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    ATHENS — Georgia basketball doesn’t take the court for another game until next Saturday, but when the Bulldogs do, you can bet junior Tyree Crump will be a focal point. Crump, a junior from Bainbridge, had a breakout game in Georgia’s 92-75 win over Texas Southern on Monday night, and more figures to be ahead for the Bulldogs’ long-distance sharpshooter. Georgia coach Tom Crean indicated Crump is precisely the sort of open floor player needed to make his uptempo game work. It didn’t take long for Crean to notice him. “I think early on when I got here you could tell there was a lot to his game that could improve,” Crean said. “There’s a lot of room for upside with him.” Crump might not have been the best fit for previous Coach Mark Fox’s deliberate style. But as much as Crean recognized Crump’s talents and abilities, Crump was immediately charged up by his new basketball coach. “He came in and he said ‘We want to play fast and we want to shoot three,’   and my eyes got big and my ears got big and I thought this is the perfect offense for me,” Crump said. “So we tried to listen to everything he said, and it’s carrying over into the season.” The Bulldogs will bring a 5-3 record into next Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game against No. 20 Arizona State in Stegeman Coliseum. The Sun Devils already have beaten one SEC team, winning at Mississippi State on Nov. 19 by a 72-67 count. Arizona State will put its perfect 7-0 record on the line on Saturday when it plays No. 6-ranked Nevada at noon. Crean indicated he’ll keep looking to get Crump free for more shots in the offense. “We want to move him, get him off screens, get him lost in the defense,” Crean said. “There becomes a comfort level that you have in a game like tonight, and he did a good job of playing through fatigue.” Crump is shooting 46.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc (18-of-39), significantly better than the next best player who has at least 10 attempts, Rayshaun Hmmonds (6-of-15). For all that Crean is trying to instill in Georgia basketball, it ultimately comes down to the time players are spending in the gym on their own to perfect their shot. It’s clear Crump is doing his work, and therefor he’ll be getting more opportunities moving forward. Here’s a look at others 3-point shooting percentage who have attempted 10 or more 3-point shots and how many minutes they average: Tyree Crump, 19.9 minutes, 18-of-39, 46.2 percent Rayshaun Hammonds, 24.5 minutes, 6-of-15, 40.0 percent Teshaun Hightower, 17.5 minutes, 7-of-25, 28.0 percent Nicolas Claxton, 27.5 minutes, 4-of-15, 26.7 percent William Jackson, 17.9 minutes, 4-of-17, 23.5 percent Georgia basketball’s Tyree Crump & Derek Ogbeide   DawgNation Georgia basketball Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State The post Georgia basketball guard Tyree Crump 3-point output leads Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean is not ready to say the Bulldogs are an NCAA Tournament team – that’s a hypothetical , but he does like the progress he’s seen. He just hasn’t seen enough from the Bulldogs (5-3) to feel comfortable talking about postseason goals at this stage of the season. “Everything has got to get better,” Crean said after the Bulldogs scored a 92-75 win over Texas Southern on Monday night in Stegeman Coliseum. “It’s a constant evaluation of what we can do better.” RELATED: Georgia basketball stays perfect at home “We’re trying to build an identity, and that’s what it takes time for a team to learn.” Crean liked the 18 assists on the Bulldogs’ 32 made baskets, “good considering we’re not a huge assist team, because there’s so much driving,” he said. But there are still plenty of things for Georgia basketball to improve on before any sort of relevant NCAA Tournament talk. “We don’t have to make the game harder than it is, and right now we make the game harder than it is,” Crean said. “We don’t do a great job communicating, and one of the things we need to do is communicate better in that zone we were in the second half. “Right now, I’m just trying to get my team better than to worry about the NCAA Tournament, that’s way down the road.” Georgia basketball Plus-Minus The Bulldogs enjoyed their biggest margin of success with Nicolas Claxton on the floor, outscoring Texas Southern by 17 with him on the floor. Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean     DawgNation Georgia basketball Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic   Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State   The post WATCH Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean: Not ready for NCAA tourney hypotheticals appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS —Georgia basketball protected their home court on Monday night, turning back upset-minded Texas Southern at Stegeman Coliseum. First-year Bulldogs coach Tom Crean kept Georgia perfect at home (4-0) with the 92-75 victory before the crowd of 6,801. Tyree Crump led the Bulldogs (5-3) with a career-high 25 points over a Tigers’ team (3-6) that beat No. 16-ranked Oregon last Monday by an 89-84 count in Eugene. Crump, a junior guard who shares the hometown of Bainbridge (Ga.) with Kirby Smart,  was 5-of-7 shooting beyond the 3-point arc, leading a Bulldogs’ season-best 11-off-22 (.500) 3-point barrage. Crump went on a 12-0 run midway through the second half as Georgia led by as many as 25 points. Bulldogs’ senior center Derek Ogbeide had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and the 8th of his career. Sophomore Nicolas Claxton had 15 points,  nine rebounds and three blocked shots before fouling out with 2:47 remaining. Rayshaun Hammonds, UGA’s leading scorer (14.4 points per game) had 14 points and seven rebounds. It was Georgia’s first game since an 84-51 win over Kennesaw State last Tuesday, and that was very much by design. “Certainly, we weren’t going to schedule a game last (SEC football championship) weekend and it turned out to be a very smart move,” Crean said. “We left it open and we’ll do it again next year, we’ll leave that open as far as home games. “I don’t want to be coaching on a day that (Georgia football) is playing. I want to be able to watch it.“ Crean said it’s healthy for his players to watch the Bulldogs’ football team and build relationships with the players, as well. “I don’t think you can help but to get better by observing what they’re doing,” Crean said, “be around what they’re doing and being friends with those guys.” Texas Southern and Arizona State — the Bulldogs’ next opponent at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 — were two teams Crean added to the schedule when he took the Georgia job. “Arizona State, their ranking will probably grow, they just continue to improve,” Crean said. “They’re so much deeper than they were a year ago, (and) they’re very active, they can really shoot the ball. “They’re playing without Remy Martin, he’s playing but he’s not as effective yet because of his injuries, but that will be another one that will be a tremendous atmosphere, test, challenge, on that Saturday.” DawgNation Georgia basketball Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State   The post Georgia basketball stays perfect at home, turns back Texas Southern appeared first on DawgNation.
