Eraom Kobe Browns career day carries Mizzou past Utah

Kobe Brown’s career day carries Mizzou past Utah. A week after Cuonzo Martin’s most lopsided loss in five years at Missouri, he shook up his lineup for Saturday’s visit from Utah, giving freshmen Anton Brookshire and Trevon Brazile their first career starts.

The changes became footnotes to the day’s thesis: The Tigers still had Kobe Brown — and Brown delivered like never before.

The junior forward scored a career-high 27 points, with 23 coming in the second half, as the Tigers pulled away from short-handed Utah 83-75 at Mizzou Arena, a win Martin’s team badly needed after last Saturday’s 37-point shellacking at Kansas and another rivalry game just days away.

“It’s great to win,” Martin said after the Tigers beat a high-major conference team for the first time in three tries. “Because I’ve always been a guy (who says) you never know when you get the next one. So you’ve got to fight hard every possession. I think we grew as a team. Even our last game, in the loss, I thought some guys grew. Though painful, you have to learn in those lessons. Because tomorrow will present itself — and it’ll be here soon.”

With Saturday’s win in front of an announced crowd of 6,782, Mizzou (6-5) can finish no worse than .500 before Southeastern Conference action begins at the end of the month. Next up, the Tigers have Wednesday’s Braggin’ Rights Game against Illinois in St. Louis. First, though, MU had to survive Utah (7-4), no small challenge for a Tigers team that’s struggled to compete with competent foes all season.

Along with expanded roles for Brookshire and Brazile, the Tigers got Boogie Coleman back in the rotation after he sat out two games, and the junior transfer sunk the dagger Saturday, a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left to stake Mizzou to a 78-73 lead. In a game that featured 21 lead changes and 11 ties, the Tigers won by finally resisting every enticing 3-pointer — they made 2 of 5 in the second half after making just 2 of 16 in the opening half — and instead let Brown go to work inside. Mizzou outscored Utah in the paint 38-16.

With MU’s issues at point guard this season, Brown has dabbled as Martin’s primary playmaker, but on Saturday, he embraced the role Martin has prodded, cajoled and begged him to accept since the team began summer workouts back in June. Only one of Brown’s 11 field goal attempts came from the perimeter — he made 8 of 10 in the paint — and he earned a career-high 13 free throws, making 11.

“Kobe’s mindset is of a point guard really,” Martin said. “But he’s 250 pounds, he’s strong, he’s physical. If he had the mindset that I’m scoring about 20 points a night, he’ll score 20 points a night. And then he’ll probably get six or seven assists. But because his mindset is of a facilitator, sometimes you might see five, six shots. Sometimes might be 12, or 13. But because he’s a high-level rebounder, he loves to get around the rim now. … If he can look to score every time down it wouldn’t shock me to see him score 20 a night.”

That was clearly Mizzou’s approach in the second half. The Utes played without 7-foot center Branden Carlson, their best overall player, leading scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker as he was kept back in Salt Lake City while in COVID protocol, per multiple reports. Utah still managed to find perimeter scoring, shooting 10 of 25 from 3-point range, led by David Jenkins Jr.’s 18 points, but didn’t have a bruiser to match Brown inside.

Brown’s second foul sent him to the bench for the first half’s final 8:04, but unlike the Kansas game, the Tigers didn’t completely crumble without their best player on the floor. Mizzou trailed just 33-32 at the break despite missing 12 of its final 14 shots in the half.

Making up for lost time, Brown went on a personal 7-0 run early in the second half, then unleashed his own 12-0 run to all but seal the victory.

“The coaches have been on me all week about being more aggressive scoring the ball around the rim and just getting to my spot,” Brown said. “So I just tried to come out and do that.”

With Coleman at the point for long stretches and Amari Davis back to his normal shooting guard role, the Tigers committed a season-low six turnovers. It matched the team’s fewest giveaways in Martin’s five seasons. The last time a Mizzou team had fewer turnovers? Way back in the 2013 NCAA Tournament loss to Colorado State, when Frank Haith’s team gave it away just five times.

Davis, coming off the bench for the first time since joining the program this season, seemed to thrive in his new role, matching his season-high with 17 points, mostly on his preferred pull-up jumpers. Javon Pickett added 12 points and Ronnie DeGray came through with 10 off the bench. But the day belonged to Brown.

