Category Archives: Sports

It’s tourney time for Wesleyan, OLLU

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

The Texas Wesleyan and Our Lady of the Lake men’s basketball teams are headed to Kansas City to vie for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics title.

The 75th annual Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship tournament is slated to take place in the historic Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City beginning at 8:30 a.m. CST on March 14 with a Louisiana showdown between Red River Athletic Conference champions and No. 12 LSU-Shreveport faces Xavier. The tournament concludes March 20 with the crowning of the national champion.

The No. 7 OLLU Saints, runners-up in the RRAC tournament, will run into tournament host, Baker (Kan.), on March 15 at 6:15 p.m. Meanwhile, the Texas Wesleyan Rams will take on No. 16 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) University at 12:30 p.m. on March 14.

The field is comprised of 17 automatic berths, host berth Baker (Kan.) and 14 at-large selections, which were determined using the final Coaches’ Top 25 Poll released March 7.

The all-time record holder in championship wins (54), Oklahoma Baptist earned the No. 2 seed. The Bison have won two national championships (1966, 2010). They will take to the court on March 15 at 10:30 p.m. against Belhaven (Miss.). The Blazers were the runner-up in the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament and are making their third overall trip.

Overall, there are 15 schools that are making their 10th-or-higher appearance. In addition, Cumberlands (Ky.) (20 trips) joins Oklahoma Baptist and Georgetown as the three schools with 20-plus trips.

The OLLU women’s squad also made the tournament. The 32nd annual single-elimination dance will take place March 14 through March 20 at the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky. The Lady Saints will face top-seeded Oklahoma City University at 10:15 a.m. on March 14.

The first 30 matches from the city of fountains will be available via live video stream for $29.95 and any single day can be purchased for $9.95. Also, one can purchase the all-tournament package of all four basketball tournaments (Men and Women’s Division I and II) for $49.95. The National Championship final on March 20 will be televised live on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. CST.

Tim Tebow as the seed planter

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By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

We knew it would not last long.

With all the uproar about New Jersey Knicks star Jeremy Lin and his public profession of his belief in God, Tebow took a back seat – at least for now.

But, with talk of Tebow going on a date with singer Taylor Swift and being hounded by ABC to appear on “The Bachelor,” he is back in

Tim Tebow

the spotlight. On March 3, the Denver Broncos quarterback was the featured speaker at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, Nev. Tebow’s visit attracted an audience of at least 20,000 at the church and more than 1,000 people logged in to the church’s website for a live feed of the Saturday service.

It is amazing how God uses people to build his Kingdom. Regardless of one’s attitude toward Tebow, the Almighty used this man to show how the Holy Spirit reigns forever. For years, God has used Timothy Richard Tebow as a vessel to carry His word to the masses. He didn’t even need the blessing or permission of a bishop or apostle to do his work. When God has something to say, He beckons even the common man.

The beauty of Tebow’s planting is he faced critics without anger, just prayer. He respected even those who proclaim the same God and had choice words for him. Tebow heard the disapproval, but it didn’t stop him. God uses ordinary common people to get his message across. The quarterback is a vessel and he accepted the call from God. He should be applauded for his willingness to let God use him. You might recall during his days at the University of Florida, Tebow placed “John 3:16” on his eye black. The move lead to an onslaught of scripture searches on Google – 94 million to be exact.  The platform to spread the message was provided to Tebow by God, and he took full advantage.

Your way of spreading the gospel is probably not by placing scriptures on eye black, but all believers are called to spread the message just the same. The word must go out to all nations.  Remember, the workers are few and the harvest is plenty (Matthew 9:37). No matter the process, do what you can to plant these much-needed seeds.

Grelan Muse is founder of Inside The Pew. Follow in on Twitter @gremuse or email him at pewnews@aol.com

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Addison, Barnes named ASC division MVP’s

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

University of Hardin-Simmons guard Matt Addison and University of Texas at Dallas forward Chris Barnes were named American Southwest Conference MVP’s for the West and East divisions, respectively, on March 1.

Addison, a Killeen native, averaged 28.6 points per game and led the Cowboys to an ASC-era school record for wins as HSU went 21-7

Matt Addison

and lost in overtime to McMurry University in the ASC Final. In that game, Addison had a career-best 41 points and he was named to the all-tournament team. Addison averaged 4.7 assists and also led the league with 2.5 steals per game. He scored a league record 744 points this season.

Barnes has earned the accolade for the second consecutive season. The San Antonio native averaged 15.6 points and six rebounds per game. Barnes also knocked down 54 three-point shots and recorded 21 blocks in leading the Comets to their fourth consecutive division title.

