Disturbing news out of St. Louis as a top junior college player is fighting for his life following a shooting near his home.
Leon Watkins, a sophomore-to-be at Mineral Area (Mo.) College, was shot several times in the head and upper body following an argument that turned violent in north St. Louis.
The 6-2 Watkins, a St. Louis native, averaged 10.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season while shooting 41.3 percent from three-point range.
Watkins the lone returning starter for the Mineral Area next season, who boast two famous alums of their basketball program in Arthur Agee of Hoops Dreams fame, as well as Demetrius Harris, who went on to Milwaukee before recently signing with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.
There’s been no update on Watkins’ condition.
The McCluer High School product was an important part of the first Cardinals team to make the NJCAA Tournament in 36 years, helping the team post a 25-9 overall record in 2012-13.
Authorities have arrested 20-year-old Matt Peebles and charged him with assault and armed criminal action in relation to the case.
(Photo courtesy of Mineral Area College)
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.