• Undefeated: New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana are the only undefeated teams left in Southland play. The Privateers defeated Lamar by 10 on Wednesday to hand the Cardinals their first loss of the season. UNO then won in overtime at McNeese, 82-75, on Saturday to move to 4-0 in the league season. The Lions earned a 72-70 win at Abilene Christian on Saturday in the team’s lone game of the week.• Home/Road Sweeps: Every home team won in last Wednesday’s league contests as Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, New Orleans, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Abilene Christian each claimed a win. It was a completely different outcome in Saturday’s games as the six road teams walked away with a victory: Central Arkansas, Nicholls, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana.• Overtime Hours: Two of Saturday’s games needed overtime to determine a winner. League leader New Orleans went to overtime for the first time since the 2017 Southland Conference championship as the Privateers squeezed past McNeese 82-75. Central Arkansas and Lamar went to two overtimes before the Bears knocked off the Cardinals 100-91.• Triple Double: Central Arkansas freshman guard DeAndre Jones record a 13-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple double on Saturday to become the first Bear to record a triple double since Scottie Pippen (1987). It was Jones first career start and just the second triple double recorded in the Southland Conference this season; Braxton Bonds of HBU did so on Dec. 15. He is one of 14 players in the nation to tally a triple double this season.• Birthday Boy Nets Big Present: Celebrating his 22nd birthday this past Saturday, Central Arkansas senior guard Jordan Howard became the Southland career leader for three-point field goals made. He accomplished the feat during a double-overtime win at Lamar, passing McNeese’s Demond Mallet (1997-2001). Howard is currently ranked sixth nationally for scoring with 23.9 points per game.• Axe ‘Em: Stephen F. Austin leads the nation in turnovers forced, averaging 22.31 per game. The Lumberjacks also rank second in steals per game (11.8) and total steals (188) while also ranking third in turnover margin (6.3).Schedule:Wednesday, Jan. 10Abilene Christian at Houston Baptist* – 7 p.m.Southeastern Louisiana at Lamar* (ESPN3) – 7 p.m.New Orleans at Stephen F. Austin* (ESPN3) – 7 p.m.McNeese at Nicholls* – 7 p.m.UIW at Central Arkansas* – 7 p.m.Sam Houston State at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi* – 7 p.m. New Orleans (7-8, 4-0 SLC), the only team to start conference play with four-straight wins, puts its unbeaten record to the test at Stephen F. Austin (13-3, 2-1 SLC) tonight on ESPN3. The Lumberjacks had the best non-conference record heading into league action at 11-2 before dropping their conference opener at Southeastern Louisiana, 72-63. A Privateers win would make just the fourth time in program history that UNO begins league play 5-0 and the first time since 1992-93. The ‘Jacks are 9-0 at home this season and have the nation’s best home court record since the 2012-13 season, going 80-3 in that span. Nicholls (9-8, 3-1 SLC) begins a three-game home stretch Wednesday, hosting McNeese (5-9, 2-2 SLC). Roddy Peters dropped 24 points for the Colonels in their last outing at Houston Baptist on Saturday, giving the team their best start to Southland play since 2014. In conference games, the Cowboys have three players averaging 15.5 points or more with James Harvey leading the trio with 17.5 points per game. Houston Baptist (4-12, 0-3 SLC) will search for its first Southland win of the season when the Huskies host Abilene Christian (10-7, 2-2 SLC) tonight while UIW (5-8, 0-3 SLC) will try to accomplish the same feat at Central Arkansas (8-9, 2-2 SLC). HBU leads the nation in offensive rebounds per game, averaging 16.69 per game. The Wildcats’ junior forward Jaren Lewis ranks first in the Southland for field goal percentage (62.0 percent), which puts him at 22nd in the country. The Bears head into their game with UIW following a double-overtime victory at Lamar. Sam Houston State (8-8, 2-1 SLC) contests Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (4-9, 1-2 SLC) on the road. The Bearkats, who are second in the league in scoring offense for conference games, have reached the 70-point mark in each of their three league games. The Islanders’ Joseph Kilgore looks to bring his squad back to .500 in league play; the senior guard leads the team in scoring (17.1 points per game), rebounding (4.9), assists (2.2) and steals (1.7). The only other undefeated Southland team in league play is Southeastern Louisiana (9-7, 3-0 SLC). The Lions compete at Lamar (10-7, 2-2 SLC) this evening; the Cardinals are just one just one of three Southland teams with 10 or more wins this season. Southeastern is the most accurate three-point team in league action, shooting .424 from behind the arc in its opening three games. Additional storylines: Saturday, Jan. 13Central Arkansas at Nicholls*- 3 p.m.Abilene Christian at Northwestern State* – 3 p.m.Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at New Orleans* – 4:15 p.m.McNeese at Southeastern Louisiana* – 5 p.m.UIW at Stephen F. Austin* (ESPN3) – 6 p.m.Houston Baptist at Sam Houston State*- 6:15 p.m.* – Conference Game FRISCO, Texas – Week three of Southland Conference contests tips off Wednesday with 12 teams in action. All six games are scheduled for 7 p.m. CT starts.
