Finishing touches

Although the NAIA No. 19 Columbia Cougars were outscored by Park in the early part of both halves, strong defense and steals for the Cougars kept the team pumped up and in the game. Forward Charliss Ridley was the offensive star Thursday night, earning 15 points in the first half with her quick moves to the basket. “Charliss is a special player,” Columbia College coach Mike Davis said. “She has the ability to take a player off the dribble like that.”

Missouri on the defensive

Against Arkansas, Missouri seemed to finally buy into coach Quin Snyder’s desire to make defense the backbone of this young Tiger team.

Great defense, though, didn’t get the job done as the Razorbacks claimed a 62-52 victory Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. The loss was another example of a game that could have gone the Tigers’ way. Snyder said there are many changes the Tigers need to make if they want to start winning.

Taking care of business

The Missouri wrestling team traveled to Las Vegas last weekend, but the bright lights of The Strip couldn’t have been further from Ben Askren’s mind.

Askren relied on hard work and solid technique rather than flash to capture the 174-pound championship at the Cliff Keen Invitational.

MU fails SMSU’s offensive test

Final exams might be a nice change of pace for Missouri women’s basketball team.

Few exam situations could be tougher than the ruthless offense Southwest Missouri State used Wednesday night.

Extra Points: Morris returning to Cardinals next season

Matt Morris will return to the St. Louis Cardinals, agreeing Tuesday night to a $2.5 million, one-year contract that allows him to earn an additional $4.5 million in performance bonuses.

The NL champions also re-signed two other players, reaching one-year deals with right-handed reliever Cal Eldred ($600,000) and outfielder John Mabry ($725,000).

Shooting woes sink Tigers

Missouri tried its best to disguise a poor shooting night.

It almost worked.

Despite struggling from the field and from the line, the Tigers put themselves in position to pull out a victory. But Arkansas removed the veil and snatched a 62-52 win Tuesday at Mizzou Arena.

Tigers turn up defense

All season, Missouri coach Quin Snyder has been preaching the virtues of defense to his young Tiger team.

“I’ve been taking people out of the game when they aren’t guarding,” Snyder said. “I can’t get them out quick enough when they’re not playing defense.”

Bears hit stride without Koch

Taking a cue from Southwest Missouri State, the Missouri women’s basketball team must continue to come together.

Playing without its leading scorer, Kari Koch, has not been easy for the Bears. Still, SMS coach Kate Abrahamson-Henderson’s team is looking for its fourth straight win. “Playing together,” she said, is the key to a team’s success. “Absolutely, that is the number one thing, playing together.”

Scrappy Kewpies lose in 1st round

The Hickman girls’ basketball team lost to Blue Valley (Kan.) North 51-35 in the opening round of the Blue Springs/Blue Springs South McDonald’s Tournament. The Kewpies trailed 20-15 at halftime, but Blue Valley North pulled away in the second half. Lauren Nolke led the Kewpies (2-5) with 10 points.

MU quells Arkansas’ fast start

Arkansas started quickly in its first game at Mizzou Arena.

The Razorbacks jumped to a 6-0 lead. After scoring their first basket of the game, the Razorbacks used a full-court press to get two straight turnovers and converted both.

Sluggish start dooms Cougars

If the Columbia College men’s basketball team could somehow bypass the first five minutes of each game, things might be looking much brighter.

Instead, it was business as usual Tuesday, as Belleview University used an early run to deflate the Cougars en route to a 70-60 win at the Arena of Southwell Complex.

Growing into leader’s role

It might be hard to picture wrestling as beautiful, but that is what Rock Bridge senior Cam Purcell calls it.

Purcell, the Bruins’ lone returning state qualifier this season, said the sportsmanship in wrestling makes it beautiful, not the grappling between two sweat-soaked athletes.

Heated rivalry renewed

It might not approach the fervor of the Missouri-Kansas rivalry, but there is no love lost between the Tigers and Arkansas.

The Missouri men’s basketball team will play host to the Razorbacks at 7 tonight at Mizzou Arena.

Hunting popular, but tough to classify

During the winter, outdoor sports in Mid-Missouri are hard to come by.

That is, unless you consider hunting a sport.

Kewpies’ late rally falls short

The Hickman boys’ basketball team lost 75-71 to William Chrisman in the Blue Springs South Tournament on Monday.

Hickman coach Jim Sutherland said his team led William Chrisman at the half but let the Bears take a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter. The Kewpies fought back to within three, but turned the ball over on their only chance to tie the game.

Able replacement

ST. LOUIS — Together, the oldest player and the youngest player on the St. Louis roster came through.

The Rams’ best call in a 16-6 victory against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday was backup quarterback Chris Chandler, 39, handing off to Steven Jackson, 21.

Green shakes injury, Raiders

OAKLAND, Calif. — Trent Green played a nearly-perfect half, tender ribs and all, to lead the Chiefs to an important comeback win.

Green completed 14-of-15 passes after halftime for 229 of his 340 yards and hit Eddie Kennison for a winning 70-yard touchdown with 2:04 left in Kansas City’s 34-27 victory against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Losing leads getting old for Tigers

It’s an all too familiar storyline. One that drives senior Jason Conley crazy. One that has been replayed several times this season.

Missouri builds up a lead, lets it dwindle and sneaks by with a close win.

Auburn left out of championship

This season, Auburn knows what it’s like to be the odd team out, a feeling Southern California knew too well last year.

USC and Oklahoma finished atop the final Bowl Championship Series standings Sunday and will meet in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 in a title game that, again, might not end the argument about who is No. 1.

Kids compete by bike an foot

It all looks like something out of an Olympic highlight video.

Luke Sabulsky thrusts his arms into the air then lets them flop to his sides in exhaustion as he breaks the finish line. Nathan Keown stumbles in, three seconds behind him.