Wonder Boys defeat Ozarks in exhibition game

RUSSELLVILLE — Tyler Friedel went 6-for-9 from the three-point line with 22 points, Willie Rogers scored 15 points, and Clarence Willard added nine points and two steals as the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys defeated the University of the Ozarks 82-69 in the exhibition game held in Tucker Coliseum on Monday night.

The Wonder Boys shot 56.5% (13-23) from the field and outrebounded the Eagles 47 to 37 in the second half. Friedel went 6-of-7 from three-point land in the second half and added four free-throws on six attempts.

University of the Ozarks scored 12 fast break points compared to Tech’s six but Tech lead in points in the paint (32 to 24), second chance points (17 to 4), and points off the bench (47 to 4).

The Wonder Boys will begin their regular season Friday, at the Southwest Baptist Tournament in Bolivar, Mo., to take on Lincoln University.

Blossoms fall to A-State

JONESBORO — The University of Arkansas at Monticello women’s basketball team began the 2013-14 season with a 79-48 exhibition loss to NCAA Division I Arkansas State on Monday at the ASU Convocation Center.

The Blossoms jumped out to an early lead and led for the first 10 minutes of the first half, including a 16-14 advantage on three-pointer from sophomore Nikki Mullen at the 10:31 mark, before the Red Wolves posted a 10-run for the final lead change of the contest.

Sophomore Tamia Grady led the Blossoms with 15 points on a 5-for-13 shooting performance. Grady also nailed a pair of three-pointers and was 3-for-4 at the free-throw line. Sophomore Jordan Goforth also reached double-digits with 11 points. Mullen finished with nine points.

Hanna Qedan led the Red Wolves with 14 points. Jane Morrill and Aundrea Gamble each added 12 points.

The Blossoms open the regular season Saturday at home against Lindenwood.


A-State among leaders at classic

GULF SHORES, Ala. — Hosting the ASU Fall Beach Classic at the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club, the Arkansas State men’s golf team completed the two-day tournament’s opening 36 holes with a combined 582 to finish Monday’s play tied for second place among 13 teams.

The Red Wolves, just two strokes behind leader West Florida, were led by Easton Key, who is currently in first place with a 6-under par 138. Key holds a two-stroke advantage over second-place Esteban Castro of West Florida after recording a 70 and 68 for the first and second rounds, respectively.

Joining Key among the top leaders for Arkansas State was Chance Holden, who finished the day tied for third place with a 3-under par 138 that included a low round of 69.

The tournament’s second and final round will be played Tuesday.

Calderon leads UALR

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. — The UALR men’s golf team sits seventh of 13 teams following the first two rounds of the ASU Fall Beach Classic at Peninsula Golf Club. Sophomore Matias Calderon leads the Trojans and is tied for 11th overall at 1-over 145.

UALR combined for a team score of 592 on Monday. West Florida leads the field of 13 at 580, followed by a three-way tie for second with Louisiana Tech, ULM and Arkansas State all combining for matching scores of 582.

Calderon opened with a 3-over 75 in round one before rebounding with a 2-under 70 over the final 18 holes. Junior Alfred Kerstis is tied for 17th after an opening-round 3-over 75 and 3-under 72 in round two put him at 3-over 147.


UALR releases schedule

LITTLE ROCK — Head coach Scott Norwood has announced the UALR baseball schedule for the upcoming 2014 season. The Trojans will play a 56-game regular-season slate featuring 16 matchups against seven schools that qualified for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

In April, UALR plays nine of 14 games against teams who finished second in their respective regionals in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Trojans kick off the month at Central Arkansas on April 2. After its contest with its in-state rival, UALR plays host to SBC newcomer Georgia State (April 4-6).

The Trojans play seven other contests against NCAA Tournament teams, including a trip to Oxford, Miss., to close out non-conference weekend action (March 7-9) and a trip to take on Oklahoma March 19. The Trojans swept nationally ranked Oklahoma in a doubleheader in Norman, Okla., in 2013. UALR welcomes regular season co-champion South Alabama to Gary Hogan Field on March 21-23.

UALR opens the 2013 campaign with 10 of its first 12 games at Gary Hogan Field. The Trojans host Creighton on Feb. 14-16 before traveling to Southeast Missouri State for a midweek battle on Feb. 18. The Trojans return home to face Bradley for a weekend series Feb. 21-23 before traveling to Nacogdoches, Texas, for a game with Stephen F. Austin on Feb. 25.

UALR concludes the regular season at Texas State (May 9-11) before welcoming Arkansas State to Gary Hogan Field (May 15-17). The top eight SBC teams during the regular season qualify for the SBC Tournament in Mobile, Ala., on May 20-25.


College Sports Madness recognizes A-State’s Lee

JONESBORO — Arkansas State junior linebacker Qushaun Lee (Prattville, Ala.) has been named the College Sports Madness Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Red Wolves’ 17-16 road win over South Alabama last Saturday.

Lee recorded a career-high 16 tackles, including one tackle for loss, and a pass break-up against the Jaguars to earn the accolades from the online publication. Lee and the Red Wolves’ defense held South Alabama to 75 yards under its total offense average and to its lowest scoring output this season.

He has a team-high 83 tackles, which is also ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference.

A-State’s Young earns SBC defensive player honors

JONESBORO — Arkansas State senior safety Sterling Young (Hoover, Ala.) was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after recording nine tackles and an interception during the Red Wolves’ 17-16 road victory over South Alabama last Saturday.

Young’s nine tackles were only one shy of his season high, while his interception marked the fourth of his career. Young was part of A-State’s defense that held South Alabama 75 yards under its season total offense average and to its lowest scoring output this season.

His interception came at a critical junction of the game and sparked a second-half comeback by A-State. Leading 6-0, South Alabama drove to the ASU 22-yard line on the opening possession of the second half when Young picked off Jaguars’ quarterback Ross Metheny in the back of the end zone. Not only did the forced turnover keep it a one-possession game, it swung the momentum back to the Red Wolves as they responded with an 80-yard touchdown drive to take a 7-6 advantage.


Begic earns another weekly honor

LITTLE ROCK — UALR junior Edina Begic captured her 7th Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week honor in 2013, announced by the conference offices on Monday.

The Trojans (19-7, 11-3 SBC) went 3-0 on the week, defeating rival Arkansas State in five sets, sweeping ULM and beating South Alabama in four sets.

Combined with three such honors last season, Begic now has 10 SBC Offensive Player of the Week awards for her career.

Against Arkansas State on Oct. 30, Begic recorded a double-double in the first two sets alone en route to 23 kills and a match-best 20 digs. She followed that up with 23 kills in three set against ULM Nov. 1 with a .409 hitting percentage. She saved the best for last against South Alabama on Nov. 3 with 26 kills and a .426 hitting percentage. For the week, Begic averaged six kills per set.

SAA names Burchfield player of the week

CONWAY — Hendrix College senior outside hitter Katie Burchfield was named the Southern Athletic Association Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. The award is the second of the season for the Cabot native.

Burchfield averaged 5.17 kills per set and hit .413 as the Warriors recorded a pair of sweeps at the Rhodes Classic on Saturday. She hit .462 with 13 kills, two aces and seven digs in three sets against Mississippi College. Against Martin Methodist, she had 18 kills and hit .378 with five digs and an ace. In total, Burchfield had 31 kills and only five errors on 63 attacks.

Burchfield and the Warriors will face Rhodes College in the first round of the SAA Tournament in Mount Berry, Ga., on Friday.