13 MIAMI (FL)84
23 IOWA ST.50



17 UCLA70
24 UNLV65













GREENVILLE. N.C. (AP) Kelvin Sampson had no interest in breaking down the ins and outs of top-ranked Houston’s first-half lockdown on East Carolina.

Not when compared to having another American Athletic Conference regular-season title in hand.

“I’m happy for our kids to be rewarded with winning a conference championship,” Sampson said after Saturday night’s 76-57 win at East Carolina to clinch outright possession of the league’s regular-season title. “That’s not easy to do.”

Marcus Sasser scored 22 points to lead the Cougars (27-2, 15-1), who have won at least a share of the crown four times in five seasons. This time, it comes with the Cougars charging toward March with a perfect road record.

“Our kids know how to win – I say that a lot,” Sampson said. “But we’ve figured out how to play our system, be unselfish.”

To his point, Sasser got plenty of help from Tramon Mark (20 points) and J’Wan Roberts (17 points, 12 rebounds) in Houston’s ninth straight victory.

And as with the long-running formula under Sampson, the Cougars didn’t need a huge offensive performance to assert control of this one while leaning on defense and rebounding.

By halftime, the Cougars had blocked more shots (five) than the Pirates had even made (three) and led by 17. ECU finished the game shooting 32%, including 52% after halftime while trailing big, and Houston claimed a 48-28 rebounding advantage that included 17 offensive rebounds and 19 second-chance points.

East Carolina (14-14, 5-10) had an energetic home crowd for the first-ever visit from a No. 1-ranked team to Minges Coliseum, as well as the program’s first game against a top-ranked opponent in more than 31 years. But the Cougars never trailed and led for all but 56 seconds.

“The atmosphere (fans) had in there, they delivered at the highest level – the students, this community, Greenville,” first-year ECU coach Michael Schwartz said. “It was electric in there. They delivered. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to deliver the same back to them.”

Ezra Ausar scored 15 points to lead the Pirates, who got as close as 50-35 after halftime on Jaden Walker’s 3-pointer at the 11:37 mark. In fact, it was the first of three times ECU pulled within 15 – yet Houston answered immediately each time to keep the Pirates from sustaining any true momentum toward a stunning upset.


Houston: The Cougars have been rolling right along toward March with the kind of defensive efficiency that can make offensive possessions an adventure for opponents. And they arrived as the the only team in KenPom’s metrics to rank in the top 10 nationally of adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. Houston ended up with a relatively low-drama trip to the state of North Carolina.

ECU: Pirates fans had memories of Houston’s last visit here two years ago, when the Pirates stunned the fifth-ranked Cougars for their lone win against a top-5 opponent and their first win against any AP Top 25 team in nearly two decades. This time, they were getting their fourth shot against the No. 1-ranked team and first since losing at Duke in November 1991. But the Pirates saw any chance to a repeat upset wither amid that 3-for-25 shooting in the first half, including going the last 10:56 without a basket as Houston’s lead grew.


The Cougars had at least one bit of drama: a brief injury exit for Sasser.

Averaging a team-best 16.9 points, he got off to a fast start before having to leave after rolling his right ankle, which happened as he bumped into ECU screener Brandon Johnson away from the ball. He had to be helped off the court and taken to the locker room, though he returned minutes later to make it a brief absence for the team’s leading scorer.

“I was just happy he was good,” Mark said.


Houston: Host Wichita State on Thursday.

ECU: Host Tulane on Wednesday.


SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Drew Timme scored 19 points and No. 12 Gonzaga earned a share of the West Coast Conference regular-season title with a 77-68 win over No. 15 Saint Mary’s on Saturday night.

Anton Watson had 17 points and Malachi Smith added 13 off the bench for the Bulldogs, who have won or shared the conference title in 11 straight seasons. Gonzaga (25-5, 14-2) also reached the 25-win mark for the 16th season in a row – and avenged a loss to the Gaels earlier this month in Moraga.

“It was the whole nation watching and we made sure that we backed our name and made everybody respect us,” Watson said. “We know what happened with LMU here at home and everybody kind of looked down on us, but we just had to keep a tight circle.”

Logan Johnson led the Gaels (25-6, 14-2) with 27 points after a 29-point performance against Pacific in the team’s last game.

Because the teams shared the regular-season title, the WCC will use the NCAA’s NET rankings to determine the top seed for the conference tournament. That’s expected to be determined Sunday. Entering Saturday’s matchup, Saint Mary’s was ranked No. 7 and Gonzaga No. 10 in the NET rankings.

Should the higher seed advance in every round of the conference tourney, the Gaels will face No. 4 seed Loyola Marymount – the only team to beat both Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s this season – in the semifinal round.

Saint Mary’s outscored Gonzaga in the second half, but couldn’t overcome a 13-point halftime deficit. A 3-pointer by Joshua Jefferson cut the lead to five with 3:03 to play, but Watson’s dunk and four free throws by Gonzaga pushed the game back to double digits with 1:22 remaining.

Two free throws from Johnson cut the lead to six with 29.8 seconds to play, but a dunk by Timme and free throws from Julian Strawther iced the game.

Gonzaga broke an early deadlock with Saint Mary’s to take an eight-point lead after Randy Bennett turned to his bench for the first time with 11:42 remaining in the first.

The Gaels got within three points, but Smith scored six of his eight first-half points to help Gonzaga close the final six minutes of the half on a 15-7 run.

“I have a lot of confidence in Malachi. He’s never afraid. The bigger the moment, the better he is,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. “It’s a nice luxury to have those guys.”

The Zags led by as many as 19 before taking a 13-point lead to the locker room. Saint Mary’s had three separate three-minute stretches without a field goal in the first.

The Zags held Aidan Mahaney scoreless for the first 25 minutes, but Mahaney threatened to be the star for the second straight game. The freshman scored eight points in the second half to close the lead to six, but Gonzaga held him without a field goal the rest of the way.

“Through the post was working for them with Timme. We totally expected that, but didn’t do a good job there,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said. “They always test you on your on-ball coverage.

“There’s a reason they lead the country in scoring every year.”


ESPN’s College GameDay returned to Spokane for the first time since 2009 with students camping overnight in below-freezing temperatures to be first inside when doors opened at 6 a.m.

“It was the best environment of the year,” show host Rece Davis said. “Really, I’d be hard pressed to think of one that was better in the last few years. … They wanted to show off their passion for their team and their school and their city, and they did this as well as any crowd I can remember in my now 19 years on the show.”


Gonzaga: The Zags improved to 9-2 against Saint Mary’s when both teams are ranked and are 5-4 against Quad 1 opponents. With the win, the Zags won 25 games for the 16th consecutive season, breaking a tie with Kansas for the longest streak of all time.

Saint Mary’s: The loss snapped the Gaels’ four-game winning streak and dropped them to 2-2 against Quad 1 opponents ahead of the WCC Tournament. Saint Mary’s has finished tied for second or higher in the WCC in 16 of the last 19 seasons.


Saint Mary’s: Will play in the WCC semifinals on March 6 in Las Vegas.

Gonzaga: Home against Chicago State on Wednesday night.


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Arizona State’s latest rivalry loss appeared imminent even after a late rally, with a desperate heave all that was left.

Desmond Cambridge Jr. cashed it in, swishing a McKale miracle to keep the Sun Devils’ NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

Cambridge Jr. hit a 60-foot shot at the buzzer and Arizona State rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat No. 7 Arizona 89-88 on Saturday.

“I did not think that shot was going in,” said Cambridge, who finished with 19 points. “I just wanted to have a nice miss and everyone in the crowd go, “ohhh!” Once it went in, I literally could only scream because I couldn’t make sense of it.”

The Wildcats (24-5, 13-5 Pac-12) led by 10 before going more than six minutes without a field goal as Arizona State pulled ahead by one.

The Sun Devils (20-9, 11-7) went up 86-85 on Warren Washington’s layup with just a minute left, but Pelle Larsson put Arizona back up on a layup with 29 seconds left.

Arizona State’s DJ Horne missed a jumper with four seconds left and the Sun Devils had a final shot after Oumar Ballo hit 1 of 2 free throws.

Catching the ball with 2.4 seconds left, Cambridge left the fans at McKale Center stunned, launching a shot from beyond half-court that sent his teammates charging onto the floor in celebration.

“We were sitting on pocket aces and it happens sometimes,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said.

Cedric Henderson Jr. led Arizona with 19 points and Azuoulas Tubelis added 17.

In the first meeting, Arizona State went on a big run to open the second half, but Lloyd didn’t call a timeout, letting his team play through the adversity. The Wildcats responded with a run over their own for a 69-60 win on a night when neither team shot better than 37%.

The rematch was all about the offense.

The Sun Devils hit as many 3-pointers in the first eight minutes as they did the entire first game and shot 20 of 34 from the floor to lead 46-45.

The Wildcats hit 16 of 27 shots, including Henderson’s buzzer-beating 3, but went 7 of 14 on free throws.

The good shooting trailed off only slightly to start the second half.

Arizona went on a short run to build a six-point lead and the Sun Devils started taking questionable shots, allowing the Wildcats to stretch it to 78-68.

Even after turning up the defensive pressure to get back in it, Arizona State appeared to be down and out – until Cambridge came to the rescue, ending the Sun Devils’ five-game losing streak to Arizona.

“A lot of people were jumping ship and thinking we’re not that team, but we are that team and the guys proved it tonight by going toe to toe with a team like Arizona on their home floor this late in the season,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said.


Arizona State played without guard Austin Nunez, who was in concussion protocol after being injured against Utah last week.

The freshman point guard is averaging 4.5 points while giving the Sun Devils an energy boost off the bench.


Arizona had a huge advantage in free throws, outscoring Arizona State by 12 at the line.

The Wildcats could have used a few more to go in, finishing 23 of 34.

“You’d like to be make one or two more, it probably makes a difference,” Lloyd said.


Arizona State: The Sun Devils needed some kind of boost for their NCAA Tournament chances. One of the most stunning finishes in the history of the rivalry certainly should help.

Arizona: The Wildcats were in control before going cold from the field at the wrong time. Their seniors will never forget how their final home game ended after Cambridge’s stunner.


Arizona State: Plays at No. 4 UCLA on Thursday.

Arizona: Plays at Southern California on Thursday.


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Brandon Miller and No. 2 Alabama eked out another close win in a week that has proved challenging on and off the court.

Miller scored 24 points and Mark Sears made 7 of 8 free throws over the final 1:04 to help No. 2 Alabama secure an 86-83 victory over Arkansas on Saturday, following an overtime win at South Carolina on Wednesday.

Miller delivered his second straight huge game since police alleged in courtroom testimony that Miller brought a gun to former teammate Darius Miles, who is charged with capital murder in a fatal shooting.

The week’s details cast a different light on Miller’s regular pregame introduction, which is a Tide staffer giving him a pat down. That, coach Nate Oats said, is over.

“I think that’s something that’s been going on all year,” Oats said to open his postgame news conference. “I don’t watch our introductions. I’m not involved with them. I’m drawing up plays at that time. Regardless, it’s not appropriate. It’s been addressed, and I can assure you it definitely will not happen again the remainder of this year.”

Miller received a warmer reception at home than in South Carolina, where he heard chants of “lock him up” and “guilty” a day after testimony about the gun, which was allegedly used by another man in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Jamea Harris on Jan. 15.

Miller hasn’t been accused of or charged with any crime – or missed any playing time. Miller’s attorney said Miller never handled the gun and that it had been left in his back seat. Police also said another Alabama player, guard Jaden Bradley, was at the scene. He started Saturday’s game and did not score.

No players were made available and Oats declined to answer questions on the shooting case.

But there was plenty on the court to talk about.

Miller’s fellow freshman Nick Smith Jr. of Arkansas (19-10, 8-8 Southeastern Conference), another potential NBA draft lottery pick who helped keep the Razorbacks in it with a late 3-pointer, also scored 24 points.

Miller helped key a 15-0 run for Alabama (25-4, 15-1) by scoring six straight points and eight total for a 56-46 lead midway through the second half – just the second lead of the game for the Tide. Arkansas missed eight straight shots and four consecutive free throws during that span after leading most of the way.

“We really struggled to start the second half,” Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman said. “That was the difference in the game, was a stretch there to start the second half.”

The Razorbacks surged back with 20 points over the final 2:48, and Smith netted a 3 with 10 seconds left to make it 85-83. Rylan Griffen made the second of two free throws and Ricky Council IV’s potential tying 3 attempt bounced off the rim.

Davonte Davis had 21 points for Arkansas, Council scored 20, and the rest of the team combined for 18 points.

Miller, who scored 41 against South Carolina on Wednesday, missed his first five 3-point attempts while the team got off to a 1-for-20 start. He finally hit one with three minutes left.

Oats said Miller may be the most mentally tough player he has ever coached.

He said his star freshman “completely understands that the situation is tragic, and he takes it very seriously,” then added: “He’s got a special way about getting locked in to where he’s currently at, whether it’s practice or games or whatever. He’s been able to do that this week.”

Jahvon Quinerly had 16 points and seven assists for the Tide.

“We don’t win the game if he doesn’t play the way he does in the second half,” Oats said. “We don’t have a chance.”

Noah Clowney produced 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Arkansas held Alabama to only three 3s but the Tide scored 52 points in the paint.

“You’re not going to take away both,” Musselman said. “You’re not going to do it. That’s why they’re ranked second in the country.”

The Razorbacks used a 9-0 run followed by Smith’s baseline jumper with 6 seconds left to take a 37-28 halftime lead. It was the Tide’s lowest scoring first half since trailing No. 1 Houston 31-27 on Dec. 10 before rallying to win.


Arkansas: Once a top 10 team, the Razorbacks couldn’t pull off a third straight win. Arkansas kept it much closer than the earlier 84-69 Alabama win when Smith was out with a knee injury.

Alabama: Dominated the boards in the second half 26-14 after both teams collected 22 rebounds in the first. Made 3 of 22 3-pointers (14%).


A total of 34 representatives from 18 NBA teams were issued credentials for the showdown between Miller and Smith, who are arguably the two top prospects from the college ranks.


Arkansas: Visits No. 11 Tennessee on Tuesday night.

Alabama: Hosts in-state rival Auburn on Wednesday night.




SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Utah will enter the Pac-12 Tournament as a champion.

Gianna Kneepkens scored a season-high 28 points to lead the No. 8 Utes to an 84-78 victory over No. 3 Stanford on Saturday. Utah earned a share of their first regular-season Pac-12 Conference title with the win.

Alissa Pili finished with 14 points and Kennedy McQueen had 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and six steals for Utah (25-3, 15-3), which shares the conference title with Stanford.

The Utes claimed a share of the Pac-12 crown only two seasons after winning just five total games.

“That’s my job and I’m stubborn,” Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. “I wouldn’t believe that it couldn’t happen. I knew we could do it. I knew it could happen.”

Hannah Jump led Stanford (27-4, 15-3) with 24 points. Cameron Brink had 14 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Cardinal, while Haley Jones added nine points and eight rebounds.

Utah led the entire second half, but Stanford pulled within one at 73-72 after Brink and Jones combined to make four straight baskets. Kneepkens knocked down a 3-pointer to keep the Cardinal from erasing the deficit completely.

The Utes then forced three straight turnovers in the final minute to secure the win.

“They were more aggressive, and our turnovers were bad,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “Our lack of execution (hurt us). They were the better team.”

Stanford seized a quick 9-0 lead after making four straight baskets, culminating in back-to-back jumpers from Jump. Utah used stout defense to erase the deficit, going ahead 10-9 on a pair of free throws from Kelsey Rees. The Utes held the Cardinal scoreless for five minutes and forced four turnovers in that stretch.

Utah built a seven-point lead during the second quarter behind hot shooting from Kneepkens. She scored 12 points in the quarter, culminating in a 3-pointer that put the Utes up 40-33. Kneepkens gave Utah’s offense a spark while Pili sat the final nine minutes of the first half after picking up her third foul.

She credited Roberts’ trust in her abilities for helping the Utes weather Pili’s absence.

“We don’t have to play tentative out there,” Kneepkens said. “We can just play free.”

The Utes made 5 of 7 shots to open the second half and went ahead 52-40 on back-to-back baskets from Kneepkens and Issy Palmer.

