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Tulsa caps big year with 31-17 Liberty Bowl win

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Tulsa caps big year with 31-17 Liberty Bowl win

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship wouldn't say whether this was the best season in school history. He just let the numbers speak for themselves.

``History will decide all that,'' Blankenship said Monday after Tulsa capped its second 11-win season in school history with a 38-17 Liberty Bowl victory over Iowa State. ``What I meant is that they've accomplished some things that nobody has done. That's what I want to give them credit for.''

Tulsa also went 11-3 in 2008, but that team lost to East Carolina in the Conference USA championship game. This Tulsa team matched a school record in victories while also capturing the Conference USA title and winning the Liberty Bowl.

Iowa State culminated its history-making year culminated by avenging its season-opening loss to the Cyclones.

``That's a huge deal for us,'' Blankenship said. ``We've had a team that won 11 before, so we tied that. We had a team that won the Liberty Bowl before and won Conference USA. We've done that. But we did it all in the same year (this season).''

Iowa State (6-7) defeated Tulsa 38-23 on Sept. 1 by coming back from a 16-7 deficit, but it was Tulsa that rallied in the rematch. Tulsa trailed 17-7 at the end of the first quarter before scoring the game's final 24 points.

Tulsa won by capitalizing on the versatile rushing attack that carried the team all season.

Trey Watts, the game's most valuable player, rushed for 149 yards. Alex Singleton had three short touchdown runs to give him a season total of 24. Ja'Terian Douglas rushed for 79 yards on eight carries.

``We never wavered, not for a second,'' Watts said.

Both Tulsa and Iowa State had changed since their last meeting.

Iowa State's Steele Jantz, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third score against Tulsa on Sept. 1, lost his starting job to redshirt freshman Sam Richardson. The Cyclones' leading rusher (Shontrelle Johnson) and top tackler (Jake Knott) from the Sept. 1 game sat out the Liberty Bowl with injuries.

Tulsa linebacker Shawn Jackson was serving a three-game suspension during the last meeting with Iowa State. Jackson sacked Richardson on consecutive plays late in the first quarter Monday and forced a fumble in the game's closing minutes.

``I felt like I left my guys down (in September),'' Jackson said. ``I wanted to give the defense a little spark.''

After going 6 of 7 with 114 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, Richardson was 4 of 14 for 15 yards with an interception the rest of the way while battling flu-like symptoms. Jantz replaced Richardson early in the fourth quarter.

``You can't ask much more from a young player like Sam,'' said Iowa State linebacker A.J. Klein, who tied a Liberty Bowl record with 19 tackles. ``He's going to have a great career the rest of his time here at Iowa State. That's the type of people we want to build this program around, people that will give it up, no matter what condition they're in.''

Iowa State delighted a partisan crowd by taking the 17-7 lead on Edwin Arceo's 33-yard field goal, Jeremy Reeves' 31-yard interception return and Ernst Brun's 69-yard reception. Tulsa has the smallest enrollment of any Football Bowl Subdivision program, and about 80 percent of the 53,687 fans were dressed in Iowa State cardinal-and-gold.

But after moving the ball at will in the opening period, Iowa State's offense did virtually nothing right the rest of the day.

``Games are often won and lost at the line of scrimmage, and we did not play a physical enough brand of football to move the sticks enough and stay on the field enough to get it in the red zone, let alone get it in the end zone,'' Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said.

Tulsa took the lead for good with a pair of touchdown runs - 8 yards by quarterback Cody Green and 2 yards Singleton - in the first four minutes of the second quarter.

The Golden Hurricanes' comeback followed a familiar pattern. Tulsa headed into the bowl game ranked third in the nation in sacks (48) and 11th in rushing (240.2).

``These guys are a very tough-minded, physical and resilient team,'' Blankenship said. ``I couldn't be prouder.''

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Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards set bring back familiar face, sources confirm

Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards set bring back familiar face, sources confirm

For the Wizards, with a tough stretch coming and with John Wall still sidelined, depth and health is of the utmost importance.

With the team set to begin the second half of the 2018 NBA season on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, Scott Brooks and company decided to make a move to shore up their backcourt depth, a commodity the team cannot have enough of.

Veteran guard Ramon Sessions, who spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in Washington, D.C., has been signed by the Wizards to a ten-day contract, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller confirms.

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The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN . Sessions played in 110 games for the Wizards over the course of his two seasons, playing in all 82 games during the 2015-16 season.

He joins the Wizards again having been waived by the New York Knicks on Jan. 13. Sessions averaged 12.8 mpg in 13 games for the Knicks.

Sessions is rejoining a former team for the third time in his career, having played in Milwaukee and Charlotte on two separate occasions.

 

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Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle LeBron James, George Hill, Larry Nance, Jr. and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Where: Quicken Loans Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT (pre- and postgame coverage on NBC Sports Washington Plus)
Live stream: TNTdrama.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Back in action

The Wizards return to the court after a week-long layoff due to the All-Star break. Add in the fact that they had three days off before their last game and this will be just the second game for the Wizards in the last 12 days. What is this, football?

The Wizards will try to overcome the rust to keep their momentum going. They entered the All-Star break having won seven of their last nine games. Though the time off was needed due to a wide array of injuries, the Wizards had a good thing going and will aim to recapture that against a good Cavs team.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Tough stretch

The Wizards come back with a game against the Cavs, a difficult first assignment after such a long layoff. But this is just the beginning of what will be a very difficult part of their schedule. In their next 17 games, the Wizards will play 15 times against teams currently holding playoff spots. That includes the Warriors, Celtics, Spurs and Raptors.

The schedule is tough beyond their opponents. Four times in the next three weeks they will play back-to-back games and they have five games in the next seven nights. Hopefully the players recharged their batteries because it won't be easy.

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New-look Cavs

The Wizards and Cavs have played twice this season already and Cleveland took both of those matchups. However, that was all before the trade deadline when the Cavs overhauled their roster. They have won all three of their games since and look rejuvenated with younger players.

Now surrounding LeBron James are a host of new faces like George HIll, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. It will be interesting to see how the Wizards match up with this new group.

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