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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — LSU set the template for No. 5 Missouri. Keep Johnny Manziel in the middle of the field, and the Heisman Trophy winner can be contained.

Coach Gary Pinkel knows that's easier said than done.

"I don't know if you ever truly stop him," Pinkel said. "Everybody will say, 'Do exactly what LSU did.' I don't think every team and every player is perfect all the time."

Manziel came close last year against the Tigers, throwing for three touchdowns and running for two more scores to help the Aggies run up a 42-7 halftime lead in a 59-29 blowout.

Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC) dropped 10 spots to 19th in the poll after getting manhandled on the road in a 34-10 loss last week. Manziel was held to one touchdown pass and intercepted twice, and for the first time in his career he fell short of 50 percent completion.

LSU's ends stayed wide to neutralize Manziel's improvisational skills, with great success. Sure, that gives the Tigers some confidence.

"I mean yes, I guess you could say that," senior defensive back E.J. Gaines said. "But it doesn't happen very often."

Watch for Missouri (10-1, 6-1) to at least give it a try.

"We're certainly going to be tested with this guy," Pinkel said. "He's a better plays than he was a year ago."

There's a lot riding on this one for the Tigers. Win, and they take the SEC East and advance to the conference championship Dec. 7 in Atlanta. Lose, and South Carolina gets the nod based on its overtime victory at Missouri.

Texas A&M seeks to right the ship and improve its bowl position amid intrigue. Manziel could announce soon whether he'll return for his junior season or enter the NFL draft.

Five things to look for in Texas A&M-Missouri:

GROUND GAME: Missouri running back Henry Josey is all the way back from a left knee injury so serious Pinkel had doubts he'd be 100 percent again, saying "it was more like a car wreck than an athletic injury." Josey had two of the Tigers' three scores last week, his second straight two-TD game, and he's closing in on 1,000 yards. The senior missed the end of the 2011 season and all of 2012. "I think he's playing as good or better than he has ever played," Pinkel said. "It's great to see it. He's untouchable — do not say a bad word about Josey."

STINGY DEFENSE: Texas A&M's offense leads the SEC with a 45.7-point average but is coming off a dud. Missouri is second in the league allowing just 19 points, and is coming off a superior effort in a 24-10 victory at Ole Miss. The Rebels had been averaging 34.5 points but mustered just one field goal in three trips inside the 20, and twice came up empty after having first-and-goal.

BOUNCING BACK: Before last week, the Aggies hadn't lost by double digits. They had the ball for less than 20 minutes at LSU. They've got to get over it. "I drive through here at a gas station and it's like the sky is falling," coach Kevin Sumlin said. "We're playing a real season with real opponents and real games. Are we where we want to be right now? No. But that doesn't mean the sky is falling. We're going into another game as an underdog and the difference is people expect us to win. That's a completely different attitude than when I first got here."

SENIOR NIGHT: The home finale always is an emotional experience for Pinkel, who lets the tears flow and hugs everyone during the pre-game ceremony. Players know they'll have to change gears quickly, and put the game face back on, after getting their name announced before a sellout crowd and then getting greeted by family. "I know my mom will cry, my dad will probably too, and i'll have my daughter out there," offensive tackle Justin Britt said. "To be determined. I've seen some great players who had great careers here, and they didn't cry."

BIG TARGET: Six-foot-5 receiver Mike Evans has become a favorite target of Manziel. Evans is second in the nation with 1,314 yards receiving and is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. He is the only SEC receiver with two games with more than 225 yards receiving. His 279 yards receiving against Alabama broke a school record that had stood since 1965. Evans leads the nation in catches of 30 yards or longer with 17 and his 12 touchdown receptions lead the SEC and are fourth in the nation.

Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:20
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Missouri may not be playing under the national radar for much longer.

Earnest Ross scored 28 points, Jabari Brown had 24 and the Tigers remained unbeaten with an 83-70 win over Nevada in the final round of the Las Vegas Invitational on Friday night.

Jordan Clarkson added 21 points for the Tigers (7-0), who converted 31 of 33 free throws.

"When you have those three guys playing the way they did tonight, we are going to be hard to beat," said coach Frank Haith, who returned from a five-game suspension to get wins on consecutive days at the tournament. "When you have three guys that are going to go and get you 25 points — that's a luxury."

Ross made 12 of 13 free throws and grabbed nine rebounds. Brown made four 3-pointers for Missouri, which finished 4-0 in the round-robin tournament and is likely to receive votes in this week's Associated Press poll.

Missouri will at least be tournament co-champion with No. 19 UCLA, which was 3-0 going into Friday's last game against Northwestern. The Tigers defeated Northwestern in third round on Thursday.