Second-chance baskets sparked a Stanford rally. The Cardinal scored 11 second-chance points in the third quarter after being held scoreless in that category during the first half. Stanford trimmed the deficit to a basket, cutting Utah’s lead to 59-57 on a layup from Jones.

The Cardinal never came close enough to go ahead of the Utes after Utah kept getting stops at critical junctures while taking care of the ball.

“We caught them off-guard a little bit with how we were defending,” Roberts said. “21 turnovers is not normal for them. Conversely, we only had 10. I think that’s where the game was won.”


McQueen keyed Utah’s relentless defense with a career-high in steals. The sophomore guard is pacing the Utes with a team-high 1.1 steals per game this season.

Roberts said McQueen has an incredibly high motor and teammates credit her with helping improve their individual games with her defensive tenacity in practices.

“She makes all of us better each day,” Kneepkins said. “Kennedy uses her athleticism super well to get boards and just scrap on defense. You can watch her and take pointers from her.”


Stanford: The Cardinal dominated on the glass, outrebounding Utah 37-23. That gave Stanford numerous critical extra possessions against a tenacious Ute defense.

Utah: The Utes were proficient in disrupting Stanford’s offense and capitalizing on turnovers. Utah scored 26 points off 21 Cardinal turnovers.


Beating a top-5 Stanford team should boost Utah back into the top 5.


Stanford and Utah will play in the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. Both teams have a bye into the quarterfinal round on Thursday.


NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Shaylee Gonzales scored 19 points and No. 19 Texas snapped a first-place tie with No. 13 Oklahoma in the Big 12, beating the Sooners 67-45 on Saturday.

Rori Harmon had 14 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and DeYona Gaston scored 12 points with 11 rebounds, her second double-double this season for the Longhorns (22-7, 13-3). Taylor Jones had five of Texas’ 10 blocks to go with 10 points. Shay Holle added 11 points, all in the pivotal third quarter.

Liz Scott scored 13 points with nine rebounds for the Sooners (22-5, 12-4), who had a six-game win streak snapped. Madi Williams, averaging over 16 points, finished with eight. The Longhorns outshot the Sooners by 20%.

The Longhorns outscored the Sooners 24-14 in the third quarter to take control. Holle made three 3-pointers in the quarter, two coming in an 11-0 run for a 19-point bulge that Oklahoma was able to trim to 14. Williams scored the first basket of the final quarter but Texas pulled away from there.

The Sooners came in with the nation’s second-ranked scoring offense at 86.7 points per game. They had only 58 in a 20-point loss to the Longhorns on Jan. 25. The two point totals against Texas are the lowest for the Sooners this season

Texas led 27-23 at halftime behind nine points from Gonzales.

Texas is host to Baylor on Monday and plays at Kansas State next Saturday to conclude the regular season. Oklahoma is host to Kansas State on Wednesday and is at Oklahoma State on Saturday.



DETROIT (AP) Pascal Siakam had 29 points and eight rebounds for the Toronto Raptors in their fourth straight win, a 95-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points and Scottie Barnes added 12, all in the second half, as the Raptors won for the seventh time in eight games. Precious Achiuwa chipped in 10 points off the bench.

“We just continue to play together, try to minimize the mistakes and fight through everything,” said Siakam, who scored eight points in the final 3:20. “It’s not going to be perfect but as long as we’re together we’ll help each other on defense.”

The Raptors shot 37.5% from the field, made 22 of 34 free throw attempts and were outrebounded 62-46. They survived by holding Detroit to 40.4% shooting and committing only eight turnovers.

“We’re playing pretty solidly at the defensive end with some intensity and some disruptiveness,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said.

Detroit’s Marvin Bagley III piled up a season-high 21 points and 18 rebounds in his first game since fracturing his right hand on Jan. 2.

“I love the way he played,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “Rebounding-wise, he had 13 in the first half and that was huge. It was great to have him back.”

Isaiah Livers, Hamidou Diallo and Bojan Bogdanovic had 11 points apiece for the Pistons, who lost their fourth straight. James Wiseman added 10 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out, and Jaden Ivey had 10 points and 10 assists.

Both teams scored 22 points in the first and second quarters, but the Raptors finished the third quarter on a 9-1 run to take a 71-70 lead. Toronto extended it to eight points but the Pistons answered with an 8-0 spurt to tie it again.

“We didn’t shoot it very well, we didn’t finish very well, we didn’t shoot free throws very well but I liked how we played,” Nurse said. “We were getting (the ball) to where it should go about 90% of the possessions.”

Trent’s 3-pointer with 2:38 remaining gave the Raptors an 89-86 advantage. Ivey made two free throws in the final minute to pull Detroit within a point.

Bagley missed a shot in the lane that could have given Detroit the lead before Siakam made two free throws with 11 seconds left.

Bagley split free throws with 4.1 seconds left and Siakam clinched Toronto’s win with two more free throws.

“Our defense was solid and physical but we fouled way too much,” Casey said. “I liked our toughness and aggressiveness. Our defense has gotten much better but with that we still have to be able to score in today’s game.”

The Raptors can reach the .500 mark for the first time since early December with a win in Cleveland on Sunday.

“We had a lot of games we could have won and been in a different spot,” Siakam said. “We put ourselves in this situation. That happens in life and we’ve just got to continue to focus on the task ahead.”


Raptors PG Fred VanVleet missed his second consecutive game due to personal reasons. … Detroit rookie C Jalen Duren sat out due to bilateral ankle soreness. … R.J. Hampton made his Pistons debut after being waived by Orlando on Tuesday and signing with Detroit. The third-year guard went scoreless in five first-half minutes. … The Raptors have won the first three meetings of the four-game season series. They’ll go for the sweep at Toronto on March 24.


Raptors: Visit Cleveland on Sunday.

Pistons: Visit Charlotte on Monday.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jayson Tatum buried the 3-pointer that put Boston ahead with 1.3 seconds left and casually backpedaled on defense before he turned to greet his teammates and – woosh! – a 70-foot shot sailed over his head and into the basket.

Joel Embiid shook his head no. The 76ers’ All-Star center knew his tying, desperation heave was just a tick too late.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla needed a second look to know the Celtics were in the clear and he wasn’t positive until “they showed it on the Jumbotron.”

Time to celebrate.

Tatum hit the winning 3 that capped Boston’s comeback from 15 points down in the third quarter and he finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and six assists to help the Celtics hold on for a 110-107 win against Philadelphia on Saturday night.

“I dream about taking those shots,” Tatum said. “The worst thing that can happen is you miss.”

He didn’t miss.

Jaylen Brown scored 26 points, Derrick White added 18 and Al Horford hit five game-changing 3s for 15 points.

“Our guys have been there,” Mazzulla said. “They’ve been through it all.”

Embiid finished with 41 points and 12 rebounds. He also made 17 of 18 free throws. James Harden scored 21 points and Tobias Harris had 19.

The late-game thriller proved worthy of a showdown between two of the top teams in the East.

Boston, though, proved it’s still the team to beat.

The Sixers dug deep trailing by five with 3 minutes left. With booming “MVP! MVP!” chants filling the arena, Embiid hit two free throws and followed with a jumper that pulled the Sixers within one. Embiid then blocked Brown’s layup and Tyrese Maxey went the other way for a go-ahead driving layup that sent another packed house into a frenzy.

Horford, once considered a key cog in the 76ers’ chase for a championship, instead hit the clutch 3-pointer inside Wells Fargo Center that the city craved from him in 2019-20. He put the Celtics ahead by two points and a bucket by Tatum made it 107-103.

Harden and Embiid made four straight free throws that tied the game and put every fan – there was a smattering of green in the stands – on edge.

Tatum, though, calmly hit a 3 to put Boston ahead. Embiid then heaved one from inside the opposing 3-point line and it fell through the basket — just after the horn.

“I kind of had a feeling it wasn’t going to count,” Tatum said. “But it’s the NBA, right? Anything can happen.”

Just not on this night for the Sixers.

“Unfortunately, story of my life,” Embiid said.

Tatum celebrated by giving his game-worn jersey to Philadelphia Eagles star wide receiver – and noted Celtics fan – DeVonta Smith.

The 76ers had another packed house and fans were hyped from pregame warmups for a game with a definitive playoff feel. Both teams came out firing — they each hit four 3s and shot at least 50% in the first quarter. The scoring swings were so one-sided for a stretch that the Celtics went on a 20-4 run and only led 39-32.

The Sixers entered this one with something to prove after a miserable effort in a 106-99 loss earlier this month in Boston. The reigning Eastern Conference champion Celtics remain the class of the conference. The Sixers are still out to show under coach Doc Rivers they’re more than a 50-win, second-round exit team. They’re going to need Embiid to lead the way. After a difficult shooting night against Memphis on Thursday, Embiid had a game worthy of the “MVP! MVP!” chants that serenaded him with each trip to the free-throw line.

He bullied his way down the lane for big buckets. Embiid’s three-point play late in the fourth stretched the lead to 11 and he had an assist on De’Anthony Melton’s 3-pointer on the next possession.

Horford made three straight 3s to bring Boston back into the game. Horford’s fourth 3 of the quarter keyed an 18-3 run and helped the Celtics lead 80-78 through three.

“It’s not extra motivation,” Horford said of his return. “It’s just fun. Those are the games you want to be a part of.”


Celtics: Hit five 3s and shot 52% in the third quarter.

76ers: C Dewayne Dedmon sat out with left hip tightness. … P.J. Tucker’s 11 rebounds in the first half were a season high and the first time in 12 seasons he had double-digit boards in a half. He finished with 16.


Celtics: Play Monday at New York.

76ers: Host Miami on Monday before they open March with a stretch of 12 of 15 road games.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Gordon Hayward scored 21 points, rookie center Mark Williams had a huge game with 18 points and 20 rebounds – both career highs – and the surging Charlotte Hornets defeated the Miami Heat 108-103 on Saturday night for their season-best fourth straight win.

LaMelo Ball had 16 of his 19 points in the second half and finished with 13 assists for his sixth straight double-double. Kelly Oubre Jr. and Dennis Smith Jr. each had 15 points off the bench for the Hornets.

Tyler Herro had 33 points on six 3-pointers and Jimmy Butler added 28 points as Miami lost its fourth straight. Kevin Love had 13 points and 13 rebounds in his second game since joining the Heat.

Herro called losing games on back-to-back nights coming out of the All-Star break “disappointing.”

“This is a point in the year where we can either come together or we can go away and split,” Herro said.

The Hornets earned a season series split with the Heat, with each team winning twice at home.

Williams was a dominant force inside all night for the Hornets and scored the game’s final four points on an alley-oop from Ball and a thunderous dunk of an offensive rebound to help bury the Heat. He finished 9 of 12 from the field.

“I think everybody viewed him as a talented defensive rim protector, but he has a chance to be a very good offensive player, too,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of Williams, the 15th overall pick in last year’s draft.

Williams stepped into a starting role when the team sent veteran Mason Plumlee to the Los Angeles Clippers at the trade deadline.

“The more and more I play, the more and more comfortable I get,” Williams said. “Offensively, getting ready to catch passes from whoever, lobs, drop offs, on the offensive glass.”

Charlotte led by 22 in the first half before Miami clawed back to cut the lead to three at the break.

But Ball, who was 1 of 11 from the field in the first half, erupted with three 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the third quarter to set the tone for the second half. He added two more crucial 3s in the fourth quarter after Miami had cut the lead to one.

“He’s super confident and he puts so much time in, so that gives you confidence,” Clifford said. “He works at it and his game is in rhythm, so I think he feels like he’s always going to be able to make them.”

Miami’s offensive struggles – it has failed to reach 110 points in six straight games – carried over to the first half.

The Heat shot 20.8% from the floor in the first quarter to fall behind 29-16. Charlotte extended the lead to 22 in the second quarter before Miami closed the first half on a 24-6 run sparked by 10 points by Love and a pair of 3s from Herro.

“We put ourselves in a hole and it’s just tough to get out of in this league with a bunch of good teams and good players,” Herro said. “That’s on us as players to bring out best effort every night.”

Miami would cut the lead to one with under two minutes to play in the game on Bam Adebayo’s driving dunk and had a chance to take the lead on its next possession. But Adebayo turned the ball over on a fast-break opportunity with 1:30 left.

Williams made the Heat pay with back-to-back baskets.

Miami failed to score on its final four possessions, turning it over twice.


Heat: Kyle Lowry (left knee soreness), Nikola Jovic (lower back stress reaction) and Omer Yurtseven (ankle surgery) did not play. … Butler was 16 of 20 from the foul line.

Hornets: P.J. Washington (right foot soreness) and Cody Martin (left knee soreness) sat out. … Dennis Smith Jr. had a monster one-handed dunk over Max Strus in the second quarter that brought the crowd to its feet, but was assessed a technical foul for talking trash after the play.


Heat: At Philadelphia on Monday night.

Hornets: Host Detroit on Monday night.


NEW YORK (AP) Julius Randle scored 28 points to lead New York to a 128-106 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night as the Knicks celebrated the golden anniversary of their 1972-73 NBA championship team.

Six players scored in double figures for New York, which won its fifth straight. R.J. Barrett had 25 points and a season-high seven assists. Jalen Brunson added 20 points, Josh Hart scored 15 points, Immanuel Quickley added 13, and Mitchell Robinson finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.

“It’s a team, any given night it’s going to be different,” Barrett said, when asked if the 2022-23 Knicks were emulating their 1972-73 predecessors by playing unselfish basketball. “We did a great job sharing the ball. Everybody kind of had a great game.”

Brandon Ingram scored 19 points for the Pelicans, who lost their third straight and fourth in five games overall. Josh Richardson added 16 points, C.J. McCollum finished with 13 and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Trey Murphy III scored 11 off the bench.

“We have to be better and I (have to) hold our guys more accountable,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “That standard in which we played with tonight is not us.”

New York was playing the second half of a back-to-back, coming off a 115-109 win over the Wizards a night earlier in Washington. Meanwhile the Pelicans last played Thursday, falling 115-110 loss to the Raptors in Toronto.

The Knicks came out looking like the fresher team, building a 42-26 advantage after the first quarter, and extending the lead to 73-52 at halftime.

Randle (19), Barrett (13), and Brunson (12) combined for 44 points as New York shot 54.3% from the field (25 for 46) and 50% from 3-point distance (13 for 26). New York’s 13 3-pointers in the first half matched a season high.

“Got off to a good start,” said Randle, “and sustained it.”

The Pelicans trailed by as many as 27 points midway through the third. Despite going on a 19-12 run to close out the period, New Orleans trailed 102-82 entering the fourth.

New York opened the fourth with a 12-8 spurt, highlighted by Robinson’s one-handed alley-oop dunk. And Randle’s two-handed dunk off of Quickley’s off-the-backboard-pass all but ended any hopes of a comeback by the Pelicans.

New Orleans lost reserve forward Larry Nance Jr. in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle. He did not return. Nance was defending Quickley and landed awkwardly while attempting to contest a layup. Nance was down on the court for a few minutes and had to be helped to the locker room.


Pelicans: Here is what Green knows: He and his team will have star Zion Williamson return from a right hamstring injury at some point this season. Green and his team suspect Williamson’s return will happen before the playoffs begin. What is unknown is how Williamson will be reintroduced to the roster. “Once (we know) he’s ready it’s something that (Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations David Griffin and) our performance team and medical (staff) and coaches sit down and talk about what’s the best plan,” Green said. Entering the game, the Pelicans had lost 17 of 24 games played in 2023 without Williamson in the lineup.

Knicks: Throughout the game, the Knicks paid homage to their 1972-73 championship team with video testimonials and a halftime ceremony. And perhaps no person in Madison Square Garden could better appreciate that team more than Tom Thibodeau, who grew up in Connecticut rooting for the Knicks. “That was such a great team,” Thibodeau said during his pregame press conference. “They were so unselfish. They played great defense. . That was such a fun team but it’s what they embodied and how they played for each other. I think it resonated with the city.”


Pelicans: Host Orlando on Monday.

Knicks: Host Boston on Monday.




WASHINGTON (AP) On the way out of the arena late in the third period of the New York Rangers’ latest loss, Vitali Kravtsov ran into Washington Capitals forward Aliaksi Protas and told him he was heading to Vancouver.

