Wizards

Stephen F. Austin knocks off Oklahoma 56-55

Stephen F. Austin knocks off Oklahoma 56-55

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Taylor Smith scored 14 points and Hal Bateman chipped in 13 as Stephen F. Austin held off Oklahoma in the final seconds for a 56-55 win Tuesday night.

The Lumberjacks (8-1), who entered the game leading the nation in scoring defense (49.5 points per game), led by as many as 11 in the second half. Oklahoma (7-3) had a chance to tie in the final seconds but failed to convert a pair of free throws.

Stephen F. Austin methodically worked the ball inside, scoring 34 of its 56 points in the paint. The Southland Conference member held Oklahoma to its second-lowest scoring output this season.

The Lumberjacks took their first lead with 9:59 remaining in the first half on Smith's left-handed jam, but Oklahoma closed the half on a 17-9 run to lead by four at the break.

Steven Pledger and Je'lon Hornbeak led the Sooners with 12 points apiece.

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Scott Brooks has simple reason for why Bradley Beal should be an All-Star

Scott Brooks has simple reason for why Bradley Beal should be an All-Star

WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal was not picked as a starter for next month's NBA All-Star Game through a voting process that included fans, the media and fellow players. Now it is up to NBA head coaches, who select the seven reserves for each conference.

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks is not allowed to vote for his own player, but believes Beal has a good chance to be picked based on one simple reason. He can tell how much opposing coaches respect Beal each and every night the Wizards play a game.

"Brad's an All-Star. I know that because every night I get to see it. Every night I get to see the defensive schemes against him. He gets double-teamed I want to say every game. That tells me that coaches feel the same way," Brooks said.

Brooks doesn't lobby other coaches to vote for his players, but said others have tried to persuade him in the past. He will "respectfully listen," he says, but believes it is important to do his own research and make his own choices.

"We all take pride in our choice," Brooks said. "It's an elite group and it's hard to get in."

Though Beal isn't a starter, he has a good case for being a reserve. This season he is averaging 28.1 points (third in East), 6.3 assists (10th in East) and 4.5 rebounds per game. 

If Beal doesn't make the All-Star team, it will likely be blamed on the Wizards' record. They are 15-30 and some of his competitors could get credit for being on better teams.

Brooks, though, believes other coaches should consider the circumstances Beal has been in. He says he takes that stuff into account with his own vote.

"There's a lot of factors that go in," Brooks explained. "It's situations. Guys that are on teams that are not playing well... are they not playing well because of him or are they not playing well because they have a lot of young guys, or because they're injured? A lot of players are injured. We've had a lot of injuries this year."

Beal has been an All-Star each of the past two years. We will find out on Thursday if he is in for the third time.

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Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram were at a loss for words when discussing the death of Kobe Bryant

Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram were at a loss for words when discussing the death of Kobe Bryant

The world mourned the death of a legend Sunday afternoon when the news of Kobe Bryant's death broke.

The timing of the tragedy coincided with the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl, where the NFL's best and brightest were informed of the news.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was emotional when discussing Bryant's passing.

Jackson talked about looking up to Bryant and about how the latter gave him an autographed jersey when he was drafted.

Mark Ingram detailed the reaction in the locker room, saying that it was "devastating" and that "you almost didn't really want to come play.

"The world lost a great one today," Ingram added. "He impacted many, many lives. People he didn't even know."

Nine people reportedly lost their lives in the unspeakable tragedy. They will not be forgotten.

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