Volunteers of America Classic marks LPGA’s return to North Texas, will serve as tune up for U.S. Women’s Open

The LPGA is back in North Texas with the Volunteers of America Classic at the Old American Golf Club in The Colony.

The rescheduled tournament (from October) now doubles as a tuneup for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open that will be contested at Champions Golf Club’s Cypress Creek Course in Houston and the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Fla., the following week.

The VOA Classic is in its third year at the links-style Old American Golf Club designed by Tripp Davis and 12-time PGA TOUR winner Justin Leonard after its first five events took place at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving.

The 120-player field this week includes world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, two-time VOA Classic champion and world No. 5 Inbee Park, 2014 VOA Classic champion Stacey Lewis and defending champion Cheyenne Knight.

Knight, 23, who resides in Aledo, enjoys playing close to home.

“It’s nice. It’s more comfortable. You know, it’s different than staying in a hotel, having a rental car, but you know, I know where everything is, I don’t even need a GPS,” Knight said. “Yeah, coming home every night, sleeping in my own bed with my family and my dogs. Because the weather’s colder, I don’t need to go buy anything because I have everything at home in my closet, so it’s really nice.”

Another Texas golfer in the field is Kristen Gillman, 23, who is originally from Austin. Gillman is looking forward to playing even though there will be no fans allowed on the grounds.

“Everyone’s been texting me and asking if they can come and watch, so sadly I have to keep telling them ‘No, sorry, fans aren’t allowed yet.’ I know that they’re all watching and they’re all excited to watch live scoring,” she said. “I mean, they’re just excited to be able to see me compete. Even though they won’t be here in person, they can at least watch some of it on TV. I think they’re excited to see me out here playing in Texas.”

VOA CLASSIC CHARITY CHALLENGE

The festivities kicked off with the VOA Classic Charity Challenge on Wednesday afternoon featuring Texas natives Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller taking on Sophia Popov and Mel Reid in what was billed as a “Solheim Cup-style showdown” between Team USA and Team Europe.

Playing the back nine of the Old American Golf Club’s par-71 layout, they were joined by former Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler and former Stars goalie Marty Turco to play the par-5 No. 17th hole.

“I like to get beat up psychologically, that’s why I play golf,” Kinsler cracked on the Golf Channel broadcast. “I’ll swing hard in case I hit it.”

And hit it he did. Kinsler’s drive carried 299 yards for Team USA, albeit a little off the fairway.

Turco ripped his drive as well and donned a Stars goalie mask for his walk down the fairway.

Kinsler and Turco each drained birdie putts on No. 17, carrying the

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No. 25 Texas women create early separation over La. Tech

AUSTIN, Texas — Charli Collier scored 22 points, Audrey Warren added 19 and No. 25 Texas beat Louisiana Tech 84-57 on Wednesday night.

Collier entered the game with a nation-leading 34.5 points per game — which now stands at 30.3. The Longhorns have won their first three games by an average of 34.3 points.

Celeste Taylor scored 14 points, and Joanne Allen-Taylor and DeYona Gaston each had 10 for Texas.

Despite missing 12 of 17 from the 3-point line, Texas shot 33 of 66 overall and were largely never challenged. Allen-Taylor’s layup with 3:26 to go in the first quarter gave Texas an 18-5 lead.

Brianna Harris lead Louisiana Tech with 25 points on 9-for-11 shooting.

The game featured two of the more storied programs in NCAA Division I history. The Lady Techsters have 1,141 wins, which is fourth highest, and Texas has 1,110 for sixth.

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Jones, Wilson help No. 12 Texas A&M women beat Lamar 80-63

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — N’dea Jones had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Aaliyah Wilson added 14 points and 10 boards, and No. 12 Texas A&M beat Lamar 80-63 on Wednesday.

Jones has reached double figures in both scoring and rebounding in every game this season. Jordan Nixon added eight points, a career-high 10 assists and three steals for Texas A&M (3-0).

The Aggies, who never trailed, scored the final seven first-half points and opened the third quarter with a 12-3 spurt to make it 50-34. Lamar (0-4) trailed by double figures the rest of the way. Wilson scored eight of Texas A&M’s 28 points in the third quarter as the Aggies shot 13 of 22 (59%) from the field and scored eight second-chance points off six offensive rebounds.

Angel Hastings scored 18 points and Jayden Pimentel 10 for the Cardinals.

Texas A&M, which beat Lamar 77-61 in the season opener on Nov. 25, had 23 assists on 29 made field goal and shot 50% overall.

Lamar coach Aqua Franklin was a four-year (2004-08) letter winner at A&M. She was inducted into the Texas A&M Hall of Fame in 2018, and is one of the greatest players in program history.