Patrick Kane could soon be going from Chicago to New York in his place.

The Rangers on Saturday began the machinations necessary if a trade for Patrick Kane were to materialize. They traded Kravtsov to the Vancouver Canucks and put forward Jake Leschyshyn on waivers, transactions that in combination could clear the cap space to get Kane from Chicago.

Those moves happened while the Rangers were in the midst of getting drubbed 6-3 by the division rival Capitals, with the background distractions creeping into New York’s play.

“I think everybody is aware of what’s going on around us,” captain Jacob Trouba said. “As a player, that’s not something for you to worry about. Your job is to play the game and be ready to play when the puck drops.”

It’s unclear if Kane could be with the Rangers the next time the puck drops for them, on Sunday at home against the Los Angeles Kings, or if the wait will be longer. But it doesn’t appear Kane will play again for the Blackhawks any time soon, with the 34-year-old leaving the team during its road trip.

“He has left this morning,” coach Luke Richardson said in San Jose. “As as of today, he has flown back to Chicago, I think, just until the situation rectifies itself.”

The situation is coming into focus after trading Kravtsov for minor leaguer William Lockwood and a 2026 seventh-round draft pick in what’s essentially a salary dump. More will come off the cap Sunday when Leschyshyn is either claimed by another team or clears waivers and is sent to the minors.

Coach Gerard Gallant didn’t learn of the trade until after the game and wished Kravtsov the best.

“He really worked hard and he tried this year, and we just couldn’t find a spot in our lineup for him,” Gallant said. “It gives him a fresh opportunity. He was a good kid here. He came and he worked hard every day with us, and it’s just an opportunity for our team.”

An injury to defenseman Ryan Lindgren during the game also could make room for Kane. Lindgren took a hard hit into the boards with his left shoulder first and did not return.

“Day to day,” Gallant said. “We’ll know more tomorrow.”

If Lindgren is expected to be out for more than 10 games and 24 days, he could be placed on long-term injured reserve. That would allow New York to move his $3 million salary off the books and perhaps hasten a trade that the NHL has been waiting for now for a few days.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Jack Roslovic scored twice in the third period on his way to a four-point game, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 Saturday despite giving up a four-goal lead.

Kirill Marchenko also scored twice, Patrik Laine contributed a goal and two assists, Boone Jenner had a goal and one assist, and Johnny Gaudreau and Roslovic had two assists. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 48 shots – including 24 in the third period – to help Columbus snap a two-game losing streak.

Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists for Edmonton, and Warren Foegele and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal. Brett Kulak and Tyson Barrie each had two assists and Jack Campbell stopped 10 shots before being replaced at 5:56 of the second by Stuart Skinner, who also stopped 10.

“Anytime we can get a win it’s uplifting,” Roslovic said. “It’s good for all the guys.”

Edmonton is in third place in the Pacific Division, two points behind the Los Angeles Kings. The Blue Jackets are tied with Anaheim for last place in the NHL.

Columbus seemed to be on its way to an easy win with four unanswered goals to start the game – Marchenko in the first and second period, and second-period goals from Jenner and Laine.

Foegele put Edmonton on the board at 6:40 of the second and opened the floodgates. The Oilers scored three more times that period. Draisaitl’s notched his NHL-leading 23rd power play goal, McDavid got one at 12:51 and his team-leading third short-handed score less than two minutes later knotted the game at 4 apiece.

Roslovic put Columbus in front to stay at 9:01 and made it 6-4 with just over 5 minutes remaining.

“At 4-2 we had two or three great looks to get to 5-2, which we don’t get,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “Then we gave it up, and they got some momentum from there. They carried that right in the third. They were peppering us. Korpi really stood tall, and then we made them pay for a couple of mistakes, That was the key.”

Hyman added Edmonton’s final goal at 17:04.

“I know we mounted a comeback with some people that had some good efforts, but too many passengers today for us,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “In the end, we were not detailed enough, and we were made to pay. All credit to Columbus for playing hard … But I believe we beat ourselves today.”


McDavid padded his NHL lead in goals (48) and points (112), including a league-leading 32 multi-point games. He currently has a six-game point streak and has 11 points in his last three games. This was his 10th four-point game this season.


Kirill Marchenko’s 16 goals this season put him second in the league among rookie scorers behind Seattle’s Matty Beniers (19). He is tied with Cole Sillinger and Boone Jenner for the third most rookie goals in Blue Jackets history and became the team’s second ever rookie to record at least three multi-goal games in a single season, following Serge Aubin in 2000-01 (the club’s inaugural season).


Edmonton: Hosts Boston on Monday.

Columbus: Visits Minnesota on Sunday.


ST. LOUIS (AP) Bryan Rust scored the winning goal 1:16 into overtime, lifting the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

“We showed a bit of resilience to get back in the game and win it, ” said Rust, who has nine points in his last four games.

Marcus Pettersson’s first goal of the season game on a wrist shot at 14:32 of the third period gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. But the Blues came back on Justin Faulk’s goal at 17:33 to tie it.

“There’s a fine line between winning and losing in this league,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “It could have deflated us when they scored late in the game. Our effort was strong in the overtime.”

Evgeni Malkin also scored for Pittsburgh, and Tristan Jarry made 25 saves to improve to 5-0 in five career games against St. Louis.

“This was good. To get a win in overtime is great,” Jarry said. “To get that boost helps us. Gives us an extra point.”

Pavel Buchnevich had the other goal for St. Louis and Jordan Binnington had 46 saves, but the Blues dropped their fifth straight since the trades of Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari. The Blues have been outscored 21-8 in those losses.

“I thought that we got a good response tonight. Competitive,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. “We were physical. Played hard. Just offensively, we’ve got to get more done. But overall I was pretty pleased with the effort.”

Buchnevich deflected a wrist shot from Robert Thomas just 23 seconds into the second period to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead.

Pittsburgh made it 1-1 on a goal by Malkin at 6:59. Rust passed to an all-alone Malkin, who snapped in the puck from the right side of the net for his 22nd goal. He has five points (three goals, two assists) in his last four games.

“He can be such a dominant player,” Sullivan said about Malkin. “He’s just so gifted offensively. He’s a horse. He’s hard to handle when he’s on top of his game. I thought he played an inspired game today.”

The Blues were outshot 21-7 in the first period. The total marked the fourth time this season a Blues goalie has made more than 20 saves in any one period.

“Yeah, I think it’s just fight until the end is kind of how I’m feeling,” Binnington said. “I think we showed some good compete tonight and played hard and stood up for our guys in certain areas, certain plays. That’s a fun game. Saturday afternoon, rink was good. It was a lot of fun.

“Obviously, you want to win and that sucks, but I think we’re competing.”


The Blues claimed RW Kasperi Kapanen on waivers Saturday after he was waived by Pittsburgh on Friday. He was not in St. Louis. He will join the team for Tuesday’s home game against Seattle. Kapanen was a 2014 first-round pick for Pittsburgh. He was traded to Toronto in 2015 and then traded back to Pittsburgh in 2020. … To make room for Kapanen, the Blues sent C Nikita Alexandrov to Springfield of the AHL.

NOTES: Blues D Torey Krug (lower-body injury) returned to the lineup. He missed Thursday’s game against Vancouver. He was hurt in Tuesday’s game against Carolina. … Binnington moved him into sole possession of fifth place on St. Louis’ career list for goaltenders with his 204th start. He moved past Greg Millen.


Penguins: C Ryan Poehling and D Mark Friedman are day to day with upper body injuries.

Blues: LW Jake Neighbours (upper body injury) is on injured reserve.


Penguins: Host Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Blues: Host Seattle on Tuesday night.


DETROIT (AP) Andrei Vasilevskiy made 45 saves for his 30th NHL shutout and the Tampa Bay Lightning cooled off the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 on Saturday night.

Nikita Kucherov reached 699 points with a goal and an assist, Brayden Point also had a goal and an assist and Alex Killorn added an empty-net goal to help the Lightning win for the second time in five games.

The Lighting were coming off a 6-5 overtime loss to Buffalo and were eager to bounce back.

“He’s an outstanding goalie in this league, so we’ve seen him play great games on a number of occasions,” Tampa Bay coach John Cooper said. “Probably not to that extent, just because we don’t usually play that poorly. He really wanted to get back out there after the Buffalo game, and boy, it shows Vasy’s character to play the other night like he did and then come right back and stand on his head. That was a marvelous performance.”

Ville Husso stopped 15 shots for the Red Wings. They had won seven of their last eight games. Detroit has been shut out three times this season.

“We needed this game after Buffalo,” Vasilevskiy said. “Detroit is obviously really hot and fighting for the playoffs, but we got some important goals and the defense did a great job blocking shots.”

Detroit coach Derek Lalonde, Cooper’s former top assistant, had an inkling Vasilevskiy would ferociously protect the net.

“As a team when they come off poor losses, they dig in but no one digs in more than Vasy off a poor performance,” Lalonde said. “He takes it personal. He was just remarkable. Obviously, it feels like we deserved a much better fate.”

Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen was hit in the kneecap while blocking a shot in the first period and did not return. Lalonde said afterward he was still be evaluated by the medical staff.

Point’s 35th goal provided the only scoring in the opening period. Kucherov’s lead pass allowed Point to get behind the defense and he lifted a shot just inside the crossbar.

Detroit dominated the second period with a 19-3 shots on goal advantage, yet Tampa Bay emerged with a 2-0 lead.

Shortly after the Lightning killed off a penalty, Kucherov backhanded a shot from the right circle that squeezed through Husso’s pads with seven seconds left in the period. Kucherov’s 22nd goal this season was his 20th in 32 career games against Detroit.

“That’s a big swing,” Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said. “We had a cluster in our own end and survived it and then we go down and get one with seven seconds left. That really lifts your confidence.”

That was more than enough support for Vasilevskiy.

“It’s not what you want to see as the other team when he’s hot like that and pucks are hitting him,” Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said. “You could just tell he was going to be the difference maker.”


Lightning D Erik Cernak served the first game of a two-game league suspension for elbowing Buffalo’s Kyle Okposo on Thursday. … Detroit F Lucas Raymond missed his eighth consecutive game due to a lower body injury. … Detroit won the first two games of the four-game season series. They’ll play again in the regular-season finale for both teams on April 13. … Point has 16 goals in 30 games against Detroit.


Lightning: At Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Red Wings: At Ottawa on Monday and Tuesday nights.


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Petr Mrazek had 45 saves and stopped all three shootout attempts to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to their fifth straight victory, 4-3 over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

Philipp Kurashev scored in the first round of the shootout for the only goal, giving the undermanned Blackhawks their longest winning streak since also winning five straight in January 2020.

“We got it done somehow,” coach Luke Richardson said. “Sometimes it’s just not conventional, not necessarily ugly, but it was a little bit sloppy at some times. But it’s a road game. Guys scraped it out. Guys were banged up and we got the win.”

David Gust scored his first career goal, Brett Seney added his first goal in more than four years, and Max Domi also scored for Chicago.

Nick Bonino, Evgeny Svechnikov and Erik Karlsson scored for the Sharks, who have lost five of six games. Kaapo Kahkonen made 32 saves.

The teams traded goals in the third, with Domi scoring on the opening shift of the period for Chicago and Karlsson answering with 2:11 to play after San Jose pulled Kahkonen.

But Chicago pulled it out in the shootout.

“Good to fight back at the end and get a goal late. But when you don’t win it sucks,” Sharks captain Logan Couture said. “We would have liked to get that win.”

The Blackhawks got goals from unlikely sources in the first period.

The 29-year-old Gust, who grew up in the Chicago area, was called up to the NHL earlier this week and got into the lineup for the first time against the Sharks.

He didn’t take long to make an impact, scoring on his first career shift when he got in front of the net to deflect a pass from Colin Blackwell past Kahkonen. Gust joined Eddie Olczyk as the only Illinois natives to score in their NHL debuts with the Blackhawks.

“First shift. Can’t write it up any better,” Gust said. “Good first game. It’s good to get that out of the way.”

After Bonino tied it for San Jose, Seney scored on the rush for his first goal since Feb. 9, 2019, when he played for New Jersey. Seney was called up from the minors last week.

Svechnikov answered for San Jose.


The Sharks held a pregame ceremony to retire the No. 12 jersey for Patrick Marleau.

San Jose’s first homegrown star broke Gordie Howe’s record for games played with 1,779 in his career. He holds the Sharks records for games played (1,607), goals (522) and points (1,111).

Marleau played 21 of his 23 seasons in the NHL for San Jose after being drafted second overall in 1997. He finished his career in 2021.

“It was surreal,” Marleau said after the ceremony. “It just flashes before your eyes that everything I did led up to that moment.


Kane flew back to Chicago before the game as talks heat up about a possible trade to the New York Rangers. Kane has a no-movement clause and must approve any deal.

Chicago also held Lafferty out of the lineup for “roster management” reasons in advance of Friday’s trade deadline.

Sharks forward Timo Meier, also the subject of trade talks, missed his third consecutive game with an upper-body injury that is not considered serious.

Chicago placed forward Reese Johnson (concussion protocol) on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 20.


Blackhawks: Visit Anaheim on Monday night.

Sharks: Host Montreal on Tuesday night.




Cal Conley of the Atlanta Braves thought he had just won the game with a two-out, full-count, bases-loaded walk-off walk on Saturday. He took a few steps toward first base, bat still in hand, when umpire John Libka jumped out from behind the plate and indicated strike three.

Game over. Conley, apparently thinking he had been awarded an automatic ball four, couldn’t believe it. He pointed to himself and said, “Me?” His teammates couldn’t believe it, either. Fans booed.

Welcome to 2023, where baseball’s new rules designed to improve pace of play are coming fast at everyone, particularly the players.

The most dramatic moment of the new pitch clock era arrived on the first full day of spring games, and in the most dramatic scenario possible. Conley, facing reliever Robert Kwiatkowski of the Boston Red Sox, wasn’t set in the box and alert to the pitcher as the clock wound under eight seconds.

The penalty is an automatic strike, which led to the game at North Port, Florida, finishing in a 6-6 tie. Kwiatkowski got the strikeout after throwing only two real strikes.

It was a far more dramatic moment than when San Diego Padres slugger Manny Machado on Friday became the first player to draw a pitch clock violation when he was called for an automatic strike in the bottom of the first inning against Seattle because he wasn’t set in the box in time.

The pitch clock is one of the new rules designed to speed pace of play. Players will have 30 seconds to resume play between batters. Between pitches, pitchers have 15 seconds with nobody on and 20 seconds if there is a baserunner. The pitcher must start his delivery before the clock expires. After a pitch, the clock starts again when the pitcher has the ball back, the catcher and batter are in the circle around home plate, and play is otherwise ready to resume.


Could the pitch clock lead to more on-field sign stealing, in turn forcing managers to cut out the third base coach as the middleman for relaying signs?

Veteran managers Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter think so.

It’s an interesting point from Baker, considering that he took over as Houston’s manager in 2020 after A.J. Hinch was fired following the stunning revelation that the Astros had illicitly stolen signs in 2017, when they won the World Series, and again in 2018.

“I’m concerned about that because you’re always aware of people stealing signs,” Baker said Saturday when his defending World Series champion Astros beat Showalter’s New York Mets 4-2 in West Palm Beach, Florida. “And then there’s the sensitive area. OK, are you cheating? Is that part of the game, stealing signs? If I know you’re hitting and running that’s what I’m supposed to do.”

Baker said there’s less time for the dugout to signal the third base coach, who in turn must relay signs to batters and runners, and therefore less time for to use decoys, making the signs easier to decipher.

Baker believes the pitch clock puts even more pressure on the third base coach to be quick – and somewhat deceptive. On the other hand, the pitch clock also limits the amount of time defenses have to react, even if they know a hit-and-run or bunt is coming.

Baker said the toughest job on the field is being a third base coach. “Everybody in the ballpark has eyes on him. Everybody’s trying to decipher his sequence of signs. There are guys in the stands, are guys now on videos. I mean, if you know what the opposition is going to do, that makes it even tougher to do. Yeah, I’m concerned about that.”

Showalter shares Baker’s concern to the point that he’s considering eliminating the middleman and having all signs come directly from the dugout, a practice common in the amateur ranks.

