Women’s basketball expected to finish season strong

The women’s basketball team is victorious again after winning their home game against Concordia University on Saturday, Feb. 9. During the first half of the game, both teams had great form and strategy, each fighting to keep the lead. The Tornados quickly took the lead during the first quarter, but the Cru gave them little time to celebrate as they quickly edged ahead.

In the second quarter, the Cru kept the lead, and the Tornados only managed to get within fifteen points of the Cru. By the end of the first half, the score was 39-22. As the second half started, the Cru didn’t let the Tornados breathe before scoring within the first few minutes of the quarter. They continued to grip tightly to the lead for the rest of the game. UMHB won 72-50 and earned the right to host the American Southwest Conference Championship.

The Cru’s teamwork was impressive. Excellent footwork, great passing skills and great aim helped secure their win. Senior criminal justice major Antania Newton complemented the team’s efforts.

“It was great,” Newton said. “They played like a team and played with a lot of patience and poise.”

This is the team’s second consecutive ASC division championship.

“It was a good win,” head women’s coach Mark Morefield said. “After having five games on the road it was good to come back home and get back into the winning streak.”

UMHB will close out the regular season with home games against Sul Ross on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 5:30 p.m. Then, the Cru will play Howard Payne on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. Both games will be held in the Mayborn Campus Center arena. The ASC Championship Tournament will be played Feb. 21-23 at Mayborn. This will be the first time the Crusaders have hosted this event. The team is looking forward to a strong season finish and a victory in the championship

Activities for singles on Valentine’s Day

Being single on Valentine’s Day can be fun – and nobody needs to feel lonely because they don’t have a date or significant other for the occasion. There are plenty of things singles can do to have fun on Valentine’s Day.

1. Appreciate the day.

First things first, approach Valentine’s Day as another fun special day – not just for couples, but for everyone. For instance, you can see it as a special day for love and community. You have the chance to love your neighbors, your friends and family and even yourself.

2. Stay in and pamper yourself

Valentine’s Day is all about love, so why not love yourself enough to treat yourself to a DIY spa day or read your favorite book?

3. Host a game night.

Invite over other single friends to have a fun night of games and activities. Play board games, charades, video games, you name it. Accompany this with snacks and refreshments and you have the perfect game night.

4. Watch a movie marathon.

You can choose to stick with the love theme or choose your own genre. Snuggle up on the couch with some warm, buttery popcorn or other snacks and dim the lights for the perfect movie marathon. You can even invite a friend over to watch it with you.

5. Get out and about with friends.

Go out to eat with your single friends or go see that movie you’ve been wanting to watch. Go bowling with your buddies or check out some local shops. Treat yourself to a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant you don’t go to often.

Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is a day that you make, so make it how you want it.

Jácome Flamenco troupe ignites the Performing Arts Center

The latest Highways and Byways performance in the Sue and Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 24, left audience members in awe. Jácome Flamenco, led by Chris B. Jácome, performed breathtaking flamenco routines that had the crowd bobbing their heads and tapping their feet along with the music.

During the introduction, Jácome encouraged the audience to interact throughout the performance by yelling “Olé!” and cheers to the dancers. Chayito Champion, the lead singer of the group, jokingly stated they didn’t want to hear any “yee-haws,” which prompted laughter from the crowd.
Three of the troupe members played various instruments while Champion sang and three dancers made their way onto the stage.

The emotion and intense dancing, as well as the beautiful music, captivated the audience, causing many to cheer and chant with the dancers.
After intermission, each of the dancers performed a solo. Jácome and Champion performed a duet.

There was never a dull moment. While the dancers underwent costume changes, Jácome shared some facts and trivia about the flamenco form to the audience.
The show went wonderfully, which is why it was surprising to hear they didn’t rehearse beforehand.

“We got here today, did soundcheck, talked about what we were going to do, and we did it. No rehearsals,” Champion said. When asked how she knew when to chime in with her singing or clapping without rehearsals, she explained, “Sometimes they just give me a look or do something with their body, and I know to come in. Its all about feeling.”
After the event, audience members had the chance to buy signed CDs and take pictures with the performers.
Paulina Riewald is a senior sports management major who attended the show. “I loved it. I wanted to be up there with them,” she said. “I loved the music and the dancing was beautiful and it was really fun.”
To learn more about Jácomes Flamenco, visit jacomeflamenco.com. There you can browse merchandise, find tips and tricks about the art of flamenco and get a sneak peek at where they will be performing next.

