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    OXFORD, Miss. — Georgia Lady Bulldog junior forward Caliya Robinson scored a season-high 28 points to lead her team to a 66-52 victory Monday evening at The Pavilion on the Ole Miss campus.  The Lady Bulldogs, now 22-5 overall and 10-4 in the SEC, saw their 17-point halftime lead trimmed down to a one-point margin in the third quarter, before outscoring the Rebels 18-8 in the fourth.  Robinson’s 28 points were just two shy of her career-high 30 that she scored last season against Minnesota. In addition to Robinson’s performance, freshman Que Morrison finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.  “We never gave up the lead, but I thought we just came out sluggish in that third quarter,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “Ole Miss was aggressive after the half and we started fouling and giving up offensive boards. In the fourth, we went back to what we do best. It’s always tough to win on the road and we have another tough one Thursday at Alabama.' Robinson scored Georgia’s first 10 points as she outscored the whole Ole Miss team, 10-5 out of the gate. Haley Clark and Mackenzie Engram were the only other Lady Bulldogs to score in the first period as Georgia finished just 7-of-18 from the field. Still, the Lady Bulldogs led 15-12.  Simone Costa nailed a 3-point basket to begin the second quarter, before the Lady Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run later in the frame to take a commanding 26-13 lead.  Georgia allowed the Rebels to score just six points in the second quarter, outscoring Ole Miss 20-6. Georgia finished the first 20 minutes with a 48-percent mark from the field en route to a 35-18 halftime lead.  Robinson started the second half much like the first, scoring her team’s first four points. Following two free-throws by Morrison, Georgia missed eight of its next nine shots to allow the Rebels to cut the 17-point margin to just one — 45-44. The Lady Bulldogs finished the third with nine team fouls, compared to just two from Ole Miss.  Engram saved Georgia late in the period with a big 3-pointer to extend it to 48-44 going into the fourth. The Lady Bulldogs built on Engram’s late basket and held the Rebels to just 22 percent shooting over the final 10 minutes to pick up the win,  Georgia now hits the road to face Alabama on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. 
  • Few people quite understand what exactly curling is, but every four years, people across the world suddenly find themselves invested in a sport that, at first glance, can be described as people pushing rocks across ice with brooms. >> On Rare.us: A French ice dancer somehow kept her cool in the Olympics’ latest wardrobe malfunction For those who are using this year’s go-around to learn what they can about the sport, here’s a fun fact to tell at the next watch party: Olympic curling rocks aren’t just any old bits of earth; they all come from the exact same kind of stone from the exact same place. >> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics According to the Huffington Post, the curling stones are made from a specific kind of granite that can only be located on a deserted island off the coast of Scotland.  >> Read more trending news  The island — Ailsa Craig, also known as “Paddy’s milestone” — is a volcanic plug, meaning it coalesced over an extinct volcano, apparently leaving the granite in the perfect condition to make curling stones. All the stones used during the Olympic Winter Games are produced by the only company with rights to the Ailsa Craig granite: Kays of Scotland, which has been creating the stones since 1851. According to the Huffington Post, thousands of tons of two varieties of stone are removed from the ground once every decade: a blue hone granite, which is impenetrable by ice and water and makes up the insert and running band of the curling stone, and a green granite that composes the body of the stone. There is apparently a third variety, red hone granite, but it isn’t used in curling stones. Read more here.
