FRISCO, Texas – For the second consecutive week, Nicholls’ Cassidy Barrios is the Southland Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. All Southland weekly awards are presented by MidSouth Bank.The Nicholls senior nabbed her second straight weekly honor after flirting with a double-double, averaging 24 points and 9.5 rebounds, for the week. Barrios charged the Nicholls offense, burying 46.7% of her three-point attempts in the Colonels’ pair of WNIT contests.Women’s Basketball Player of the Week – Cassidy Barrios, Nicholls – Sr. – Guard – Raceland, La.Barrios turned in another all-league performance averaging 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks to go along with her scoring and rebounding totals over her pair of games. In a 72-67 loss to Texas State, Barrios posted her second consecutive double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds while knocking down three three-pointers. In a 71-56 loss to Delaware, she drained four triples on the way to a game-high 23 points and four steals. While shooting 31 times throughout the week, she connected for a 48.4% field goal average, shot 7-of-15 from three-point range and converted on 11-of-12 free throw attempts.Honorable Mention: Chanell Hayes, Stephen F. Austin; Morgan Carrier, Southeastern Louisiana.Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin for an hour Friday in an effort to resolve the crisis over Ukraine, the first direct conversation between the two leaders after nearly two weeks of tension.Putin initiated the call, White House officials said. It came after a televised interview in which Obama called for Russia to pull its troops back from the Ukrainian border. In the phone conversation, Obama asked Putin to “put a concrete response in writing” to a proposal the United States has made to resolve the crisis, which involved Russia’s incursion into the Crimean region of Ukraine.The two agreed to a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the proposal further.The call came as Obama was in Saudi Arabia for a meeting with King Abdullah, where he grappled with another difficult issue: the Saudi desire to have the U.S. provide more arms to rebels fighting the government of Syria. An administration official said Obama was considering allowing the supply of shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles, along with other options.The missiles would be a potent weapon for the opposition, but the U.S. has resisted providing them, in part out of fear that they could be diverted to terrorist groups that might try to use them against civilian airliners. That is still of concern to the president, another official said.Obama advisers had described the visit to the desert kingdom as a way for him to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to its longtime ally in the Middle East, but the phone conversation with Putin quickly overshadowed the meeting. read more