“It felt comfortable out there knowing we shoot shots sometimes and miss, but we’ve got Kobe down there on the glass,” Davis said. “Just that presence down there that helped us a lot.”

Judge finalizes jury instructions at Maxwell sex abuse trial. British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell appeared in court on Saturday for a rare weekend hearing where attorneys made arguments about how the judge should instruct a jury on the law in Maxwell’s sex abuse trial . U.S.

NEW YORK (AP) — British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell appeared in court on Saturday for a rare weekend hearing where attorneys made arguments about how the judge should instruct a jury on the law in Maxwell’s sex abuse trial.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan scheduled the hearing — held in an otherwise closed courthouse and with jurors absent — in an effort to keep Maxwell’s trial on a fast track that will have her case reach a jury early next week. Closing arguments and Nathan’s reading of about 80 pages of instructions are set for Monday.

Prosecutors and Maxwell’s attorneys spent the morning in federal court in Manhattan sparring over the exact wording the judge will use to describe to jurors the legal elements that must be proven to convict Maxwell on six criminal counts, including sex trafficking of a minor. One of the requests by Maxwell’s lawyers that was approved: the judge should refer to her as “Ms. Maxwell” instead of “the defendant.”

An attentive Maxwell sat at the defense table, sometimes taking notes. Her brother and sister, ever present at the trial these past three weeks, were among the spectators.

Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to charges that prosecutors say show that she and financier Jeffrey Epstein were involved in a scheme to groom teenagers to have sexual encounters with him. The defense has countered by claiming she’s being made a scapegoat for 66-year-old Epstein, who killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019 as he awaited his own sex trafficking trial.

The defense rested its case on Friday after Maxwell told the judge she wouldn’t testify.

“Your Honor, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt so there is no reason for me to testify,” Maxwell said.

Team Scotiabank (Calgary) came out on top in overtime against Team adidas (Minnesota) on Saturday afternoon in 4-3 fashion at the PWHPA’s Kipling Group Showcase in Toronto.

Sarah Potomak scored the game-winner to send Team Scotiabank to championship game vs. Team Sonnet (Toronto) Sunday (noon/cbcsports.ca).

Sam Cogan netted the Calgary side’s first goal in the first period on a power play.

Alexandra Poznikoff tallied Team Scotiabank’s other two goals, scoring both in the third period to rally her squad from a 3-1 deficit.

Kelsey Roberts picked up the win as Calgary’s goaltender on the day.

Alexa Gruschow scored twice for Minnesota.

Team Sonnet was rewarded wtih a bye into Sunday’s final at Scotiabank Arena after Team Harvey’s (Montreal) opted to withdraw from the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association event due to Quebec’s new COVID-19 related restrictions.

The name Gary Sinise is synonymous with selfless service. And true to form, the Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, and CSI: NY star and his eponymous Foundation honored more than 750 families of fallen military service members this week with its annual Snowball Express event, connecting families with celebrities who showered them with uplifting messages and praise.

The COVID-19 pandemic derailed the foundation’s usually ritual of flying the families to the Walt Disney World Resort, which had been custom since 2018. This year’s event (like last year’s, watch it here) was hosted online.

“Imagine you are a child and you’ve just been told your parent is never coming home,” Gary Sinise said in a video recently shared on his foundation’s social media channel, explaining that “At the Gary Sinise Foundation we serve thousands of the children of our fallen heroes through our Snowball Express program.”

“And on December 11th we brought 1800 of these children together for a virtual online event of healing and joy, and many of my pals sent in messages of support.”

Messages to family members at this year’s Snowball Express came from Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Steve Buscemi, Matthew McConaughey, Kristen Bell, Simone Biles, Gordon Ramsay, Caeleb Dressel, Jordan Chiles, Brett Goldstein, Joe Mantegna, Norman Reedus, Tom Kenny, Zachary Levi, Stephen Boss, Allison Holker Boss, Kelli Erdmann, Preston Arsement, Laurie Metcalf, Iain Armitage, Zoe Perry, Eddie Cahill, Dean Cain, Gary LeVox and Mike Rowe.

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