MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) Joshua Freelove scored 17 points and Bobby Brown had 13 as Alabama State won its third straight game, beating Grambling State 69-56 Friday in Southwestern Athletic Conference play.
Stephawn Brown added 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds for Alabama State (4-11, 2-0).
The Hornets led 16-6 after a Bobby Brown layup and took a 40-21 advantage into intermission after the 6-foot-6 freshman closed the half with a layup and 3-pointer on consecutive possessions.
Alabama State opened the second half on a 15-4 run to jump ahead 55-25 with 14:23 left to play. Bobby Brown capped the run with a dunk.
Alabama State shot 41.8 percent (23 of 55), compared to 37.7 percent (20 of 53) for Grambling State, and forced 18 turnovers on the strength of 11 steals.
Terry Rose had 13 for Grambling State. The Tigers, losers of 11 straight, also started the 2007-08 and 2011-12 seasons 0-11.
NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.
Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.
“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”
The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”
“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”
Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.
“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.
Dwight Howard may play in the Wizards' regular-season opener on Thursday night against the Miami Heat, but the team will not know until the day of the game and likely won't announce the decision either way until head coach Scott Brooks addresses the media about two hours before tipoff.
Howard only has three practices under his belt but has made significant progress throughout this week after missing all five of the team's preseason games due to a strain in his piriformis muscle.
Head coach Scott Brooks said Howard has looked good in those three practices but has a lot of missed time to make up for.
"I think he's definitely winded at times, but that's part of it," Brooks said.
Brooks added that Howard is not getting the same lift when jumping that he's used to. Howard, 32, is used to playing above the rim and his vertical leap is an important part of his game.
The Wizards play their first two games at home, the second on Saturday against the Raptors. They then embark on a Western Conference road trip beginning with the Blazers on Monday.
Brooks said Howard will "definitely" make that trip with the team, which gives a good indication of how close he is to returning to game action. When Howard is ready to play will be left up to the team's medical staff.
If Howard does miss time, the Wizards are expected to rely on his backup Ian Mahinmi as the starting center. Jason Smith would then become the No. 2 center on the depth chart, though they could use forwards like Markieff Morris or Jeff Green at the five-spot.
Howard signed a two-year free-agent deal worth $11 million to join the Wizards in July.
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