Day: March 16, 2017

Atlanta #Falcons sign Dontari Poe

atlanta falconsRelease from the Atlanta Falcons:

The Falcons have agreed to terms with defensive tackle Dontari Poe.

“Poe is an athletic, big guy that can push the pocket,” said General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. “He will add to our defensive line group and will mix nicely with Beasley, Jarrett, Shelby and Clayborn. We are happy to be able to add him to our roster.”

The two-time Pro Bowler from the University of Memphis has been a key contributor for the Kansas City Chiefs since being drafted in 2012. The 346-pound, former first round selection has recorded 202 total tackles in 78 games played – 76 started – while also recording 13 sacks, 12 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. In 2013, Poe was selected to his first career Pro Bowl. That season he recorded 4.5 sacks and 52 total tackles – 43 solo – along with four passes defensed. He followed that year up with another Pro Bowl selection in 2014, while posting a career high six sacks and 46 total tackles.

Last season, Poe played in all 16 games, while recording 27 total tackles – 18 solo – with 1.5 sacks, three passes defensed, and one forced fumble. The Memphis native will be a welcomed sight to a defensive line that saw the emergence of, first-time Pro Bowler, Vic Beasley Jr. and third-year pro, Grady Jarrett – who recorded three sacks in Super Bowl LI. The defensive line will also see the return of Derrick Shelby and Adrian Clayborn, who recorded five sacks in 13 games played last season.

Georgia Basketball Falls To Belmont In NIT

georgia-logo2Release from Georgia Athletics:

Despite 29 points from J.J. Frazier, the Georgia Bulldogs fell 78-69 to Belmont in the first round of the 2017 National Invitation Tournament.

Frazier, who finishes the season with 13 games with 20 or more points, led Georgia (19-14) in scoring and added a pair of rebounds and assists. William Jackson II and Tyree Crump each scored 10 points, and as a team, the Bulldogs committed a season-low five turnovers.

“We just could not find a lineup that could get stops and also play offense,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “We were disjointed and Belmont has a great shooting team. We couldn’t settle on a defense that could slow them down on the three-point line. They had two spurts, one to start the second half and one in the middle of the first, that they knocked in some three-point shots and that really was the difference in the game.”

The Bulldogs were without their second- and third-leading scorers, as Yante Maten and Juwan Parker each missed the game due to injury. Maten suffered an unexpected setback from his knee sprain following last weekend’s SEC Tournament, while Parker suffered a partial tear to his right Achilles.

The game opened with a series of runs, with Belmont (23-6) racing out to an 11-4 lead and the Bulldogs quickly tying the game at 13. Later, after holding Georgia to a stretch of 0-of-5 shooting, Belmont was able to go on another run, this time taking a 25-17 advantage. The Bruins, who came into the game averaging nearly 30 three-point attempts per game, hit their fifth three-pointer of the game just over 10 minutes in and led by as much as nine in the opening period.

Entering the final five minutes of the first half down by seven, Georgia got layups on back-to-back possessions from Jordan Harris and Frazier and cut the lead to three. On the next Georgia possession, following some quick ball movement, E’Torrion Wilridge found Tyree Crump for a three-pointer that tied the game. During the 7-0 run, the Bulldogs were able to hold Belmont scoreless for nearly three minutes. The Bruins then put home a few shots in the final two minutes and took a 37-34 lead into the break.

In the first five minutes of the second half, Belmont was 5-of-5 from three-point range and got out to a 54-43 lead. At the 11:46 mark, Frazier went 1-of-2 at the line and cut the lead to nine. The first free throw, which Frazier missed, snapped a Georgia-record 45 consecutive made free throws for the senior. He finishes his career with the highest free-throw percentage in Georgia history at 84.1-percent, breaking Jerry Eppling’s record of 82.2-percent.

With the Bulldogs down 68-54, Frazier scored the game’s next six points and got the deficit back down to eight, but the Bruins led by 10 following the final media timeout. The Bulldogs could not close the gap, scoring just seven points in the game’s final four minutes. Belmont finished the game 14-of-31 (45.2-percent) from three-point range and won the rebounding margin, 35-32.

Atlanta’s Josef Martinez voted MLS Player of the Week

atlanta unitedRelease from Atlanta United:

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the second week of the 2017 MLS season. Martinez scored three goals during Atlanta’s 6-1 win over Minnesota, notching the league’s first hat-trick of the season.

Martinez, a 23-year-old Venezuelan Designated Player, was unfazed by the wintry weather, registering his first three goals in an Atlanta uniform despite playing in the coldest recorded game in MLS history. It started in the 3rd minute after being played through by fellow Designated Player Miguel Almiron. Then, Martinez easily beat Minnesota goalkeeper John Alvbage with a rolling shot to the far post.

His second came seconds after a re-start, this time being played through by Yamil Asad. Again, Martinez was able to beat Alvbage after getting behind the Minnesota defense. He finished his hat-trick in the 75th minute, again getting behind the Minnesota defense thanks to a through ball from Hector Villalba. Martinez then dribbled around Alvbage and slotted one into an empty net.