  • On a cold Georgia night, the Bulldogs men’s basketball team probably wished they were back in the Cayman Islands. Who could blame them? The low was about 45 degrees warmer in Georgetown than in Athens on Tuesday night.           But on the court Tuesday, the Bulldogs broke their thaw, snapping a two-game losing streak, which started in the Cayman Islands last week. Behind a strong performance from Jordan Harris and Tyree Crump off the bench, Georgia routed Kennesaw State, 84-51.           With the victory, Georgia improved to 4-3 this season. The Bulldogs will have almost another week off until their next game, as they will next host Texas Southern on Monday, Dec. 3.           Coming into the season, it was no secret Georgia’s strength was in the frontcourt with forwards Rayshaun Hammonds, Nicolas Claxton and Derek Ogbeide. In the backcourt, coach Tom Crean has been searching for the right combination, mixing and matching a number of different guards.           On Tuesday, the right combination proved to be Crump and Harris, who together scored 19 points, 16 of which came in the first half.           All 16 of those first-half points came during a 28-11 Georgia run over an 11-minute period. Four 3-pointers from Crump and Harris helped fuel that run, which saw the Bulldogs jump ahead by 20 points.           The two junior guards didn’t play as much in the second half, but Harris still finished with 10 points, giving him two straight games with double digits in scoring. Harris tallied 12 points in the blowout loss to Georgia State last week, but Monday was still easily his best game, as most of his points and minutes versus the Panthers came with that game out of hand.           Crump ended the night with 9 points, the second-most among Georgia’s bench, which combined to score 40 of the team’s 84 points. Crump scored his nine points with three 3-pointers.           Guards Ignas Sargiunas and Tye Fagan also played well off the bench, recording 7 and 4 points, respectively. The bench was particularly active, but the entire Bulldogs roster played with much more energy than they did against Georgia State last Wednesday. Harris and Sargiunas posted 3 of Georgia’s 8 steals, all of which seemed to lead to offensive breakouts for the Bulldogs.           Early in the first half, they were missing easy baskets, but those buckets started falling for Georgia closer to halftime. The Bulldogs hit 11-of-20 shots to end the first half.           As good as Harris and Crump were offensively, Claxton was once again Georgia’s best player. He went 6-of-11 on his way to a team-high 16 points and season-high 15 rebounds. It was his third double-double of the season.           In addition to turning steals into transition opportunities, the Bulldogs defense registered 7 blocks. They held Kennesaw State’s best player, Tyler Hooker, who entered the night as the Atlantic Sun Conference’s leading scorer, to 11 points and a 26.3 shooting percentage. He shot just 25 percent in the first half and scored only 4 points in the final 20 minutes.           Freshman forward Ugo Obineke led Kennesaw State with 12 points. Owls junior forward Bryson Lockley shot 2-of-8 but he did record a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.           Next up for Georgia is Texas Southern. The Tigers are just 2-4 this season, but they did beat Baylor and Oregon on the road. Georgia-Kennesaw State Game Notes & Thoughts After playing their first six games in 13 days, the Bulldogs will get some considerable time off in late November and early December. Including Tuesday, Georgia will play its next three games in a 19-day span, and its next five contests over a 34-day span before beginning SEC play on Jan. 5.              In retrospect, maybe the lack of rest can explain why Georgia played so poorly in its final game against Georgia State in the Cayman Islands Classic. The Bulldogs had no energy in that game, but playing every other day for a two-week period would cause a team to be physically and mentally drained. That’s something to keep in mind for Georgia’s next game because Texas Southern will play Thursday and Saturday before visiting Athens on Monday.              In the three games where Claxton has recorded a double-double, the Bulldogs are 3-0. Claxton is averaging 12.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.              Sophomore guard Teshaun Hightower was back in the starting lineup Monday. He played well defensively and rebounded well, recording 5 rebounds, 2 steals and a block, but he went just 3-of-9 with 6 points. With Crump and Harris scoring more lately, it will be interesting to see if coach Tom Crean makes another change at the starting shooting guard spot next week.              With the victory, Georgia improved to 3-0 all-time against Kennesaw State. The Bulldogs last beat the Owls on New Year’s Eve in 2008. Apparently, these two like meeting on holidays, as the other previous meeting took place on Valentine’s Day in 2007.              The post             Guards off bench shine as Georgia dominates Kennesaw State appeared first on             DawgNation.          
