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St. John’s Tips Off Exhibition Schedule with Humboldt State Saturday

The St. John’s men’s basketball team begins the 2014-15 campaign Saturday with its first of two exhibitions on the preseason calendar welcoming Humboldt State to Carnesecca Arena. A live national broadcast will air on ESPN3 with tip off slated for 2 p.m.

Coming off a 20-win campaign and the 84th winning season in program history, the Red Storm returns a veteran roster which features five seniors including Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team guard D’Angelo Harrison (2013-14 – 17.5 ppg). The Johnnies were selected to finish third according to the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches Poll, which represents the highest ranking of the Steve Lavin Era.

Quick Hits

-       Tabbed to finish third in the 2014-15 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches Poll, St. John’s matched a league-high with three Preseason All-BIG EAST selections as announced on Oct. 22 during BIG EAST Media Day at Madison Square Garden. Senior D’Angelo Harrison was named to the First Team, sophomore Rysheed Jordan landed on the Second Team and junior Chris Obekpa was an Honorable Mention.


-       In 2013-14, St. John’s made its third postseason appearance in four years under Steve Lavin, competing in the National Invitation Tournament. The Red Storm delivered 20 wins and finished third in the BIG EAST for the second time in Lavin’s tenure at the helm.


-       The Johnnies roster features eight upperclassmen, including a five-member senior class (Jamal Branch, Phil Greene IV, D’Angelo Harrison, Khadim Ndiaye, Sir’Dominic Pointer) with 98 games of experience and consecutive trips to the postseason under its belt.


-       The Red Storm returns three of its top four scorers from last season in D’Angelo Harrison (17.5 ppg), Rysheed Jordan (9.7 ppg) and Phil Greene IV (7.4 ppg). In total, 65% of St. John’s scoring offense is back for the 2014-15 campaign.


-       St. John’s went 14-5 at home in 2013-14, winning seven of its final eight home games of the regular-season. It marked the most home wins in a single season for the Red Storm since 2006-07.


-       The Johnnies ranked in the top half of the BIG EAST in 2013-14 for scoring offense (72.8), scoring defense (67.7), rebounding (36.8), blocks (7.5), steals (6.8), scoring margin (+5.1), field goal percentage defense (.409), three-point field goal percentage (.349) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.345).


-       Already the St. John’s record-holder for blocks in a career (227), single-season (133) and single-game (11), Chris Obekpa is back for his junior campaign. The 6-foot-10 forward has led the BIG EAST in blocks the last two  years averaging 2.9 in 2013-14 and 4.0 in 2012-13.


-       D’Angelo Harrison enters the season ranked 10th on the program’s all-time scoring chart with 1,601 career points and he is within striking distance of becoming only the third 2,000-point scorer in program history. Harrison already holds St. John’s career three point field goal record with 198.


-       Phil Greene IV is on pace to become the 49th player in St. John’s history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The senior guard from Chicago is the most experienced member on the roster starting 88 of 97 career appearances. He has accumulated 813 points, 253 rebounds and 229 assists in his first three seasons.


-       Former St. John’s standout JaKarr Sampson made his NBA debut for the Philadelphia 76ers on October 29 against Indiana. The 6-foot-9 forward played eight minutes off the bench and grabbed a rebound. Sampson is the second St. John’s player under Steve Lavin to land on an NBA team’s regular-season roster. Maurice Harkless (Orlando Magic) was selected 15th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, the highest draft selection for the Johnnies since 2002.

For more information fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:


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Bellator 131 Card Finalized from San Diego’s Valley View Casino

The full card for Bellator 131 has been finalized for one of the biggest events in Bellator history from San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center on Saturday, November 15th live and free on Spike TV. The night will feature one of the biggest grudge matches in the sport as MMA icons clash when Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz returns to the Bellator cage to face “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar in a light heavyweight affair, while Will Brooks and Michael Chandler will battle for the vacant Bellator Lightweight Title.

Tickets are on sale now and are available at the Valley View Casino Center Box Office, axs.com or Bellator.com.  The main card will also feature an explosive middleweight fight between Melvin Manhoef and Joe Schilling, a light heavyweight affair between King Mo and Tom DeBlass, a bantamweight showdown between Mike Richman and Nam Phan; along with a full preliminary card of Southern California’s top talent.

