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Gardner adjusting on and off the court

For Thomas Gardner, Missouri presented the ideal place for his college basketball future.

During his short time in the program, though, Gardner has learned that the move from high school basketball to Big 12 Conference basketball will be a difficult one.

Tigers say Buffaloes struggles deceptive

Colorado is not exactly Colorado this season.

The Buffaloes, who have beaten Missouri in 16 of the teams’ past 18 matchups, have taken a Big 12 Conference nosedive. In losing three straight conference games for the first time since 1984, Colorado, the two-time defending Big 12 North Division champ, plays with one of the worst defenses in the nation and one of the worst rushing offenses.

Jays disappoint Kewpies in final

JEFFERSON CITY — Hickman couldn’t hold back the tears.

The Kewpies lost 1-0 to Jefferson City on Wednesday night in the Class 3 District 10 championship at the 179 Soccer Complex. No. 1 seeded Jefferson City (12-9-1) advances to the sectional tournament Tuesday in Jefferson City.

Cougars extend win streak to seven

Just call her clairvoyant.

Even as the Columbia College volleyball team spent most of the season trying to overcome injuries and illnesses, coach Melinda Wrye-Washington stayed confident her team would put it all together when it mattered most. With the postseason to begin next week, the Cougars are making a prophet of their coach.

In good hands

While most high school seniors were in bed on summer mornings, Johnny Kruse was preparing for football season.

Kruse and his Rock Bridge football teammates worked out weekdays at 6:30 a.m. He said the practices were good for conditioning, although he would have preferred a different time.

Tigers strive to stay alive

The season continues, and Missouri hopes to keep it that way.

The No. 8 seeded Missouri women’s soccer team plays No. 1 Colorado today at 11 a.m. in the first round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament at the Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio.

Missouri Tigers sports briefs

MU BASKETBALL: Rickey Paulding is one of 30 preseason nominees for the Naismith Award.

Paulding, a senior small forward who led the Tigers in scoring last season, is one of six Big 12 Conference players nominated.

Spreading the wealth

Apparently, the Missouri football team hasn’t gotten used to its newfound success. The Tigers are trying to pass the buck.

Plenty of people deserve praise for Missouri’s effective running game, but none seems to want the credit.

Message received

With one 93-yard reception, West Virginia’s Travis Garvin managed to propel his team to an upset of No. 3 Virginia Tech and set a team record.

That’s not important to Garvin, a wideout.

Missouri second in Big 12 media poll

It’s no secret coaches and the media don’t always agree. On Tuesday, that ageless disagreement made history.

Picking Kansas the Big 12 Conference Championship winner, the Big 12 men’s basketball media poll differed from the coaches’ top pick for the first time in its seven-year history.

Chiefs achieving all goals

KANSAS CITY — After two years of patient building and honing his third NFL team, Dick Vermeil carefully laid out a plan for the 2003 Kansas City Chiefs.

With an 8-0 record as the NFL’s only remaining unbeaten team, it’s no surprise the Chiefs would pass Vermeil’s first-half exams with flying colors.

Big East adds 5 schools

NEW YORK — The Big East’s expansion returns the conference to its roots as a premier basketball league. Football is another story.

Five members of Conference USA moved to the Big East on Tuesday, more than making up for the recent defection of three schools to the Atlantic Coast Conference when it comes to basketball, but not coming close to restoring its luster in football.

MU gains ground during bye week

Russ Bell had a relaxing bye week. He went home, rested and watched a little football.

That was the extent of what most of the Missouri football team did, but its interest in Saturday’s games went beyond simply enjoying the sport.

Kewpies’ persistence pays

Hickman coach Jon Strodtman’s first win against Rock Bridge was a special one.

The Kewpies defeated the Bruins 1-0 on Monday night in Jefferson City to advance to the championship of the Class 3 District 10 Soccer Tournament. No. 2 seeded Hickman plays No. 1 Jefferson City at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Helias for the title.

Winter teams begin practice

It is a new season, but Hickman still looks the same.

The Kewpies return five starters from last season’s state girls basketball quarterfinalists. Hickman compiled a 26-3 record before losing to Kickapoo 55-42 on March 8 in Sedalia, Mo. The Kewpies averaged 64.2 points in the regular season.

Cody finds his place on OU line

It has been a long road back for Oklahoma’s Dan Cody, and his journey is being rewarded.

Cody, a junior defensive end, is the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week only two seasons removed from leaving the Sooners during a bout with clinical depression.

Ferguson goes for record

Michael Ferguson tries to score every game.

It is a mind-set that has helped Ferguson, a junior at Rock Bridge, tie the school record for goals in a season at 28.

49ers dive past Rams

SAN FRANCISCO — Though Tim Rattay had a smashing debut as an NFL starter, the San Francisco 49ers’ defense was even more impressive.

Ask the St. Louis Rams, who had no luck against either of them.

Okayo sets NYC mark

NEW YORK — Margaret Okayo surged past her closest competitors and took the lead with about seven miles to go in the New York City Marathon.

There was no doubt she would win. Only one question remained: What would the new course record become?

Cautions don’t halt Earnhardt

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. kept his slim Winston Cup championship hopes alive Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Earnhardt passed Jimmie Johnson for the lead with 51 laps remaining in the Checker Auto Parts 500 and stayed out front through a series of restarts in a race featuring a record-tying 10 caution flags.

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