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STATE SPORTS BRIEFS: UA to play North Texas | ASU's Sills hurt in scrimmage | ASU 6th, UALR 8th in men's SBC poll

October 21, 2021 at 1:59 a.m.


UA to play North Texas

The No. 16 Arkansas Razorbacks will play North Texas in an exhibition game on Oct. 30 at 4 p.m. in Walton Arena.

The University of Arkansas is being allowed to play another NCAA Division I team in an exhibition game because a portion of the proceeds from concessions and merchandise will benefit coronavirus relief efforts in the state through the United Way of Northwest Arkansas.

The Razorbacks play their first exhibition game against East Central (Okla.) University at 3 p.m. Sunday in Walton Arena.

The exhibition games are sellouts as part of Arkansas' season-ticket package.

-- Bob Holt

ASU's Sills hurt in scrimmage

In Arkansas State's annual intrasquad scrimmage, the Red Wolves' Scarlet Team surged after halftime to pull away with a 73-63 win Wednesday night at First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro.

The backcourt tandem of Marquis Eaton and Malcolm Farrington each logged 18 points, and forward Norchad Omier added a double-double with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks.

The night was overshadowed by a scary injury to Arkansas transfer Desi Sills. The Jonesboro native had 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting in less than 20 minutes before colliding with Omier on a play at the rim.

Sills was unable to put any weight on his injured leg and had to be stretchered off.

ASU will play a closed-door scrimmage Sunday against Tennessee-Martin -- as reported by Stadium's Jeff Goodman -- and then is scheduled to host Blue Mountain College in an exhibition Nov. 1.

ASU 6th, UALR 8th in men's SBC poll

The Sun Belt Conference's men's basketball preseason coaches poll was released Wednesday afternoon, and both Arkansas State and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock find themselves in the middle of the pack.

The Red Wolves were voted sixth among the SBC's 12 teams with 89 points. The Trojans are projected to finish eighth, just ahead of Troy and Texas-Arlington.

Georgia State is the favorite to top the conference, receiving 139 points and eight of 12 first-place votes. Louisiana and Appalachian State each earned a pair of first-place votes.

ASU opens its season Nov. 9 when it hosts Division II Harding, and UALR will take on Southern Illinois at home earlier that evening.

SBC women's poll puts UALR 5th, ASU 10th

The Sun Belt Conference released its preseason women's basketball coaches poll Wednesday morning, with the University of Arkansas-Little Rock projected to finish fifth among the league's 12 teams.

The Trojans received 92 points, just three behind fourth-place Texas State, as Troy topped the poll with 142 points and 11 of the 12 first-place votes.

Arkansas State came in 10th, earning 47 points -- the Red Wolves were predicted to finish ahead of only Coastal Carolina and Louisiana-Monroe after going 4-10 in conference play last season.

Both ASU and UALR will begin their 2021-22 campaigns Nov. 9 at home. The Red Wolves open at 11 a.m. against Central Baptist College and the Trojans will play the latter half of a doubleheader that evening against Missouri State, which reached the Sweet 16 of last year's NCAA tournament.

-- Mitchell Gladstone


Kopps finalist for Sullivan Award

Former University of Arkansas pitcher Kevin Kopps is one of five finalists for the AAU Sullivan Award, which is presented annually to the best amateur athlete in the U.S.

Other finalists for this year's award include gymnast Simone Biles, water polo player Maddie Musselman, swimmer Caleb Dressel and middle-distance runner Athing Mu.

Kopps is the only finalist for the award who did not compete in this year's Tokyo Olympics. Dressel won gold medals in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and as a member of the 400-meter freestyle and 400-meter medley teams; Mu won gold in the 800 meters and as part of the 1,600-meter relay team; Musselman (a niece of Arkansas men's basketball Coach Eric Musselman) was a member of the U.S. gold medal team; and Biles won bronze on the balance beam.

Kopps won the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy -- the top individual awards in college baseball. He also won the Stopper of the Year Award as the game's best relief pitcher. He went 12-1 with a 0.90 ERA and 11 saves.

The Sullivan Award will be presented Friday in Orlando, Fla.

-- Matt Jones


ASU 2nd, UCA 3rd in Missouri

The women's golf teams at Arkansas State University and the University of Central Arkansas finished second and third, respectively, at the Ozarks National Invitational on Wednesday in Hollister, Mo.

ASU finished 10-over 874, while UCA was at 11-over 875. Oral Roberts won the tournament after shooting a total of 1-under 863.

Olivia Schmidt of ASU took second place at 7-under 209 as she shot a final-round 70.

The UCA trio of Elin Kumlin (70), Pim Thitisup (73) and Camila Moreno (71) all finished in a tie for fifth place at 2-over 218.

Also for ASU, Elise Schultz (72) was tied for 10th place with a 6-over 222 and Charlotte Menager (70) tied for 14th place at 7-over 223.

-- Democrat-Gazette Press Services

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