  • The Georgia Bulldogs will be looking to get back to their winning ways on Tuesday when they host the Kennesaw State Owls. Below you can find information on the game time, TV Channel and how to watch the game online. Georgia enters Georgia Basketball-Kennesaw State: Game time The Georgia basketball game against Kennesaw State tips starts at 7:00 p.m. ET. This is Georgia’s third home game of the season, as the Bulldogs won its first two home games against Savannah State and Sam Houston State. Georgia Basketball-Kennesaw State: TV Channel The Georgia basketball game can be seen on SEC Network+. Georgia Basketball-Kennesaw State: How to watch online You can watch the Georgia Basketball game using the WatchESPN app. Georgia Basketball-Kennesaw State: How can I listen on the Radio? The Georgia Basketball-Kennesaw State game can be heard on the radio on WSB 750 AM. Scott Howard and Chuck Dowdle will be calling the game on radio. Georgia Basketball projected starters *Per Georgia Sports Information G: William “Turtle” Jackson, senior G: Tye Fagan, freshman F: Rayshaun Hammonds, sophomore F: Nicolas Claxton, sophomore C: Derek Ogbeide, junior Georgia Basketball-Kennesaw State preview Georgia returns to Stegeman Coliseum in desperate need of a win. After the Bulldogs won their first game against Illinois State in the Cayman Island Classic last week, the Bulldogs lost to Clemson and then got stomped by Georgia State 91-67. The Bulldogs are led by sophomore’s Rayshaun Hamonds and Nicolas Claxton. Hammonds leads the Bulldogs in scoring as he’s averaging 14.5 points per game. Claxton is scoring 11.5 points per game and a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game. Hammonds and Claxton both had career performances in the win over Illinois State, as Hammonds scored 31 points against Illinois State, while Claxton added 22 points. Kennesaw State is led by guard Tyler Hooker, who is averaging 19.4 points per game. The Owls enter the game with a 1-6 record, while Georgia is 3-3 heading into the game. The Bulldogs and Owls have met twice before Tuesday’s game, with Georgia winning both times. After Tuesday’s game, the Bulldogs will return to action on Monday, Dec. 3 when the Bulldogs host Texas Southern. Best stories from around DawgNation: Does Georgia have to beat Alabama for this season to be a success? Mel Tucker’s named mentioned as possible head coaching candidate for multiple Power 5 jobs ‘Pylon Destroyer’ Elijah Holyfield helps Georgia resurrect its vaunted run game WATCH: Nick Saban: Why ‘mentally tired’ Alabama may taper prep for Georgia Georgia football podcast: UGA should embrace underdog role vs. Alabama Georgia football: Kirby Smart updates Ben Cleveland and the injury front prior to the SEC championship Nick Saban: Georgia football ‘most challenging game’ in Alabama’s quest for history Georgia Bulldogs are quite capable of taking down No. 1 Alabama, and here’s why Winners and losers from Georgia’s win over Georgia Tech Georgia’s chances for elite RB Noah Cain have spiked after his official visit The post Georgia basketball-Kennesaw State: Game time, TV Channel, how to watch online appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball got dealt a wake-up call in the Cayman Islands Classic, and new Bulldogs coach Tom Crean is intent to make the most of it. Georgia State embarrassed Georgia on Wednesday, 91-67, a day after No. 16 Clemson dealt Crean and his Bulldogs a 64-49 defeat. “These tournaments reveal where you are at,” Crean said in a school release. “If you handle it right then you grow from it and then you rebound. There is no question that they popped us. “I told my team that they didn’t lose this game today; they lost it in practice leading up to the tournament… we have a long way to go, but we are starting now. It has now been revealed about how we have to get better, and I’m looking forward to being with them and finding out who we are.” Crean knew when he took over the Georgia men’s basketball team that he had his work cut out for him. The Bulldogs have made use one NCAA Tournament appearance the past seven years (2015), and they were picked to finish 13th in the 14-team SEC. The team has shown a tendency to play passive, almost as if its waiting for former SEC Player of the Year Yante Maten to come running out of the tunnel and carry them on his back as he did for three seasons. Crean has said numerous time in his short tenure that he doesn’t have any starters, in the sense that none of the returning players have stepped up with enough assertiveness to separate. Rayshaun Hammonds leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game, and Nicolas Claxton averages 11.5 points and 8.0 rebound per outing. But the team is shooting just 30.8-percent from beyond the 3-point line, with 104 turnovers to just 91 assists. Crean has proven he can rebuild a program before, taking tradition rich Indiana from shambles to a 10-week stint ranked No. 1 in the nation and atop the Big Ten. But Crean will need more effort and toughness from the Bulldogs players, who showed little fight down the stretch of the shocking blowout defeat to Georgia State. “We have a lot of growing up to do, and we will,” Crean said. “We have got to get it turned around in a hurry, and we have got to go home and get better and get in better shape.” The Georgia basketball fans have been on board for Crean’s high-tempo style, with the largest home-opener crowd (9,018) in 37 years in attendance for a 110-76 win over Savannah State earlier this month. The Bulldogs return to action at 7 p.m. next Tuesday against Kennesaw State, looking to regain the momentum of their 3-1 season start.         