“There are so many things that, because we’re afraid to copy colleges or high schools because, `Oh, they’re amateurs and we’re pros,’ ” Showalter said. “There are things they did better. They don’t go through the third base coach. Why do we transfer stuff to a third base coach to then transfer to the player? It’s just another relay.”


Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell used his one aloted timeout during his at-bat in the second inning, and then on the next pitch launched a long two-run homer to left off Seattle lefty Marco Gonzales. In his final at-bat, he drew a violation for strike two by plate umpire Mike Muchlinski and eventually struck out.

“I was trying to figure out how many timeouts before a strike, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t call another one,” Adell said. “The following at-bat I ran into seven seconds and got a strike called. I think it’s fine, we’ll all get into the rhythm of it, there’s going to be a few violations here and there.


St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said umpire C.B. Bucknor “has zero class” for refusing to shake his hand during the lineup card exchange at home plate before a game against the Washington Nationals. Marmol, who did shake hands with the other three umps, was seeing Bucknor for the first time since being ejected in a contentious dispute Aug. 21 in Arizona.

“I went into that game pretty certain of my thoughts on him as an umpire,” Marmol said. “They weren’t very good and it shows his lack of class as a man. I chose my words wisely. I just don’t think he’s good at his job and it just showed his lack of class as a man.”

Marmol was ejected last year in the final game of a series after protesting a strike call by Bucknor against Nolan Arenado, with each loudly questioning the other’s “time in the league.”

Bucknor was not available after Saturday’s game and did not return a reporter’s telephone call.


Colorado Rockies slugger Kris Bryant’s first spring training game this season included more running that he expected. The 31-year-old is trying to bounce back after missing a big chunk of the 2022 season with various injuries, including to his right foot. He hit .306 with five homers in 42 games.

Bryant reached first base on a fielder’s choice in the first inning against the Diamondbacks. He then scored from first base on Ryan McMahon’s double to the wall.

“I felt fine running, I just felt slow,” Bryant said, laughing. “But I figure for the first time in spring training doing that, it’s a good test for me.”


Phillies right-hander Noah Song threw off a mound during his third day of workouts after joining the team from the U.S. Navy and said the session was “good.” The 25-year old had been a flight officer training on a P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft before he was allowed to transfer from active duty to reserves.

Song was impressive in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, striking out 19 in 17 innings with a 1.06 ERA. With a fastball in the upper 90s mph, he went 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings during his senior year at Navy.

The Phillies selected Song from the Phillies in the December draft for unprotected minor league players.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) A handful of free-spending owners in Major League Baseball have made some of the game’s other owners a little nervous.

Players’ union head Tony Clark doesn’t mind that development one bit.

“Baseball is doing very well,” Clark said on Saturday as the first full slate of spring training games began in Florida and Arizona.

Clark’s perspective isn’t shared by all. There’s a group of owners – including Pittsburgh’s Bob Nutting – who believe that a recent jump in free agent spending is part of the reason smaller market teams, like the Pirates, struggle to remain competitive. It’s one of the reasons MLB recently formed an economic reform committee.

“It’s the single biggest issue facing the Pittsburgh Pirates,” Nutting told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday. “Competitive disparity, revenue disparity and payroll disparity are all real challenges.”

This offseason, salaries have risen following last year’s agreement on a five-year labor contract with the players’ association. Payrolls rose 12.6% to a $4.56 billion last year, breaking the previous record set in 2017, and are set to go even higher this year.

The New York Mets, entering their third season under owner Steve Cohen, project a payroll upwards of about $370 million – which would smash the previous high of $291 million by the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers.

Some so-called smaller market teams have even joined the spending surge. The San Diego Padres have been very active with free agents over the past few years, adding standouts like shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

Clark said that’s evidence that teams from markets of all sizes can compete financially and on the field, noting that the Padres have seen an uptick in fan interest.

“Teams were competing, engaging in the free agent market and created a level of excitement that I would think is a positive,” Clark said.

There’s no doubt that economic disparity exists in baseball. While the Mets are set to spend around $370 million on payroll, others like the Orioles, Rays, Pirates and Athletics are expected to be in the $60-80 million range.

The causes for that disparity are where friction occurs between MLBPA and MLB.

“The question that should be asked in regards to one team’s payroll versus another, is whether or not that team is making a conscious decision to have its payroll there, or whether it has the ability to increase its payroll,” Clark said.

“The answer is the latter, not the former.”


Clark said he remains “optimistic” that ongoing labor negotiations between the MLBPA’s minor-league wing and MLB will continue to progress in a positive direction.

More than 5,500 minor league baseball players formed a union in September in an effort to boost annual salaries as low as $10,400. Negotiations began in November to secure the first labor agreement for the minor leagues.

“Has some progress been made? Yes,” Clark said. “But there’s still tangible work that needs to be done.”

Clark said that some of MLB’s proposals during the negotiation process have included ways to further contract the minor leagues in exchange for improvements.

Clark said that kind of proposal is a “non-starter.”

“The idea of the league having the ability to cut minor league jobs or contract teams further, on the heels of the 40-plus teams contracted a few years ago, is troublesome,” Clark said.

MLB ended the Professional Baseball Agreement that governed the relationship between the majors and minors in late 2020, after minor league seasons were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Affiliates were cut from a minimum of 160 to 120, the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues that had governed the minors since 1901 was shut down and MLB took over operation of the minors.


Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that MLB is prepared for whatever happens to the financially troubled company that owns regional broadcast rights for 14 teams after Diamond Sports Group skipped about $140 million in interest payments.

Diamond is a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., and its regional networks broadcasts games of 14 MLB, 16 NBA and 12 NHL teams. Diamond said as of Sept. 30 it had debt of $8.674 billion. It has nearly $1 billion in rights payments, mostly to baseball teams, due in the first quarter this year.

If MLB does take over distribution from Diamond, Manfred said it would not be able to replace 100% of the revenue in the short term.

Clark said the MLBPA has been in touch with Manfred’s office about the issue.

“They have an ability to address the (regional sports networks) and have told us they have a plan in place,” Clark said. “What we don’t know is anything beyond that and how it’s going to affect the system.




PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Chris Kirk’s last win on the PGA Tour was nearly eight years ago. He’s put himself in a position to change that at the Honda Classic.

Kirk battled his way to a 4-under round of 66 on Saturday, putting him at 13-under 197 for the week and giving him a two-shot lead over Eric Cole (66) through three rounds at PGA National.

His last win on tour was at Colonial in 2015 – 180 tournaments ago. He’s a four-time winner on tour, played in the Presidents Cup in 2015, and has been waiting to hoist a trophy again since.

Kirk made a wild birdie on the last, after his second shot on the par-5 18th wound up next to the grandstand and underneath someone’s bag that was left against structure. He got a drop, chipped on from there and made the putt to restore a two-shot lead.

And now he has a chance to be a winner again – with most of the players nearest to him on the leaderboard looking for their first tour wins.

“It’s been so long since I’ve won,” Kirk said. “I’m going to be plenty nervous, just as nervous as those guys are probably.”

Cole stayed in the mix with his second consecutive round of 66.

“It’s awesome,” Cole said. “I’ve never played this event before. Tried to qualify a bunch of times … I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

Justin Suh holed out from the fairway for an eagle on the par-4 12th, and is alone in third at 10 under. He shot even-par 70 on Saturday.

Shane Lowry (65) is 9 under, and right in the mix after having a chance to win the Honda last year until the 72nd hole. He’s tied with Ben Taylor (69).

“If I can just hang around all day, hopefully I can give myself a chance coming down the stretch,” Lowry said. “I think I did what I needed to do today.”

Among those lurking: defending champion Sepp Straka, who followed opening rounds of 69 and 68 with a 66 on Saturday. He’s 7 under for the week, six shots back. It was Straka’s sixth consecutive round in the 60’s at PGA National.

“It’s a tough test, but if you’re hitting it good, you can score,” Straka said.

Straka went to Georgia, as did Kirk. When Straka got his first win at Honda a year ago, Kirk was one of the players who braved an intense rainstorm to congratulate Straka when it was over.

“We stay together all the time. He’s usually the guy that gets us a house,” Straka said. “I’ve gotten to know Chris very well over the last few years, one of my best friends. He’s been playing great golf for a couple years now. It’s not surprising to me, especially around this course.”

Sunday is a big day for two players with a shot of qualifying for The Players Championship by getting into the top 50 in the world. Min Woo Lee struggled to a 73 on Saturday and is tied for 58th at even par through 54 holes; Adrian Meronk is tied for 20th at 4 under.

Lee started the week No. 47; Meronk started No. 53.

DIVOTS: Ryan Brehm (64) made a big move Saturday, starting the round tied for 60th and finishing tied for 15th at 5-under 205. … Akshay Bhatia needed a new outfit after playing a ball from the water. He went shirtless for the shot – one of two shirtless escapades during his round — getting covered in mud, and his girlfriend brought him a change of clothes. “It was really gross. Really, really gross,” Bhatia said.




FONTANA, Calif. (AP) Most of NASCAR’s Cup Series drivers feel like they’re saying their final goodbye to a dear old friend this weekend.

Auto Club Speedway’s racetrack seems to be adored by every professional driver on the continent. Those two miles of gloriously weathered asphalt allow racers to be their best selves, providing the ideal combination of grip and space for nimble maneuvers in the perfectly banked corners, thrilling passes from the apron to the wall, and even five-wide racing at times during a quarter-century of mostly memorable Sundays.

“I’m going to miss everything about this track,” Martin Truex Jr. said. “Hopefully we can go out on a high note on the last time around here.”

Indeed, the second race of the current Cup season will be the last before this beloved pavement is torn up, ostensibly to clear the way for a short-track course. Fontana won’t host a NASCAR weekend in 2024, and the new setup might not be ready until 2026, if it happens at all.

So this farewell is happening under a cloud – a whole bunch of them, actually.

Steady rain and a few tentative snow flurries forced the cancellation of practice and qualifying Saturday. The Xfinity Series race nearly started during a break in the precipitation, but was eventually postponed to Sunday night after the rain kicked up again in 41-degree (5-degree Celsius) temperatures.

In the meantime, the drivers reminisced about the freedom and speed they’ve enjoyed on sunnier days in this industrial suburb east of Los Angeles.

“To me, it’s a driver’s dream,” Ryan Blaney said. “It’s a big racetrack. It’s incredibly wide. The progressiveness of each lane, the banking, is the right kind of degree change. Tires fall off. You ask drivers, `What’s your dream racetrack?’ And it’s a wide track where drivers can search around for grip.”

Southern California native Jimmie Johnson won here six times. Las Vegas’ own Kyle Busch has won four times. Most of the great drivers in the past 25 years from the Cup series, IndyCar and the CART series have reached Fontana’s Victory Lane.

But soon the bumpy backstretch, the coarse asphalt and the competitive corners will be gone. NASCAR, which owns and operates the facility, has been planning a short-track redesign since 2020 to service the latest trend in stock car racing.

Any faint hope of a reprieve seemingly vanished earlier this week when Sports Business Journal reported NASCAR has reached an agreement to sell about 80% of the large property for a nine-figure sum. It’s unclear whether the short-track plans would even happen under new ownership.

The drivers realize whatever happens after Sunday – or Monday, depending on the weather – is out of their control.

“Sad is probably the first reaction,” Joey Logano said. “But business is business, and how do you go against that? When you hear what some of the numbers (for the sale) were, how do you not take that?

“And here’s the part that makes me feel a little better about it: Yes, the racing here is spectacular. It’s probably one of the best tracks we have, period. But the facts are, it’s getting old. The asphalt is coming apart, and if we were to repave it and just leave it the same (configuration), the racing would be awful. It’s just the end of an era.”


“I’m sad to see it go, but on the flip side, I’m actually really excited about what’s ahead,” defending champion Kyle Larson said. “For the betterment of our sport, I do think we need more short tracks. I applaud everybody at this racetrack if they’re going to reconfigure it, and taking a financial risk to better their facility and crowd and the sport.”

Drivers are divided on what they would like to see next in Fontana. Some like the half-mile tracks to create the bumpy, hot-tempered races that get TV ratings, while others favor a little variety.

“I don’t know that we really need another half-mile,” Truex said. “I think something between there and a mile would be good.”


NASCAR is hoping for a Sunday respite from a spectacular storm, but that’s not the only problem. Even if the rain abates, old asphalt is notoriously difficult to dry because of weepers – the moisture that collects under the surface and then seeps through the cracks after a rainfall.

“The track is definitely going to be sad, because it’s getting torn down, so it’s obviously going to weep,” Alex Bowman said with a grin.


Kevin Harvick is back at the track closest to his native Bakersfield, and his record 29th start at Fontana doubles as his 750th consecutive Cup start. That’s the third-longest streak in Cup history.

Harvick said he doesn’t think much about the milestone – and if he does, it only makes him mad that the number isn’t higher because of his suspension in 2002 for rough driving. The 47-year-old Harvick is still happy to be back at one of his favorite tracks.

“It’s always tough to see a racetrack that is in the fun-to-drive phase go away, because you’ll never put the asphalt down that way again,” he said.


Given their familiarity with this circuit, the drivers aren’t concerned after the weather kept them off the track Saturday.

“Everyone kind of got used to that,” Larson said of the pandemic years. “It would be a different question if this was last year and we had a brand-new racing car.”




As the Indiana Pacers make a  push for a postseason berth, every win matters.

Saturday’s 121-108 victory over the Orlando Magic, however, was especially important for the Blue & Gold.

By beating Orlando, winning the season series 3-1, Indiana stays one spot ahead of the Magic in the Eastern Conference standings and are within 2.5 games of the final Play-In Tournament berth.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More >>

After trailing by a point at halftime, the Pacers (27-35) went on a 17-2 run four minutes into the second half and didn’t look back as they kicked off a four-game road trip with the 13-point victory over the Magic (25-36).

The Pacers bench was dominant in the win, outscoring the Magic’s reserves 56-40.

Off the bench, Jordan Nwora, in his fourth game as a Pacer since being traded from Milwaukee, had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists while rookie Bennedict Mathurin provided 19 points and two rebounds and Jalen Smith had seven points, seven rebounds and five blocks.

Pacers veteran center Myles Turner led the Pacers with 24 points while All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton recorded 15 points and 14 assists.

Franz Wagner topped the Magic with 21 points to go along with five rebounds while Paolo Banchero added 19 points and six rebounds.

“Our second unit was sensational in this game,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “Jalen Smith and (Jordan) Nwora really were exceptional off the bench. Nwora gave us a lot of presence. He scored the ball, he was running in transition, he was solid defensively, rebounded – a lot of good stuff. Jalen Smith…five blocked shots. And you know, he kind of anchored the defense for that second group.”

The teams tied nine times and traded the lead eight times in the first half, but the Magic held the advantage at 52-51 by intermission.

Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the basket off the tip, as the Pacers made three of their first 10 shot attempts, with rookie Andrew Nembhard draining a pair of 3-pointers, and the Magic hitting just two of their first 10 shots.

Seven straight points by 6-10 forward Franz Wagner gave the Magic a 15-11 lead with 4:50 left in the first quarter, but the Pacers answered with a 9-2 run on four free throws by Mathurin to retake the lead at 20-17.

Indiana maintained the edge by the buzzer, holding a 27-25 lead into the second quarter. In the opening frame, the Pacers shot just 33 percent but made all seven of their free throw attempts.

Mo Wagner – Franz Wagner’s  6-11 older brother – scored back-to-back baskets to open the second quarter before Banchero made a free throw to give Magic the lead back.

However, the Pacers again answered again as Smith drilled a 3-pointer and T.J. McConnell converted a spinning layup to put the Pacers up 32-30 with 10 minutes left in the half.

The teams then tied the game three times before Nwora threw down back-to-back dunks as the Blue & Gold led 40-36 with 7:10 on the clock.

In the final 2:33 of the half, the Pacers outscored the Magic 7-4 but trailed by a point.

The Pacers opened the second half on a 9-0 scoring spree, led by five points from Nembhard and four from Turner, to go up 60-52 by 9:53 in the third quarter. Nembhard would go on to finish with 13 points.

Threes from Buddy Hield and Haliburton then gave the Pacers a 68-54 lead with 7:47 left in the third quarter.

