With the first contests unfolding next year in South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire, small-town voters will play a critical role in choosing the next Democratic nominee.,Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lamented rural decline during an Iowa swing this weekend.,Several candidates plan to attend a March 30 rural issues forum at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa — population 10,600.,AP VoteCast, a national survey of more than 115,000 voters, found rural and small-town residents cast 35 percent of midterm ballots; 56 percent of those voted for Republican House candidates, compared to 41 percent for Democrats.,Sanders noted that many Vermonters, as in the rest of rural America, view guns differently than most big-city residents, but Clinton successfully used the issue against Sanders, particularly with black women.
• OU has three players ranked in the top 10 in rebounding in the Big 12: Christian James (sixth, 7.3), Brady Manek (eighth, 6.7) and Kristian Doolittle (10th, 6.3).,• James failed to record a double-double in his first 104 collegiate games, but has produced at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in six of his 14 games since.,• James failed to produce a double-double in his first 104 collegiate games but has produced at least 10 points and 10 boards in six of the 13 games since.,• With an average of 16.3 points per game, James is fourth in the Big 12 scoring race.,• By scoring 20 points on Jan. 16 against Kansas State, James became the 45th Sooner to eclipse 1,000 points in an Oklahoma uniform (eighth in the Lon Kruger era).
R.C. Slocum spent nearly three decades coaching football at Texas AM, and if the rules changed, recruiting didn't.,But money, social media and the pursuit of national glory changed recruiting in the Lone Star State, at least at Texas and AM.,For the first time in 20 years, Texas, AM and Oklahoma will finish in the top five of the 247Sports' composite recruiting rankings.,Now that recruiting budgets at Texas and AM have climbed into seven figures, it's easier for coaches to go national as well as fly recruits in for visits.,Besides 10 Texas recruits this year, he signed players from Georgia, California, Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Washington D.C.
At the top spot, OU’s Spencer Papa and Jake Van Emburgh were defeated by No. 11 Richard Ciamarra and Tristan McCormick 6-4.,Sooners Alex Bakshi and Stefano Tsorotiotis were defeated by No. 49 Grayson Broadus and Matt Gamle 6-3 at No 3.,Van Emburgh took the first frame 6-4 before Ciammarrra won the second 6-4 to send the court to a deciding set.,Jake Van Emburgh (OU) vs. #63 Richard Ciamarra (ND) 6-4, 4-6, 3-5, unfinished
3.,Ferran Calvo/Mason Beiler (OU) vs. Alex Lebedev/Axel Nefve (ND) 5-4, unfinished
Against Winthrop, OU picked up the doubles point with wins from Jasmine Asghar and Ivana Corley at the top spot and Kianah Motosono and Olekdandra Korasvili on court three.,In singles, Corley cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 victory on court five, while Camila Romero got a 6-2, 6-4 win at the No. 3 spot.,Korashvili and Motosono again captured the point for OU, holding on for a 7-6 (5) victory at the No. 3 spot.,The award marked the first career honor for Korashvili, who made her OU debut this spring.,She becomes OU’s first Big 12 Player of the Week since Whitney Ritchie in 2014.
• The Sooners snapped ISU winning streak last year in Norman with a 21-point victory to close the regular season
• Oklahoma is the only school in the country with a win over a team from every major conference (Power Five + Big East).,• OU has three players ranked in the top 10 in rebounding in the Big 12: Christian James (sixth, 7.1), Kristian Doolittle (eighth, 6.6) and Brady Manek (ninth, 6.5).,• Oklahoma’s opponents are averaging 32.0 points in the first half.,• Graduate guard Miles Reynolds continues to make the most of his lone season with the Sooners, earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for games played Dec. 17-25.,Reynolds averaged 12.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in Oklahoma’s two most recent wins (Creighton and at Northwestern) to earn the honor for the first time
A combined five athletes currently rank in the top-10 of the all-around standings as Maggie Nichols (first), Brenna Dowell (sixth) and Anastasia Webb (seventh) represent OU, and Trinity Thomas (fourth) and Alicia Boren (10th) represent the Gators.,In 2015, OU set the school record with a 198.500, scoring better than a 49.500 on every event (49.525 on vault, 49.500 on bars, 49.750 on beam, 49.725 on floor).,CONFERENCE HONORS
Junior Maggie Nichols (Event Specialist of the Week) and sophomore Anastasia Webb (Gymnast of the Week) were each honored by the Big 12 this week for their performances at the Metroplex Challenge.,Seniors Brenna Dowell (AA), Nicole Lehrmann (VT, UB, BB) and Alex Marks (UB), juniors Jade Degouveia (VT, FX), Maggie Nichols (AA) and Bre Showers (AA), sophomores Jordan Draper (FX), Karrie Thomas (UB), Carly Woodard (BB) and Anastasia Webb (AA) and freshmen Emma LaPinta (FX), Allie Stern (VT, FX) and Olivia Trautman (VT, BB, FX) have all competed.,A GLANCE AT OKLAHOMA
• Oklahoma men's basketball is offering a variety of promotions and incentives for OU students the remainder of the Sooners' home season.,• As part of Suits and Sneakers Week (Jan. 21-27), the Oklahoma coaching staff will join coaches around the country in wearing sneakers (all-white Air Jordan 1 Mids) during the game to raise awareness about the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer.,• Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger was named council chair of Coaches vs. Cancer this past fall and has been a member of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council since 2007.,• Oklahoma has won 21 of its last 24 games inside Lloyd Noble Center and 23 of its last 26 “home” games (includes victories in OKC and Tulsa).,• The Sooners have won 135 of their last 142 non-conference games in Norman and are 43-4 at LNC against non-conference opponents under Kruger.
NORMAN— The No. 1 Oklahoma men's gymnastics team hosts the No. 8 Ohio State Buckeyes inside McCasland Field House Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT as the Sooners chase their 105th straight victory.,Oklahoma continues its chase for its fifth straight national title on Saturday as the No. 1 Sooners (7-0) welcome No. 8 Ohio State (2-3) to McCasland Field House at 7 p.m. CT.,Entering his 20th season at the helm of OU men’s gymnastics, head coach Mark Williams and his team are aiming at an NCAA men's gym record 12th national championship in 2019.,In the Road to Nationals rankings, OU holds the top team average (414.500) along with the top spot on floor exercise (70.325), still rings (70.025), vault (72.450) and high bar (67.250).,Individually, senior co-captain Genki Suzuki recorded the top all-around score of the season (83.600) in last weekend's home opener, putting him at No. 1 in the all-around ranks.
Oklahoma (5-12, 1-5 Big 12) returns home for its first conference game inside Lloyd Noble Center since Jan. 13 as OU hosts No. 2/3 Baylor on Sunday.,• Sophomore guard Shaina Pellington picked up her fourth 20-point scoring game of the season, adding 24 points off the bench at TCU last Thursday.,Freshman guard Taylor Robertson ranks ninth in the Big 12 in scoring with 15.9 points per game this season and leads the conference with 63 made 3-pointers.,• Llanusa averaged 12.6 points per game as a freshman last season, earning Big 12 All-Freshman Team and All-Big 12 Honorable mention honors.,She has also won Big 12 Freshman of the Week four times this season
• Robertson ranks fifth nationally in 3-pointers per game (3.71) and sixth in 3-point field goals made (63).