The post Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean: ‘We have a long way to go’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • If it were up to Georgia State, the Panthers would probably play the Georgia Bulldogs every season. After Wednesday’s contest, Georgia isn’t going to be itching to face Georgia State again anytime soon. However, it might not have mattered who Georgia squared off against Wednesday. The Bulldogs looked genuinely disinterested in playing in the Cayman Islands Classic third-place game from essentially the tip. Behind a very sloppy first half, Georgia trailed by 19 after 20 minutes. During the second half, all Georgia State did was increase its lead, as Georgia eventually lost, 91-67. With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 3-3 on the season and will enter their game against Kennesaw State next Wednesday on their first two-game losing streak. Georgia hasn’t done a good job of taking care of the ball all season, but the Bulldogs’ sloppiness reached new heights Wednesday. Georgia recorded 18 turnovers, including nine in the first 10 minutes, and the Bulldogs failed to defend the 3-point line. The Bulldogs experienced their worst offensive stretch of the season during those first 10 minutes. Georgia turned it over on five straight possessions, and Georgia State scored off of all five. Before the awful stretch, the Bulldogs actually led, 14-11, but during the turnover spree, the Panthers jumped ahead, 25-14. Georgia State never looked back after that. Coach Tom Crean attempted to stop the bleeding after the fourth consecutive turnover by calling a timeout at the 11:59 mark, but coming out of the break, junior guard Tyree Crump inexplicably lost control of his own dribble, and it led to a Georgia State dunk. Georgia never shrunk the lead back to single digits following that dunk. Even as the Bulldogs did a better job of taking care of the ball in the final 10 minutes of the first half, Georgia State continued to increase its lead because of incredible shooting from the 3-point line. Senior forward Malik Benlevi led the way with 24 points, scoring all of them off eight 3-pointers. Georgia State shot 75 percent from behind the arc. Benlevi went 8-for-11 from deep range. But the Panthers received scoring from everywhere. All five of Georgia State’s starters were in double figures and combined to tally 84 points. With 40 points, Georgia’s starters didn’t even reach half that total. For the second straight game, junior forward Derek Ogbeide led the Bulldogs in scoring. He had 14 points, and sophomore forward Rayshaun Hammonds had 12. Any hope of a Georgia comeback in the final 20 minutes was quickly extinguished early in the second half. At the 15:56 mark of the second, the Georgia State lead still sat at 19, and then the Panthers went on a 13-0 run. Up next for Georgia will be Kennesaw State at 7 pm ET next Wednesday. The Bulldogs will be home for the next four games. Georgia-Georgia State Game Notes & Thoughts Along with ball security, the biggest concern coming out of this blowout was Georgia’s inability to match up with Benlevi, who is essentially a stretch-forward. The Bulldogs didn’t have anyone big and fast enough to cover Benlevi man-to-man. Don’t be surprised if Georgia has trouble guarding big men who can shoot 3-pointers all season. As ugly as the game was, perhaps the most discouraging part of the result was Georgia State was playing without senior Devin Mitchell, who hasn’t played all season because of injury. Mitchell finished second for the Panthers in scoring last season. It’s hard picturing Wednesday’s game going any worse, but it very well could have been had Mitchell been playing. Georgia was also missing a player. Sophomore forward E’Torrion Wilridge, who took a hard fall in Tuesday’s game against Clemson, didn’t suit up and is being evaluated for a head injury. He is averaging 20.6 minutes per game off the bench this season. The victory was the first against an SEC team for the Panthers in almost 15 years. Georgia State won at Auburn, 77-72, on Dec. 22, 2003. Off the bench, Georgia guards Teshaun Hightower and Jordan Harris starred in garbage time. They scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. Harris shot 5-of-9 with five rebounds, two steals and an assist. However, all of these notes and observations should be taken with a grain of salt. The Bulldogs played Wednesday as though they had eaten Thanksgiving dinner right beforehand. They weren’t engaged offensively or defensively, which can happen to college kids on any day, but particularly following a tough loss and the day before a holiday. I would expect Georgia will play with much more purpose in its next game. The post Georgia sloppy in blowout loss to Georgia State during Cayman Islands Classic finale appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs will be looking to pick up their second win of the season on Friday when they host the Sam Houston State Bearkats. Below you can find information on the game time, TV Channel and how to watch the game online. Both Georgia and Sam Houston State enter this game coming off of a loss, as the Bulldogs lost on the road to Temple