From there the Magic went on a 8-0 run, but the Pacers kept them at bay taking an 82-74 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Pacers went on an 11-2 run – thanks in part to six points from Mathurin –  from 11:07 to 9:40 in the fourth quarter to lead 93-78.

A 6-0 mini run, on baskets from Nwora, McConnell and Smith, then bolstered the Pacers lead to 101-82 with 7:22 left and the Blue & Gold held on from there. The closest the Magic got to the lead was 13 points.

Overall, the Pacers shot 48.5 percent from the field and the Magic shot 38.9 percent. Indiana made 15 3-pointers to Orlando’s six.

The Pacers were outrebounded 55-45 but outscored the Magic 62-58 in the paint.

Indiana had just seven turnovers in the game to Orlando’s 13 giveaways.

“It just felt good to win,” Turner said. “Individual performances are nice, but at the same time it’s nice to get back into the win column. We haven’t had a road win in a while. This is a big one for team morale.”

The Pacers will travel to Dallas to take on Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Tuesday before going to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday and concluding at the Chicago Bulls on March 5.

Haliburton has recorded 14 assists in two straight games and has finished with at least 14 assists in a game 10 times this season.

Smith had a career-high five blocks in the game.

Mathurin and Banchero – the two frontrunners for the Rookie of the Year award, both finished with 19 points. Head-to-head, Mathurin outscored Banchero 45-42 in the two games when both played.

The Pacers were one turnover short of matching their season low for a game.

Nembhard has scored 10 or more points 16 times this season.

You Can Quote Me On That

“As long as (Haliburton) is dressed and out there playing, I feel really good all the time. He has the controls. I mean, he’s calling 98 percent of the plays out there. His pulse on the game was terrific.” – Carlisle on Haliburton controlling the offense

“One of the championship habits that we’re trying to build, or one of the championship skills, is the ability to play free-flowing game(s).” – Carlilse on the ball movement

“It was a low-scoring first half, especially for us. We knew we were due for a big quarter. We always feel that way. We came out and got enough stops that were able to run and get in transition. We’ve said it all year: when we are able to play in transition, we are a really tough team to stop.” — Haliburton on the third quarter start

“We felt like that last game against Boston, that was a game for us where …  we got our swagger back a little bit.” — Haliburton on bouncing back after the overtime loss to the Celtics

“I feel like I’m learning every day with these guys. Everybody has been super helpful. I’m glad to be here and I’m glad I’m here with these guys. Everyone has been helping me out a lot, so it’s been good.” — Nwora on his performance

“I felt good. One of my big emphasis on the team is my paint presence. That’s something we lead the NBA in. Obviously, Myles (Tuner) and Isaiah (Jackson) are a (big part) of that and I just try to get my fair share here and there. That was pretty much my job tonight — being the defensive anchor for the second unit.” — Smith on his career-high five blocks

“I just think that I’m comfortable, I’m where I want to be, and I’m growing with a young team that’s hungry. I think we’re just trying to get better and better every day and that’s the main goal of this whole thing. I have a lot of belief in this city, a lot of belief in this program, a lot of belief in the guys in this locker room.” — Turner on his high level of play the season

Stat of the Night

The Pacers’ bench outscored the Magic’s reserves 56-40 in the game. This season, the Pacers bench has scored 50 or more points in a game 16 times.


Ten of the next 14 games for the Pacers are on the road. Saturday’s win was the first on the road for the Pacers in 2023.

The Pacers have a 71-52 record all-time against the Magic.

Goga Bitazde, who was drafted by the Pacers in 2019 and played 21 games for the Blue & Gold this season before getting released, made his Orlando Magic debut on Saturday after signing with the team on Feb. 13. Bitazde finished with six points and six rebounds in 9:24 of play.

Up Next

The Pacers travel to Dallas for their first matchup of the season against Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 8:30 PM ET.


After a four-game road trip, the Pacers will return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, March 6 at 7:00 PM ET.



INDIANAPOLIS- The Indy Fuel hosted the Cincinnati Cyclones for Game Night in front of 6,329 fans – their fourth sold out crowd of the season. Unfortunately, luck was not on the Fuel’s side and they fell to the Cyclones, 7-1.


Cincinnati drew the first penalty just 45 seconds into the game. They killed that off just before Indy’s Kirill Chaika sat for tripping which led to a power play goal by Cincinnati captain Justin Vaive at 3:52.

Cincinnati’s Zack Andrusiak put the Cyclones up 2-0 at 8:33.

At 12:38, Bryan Lemos took a hooking penalty which allowed Vaive to score his second goal of the game and make it 3-0.


At 9:27, Vaive claimed his third goal of the game, completing the hat trick. Indy proceeded to swap goaltender Zach Driscoll for Cam Gray.

The period ended with Cincinnati up 4-0.


Less than thirty seconds into the final frame, Vaive took a tripping penalty but Cincinnati’s Josh Passolt scored a shorthanded goal making it 5-0. About three minutes later, Vaive scored his fourth goal of the game to make it 6-0.

About halfway through the third, Fuel captain Keoni Texeira broke the shutout, making it 6-1 with the help of Wilson and Brown.

At 14:04, Andrusiak got his second goal of the game to put the Cyclones up 7-1 which is how the game would end six minutes later.


Indiana Takes Down No. 5/5 Purdue, 79-71

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Boos and deafening roars rocked Mackey Arena, and Jalen Hood-Schifino didn’t flinch. Multiple defenders came at Indiana’s freshman guard Saturday night and he burned them.

A career-high 35 points followed.

A 79-71 Hoosier victory over No. 5 Purdue followed.

A sweep of the Boilers for the first time in 10 years followed.

Were you shocked?

Hood-Schifino wasn’t.

The No. 17 Hoosiers weren’t.

They snapped a seven-game Mackey Arena losing streak — and picked up their first victory there since 2013 — with a ruthless combination of efficient offense (51 percent shooting, 16 assists) and stifling defense to improve to 20-10 overall, 11-7 in the Big Ten.

“That was the best victory we’ve had since I’ve been here in playing a complete 40 minutes,” senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “We fell behind and never wavered. We kept fighting.”

With Jackson-Davis struggling (although he still finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists), Hood-Schifino set an instant tone, fearlessly attacking the Boilers and the moment.

“I live for big games,” he said. “I knew going into Purdue would be a tough one. The aggressiveness came out. Shots were falling.”

Were they ever. Only Jay Edwards, with 36 points against Minnesota in 1988, ever scored more points as an IU freshman.

The only Hoosiers to score more in a road game are Alan Henderson (41 at Michigan State), Bracey Wright (39 at North Texas), Steve Alford (38 at Wisconsin), Damon Bailey (36 at Kansas) and Edwards.

Hood-Schifino was so dominant that when coach Mike Woodson wanted to run plays for Jackson-Davis to get him going, Jackson-Davis shook him off.

“We feed off of him,” Jackson-Davis said. “I told him before the game you’re going to get your opportunities to score.

“Coach Woody was trying to get me baskets and I told him, not right now. We’re riding (Hood-Schifino). When a guy is hot like that, keep giving him the ball.”

Woodson kept running pick and rolls and Purdue never came close to stopping them.

“It was an unbelievable display of basketball,” Woodson said. “He played 40 minutes, got the ball where it needed go and put the ball in the hole. It was a tremendous game and we needed it.”

Added Purdue guard Brandon Newman, who spent much of the night trying to guard him: “He’s a good player. He gets to his spots really well and plays at his own pace. You’ve got to make it tough on him on every possession.”

Hood-Schifino, who topped the 33 points he had against Northwestern in January, continues to grow in the absence of injured senior guard Xavier Johnson. He added seven rebounds and two assists and played solid defense.

“We knew when we recruited him that he could get to his spots,” Woodson said. “We ran a lot of pick and rolls with the ball in his hands. He made a lot of good plays.”

He was not, Woodson added, perfect.

“He still has holes. As he matures, he will figure all of it out. Tonight, he was brilliant.”

Credit hard work.

“I’m a lot better,” Hood-Schifino said. “I put in a lot of work. With X (Johnson) being out, I’ve had the chance to have the ball in my hand a lot more. Watching a lot of film has helped me.”

Jackson-Davis wasn’t surprised.

“It shows his maturity. He plays the game at his own pace. He knows how to come off ball screens really well. He knows how to read.

“We rode him. Coming into a hostile environment like this, the loudest place we’ll play at, shows what kind of kid he is and how much he has improved.”

IU hit Purdue with every available option and thrived. It forced turnovers, flustered shooters and attacked relentlessly. In seven minutes, a four-point halftime deficit became a 10-point second-half advantage, and then grew.

“It was a team effort,” Hood-Schifino said. “We played hard on the defensive end and came out with the W.”

Guard Trey Galloway added 13 points, five assists, four rebounds and stifling defense on Boiler guard Braden Smith. Miller Kopp added 13 points.

“I’m happy with everybody,” said Woodson, who was 0-4 in Mackey Arena as a Hoosier player.

Purdue (24-5, 13-5) could have clinched a share of the Big Ten title with a victory. Now, with four losses in its last six games, it has to sweat.

“I have ultimate confidence in my teammates,” said center Zach Edey, who totaled 26 points and 16 rebounds. “They’re a great group of guys. We’ll figure it out.”

The Boilers couldn’t do what Michigan State had done four days earlier in beating IU — light up the gym with 3-pointers. They finished 5-for-23 beyond the arc, not nearly good enough against IU’s 7-for-15, and compounded that with 35 percent overall shooting, and 22-for-33 free throw shooting.

Purdue opened the game by making five of its first nine shots to surge ahead 13-6.

Five straight Kopp points, and a Hood-Schifino 3-pointer got IU to within one at 19-18 at the 10:33 mark – without Jackson-Davis taking a shot or scoring a point.

Hood-Schifino kept attacking and scoring. Kopp got free for a 3-pointer and a 30-30 tie with 4:30 left in the half.

Free throws pushed Purdue back in front until a Newman 3-pointer gave the Boilers a 38-34 halftime lead.

Purdue’s 26-11 rebounding edge could have helped deliver a knockout blow. It did not. The Boilers only managed a 10-3 second-chance points advantage.

The Hoosiers were very much in contention.

Eight Galloway points sparked IU’s 12-2 start of the second half for a 46-40 Hoosier lead that kept growing. Kopp hit a 3-pointer. Race Thompson dunked for the second time. The lead was nine, then 10, and the reeling Boilers called a timeout.

It didn’t matter. A Hood-Schifino jumper pushed Indiana ahead 65-52 with 8:36 left.

The Hoosiers matched every Boiler surge the rest of the way.

“This shows the reason why I came back, to play in games like this,” Jackson-Davis said. “Coming back and sweeping like this, I made the right decision. It shows what Coach Woody is building. We’re trying to get IU back on the map. We need to keep building off this.”




ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Blast “Indiana, Our Indiana” on repeat.

For the second-straight season, fifth time in seven years and 29th time in program history, Indiana men’s swimming and diving is the Big Ten Champion.

Indiana earned 27 medals, 11 individual Big Ten Championships and broke nine pool records over four days at Canham Natatorium on the campus of the University of Michigan. The Hoosiers totaled 1595.5 points to outscore runner-up Ohio State (1,290.5) and the field by over 300 points.

“I’m so proud of everyone in this program,” IU head swimming coach Ray Looze said. “I’d like to give all the credit to the swimmers and divers. They sacrificed so many hours of extremely hard work and trusted their coaches that the plan would work.

“The next step is diving zone championships followed by NCAA Championships. So much of what we want to accomplish is still ahead of us, but tonight we will enjoy this championship.”

For the third straight season, the IU pair of senior Brendan Burns and redshirt senior Andrew Capobianco earned championship award distinctions. Once more the Big Ten Champion in all five events he swam, Burns was named the Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships. Capobianco and sophomore teammate shared the Big Ten Diver of the Championships Award as they combined to help IU sweep the diving titles for a second consecutive year.

Indiana shut the door on its title with a dominant final day, stretching a 106-point lead to a victory by 305 points. IU sent 13 swimmers and five divers to the evening session, with 15 of those coming in championship finals. Indiana was the top seed in five of the six events and turned it into 12 medals and five titles in the final night alone.

After becoming the first-ever Big Ten male athlete to win the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard butterfly at the same championships two years ago, Burns completed the feat for the third time on Saturday. Burns began the night with a meet, program and pool record 1:38:22 to win his third-straight 200-yard backstroke title. It’s also the seventh consecutive title for IU. Three events late, he set another pool record in the 200-yard butterfly, going 1:39.51 for his fourth title in the event. Burns is the second Big Ten male athlete to win the 200 fly four times – Michigan’s Dylan Bosch was the first from 2013-16.

Indiana had multiple top-five finishers in three final-night events. The Hoosiers had perhaps their most dominant performance in the platform diving event as IU divers swept the medals and put four Hoosiers in top-five positions. Sophomore Carson Tyler earned his second Big Ten title of the weekend with a career-best 451.60. He was followed in the medals by fellow sophomore Quinn Henninger (425.10) and redshirt senior Andrew Capobianco (415.10), while freshman Maxwell Weinrich (388.55) took fifth.

“Tonight’s performance was such a demonstration of the power of the team!” IU head diving coach Drew Johansen said. “Carson’s victory was so impressive and to see Quinn and Andrew sweep the podium and IU sweep the diving events was unbelievable.

“Seeing Carson and Andrew share the diver of the meet award was a special moment for both of them. As the leader of this team, Andrew added his fourth Big Ten title to his résumé. He has set the culture and is leaving it in good hands.”

Indiana had four top-five finishes again in the 200-yard breaststroke. Sophomore Josh Matheny put up an NCAA A cut 1:51.23 to take silver, followed by Jassen Yep (1:52.33) earning bronze. Fourth-place junior Maxwell Reich (1:52.75) and fifth-place sophomore Luke Barr (1:54.37) surrounded them on the podium.

In the 100-yard freestyle, senior Van Mathias (41.58) and sophomore Rafael Miroslaw (42.38) took silver and bronze. Junior Warren Briggs was the lone IU medalist in the 1,650 free, going a career-best 14:56.97.

Indiana finished the night as the Big Ten Champion in the 400-yard freestyle relay, going an NCAA A cut and pool record 2:48.11. IU touched second in the relay, but Ohio State was disqualified from the event due an early takeoff from its third leg. Mathias, junior Gavin Wight, Frankel and Miroslaw were part of the championship relay – all four had scored earlier in the night as well.


Indiana – 1,595.5

Ohio State – 1,290.5

Michigan – 1,163

Wisconsin – 1,014.5

Minnesota – 785

Purdue – 704.5

Northwestern – 618

Penn State – 577


Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships: Brendan Burns, Indiana

Big Ten Diver of the Championships: Andrew Capobianco, Indiana & Carson Tyler, Indiana

Big Ten Freshman of the Year: Eitan Ben-Shitrit

Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (IU):Andrew Capobianco

First-Team All-Big Ten (IU): Finn Brooks, Brendan Burns, Andrew Capobianco, Tomer Frankel, Josh Matheny, Van Mathias, Rafael Miroslaw, Carson Tyler, Gavin Wight

Second-Team All-Big Ten (IU): Quinn Henninger



3. Warren Briggs – 14:56.97 (Bronze, NCAA B Cut, Career Best)

10. Mikey Calvillo – 15:07.55 (NCAA B Cut)

14. Tristan DeWitt – 15:19.67 (NCAA B Cut, Career Best)

X – Mason Carlton – 15:06.53 (NCAA B Cut, Career Best)

X – Jackson Carlile – 15:15.20 (NCAA B Cut, Career Best)


1. Brendan Burns – 1:38.22 (Big Ten Champion, Meet Record, Pool Record, Program Record, NCAA A Cut, Career Best)

6. Kai Van Westering – 1:42.30 (Career Best)


2. Van Mathias – 41.58 (Silver, NCAA A Cut, Career Best)

3. Rafael Miroslaw – 42.38 (Bronze, NCAA B Cut)

8. Gavin Wight – 42.92 (NCAA B Cut)

13. Finn Brooks – 43.49 (NCAA B Cut)

23. Jack Franzman – 44.84


2. Josh Matheny – 1:51.23 (Silver, NCAA A Cut)

3. Jassen Yep – 1:52.33 (Bronze, NCAA B Cut, Career Best)

4. Maxwell Reich – 1:52.75 (NCAA B Cut)

5. Luke Barr – 1:54.37 (NCAA B Cut, Career Best)


1. Brendan Burns – 1:39.51 (Big Ten Champion, Pool Record, NCAA A cut)

3. Tomer Frankel – 1:40.97 (Bronze, NCAA B Cut)


1. Carson Tyler – 451.65 (Big Ten Champion, NCAA Zone Qualifier, Career Best)

2. Quinn Henninger – 425.10 (Silver, NCAA Zone Qualifier)

3. Andrew Capobianco – 415.10 (Bronze, NCAA Zone Qualifier)

5. Maxwell Weinrich – 388.55 (NCAA Zone Qualifier, Career Best)

16. William Jansen – 268.70 (Career Best)


1. Van Mathias, Gavin Wight, Tomer Frankel, Rafael Miroslaw – 2:48.11 (Big Ten Champion, Pool Record, NCAA A Cut)


Indiana will host the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships March 9-11 inside Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center as Hoosier divers look to punch their tickets to the 2023 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. The men’s national meet will run the next week beginning on March 22 and running through March 25.