  • The Atlanta Hawks are tied for the worst record in the NBA. Predictably, the team’s local TV ratings have dropped dramatically. The decline is the largest by any NBA team in its home market this season. > More:  How many Atlantans are watching Hawks games? All 82 Hawks games this season are being televised on Fox Sports Southeast. The Hawks’ next game is Friday at Indiana.  > Also:  Seating changes coming to SunTrust Park
  • Alabama football drives the conversation here at  the Rammer Jammer , SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus. Alabama fills coaching vacancy Alabama lost defensive line coach Karl Dunbar to the Pittsburgh Steelers this month, and the Crimson Tide have reportedly filled that vacancy. Coach Nick Saban is expected to hire longtime Missouri assistant Clark Kuligowski as the new defensive line coach. Kuligowski spent 15 years at Missouri before joining Mark Richt at Miami for two seasons. While at Missouri, he developed players such as Michael Sam, Kony Ealy and Shane Ray. MORE:  Sign up here  to get this roundup in your inbox Monday through Friday In other headlines … Social media praised Alabama’s apparent hiring of Kuligowski. Former Alabama defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne showed off his strength by deadlifting more than 600 pounds. Alabama football players as Marvel superheroes  Marvel released Black Panther this past weekend to widespread acclaim from viewers and critics. The film is the 18th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the first one being Iron Man back in 2008. Marvel has already developed most of its heroes and will release Avengers: Infinity War on May 4. It will feature upward of 60 characters. With all of the buzz surrounding Marvel, our own Marq Burnett described which Alabama football players compared to the main heroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tua Tagovailoa attracts 5-star defensive tackle Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s performance in the national championship turned a lot of heads. Now, its helping Alabama with recruiting. Five-star defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele, a former teammate of Tagovailoa, said Tagovailoa’s performance inspired him to want to be a member of Alabama. Tuitele also announced that he will take an official visit to Alabama. Around the Capstone Alabama golfer Lee Hodges is atop the leaderboard after the second round of the Puerto Rico Classic. Miss a previous edition? Find every installment of SEC Country’s daily Alabama newsletter  right here. The post Alabama football: Craig Kuligowski reportedly will become new defensive line coach appeared first on SEC Country.
  • Kentucky will be in a fight to keep its lone 2019 commitment. Four-star safety Keontra Smith committed to the Wildcats in June, but Smith called his recent offer from hometown Miami a “game changer.” “[Miami] was the dream school,” Smith told David Wilson of our sister site DieHards.com. “I was waiting on that offer since I was a freshman. It’s a game changer. I’m still committed, but I would like to enjoy the process. But most definitely Miami goes up to top 3, I’d say.” Smith, 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, is the 11th-ranked safety in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite. He’s the No. 32 prospect in Florida and a top 200 national prospect. Smith has received offers from Miami, Alabama, Penn State, Michigan and Nebraska since committing to Kentucky. He holds 18 offers. The Hollywood, Fla., native attends Chaminade-Madonna High School. Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran has a pipeline flowing from the South Florida school to Lexington, Ky. Sophomore receiver Josh Ali and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Chris Whittaker were 2017 Kentucky signees from Chaminade-Madonna. Three more Chaminade-Madonna prospects signed with Kentucky in 2018: receivers Marvin Alexander and Akeem Hayes along with defensive end Davoan Hawkins. Smith could be Kentucky’s sixth signee from Chaminade-Madonna in the last three classes, but there’s a long way to go. He called himself a “UM kid.” “He’s a dynamic player on both sides of the ball,”  Chaminade-Madonna coach Dameon Jones told SEC Country last summer. “He’s a freak athlete. Great kid, great character, just a tremendous player on both sides of the ball.” RELATED: Keontra Smith ‘no doubt’ a top 100 player, says Chaminade-Madonna coach The post Kentucky football: 2019 commit Keontra Smith says Miami offer is ‘game changer’ appeared first on SEC Country.
