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Riders beat REDBLACKS after late back-and-fourth –



REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders put together a late game-winning drive to beat the Ottawa REDBLACKS 26-24 on Sunday at Mosaic Stadium.

After seeing the REDBLACKS take a late 24-23 lead late in the fourth quarter, the Roughriders got a long return from Mario Alford and quarterback Mason Fine moved the ball within Ottawa’s territory for the game-winning field goal by kicker Brett Lauther.

Fine was solid all evening and completed 23 of 37 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown, including a 42-yard major to wide receiver Shawn Bane Jr. Coming off back-to-back 10-reception performances, the receiver finished with six catches for 88 yards and a score in the winning effort for the 4-4 Roughriders.

Running back Jamal Morrow also added a major of his own for the only touchdown of the first half.

Saskatchewan’s defence also delivered another stellar performance for the home team, finishing with six sacks on quarterback Dustin Crum, including three by defensive lineman Anthony Lanier.

Crum finished 16-of-20 for 170 yards as Ottawa dropped their second straight to move to 3-5.

Kicker Lewis Ward came into the game with a streak of 16-consecutive field goals made but ended up missing his first one before making five other kicks.

» Depth Chart: OTT | SSK
» Through the Lens: REDBLACKS at Roughriders
» Box Score: REDBLACKS at Riders by the numbers
» Full-team effort pushes Roughriders back to .500
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The game started with Ward missing his first kick in 17 tries and the REDBLACKS opening the score with the rouge.

Fine’s first drive of the afternoon was a successful one. Saskatchewan’s pivot moved the chains through the air with Jerreth Sterns and Jake Wieneke. It appeared as it would end in a field goal attempt though as the Riders lined up in position to kick it on third-and-two, but a pre-snap motion to a run formation with backup Jake Dolegala drew Ottawa offside and renewed the set of downs. That was the final jolt the Green and White needed as in the very next play Morrow forced his way into the end zone for the first touchdown of the game, 7-1.

Ward redeemed himself in the next drive for Ottawa, splitting the uprights for a 51-yard field goal to make it 7-4.

Returner Mario Alford fumbled on a return  at his own 18-yard line and the REDBLACKS started a drive in the second quarter in position to take the lead. Saskatchewan’s defence raised the wall though and kept Ottawa to a field goal attempt once more, highlighted by a sack by Anthony Lanier II on Crum that galvanized the fans at Mosaic Stadium. Ward knocked it in for a 7-7 tie.

Lauther added his first field goal of the game to retake a 10-7 lead for the Riders with 10:13 to go in the second quarter.

Rookie Lake Korte-Moore got to Crum with under three minutes left in the first half for a sack that ended a promising drive for the visitors. Punter Richie Leone added a single to make it 10-8.

The Riders put together another scoring drive late in the second quarter, but couldn’t quite get into the end zone and had to settle for another make by Lauther to go up 13-8 just before half.

Saskatchewan started the second half by adding points to the board again. Bane Jr. caught a hard one in traffic to move the ball across midfield before catching another one in stride to score the game’s second touchdown on a perfectly placed pass from Fine that made it 20-8.

A fumbled exchange between Fine and Morrow gave Ottawa life in the third quarter but once more the defence in green did not allow a single first down. Ward made it 20-11 with his third field goal of the game.

Saskatchewan’s pivot bounced back from the turnover with another well-placed pass to the outside, this time to receiver Samuel Emilus for a 37-yard gain to set up first-and-10 from Ottawa’s 11. The drive stalled after that and the Riders had to settle for a field goal to push the lead to 23-11.

The visitors got a nice return from Tobias Harris all the way to the 27-yard line but once more had to settle for three points from Ward after being denied by an inspired Roughriders’ defence.

Speaking of defence, the REDBLACKS also got a boost from theirs when Austrian defender Thomas Schaffer forced a fumble on a short-yardage attempt by Dolegala and Douglas Coleman II returned it for a touchdown to cut into the lead and make it 23-21 in fourth quarter.

Crum and the REDBLACKS were marching to take the lead later in the quarter when the defence saved the day once more for the hosts. On third-and-one backup Tyrrell Pigrome attempted to jump for a first down and was met with a wall of green for a crucial turnover on downs.

Another turnover on downs – this time by Ottawa – turned the tide of the game once more. The Riders tried sneaking up over the middle on third and inches but were stopped by the visitors’ defence who turned it into a go-ahead field goal with a little more than a minute left.

That was enough time for the home team, who got a long return from Alford and parlayed it into a game-winning 54-yard field goal by Lauther.

The Riders now travel to Montreal to face the Alouettes on Friday, Aug. 11, while the REDBLACKS stay on the road to face the Argonauts in Toronto on Aug. 13 in Week 10 action.

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Missed Opportunities Plague Yankees in 6-4 Loss to Rays



NEW YORK — The New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 on Sunday afternoon, continuing a troubling trend of failing to capitalize on scoring opportunities. The loss came despite Aaron Judge’s efforts, including his MLB-leading 35th home run of the season.

The Yankees’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position (RISP) was the primary issue. In the first inning, hits from Juan Soto and Aaron Judge loaded the bases, but Gleyber Torres and Alex Verdugo couldn’t drive in any runs. Soto then grounded into a double play to end the second inning with the bases loaded.

Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, his 35th of the season, bringing the Yankees within two runs. However, his contribution was not enough to overcome the deficit. Marcus Stroman pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, including two home runs. He struck out five and did not walk any batters. Despite his solid performance, he received minimal run support.

Gleyber Torres made a critical error in the fourth inning, leading to a run. His 0-for-4 performance at the plate dropped his batting average to .229, adding to the Yankees’ woes. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected after disputing a strike call on Alex Verdugo. This marked his 38th career ejection and fifth of the season.