Kicking off the Spike.com portion of the night will be a battle of California natives as AJ Matthews faces Kyle Bolt. A four-time Bellator veteran, Matthews has grabbed four of his six professional wins by knockout and is looking for the finish against Bolt, who has won four of his last five fights all by KO or submission.

Hailing from San Diego, Bubba Pugh will face fellow Californian Andy Murad. Pugh has tallied all of his professional victories by first round finish, but will have to hold off Murad who enters the cage riding a two-fight win streak and has recorded three knockout victories.

Coming off of a 42-second submission victory at Bellator 125, Matt Ramirez will fight Nick Garcia who has won five-consecutive fights and posted six of his seven professional wins by KO or submission, while Ian Butler will look to improve his undefeated professional record in a lightweight battle against Joao Faria.

Both making their professional MMA debuts, Jonathan Santa Maria will face Ron Henderson in a flyweight fight and Alex Higley will look to make his mark in front of his home state against Jordan Bailey who only has one professional loss.

Middleweight Feature Fight: AJ Matthews (6-3) vs. Kyle Bolt (8-3)
Flyweight Feature Fight: Ron Henderson (debut) vs. Jonathan Santa Maria (debut)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Jordan Bailey (2-1) vs. Alex Higley (debut)
Flyweight Feature Fight: Matt Ramirez (1-0) vs. Nick Garcia (1-1)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Andy Murad (8-2) vs. Bubba Pugh (3-1)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Rolando Perez (7-4-1) vs. Mark Vorgeas (5-2)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Ian Butler (1-0) vs. Joao Faria (1-1)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Tito Ortiz (17-11) vs. Stephan Bonnar (15-8)

Lightweight Title Fight: Michael Chandler (12-2) vs. Will Brooks (14-1)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: King Mo (13-4) vs. Tom DeBlass (9-2)

Middleweight Feature Fight: Melvin Manhoef (29-11 MMA, 37-12 Kickboxing) vs. Joe Schilling (1-3 MMA, 17-7 Kickboxing)
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Mike Richman (17-5) vs. Nan Phan (20-13)

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BellatorMMA

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Cosmos Sign Legendary Spanish Striker Raul Gonzalez Blanco

The New York Cosmos announced today that former Spanish national team captain Raúl González Blanco has signed a multi-year contract to join the club for the 2015 North American Soccer League campaign, pending a physical. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Raúl will also take on an additional role as technical advisor for the New York Cosmos Youth Academy, which is slated to open in 2015. Upon his retirement from playing, Raúl will assume a full-time role overseeing the academy.

“Everyone throughout the soccer world knows the Cosmos name and the legacy of the players that played for this team previously,” Raúl said. “They helped establish soccer in America and I’m honored to follow in their footsteps. I believe in this club’s vision and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

Raúl built a legendary career at the famed Spanish club Real Madrid – beginning his professional career with the team in 1994 and remaining with Los Blancos for 16 years, leading the club to six La Liga titles, four Spanish Super Cups, and three UEFA Champions League titles. He left Real Madrid in 2010 as the team’s all-time leading goal scorer and moved to German club FC Schalke 04. At Schalke, Raúl scored 40 goals in 98 total matches, leading the Bundesliga outfit to the Champions League semifinal in 2011, before departing for Al-Sadd Sports Club in 2012.

“We’re obviously thrilled to add a player of his quality to the team,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “Raúl’s skill and ability is world renowned. He’s a world-class player and he adds a whole new dimension to our attack.

“He also brings immense passion and knowledge that he can share with our team and with the next generation of Cosmos players in our youth academy. He’ll help set the academy training curriculum, structure and establish our player development pyramid.”

Raúl, 37, a native of Madrid, became the youngest player – 17 years and 124 days – in history to play for Real Madrid at the time of his professional debut.

He would go on to make 550 La Liga appearances and 741 total appearances for Real – both club records, and serve as captain from 2003-2010, while scoring a club-record 323 total goals across all competitions. His 228 goals in La Liga are also a Real Madrid record and the fourth highest total all-time in Spanish league history.

