Spotlight on Big 12 as season unfolds

The ACC is touted by many pundits as the best conference for men’s basketball, but this year the Big 12 is giving it a run for its money.

The Big 12 is the only conference with four undefeated teams. The ACC and Big East each have three.

Douglass lacks experience, not enthusiasm

Young basketball players can bring excitement and energy to complement veteran players.

The problem for Douglass High basketball coach Lynn Allen is that he doesn’t have many veterans.

Meet pumps up wrestling rivals

Rock Bridge wrestler Jason Richards described Tuesday’s dual meet against rival Hickman as “the biggest match of the season.”

Although Richards thought the meet was huge, Hickman’s K.C. Pescaglia treated it the same as any other match.

Tyus too much for Kewpies

The Hickman boys’ basketball team lost to Hazelwood Central 73-60 in Florissant. The loss dropped the Kewpies to 3-5. Hazelwood improved to 5-0.

The Kewpies were led by senior Kyle Smith, who scored 29 points. Hazelwood was lead by junior Alex Tyus’ 26 points. Hickman assistant coach Dan Bachmeier said Tyus lived up to his expectations.

MU player faces rape charges

An MU football player was charged with rape and sodomy Monday.

After a female student at the university accused him of assaulting her early Sunday morning, Alvin D. Newhouse, 19, was charged of forcible rape and forcible sodomy.

Balanced Bruins roll

The Rock Bridge basketball team showed there is strength in numbers Monday night.

The Bruins defeated Marshall 79-33 at Rock Bridge, replacing the starters with a younger lineup in the second half.

No glory for sports officials

Being a sports official is a lot like being a journalist.

Officials and journalists say they’re objective, but the public is generally quite skeptical of those claims. Also, both often receive more blame than they deserve.

A Good Opportunity

When Amber Cox planned to visit a college friend in Scottsdale, Ariz., during the summer, she had no idea she was visiting her future home state.

But when Cox, the assistant athletic director at Columbia College, saw a job posting in June that said the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury was looking for a Director of Marketing, she decided to apply.

Rock Bridge overcomes poor shooting

The Rock Bridge girls’ basketball team survived a sloppy performance Monday at Marshal.

Matchup brings interest to game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gunther Cunningham knows exactly what he would like to see tonight: Tennessee linebacker Keith Bulluck on Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez.

Cunningham, the Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive coordinator, spent the past three seasons with Bulluck, helping coach him into a star.

Passing Grizzly test builds MU’s confidence

Finals week won’t carry the same pressure for Missouri’s Jason Conley as it has in the past, and he is not afraid to brag about it.

“I’m just going be honest with you, (my teammates are) going to have some problems with exams because I’m finished,” Conley said. “I graduate in exactly one week, so I’m excited. They’ll be in exams and I’ll be here in the gym.”

Cougars collapse in second

For 35 minutes Sunday afternoon, the Columbia College men’s basketball team played its best basketball of the season.

For 5 minutes, it played some of its worst.

Rams deep-sixed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers were a joke two months ago, in danger of becoming the answer to a trivia question as the biggest bust after a Super Bowl season.

The Panthers are surging now, though. They moved into the thick of the playoff race Sunday with a 20-7 victory against the St. Louis Rams.

Tigers on inside track

It’s an axiom as old as sport. If finesse fails, use force.

Not that the Missouri men’s basketball team hadn’t been forcing its shots, but on Saturday at Mizzou Arena the Tigers finally began forcing the right ones.

Bruins bounce back after loss

The Rock Bridge boys’ basketball team played with an elastic quality.

The Bruins won 51-31 against Warrensburg, bouncing back after trailing 12-5 midway through the first quarter.

Ridley’s free throws save game

Free throws almost cost the Columbia College women’s basketball team a victory Saturday, but Charliss Ridley hit the two that mattered most.

In their 62-60 win against John Brown at the Arena at Southwell Complex, the Cougars shot only 52 percent from the line.

Cougars snap skid in dominating fashion

The possibility of a season-worst four-game losing streak was never more than an afterthought Saturday for the Columbia College men’s basketball team.

The Cougars dominated from the start, defeating Concordia Seminary 111-54 at the Arena of Southwell Complex, snapping a three-game losing streak. The win provided a much-needed confidence boost to a team that has found wins increasingly hard to come by this season.

Rolling onto the court

With their chairs on the line, Garrett French and Steve Hathaway await the sound of the whistle. “Let’s go, let’s go!” coach Steve Paxton says as the MU wheelchair basketball players propel their chairs through routines on the Student Recreation Center court.

As they approach the last turn, determination to beat their best times is etched on their faces. French is “in the zone” and before he can stop, he slams into a wooden wall, moving the partition several inches.

Freshmen play key role in victory

Kalen Grimes’ definition of a freshmen is a little different than most.

“We just got a big blast off the bench because we were four fresh freshmen,” Grimes said. “We were fresh. Our legs felt good, and I think that’s what took us up.”

Kleiza sheds slump for career-high night

Against Montana, Missouri forward Linas Kleiza had more points than minutes and was almost unstoppable in what turned out to be a career day.

In the Tigers’ 87-62 victory Saturday, Kleiza, a 6-foot-9 native of Lithuania, scored 26 points in 24 minutes to better his previous career high of 25.