Soto’s ninth-inning RBI double provided some hope, but it was too little, too late. The Rays’ Jose Caballero homered in the ninth, extending their lead and sealing the victory.

The Yankees began the series with a 6-1 win on Friday but faltered with a 9-1 loss on Saturday, followed by Sunday’s 6-4 defeat. This inconsistency has been a recurring issue for the team. Despite the loss, the Yankees (59-42) remain two games behind the Baltimore Orioles (60-39) for first place in the AL East, as the Orioles also lost 3-2 to the Texas Rangers.

Aaron Judge commented, “No weight. I’ve got good guys behind me. It’s baseball. You’re going to go through some ups and downs, and you’re going to click for a little bit, but there’s months where other guys are going to carry this team and there’s months where I’ve got to pick it up and carry the team, and it’s all part of it.”

Marcus Stroman reflected, “It’s hard to be incredible for 162. I think we have a lot of confidence … how good (Soto has) been — all year, him and Judge — I think we’re kind of losing sight of how incredible those two guys have been. So they can’t do everything, each and every single time. We can’t put all the pressure on them.”

Aaron Boone added, “This game’s hard for us right now, and we’ve got to find a way. We know we’re better than this, and we’ve got to come ready and salvage a series tomorrow.”

The Yankees will aim to split the series against the Rays in the final game on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET. With their recent struggles in key situations, the team must find a way to improve their performance with runners in scoring position to turn their season around.

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LeBron Saves Team USA in Thrilling Exhibition Against South Sudan at O2 Arena



LONDON — In what could have been one of the most monumental upsets in international basketball history, Team USA narrowly escaped with a 101-100 victory over a spirited South Sudan team at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night. This exhibition match, serving as a tune-up for the 2024 Olympics, showcased the rapid rise of South Sudanese basketball and the indomitable spirit of the American team led by LeBron James.

The atmosphere at the O2 Arena was electric, with fans witnessing a game that turned out to be far more competitive than expected. South Sudan, a team composed largely of refugees and players from the diaspora, pushed the heavily favored Americans to their limits.

First Half Highlights:

  • South Sudan came out firing on all cylinders, building a surprising 16-point lead in the second quarter.
  • Team USA struggled with their three-point shooting, missing 12 of their first 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

Despite the odds, South Sudan’s players, many of whom have overcome significant personal and professional challenges, played with remarkable cohesion and determination. Their performance was a testament to the rapid progress the team has made under the guidance of former NBA star Luol Deng.

With the game hanging in the balance, LeBron James demonstrated why he remains one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Benched at the start of the third quarter, James returned to the floor with a determination that was palpable.

Key Moments:

  • Third Quarter: Anthony Davis’ defensive prowess helped shrink the deficit. LeBron’s return brought stability and focus back to Team USA.
  • Final Minute: With just 20 seconds left, JT Thor of South Sudan scored over LeBron, giving his team a one-point lead.
  • Game-Winning Shot: LeBron drove to the basket, scoring the decisive layup with eight seconds remaining.

South Sudan’s journey to this point has been nothing short of inspirational. The country gained independence from Sudan in 2011, and the basketball program, still in its infancy, has quickly become a source of national pride.

Notable Contributions:

  • Carlik Jones: Delivered a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
  • Wenyen Gabriel: LeBron’s former teammate with the Lakers, contributed 11 points.
  • Marial Shayok: Led South Sudan with 24 points.

The team’s formation and rise have been spearheaded by Luol Deng, who played a pivotal role in recruiting and funding the program. His efforts have culminated in South Sudan qualifying for the Olympics, marking a historic achievement for the young nation.

Stephen Curry: “Wild game. They played really intense. It was nice to see how we responded. LeBron with a great finish down the stretch.”

Steve Kerr: “The whole team was embarrassed at halftime. We were challenged today, and it was good for us to feel that now. This was a reminder that we need to bring our best every game.”

Luol Deng: Expressed immense pride in his team’s performance, emphasizing the significance of their journey and the obstacles they have overcome.

This exhibition game was more than just a pre-Olympic warm-up. It highlighted the potential for underdog stories in sports and underscored the global reach and impact of basketball. Team USA, despite the narrow escape, was reminded of the importance of every game and the challenges that lie ahead.

South Sudan, on the other hand, has cemented its place on the international stage, showcasing that with determination and the right support, even the newest teams can compete with the best in the world.

As both teams prepare for the Olympics, this game at the O2 Arena will be remembered not only for its thrilling finish but also for the remarkable stories of resilience and ambition that played out on the court.

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UFC Vegas 94: Amanda Lemos vs. Virna Jandiroba – Main Event Recap



In a thrilling main event at UFC Vegas 94, strawweights Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba faced off on Saturday night. After an evenly matched first round, Jandiroba secured a dramatic submission victory in the second round, just moments before the bell.

Fight Summary:

  • First Round: The opening round was highly competitive, with both fighters showcasing their skills and maintaining a close contest.
  • Second Round: In the final seconds of the second round, Jandiroba managed to secure a submission, forcing Lemos to tap out. The win marks an impressive fourth consecutive victory for Jandiroba.

Post-Fight Remarks:

  • In her post-fight interview inside the Octagon, Jandiroba confidently called out UFC President Dana White, declaring, “Dana, I’m the next one. Dana, I’m your next champion.”

Future Implications:

  • With this victory, Jandiroba has positioned herself as a strong contender for the strawweight title. Tatiana Suarez, who was the rightful next contender for Weili Zhang, has been sidelined due to an injury. Jandiroba’s current four-fight win streak and her dominant performance at UFC Vegas 94 make a compelling case for her title shot.

Stay tuned for more updates as the UFC strawweight division continues to evolve, and see if Virna Jandiroba will indeed become the next challenger for the championship belt.

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