on Tuesday, while Sam Houston State lost at No. 19 Clemson. Georgia Basketball-Sam Houston State: Game time The Georgia basketball game against Sam Houston tips starts at 7:00 p.m. ET. This is Georgia’s second home game of the season, as the Bulldogs beat Savannah State in their home opener, 110-76. Georgia Basketball-Sam Houston State: TV Channel The Georgia basketball game can be seen on SEC Network+. Georgia Basketball-Sam Houston State: How to watch online You can watch the Georgia Basketball game using the WatchESPN app. Georgia Basketball-Sam Houston State: How can I listen on the Radio? The Georgia Basketball-Sam Houston State game can be heard on the radio on WSB 750 AM. Scott Howard and Chuck Dowdle will be calling the game on radio. Georgia Basketball projected starters *Per Georgia Sports Information G: William “Turtle” Jackson, senior G: Teshaun Hightower, sophomore F: Rayshaun Hammonds, sophomore F: Nicolas Claxton, sophomore C: Derek Ogbeide, junior Georgia Basketball-Sam Houston State preview: Heading into the game, Georgia has five players averaging double digits, with junior Tyree Crump leading the way with 15.5 points per game. Senior center Derek Ogbedie is averaging 14.0 points per game and 9.0 rebounds per game as well. This will be Georgia’s third game under new head coach Tom Crean. The Bulldogs lost on the road 81-77 to Temple on Tuesday night. Ogbeide and Crump led the Bulldogs in scoring against Temple as each finished with 16 points This will be the first time that Georgia and Sam Houston State have ever met. The Bearkats are led by senior guard Cameron Delaney, who leads Sam Houston State in scoring as he averages 14.5 points per game. After this game, Georgia will head to the Cayman Islands to continue competing in the Cayman Islands Classic. The Sam Houston State game is the first game of the tournament. The Bulldogs take on Illinois State on Monday at 1 p.m., and then will play either Clemson or Akron on Tuesday. Georgia will play three games in the Cayman Islands before returning home to host Kennesaw State on Nov. 27 at home. Best stories from around DawgNation: Georgia shows tremendous grit in comeback that falls just short against Temple Road to Atlanta: Georgia pass defense reason for optimism in Alabama matchup Former UGA WR Juan Daniels: ‘I would’ve done anything to play under Kirby and this group’ Georgia football podcast: Reaction to 4-star RB Kenny McIntosh’s commitment ESPN lists the No. 1 reason Georgia fans should be excited for 2019 Georgia CB Eric Stokes starting to blossom as full-time football player Georgia football coach Kirby Smart hints at another change in starting lineup Danny Kanell explains why UCF could go ‘toe-to-toe’ with Georgia The post Georgia basketball-Sam Houston State: Game time, TV Channel, how to watch online appeared first on DawgNation.

News

  • The 2018 college football bowl season kicks off with the fourth annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl. The game will feature champions from the Mid-Eastern Athletic and the Southwestern Athletic conference. In a rematch of the first Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, the North Carolina A&T Aggies will go head-to-head with the Alcorn State Braves.  Starting at 11 a.m., Channel 2 WSB-TV presents a live half-hour program, “The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl Countdown.”  Channel 2 Anchors Fred Blankenship and Carol Sbarge host the pregame show for this event. Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein will breakdown the strategies of both teams, the players, coaches and each team’s strengths and weaknesses.  Following the countdown will be a special edition of Channel 2 Action News at 11:30 a.m. with weather, gameday traffic, and news of the day. At noon, the battle for the championship begins. In addition to the game, organizers will host the first annual “A Celebration of Service.” The service project will bring together “The Divine 9” Greek letter organizations to collect food donations that benefit Hosea Helps. Other attractions include a special fan experience and the ultimate HBCU Greek homecoming tailgate. MATCHUP Alcorn State (9-3, 6-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) vs. North Carolina A&T (9-2, 6-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference). TIME/LOCATION Saturday at Noon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Pregame coverage starts at 11 a.m., followed by the game at Noon. TOP PLAYERS Alcorn State QB Noah Johnson has thrown for 2,079 yards and 15 touchdowns while also running for 960 yards and nine touchdowns. North Carolina A&T is led by veteran QB Lamar Raynard and a running game that's averaging close to 200 yards on the ground per game. NOTABLE The Braves are back in the Celebration Bowl for the first time since the inaugural game in 2015. Alcorn State is led by coach Fred McNair, the older brother of the late Steve McNair, who was a star quarterback for Alcorn State and in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. The Aggies are back in the Celebration Bowl for the third time in four seasons. North Carolina A&T beat Grambling 21-14 last year to give the MEAC a 2-1 edge in the game over the SWAC. LAST TIME North Carolina A&T 41, Alcorn State 34. (Dec. 19, 2015) BOWL HISTORY The Braves are in the Celebration Bowl for the second time. The Aggies are in the Celebration Bowl for the third time.
