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No. 21 Missouri survives scare, 70-68, over Auburn

Saturday, 11 January 2014 20:20 Published in Sports
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Earnest Ross made himself right at home in his old arena.
 
The former Auburn player hit four free throws down the stretch and Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points to lead No. 21 Missouri to a 70-68 victory at Auburn Arena on Saturday.
 
"You heard the boos," Clarkson said. "I think he quieted them down when he hit those free throws. It was a big win for him.
 
"He was more focused. You could see it in his eyes that he was ready to play on the defensive and offensive end. He finished the game out for us."
 
Ross, who spent two seasons at Auburn before transferring in 2011, scored 16 points for Missouri (13-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference). He made four straight free throws in the final 1:34.
 
"Coach told me to just knock the free throws down and to be calm and patient," Ross said. "That was what I did. I just took my time, believed in myself and knocked them down."
 
The game went down to the final moments.
 
Unable to get off a tying 3-pointer, Chris Denson missed a layup with 5 seconds left but drew the foul for Auburn (8-5, 0-2). He made one free throw then Torren Jones stepped on the baseline after rebounding the missed second attempt.
 
Wes Clark batted away Tahj Shamsid-Deen's long inbounds pass to end the game and Jabari Brown collected the ball just before time ran out.
 
Brown added 15 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Ross had seven rebounds and was perfect on eight attempts from the line.
 
Missouri dominated in rebounds with a 44-28 advantage and bounced back from an overtime loss to Georgia that snapped a nation's-best 26-game home winning streak.
 
"We got crushed on the backboard," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. "I thought that was where the game was won and lost, in the trenches. I thought defensively we played a great game. I thought offensively we executed fairly well, shooting almost 54 percent in the second half.
 
"But when it matters most, in those key moments, your execution has got to be at its highest. And in those key moments, those last three or four possessions, our execution was at its lowest in this game."
 
Shamsid-Deen had 13 points and six assists for Auburn. Denson had 11 points despite a 3-of-10 performance in free throws.
 
Missouri shot 32.7 percent (17 of 52) from the floor but also made 31 of 41 free throws. Jones had 11 rebounds.
 
"I thought we showed great toughness," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "We didn't shoot the ball well but we rebounded well. That's an area we struggled with the other night against Georgia."
 
Auburn fared much better from the field, hitting 23 of 53 shots (43.4 percent). But Auburn also made barely over half from the line, 14 of 26.
 
Denson's drive gave Auburn a 67-66 lead with 1:51 left. Missouri reclaimed the lead with two free throws by Ross.
 
Ross then blocked Harrell's shot on the other end. He was Auburn's leading scorer and rebounder in his final season before leaving, and shook off a steady stream of heckling from students.
 
"To come out and play my old school on the road, it was a great feeling," Ross said. "I'm glad we got the win."
 
Auburn walk-on Alex Thompson, who had eight points, drew a charge against Clarkson with just over a minute remaining. But Denson missed his shot and Ross made two free throws with 29 seconds left to set up the final sequence with Auburn needing three points.
 
Thompson had scored just one point in five appearances this season. He played an increased role with starter Allen Payne limited to two minutes with a hamstring injury.
 
Before the game, Barbee also announced the indefinite suspension of reserve forward Chris Griffin for violating an undisclosed school policy.
 
Clarkson had hit three of four free throws after Auburn's Matthew Atewe fouled out and was called for a technical, giving Missouri a 56-51 lead with 8:12 left.
 
Brown's long 3-pointer with 7 seconds left had given Missouri a 33-30 halftime lead and capped a closing 8-0 run.

Santorelli lifts Canucks past Blues, 2-1

Saturday, 11 January 2014 10:54 Published in Sports
 
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Mike Santorelli scored the tiebreaking goal in the third and Eddie Lack made 30 saves Friday night as the Vancouver Canucks snapped a five-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
 
Zac Dalpe also scored for Vancouver, which won for the first time in the new year.
 