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(Postgame Notes)

  • Purdue fell to 24-5 overall and 13-5 in the Big Ten Conference with a 79-71 setback at Mackey Arena on Saturday night.
  • Mackey Arena tied a record for the loudest crowd noise in facility history (123.2 dB) against Indiana. It marks the second time this year that it reached that level.
  • Purdue saw a seven-game home win streak end against Indiana.
  • Purdue has lost its last three games when it was leading at halftime, falling to Northwestern, Maryland and Indiana. In the three losses, the teams combined to shoot 45-of-84 (.536) in the second half, while Purdue managed to shoot just 25-of-77 (.325) from the field.
  • Purdue became the first team in the last 15 years to lose when outrebounding its opponent by 16 rebounds, shoot at least 21 more free throws and have 10 or fewer turnovers.
  • The freshman duo of Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith scored 20 points to give them 628 combined points this season. The total is the fourth most by a Purdue freshman duo in Purdue history.
  • Loyer tied Chris Lutz for third on the Purdue freshman 3-pointers made list with 53.
  • Zach Edey recorded his 45th straight double-figure scoring game and nation-leading 22nd double-double with a 26-point, 16-rebound, 3-assist, 2-block effort.
  • Edey tied Trevion Williams for 26th on the school’s career scoring chart (1,410 points).
  • Edey tied Dave Schellhase for fourth on the school’s career double-doubles list (34).
  • Edey moved into second on the single-season rebounds list (360), now just chasing Caleb Swanigan (436).
  • Edey has five games of at least 25 points and 15 rebounds this season. The rest of the Big Ten has three combined. His five 25-15 games are tied for the most for a major-college player in the last 15 years (Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton in 2018; Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe in 2022).
  • Edey’s 14 games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds are tied for the most for a Big Ten player in the last 15 years (Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan in 2017). Kansas’ Dedric Lawson has the most for a major-college player in that span with 15 in 2019.
  • With at least four games to play, Edey is now one of 21 players in the last 30 years to have at least 600 points, 350 rebounds, 65 blocks and 40 assists in a season. In that span, only Michigan’s Chris Webber (690 points, 362 rebounds, 91 blocks, 90 assists) in 1992-93 has done so in the Big Ten.
  • Based on a 35-game season, Edey is on pace for 780 points, 450 rebounds, 83 blocks and 51 assists. No player in the last 30 years has amassed at least 750 points, 400 rebounds and 75 blocked shots.



HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. – Evan Albrecht connected for a three-run double as part of his first career four-RBI game and Jonathan Blackwell struck out eight over five innings to lead the way on a 13-K night, leading Purdue baseball to a 7-4 victory vs. NJIT on Saturday at Ting Stadium.

Couper Cornblum and Albrecht both had four productive plate appearances as part of their three-hit games. It was Cornblum’s second three-hit game of the series. Albrecht and Cornblum teamed up for the go-ahead run in the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie.

Blackwell struck out eight of 21 batters faced, a career-high total and the most Ks by a Boilermaker this season. Jackson Danelley fanned four over 3 1/3 innings of one-hit relief. Aaron Suval retired both batters he faced to close out the victory and earn his first save as a Boilermaker.

After NJIT (3-3) loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning to bring the tying run to the plate, Suval retired the No. 1 and 2 batters – Albert Choi and Ray Ortiz – after that duo had gone a combined 9-for-14 with four extra-base hits in Friday’s doubleheader. Choi and Ortiz had tripled and homered, respectively, earlier in the game.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Albrecht connected for a double over the left fielder’s head to clear the bases. He also singled home the game’s first run in the second inning.

Paul Toetz and Albrecht alertly took third base when the opportunity presented itself and both times it led to a run. Toetz stole third with two outs in the fifth inning. That allowed him to score on Jo Stevens’ infield single moments later. After drawing a leadoff walk to open the bottom of the sixth, Albrecht was at second base with Cornblum at the plate. Albrecht scampered into third on a pitch in the dirt. Cornblum hit the ball into left field for the go-ahead sac fly moments later.

Purdue took the lead in the sixth inning without the luxury of a hit. With his good base running and big hit late in the game, Albrecht atoned for a dropped pop up in the top of the sixth that allowed the tying run to score.

Stevens made the top defensive play of the game, a diving stop at third base for the first out of the sixth inning. Stevens robbed Cole Fleming of a double that would have either plated the runner from first base or given the Highlanders runners on second and third with no outs.

Jake Jarvis’ opposite-field RBI single in the fifth inning was the only ball Purdue (5-2) hit out of the infield while scoring twice in the frame.

Blackwell did not surrender a hit until a leadoff single in the fourth inning. He retired eight consecutive batters after issuing a leadoff to Choi to begin the game. The lefty surrendered two earned runs on four hits over five-plus innings. Danelley worked around Choi’s two-out triple in the seventh and followed that up with a 1-2-3 inning vs. NJIT’s 3-4-5 hitters the following frame.

The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.




BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Butler softball team lost games on Saturday to Alabama-Birmingham and Cleveland State at the UAB Green & Gold Classic. After leading in the early innings, the Bulldogs (2-12) lost by the final score of 9-5 to the host Blazers (9-6), Following a lengthy rain delay, Butler trailed from start to finish in a 3-1 loss to the Vikings (2-7).

Game 2: Alabama-Birmingham- 9, Butler- 5 (7 innings)

Butler’s bats were hot from the start as the Bulldogs jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Ella White’s two-RBI double knocked Cate Lehner (2-4, 2 R) and Kaylee Gross across, and, after the bases were loaded, Kieli Ryan (2-3) sent one more home with a single. In the bottom half, UAB sent a long ball over the fence with one runner on and drew to within one, at 3-2.

In the second, Lehner singled and advanced to second on a Gross sacrifice bunt. Lehner was then knocked in by Paige Dorsett who singled to the right side, giving Butler a 4-2 lead that held through three complete.

In the fourth, a second UAB home run once again brought the Blazers to withing one, this time at 4-3. UAB then tied the game, on a pair of singles, and, after a pitching change, put one more across to take a 5-4 lead.

In the fifth, Monique Hoosen (3-4) tied the game again, 5-5, with a solo home run in the top of the frame. In the bottom half, the host Blazers plated three and regained the lead, 8-5.

UAB added one additional run in the sixth on its third home run of the game.

Rylyn Dyer (1-3) started in the circle for Butler and lasted until the middle of the fourth. She was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs (only one earned) on seven hits. Sydney Cammon (3.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, K) provided relief.

Game 3: Cleveland State- 3, Butler- 2 (7 innings)

 Cleveland State scored a pair in the first and added another in the third to build a 3-0 lead that would hold through five.

In the sixth, Teagan O’Rilley hit a solo home run the pulled Butler to within two, at 3-1.

In the top of the seventh, the Vikings loaded the bases with two outs, but the Bulldogs ended the threat. In the bottom half, Sydney Carter drew a walk, and Cate Lehner reached on a single. With two outs and runners on second and third, the Bulldogs scored one but were unable to extend or win the game.

Kayla Noerr (0-2) got the start for Butler and took the loss. She allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks before being relieved by Mackenzie Griman (6.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K).

Bulldog Bits

Ella White’s double vs. UAB was her third of the season and the 14th of her career.

Monique Hoosen’s home run vs. UAB was her third of the season and the 15th of her career.

Teagan O’Rilley’s home run vs. Cleveland State was her second of the season and the sixth of her career.

Up Next

Butler plays its final two games at the UAB Green & Gold Classic in Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday, Feb. 26. The Bulldogs will have rematches with both Cleveland State, at 10:30 a.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. CT, and with Alabama-Birmingham, at 12:45 p.m. ET / 11:45 a.m. CT.




FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Freshman Modupe Awosanya was the main story for the IUPUI women’s track and field team on day one of the Horizon League Indoor Championships on Saturday (Feb. 25), winning the long jump and qualifying for two other finals on Sunday. The Jaguars piled up 18 points and sit fourth of 10 teams competing heading into Sunday’s finale.

Awosanya collected 10 points with her win in the long jump as she landed at 6.04m (19′ 9.75”) on her final jump of the competition, extending her own school record by one-hundredths of a meter. As if that wasn’t enough, Awosanya broke the program’s 60m dash record in the prelims with a time of 7.62 seconds and just missed the program record in the 200m dash with a preliminary time of 25.17 seconds. She qualified for Sunday’s finals in both events.

Sophia Taylor also punched a spot in Sunday’s finals in the 800m event, clocking a time of 2:19.68 to earn the eighth and final spot. Junior Madison Fry contributed to the IUPUI point total earlier in the day with an eighth-place finish in the 5,000m event in a time of 17:47.55. The Jaguars capped the evening with a fifth-place finish in the distance medley relay as the quartet of Hannah Sale, Lillian Sebastian, Wini Barnett and Julie Smith spun a time of 12:29.86.

Earlier in the day, sophomore Katie Moore surprised even herself with a sixth-place finish in the pentathlon with a school record 3,029 points, eclipsing the prior mark by nearly 100 points. Moore set new personal bests in four of the five disciplines, including tying for seventh among the pentathletes in the shot put (9.40m) on her second throw and capping the event by placing third in the 800m run at 2:28.02.

Action will resume on Sunday (Feb. 26) and be broadcast on ESPN+.




MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – The Ball State baseball team returned to action on day two of the Swig and Swine on Saturday. The Cardinals faced the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Bucknell Bison from The Shipyard Park. Adam Tellier led BSU with the game-winning home run against Rutgers.

The Cardinals moved to 3-4 on the season after day two in Mount Pleasant. The Cardinal pitching staff improved and cut down on the walks from last weekend.

Game One – Ball State 5, Rutgers 4

After a scoreless first inning, Rutgers got on the board in the top of the second inning with two runs.

Tellier got hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the third. He later stole second before Hunter Dobbins drew a walk. Casey Turturici notched an RBI single to right field that drove in Tellier. BSU closed the deficit to 2-1 after three innings of play.

The Scarlet Knights added a run in the top of the fourth as well as the top of the sixth to extend their lead to 4-1.

Andrew Wilhite led off the bottom of the sixth with a six-pitch walk. He stole second and moved into scoring position with one out. Blake Bevis grounded out to second but moved Wilhite to third. Justin Conant singled to short, which allowed Wilhite to score from third. Ball State trailed 4-2 after six innings.

Tellier led of the home half of the seventh with a walk. He advanced to second on a wild pitch. Dobbins drew a one-out walk. CJ Horn came up with a huge pinch hit double to left center that scored Tellier from second. Zach Lane walked to load the bases for the Cardinals with two outs. Bevis was hit by a pitch, and picked up an RBI as Dobbins scored from third. BSU was able to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. 

With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Tellier blasted the first pitch he saw to right field for a solo home run and put the Cardinals on top 5-4.

Nick Gregory and Conant each produced two hits in the game. Trennor O’Donnell got the start for Ball State and went five innings in a no decision. He struck out seven batters and surrendered three runs, only two were earned. Tanner Knapp added two innings in relief and struck out two batters. Knapp gave up just one earned run. Ryan Brown picked up the win in two innings of relief. He improved to 2-0 on the season. Brown struck out five of the seven batters he faced.

Game Two – Bucknell 7, Ball State 2

Logan Flood led off the second in with a walk. Matthew River followed with a two-run shot over the right center field wall. BSU led 2-0 after two innings.

The Bison cut the Cardinal lead to 2-1 in the top of the fourth. Bucknell took a 3-2 lead after a two-run fifth. The Bison added two more runs in the top of the seventh. Bucknell scored a run in the top of the eighth and the top of the ninth to take a 7-2 lead into the home half of the ninth inning.

Ryan Peltier led BSU with two hits in the game. Rivera accounted for both Ball State runs on his two-run homer.

Jacob Hartlaub got the start for the Cardinals and went five innings but picked up the loss. He struck out seven batters and gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits. Ty Weatherly tossed two innings in relief and struck out two. He gave up two earned runs on two hits. Knapp went 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and two earned runs on three hits. Will Jacobson added a 1/3 of an inning.

Chris DiFiore picked up the win for the Bison in six innings of work. He struck out five and gave up two earned runs.

The Cardinals close out the Swig & Swine on Sunday. Ball State will face Canisius with first pitch coming at 9 a.m.




ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The No. 20/19 University of Notre Dame hockey team defeated No. 4/4 Michigan, 2-1, Saturday night in overtime to clinch the fourth-seed in the Big Ten Tournament and home ice for the first round. The two teams battled hard in the regular season finale, with Ryan Bischel turning aside 48 shots to secure the overtime thriller. Drew Bavaro scored both goals for the Irish in the 2-1 victory, earning player of the game honors from his teammates.

The officials whistled their fifth interference call of the weekend as the Irish headed to the penalty kill early in the first period. The visitors successfully killed off the penalty just under 10 minutes into the contest before both sides were called for crosschecking coincidentals shortly after.

A series of crosschecking calls ensued with the Irish and Wolverines each getting a second powerplay opportunity but neither side could capitalize as it returned to five-on-five hockey.

Michigan’s Adam Fantilli hit an unsuspecting Irish defenseman in their end and was served a five minute major and removed from the game. The Irish had 48 seconds on the powerplay to end the period, nearly capitalizing as the horn sounded, but the two teams skated to the first intermission in a 0-0 stalemate.

The remaining Michigan major was negated early in the second stanza when the Irish were called for interference at 2:30 of the period.

With shots even partway through the second period, both teams continued to search for the opening goal but Bischel and Michigan’s netminder stood tall on either end, casting aside all 11 shots faced a piece.

The two netminders continued to impress through the middle frame as the Irish and Wolverines went to their respective locker rooms still scoreless at the second intermission.

Michigan was whistled early in the third period and the Irish controlled possession through the entirety of the penalty. With five seconds left on the man-advantage, Drew Bavaro buried a shot from the point to break the stalemate.

After turning aside 31 shots on the night, one beat Bischel with 10:01 to play to knot things up 1-1.

The Irish had three shots shortly after trickle just wide of the net as Landon Slaggert, Chayse Primeau and Chase Blackmun each had a chance at the net. After the Wolverines cleared the zone Tyler Carpenter created an odd-man rush back into the offensive end but his shot ricocheted off the post as play continued with the scoreboard flashing 1-1.

Despite near chances in the final seconds of regulation, the Irish were unable to break the tie game and a third-straight ND game was set to be determined in extra time.

Notre Dame dominated the overtime session, not allowing the Wolverines a single shot on goal before Bavaro buried his own rebound to improve his team to 15-14-5 on the season.


Drew Bavaro’s shot from the point was his third point of the weekend series and came at 3:35 of the third to give ND the 1-0 lead. With five seconds left on the man-advantage, Grant Silianoff fed a pass across the blueline to Bavaro at the point. His one-timer beat Portillo in the Michigan net for the first goal of the night. Trevor Janicke also tallied an assist on the play, setting up Silianoff along the boards.

Bavaro rounded out his record weekend with the Irish, netting the game-winning goal just 1:30 into the overtime frame. In the Irish end, Hunter Strand found the blueliner racing up ice and into the offensive zone. The junior fired a shot off before gathering his own rebound and attempting a second shot. The third time was the charm for Bavaro as his second shot bounced off the pads of Portillo and back onto Bavaro’s stick who lifted the puck into the open net for the game-winning tally.