  • Companies seeking tax credits from Wisconsin's troubled job-creation agency would face less scrutiny under a provision Republicans included in a package of lame-duck legislation designed to weaken newly elected Democrats. The measure awaiting GOP Gov. Scott Walker's signature would loosen the reins on an agency he created, which has marred by allegations of failing to recover loans from some companies and handing out $126 million without a formal review. Gov.-elect Tony Evers, who ousted Walker in last month's election, would be blocked from overseeing the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for nine months under another provision in the lame-duck package. It's one of several components in the legislation that would reduce the powers of Evers and the incoming Democratic attorney general. Current law requires the WEDC to annually verify payroll and employment data from tax credit recipients to make sure they're creating enough jobs to qualify. State auditors found last year that the agency isn't living up to that requirement and was accepting information recipients submitted as accurate and complete. The lame-duck legislation would erase those annual verification requirements. The agency instead would be required to have a third party verify a sampling of the information. Recipients also would have to send a signed statement to WEDC attesting to the accuracy of the information they submit. WEDC's chief executive officer, Mark Hogan, told reporters Monday that the agency can't possibly verify information about the tens of thousands of employees that work for the 300 or so credit recipients. The agency has been verifying data samples for years and the lame-duck bill simply codifies that practice into law, he said. 'You're never going to be able to independently verify over 200,000 employees,' Hogan said. 'It's a process that cannot work. The only solution was to change the statutes to codify what we're doing.' Hogan said changing the law has been his 'top priority' for three years. He tried to get lawmakers to pass the changes before the Legislature adjourned its two-year session this past spring, but legislators told him then it was too late. WEDC is a quasi-governmental agency Walker created in 2011 that hands out grants, loans and tax credits to businesses and other organizations. A May 2017 audit found the agency didn't require recipients to supply enough detailed information to determine how many jobs were created or retained as a result of the agency's award. WEDC officials played a key role in persuading Foxconn Technology Group to build a huge flat-screen plant in Mount Pleasant. The agency administers an unprecedented $3 billion state incentives package that Walker and Republican lawmakers created for the manufacturer. Walker has promised that if Foxconn doesn't create jobs it won't receive state tax credits. 'Under Republican control, the WEDC has been plagued by scandals, mismanagement and under-performance,' Senate Majority Leader Jennifer Shilling said in a statement. 'The last thing that agency needs is less accountability measures.' The WEDC provisions are tucked into a wide-ranging package of legislation that also restricts early in-person voting to the two weeks before an election, prevents Evers from withdrawing from a multistate lawsuit challenging federal health care reform laws and eliminates the state Justice Department's solicitor general office. Walker has signaled his general support. His spokesman, Tom Evenson, said Monday that the governor was still reviewing the measures. ___ Follow Todd Richmond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/trichmond1
  • Channel 2 Action News has learned that investigators say there are currently more than 70,000 gang members across the state of Georgia. Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne was on hand Monday for the second meeting of the Georgia Anti-Gang Network. Officials told Winne that not only are they battling against inmates who are in gangs, but also corrections officers.  “Across the state, how many investigations do you have going on involving the corruption of corrections officers by gangs?” Winne asked Georgia Department of Correction Director Clay Nix.  “Numerous,” Nix answered.  Nix said Georgia’s prison system is not only battling against inmates who are in gangs, but also corrections officers, who are recruited after hiring. TRENDING STORIES: State government will delay opening Tuesday due to weather LIVE UPDATES: Atlanta United's championship parade and rally Search for missing Colorado mother intensifies; FBI assisting with investigation “Also, they reach out to other gang members who have no criminal record and encourage them to come to work for us,” Nix said.   “That’s happened?” Winne asked Nix.  “It has. Several times in the past,” Nix said.  Nix showed Winne pictures of a haul of suspected gang-related contraband that consisted of 61 homemade weapons, cellphones, suspected cocaine, suspected meth and marijuana.  “They control the contraband trade, which is very lucrative,” Nix said. The items were seized at the Macon state prison just hours before a meeting of the Georgia Anti-gang Network at state corrections headquarters, headed by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “Criminal street gangs represent America’s greatest public safety threat,” Cobb County District Attorney Mike Carlson said.  “And in Georgia?” Winne asked Carlson.  “Georgia as well,” Carlson said.  “And in metro Atlanta?” Winne asked.  “Absolutely,” Carlson said.  “The most frightening thing you've heard today?” Winne asked Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr.  “The use of social media, the recruitment of young local neighborhood gangs as young as 9 and 13 years old,” Carr said.  The commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Community Supervision said there are currently more than 13,000 gang members under active supervision across the state.  “We'll never be able to have parity in numbers with the 70,000-plus gang members in Georgia. But what we are able to do is finely tune the force packages we use to go after each one of these sets,” said Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine.  Christine said a grand jury recently indicted dozens affiliated with the Ghostface Gangsters.  “It involves multiple jurisdictions and multiple counties,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Gilluly said.  “You've got a great group of folks that are focused on this issue, that aren't putting their heads in the sand and saying, 'We're going to protect the people of Georgia,'” Carr said.  Nix told Winne that without going into too many specifics, gang-related corruption cases pending against current or former corrections officers across the state range from charges up to and including homicide.