Addison and Barnes join Marlon Miller (Belton) of Mary Hardin-Baylor; Jeremy LaGarde (New Orleans) of East Texas Baptist; and Kyle Schleigh (Houston) of Texas-Dallas on the all-ASC team. Addison, Miller, Brandon Irwin (Thorndale) of Howard Payne, Steven Jones (Compton, Calif.) of McMurry and Travis Pflughaupt (El Campo) of Schreiner on the all-ASC West first team.

In other all-conference accolade Brian Todd (Pfluegerville) of UMHB was the defensive player of the year in the ASC West, while Greg Chiasson (Austin) of Texas-Dallas was named defensive player for the East. Mary-Hardin Baylor’s Ken DeWeese and Terry Butterfield were named coach of the year for the east and west, respectively.

The most valuable player award is as voted on by the league’s coaches.

‘Jesus. Family. Baseball:’ Friends honor Gary Carter

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By Will Patrick
Special to ASSIST News Service

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – In a humorous scene from “A League of Their Own,” the film about women’s professional baseball, the manager (played by Tom Hanks) is exasperated after one of his players breaks down in tears after he chews her out for a bad play. “There’s no crying in baseball,” he exclaims.

But there was crying – and laughter – Feb. 24 at Christ Fellowship church in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where family and friends paid

Gary Carter, left, Darryl Strawberry, and Keith Hernandez at Mets spring training in 1985.

tribute to baseball Hall of Fame catcher Gary “The Kid” Carter during a memorial service. Carter, who primarily played for the

Montreal Expos and New York Mets, died of brain cancer at 57.

Carter wasn’t always a favorite of opponents – and some teammates – during his playing career. His perpetual smile, enthusiasm for the game, and willingness to mix with reporters and fans earned him another less heart-warming nickname, “Camera.”

He took a pass on booze, drugs and the many women available to pro athletes, preferring to head home to his wife Sandy (his high school sweetheart) and their kids.

“I think a lot of people tried to look at him as being a phony because he smiled,” former teammate Darryl Strawberry told a New York TV station. “He was smiling because he was free.”

Yet once his playing days were over, even some former antagonists seemed to rethink their perspective. With the camera lights no longer focused on him, Carter didn’t change. He kept smiling. He raised thousands of dollars for charities, especially leukemia, the disease that claimed his mom’s life. And autism, which affects one of his grandchildren. His priorities didn’t change: Jesus. Family. Baseball.

Strawberry’s career, once seemingly headed for the Hall of Fame as well, derailed because of drugs. With baseball in the rear-view mirror, Carter pointed Strawberry to someone who could help him.

“Carter’s personality was he never tried to force his faith on anybody, but he would always encourage you that God loves you,” Strawberry told a reporter.

“Gary has helped so many people. He’s had a tremendous impact on my life and why my life has changed so much. He was one of the first ones to sit with my wife and tell her how proud he was of me, that I found my faith and I changed my life.”

Carter would probably be the first to say he himself fell short in many areas. But the scorecard of a life is best filled out by one’s family. Carter’s daughter Kimmy, who coaches softball at the same college where her dad was the baseball coach, gave a touching and transparent report in the Caring Bridge online journal devoted to her dad’s last days.

Filled with mundane activities, medical ups and downs, prayer requests, and many helpings of Scripture, she shows the picture of a man who truly valued faith and family, who obviously helped to shape his children’s lives even with those frequent absences due to his chosen profession.

At the service, his children shared memories of him, joking about his penchant for neatness. Some of baseball’s greats also paid tribute at Christ Fellowship, focusing as much on the man as the ballplayer.

Johnny Bench, another Hall of Fame catcher who was Carter’s hero, also spoke at the service.

“He idolized me,” Bench joked, then turned serious. “But as we sit here tonight, I feel inadequate with the things he accomplished – the family, the pastors, the friends, the respect – to think about that smile, to think about the person he was.”

Bert Blyleven, another Hall of Famer, seemed to sum up the sentiment in the room. “The way he lived his life,” Blyleven told a reporter, “is the way that everybody wants to live their life.”

 

Cowgirls end season with loss to Louisiana College

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Special to Inside The Pew

PINEVILLE, La. — Hardin-Simmons’ women’s basketball team gave a valiant effort but came up just short in a 59-53 loss to No. 22 Louisiana College in the first round of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament on Feb. 24 at the H.O. West Fieldhouse in Pineville, La.