  • A Slovenian hockey player who became the third athlete to be caught doping at the Pyeongchang Olympics said Tuesday he tested positive for an asthma drug that he took under doctor's orders and he had forgotten to seek approval for its use. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Ziga Jeglic tested positive for fenoterol in an in-competition test. Fenoterol is a drug designed to open the airways to the lungs. 'I take the mentioned drug due to asthma under medical advice,' Jeglic said in a statement, adding he was tested on Friday. 'It has been prescribed to me after testing for respiratory problems in Slovakia in 2017. Unfortunately I have forgot to declare it as (a therapeutic use) exception.' Jeglic was suspended from the games and has been ordered to leave the athletes village within 24 hours. 'I have overlooked the difference between comparable drugs, which are allowed and would enable me to use it for my respiratory problems during the Olympics,' he said. 'I apologize for my negligence to all the persons involved and I accept the further anti-doping procedures.' Slovenia lost to Norway 2-1 in overtime in men's hockey on Tuesday and was eliminated from the Olympic tournament. Jeglic was scratched from the team ahead of the announcement about his positive test. The 29-year-old forward played in all three preliminary-round games and had an assist. He also scored the winner in a shootout as Slovenia beat Slovakia 3-2 on Saturday, a day after he gave his sample to testers. 'He's a big part of our team. We were kind of disappointed and a little upset that he won't be able to play, but we don't really know what the situation is,' Slovenia captain Jan Mursak said after the loss to Norway. 'Ziga's a great guy, big part of that team, great team guy, so I'm sure whatever the problem is, it's going to get fixed and Ziga's going to be fine.' This is the second consecutive international tournament from which Jeglic has been suspended. He was banned for two games at the world championships last year for swinging his skate at Switzerland winger Thomas Rufenacht. 'He's one of the better players, better offensive players,' Mursak said. 'Every guy counts on our team, and to lose a guy like that in such an important game means a lot to our team.' In the Kontinental Hockey League, Jeglic plays for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk. He has two goals and four assists in 26 games this season. Japanese short-track speedskater Kei Saito failed a pre-competition test in Pyeongchang and Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky, who won a bronze medal, tested positive during the games. Late Tuesday, the delegation of the 'Olympic Athletes from Russia' said Krushelnitsky's 'B'' sample had also tested positive for the banned substance meldonium but the results suggested he had only consumed it once — not enough to indicate intent to enhance his performance. ___ AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno in Gangneung contributed to this report. ___ More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org
  • FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Get your Malik Monk jokes out of the way quickly. The Arkansas-Kentucky basketball game Tuesday night means a lot more than personal retribution this season. The one season Kentucky had Monk, an Arkansas native who passed on the Razorbacks for the Wildcats, was easily in the Lexington team’s favor. Entertaining as it may have been, it was mere distraction. Both teams had bigger fish to fry than the pettiness spewed by the masses on Twitter would have suggested consumed the two programs. Now that it’s over, the 2017-18 version of Cats-Hogs can be measured for what it’s worth. Probably neither team is as good as last year. Kentucky definitely isn’t as good as the 2016-17 Wildcats. Arkansas is iffy on its team from a year ago. Yet, this game means far more than the two before it. Yes, even more significant than the SEC title game last season, a game Arkansas wanted to win for the ceremony and pomp and circumstance, but a game that ultimately wouldn’t have mattered much for seeding purposes (though, to be fair, it might have moved the Hogs away from North Carolina). Kentucky needs the win at Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday night to stanch the bleeding. Losers of four of their last five, the Wildcats’ standing in the SEC is below that of Arkansas. Weird. Arkansas needs the win to ensure its place in the NCAA Tournament discussion. No one is questioning it right now, but given the three final games of the season include two on the road and one against the likely SEC regular-season champs, the Razorbacks are far from locks. Beating Kentucky would buy some insurance for those three, just in case. Enjoy. Arkansas-Kentucky basketball: Game info, details Time: Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Feb. 20 Location: Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark. How can I watch the game? The game can be seen on ESPN. How can I listen to the game? The game will air on the Razorbacks Sports Network. Check local listings. How can I get live stats for the game? Live stats for the game can be found here. What’s next? Arkansas hits the road, east Alabama bound for a trip to Crimson Tide territory. The Razorbacks play Alabama on Saturday afternoon. The post Arkansas basketball vs. Kentucky: Preview, how to watch (February 20, 2018) appeared first on SEC Country.

