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Edwards scores 40 points, No. 9 Purdue beats Illinois 93-86
Carsen Edwards stepped up when No. 9 Purdue needed a huge performance.
Edwards scored a career-high 40 points and Dakota Mathias added 18 to help the Boilermakers outlast Illinois in a 93-86 victory on Thursday night.
“I know they might not have the best record, but those guys compete. They make it difficult,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We’re just fortunate enough to have probably the best guard in our league, who can make individual plays, and he did them tonight.”
Edwards was 11 for 19 from the field and 14 for 16 at the line in the first 40-point game for Purdue since Glenn Robinson scored 44 points in a victory against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament in 1994. He also joined Illinois’ Brandon Paul as the only Big Ten players to score 40 points in a conference game in the last 20 years.
“If I played the way I did and we lost, it wouldn’t be as special to me,” Edwards said. “It was a close game all of the way. I’m just glad we came through with the win.”
Purdue (25-5, 14-3) shot 58.3 percent from the field in its second game since Vincent Edwards was sidelined by a left ankle injury. The Boilermakers also went 11 for 23 from 3-point range.
There were eight lead changes in the first half, highlighted by two big runs. With just under 10 minutes left, Edwards stole the ball from Leron Black and went down for a huge dunk to spark a 17-6 run for the Boilermakers. The Illini responded with a 10-3 run to finish the half trailing 43-38.
Trent Frazier helped Illinois rally in the second half, reeling off eight straight points to tie it at 56. Frazier, who was scoreless in the first half, finished with 20 points, six assists and five steals.
The Illini (13-17, 3-14) stayed within striking distance the rest of the game, but Purdue’s size and Edwards’ scoring eventually took over. The sophomore had 25 points in the second half, including a monstrous dunk on Frazier with just under seven minutes to play.
Black led Illinois with 28 points, notching his fourth consecutive 20-point game.
“We fought, we competed,” coach Brad Underwood said. “I’m not going to be happy with it. But we’re gaining ground.”
Drexel makes history with 34-point rally to beat Delaware
Tramaine Isabell posted a double-double and made two free throws with 2.2 seconds left to give Drexel a 34-point comeback win over Delaware Thursday night for the largest come-from-behind win in the history of Division I basketball.
Isabell scored 29 points with 12 rebounds and nine assists in the 85-83 victory. Drexel broke a record that stood since Dec. 30, 1950 when Duke beat Tulane 74-72 after trailing by 32.
Jacob Cushing’s 3-pointer with 2:36 before halftime gave Delaware a 53-19 lead. From there, Drexel (12-18, 6-11 Colonial Athletic) proceeded to outscore Delaware 66-30 on 58-percent shooting.
Isabell tied it with a 3-point play with 3:50 left. The teams traded jump shots before Darian Bryant fouled Isabell on his 3-point attempt with time winding down. Isabell made 2 of 3 foul shots and Eric Carter’s desperation 3-pointer was off as time expired.
Sammy Mojica scored 16 points, Troy Harper 14 and Kurk Lee, 13 for the Dragons.
Ray Allen led Delaware (12-18, 5-12) with 21 points, Ryan Daly, 17, Carter, 15 with 12 rebounds and Anthony Mosley added 14.
Arizona’s Trier suspended for trace amount of PED
Arizona’s Allonzo Trier has been declared ineligible for the reappearance of a banned substance that led to a 19-game suspension last season.
The NCAA notified the school on Thursday that the preseason All-America junior guard tested positive for trace amount of the substance late last month.
Arizona says the amount detected was minuscule by scientific standards and appeared to be a remnant of the undisclosed performance-enhancing drug Trier said he unknowingly ingested last season. The NCAA agreed, the school said.
Arizona is appealing the decision and hoping Trier will regain his eligibility soon. The 14th-ranked Wildcats (21-6, 11-3) have four regular-season games left before the Pac-12 Tournament starts March 7 in Las Vegas.
Trier sat out the first 19 games in 2016-17 after testing positive for the drug. He won an appeal with the NCAA and was allowed to return after the substance cleared his system.