The Cowgirls led most of the first half and still led 20-16 with 8:29 to play in the first half. HSU then went 8:13 without a field goal until Angela Newcombe’s jumper at the end of the half gave the Wildcats a 27-23 halftime lead. LC had an 11-0 run during the scoring drought.

The game featured six ties and six lead changes and it was tied for the final time at 36-36 with 13:19 to play. LC then used another spurt to take the lead for good. This time it was an 8-0 run. LC eventually led by 12 at 57-45 with 2:27 to play.

The Cowgirls had one last rally in them and cut the deficit to 57-53 with :46 to play after back-to-back 3-pointers by Coco Cartwright and Alexis Popelar.

The game ended the careers of three Cowgirl seniors – Jasmine Lewis, Kara Looten and Newcombe. Newcombe finished the game with 15 points and 17 rebounds for her 19th double-double of the season. Looten also had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Popelar led the way for the Cowgirls with 21 points. Roslyn Wilmer led a balanced LC attack with 16 points.

The Cowgirls outrebounded Louisiana College 59-39 in the game, but turned the ball over 30 times and that led to taking 10 less shots than the Wildcats. LC shot just 27.5 percent in the game and the Cowgirls shot 34 percent.

HSU finished the year with a record of 13-13. LC is now 23-3 on the year and will face McMurry in the ASC Semifinals on Saturday.

Wiley shocks Texas Wesleyan in Marshall

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

A five-game winning streak by Texas Wesleyan University’s men’s basketball team meant very little to the Wiley Wildcats. But, home court and the absence of one of the Rams’ targets did matter.

The Wildcats played consistent ball, took advantage of Ram miscues and held on to defeat Texas Wesleyan, 80-67, at Alumni Gym in Marshall on Feb. 16.

Senior guard Ronnie Moss, the nation’s fifth leading scorer, has left a gaping hole in the Rams’ game. For two consecutive home games,

Kenny Laguerre

No. 12 ranked Texas Wesleyan (20-5, 15-4) has struggled to fill the 22.8 points per game Moss contributes to the squad’s success.

Wiley (17-8, 13-7) got away quickly in the first half as the Rams struggled to hold onto the ball.  Wiley outscored Texas Wesleyan 23-5 over an eight-minute period to take a 33-14 lead.  Sixteen Texas Wesleyan turnovers in the period led to a 20-7 Wildcat advantage in points off of turnovers, and Wiley went to the locker room with a healthy 46-25 lead.

Wildcat center Kenny LaGuerre finished the game with 20 points and 10 rebounds.  Richard Simon added 14 points in the win.

Thursday scoreboard

Men

Hardin-Simmons 94, Sul-Ross State 74

Our Lady of the Lake 130, Bacone (Okla.) 75

Women

Our Lady of the Lake 91, Bacone (Okla.) 64

Texas Wesleyan 78, Wiley 71

Hardin-Simmons 81, Sul-Ross State 53

Jeremy Lin and his spiritual journey

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By Mark Ellis
ASSIST News Service

This faith-filled son of Taiwanese immigrants was given little chance in the NBA. Only weeks ago, he was sleeping on other people’s couches as he struggled to make his start in New York. But after shutting down the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and leading the New York Knicks to six straight victories, many of his doubters now believe.

“This is a miracle from God,” Lin says, about his improbable rise in basketball. “I don’t think anybody expected this to happen.”

On Feb. 14, the undefeated point guard had the greatest moment of his career by hitting a three-pointer with one second left as the Knicks overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat the Toronto Raptors, 90-87.

Much of Lin’s meteoric rise is about the Lord’s providence.

“Anytime something like this happens, a lot of stuff has to be put into place, and a lot of it is out of my control,” Lin said before the Toronto game. “If you look back at my story, it doesn’t matter where you look, but God’s fingerprints are all over the place.”

“There have been a lot of things that had to happen that I couldn’t control,” he continued. “You can try to call it coincidence, but at the

Jeremy Lin

end of the day, there are 20, 30 things when you combine them all that had to happen at the right time in order for me to be here. That’s why I call it a miracle.”

Lin’s parents are no taller than 5 feet, 6 inches, so his 6 feet, 3 inches and 200 pounds are a marvel within the family. He received no offers for an athletic scholarship out of Palo Alto High School, even though he led his team to a state championship.

He aced the SAT test in math, which helped win him a place at Harvard, then became the first player in the history of the Ivy League to score 1,450 points.  Lin graduated with a degree in economics and a 3.1 average. No Harvard grad has played in the NBA since 1954, until now.

