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Abron gets few opportunities

MANHATTAN, Kan. — If Zack Abron had consistently gotten the opportunities he had in the second half, he would have become Missouri’s rushing king and MU might have been the king of the Big 12 Conference North Division.

Instead, Abron and the Tigers fell short of a win and a record.

Sproles sets KSU game rushing mark

MANHATTAN, Kan. –- Darren Sproles might be as purple as his fans after all those yards.

Sproles, Kansas State’s junior running back, had 273 yards rushing against Missouri to set a game school record. Mike Lawrence held the record with 252 yards.

Tigers eager to get started

Cindy Stein is taking her team and going home.

Stein, the Missouri women’s basketball coach, returns to her hometown of Peoria, Ill., today to take on Bradley, where she spent five years as an assistant coach.

Defenses harass QBs

In a close game, sometimes the quarterback is the player who has to make the plays.

Blue Springs beat Hickman 17-7 on Saturday at Hickman to advance to the Class 6 state finals. Blue Springs will play Hazelwood Central on Friday in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Missouri upsets No. 1 Cowboys

FLORISSANT — Oklahoma State has a tradition of winning, but Missouri’s wrestling team made history Friday night.

The Tigers defeated the Cowboys 21-17 in front of 1,721 fans at Hazelwood Central High. The Tigers won for the first time in 29 tries against the Cowboys (2-1), snapping OSU’s 24-match winning streak.

Tigers talking national title

There is a sense of urgency in the Missouri wrestling room.

In his sixth year, Brian Smith is hoping to coach the Tigers to their first national championship. Six upperclassmen are ranked in the top 15 in their weight class.

Four of them are seniors beginning their final chance.

Playing means sacrifices for two Cougars

It is half an hour after volleyball practice and Columbia College’s Southwell Arena is quiet. It will be a different building in 24 hours when fans crowd in to watch the Cougars open the NAIA Region V Tournament.

For now, though, all of the blue plastic seats that surround the court are folded back. There is no music blaring from the speaker system. It is quiet.

Tigers aim for sweet victory

For the past two seasons, Kansas State has been the playground bully that took Missouri’s lunch money, its lunch and just about everything else. The Tigers were on the brink of bowl eligibility each of the past two seasons when the Wildcats came calling and snatched away Missouri’s bowl hopes, including a 38-0 thumping in Columbia to end the Tigers’ 2002 season.

This time, more is at stake. Both teams have locked up bowl berths and are playing for a spot in the Big 12 Conference championship game.

Clark new Mavericks mentor

The Mid-Missouri Mavericks are the newest chapter in Jack Clark’s baseball odyssey.

The organization introduced Clark as its manager in a press conference Thursday.

Special teams becoming Kewps’ force

A chart labeled “Special Forces” that maps the play of the Hickman Kewpies’ special teams is posted inside the coaches’ trailer.

The chart lists goals for each game, which include winning the field position game, blocking punts or forcing turnovers and converting all extra-point attempts.

Ultimately, the Kewpies hope reaching these goals on special teams will lead to an upset against the No. 1 Blue Springs Wildcats.

Cougars to face defending champions

For the first time in school history, Columbia College’s soccer team is playing in the NAIA national tournament. In order to keep dreams of a title alive, though, the Cougars must defeat the defending national champions.

The 10th-seeded Cougars play seventh seed University of Mobile (Ala.) at 5 p.m. today at the Olathe District Activity Center Soccer Complex in Olathe, Kan.

Tigers' success depends on health

The phrase “national championship” buzzed around the Missouri men’s basketball team locker room Tuesday night after the Tigers’ 74-60 win against the Asheville Altitude of the National Basketball Developmental League.

With their second exhibition win, the Tigers have their sights set on regular-season success. If the Tigers have any chance of making their first Final Four in 21 NCAA Tournament appearances, they must stay healthy.

Coaches’ revamps working

It wasn’t so long ago that Bill Snyder was in the same position as Gary Pinkel.

Both coaches started at their current jobs with designs on rebuilding programs. The coaches will be in the same position again Saturday, except this time there is no rebuilding to do, only a championship on the line.

The big 20

1 What is the key to Missouri’s season?

Getting off to a good start is vital for the Tigers. Last year, they stumbled early, going 6-5 against nonconference opponents. Despite going 9-7 in the Big 12 Conference, disappointing losses to Austin Peay, Southern Methodist and University of Louisiana-Lafayette early in the year played a big part in keeping the Tigers out of the NCAA Tournament. With the grueling Big 12 schedule looming in the second half of the season, Missouri must get off to a better start in its first 11 games.

Kewpies prepare for Dean

With a former quarterback as the coach, it’s no surprise Blue Springs has one of the top quarterbacks in the state.

Senior Stinson Dean and the Wildcats (11-0) play Hickman at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Hickman in the Class 6 semifinals. The winner advances to the final against the Lindbergh-Hazelwood Central winner Nov. 28 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Boyd bolsters Missouri’s attack

The more she plays, the more confident Lisa Boyd, a sophomore reserve for Missouri, becomes.

Boyd started Wednesday in Missouri’s 30-9, 30-19, 30-16 victory against Iowa State at Hearnes Center and gained a new career high in kills.

Defense bails out MU

For the second straight exhibition game, Missouri’s shots weren’t falling early, but for the second straight time it didn’t matter thanks to the defense.

Despite allowing the Asheville Altitude to score on seven of its first eight shots, the Tigers’ defense came to life and paved the way for a 74-60 win Tuesday night at Hearnes Center.

Returners turning it on before MU drives

Marcus James and Shirdonya Mitchell don’t know who will break one first.

James and Mitchell, Missouri’s kick returners, have a preference on who will be the first Tiger this season to return a kick for a touchdown, though.

Godoi’s play, mouth talking

Juliana Godoi is loud.

“I am vocal,” Godoi said. “I am always talking to the girls, telling them they are doing good and what to do next.”

Offensive line sparks Kewpies

They might not elude defenders en route to the end zone. They might not intercept passes or throw touchdown passes.

They will, though, determine the success of the Hickman Kewpies in the playoffs.

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