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The Billikens had a better week, dispatching Murray State 69-55 at home before falling 63-60 at Oregon State. SLU had a chance to topple the Beavers in the final minute but fell short. That effort wasted a breakthrough 22-point game for freshman Jordan Goodwin (above), who went 9 for 15 from the field overall and 3 for 6 from three-point range. Previously he was (ahem) 3 for 38 from beyond the arc, so this had to be a confidence-builder.

The Bears had a bye week after last Sunday's loss at Oral Roberts. Next up is a home game against Wright State before a tough Missouri Valley Conference opener against Loyola-Illinois. Off the court, the Bears took a hit when key recruit Ronnie Bell, a guard from Park Hill High School in Kansas City, backed out of his commitment to pursue major college football offers.

With some schools administering final examinations, last week was quieter on the college basketball front. SIU Carbondale made the most progress, dumping Jackson State 69-51 before scoring a nice 71-61 victory over Lamar -- which won eight of its first nine games this season, including victories over Tulsa and UTEP.

Like Missouri State, the Cougars enjoyed a bye week to finish out the academic semester. They were in a good mood after edging South Alabama 76-75 last Sunday. They host 2-12 Chicago State next before heading up to Central Michigan for a very difficult challenge.

The Redhawks took a fundraising trip to Kansas State and absorbed a predictable 89-71 beating from the Wildcats. Guards Denzel Mahoney (23 points) and Daniel Simmons (17 points, four assists) held up against the Big 12 competition, but K-State dominated SEMO 37-19 on the boards. Center Mark Laros, a 6-foot-10 junior, remained sidelined by mononucleosis and that didn't help.

With forward Thik Bol shelved by persistent knee problems, the Salukis went to a small lineup and surrounded 6-foot-10 center Kavion Pippen (above) with four guards. Armon Fletcher moved up front at 6-foot-5 and scored 24 points in the victory over Jackson State. The Salukis stuck with that starting lineup against Lamar and won behind Sean Lloyd Jr.'s career-high 21 points.. Lloyd, who played 75 minutes in the two victories, also had five assists and two steals Saturday.

Playing North Florida gave the Tigers an excellent opportunity to work on their perimeter defense. The Ospreys launch an average of 30 three-pointers a game. Mizzou was ready for that, hassling them into 23 misses in 28 attempts from beyond the arc in its easy 85-51 victory at Mizzou Arena. Playing the role of Michael Porter Jr., stand-in Jordan Barnett (above) attacked North Florida off the wing for 21 points and 11 rebounds. 

  • Courtesy: LA Tech Athletics
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As the Louisiana Tech football team heads west to its team hotel on Saturday in preparation for the DXL Frisco Bowl on December 20, the University brand will be prominent in Frisco, Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the next three months.

  • Brandon Foster Brandon.Foster@Trib.com
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LARAMIE — The college careers of Wyoming’s senior class, and potentially a junior quarterback, will come to an end Friday in Boise, Idaho, when the Cowboys take on the Central Michigan Chippewas in the Potato Bowl. For some of them, this month has also marked the ends of their academic careers.

  • Harry Holtzclaw | The Breeze
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A crazy eight days in JMU football. From being down eight to Weber State to earning a berth to the FCS National Championship, it has been a great week to be a Duke. 

  • ZACH LENTZ T&D Correspondent
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This year will mark the first time in the college football history that players are allowed to sign with schools prior to the traditional February National Signing Day.

  • ZACH LENTZ T&D Correspondent
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CLEMSON — Head coach Dabo Swinney is enjoying the “most wonderful time of the year,” as his No. 1 Clemson Tigers prepare to take on the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day (8:45 p.m., ESPN).