Raúl led La Liga in goals scored in the 1998-99 and 2000-01 seasons and was awarded the Don Balón award for best Spanish player in La Liga a record five times (1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, and 2001-02).

In addition, Raúl is the all-time leading goal scorer in UEFA Champions League history with 71 goals and ranks fourth all-time in Champions League appearances (144). He was awarded the UEFA Best Forward of the Year Award a record three times (1999-00, 2000-01, 2001-02), finished second in the 2001 Ballon d’Or voting for best player in Europe, and finished in third place in the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year voting.

Raúl debuted for the Spanish national team in 1996 and scored 44 goals (second-most in Spanish national team history) in 102 caps during 10 years of suiting up for La Roja. He served as captain of the Spanish national team and participated in three FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Championship tournaments with Spain.

“Raúl’s long list of accolades speaks for itself. He’s recognized worldwide as one of the greatest players of his generation and we are now thrilled to welcome him to New York,” Chief Operating Officer Erik Stover said.

For more information on the New York Cosmos fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:


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Number 10 Fordham hosts Colgate on Saturday

Chase Edmonds. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Chase Edmonds. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

The Fordham University football Rams continue their 2014 Patriot League season, the 115th season of varsity football at Rose Hill, when they host the Colgate University Raiders on Saturday, November 1, on Jack Coffey Field at 1:00 pm. The game can be heard live on WFUV (90.7 FM) and on wfuv.organd will be streamed live on the Patriot League Network powered by Campus Insiders.

#10 Fordham (7-1, 3-0) enters the game after a 48-27 Patriot League win at Lehigh last Saturday. Colgate (4-4, 2-0) enters the game after a 24-17 loss at #25 Albany last week.

This will be the 26th meeting between Fordham and Colgate on the gridiron with the Raiders leading the all-time series, which started in 1989, 20-5. Fordham won last year’s matchup, 56-19, on November 23 in Hamilton as Mike Nebrich completed 29 of 38 passes for 395 yards and five touchdowns, with 12 of those passes going to Tebucky Jones, Jr., for 224 yards and a touchdown, and Carlton Koonce rushed 29 times for 148 yards and two scores.

Rams Notes:

Freshman Running Back Chase Edmonds was named Patriot League Player of the Week as well as Rookie of the Week on October 27, 2014. Additionally, Edmonds was named the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) National Running Back of the Week, the College Sports Madness Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week and ECAC Rookie of the Week.

Edmonds tied a Patriot League and Fordham single-game record with five rushing touchdowns, rushing 32 times for 197 yards in the Rams 48-27 Patriot League win at Lehigh on Saturday. The Freshman recorded his sixth-straight 100-yard rushing game and seventh this season, and is just 388 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns away from Fordham single-season records.

Senior Kicker Michael Marando was recognized by the  Fred Mitchell Award for his accomplishments on and off the field in the month of October it was announced on Tuesday the 28. He is one of 29 collegiate placekickers to be recognized by the organization for the month.

Marando has connected on 12 of his 16 field goal attempts in 2014 as well as all 42 of his PATs. He leads all Patriot League kickers and is tenth in the NCAA FCS in scoring, averaging 9.8 points per game, and he leads the Patriot League and is eighth in the NCAA FCS in field goals/game (1.50).

For more information on Fordham Athletics fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:



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Fordham Women’s Basketball looks to make Impact in 2014-15 Season

After a magical 2013-14 Season that saw the Fordham University Women’s Basketball team win the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship, and heading to the NCAA Tournament the Rams’ are once again looking to make an impact as the 2014-15 season is rapidly approaching.

Turning the page on such a magical season and the loss of Seniors Abigail Corning, Erin Rooney, Mary Nwachukwu and Brianna Jordan will not be easy to do but this 2014-15 squad has the team and talent to show the teams both conference and non-conference what they can do.

This 2014-15 quad will see the return of Four Seniors as Taryn Durant, Emily Tapio, Liz Milner and Christina Gaskin all looking to end their final season in the Bronx on a high note. Fordham also features Two Juniors, Four Sophomores, Four Freshman and One Transfer from Boston College in Tiffany Ruffin who is using her final season of eligibility to play with Fordham.