Ryan Bischel recorded 26 saves in the third period alone to lift his team to the overtime victory. The senior netminder finished the night with 48 saves in 61:30 minutes played.

Drew Bavaro’s two-goal night ties his career high with the Irish, having previously recorded a multi-goal night at Wisconsin in early January.

With seven shots on goal, including three in the overtime period, Bavaro led the team in the category. The two-way blueliner also led the team in blocked shots, jumping in front of four pucks in Saturday night’s win.

With four points on the weekend, Bavaro led the team and now boasts 18 points on the season off six goals and 12 assists.

The Irish completed the weekend with four points behind shootout and overtime victories, extending their undefeated regular season record inside Yost Ice Arena to nine games, 8-0-1.


The Irish will return to Compton Family Ice Arena March 3-5, having secured home ice in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament with their overtime winner Saturday night. With four points on the weekend at Michigan, the Irish secured the fourth seed in the conference playoffs and will host Michigan State in a best-of-three series next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday if necessary.

Puck drop for Friday is set for 7 p.m. before a 4:30 p.m. start the following night. If necessary, Sunday’s contest will get underway at 6 p.m.

All ND vs. MSU games next weekend will be broadcast on FS2.



WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – It was another game for the taking for Notre Dame men’s basketball (10-19, 2-16), for it was a one-possession game at the half on the road at Wake Forest (18-11, 10-8). However, the Fighting Irish just could not find its rhythm offensively and couldn’t take advantage of two separate four-minute Demon Deacon scoring droughts in the second half, falling by the final of 66-58. It marked Notre Dame’s 11th loss by single-digits in ACC play.

Freshman Ven-Allen Lubin was a bright spot in tonight’s contest with a career-high 19 points. He scored 11 of the team’s 22 second-half points. He led the team in rebounding with eight and also collected three blocks.

Trey Wertz was back in the starting lineup in the absence of injured guards JJ Starling and Marcus Hammond. Wertz responded with 12 points and five assists. Cormac Ryan was the third and final Irish player in double figures with 12 points – also tied his career high of four steals.

Notre Dame actually shot better than Wake Forest, 39.6 percent (21-53 FG) compared to 35.6 percent (21-59), yet the Demon Deacs poured in 12 threes to ND’s five. Wake Forest was led by Tyree Appleby’s 21 points.

How It Happened

An early 8-0 run by the Irish, fueled by a hot shooting start, allowed the visitors to jump out to a 15-8 advantage. As Wake Forest began to connect from three, Notre Dame kept pace with a 4-for-4 start from beyond the arc. All-in-all, the Irish started 10-of-15 from the field and garnered a 25-18 lead at 9:38 because of it, with all six players who saw time registering points.

The Demon Deacons worked their way back in with some more threes, as their sixth of the half spurred an 8-0 run which put them ahead 32-27. Wake would ultimately hit eight treys and maintain their lead for the remainder of the half. However, Wake never built a lead larger than five as the Irish made it a one-possession game at halftime, trailing 36-39.

Wertz led at the midway point for the Irish with 10 points, followed by eight from Lubin and seven from Ryan. Both sides made 12 field goals in the half. The Irish turned seven Demon Deacon turnovers into 11 points, while Wake owned the boards at 19-13.

The start of the second half was a tough one for both sides, but more so for the Irish. Both squads simultaneously went on a four-plus minute scoring droughts. However, Wake ended theirs sooner and sprinted off on a 7-0 run, while Notre Dame’s lasted nearly six minutes, with Ryan ending it with a long jumper. As a result, the Irish found themselves down 42-51 at the 10:56 media timeout.

Next, Wake’s Appleby went on a tear, scoring eight straight points for the Deacs. Lubin did his best to limit the damage for he had nine of the team’s 11 second half points when trailing 61-47 with seven minutes to go.

The Irish defense held Wake to without a field goal for the final five minutes of the game, but their offensive woes only allowed them to cut the deficit to six. ND ultimately ran out of time and fell 66-58.

Up Next

The final week of the regular season is upon us, which means Coach Brey’s final game inside Purcell Pavilion. Senior Day occurs on Wednesday, March 1, when the Irish host the Pitt Panthers. Tip is set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.



GREENSBORO, N.C. – A tough day in Greensboro as the Irish dropped game two of the three-game series in a 12-0 loss to UNCG on Saturday evening. Notre Dame falls to 2-3 on the year with a chance to take home the series in tomorrow’s rubber match.

How it happened

Junior TJ Williams had the first hit of the day for the Irish with a ground rule double to left center on the very first pitch of the game. While the Irish worked to get the offense going, Williams recorded one of just three hits on the day for the Irish. Sophomore DM Jefferson singled to second base in the top of third, with grad student Zack Prajzner adding a double down the third base line in the top of the sixth.

Junior Jackson Dennies made his second start of the season and finished with his first loss of the year after throwing the first two innings. Freshman Rory Fox would pitch the third and fourth innings, recording a career-high four strikeouts.

Justin Moore, a graduate transfer from Stanford, took the mound and threw two innings for the first time in an Irish uniform and was relieved by freshman David Lally Jr. Sophomore Ricky Reeth made his debut on the mound, finishing with two strikeouts in just one inning.

UNCG would go on to score in seven innings with a high of three runs scored in the bottom of the seventh.

Up Next

The Irish are back in action tomorrow at noon for the rubber match against UNCG at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.




TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Indiana State softball moved to 5-4 on the season after splitting two games on Saturday at the Easton Bama Bash at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

The Sycamores fell 14-4 in five innings in an afternoon contest against No. 7 ranked Alabama but bounced back with a run-rule victory of their own with a 10-1 win over Kennesaw State in five innings Saturday night.

Game One

Indiana State jumped on the No. 7 ranked Crimson Tide right out of the gates, scoring two runs in the opening frame.

Olivia Patton singled to center on the second pitch of the game and advanced to second on an error. Danielle Henning then drove home Patton with a single to right which put the Sycamores up 1-0. After Danielle advanced to second on an error, Isabella Henning followed that up with a RBI single to put ISU up 2-0. Alabama answered quickly in the bottom half of the first, hitting a pair of two-run home runs to take a 4-2 lead after one inning.

The Sycamores would get a run back in the second inning as Cassie Thomerson scored on a Olivia Patton ground ball that got away from the Alabama pitcher. Thomerson’s run made it a 4-3 game heading into the bottom of the second. In the bottom half of the frame, the Crimson Tide got their run back after a bases-load hit by pitch made it 5-2 after two.

On the first pitch of inning number three, Isabella Henning launched her first home run of the season, a solo shot, over the wall in right field to make it a 5-4 game. The Tide picked up a pair of runs in the bottom half on an inside-the-park home run to make it 7-4 after three innings of action.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Alabama added three runs to extend their lead to 10-4. The Crimson Tide would get the run-rule victory in the fifth inning after a three-run blast to left center ended the game 14-4.

ISU finished with seven hits including a 3-3 afternoon by Isabella Henning and a two-hit game from Kennedy Shade.

Lauren Sackett, Lyndsi Adamson and Hailey Griffin all appeared in the circle for Indiana State.

Game Two

In the nightcap of Saturday’s games, Indiana State would overcome their afternoon loss to the Crimson Tide.

With the game tied 0-0 heading into the top of the third, the Sycamores would explode for a nine-run inning.

Isabella Henning led off the inning and reached on a hit by pitch followed by a Annie Tokarek walk. After a Kennesaw State pitching change, TeAnn Bringle started the scoring party with a RBI double to left field to score Henning.

With the Sycamores leading 1-0, Cassie Thomerson picked up a sacrifice fly with a fly ball to center field, allowing Tokarek to score as well as Bringle who scored from second after an Owls miscue in the outfield.

Kaylee Barrett drew a walk followed by the first career hit for Luci Kapelka to bring Livi Colip to the plate with a 3-0 ISU lead. Colip delivered a RBI single to left for her first career hit to extend the Sycamore lead to four.

Danielle Henning kept the offense going with a double to left which scored Morgan Goodrich who had entered as a pinch runner, making it a 5-0 game.

Isabella Henning took a hit by pitch to load the bases with two outs in the inning. Down 1-2 in the count, Annie Tokarek would pick up a RBI on another hit by pitch to make it 6-0 in favor of Indiana State.

After the second pitching change of the inning for the Owls, TeAnn Bringle delivered her second double of the inning, clearing the bases to cap the nine-run third inning.

The Sycamore offense did not slow down, picking up another run in the top of the fourth. Kaylee Barrett led the inning off with a double to right field and would score on an Olivia Patton single to put Indiana State up 10-1 after four innings of play.

Indiana State starter Cassi Newbanks went four innings, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out three. Lauren Sackett replaced her for the fifth and final inning, striking out three and clinching the run-rule win for the Sycamores. Newbanks picks up the win and improves to 1-3 on the season.

Three Sycamores finished with multi-hit games as Olivia Patton (2), Danielle Henning (2) and TeAnn Bringle (3) helped lead the ISU offense.

With the win, ISU completes a two-game sweep of Kennesaw State across the weekend and brings the all-time series to 3-2 in favor of the Owls.

Up Next

Indiana State will conclude play at the Easton Bama Bash on Sunday morning with an 11:30 a.m. ET first pitch against Southeastern Louisiana.



PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Indiana State was unable to keep pace with Northeastern’s power bats as the Sycamores fell in both games of the doubleheader on Saturday to the Huskies, 9-5 and 15-10.

The Sycamores (2-4) mounted rallies in both games against Northeastern (4-1), including a seven-run sixth-inning in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. However, the Huskies responded with home runs in each contest as Northeastern combined to hit nine home runs on the day in the sweep.

Mike Sears, Seth Gergely, and Adam Pottinger all homered for the Sycamores to highlight ISU’s offense on the day, while Randal Diaz added his first triple of the 2023 season. Jackson Taylor, Alex Marx, Jorge Pereira, and Dom Krupinski all connected on their first hits of the season in today’s doubleheader.

Game One: Northeastern 9, Indiana State 5

Northeastern connected on a trio of home runs including Luke Beckstein’s grand slam and Alex Lane’s three-run shot as the Huskies topped the Sycamores in the doubleheader opener, 9-5.

Mike Sears and Seth Gergely both homered for the Sycamores as Indiana State had their chances to fight back into the contest. ISU left nine runners on base in the game and had the bases loaded in the eighth inning, but the Sycamores were unable to come up with the key hit to complete the comeback against Northeastern.

Sears’ two-run home run in the fourth inning was his team-leading second home run of the season, while Seth Gergely went opposite field for his first blast to highlight the Sycamores’ offense in the game. Adam Pottinger, Sears, and Parker Stinson all finished with multi-hit games in the loss.

Matt Jachec (0-1) took the loss after going six innings in his second start of the year. The redshirt junior right-hander allowed nine hits and five runs while striking out seven. Aaron Moss, Joey Hurth, and Simon Gregersen closed out the game on the mound.

Tyler MacGregor, Danny Crossen, Jimmy Sullivan, Carmelo Musacchia, and Cam Maldonado all had multi-hit games for Northeastern as the Huskies combined for 14 hits in the win. Alex Lane, Sullivan, and Beckstein all homered for the Huskies.

Wyatt Scotti (2-0) picked up the win after going the first five innings allowing seven hits, four runs and two walks while striking out six. Charlie Walker posted five strikeouts in 2.1 innings’ relief, while Griffin Young (S, 1) went the final 1.2 innings in scoreless relief to earn the save.

How They Scored

Northeastern took the early 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning as Luke Beckstein connected on a one-out grand slam to left field putting the Huskies ahead early.

The Huskies added to their lead in the top of the third as Jimmy Sullivan connected on a two-out solo shot to centerfield to put the margin at 5-0.

Indiana State battled back in the bottom of the fourth inning as Mike Sears and Seth Gergely both connected on home runs in the inning. Sears’ two-run shot scored Adam Pottinger, while Gergely added a solo home run down the left field line to cut the deficit down to 5-3.

The Sycamores pulled back within one in the bottom of the fifth as Josue Urdaneta scored on a Northeastern throwing error to put the score at 5-4.

The Huskies went up 6-4 in the top of the seventh as Tyler MacGregor scored on a wild pitch.

The Sycamores cut the lead back down to one run in the bottom of the eighth as Randal Diaz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded allowing Pottinger to come across the plate to cut the deficit down to 6-5.

Alex Lane put the game away for the Huskies in the ninth with a three-run home run scoring Mike Sirota and Beckstein to put Northeastern ahead 9-5.

Game Two: Northeastern 15, Indiana State 10

Indiana State mounted a seven-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Northeastern connected on six home runs to top the host Sycamores in the second game of today’s doubleheader at the Snowbird Baseball Classic.

The Sycamores cut a 9-1 Northeastern lead to 9-8 following a seven-run sixth inning that featured 11 ISU batters. Indiana State utilized a Dom Krupinski two-run single, while Jackson Taylor, Jorge Pereira and Joe Kido added RBI in the inning to bring the game all the way back within striking distance.

Northeastern responded with three home runs scoring six runs over the ensuing two innings and the Huskies held off a late ISU rally in securing the doubleheader sweep.

Josue Urdaneta, Jackson Taylor, Alex Marx, and Dom Krupinski all posted multi-hit games as Indiana State connected on a season-high 13 hits in the loss. Randal Diaz added his first triple of the season and Adam Pottinger homered to highlight five ISU extra-base hits in the game.

Zach Davidson (0-1) took the loss on the mound after drawing the start for the Sycamores. Jacob Pruitt went a season-high 4.1 innings in relief, while Cole Gilley and Cam Edmonson both went 2.1 innings in relief appearances on Saturday.

Spenser Smith went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBI, while Mike Sirota connected on a pair of home runs to highlight the Northeastern offense in the game. Danny Crossen, Alex Lane, Harrison Feinberg, and Sean McGee also homered in the win.

Eric Yost went the first 5.0 innings in earning the win for the Huskies before turning over the ball to the bullpen. Aiven Cabral and Jack Beauchesne went the final four frames to close out the win.

How They Scored

Northeastern took the early 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Jimmy Sullivan connected on an RBI sacrifice fly, while Maldonado had an RBI fielder’s choice to put the Huskies ahead early.

An RBI double from Smith and a two-run Mike Sirota home run put Northeastern ahead 5-0 after the top of the second inning.

Smith added two more RBI in the top of the third as his single up the middle score Maldonado and Feinberg to put the Huskies ahead 7-0.

The Sycamores cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning as Randal Diaz connected on a two-out triple and scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead down to 7-1.

Northeastern made it 9-1 in the top of the fourth as Crossen and Alex Lane both connected on solo home runs in the inning.

Indiana State sent 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth with Dom Krupinski coming through with the big hit of the inning with a two-run single as ISU scored seven runs. Jackson Taylor, Jorge Pereira, Krupinski, and Joe Kido all had RBI in the inning as the Sycamores cut the gap down to 9-8.

McGee (two-run) and Sirota (solo) both homered for the Huskies in the top of the seventh inning to extend the lead back to 12-8.

Feinberg added a three-run home run in the top of the eighth to put Northeastern ahead 15-8.

Kido added his second RBI of the game with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead down to 15-9.

Adam Pottinger capped the scoring in the contest with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth to provide the final scoring margin.

News & Notes

Mike Sears took ISU’s home run lead following his two-run shot in the first game.

Adam Pottinger and Seth Gergely both connected on their first home runs of the 2023 season this afternoon.

Adam Pottinger, Parker Stinson, Jackson Taylor, Alex Marx, and Dom Krupinski all recorded their first multi-hit games of the 2023 season on Saturday.

Marx and Krupinski also recorded their first hits in a Sycamore uniform on Saturday.

Indiana State’s 13 hits in Saturday’s second game marked the first game ISU has recorded double-digit hits in 2023.

Up Next

Indiana State is back in action with their final game in the Snowbird Baseball Classic on Sunday, February 26. The Sycamores take on Northeastern with first pitch set for 11 a.m. The game will be carried live on FloBaseball.




FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team will host a Barbasol Horizon League Championship first round game on Tuesday (Feb. 28) at 7 p.m. in the Gates Sports Center against Detroit Mercy.