___

For more women’s basketball stories: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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Forget the style points, Jimbo Fisher says win over LSU represents real progress for Texas A&M

While others were wondering about style points or if Texas A&M really looked like the No. 5 team in the College Football Playoff rankings, coach Jimbo Fisher had a different thought.

The 20-7 win Saturday over LSU represented real progress, he said, because of what it represented and how it was achieved over Fisher’s two previous seasons at A&M.

“I don’t know if we win that game before, I really don’t,” Fisher said Monday at his weekly news conference. “We struggled in some areas, but we still fought. The defense rose up and just kept going higher and higher. The offense just kept plugging along, doing what they could. The special teams stayed in it.

“You have to learn to do that. … Nobody’s pointing fingers. Nobody is saying you didn’t do your job.”

A&M (6-1) will learn how the CFP selection committee viewed its win and body of work on Tuesday, when the second playoff rankings are unveiled on ESPN. Ahead lies a road game Saturday at Auburn (5-3), which might be the Aggies’ biggest test remaining in the regular season as they hope for someone ahead of them to stumble.

To win, A&M will probably need a better offensive effort than the one against LSU.

Or not.

Fisher noted that part of A&M’s growth has been delivering what was needed. Against Vanderbilt and LSU, the offense failed to deliver. Against Florida and Arkansas, the offense delivered 41 and 42 points when the defense uncharacteristically stumbled.

“Our defense did that for the offense. The offense has done it for the defense at times,” Fisher said. “That’s why they’re a tight-knit group of guys.”

Senior linebacker Buddy Johnson, whose interception return for a touchdown sealed the victory against LSU, agreed things might have been different in the recent past.

“Most definitely,” the Skyline product said. “This team has been doing a great job playing as one, clicking together with each other.”

For all the team unity, Fisher did note that the offense has to be better.

A&M had just 267 yards of total offense and was 2 of 16 on third down, and senior quarterback Kellen Mond went 11 of 34 for 105 yards against an LSU defense that been torched at times against the pass.

“He’ll make adjustments and move on just like he has all year,” Fisher said. “He’s been playing really, really good football, but we’ve got to play better around him, too.”

Mond was even sacked, ending a streak of five games by an offensive line that struggled at times.

“Kellen got hit way too many times. He was slow to get up three times and that was just not OK with any of us,” center Ryan McCollum said. “Coach Fisher put the ball in our hands and started trying to run the ball and run the clock out.

“We’ve got to get in here [Monday] and fix it.”

McCollum couldn’t pinpoint a cause but said the Aggies’ 21-day layoff because of positive COVID-19 tests and

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Texas vs. Indiana odds, line: 2020 Maui Invitational picks, college basketball predictions from proven model

The modified 2020 Maui Invitational continues on Tuesday as the No. 17 Texas Longhorns (2-0) take on the Indiana Hoosiers (2-0) in the semifinals. Concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic moved this event from Hawaii to Asheville, N.C. That’s where these NCAA Tournament contenders will tip it off at 1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. 

William Hill Sportsbook lists the Hoosiers as two-point favorites in the latest Texas vs. Indiana odds. The over-under for total points expected is set at 140, up three points from the opening line. Before making any Indiana vs. Texas picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It’s also off to a fast start in the 2020-21 season, going 4-1 on its top-rated picks and returning over $300. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Texas vs. Indiana. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Indiana vs. Texas:

  • Texas vs. Indiana spread: Indiana -2
  • Texas vs. Indiana over-under: 140 points
  • TEX: The Longhorns are 6-2 against the spread in their last eight overall games
  • IND: The Hoosiers are 2-0 against the spread this year

What you need to know about Texas 

The Longhorns entered the season nationally ranked and have had a couple strong performances so far. Texas knocked off UT-Rio Grande Valley 91-55 in its opener. The Longhorns then beat a solid Davidson program 78-76 on Monday to set up this matchup against the Hoosiers.

Texas is shooting 52.7 percent from the field and is averaging an impressive 42.5 rebounds per contest thus far on the young season. Guard Courtney Ramey leads the way with 17 points per game. Forward Greg Brown has been the main presence down low with 11 points and eight rebounds per contest. 

What you need to know about Indiana

The Hoosiers have also gotten off to a fast start as they look to build on last season’s 20-12 overall mark. Indiana took care of business against Tennessee Tech 89-59 in its opener. The Hoosiers then raced past Providence 79-58 on Monday. 

Forward Trayce Jackson-Davis has been the clear star thus far. The NBA prospect is averaging 19 points and nine rebounds per game through two games. Guard Al Durham (14.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and forward Race Thompson (13.5 ppg, 8.0 repg) are also off to nice starts. Indiana has played great defense, giving up just 58.5 points per game. 