The Rams’ also have a representative from Brooklyn in Freshman Guard  Aaliyah Jones, who is a graduate of Murray Bergtraum High School. Jones was the 24th ranked point guard in the class of 2014, according to ESPN and was named the New York Daily News Player of the Year following the 2012-13 season.

With Head Coach Stephanie Gaitley at the helm of the program and a schedule that will feature non-conference foes such as Iona, Syracuse, Seton Hall and others this Rams team will definitely have an opportunity to show what they can do in the 2014-15 season.

The first true test for this team will be against Iona College on November 14, as the ladies will open up the season against a tough Gales team.

1495 Sports is proud to bring the following videos from 10/28/14:

Head Coach Stephanie Gaitley:

Fordham Women’s Basketball Players Emily Tapio and Samantha Clark

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Former St. John’s Forward JaKarr Sampson Makes Philadelphia 76ers Opening Night Roster

Former St. John’s standout JaKarr Sampson has made the Philadelphia 76ers 15-man roster for opening night as announced Monday. The 6-foot-9 forward from Akron, Ohio will make his NBA debut on Wednesday when the Sixers visit the Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m. Sampson, the 2012-13 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, joins Maurice Harkless as the second St. John’s player mentored by Steve Lavin to land on an NBA roster.

Sampson scored 915 points and grabbed 420 rebounds starting 65 of 66 appearances over his career at St. John’s. He posted 13.9 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per contest to help the Red Storm to win 37 games and make consecutive postseason appearances.

As a sophomore, Sampson ranked 17th in the BIG EAST with a 12.8 scoring average and led St. John’s in rebounding with 6.1 per game, the seventh highest average in the conference. Sampson stood ninth among all BIG EAST players and 95th nationally with a .495 field goal percentage. After leading the team in scoring six times and in rebounding on 11 occasions, Sampson was honored with a 2014 All-Met second team mention by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association.

“We are extremely happy for JaKarr and his family. Playing at the highest level in the NBA is a special accomplishment,” said Lavin. “JaKarr is a versatile and athletic player who has a bright future in this sport. We wish him the best as he continues to bring his dreams to life.”

After declaring for the NBA draft on March 24, 2014, Sampson joined the Sixers’ summer league squad where he competed from July 5-11 in Orlando and July 11-21 in Las Vegas to earn his spot on the opening night roster.

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Kyra Dunn Granted Eligibility By NCAA to play for St. John’s Women’s Basketball

The NCAA has granted Kyra Dunn immediate eligibility, allowing the graduate student to play her final year of college basketball at St. John’s University in 2014-15.

“We’re excited that Kyra has been granted eligibility for the upcoming year,” said Head Coach Joe Tartamella.  “She’s a tremendous talent and gives us a level of depth in the frontcourt that we haven’t seen in a while here at St. John’s.”

Dunn, who graduated from The University of California-Berkeley this past year, played 14 games for the Golden Bears during their run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2013-14.  She became eligible for Cal following the fall semester, making her Golden Bears debut against Connecticut in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.  Against the top-ranked Huskies, Dunn tallied four points, three rebounds and a pair of blocks.  The Sacramento, Calif., native then followed up that performance with a season-high six point, five rebound outing against Lafayette.

Prior to her time at Cal, Dunn played two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh, where she became a mainstay in the Panthers’ starting line-up as a sophomore.  That season, she started 21 of Pitt’s 30 contests, averaging five points, 5.6 rebounds and 22 minutes played per contest.   She was also the team’s leading shot blocker, swatting away 36 attempts.

During her freshman year in The Steel City, Dunn appeared in 27 contests and led the team in field goal percentage, draining 56 percent of her shots from the floor.

Among Dunn’s most noticeable attributes are her length and shot-blocking ability.  Her 6-3 frame makes her a presence in the low block, while her long wing span allows her to alter or block a good number of shots.

Dunn and the Red Storm will kick off the season in just over two weeks, opening the 2014-15 campaign at Yale on Nov. 15 at 2 p.m.

For more information on St. John’s University fans are encouraged to click on the links seen here:



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