The Commander-In-Chief (C-I-C) of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has declared that by February, Liberians would fully take charge of the nation’s armed forces.They will, accordingly, serve in the echelons (levels in a hierarchy) of the AFL’s command structure.President Sirleaf described as ‘tough’ the times when a Nigerian officer had to be in charge of the AFL. A turn of events that took place in keeping with the crafting of 2003 Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The President was pleased to announce this situation was now something of the past.According to C-I-C Sirleaf, with the support of the international community, especially the United States and United Nations’ peacekeeping and peace-building efforts, Liberia has rebuilt a new, ethnically balanced and professional army.The President maintained that her government has embarked upon a process to enhance the professional capacity of other security apparatuses, including the Liberian National Police (LNP), immigration and intelligence agencies in line with their responsibility to man the country’s borders.However, she admitted that much work remains to be done. As such, government welcomes the recent United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 2116 extending the mandate of UN peacekeepers to September.President Sirleaf’s statement was contained in her Annual Message to the third Session of the 53rd National Legislature on the theme: “Consolidating the Processes of Transformation.”Referencing the role of the Ministry of National Defense (MOD), the C-I-C said the 1,980-person-strong AFL continues to position itself to support a democratic environment through tactical and technical proficiencies and the development of a robust capacity to defend Liberia’s territorial integrity.She explained, “The Armed Forces Training Command now headquartered at the newly renovated Todee Camp, Upper Montserrado County, assumed responsibility for tactical and proficiency training locally and is presently training 140 new army recruits.”“The number,” C-I-C Sirleaf noted, “would be increased by some 400 recruits who have already been vetted and endorsed by the Joint Personnel Board.”“The AFL is also expanding its engineering and medical units to assist in reconstruction projects and social service delivery. Similarly, the Coast Guard of 82 persons, is expanding and strengthening its capabilities to patrol and protect the country maritime domain, as evidenced by the recent arrests of several illegal fishing vessels in the country’s territorial waters,” explained President Sirleaf.The President also disclosed that the United Nations Mission in Liberia’s (UNMIL) transition plan to transfer security management of the state to the government has entered its second phase.The exercise follows the completion of phase one in strategic locations, such as Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County; Foya District, Lofa County; and the Loguatou Border in Nimba County, respectively. According to C-I-C Sirleaf, plans are well under way for trained security units to fill security personnel gaps created by the UNMIL drawdown.In her last year’s Annual Message, President Sirleaf indicated that government would, at this year’s Armed Forces Day—February 11— celebration, install a Liberian army Chief of Staff, among other top military brass.The process is the result of close consultation with relevant committees, particularly the security sector.Based on the consultation, “We have officially nominated, for confirmation by the Senate, the Chief of Staff, the deputy Chief of Staff and the Brigade Commander, all of whom, if confirmed, would be installed in these positions on February 11; Liberia’s Armed Forces Day.”Afterwards, the government would then bid farewell to General Suraj Abdurrahman of Nigeria, who the President said “served so well as the Command Officer-in-Charge of the AFL.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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