How to make Texas vs. Indiana picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, and it also says one side of the spread is hitting well over 50 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine. 

So who wins Indiana

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Texas vs. Davidson line, picks: Advanced computer model reveals picks for Monday’s matchup

The 19th-ranked Texas Longhorns takes on the Davidson Wildcats in the opener of the 2020 Maui Invitational on Monday. Tip-off from Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, NC is set for noon ET. The Longhorns are 8.5-point favorites in the latest Texas vs. Davidson college basketball odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under is 136.5 (For the latest college basketball lines on all of the games, visit our college basketball odds page).

Before making any Texas vs. Davidson picks, you MUST check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of $2,400 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen HUGE returns.

Now, it has broken down Texas vs. Davidson, and it is leaning Over the total. It also says one side of the spread is cashing in almost 70 percent of simulations! You ABSOLUTELY have to see it before locking in any FBS college football picks of your own.

Who wins Texas vs. Davidson on Monday? And which side of the spread is hitting almost 70 percent of the time? … Join SportsLine right now to see which side of the Texas vs. Davidson spread to back Monday, all from the advanced model up $2,400 on top-rated picks over the past four years!

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Texas vs. Davidson odds, line: 2020 Maui Invitational picks, college basketball predictions from proven model

After posting a comfortable victory in their season opener, the 19th-ranked Texas Longhorns are looking for another when they take on the Davidson Wildcats (1-0) on Monday in the opening game of the 2020 Maui Invitational, which is being held in Asheville, N.C., due to the coronavirus pandemic. Texas (1-0) had five players score in double digits en route to a 91-55 triumph over Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday. The Longhorns began the 2019-20 campaign with four consecutive victories and won nine of their first 10 contests before finishing with an 18-13 overall record.

Tip-off is set for noon ET on Monday from Harrah’s Cherokee Center. The Longhorns are 8.5-point favorites in the latest Texas vs. Davidson odds at William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 136.5. Before making any Davidson vs. Texas picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLie Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of $2,400 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Texas vs. Davidson. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Davidson vs. Texas:

  • Texas vs. Davidson spread: Longhorns -8.5
  • Texas vs. Davidson over-under: 136.5 points
  • TEX: The Longhorns are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven games
  • DAV: The Wildcats are 0-6 ATS in their last six neutral-site contests

Why Texas can cover

Courtney Ramey got his 2020-21 season off to a good start, scoring a game-high 20 points in the Longhorns’ victory. The junior guard hit the 20-point plateau just four times in 68 games over his first two campaigns. Senior guard Matt Coleman III finished with 17 points against Rio Grande Valley while freshman Greg Brown recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Coleman increased his career total to 1,109 points and is 22 away from climbing into 30th place on Texas’ all-time list. Brown, meanwhile, is the fourth Longhorns freshman since 1972-73 to register a double-double in his debut and first since Jarrett Allen in 2016. The Longhorns received 25 points from their bench as junior forward Gerald Liddell led the group with 10 after reaching double digits just once in 29 games over his first two seasons.

Why Davidson can cover

Sophomore forward Hyunjung Lee’s career-best performance helped lead the Wildcats to an 82-73 triumph over High Point in their season opener on Wednesday. The South Korean, whose highest output as a freshman was 20 points against VCU, recorded 23 on 8-of-14 shooting and added nine assists. Lee was 5-for-10 from beyond the arc and scored 17 of his points in the second half.

Kellan Grady recorded 20 points, hitting the mark for the sixth time in seven games dating back to last season, and fellow senior

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Texas A&M beats LSU but earns no style points to impress playoff committee

The offenses of the LSU Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies were uncharacteristically ugly in their  Saturday contest.

It’s hard to envision that just two years ago, the LSU Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies accumulated a total of 146 points in their seven-overtime classic. It’s further proof that the year 2020 has actually felt like it’s been going on for a century. We certainly didn’t get such a performance on Saturday between the two squads. It’s as if both teams studied the offensive game tape of the Chicago Bears entering this weekend because there was literally no points or yardage on offense to be had.

Sure, the No. 5 Aggies managed to defeat the now-hapless Tigers 20-7, but it was an absolutely ugly win.

Where have the good offenses gone?

If there is a positive to this game, it’s that both defenses looked solid. That’s always a good thing. But a defense always appreciates when their offenses keep them on the sidelines for ample rest while putting points on the board. Just ask the aforementioned Bears.

The play of quarterbacks Kellen Mond and T.J. Finley was far from ideal. Combined, the two completed 34-of-81 pass attempts for a grand total of 336 yards. That’s not good. In fact, most of the yardage went to Finley, who had 231 yards, as opposed to Mond’s meager 105 yards.

Neither team was effective in third-down situations, as Texas A&M and LSU each went 2-of-17 on the night. Not exactly the greatest look for either team, especially Texas A&M, who is a top-five team.