After he graduated, Lin went unselected in the NBA draft, but was picked up on a two-year contract by his home team, the Golden State Warriors. With the Bay Area’s large Asian-American population, he attained a large following, even though he had little playing time and averaged only 2.6 points per game in his rookie season. Part of that season was spent on the Warrior’s D-league team.

His D-league experience tested his walk with God.

“When things weren’t going well my first year, I found a way to lose hope, lose trust in God,” he said, in a testimony recorded at River of Life Church in Santa Clara, Calif., last June. “I tried to remind myself of my story and how I got there,” he said.

A scripture grabbed his heart at that crucial juncture in the D-leagues, 1st Corinthians 9: 24-25.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we are imperishable.”

Lin realized he had been playing with the wrong motives.

“The prize I was playing for at that time was a perishable wreath,” he admitted. “I was playing for great games, great stats, getting the call to the Warriors, getting the next year of my contract, living up to everyone’s expectations. I was playing for those things, for myself, and for my glory.”

During this period of reflection, Lin’s pastor urged him to spend an hour a day with God, something Lin never considered before but decided to try. As he studied the Scripture one day, Philippians 3:14 resonated: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

“The prize is the blessings and rewards we get when we get to heaven,” Lin realized, “the eternal fellowship we can have with Jesus Christ.”

Suddenly he recognized a new way to approach sports – and life. “Our true reward – something I learned I need to strive for – is in heaven, not on earth.”

The New York Knicks picked up Lin on Dec. 27 as a third-string backup after an injury to guard Iman Shumpert. Then they bounced him down to the D-league Erie BayHawks, but he surprised everyone on Jan. 20by scoring a triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in the BayHawks’ 122–113 victory over the Maine Red Claws.

Three days later, he got the call from the Knicks to rejoin the A-team. Due to an injury and the fact that the team had been playing poorly, Coach Mike D’Antoni decided to give Lin a chance. On February 4th, Lin scored 25 points, made five rebounds, and seven assists in a 99–92 Knicks win over the New Jersey Nets.

On Feb. 10, he shocked the basketball world by scoring a career-high 38 points as he led his team to a 92-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. He outscored Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who had 34 points.

“Linsanity” began to grip New York, as the Knicks hustled to sell copies of Lin’s No. 17 jerseys and t-shirts. Sales on their online store increased more than 3,000 percent,  and Lin’s jersey has been the bestseller in the NBA since February 4th.

Lin would like to be a pastor some day or head non-profit organizations, at home or overseas.

“Your talent and your ability to play basketball is a gift from God,” Lin said. “You have to use that for God’s glory.”

Wiley’s Christie hits game-winning buzzer beater in OT

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By Habtom Keleta
Special to Inside The Pew

Wiley’s Vanderis Christie has become a household name amongst the Wiley family. On Saturday he hit the game-winning free throw with .04 seconds remaining in the game to lift Wiley past Langston, and on Feb. 6 Christie hit a game winning jumper as time expired in overtime to lift the Wildcats over the Warriors of Bacone College. Christie plays with a big heart, but he is only a sophomore who was born and raised in Houston.

“We recruited him out of TSU, and he is learning how to play within the system,” said Wildcats head coach Andre S. Payne. “We played horrible in the first half but at halftime we told our guys to feed Kenny the ball because he will get us going.”

Junior post player Kenny LaGuerre finished the first half with two points and one rebound. However, in the second half the Wildcats responded to Coach Payne by feeding it to their 6 foot 9 inch tree down low. LaGuerre finished the game with 19 points, 15 boards, three blocks and two steals.

“It was ugly, but I’ll take the ‘W’ any way we can get it,” said Payne. The Wildcats have now won two games in the final second in the last three days, and have adopted the new nickname “cardiac cats.”

Sophomore Michael Evans had a strong game at the guard position as he finished it 15 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals.

Bacone’s La’Charleston Tumblin played brilliant throughout the game as he ended with 27 points and 10 rebounds, but he fouled out in overtime. Senior James Scott, who can leap with the best of them, also dominated the paint for Bacone as he finished with 21 points, six rebounds and four steals.

After losing their first home game of the season, the Lady Wildcats bounced back with a big conference victory against the Lady Warriors of Bacone College by the score of 74-58. Junior post player Chinwendu Mbah dominated all sides of the court for Wiley as she finished with 27 points, 16 boards, four blocks, three assists and two steals.

“Chin did an excellent job tonight, and she was only player who was truly focused,” said Lady Wildcats head coach Courtney G. Pruitt. “At halftime, we needed to regain our focus and energy because we are a high energy team and we didn’t show it at all in the first half.”

