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Sports Brief: November 6-10

Reigning Champs of Women’s Hoops Defeated 

Excitement for the Louisiana State University women’s basketball team has been steadily building throughout the off-season. The Tigers were ranked as the preseason No. 1 and are widely considered favorites for the national championship. With the notable additions of Hailey Van Lith, Annesah Morrow and Mikaylah Williams, coupled with the return of Angel Reese, this group has been hailed as “a dream team.” 

When LSU kicked off their season against No. 20 Colorado on Monday night, fans expected to see the same dominance from last year and watch the team cruise to another national title. But despite the abundance of talent on their roster, Monday night’s performance was disappointing.

This loss on Monday contrasts sharply with the previous season’s opening, where LSU had an impressive 23-0 start. However, it would not be accurate to attribute the Tiger’s loss to players being overwhelmed by hype and attention. If they were susceptible to such distractions, it would have been evident already. 

In an interview after the defeat, Head coach Kim Mulkey made a point to commend the efforts of Mikaylah Williams and Sa’Myah Smith but emphasized needing more contributions from the entire team.

NBA In-Season Tournament

The NBA In-Season Tournament (IST) is an annual competition that offers all 30 teams of the NBA an additional opportunity to compete for victory. It aims to engage fans in a novel manner and generate additional excitement during the early part of the regular-season schedule outside of the standard 82-games. 

The IST consists of two distinct stages: Group Play and Knockout Rounds. During the IST, the NBA will recognize a Most Valuable Player of the tournament and announce an All-Tournament Team. The selection criteria will encompass the players’ performances in both Group Play and Knockout Rounds. While IST games contribute to regular-season standings, the championship exists as a separate entity outside of them. 

All 30 teams partake in Group Play on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout November. Each team engages in four specified Group Play matches: one against each of the teams in their group, with two home games and two visiting. The top-performing teams from the six groups, in addition to two wild card teams, advance to the Knockout Rounds. 

The Quarterfinals of the Knockout Round will kick off on December 4 and December 15, with the victorious teams proceeding to Las Vegas for the Semifinals on December 7. The tournament culminates in an exciting showdown in Las Vegas on December 9. The winning team will etch their name in the annals of NBA history, securing the inaugural NBA Cup.

OSU Stuns OU in Final Bedlam

For the first time since their days as Oklahoma A&M back in 1932, Oklahoma State has secured consecutive home wins against Oklahoma University by emerging victorious from the No. 10 team last Saturday. This game also marks the final matchup between the two teams, as Oklahoma University will move to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) next year.

Ollie Gordon II played a pivotal role in the win, rushing for 137 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Entering the day as the nation’s leading rusher, Gordon extended his streak of rushing for over 100 yards to six consecutive games and reached a career-high of 33 carries. 

Dillon Gabriel delivered a strong performance as well, passing for 344 yards, while Drake Stoops set career highs with 12 receptions for 134 yards. Gavin Sawchuk also had a career-best 111 rushing yards and a touchdown for the Sooners.

The significance of this game extends beyond local bragging rights, as both teams were slated in a five-way tie for the conference lead. Due to this loss, the Sooners have now been eliminated from contention for the four-team CFP. Their earlier victory over Texas has lost its significance due to consecutive defeats to Kansas and Oklahoma State. 

The question now looms whether Oklahoma State can maintain its momentum as they face UCF this weekend.

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