucial goal for the Bulldogs this season as she found the back of the net with just over one minute remaining in regulation to give SWOSU a 1-0 victory over second-place Ouachita Baptist. The victory put SWOSU on the verge of claiming a second-consecutive GAC Championship.

Defender of the Week – Hannah Hatcher, Harding, Sr., Georgetown, Texas

Hatcher anchored a Harding defense that handed Southwestern Oklahoma State its first shutout to a GAC team since Oct. 29, 2011. She played the full 180 minutes in wins against the Bulldogs and Northwestern Oklahoma State. The Lady Bisons extended their win streak to three.

Goalkeeper of the Week – Kaitlyn Miller, Harding, So., Bryant

Miller played all 180 minutes in net as the Lady Bisons defeated Southwestern Oklahoma State and Northwestern Oklahoma State to push their win streak to three. She made four saves in a 1-0 victory against the No. 18 Bulldogs, the program’s first win against SWOSU since 2008 and their first against a ranked foe since 2006.


Coaches pick UALR to win SBC

LITTLE ROCK – The coaches have chosen, and the UALR women’s basketball team is predicted to win the Sun Belt Conference in the conference’s preseason poll released on Tuesday.

The Trojans topped the coaches’ poll with 95 total points and six first-place votes, narrowly edging out second-place Western Kentucky by three points and two first-place votes. UALR finished the regular season and the conference tournament in second place last year, but the reigning champion from 2012-13 – Middle Tennessee – has left the Sun Belt for Conference USA.

Two UALR players were also singled out for individual recognition in the preseason coaches’ poll. Senior guard Taylor Ford and junior guard Taylor Gault were named to the Sun Belt All-Conference First Team.

A member of the 2012-13 Sun Belt All-Conference Second Team in the pre-season and post-season, Ford returns to UALR for her senior year as an unquestioned leader of the Trojans. She led the Sun Belt Conference with 4.5 assists per game, and her 149 total assists were the second-most in a single season in UALR history.

Named to the 2013 Sun Belt All-Tournament Team one year after winning the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player and the conference’s Freshman of the Year Award, Gault is set to reach even bigger heights in her junior campaign. She led the Trojans with 13.9 points per game in her sophomore season, the seventh-best single season in UALR history. Gault was also named All-Sun Belt First Team in 2012.

The Trojans regular season begins on Nov. 10.

Red Wolves receive votes in Poll

JONESBORO — The Arkansas State University men’s basketball team is gaining attention around the country as the Red Wolves are listed among teams receiving votes in the 2013-14 preseason edition of the Mid-Major Top 25 Poll, which was released Oct. 22.

Arkansas State, coached by John Brady, is one of 51 teams earning votes as the Red Wolves compiled eight points. A-State is tied with Santa Clara and South Dakota State, who also garnered eight votes apiece. Wichita State is ranked first in the preseason poll with 766 points and 24 first-place votes.

A-State isn’t the only Sun Belt Conference (SBC) school to be listed in the Mid-Major Top 25 Poll as Western Kentucky is tabbed 14th place with a 251-points total. Louisiana-Lafayette (41 points) and UALR (20 points) are included in other teams receiving votes. Another of A-State’s opponents for this upcoming 2013-14 season in Niagara attained 29 points.

Arkansas State opens its 2013-14 season Saturday with a home exhibition match-up versus in-state foe Henderson State in Jonesbor. The Red Wolves will host another in-state opponent, Arkansas-Monticello on Nov. 5 before officially starting the regular season Nov. 11, at Jackson (Miss.) State.

The Red Wolves, who finished 19-12 overall and first place in the Sun Belt Conference’s West Division at 12-8 last season, return a talented group led by senior guard Ed Townsel, senior forward Kendrick Washington, and junior guard Rakeem Dickerson.