If Texas A&M has one person to thank for their win, it’s running back Isaiah Spiller, who rushed for 141 yards on 27 carries. In fact, his longest carry of the game was a 51-yard touchdown near the end of the first quarter.

We expected LSU’s offense to take a dip this season, as quarterback Joe Burrow and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire were both selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, while star receiver Ja’Marr Chase opted out of this season. As for Texas A&M, they didn’t exactly do themselves any favors to maintain their top-five spot in the national rankings.

All-in-all, it was truly a game to forget.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.

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Former first lady Laura Bush asks Texas, nation to ‘give the gift of hope’ after COVID-19

Former first lady Laura Bush is asking her fellow Texans and people across the country to help a little more than usual this holiday season following the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s clear this year the needs of Americans is great,” Bush said in taped comments posted on Thanksgiving to her social media accounts. “The pandemic of COVID-19 and its impact will be felt during the holiday season.”

Bush, a Dallas resident, made the appeal for The Salvation Army’s “Rescue Christmas” campaign. The Salvation Army expects to serve 155% more people this year with Christmas assistance — assuming the resources are available.

“This year, they need extra help to meet the extra need,” she said. “Together, we can bring joy to all Americans and those who need it the most.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the Salvation Army has served more than 100 million meals; distributed millions in financial assistance for rent/mortgage; provided 1.6 million nights of shelter; and offered emotional and spiritual care to more than 865,000 Americans, according to a news release coordinated with the release of Bush’s comments.

Bush isn’t the only Dallasite encouraging people to give to the Salvation Army this year. On Wednesday, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson shared on Twitter a photo of him and his son, William, donating to the nonprofit.

Donations to the Salvation Army will stay in the community, Bush said. Individuals can donate at rescuechristmas.org. North Texans needing assistance this year can contact the local Salvation Army at salvationarmyntx.org or by calling 214-424-7050.

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New Texas women’s basketball coach Vic Schaefer ready to bring Longhorns back to national prominence

As Vic Schaefer sees it, the reward for countless hard hours in practice and hard-nosed full-court defense is wins and the occasional barbecue.

For now, the new Texas women’s basketball coach says his team will have to wait for the backyard meal at his house.

“There’s nothing normal about what I’ve done since being named here,” Schaefer ahead of Wednesday’s season opener hosting SMU.

While part of Schaefer’s routine, the outdoor gatherings are about more than some tasty specialties.

“We’re all about people and we’re all about relationships,” Schaefer said a recent Zoom media availability. “What’s really hard is that I can’t even have my team over to eat dinner. I can’t get an approval.

“And that’s how you develop chemistry. You know, being able to sit down and have a meal together and talk about something other than basketball. It’s just such a challenge to only see them during the day when they come up here for practice.”

Instead, Schaefer is working on returning Texas to national prominence, something that has been mostly elusive since the retirement of legendary Jody Conradt. Gail Goestenkors arrived with much hype and a big contract and couldn’t get the job done in five seasons. Karen Aston had a little more success with three Sweet 16 appearances but was gone after a 19-11 finish last season.

Enter the folksy, focused Schaefer, who athletic director Chris Del Conte gave a seven-year contract that starts at $1.8 million annually, more than double what Aston made.

Schaefer understands the expectations.

“I wasn’t hired to bring a Top 25 basketball team to Texas,” Schaefer said. “I was hired to bring a Top 10 basketball program. There’s a big difference.

“Your fans when they see the preseason poll come out, they ain’t worried about what No. 11 through 25 is. They’re looking at the Top 10. That’s our focus and that’s our mission.”

Schaefer’s track record is impressive. He was Gary Blair’s “defensive coordinator” on Texas A&M’s 2011 NCAA champions. He took over Mississippi State and went from 13-17 in his first season in 2012-13 to averaging 31 wins in his final six seasons with two national runner-up finishes in the highly competitive SEC.

Del Conte characterized the hire back in April as a “swing for the fences” approach.

Now it’s about closing the gap with Baylor, which has won 10 straight Big 12 titles.

“All I did was jump out of the frying pan into the grease, coming from where I came from to the Big 12,” Schaefer said.

Expect success, just not immediately on a roster lacking depth.

Schaefer inherits two returning starters in 6-5 Charli Collier (13.1 ppg, 10.5 ppg), a post with 3-point range; and sophomore guard Celeste Taylor (9.3 ppg).

Collier describes Schaefer’s practices as “definitely intense, more than I’m used to” and talks about the coach using “40 minutes” as a one of many catchphrases.

Transfer guards Kyra Lambert (Duke) and Karisma Ortiz (Penn State) should provide immediate help. Texas is waiting to

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