Monday scoreboard:

Men

Texas Wesleyan 86, University of St. Thomas 83

Our Lady of The Lake University 106, Huston-Tillotson 84

Women

Texas Wesleyan 55, St. Thomas 44

Our Lady of The Lake University 105, Huston-Tillotson 69

 

Texas Wesleyan’s Frederick conference player of the week

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

Four times the charm for Texas Wesleyan University’s Eric Frederick.

The senior forward from Oklahoma City, Okla., was named player of the week for the fourth time this season by the Red River Athletic Conference on Monday, Feb. 6. He received the award for the period of Jan. 30 to Feb. 5.

Frederick, the nation’s second-leading scorer, had to double-double games for the 14th-ranked Rams (17-4, 12-3) last week. He scored

Eric Frederick

29 points against both Wiley College and Jarvis Christian College (8-14, 7-10), nabbed 10 rebounds against the Wildcats and 12 in the Rams’ victory over Jarvis Christian College 86-80, on Feb. 4 in Hawkins. For the week, he shot 48.8 percent from the field (21-of-43).

The Lady Rams were also victorious over Jarvis Christian College, 53-50, on Feb. 4. Octavia Mullins led the way for Texas Wesleyan, posting her 13th double-double game of the season with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Ivory Russell led the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points and 11 boards, followed by Marsharae Brown with 13 points and nine rebounds.

OLLU men, women dominate St. Thomas in hoops

Our Lady of the Lake University men’s and women’s basketball teams scored wins over St. Thomas on Feb. 4 in San Antonio. The Lady Saints (12-4, 17-5) cruised by the Lady Celts (4-152, 6-15), 97-49. Arlene Cisneros lead OLLU’s charge with 15 points, followed by Jasmine Fuller, Nashae Owens, and Jennifer Davison, and Ali Bills with 11 points each. Alisha Crump finished with 10 points and 11 boards for OLLU. St. Thomas’ Brooklyn McCall finished with seven points. OLLU men slipped past St. Thomas, 77-74. Robert Martinez scored 17 points, followed by Marco Cooper with 12. The Saints improved to 18-4, 15-1, while the Celts fell to 11-4, 14-8.

Football theology for Super Bowl Sunday

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By Bill Ellis
Special to Inside The Pew

It all started in January 1985 before San Francisco and Miami met for the Super Bowl XIX. A story about what I have called “Football Theology” and define as “bad football and worse theology”, was written by Bob Fallstron, sports editor of the Decatur Herald and Review, Decatur, Ill., on Jan. 23, 1986.

In the years that have followed nearly 100 definitions make up my list of football terms that are given a “church twist.” It has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines throughout the nation and other parts of the world, including “USA Today.”

Here are a few of the definitions that have been used. At a Super Bowl party, it could be fun to make up some of your own and by other party participants. I’d sure like to see the new ones you come up with. It is my hope that some of these will bring a smile to your face and I do hope your team wins.

This year, without Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, or Aaron Rodgers, I’ll just watch and enjoy the game with all who attend my party.

Bill Ellis

Here’s my list, smile at least once and enjoy the game.

  • Tackle – when an alert usher does when a child is sneaking out of the service.
  • Fumble – a lousy sermon.
  • Quarterback sneak – Sunday school officers and teachers entering the building five minutes after Sunday School begins.
  • Quarterback – what church members, who believe religion is free, want after putting 50 cent in the offering.
  • In the pocket – where too many church members keep God’s tithe and their offerings.
  • End around – diaper changing time in the nursery.
  • Illegal Motion – leaving before the benediction.
  • Interference – whispering and talking during the sermon.
  • Penalty – what the church gets when its members stay home.
  • Punt – what the pastor does when nothing else seems to work.
  • National Anthem – the choir and congregation doing their best singing “Amazing Grace.”

Thanks for sending to me some of the super definitions you come up with. Have a super day in your church and every day all week long. St. Paul knew a lot about sports, not football, but running and passed these words to all in the game. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (spectators), let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith … ” (Hebrews 12:1-2). The chapter continues to talk about the discipline and vitality that every athlete needs.

The Bible has a great deal to say about sports, bodybuilding, strength, control and all that enables us to always be at our best. Read it and be amazed by what you discover and learn.

 

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine columns, articles and contributions to books. He is also a widely known motivational speaker and pulpit guest who utilizes enjoyment of life and just plain fun and laughter while speaking to high school, university and professional sports teams as well as to business and professional groups of all kinds. His keen understanding of human problems makes him a favorite speaker for youth, parent, and senior adult meetings. He is accompanied by Kitty, his wife, favorite singer, editor and publisher.