“I have never knowingly taken a banned substance,” Trier said in a statement last season. “After finding out that I was given a banned substance by a well-intentioned, but misguided person not associated with the University after an injury, I presented this information to the NCAA. The NCAA agreed that I had no knowledge of receiving the substance and my eligibility was restored.”
Trier has been a key cog in the Wildcats’ bid to win their fourth Pac-12 title in five seasons. He is second to freshman Deandre Ayton for the team scoring lead at 19.6 points per game and second with 3.2 assists.
Dawn Staley sues Missouri AD for slander; SEC fines him
South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley is suing Missouri’s athletic director, saying he slandered her when he suggested she created an atmosphere that encouraged fans to spit on his players and use racial slurs.
Staley’s suit filed in Richland County asks for no more than $75,000 in damages from Sterk for disparaging her reputation.
Also on Thursday, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey fined Jim Sterk $25,000 and reprimanded him for publicly criticizing Staley.
Sterk broke a conference rule banning public criticism of other member institutions, their staff or players, Sankey said in a statement that also said SEC officials would review how South Carolina handles its crowd during games.
“We take seriously the reports from Missouri’s student-athletes about inappropriate language and actions directed at them by individual fans, and appreciate South Carolina’s willingness to engage in a full review of fan behavior,” Sankey said.
Missouri officials said they planned to comment on the lawsuit later Thursday.
The problems started the day after South Carolina’s 64-54 win at home on Jan. 28. The teams have played three tough, physical games in a row, and Sterk said in a radio interview the latest game had an unhealthy atmosphere.
“We had players spit on, and called the N-word and things like that. It was not a good environment and unfortunately, I think coach Staley promoted that kind of atmosphere,” Sterk said on KTGR radio.
Staley called the accusations “serious and false” right after they were made and said she lost sleep over them.
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner investigated, interviewing security personnel and others at the arena and found no evidence of spitting or racial slurs. He asked Sterk to retract his comments.
Curry scores 44, Warriors hold off late rally by Clippers
Draymond Green wants the Golden State Warriors to be rolling into the playoffs again this spring.
Steve Kerr is looking for ways to spark the defending NBA champions to make sure that happens, to bring the high-flying Warriors back to playing superb basketball on both ends.
He returned from a Hawaiian family getaway over the All-Star break and changed starting centers. It worked well enough for him to stick with JaVale McGee over Zaza Pachulia for another night.
Stephen Curry swished a beautiful buzzer-beater from way back early and hit another timely 3-pointer late on the way to scoring 44 points, and the Warriors held off the Los Angeles Clippers 134-127 on Thursday night.
“We’re a championship team. We’re not about to sit here and act like we’re this battered team that had a horrible season and we’re looking for any glimmer of hope,” Green said. “I understand we haven’t been as great as most people expect. We’re still a damn good basketball team so we don’t need no `but it’s a step in the right direction.’ You may get that out of someone but I don’t really roll like that.”
Kevin Durant had 21 points and eight assists, Klay Thompson added 19 points, and Green contributed 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Wizards hold off LeBron, new-look Cavaliers 110-103
Maybe life without John Wall won’t be as miserable as the Wizards feared.
The All-Star break barely slowed them down, and the Cavaliers couldn’t stop them either.
Bradley Beal scored 18 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 and tried to untie the sneakers of one of Cleveland’s new players, and the Wizards withstood a late assault by LeBron James to beat the new-look Cavs 110-103 on Thursday night.
The Wizards, who have been playing for weeks without Wall, their super-speedy star guard, nearly blew a late 11-point lead as James scored 14 straight points to pull the Cavs within 106-103. But Beal hit a driving layup and James missed a free throw and committed a lane violation while intentionally missing the second one and the Wizards held on.
“We hung together,” said Wizards coach Scott Brooks. “We showed great resolve. That’s what we talked about. Resiliency is what successful teams do in this league. We’ve been showing that. We’ve just got to keep doing it.”
Washington is 8-2 since Wall went down with a knee injury. Tomas Satoransky, who has been starting in Wall’s spot, added 17 points, eight assists and didn’t have a turnover in 31 minutes.
James, back from winning MVP honors at the All-Star Game, scored 32 – 14 in the fourth – for the Cavs, who dropped to 2-1 since acquiring four new players before the trade deadline. J.R. Smith added 15 for Cleveland.