  • A five-game losing streak has assured the Atlanta Falcons of their first losing season since 2014, and the usually upbeat coach Dan Quinn said he's alarmed by the ugly results and looking for fixes. Quinn said all players and coaches are in the spotlight after Sunday's 34-20 loss at Green Bay locked in the losing season for the Falcons (4-9). It is a bitter reality for an Atlanta team only two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance. The Falcons would have to win two of their last three just to match their last losing record, a 6-10 finish in 2014. Quinn has turned up the heat on his team as Atlanta prepares for a visit from Arizona on Sunday. 'Some of you may have questions regarding the program and staff and players,' Quinn said. 'As we're sitting here in week 15, we have four wins. So you better believe we're evaluating everything and doing anything to get it right.' Quinn complained about 'self-inflicted wounds,' including 13 penalties and two turnovers in the loss to the Packers. 'I thought our toughness was right but our focus is not,' he said. He said the errors and lack of focus are not new concerns. 'It hasn't been to the level that we needed to for a while,' he said. '... To have some of these inconsistencies show up over a period of time has definitely been something that has been at the forefront of my mind.' Quinn doesn't have an answer to why the focus has become an issue, saying, he 'can't tell you the amount of sleep' he has lost 'on that question alone.' Matt Ryan's second-quarter pass for Austin Hooper was intercepted by Bashaud Breeland and returned 22 yards for a touchdown. The Falcons also botched a shotgun snap in the red zone that was recovered by Green Bay. Quinn said those were among the mistakes 'that made me think lack of focus.' It was a mixed weekend for team owner Arthur Blank, who also owns the MLS Atlanta United. One day after watching Atlanta United win the MLS Cup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Blank was in Green Bay for another Falcons loss. Blank gave Quinn a postgame hug one week after saying he still has confidence in the coach and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Quinn is 36-30 in his fourth season in Atlanta, including a 3-2 postseason mark. For the second straight week, Quinn tweaked his starting offensive line, inserting Ty Sambrailo at right tackle ahead of Ryan Schraeder. Zane Beadles made his second straight start at right guard. 'I've been waiting for the opportunity to go out and show what I can do,' Sambrailo said Monday. 'The opportunity came and I felt I did all right.' The line helped produce a much-needed boost in the running game . Atlanta ran for 107 yards, only its third 100-yard game of the season. Rookie Ito Smith had 11 carries for 60 yards as he continued to have a more prominent role. Tevin Coleman ran for 45 yards on 10 carries. There were other personnel moves. Rookie Isaiah Oliver shared time with cornerback Robert Alford. Brian Hill played at running back and fullback while fullback Ricky Ortiz was inactive. Defensive end Steven Means also returned to the playing rotation. More changes could come. 'Nobody is OK with this record,' Quinn said. NOTES: Quinn second-guessed himself for allowing Matt Bryant to attempt a 53-yard field goal into the wind in the first quarter. Bryant's kick was short. 'That would be one I'd like to have over,' Quinn said. ... Quinn said TE Austin Hooper avoided serious injury when he left the game with an apparent knee injury. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • The Latest on the effects of a wintry storm crossing the U.S. Southeast (all times local): 3:05 p.m. An overturned truck full of pigs is adding to traffic delays as western North Carolina digs out from a snow storm. The North Carolina Department of Transportation said the livestock truck overturned on Interstate 40 westbound near the Tennessee line. The westbound lanes were closed temporarily Monday so the pigs could be corralled, but at least one lane was reopened by midafternoon. Highway Patrol First Sgt. Mike Baker said that about 100 pigs were aboard the truck, and some died in the crash. Local farmers were helping to gather the rest. The Transportation Department posted a photo on Twitter of pigs wandering along a snowy shoulder next to a trooper's cruiser. Baker said it's not clear if weather played a role in the crash, and it may have had more to do with speed. He said the road was clear of snow and ice at the time. He said the driver suffered serious injuries. ___ 3:05 p.m. The North Carolina National Guard is out helping residents recover from a snowstorm, including relocating a baby from a snowed-in house. National Guard Lt. Col. Matthew DeVivo said the National Guard helped out a family Sunday after it lost power and couldn't drive due to heavy snowfall in Caldwell County. The National Guard posted a photo of a soldier carrying the baby down a snowy road swaddled in extra blankets. DeVivo said the baby is OK, and the family was taken to stay with relatives. Guard members also aided an ambulance stuck in the snow in Burke County, helping an elderly patient get to the hospital. The patient's condition Monday wasn't clear. ___ 1:30 p.m. Residents of southern West Virginia are digging out from a storm that dumped up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of snow. Forecasters had been uncertain about the storm's track and many residents were caught off guard by the high