Johnson named WAC Defensive Player of Year

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Johnson named WAC Defensive Player of Year

Sixteen players from the SJSU football team were named to all-conference teams and defensive end Travis Johnson was given the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year award on Monday.

Nine Spartans appearing on the all-WAC first-team is tied with Louisiana Tech for the most in the conference. SJSUs seven players on the second-team is the most from any team in the WAC.Johnson, a senior from San Jose, Calif. also named to the first team, leads the conference in tackles for a loss with 19 for 106 yards.

His 12 total sacks ranks him first in the WAC and seventh in the nation. He helped guide an SJSU defense that leads the WAC in sacks and is second in the conference in scoring defense and total defense. Johnsons second-quarter sack of Louisiana Techs Colby Cameron in SJSUs 52-43 win on Nov. 24 gave him 31 sacks in his career, the most in WAC history. His 46.5 career tackles for a loss is fourth all-time in conference history.

He is the first player in school history to win the award since Jarron Gilbert took the honors in 2008. Appearing on first-team all-WAC alongside Johnson are: Wide receiver Noel Grigsby, tight end Ryan Otten, offensive linemen Nicholas Kaspar and David Quessenberry, defensive tackle Travis Raciti, linebackers Keith Smith and Vince Buhagiar and defensive back Bene Benwikere. Second-team all-WAC Spartans include: Wide receiver Chandler Jones, quarterback David Fales, running back DeLeon Eskridge, defensive tackle Anthony Larceval, defensive end David Tuitupou, kicker Austin Lopez and kick returner Tyler Ervin. Fales, named the teams MVP by players and coaches Sunday, was beat out for the first-team quarterback spot by Louisiana Techs Cameron, who was named the WACs Offensive Player of the Year.

Fales set single-season school records for passing yards, touchdowns, completions and total offense. 2012 MILITARY BOWL SJSU will face Bowling Green, who has won seven of its past eight games, in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Washington D.C. at RFK Stadium, the former home of the Washington Redskins. The Falcons will try to stop SJSUs high-powered offense with their stout defense that ranks ninth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 15.8 points per game.

Stanford tops North Carolina on PKs, advances to NCAA final

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USATSI

Stanford tops North Carolina on PKs, advances to NCAA final

HOUSTON — For the second straight season, Stanford found itself depending on penalty kicks to advance to the College Cup final.

Like last season, the Cardinal came out on top. After each team converted its first nine attempts in the tiebreaker, Amir Bashti made it 10-for-10 for Stanford. Tar Heels defender Alex Comsia then sent his try over the crossbar to end it, giving Stanford a 10-9 win.

"They had just as many good chances as us, and it could have been a 1-0 game either way," Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said.

Stanford (14-3-5) will face Wake Forest in the College Cup final on Sunday in search of its second straight national championship.

"It's not his fault. We could have done things in the game to have his back," North Carolina defender Colton Storm said of Comsia's miss. "It could have been any of us."

"It's the nature of the game," North Carolina coach Carlos Somoano said. "Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. Sometimes there's moments you seize the moments, and sometimes it runs away from you."

North Carolina (14-3-4) had the two best chances of the game. Late in the second half, forward Alan Winn was denied by goalkeeper Andrew Epstein, who made a nice save with his legs.

Later, Epstein made the best save of the match in the final seconds of the second overtime on a shot from forward Tucker Hume. After gaining possession in the right side of the 18-yard box, Hume unleashed a shot that Epstein deflected wide with his legs.

"He made the plays to keep the game at 0, and he deserves credit," Somoano said.

After a flurry of corner kicks and a free kick in an attacking area, Stanford had the best opportunity to score in the first overtime on a header from Drew Skundrich, but he put if over goalkeeper James Pyle, who had six saves. Foster Langsdorf, the Stanford goal leader who scored in the team's first three tournament games and has 15 on the season, had three shots and two on goal but was unable to break the deadlock before the game went to penalty kicks.

"Any result like that is going to be tough to swallow," Storm said. "Stanford's a really good team. We each had our chances. National semifinal, it's going to be tough to swallow no matter what."

While Epstein was unable to stop any of North Carolina's penalties in the shootout, his saves late in the game enabled Stanford to continue its quest for a repeat.

"Andy's never really attracted much attention, but when you're his coach you appreciate him," Gunn said. "You can depend on him."

Stanford has won 15 of its last 18 games after starting the season with three ties and a loss. The Cardinal have yet to concede a goal through four tournament games, while North Carolina's season ends after a third consecutive tournament shutout.

After winning the first national championship in program history last season, Gunn praised his team for continuing to push forward this season.

"It's incredible," Gunn said. "You've always got to be optimistic. There's no point in being anything else. We started the year so well in January. I thought, 'These players are so hungry.'"

Seton Hall slips past Cal basketball at Pearl Harbor Invitational

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AP

Seton Hall slips past Cal basketball at Pearl Harbor Invitational

HONOLULU Jabari Bird nearly notched his first collegiate double-double with 22 points and a career-high nine rebounds, but just as his effort fell short, so did California men's basketball's efforts against Seton Hall. The Pirates slipped past the Golden Bears, 60-57, at the Pearl Harbor Invitational to hand Cal its second loss of the season. The Bears are now 7-2.

Seton Hall's Angel Delgado scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Delgado, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward, made 6 of 9 shots from the field in a game-high 36 minutes played.

Desi Rodriguez scored 15 points and Khadeen Carrington had 14 points with four assists for the Pirates (7-2).

Carrington tied it at 45 with just under 12 minutes to play on a 3-pointer from the right wing, which ignited a 7-0 Seton Hall run. California never regained the lead.

Ivan Rabb's putback pulled the Golden Bears (7-2) within 58-57 with 31.1 seconds remaining, but Carrington and Delgado each hit a free throw to extend the Pirates' lead to 60-57 with 2.7 seconds left.

Bird had a chance to sent it into overtime, but his 3-pointer from about 25 feet as time expired was no good.

California closed out the first half with an 11-4 run to turn a four-point deficit into a 34-31 lead.

It was just the second meeting between the teams with California winning 81-76 on Dec. 8, 1973.

BIG PICTURE

California: Rabb, a 6-11 sophomore, struggled for the second consecutive game. He made just 3 of his 8 shots from the field and finished with eight points after being held to a season-low six points against Princeton Tuesday. Rabb, who has been playing with a left wrist injury, entered Wednesday's game averaging 17.5 points per game.

Seton Hall: The Pirates reeled off their third straight win despite making just 9 of their 20 attempts (45 percent) from the free-throw line. They shot just 46.6 percent (21 of 45) on free throws for the two-day tournament.

UP NEXT

California will host UC Davis Saturday, its seventh home game in 10 contests this season.