Despite the loss, James was encouraged by the performance.
“I think we played well tonight, even though we lost,” James said. “I hate losing, obviously, but I think the way we played, the way we shared the ball. Defensively, we were flying around as well and those guys, they just played better than us tonight. I like the start, I like the direction we’re headed.”
The Wizards spoiled the home debuts for Larry Nance Jr., George Hill, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson, four new faces the Cavs are hoping can get them back to the NBA Finals.
Simmons’ late FTs gives 76ers 116-115 win over Bulls
Ben Simmons couldn’t recall winning a game from the free throw line at any level before Thursday night.
Still, the rookie stepped to the line with the confidence of a veteran.
Simmons scored a career-high 32 points, making two free throws with 5.6 seconds left to complete Philadelphia’s rally from five points down in the final minute, and the 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls 116-115.
“Stepping up to the line, I knew I was going to knock `em down. You have to have that mentality,” he said.
Joel Embiid had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Simmons added 11 assists and seven rebounds as Philadelphia won its sixth straight and snapped a four-game road losing streak.
Bobby Portis had a career-high 38 points and Zach LaVine added 23 for the Bulls, who were 18 for 34 on 3-pointers.
“He’s a guy that continues to grow and develop,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “It’s been fun to see him shooting the ball without any hesitation.”
Chicago had a 115-114 lead and the ball with 8 seconds to go before Embiid deflected an inbounds pass to create a turnover. Simmons came up with the ball near halfcourt and was fouled by Denzel Valentine. He made both free throws.
“First of all, we needed a steal,” Simmons said. “I saw Joel get it and he kind of lobbed it to me.”
Portis had a chance for a game winner, but his short attempt – with Embiid closing from the weak side – just missed.
The 76ers raced to a 25-7 lead midway through the first quarter before Portis got hot and Chicago started making 3s.
Philadelphia’s lead was down to 33-29 at the end of the quarter and the Bulls busted out for 40 points in the second to take a 69-67 halftime lead. Chicago was 9 of 12 on 3-pointers in the quarter, including 4 for 5 by Portis.
The 76ers were up by five early in the fourth before Portis scored six straight points – on a 3-pointer and a three-point play – to put the Bulls on top 101-100. A few minutes later, Portis dunked over Embiid to stretch the lead to 111-106 with just over four minutes to play.
LaVine hit a 3-pointer to make it 115-110 with 1:02 left.
Rays deal Dickerson to Pirates for Hudson and minor leaguer
Tampa Bay traded All-Star designated hitter Corey Dickerson to Pittsburgh on Thursday in exchange for relief pitcher Daniel Hudson, minor league infielder Tristan Gray and cash.
The 28-year-old Dickerson was designated for assignment last Saturday. He was the AL’s starting DH in last summer’s All-Star game, but struggled at the plate the second half of the season. The trade lets the Rays shed Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary.
Hudson is a 30-year-old right-hander who went 2-7 with a 4.38 ERA in a career-high 71 appearances in 2017. He’s 37-30 with a 3.98 career ERA over eight seasons with the Pirates, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hudson has 59 career starts, but primarily as a reliever since returning from a second Tommy John surgery in 2015.
Dickerson batted .282 with 27 home runs and 62 RBIs last season. He was obtained from the Colorado Rockies in January 2016 and hit .265 with 51 homers and 132 RBIs over the past two years.
Gray was a 13th-round pick of the Pirates in 2017. He spent his first pro season with Short-A West Virginia in the New York-Penn League, batting .269 with seven homers and 37 RBIs in 53 games.
Pirates owner Bob Nutting said Thursday that the team won’t stray from its roster strategy even if some of its moves are unpopular with fans. Pittsburgh traded away two of its top players, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and pitcher Gerrit Cole, in exchange for six younger players, including pitcher Joe Musgrove and third baseman Colin Moran, who will be on the opening day roster.
The turnover comes after the Pirates missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson to join Yankees’ camp Monday
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is set to join the New York Yankees’ spring training camp on Monday.
The Yankees acquired the one-time minor league infielder from the Texas Rangers on Feb. 7 for future considerations.
