NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The New Orleans Saints have fired defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo after one season. New Orleans ranked last in the NFL in total defense and run defense. Head coach Sean Payton, who returned to work this week after a season-long suspension, announced Thursday that Spagnuolo was being released. Payton also fired special teams coordinator Ken Flajole.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Hornets owner Tom Benson says changing his team's nickname to the Pelicans will create a bond with the city that could lead to a championship. The Hornets announced Thursday they are going ahead with the name change. The NBA has to approve it, but Commissioner David Stern has said he wouldn't object to any name Benson chose.
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Marshall Henderson scored 28 points, hitting six 3-pointers in the second half, and Mississippi rallied for a 62-56 victory over Tennessee on Thursday night. Henderson is the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer with 18.9 points per game and he put on a show in the second half, nearly single-handedly carrying the Rebels to their eighth consecutive victory.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Kristi Bellock scored 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting to lead Texas A&M to an 81-33 victory over Mississippi State Thursday night. Texas A&M shot 60 percent, well above its season 46.6-percent average.
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