snow amounts. Forecasts initially had the storm avoiding most of the state and moving across the Southeast. Instead, the National Weather Service says the state became part of the storm's northern edge. More than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow fell across the far southern areas of the state. Schools were closed in at least 10 counties Monday. In places about an hour to the north such as Charleston and Huntington, no snow fell. ___ 12:35 p.m. Authorities in North Carolina are reporting a third snowstorm-related death after a truck driver died while working to free his rig that got stuck on an interstate. Yadkin County Emergency Services Director Keith Vestal says the driver had gotten stuck along Interstate 77 during the height of the storm Sunday and was shoveling out. Vestal said that shortly after shoveling, the man experienced chest pains and was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Vestal said the death appears to be due to a heart attack and he considers it a storm-related death. The state emergency operations center attributes two other deaths to the storm. One man died Sunday when a tree fell on him in Mecklenburg County, while an ailing woman died in Haywood County when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages. ___ 11:45 a.m. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the worst of the wintery storm has passed most of the state but residents — particularly motorists — should keep watch for dangerous conditions. Cooper said at a news conference Monday that snow and ice that fell since the weekend could result in slick road conditions Tuesday morning as temperatures fall and moisture refreezes. The state emergency operations center attributes two deaths to the storm. One man died Sunday when a tree fell on him in Mecklenburg County, while an ailing woman died in Haywood County when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages. The governor says 144,000 utilities customers were still without power. ____ 7:20 a.m. A lingering storm keeps dumping immobilizing snow, sleet or freezing rain across five southern states, leaving dangerously icy roads and hundreds of thousands of people without electricity. Authorities urged people to stay home on Monday in areas where driving is dangerous. Accidents on snow-covered interstates caused major delays on Sunday, hundreds of flights were canceled and drivers in North Carolina and Virginia got stuck in snow or lost control on icy patches. But the commuters' nightmare provided pre-winter thrills for kids and the young at heart, who were able to go sledding and build snowmen in places that don't often see so much of the white stuff. The National Weather Service said a 'prolonged period of snow' began late Saturday and would last until Monday in the region, with the heaviest snow in northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia. Some areas of North Carolina and Virginia saw more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow by Sunday afternoon.
  • U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 32 people at a demonstration Monday that was organized by a Quaker group on the border with Mexico, authorities said. Demonstrators were calling for an end to detaining and deporting immigrants and showing support for migrants in a caravan of Central American asylum seekers. A photographer for The Associated Press saw about a dozen people being handcuffed after they were told by agents to back away from a wall that the Border Patrol calls 'an enforcement zone.' The American Friends Service Committee, which organized the demonstration, said 30 people were stopped by agents in riot gear and taken into custody while they tried to move forward to offer a ceremonial blessing near the wall. Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco said 31 people were arrested for trespassing and one was arrested for assaulting an officer. More than 300 people, many the leaders of churches, mosques, synagogues and indigenous communities, participated in the demonstration at San Diego's Border Field State Park, which borders Tijuana, Mexico. The rally held on a beach divided by the border wall was the second confrontation for Border Patrol agents since a caravan of more than 6,000 migrants, predominantly Hondurans, reached Tijuana last month. A confrontation with rock-throwers from Mexico led to U.S. agents firing tear gas into Mexico on Nov. 25 and a five-hour closure of the nation's busiest border crossing. Thousands of migrants are living in crowded tent cities in Tijuana after undertaking a grueling journey from Central America to the U.S. border. Many face waiting weeks or months in Mexico while they apply for asylum. The U.S. is processing up to about 100 claims a day at the San Diego crossing, which is creating a backlog. The demonstration Monday was meant to launch a national week of action called 'Love Knows No Borders: A moral call for migrant justice,' which falls between Human Rights Day on Monday, and International Migrants' Day on Dec. 18, the group said. 'Showing up to welcome and bless children, mothers and fathers seeking asylum from very difficult and dehumanizing circumstances is the right and humane thing to do,' said Bishop Minerva G. Carcano, from the San Francisco Area United Methodist Church. 'How we act in these moments determines who we will become as a nation.' The group also is calling on Congress to defund Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.