Jan 10, 2020 10:50 AM

Friday Sports Headlines

Posted Jan 10, 2020 10:50 AM

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Jamarius Burton scored 16 points to lead No. 23 Wichita State past No. 21 Memphis 76-67. Erik Stevenson had 12 points for the Shockers, and Tyson Etienne added 11. Precious Achiuwa had 22 points and 12 rebounds for Memphis. Wichita State led by as many as 19 points, but Memphis closed back within six in the final minutes. Wichita State shot just 32.8% for the game, more than 10 points lower than its season mark.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs picked Patrick Mahomes over Deshaun Watson in the NFL draft a couple of years ago and the decision has worked out quite well for them. And it's one that has worked out well for the Houston Texans, too. They chose Watson a mere two picks later. Now, two of the league's bright young quarterbacks will share the field on Sunday when the Texans visit the Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs. It's a rematch of a Week 6 game won by the Texans in comeback fashion.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs quietly have been among the best in the NFL at rushing the passer, particularly late in the season. That could prove pivotal in the divisional round of the playoffs when they host Houston on Sunday. The Texans allowed seven sacks and 12 quarterback hits to the Buffalo Bills in their comeback win in last weekend's wild-card round. And the Chiefs defense is far healthier and probably more talented than the bunch that failed to take down Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in a Week 6 loss at Arrowhead Stadium.

National Headlines

UNDATED (AP) — The top-ranked team in the Southeastern Conference matches up with the league's most heralded pro prospect Saturday when No. 5 Auburn hosts Anthony Edwards and the Georgia Bulldogs. That shapes up as the most attractive game in the second weekend of league competition. Georgia is coming off a home loss to No. 14 Kentucky. Auburn eked out a narrow victory over Vanderbilt and is one of only two unbeaten Division I teams. Florida has bounced back from a tough start to the season and will try to continue its recent surge when it visits Missouri.

UNDATED (AP) — Six bowl games this season saw their lowest attendance in history. Even though many bowls are played in half-empty stadiums, they aren't going away. The number of bowls will go from 39 this season to 42 next season. Average announced attendance for non-New Year's Six bowls was 34,500. Even though stadiums often don't fill, the games are attractive because they bring in valuable television viewers. The Football Bowl Association plans to form a task force to look at ways to grow attendance.

UNDATED (AP) — Mississippi State has hired Washington State's Mike Leach as its new head football coach, replacing Joe Moorhead. Leach took over a program that had been mired in the Pac-12 basement and went to five straight bowl games, including a school-record 11 victories in 2018. He finished 55-47 in eight seasons with the Cougars and is 139-90 as a college coach for both Washington State and Texas Tech.

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is listed as questionable for Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the 49ers in Santa Clara. Thielen suffered a left ankle injury during practice yesterday and declined to specify the nature or severity of the injury. Thielen played in only eight full games during the regular season, limited by a hamstring injury he aggravated twice.

UNDATED (AP) — Some of the attendance problems that have hit college football during the regular season has shown up in the postseason. The Associated Press analyzed attendance numbers for 33 second- and third-tier Bowl Subdivision bowl games. AP found that 23 of those were played at venues where the announced attendance was less than 75% of capacity. Of those 23, eight were under 50%. Six bowl games had their smallest crowds on record. Those were the New Mexico, Cure, Camellia, Pinstripe, First Responder and Famous Idaho Potato bowls.

Thursday Scores

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Final (1)Gonzaga 94 San Diego 50

Final (8)Michigan St. 74 Minnesota 58

Final OT (9)Oregon 74 (24)Arizona 73

Final 2OT (19)Michigan 84 Purdue 78

Final (23)Wichita St. 76 (21)Memphis 67

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final Philadelphia 109 Boston 98

Final OT Cleveland 115 Detroit 112

Final Minnesota 116 Portland 102

Final Oklahoma City 113 Houston 92

Continue Reading Hutch Post
Jan 10, 2020 10:50 AM
Burton leads No. 23 Wichita State past No. 21 Memphis

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Erik Stevenson, Wichita State’s sophomore team leader, flexed his arms, puffed his chest and jutted out his chin as he stared down the screaming fans.

But he wasn’t celebrating his own play — instead, it was a tough layup that teammate Jamarius Burton converted while being fouled.

In Stevenson’s mind, it was the type of play that represented No. 23 Wichita State powering its way past No. 21 Memphis 76-67 on Thursday night.

“It was a big-boy finish by Jamarius,” Stevenson said. “So I had to flex my muscles, too.”

Burton’s 16 points were huge for the Shockers (14-1, 2-0 American Athletic Conference), who won while shooting 32.8%, 10 points below their season mark.

Precious Achiuwa putting up 22 points and 12 rebounds for Memphis (12-3, 1-1).

Burton, a sophomore guard, scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, including multiple baskets to stop Memphis runs.

“Last year, we game planned against him, wanted him to get shots,” Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said of Burton. “This year, he’s one of those freshmen from last year for them that has really improved.”

Stevenson had 12 points for the Shockers, and Tyson Etienne added 11 points.

Freshman reserve Tyler Harris scored 17 points for the Tigers.

Wichita State started each half strong only to see Memphis counter and stay in the game.

The Shockers burst out to a 23-11 lead before Memphis fought back, holding Wichita State to only two points over nearly five minutes, cutting the lead to 25-22 with 4:48 remaining in the half.

“We finally got stops,” Hardaway said. “We put them in position when the shot clock was going down, got the rebound and got going downhill.”

Wichita State led 56-37 with 12:01 remaining after a 3-pointer by Stevenson that forced a Memphis timeout.

But the Tigers held Wichita State to 27.3% shooting in the second half and again got back in contention.

“We had the ball twice down six in the final minutes and turned it over,” Hardaway said. “You can’t do that on the road.”

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall was not thrilled with all aspects of his team’s play, but he said he loved the fight in a game where neither team shot it well.

“The win is a credit to our guys that went out and scrapped and fought,” Marshall said, “sometimes against dudes that were much bigger and more athletic.”

DISTANCE CONTROL

Memphis entered the game tied for third in the AAC in 3-point shooting at 34.8%.

The Tigers were 1 of 13 from the 3-point line in the first half and finished 4 of 21.

“That’s terrible,” Hardaway said. “We went into the game telling them to live in the paint. Half of those (3-point shots) were really good looks we have to make. But half of them were really forced by young guys who just felt like they needed to get a shot.”

YOUTH MOVEMENT

According to KenPom, Memphis is the youngest team in the country. The Tigers played seven freshmen, three sophomores and one junior.

Wichita State isn’t much older as 10 of the Shockers’ 13 scholarship players are freshmen or sophomores.

“There were a lot of young players that can really play,” Marshall said. “There was a very talented 10 on the floor at all times during the game.”

BIG PICTURE

Memphis: The Tigers lost a tough game in a challenging venue but will get a rematch with the Shockers on March 5.

Wichita State: The Shockers probably take over as conference favorites but now must prove it away from home.

UP NEXT

Memphis: At South Florida on Sunday.

Wichita State: At UConn on Sunday.