"We executed so well in the first half, we took good shots," Haith said. "We got to the free-throw line and we were moving the ball. In the second half, we took some quick shots. (Nevada) got into transition and they got a little rhythm and that's just the way college basketball is. Once (Nevada) cut the lead to five, we made big plays."

Haith's suspension stemmed from his tenure at Miami, where the NCAA ruled he didn't monitor assistant coaches' actions with a booster.

Deonte Burton led Nevada (3-5) with 20 points and three blocks. He was 8 of 10 from the free-throw line. Marqueze Coleman had 15 points for the Wolf Pack, which ended the tourney 1-3.

Nevada cut the Tigers' 21-point first-half lead to five with six minutes left in the game, but Missouri went on a 16-8 run to pull away.

"We just have to play harder, we just can't let up in the second half like we did," Clarkson said. "(In the second half) they were getting a lot of open shots, and once we started communicating, I felt like we shut them down."

Missouri finished at 47 percent from the field, while the Wolf Pack was at 35.

"When you miss shots, and get a team like that in transition, I think that's what built the lead," Nevada coach David Carter said. "I thought we were able to make some baskets, and crawl back into it."

The tournament's championship format was changed to round-robin this year to accommodate the Tigers and Bruins, who have a game scheduled for Dec. 7 at Missouri and didn't want to play twice this season.

Missouri came out aggressive early against the Wolf Pack, taking an 11-2 lead and going up by as many as 21 points late in the first half. Brown and Ross each had 16 points in the half. Missouri shot 52 percent from the field and made 13 of 14 free throws to lead 44-26 at the break.

Missouri hosts West Virginia on Thursday before UCLA comes to Columbia.

"I fully expect (Missouri) to be in the NCAA tournament," Coleman said. "We knew how fast and how strong they were. Their speed and height was tough. They got to us in the first half. In the second half, we made some adjustments and got the lead down to five, they hit a couple of baskets and took care of us."

Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:18
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Brent Burns got his first NHL hat trick and the Sharks ended a five-game home losing streak to St. Louis with a 6-3 victory over the Blues on Friday.

Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl and Tommy Wingels also scored for the Sharks, who won their fourth straight and seven of eight.

Ian Cole scored his first goal in nearly two years as the Blues had their five-game winning streak halted. David Backes and Jaden Schwartz also scored for St. Louis.

Antti Niemi stopped 21 of 24 shots for his 14th win of the season. Brian Elliott took the loss, his first in eight games, after giving up four goals on 12 shots. He was lifted for Jaroslav Halak, who had 18 saves.

The Blues, who earned points in their previous nine games, were off to their best road start in franchise history, bringing a 7-2-1 mark into the game.

Burns scored 35 seconds into the game, taking a nice pass from Patrick Marleau and flipping the puck over Elliott's right shoulder. Logan Couture, who has not scored a goal in seven straight, started the sequence after intercepting a clearing pass.

Thornton scored a power-play goal at 3:01, the first allowed by the Blues in six games and just the second on the road. Couture took a shot that bounced off Elliott's pad and Joe Pavelski flipped it out to Thornton, who beat Elliott to the glove side.

Burns scored his second goal of the game at 9:14 of the first, set up with a pass from Thornton.

Wingels picked up a flubbed pass to Jay Bouwmeester and had a give-and-go with Couture to make it 4-0, getting a good rebound off Elliott's glove and into the net at 11:27.

Cole, who last scored on Dec. 8, 2011, against the Anaheim Ducks, a span of 43 games, rattled the puck off the right post and had it trickle into the net.

The scoring sequence began when Halak made a terrific save and got the puck out to a streaking Roman Polak.

Backes, who took a 10-minute misconduct late in the second period, made it 4-2 with a power-play goal at 2:02 of the third period, with Derek Roy giving him a backhand pass to set up the score.

Schwartz drilled the puck off Niemi's glove on a give-and-go with Vladimir Sobotka to bring the Blues within one midway at 11:19 of the final period.

Burns got the hat trick when he converted a power-play goal at 12:19. He sneaked it past Halak on the stick side.

Hertl added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

NOTES: Thornton has 17 points in his past 15 games. ... The Blues allowed a third-period goal for the first time in eight games. Their 14 third-period goals allowed is the third fewest. ... Roy has points in five of six games. ... The Sharks scored their first power-play goal since Nov. 15, a span of seven games. ... Couture has not scored a goal in a season-long seven games and has one goal in his past 11.

Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:17
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Five stores in the Chesterfield Mall had their Black Friday sales interrupted by a water main break.

The break affected Express, New York & Company, CJ Banks, Lenscrafters and "I don't want to kiss a llama". A

mall spokesman says the break caused a power outage. The stores are closed until the outage is resolved. There is no timetable for when power will be restored.

Friday, 29 November 2013 14:10
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