Wilson will spent a few days with the Yankees but won’t play in any games. He was assigned No. 73; his football jersey is No. 3, long retired by the Yankees for Babe Ruth.
“As a quarterback leadership, obviously, huge role for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Thursday. “He’s developed a reputation of being a tremendous leader. So, anytime we can get people like that around our guys, it’s something we welcome.”
The 29-year-old Wilson led the Seahawks to the 2014 Super Bowl championship, defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8. In six seasons, that include four Pro Bowl selections, he has a career record of 65-30-1.
“Look, I’m excited,” Boone said. “We’re talking about a high-caliber guy, a guy that’s won at the highest level. I know he loves baseball, was a Yankee fan growing up. So I know how excited first and foremost he is to come here and be around these guys.”
Wilson’s locker is next to newly acquired third baseman Brandon Drury, who grew up in Grants Pass, Oregon, and made the seven-hour drive to Seattle to watch Seahawks games.
“The guy’s a winner,” Drury said. “To pick a guy’s brain like that, I know he’s really smart. I’m excited getting to know him, for sure. I’m a big Russell Wilson fan, so it’s pretty cool.”
Wilson was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 amateur draft, and was acquired by Texas in the minor league phase of the 2013 winter meeting draft. He participated in Rangers’ spring training workouts in 2014 and `15/
In 93 career minor league games between Rookie-level Tri-City (2010) and Class A Asheville (2011) in Colorado’s system, Wilson hit .229 with 19 stolen bases, five homers and 26RBIs. In his last 15 games with Asheville in 2011, Wilson hit .302, had five extra-base hits and nine RBIs.
Wilson will be assigned to Double-A Trenton.
Alabama promotes Locksley, Tupoi, hires 2 more assistants
Alabama coach Nick Saban has promoted Mike Locksley to offensive coordinator and Josh Tupoi to defensive coordinator and hired two new assistants.
Saban announced the promotions Thursday along with the hiring of Dan Enos as quarterbacks coach and Craig Kuligowski as defensive line coach. Both will also be associate head coaches.
Locksley and Tupoi had both been co-coordinators for the defending national champions.
Enos is a former Arkansas offensive coordinator who had been hired by Michigan in January.
Kuligowski spent the past two seasons as the Miami Hurricanes’ defensive line coach and assistant head coach.
Longtime running backs coach Burton Burns will become assistant athletic director for football.
Saban also announced other staffing changes.
Joe Pannunzio will take over as the Crimson Tide’s running backs coach with Jeff Banks serving as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.
New assistant Pete Golding will work with inside linebackers and serve as co-defensive coordinator while Josh Gattis will be co-offensive coordinator and work with the receivers.
Locksley replaces Brian Daboll, who left to join the Buffalo Bills staff. Tupoi replaces Jeremy Pruitt, who took over Tennessee’s program.
“We are excited to be able to promote from within to fill our offensive and defensive coordinators positions,” Saban said. “Both Tosh and Michael are tremendous football coaches who will do an excellent job leading their respective units.”
Officer dies of cardiac arrest after fan violence in Spain
A Spanish riot police officer died of cardiac arrest after clashes involving Russian soccer fans before a Europa League match on Thursday between hosts Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow, raising concerns less than four months before the World Cup in Russia.
Basque Country authorities in northern Spain said the officer died in a hospital after the confrontations outside San Mames Stadium in the city of Bilbao, which will host matches in the 2020 European Championship.
Police also said a Russian man was injured but the extent of his injuries was not immediately disclosed. Five people were arrested – three Russian nationals and two Spaniards.
The identity of the dead officer was not immediately disclosed. Local media said he was a 50-year-old man.
There were conflicting reports about what caused his death, with some saying he was taken ill during the confrontations and other reports suggesting he was hit by an object during the fighting.
Spartak won the match 2-1 but Athletic advanced 4-3 on aggregate.
Earlier Thursday, German police arrested a Russian suspected of seriously injuring a British soccer fan during the European Championship in France two years ago.
“UEFA strongly condemns the violent clashes which occurred in Bilbao,” the governing body for European soccer said in a statement. “We are in contact with local authorities to obtain further information on these incidents.”