Photo Gallery Here

“How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy conclusion conquers box office

The “How to Train Your Dragon” (HTTYD) series has sadly come to an end with the release of the latest film “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” on Feb. 22. This hour and 44-minute movie neatly ties up all loose ends while enticing audiences with breathtaking animation, multi-dimensional characters and great story progression. The HTTYD franchise is successful, and all three movies have ratings above 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The newest film has a rating of 93 percent.

This movie deserves the great rating. The animation is astoundingly beautiful. The animators took the time to animate the wind ruffling fur on cloaks, little nicks in the metal on armor and faded scars on the dragons. This attention to little details changes the whole dynamic of the movie. The scenery and background art is also beautifully animated. One of my favorite scenes is when the dragon riders are flying through the clouds over the ocean. You can see the clouds and wind sliding off the wings and equipment so smoothly, making you feel as if you are in the sky with them.

Another aspect that makes this movie stand out is the characters and the natural development of the story. At this point, the characters all have a great dynamic and are consistent in their development as individuals and as a team. Additionally, the characters are truly interesting and humorous. There is no cheap comedy here, just well-written characters with humorous jokes that fit the timing and their personalities.

The plot of the movie is established well and includes an interesting subplot featuring Toothless’ efforts to befriend another dragon of his kind. In my opinion, the subplot makes sense and is played out very well alongside the main plot. However, having two storylines sets this movie just a smidge below the first two because of the slightly divided attention.

I recommend that audience members stay during the credits for a nostalgic look at clips from the first two movies.

I have been a fan of the HTTYD series since the first movie’s release in 2010, and I have enjoyed watching the characters grow and develop over the three films. I think this movie is the perfect ending to a great franchise. While I am sad the series has ended, I am extremely satisfied with how the writers and directors told fans goodbye in this movie. I give “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” a 10/10 and a wave as the franchise is put to rest.

“Dumbo” fails to take off

Disney’s newest attempt to bring back the good old days with the remake of the 1941 classic “Dumbo” started as a giant flop, and it does not look like it will soar. This one hour and 52-minute movie left me disappointed and wishing I could just watch the classic instead. The movie itself has received a lot of mixed reviews, and I personally give this movie a 5 out of 10 rating. It was okay, but there were so many things that didn’t make sense and so many things that could have been improved. Ultimately, these flaws made the movie suffer.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Dumbo’s character, and I have ever since I was a little girl. However, I found myself uncomfortably shifting in my seat as I watched the mistreatment of Dumbo and multiple other characters, including circus performers.

The animation was nice but could have been better, especially for a Disney movie. There were times where I was really impressed with the computer-generated imagery (CGI). However, there were many scenes where you could tell they were using a green screen, or the animation was obviously fake and overly saturated. One scene that I did like was at the very beginning when the animated train carts looked so worn down but still had the vibrant color that screams “Circus!” I also liked how they kept in the hallucinating dream from the original film but made it more kid-friendly by having it be a magic bubble show instead. This scene was very well done and impressive.

The storyline was slow but was similar to the original movie at the beginning. About 45 minutes into the film, the plot goes in a different direction and the movie goes even further downhill. The movie set and props were good at the beginning, but as the plot changes, the set starts to cross overtime periods, making the movie less reliable.

In the original movie, the cast consists entirely of animals, but in the 2019 remake, the main cast is comprised of humans. I personally think this is what really harmed the movie. The characters were flat, boring and underdeveloped.

It often felt forced when Holt Farrier, played by Colin Farrell, interacted with his children or implied love interest Collette, who is played by Eva Green. The lead villain V. A. Vandevere, played by Michael Keaton, was very plain and had overly basic motives. The film misses its overall message of embracing one’s flaws when Dumbo is born and everybody thinks he is hideous. They are so ashamed that they try to hide him from the public at all costs, and the only reason he is shown is because news had already gotten out to the public about the new baby elephant. They don’t even think of Dumbo as a good or cute baby elephant until they realize he can fly and make money for them.

I agree with the message the movie was trying to get across as a whole—animals should be free to live happily, and we should embrace our flaws. I will also always love Dumbo as a character. However, I feel the movie flew past these messages and chose to wow the audience with visuals instead.