NEW ORLEANS — As required, Alabama’s players whooped it up amid the confetti and fireworks, yet there was something muted about this championship celebration.
Turns out, these guys knew the ending to the sequel before they even got to the Big Easy.
For two months, the Crimson Tide stewed over its first meeting with top-ranked LSU. By the time the team touched down in New Orleans, there was little doubt in anyone’s mind about the outcome. Not just win, but dominate.
Boy, did they ever.
MAYFIELD, Ky. — The Lyon College women found their rhythm and range here Saturday while remaining unbeaten in TranSouth Athletic Conference basketball play.
The Scots hit 59 percent of their shots from the field (26 of 44), including 46 percent from 3-point range (six of 13), while downing the Mid-Continent Lady Cougars 80-65.
NEWARK — The unbeaten Cedar Ridge Timberwolves hit the 20-win mark with a 68-43, home victory over the Bradford Eagles in 2A-2 District play here Friday.
Clayton Butler scored 22 points, Andy Crawford added 11 points and seven steals, and Spencer Reaves chipped in 10 points as the T-wolves moved to 4-0 in district play.
Bradford’s Josh Steele scored 17 points in a losing cause.
The Lady T-wolves improved to 2-2 in the district and 7-5 overall with a 35-31 victory. Haley Hix led the winners with 14 points.
Kelly Burrus scored 11 points for Bradford.
Philander Smith Lady Panthers (1-11) vs. Lyon College Scots (12-3), Becknell Gym, 6 p.m.
When these two met in Little Rock back in November, the Scots outrebounded the Lady Panthers 49-27 and outscored them 62-31. Rebounding will be key again, Scot Coach Tracy Stewart-Lange said. “Philander Smith has good offensive rebounders, so we’ve got to block out strong. The other thing is defending against dribble penetration.”
Other than one series, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein displayed grit and not much else in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas.
It wasn’t his fault. Mostly it was the doings of the Razorback defense.
Aided and abetted by Wildcat receivers dropping four passes, the Razorback defense excelled during a 29-16 Cotton Bowl triumph Friday night before 80,596 in the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“I think the difference in the game was how we played defense and the field position we were able to give our offense,” Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino said.
FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — Mississippi State’s recent struggles continued in a Southeastern Conference-opening 98-88 loss at Arkansas on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (13-3, 0-1 SEC) fell behind by as many as 20 points to the Razorbacks in the second half on the way to their second loss in three games. In their only win during that stretch, they had to overcome a 9-point deficit to earn a 66-64 home win over Utah State on Dec. 31.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — They’ve done it all before, already faced off in a Game of the Century.
Some remember that first meeting as a defensive slugfest. Others complain it was an offensive snorefest.
Well, put it out of your mind.
This is the one that really counts.
Call it the Rematch of the Century.
Top-ranked LSU and No. 2 Alabama will meet for the second time in a little over two months Monday night at the Superdome. Their first encounter, it turns out, was just a warm-up for the BCS championship game.
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish’s ankle was hurting. Even worse, Arkansas State led by 13.
Martel Moore caught eight passes for 224 yards and a touchdown, and Northern Illinois rallied for a 38-20 victory over Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Sunday night.
The Huskies’ 9-game winning streak is second only to LSU, which plays for the national championship against Alabama tonight.
Coming into the game, NIU’s streak had been built on overcoming bad situations just like this one, said their coach.
It required a lot of piecework, and they’re not going to enter it in any state fairs, but the Lyon College women’s basketball team knitted together a 60-57 basketball victory over the Cumberland Lady Bulldogs in Becknell Gym on Thursday night.
“In the first half, we just never seemed to get into a flow on offense,” Lyon Coach Tracy Stewart-Lange said. “I just didn’t think our execution was very sharp.”
Offensively, things didn’t improve in the second half.
With a little help from several Pioneers, Batesville got by the Paragould Rams for a 42-37 high school basketball victory in Pioneer Gymnasium on Thursday night.
Wesley Rudd led with nine points, Tanner Ring, Joe Mourer and Kaleb McMahan added eight apiece, and Chris Elms provided seven points as the Pioneers fended off the Rams in a back-and-forth, 5A-East District opener.
“That’s something we’ve got to have — not someone with 17 points and then a mix of player with two points,” Batesville Coach Jeff Morrow said.
SOUTHSIDE — Melbourne’s junior girls won two of three nonconference basketball games here Thursday.
In the varsity nightcap, the Junior Lady Bearkatz won 48-38 as Kennedy Cooper scored 15 points and Kelley Cooper added 14.
For the 8-4 Junior Lady Southerners, Kenzie Batterton scored 15 points and McKenzie King contributed 10.
Melbourne’s eighth-graders won 20-19 as Bailey Sharp and Allexus Scott scored six points apiece.
Lupita Rayez scored six points in a losing cause.
Southside’s seventh-graders won 19-14 as Caylee McGuire scored six points.
JONESBORO — The Nettleton Junior Raiders roughed up the teams from Batesville here Thursday night in 5A-East District play.
The Junior Lady Raiders led off with a 37-16 win and the Junior Raiders capped the evening with a 50-15 shellacking of the Junior Pioneers.
“We just didn’t play well, all the way around,” Junior Lady Pioneer Coach Tim Palmer said. “It looked like we were still on break.”
Nettleton led 22-2, 27-5 and 33-8 at the quarter breaks.
Kyra Wright scored 10 points to lead the winners.