Monthly Archives: February 2010

Weekend Topper sports links

So you know the men’s and women’s basketball teams swept Florida International on Saturday. Here’s the rest of what happened in Topper sports this past weekend:

  • The men’s and women’s track teams swept the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday — the first time the two have won the same conference meet since 2008. The Herald’s M. Blake Harrison was there.
  • The Western baseball team won three straight this weekend to take the QTI Baylor Classic Title. The Herald’s Mike Stunson has the full story.
  • On the other side, the Lady Topper softball team dropped three straight to visiting Florida International. The Herald’s Emily Patton reported on day one — a doubleheader — and day two, the third loss.
  • Nick Baumgardner of the Bowling Green Daily News reports that the first two rounds of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament won’t be televised.
  • Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams dropped their matches against North Texas.

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Official Sun Belt Tournament brackets released

The official Sun Belt Conference Tournament brackets are out, with the men’s bracket viewable here and the women’s bracket here.

The Toppers will first face New Orleans next Saturday at 6:35 p.m. and face the winner of Arkansas State vs. Arkansas-Little Rock. After earning the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye, the Lady Toppers will face the winner of South Alabama vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

The Herald will have live coverage from Hot Springs, Ark., throughout the weekend.

Men’s Championship Seeds
No. 1 Troy (13-5, .722)
No. 2 North Texas (13-5, .722)
No. 3 Middle Tennessee (13-5, .722)
No. 4 WKU (12-6, .667)
No. 5 Arkansas State (11-7, .611)
No. 6 Denver (10-8, .556)
No. 7 Louisiana-Lafayette (10-8, .556)
No. 8 Florida Atlantic (10-8, .556)
No. 9 South Alabama (8-10, .444)
No. 10 Louisiana-Monroe (6-12, .333)
No. 11 FIU (4-14, .286)
No. 12 UALR (4-14, .286)
No.13 New Orleans (3-15, .167)

Women’s Championship Seeds
No. 1 UALR (17-1, .944)
No. 2 Middle Tennessee (17-1, .944)
No. 3 WKU (14-4, .778)
No. 4 Denver (12-6, .667)
No. 5 Florida Atlantic (10-8, .556)
No. 6 South Alabama (9-9, .500)
No. 7 FIU (9-9, .500)
No. 8 Arkansas State (7-11, .389)
No. 9 Troy (5-13, .278)
No. 10 North Texas (5-13, .278)
No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette (4-14, .222)
No. 12 New Orleans (4-14, .222)
No. 13 Louisiana-Monroe (4-14, .222)

Jonathan Lintner

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UK, WKU and the two-day turnaround

Because this was just flat-out interesting, I wanted to note one of Kentucky coach John Calipari’s excuses for the Wildcats’ 74-65 loss at Tennessee yesterday.

Calipari blamed his team’s response to its first two-day turnaround in Southeastern Conference play (Kentucky played South Carolina Thursday night) saying, “… In an afternoon game, which we can be in during the NCAA Tournament, we need to get up and have a shootaround,” Calipari said. “I do not care if we play Thursday or not.”

If there’s any advantage Western holds heading into the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and potentially the NCAA Tournament, it’s the way the Toppers have grown used to Thursday-Saturday or Friday-Sunday games. Well, not only a quick turnaround, but winning in a quick turnaround.

And minus the competition factor, Western’s swing through Florida last weekend was probably more rigorous than an NCAA Tournament setting, being that the Toppers played at two different venues in three days.

The Sun Belt might not be the best conference by a longshot, but after looking at this kind of stuff from an SEC coach, you have to lend some credit the Belt for how it prepared Western’s last two tournament teams.

Thanks to the Kentucky Kernel for the quote.

Jonathan Lintner

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How the Sun Belt bracket should shake out

The Sun Belt Conference is one of the lowest-rated leagues in the country.

At least to me, so is its seeding system and tiebreaker procedures.

The seeds will be official sometime Sunday, but at least for now, I think this is how it should work out. If not, I’ll change things in the morning when the league said it will release the bracket.

No. 1: Troy
No. 2: North Texas
No. 3: Middle Tennessee
No. 4: Western
No. 5: Arkansas State
No. 6: Denver
No. 7: Louisiana-Lafayette
No. 8: Florida Atlantic
No. 9: South Alabama
No. 10: Louisiana-Monroe
No. 11: Florida International
No. 12: Arkansas-Little Rock
No. 13 New Orleans

For a schedule of games, click here.

Jonathan Lintner

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TRACK & FIELD: Men, women lead Sun Belt Championship day one

As day one of the Sun Belt Indoor Track and Field Championships ended, both Western’s men’s and women’s teams stood atop the overall team rankings.

The women, who are looking for their fifth consecutive indoor conference title and 13th track and field conference title overall, hold an 11.3-point margin over MTSU — the host of this year’s event.

The men finished Saturday with the lead as well, besting UL-Lafayette by three points.

If both teams are able to hold on to capture first place, it will mark the first time they have won a conference championship in conjunction with one another since the 2008 Outdoor Championships.

To this point, the women’s distance medley relay team stands out among the rest, having set a Western record time.

“Those young ladies ran very well and were able to get some very positive things going,” Head Coach Erik Jenkins said.

Senior distance runner Janet Jesang, who ran the anchor leg of that event, also took first place in the 3,000-meter race.

Taking top honors in the shot put was Brian Soverns, a senior thrower who has taken first place in both the weight throw and shot put at various events throughout the season.

Jenkins said Western has at least one representative in every sprint race final on schedule for tomorrow.

“That’s something we’re very proud of,” he said.

Events will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the Charles M. Murphy Athletic Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The women’s mile and 5,000-meter races, as well as the 4×400-meter relay for both the men and women, highlight Sunday’s schedule. Check for a recap of events later in the evening.

-M. Blake Harrison

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Baseball Toppers’ streak continues

Western capitalized on an opposing team’s mistakes for the second straight day in their second game of the QTI Baylor Classic.

The Toppers (4-1) used seven walks by Texas State pitchers to their advantage as they defeated the Bobcats 4-3.

Freshman Tanner Perkins pitched four innings and only gave up one run, but it was junior Brian Edelin who picked up the win for the Toppers. Rye Davis pitched the last 1.2 innings to get his second save of the year.

Western took control of the game in the eighth inning when sophomore first baseman Casey Dykes and junior designated hitter Kori Petri scored on bases loaded walks by the Bobcats (3-2) to give the Toppers the lead for good.

Dykes had three of the Toppers’ six hits for the game.

Western has now won four straight games after dropping their season opener to Kent State. Senior pitcher Shane Cameron pitches as the Toppers take on Baylor at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Mike Stunson

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Western settles for No. 4 seed

Well, that was close.

Western did all it could to earn a No. 3 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, and the puzzle almost completed itself with North Texas and Middle Tennessee both winning today.

But Troy knocked off Arkansas State to claim a bye, and the Toppers are set to face New Orleans in the No. 4 vs No. 13 game at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Hot Springs, Ark.

Should the Toppers beat New Orleans, they’ll face the winner of Arkansas State and Arkansas-Little Rock.

Jonathan Lintner

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