Georgia Sports News

  • OXFORD, Miss. — Georgia Lady Bulldog junior forward Caliya Robinson scored a season-high 28 points to lead her team to a 66-52 victory Monday evening at The Pavilion on the Ole Miss campus.  The Lady Bulldogs, now 22-5 overall and 10-4 in the SEC, saw their 17-point halftime lead trimmed down to a one-point margin in the third quarter, before outscoring the Rebels 18-8 in the fourth.  Robinson’s 28 points were just two shy of her career-high 30 that she scored last season against Minnesota. In addition to Robinson’s performance, freshman Que Morrison finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.  “We never gave up the lead, but I thought we just came out sluggish in that third quarter,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “Ole Miss was aggressive after the half and we started fouling and giving up offensive boards. In the fourth, we went back to what we do best. It’s always tough to win on the road and we have another tough one Thursday at Alabama.' Robinson scored Georgia’s first 10 points as she outscored the whole Ole Miss team, 10-5 out of the gate. Haley Clark and Mackenzie Engram were the only other Lady Bulldogs to score in the first period as Georgia finished just 7-of-18 from the field. Still, the Lady Bulldogs led 15-12.  Simone Costa nailed a 3-point basket to begin the second quarter, before the Lady Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run later in the frame to take a commanding 26-13 lead.  Georgia allowed the Rebels to score just six points in the second quarter, outscoring Ole Miss 20-6. Georgia finished the first 20 minutes with a 48-percent mark from the field en route to a 35-18 halftime lead.  Robinson started the second half much like the first, scoring her team’s first four points. Following two free-throws by Morrison, Georgia missed eight of its next nine shots to allow the Rebels to cut the 17-point margin to just one — 45-44. The Lady Bulldogs finished the third with nine team fouls, compared to just two from Ole Miss.  Engram saved Georgia late in the period with a big 3-pointer to extend it to 48-44 going into the fourth. The Lady Bulldogs built on Engram’s late basket and held the Rebels to just 22 percent shooting over the final 10 minutes to pick up the win,  Georgia now hits the road to face Alabama on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. 
  • The Atlanta Hawks are tied for the worst record in the NBA. Predictably, the team’s local TV ratings have dropped dramatically. The decline is the largest by any NBA team in its home market this season. > More:  How many Atlantans are watching Hawks games? All 82 Hawks games this season are being televised on Fox Sports Southeast. The Hawks’ next game is Friday at Indiana.  > Also:  Seating changes coming to SunTrust Park
  • Want to attack every day with the latest UGA recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet today calls for a good birds-eye view of a few trends that are emerging already for the class of 2019.  The eyes are on the horizon today for UGA recruiting regarding the class of 2019. The Bulldogs have seven commitments and still hold a 167.13-151.64 edge on Miami for the nation’s top But that race still has a lot of track left to go. The better topic for today is to try and pick up any hints as to what the class will look like in 2019. We can look at the level of offers that the Bulldogs are sending out a recruiting trail and follow those data points. They show where the staff feels its needs are in the class of 2019. But before we probe forward, it also helps to see just exactly what the Bulldogs have done so far under Kirby Smart. Check out these position-by-position recaps of what the positions the Bulldogs have recruited since Smart’s first class in 2016. We will also trim the players from those signing classes that are no longer with the team from our findings. The class recaps maintained by 247Sports allow us to bring this research forward very clearly for this exercise, but we are going to dial in a few elements here. For example, Charlie Woerner was rated as the nation’s No. 25 receiver back in 2016, but he’s always been a tight end at UGA. The example set by 5-star Mecole Hardman, Jr. also refines our thinking. Hardman was recruited as an athlete, spent his freshman season at cornerback but then moved to receiver in 2017. He’s classified as a receiver in the following data tables. The same goes for players at other positions as well. Position 2016 2017 2018 Offense QB 1 1 1 RB 2 1 2 WR 3 4 2 TE 2 0 2 OT 0 3 2 OG 2 2 2 OC 1 0 1 K 0 0 0 Totals 11 11 12 Defense  2016  2017   2018 DT 3 0 3 DE 1 1 0 OLB 1 2 4 ILB 1 3 1 CB 0 4 4 S 0 4 1 P 1 0 1 Totals 7 14 14 Overall class total 18 25 26 Why just the last three classes, you say? It is interesting to note that there will still be holdovers from Mark Richt’s last two singing class in Athens this fall. There look to be two potential starters from 2014 (Lamont Galliard, Kendall Baker) that remain on the 2018 roster. That number only expands to five likely starters or heavy contributors (Terry Godwin, Jonathan Ledbetter, Natrez Patrick, D’Andre Walker and Deandre Baker) among the approximate 16 holdovers from the class of 2015. Smart’s first three classes are by and large the ones that will still have viable eligibility in 2019. What does the recruiting picture look like for 2019 then?  