Head of USA Swimming says no tolerance for sexual misconduct
The new head of USA Swimming has sent a letter to members of the national governing body saying the organization doesn’t tolerate sexual abuse or misconduct.
The letter signed by president and CEO Tim Hinchey went out to member clubs and individuals Thursday.
“Let me be clear: USA Swimming does not tolerate sexual abuse or misconduct, and I assure you that this organization is facing this extremely serious issue with one very clear goal – protecting children and athletes,” he wrote.
This month, former Olympian and world champion swimmer Ariana Kukors alleged publicly that her former coach Sean Hutchison sexually abused her for a decade starting when she was a minor. Hutchison has denied the allegations. He acknowledged they were in a relationship after the 2012 Olympics, when she was 23 and he was 41.
“We will not shy away from acknowledging or supporting survivors of abuse, and we will strive to ensure that there is never a lapse of a support system again,” Hinchey said in the letter.
USA Swimming hired a private investigator to look into speculation of a relationship between Kukors and Hutchison in 2010. The organization said it closed the investigation without finding any misconduct after they and others denied the relationship.
Some have criticized the investigation as insufficient. It followed other sex abuse scandals in the sport that led to lifetime bans. USA Swimming said Kukors’ public statement was the first it learned of the underage abuse allegations.
This week, the Southern California News Group conducted an extensive investigation that found USA Swimming repeatedly balked at overhauling a culture in which “the sexual abuse of underage swimmers by their coaches and others in positions of power within the sport was commonplace and even accepted by top officials and coaches,” resulting in hundreds of young victims.
“While we disagree on several of the reported statements and many of the conclusions in recent media reports, members were failed, and we are doing everything we can to make sure it never happens again,” Hinchey wrote.
He acknowledged that USA Swimming’s system of uncovering sexual abuse “is not flawless.” However, in the letter Hinchey vowed to work with survivors, the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and law enforcement to hold wrongdoers accountable and remove them from the governing body.
He encouraged USA Swimming members to report any suspicious activity that might violate the group’s code of conduct.
“We simply cannot assume that those being abused will voluntarily come forward, even if given the opportunity to do so in a confidential manner,” Hinchey wrote.
He added since 2010 the organization has created a Safe Sport program, updated its code of conduct, mandated abuse prevention training and created a public list of individuals banned for sexual misconduct violations.
Last June, Hinchey succeeded 20-year president Chuck Wielgus, who died in April after a long battle with cancer.
ESPN adds Herbstreit to NFL draft coverage, replacing Gruden
Kirk Herbstreit will take Jon Gruden’s place on ESPN’s coverage of the NFL draft.
ESPN announced Thursday that Herbstreit will be part the opening night coverage of the first round in prime time on April 26 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Herbstreit will be joined by host Trey Wingo, draft analyst Mel Kiper and NFL analyst Louis Riddick.
Rounds two and three are April 27, and rounds four through seven are April 28.
Herbstreit is the lead analyst for ESPN’s “Saturday Night College Football” and the “College GameDay” pregame show.
Gruden left his job as analyst on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” in January to return to coaching as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Gruden joined ESPN in 2009 and has been part of draft coverage since 2010.
Herbstreit said he was approached by Lee Fitting, ESPN vice president, college sports, about being part of draft night coverage.
“After we talked about my role, I was pumped up,” Herbstreit told AP. “I’m going to stay in my lane and let Mel and Louis and Trey kind of say, `Hey, the Broncos really need to do this.’ I’ll kind of be more of breaking down some of the prospects from a college football perspective. Once they told me I was doing that and not projecting … I’m not into that at all.”
Herbstreit has covered most of the players expected to be drafted in the first round, especially top quarterback prospects such as Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Southern California’s Sam Darnold.
“I’m hoping to bring a little bit of the intangibles and what makes this particular guy tick,” he said.
Herbstreit has been part of “GameDay” since 1996. The show has grown into a three-hour marathon, often unscripted. The draft show is even more unpredictable, but Herbstreit said his time on “GameDay” should help on draft night.
“As long as you do your homework, when you go on the set the ball can go anywhere and you’re ready to go,” he said.