Alex Pietrangelo scored for St. Louis, which snapped a seven-game winning streak. Brian Elliott made 20 saves as the Blues failed to pick up at least a point on the road for the first time in nine games.
 
Santorelli got the tiebreaker at 5:56 of the third. After Vancouver forward Dale Weise drove hard to the net, the puck popped out to Jason Garrison in the high slot and his shot through traffic was deflected in by Santorelli for his 10th goal of the season.
 
Santorelli has been one of head coach John Tortorella's favorite players this season, but he was taken off the top line with the Sedin twins in the first period on Friday.
 
Lack then made a huge pad stop on Blues captain David Backes midway through the third to keep Vancouver ahead.
 
The Swedish goalie has started eight of the last nine games in place of the injured Roberto Luongo.
 
Vancouver has given up six goals when teams pull their goalie this season, but a late power play that killed valuable time helped the Canucks snap an 0-2-3 run after going 10-1-2 in December.
 
The Canucks currently hold down the first wildcard spot in the Western Conference, while the Blues still sit second in the conference and first in the Central Division.
 
After St. Louis carried most of the play in the first period, the Canucks scored just 91 seconds into the second when Dalpe tipped home his second of the season shortly after taking Santorelli's spot on Vancouver's first line.
 
Daniel Sedin swung a pass from behind the net to Henrik Sedin, who fired a low shot from the sideboards that was going wide before Dalpe, usually a fourth-liner, deflected it past a surprised Elliot.
 
Moments earlier, Lack stopped Blues forward Jaden Schwartz on a 3-on-1.
 
Dalpe and the Sedins were caught on an icing call later in the period, leading to the Blues' tying goal. On the ensuing faceoff, St. Louis controlled the puck and Jay Bouwmeester fed Pietrangelo, his fellow defenseman and Canadian Olympic teammate, who wired a shot top corner past Lack for his seventh of the campaign.
 
Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko accented the play by letting Bouwmeester's pass go between his legs at the blue line right to Pietrangelo.
 
The Blues were playing their second game in two nights after a 5-0 win at Calgary on Thursday, but had far more energy than the Canucks in the first period.
 
In a sign of things to come, Stewart had two shots off the rush 3 minutes in that Lack handled as the Blues jumped out of the gate quickly, outshooting the Canucks 8-1 in the game's first 10 minutes.
 
Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis got his team's second shot of the period with 8 minutes to go as Elliott - back between the pipes for the Blues after Jaroslav Halak's shutout on Thursday - was rarely threatened.
 
Schwartz had the two best chances of the first, but Lack was there to shut the door as St. Louis held a 12-5 shot advantage.
 
NOTES: The Canucks defeated the Blues 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 25 in St. Louis. Ryan Kesler had two goals in that one, including the winner. The teams play their final regular-season meeting Feb 26, back at Rogers Arena. ... The Canucks open a three-game road trip on Monday against Los Angeles. Vancouver visits Anaheim on Wednesday before facing Phoenix the following night. ... The Blues open a three-game homestand against the Coyotes on Tuesday. ... Tortorella coached the 900th game of his career. ... Bouwmeester, the current NHL iron man, played his 680th straight game. Henrik Sedin is right behind after playing in his 675th straight game. Both Bouwmeester and Sedin have a long way to go to catch Doug Jarvis, who holds the NHL record with 964 straight games played.

As hard as it has been for residents to navigate area streets in the wake of last weekend's storm, first responders have also been challenged to answer calls.  

St. Louis City Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson tweeted his pride in the way his personnel handled the adverse conditions.

The Chief saying he "tips his helmet" to the members of the City of St Louis Fire & EMS Department who handled approximately 24-hundred calls, roughly 600 per day, during the four days of brutal temperatures.  

Firefighters responded to 66 building fires during that time and the Chief says, "Your dedication and iron-willed tenacity in the harshest of conditions did not go unnoticed by me or the citizens of the City of St Louis. Again, thank you for just doing what you do every day."

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