We can then check to see an early read on 2019 by how many offers the Bulldogs have extended for 2019. UGA fired off 295 scholarship offers over the last cycle along the way to the nation’s top-rated recruiting class for 2018. The staff sent out offers to 49 receivers among that lot, including another 38 to cornerbacks, 35 to defensive ends (strong-side and weak-side) and another 31 offers to defensive tackles. Just by looking at the tables, we can see what the needs look like for 2019. QB: 1 RB: 0 WR: 3 TE: 2 OT: 2 OG: 2 OC: 0 K: 0 DE: 3 DT: 3 OLB: 2 ILB: 3 CB: 2 S: 2 P: 0 Total: 25 (of a possible 25) Those seem like the likely totals for 2019 and there would be room for another player at RB, OLB or CB in terms of the best player available for the class. Of course, these are not the actual numbers but rather the best guess for what the class will look like in 2019 given everything we’ve shared so far along this specific blog. Does this hold up so far in real life? Here’s a look at what the offer totals look like across those varied positions so far for 2019. QB: 10 (5 Dual-threats, 5 Pro-Style) RB: 9 WR: 28 (Already with a pair of 5-star commits) TE: 5 (Already with a 4-star commit) OT: 22 (Already with a 4-star commit) OG: 2 OC: 7 K: 3 DE: 33 (Both strong-side and weak-side DEs) DT: 31 OLB: 14 (Already with a 5-star commit) ILB: 2 (Already with a 4-star commit) CB: 38 (Already with a 4-star commit) S: 19 ATH: 9 P: 1 Total: 192 It is interesting to immediately note how heavy the Bulldogs are going at the CB and DT positions so far prior to March of this cycle. The numbers at wide receiver and tackle on the offensive side of the ball are also indicative of a clear trend. The fact that the Bulldogs are only 110 offers away from surpassing last year’s offer total is also telling. It seems clear that the Bulldogs are casting a wider net across the nation for its 2019 class.   Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap. The post UGA recruiting: A sneak peek into how the next recruiting class at UGA will shape up appeared first on DawgNation.
  • KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Chipper Jones says this spring will be wide open for the Atlanta Braves. 'Guys need to know that this team and this organization are tired of the last few years,' the former Braves star after Monday's first full-squad workout. 'We're a very proud organization. We went through a rough offseason with the changing of the (front office), but ... there's definitely a change in attitude. You see it in the way the coaching staff is putting together spring training.' The 45-year-old Jones was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility this winter. His 19-year career, all with Atlanta, ended in 2012 and nearly coincided with the Braves' run of 14 straight division titles. They come into 2018 on a streak of four straight losing seasons, including last year's 72-90 mark. In his role as a special assistant, the star third baseman is hoping that competition for positions might spark a revival. 'It's a free-for-all,' Jones said. 'There are a few people who had big league jobs last year who need to come in here and play for their spot.' Jones' assessment might apply to almost any player except first baseman Freddie Freeman and Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte. There is also competition for two spots in the rotation after the Braves traded for right-hander Brandon McCarthy. 'It's a little bit about change,' manager Brian Snitker said. 'It's a different camp, a young camp.' Snitker's immediate concern is getting ready for exhibition games this weekend after just a handful of workouts. 'We probably did more than we normally would (on the first day),' he said. 'I don't care how good a shape they're in, it still takes a lot to get used to and you're going to get sore. That's just part of the process. We started live (batting practice) already today, which we have to do to prepare for the games. We're kind of amping things up a bit quicker than normal.' Much of the spring focus will be on prospects, starting with 20-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuna. 'He's as good a prospect as I've seen,' Jones said. 'You've got your cornerstone guy in Freddie, and it's going to be interesting to see if (Acuna) can continue to develop as the second guy.' In camp as a non-roster player, Acuna is a long-shot to make the opening day roster. But after trading Matt Kemp to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal that brought in McCarthy, the Braves have only four roster outfielders - Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Lane Adams and Preston Tucker. 'The first day of spring training is like the first day of school,' Jones said. 'You get to see all the guys again and the guys out here have something to prove. But there's really only a couple spots where you can say the team is cemented. Everywhere else is a free-for-all and I think that makes for a competitive camp. We'll see how the young guys respond to it.' NOTES: Veteran relief Peter Moylan was set to rejoin the Braves, according to reports. The 38-year-old right-hander, who pitched 79 times for Kansas City, will join Atlanta for a third time pending a physical. Moylan pitched for the Braves from 2006 through 2012 and again in 2015.