General admission tickets are on sale for two dollars online here. They will be five dollars at the ticket office on the day of the game. Students from all 11 Horizon League institutions can attend the game for free with a valid student ID.

The Mastodons earned the No. 6 seed after a 9-11 Horizon League campaign in Maria Marchesano’s second season as head coach. It’s the best league finish for the program since the 2013-14 season.

Tuesday will be the first women’s basketball league tournament game to be hosted in the Gates Sports Center since the Mastodons moved Division I in 2001 and the first postseason game since 2011.



GREEN BAY, Wis. – Purdue Fort Wayne closed the regular season on Saturday (Feb. 25) with a 78-61 victory over Green Bay at the Kress Center. The Mastodons never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 26 points.

Godfrey scored 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting with four 3-pointers. He also had five rebounds and three steals. Bobby Planutis sunk four 3-pointers for 14 points.

The ‘Dons shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) while limiting Green Bay to 36.8 percent (21-of-57).

A driving layup by Godfrey put the ‘Dons up 30-19 in the first half with 6:26 left. Green Bay cut their deficit to three points early in the second half but a 9-0 Mastodon run followed to all but end the game. Godfrey had seven of the points in the run.

Purdue Fort Wayne improves to 17-14 (9-11 Horizon League) to close the regular season. The ‘Dons are the No. 9 seed in the Barbasol Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship and will play in the opening round on Tuesday (Feb. 28) at No. 8 Detroit Mercy.

Green Bay is now 3-28 (2-18 Horizon League).




EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Pitching was the story in the opener before a come-from-behind effort resulted in another win on Saturday for the University of Evansville softball team.  After defeating Bowling Green by a 2-0 final, the Purple Aces took a 5-4 win over Purdue Fort Wayne in the second contest of the day.

Game One – UE 2, Bowling Green 0

Jenna Nink hit a 2-run home run in the bottom of the second inning to lead the Purple Aces to a 2-0 shutout over Bowling Green to open the day.  Evansville’s other hit came in the third when Alexa Davis hit a 2-out double.

Bowling Green accumulated three hits on the day but Erin Kleffman and Sydney Weatherford got things taken care of in the circle.  Kleffman earned her fourth victory of the season tossing four frames and giving up three hits.  Weatherford did not allow a hit or walk in three innings.

Game Two – UE 5, Purdue Fort Wayne 4 (8)

Jess Willsey hit a 2-run game-winning home run in the eighth inning to lead the Aces to a 5-4 win over the Mastodons in eight innings.  Kaylee Lawson was a perfect 3-3 in the game while Willsey recorded two hits.  The duo accumulated for five of Evansville’s eight hits in the game.

Purdue Fort Wayne plated two runs in the top of the first with Evansville getting on the board with a run in the bottom of the third.  With two outs, Alexa Davis walked and proceeded to steal second.  Hannah Hood delivered an RBI double to cut the deficit in half.   Another run crossed the plate in the fourth when a Lawson double brought in pinch runner Dori Brown to tie the game.  Brown pinch ran for Jenna Nink, who hit a leadoff single.

The Mastodons retook the lead with a run in the top of the sixth but Evansville had another response.  Nink drew a leadoff walk and scored on another Lawson RBI double.  In extra innings, Purdue Fort Wayne scored one run but when it was the Aces turn, freshman Jess Willsey had the answer.  With one out, she drilled a 2-run game-winner to left center to seal the 5-4 win.

Elle Jarrett made the start, allowing two runs in two innings.  Paige McAllister scattered two hits in three innings before Megan Brenton went the final three frames.  She earned her third win of the season.  UE completes the weekend on Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. game against Bowling Green.




BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—University of Southern Indiana Softball gave up a combined eight first-inning runs Saturday as the Screaming Eagles suffered a pair of losses on day two of the Samford University Bulldog Classic.

The Screaming Eagles (3-3) surrendered six runs in the first frame of their 6-2 loss to the University of North Alabama in their first game of the day before giving up a pair of runs in the first inning of their 10-2 loss to in-state foe IUPUI.

Senior pitcher/designated player Allie Goodin (Evansville, Indiana) had a pair of RBI-doubles in the loss to North Alabama.

Goodin (0-1), who was 2-for-3 at the plate, was charged with the loss after giving up six runs off four hits and two walks in 2/3 of an inning of work. Sophomore Hailey Gotshall (Lucerne, Indiana) held the Lions (4-1) scoreless throughout the rest of the contest, giving the Eagles a chance to get themselves back in the game.

Goodin’s second RBI-double came in the bottom of the fourth inning, cutting USI’s deficit to four runs, but North Alabama pitcher Maci Birdyshaw retired nine of the final 12 batters she faced to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard for the remainder of the contest.

In the nightcap, IUPUI (2-9) used a two-run home run in the home half of the first to take a quick lead.

Junior catcher Sammie Kihega (Greenfield, Indiana) had an RBI-double in the top of the third to cut the Eagles’ deficit in half, but the Jaguars answered with another two-run blast in the bottom of third inning to extend their advantage to 4-1.

Kihega drove in another tally in the fifth, but the Jaguars, once again, answered, this time with six runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the contest via the eight-run rule.

Sophomore pitcher Josie Newman (Indianapolis, Indiana) was charged with the loss after giving up four runs off five hits in two-plus innings of work. She falls to 2-2 with the decision.

USI concludes the Bulldog Classic Sunday with games against Samford (10 a.m.) and North Alabama (12:30 p.m.). The Eagles game against Samford is scheduled to be aired on ESPN+.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball graduate forward Trevor Lakes (Lebanon, Indiana) and sophomore guard Isaiah Swope (Newburgh, Indiana) combined for 50 points in leading the Screaming Eagles over Tennessee State University, 93-81, Saturday afternoon in Nashville, Tennessee. The Eagles go to 16-15 overall and 9-9 in the OVC, while the Tigers are 18-13, 10-8 OVC.

With the victory, USI finishes its first NCAA Division I regular season over .500 and its first season in the Ohio Valley Conference at the .500 mark.

In a game that saw only five Eagles post points in the scoring column, Lakes and Swope led the way. Lakes score his 25 points on red hot seven-of-11 from the field, five-of-nine from beyond the arc, and a perfect six-of-six from the line for this third highest point total of the season.

Swope ended the game eight-of-18 from the field, including a pair of three-point field goals, and a perfect seven-of-seven from the stripe for his 10th 20-point game of the season and his fourth straight. The sophomore guard is averaging 24.8 points per contest in the last four outings.

USI senior guard Jelani Simmons (Columbus, Ohio) followed Lakes and Swope with 16 points, including his 1,000-career point as a Screaming Eagle. Simmons ties Chad Gilbert (1994-96) for 21st all-time at USI with 1,011 career points as an Eagle and has 1,441 career points in his collegiate career (1,011 at USI; 430 at Youngstown State University). He is the 23rd Eagle all-time to reach 1,000 points in a USI uniform.

USI sophomore guard Jeremiah Hernandez (Chicago, Illinois) and senior forward Jacob Polakovich (Grand Rapids, Michigan) rounded out the USI offense in the contest with 15 points and 12 points, respectively. Polakovich also grabbed 15 rebounds to complete his 14th double-double of the season and his 20th double-figure rebounding game of the year.

In the contest, USI had to battle back from a nine-point deficit in the first half to tie the game before halftime, 37-37. Hernandez and Polakovich led the push to tie that game at the intermission with four points each as USI went on a 13-4 run to conclude the half.

The second half started with the Tigers outscoring the Eagles, 8-4, to top off the final 20 minutes and take a 45-41 lead. The Eagles responded with a 12-2 run to push in front, 53-47, when Swope connected on a three-point field goal with 13:27 to play.

TSU, however, was not done as it would re-take the lead, 56-55, with just under 11 minutes to play. That would be the last time USI would trail as the Eagles began to methodically pull away, extending the lead to a game-best 13 points, 80-67, with 2:43 to play.

USI and TSU would trade points in the final three minutes as the Eagles closed out the 93-81 victory. The 93 points were the second-highest point total of the season for USI.


The USI Eagles are the seventh seed to start OVC Tournament action Wednesday at 9 p.m. when they take on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. The Cougars, the sixth seed, finished the regular season with an 18-13 overall and 9-9 OVC mark.

SIUE won its regular season finale today with Southeast Missouri State University, 93-78, at home to earn the sixth seed and earn the tie breaker with USI.

USI leads the all-time series with SIUE that started in 1971-72, 45-21.  The Eagles and the Cougars split the 2022-23 season series, each winning on the others home court (SIUE 69, @USI 62; USI 82, @SIUE 72). The Eagles also have won four of the last five games with the Cougars after this season’s split (dating back to 2007).

In the post-season, SIUE has a 3-0 lead over USI, all NCAA Division II Tournament meetings. The Cougars won the 1986 (90-87) and 1987 (88-82) NCAA II Great Lakes Regional meetings in Owensboro, Kentucky, and the 2006 (64-60) NCAA II Midwest Regional in Rensselaer, Indiana.




After a one-sided victory in Friday’s series opener, the Valparaiso University baseball team made it back-to-back wins, this time prevailing in thrilling fashion on Saturday afternoon against UT Martin in Martin, Tenn. The Beacons were down to their final out in the ninth before forcing extras and prevailing 5-4 in 10.

How It Happened

Starting pitcher Connor Lockwood (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) worked a 1-2-3 first inning and by the time he allowed his first base runner of the day with one away in the second, he had sent down 20 straight batters dating back to his last outing.

Valpo scored the game’s first run in the top of the second as Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) singled, went to third on a double by Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) and scored when Kade Reinertson (Huxley, Iowa / Ballard Community) grounded into a fielder’s choice.

A double play helped Lockwood out of a second-inning jam, then the Valpo righty sent down the side in order with two strikeouts in the third.

UT Martin picked up its first run of the day in the fourth to tie the game at one, but Valpo regained the lead when Nolan Tucker (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central) unloaded a solo blast to right in the top of the fifth.

Lockwood kept rolling, and neither team scored again until the top of the seventh, when Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) singled and Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) came into score on a throwing error to make it 3-1.

Lockwood issued three walks in the seventh before departing with one away and the bags full with Valpo up 3-1. The first batter Grant Jablonski (Mishawaka, Ind. / Mishawaka) faced notched a run-scoring single to slice the lead in half at 3-2. Jablonski recorded an enormous strikeout for the second out followed by a fly out, escaping the inning with Valpo clinging to the one-run edge as the Skyhawks stranded the maximum.

UT Martin took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, an uprising that started with two outs and the bases clear.

With UT Martin leading 4-3, Reinertson was hit by a pitch to start the top of the ninth. He moved to second on a sac bunt and to third on a fly ball. With Valpo down to its final out, Tucker came through with a run-scoring single to left to level the score at four.

Valpo’s Bobby Nowak issued a leadoff walk to start the top of the ninth, and that runner stole second before a strikeout for the first out. The runner then stole third, but Nowak followed with two more strikeouts to strand the potential winning run 90 feet away and send the game to extra innings.

UT Martin pitching issued a walk and hit two batters in the top of the 10th to go along with a single by Maka. The two hit batsmen both came with two down, and the second of which forced in the go-ahead run when Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) got nailed with the bases loaded.

All three outs for Nowak came via the strikeout in the bottom of the 10th, when he helped the Beacons hold on for the victory.

Inside the Game

The home run by Tucker was the fifth of his career, three of which have come in the first five games this season. He has more home runs during this year’s five-game sample size than he did in the first 57 games of his collegiate career.

Nowak earned his first Valpo victory while striking out six and walking one in 2 1/3 innings of one-hit, scoreless relief. Lockwood went 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits while striking out six.

Maka notched four hits, becoming the first Valpo player with a four-hit game this season. He tied a career high as he also had four hits on May 13 of last season vs. Bradley.

Tucker had a season-high three hits, while Schmack had his third two-hit game in the season’s first five contests.

This was Valpo’s first extra-inning game since April 26 of last season, a 6-5 loss at Purdue. This was the squad’s first extra-inning victory since a 6-4 win over Missouri State in the opening round of the MVC Tournament on May 25, 2021. 

This was Valpo’s first one-run win since May 1, 2022 at Southern Illinois, an 11-10 triumph.

Up Next

Valpo (3-2) and UT Martin will close out the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Martin, Tenn. A link to live scoring will be available on




INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis baseball squad made it a 5-0 start to their season, winning both games of a Saturday doubleheader against in-region foe Grand Valley State.

Nick Lukac, in his Greyhound debut, was a menace to the Lakers, going 6-7 with six hits and two RBIs across the two games.

GAME 1 | UIndy 4, Grand Valley State 2

Brandon DeWitt threw another gem to start the early season, going all seven innings, giving up only four hits and one earned run. He was accurate as could be asked, only handing out four free passes, while grabbing 11 strikeouts. The offense was electric behind him as well, led by the heroics of Lukac.

Majority of the Hounds scoring came in the bottom of the third, where a Caleb Vaughn double sent DeWitt, hitting for himself, home for the first run of the contest. Brady Ware went onto send Drew Donaldson home from third just an at bat later. A Lukac missile through the left side scored the final run of the third.

More small ball was the success story for the Hounds, with DeWitt scoring Spear on a sac fly to centerfield.

GAME 2 | UIndy 10, Grand Valley State 8

The second game of the doubleheader was a much higher scoring affair, with every frame minus the sixth and ninth seeing runs come across the plate. A disastrous start to the contest by Seth Spencer saw three straight singles load the bases. After a hit by pitch the Lakers took their first lead of the series, up 1-0. A opportunistic unassisted double play by Easton Good ended the jam and the inning for the Hounds.

Facing their first deficit of the series, Donaldson, the reigning player of the week, crushed a ball off the right center wall for a triple to make it 1-1, scoring the lead-off man DeWitt. Spencer went on to throw a gem of a second, with two Ks and ground out. His offense rewarded him and then some with Good absolutely mashing a ball off the dome, scoring Jared Bujdos and Lukac, making it 4-1.




INDIANAPOLIS – The Marian baseball team suffered a pair of losses Saturday afternoon at MU Ballpark, as the Knights were swept in their home opening doubleheader to Concordia (Mich.). Marian lost the twin bill by 9-6 and 9-7 scores, falling to 5-6 overall on the year after the two losses.

Game 1 | Concordia 9-6 Marian

Chris Adams got the Knights off to a good start with a perfect first inning, but in the second a pair of errors washed out two strikeouts and allowed the Cardinals to plate a pair of runs. Marian struck back with a run of their own in the bottom of the second, as Bryce Davenport drew a lead-off walk and scored on a sacrifice fly from Caden Mason. The Cardinals again added to their lead in the top of the third, as an error and two walks from Adams would help put runners on base. An RBI single and a third walk from the righty called for the end of Adams day, however reliever Joe Nelan was unable to cleanly save the inning as two additional runs crossed the plate under his watch.

Marian would come back in the bottom of the third with a run getting a lead-off hit from Jackson Hogg, who would later come in to score on an RBI single from Davenport. Nelan found his command in the fourth and tossed a scoreless from while adding two strikeouts to his totals, but in the fifth struggled with command. Concordia would get runners on via a pair of walks and a hit batter, scoring once on an errant throw and another on a pair of balls hit on the infield.

Trailing 8-2 going into the home half of the fifth, Marian found life with a lead-off walk drawn by Davenport, while Dion Wintjes singled to get the bats going. Caden Jones recorded an RBI single to score a run, and after a bunt single from Dawson Estep, Mason picked up another RBI with a sacrifice fly. Hogg would help score two more runs, reaching first on a fielder’s choice while an error by the Cardinals’ second baseman helped score two in the prolonged inning.

The score would remain 8-6 going into the ninth, as Nelan finished his outing with a strong sixth, while Daniel Brenneman came on in the seventh, stranding a runner in his first frame of work. Brenneman again left runners on in the eighth getting help from his infield, but would allow a run in the ninth as the Cardinals played small ball to bring in a score. Marian’s bats would stay quiet while Brenneman kept his team in the game, stranding two runners in the bottom of the ninth ending the game in the 9-6 defeat.

Trey Heidlage was one of three players with two hits in the loss, joining Hogg and Estep. Heidlage and Rylan Huntley each drew three walks in the series opener. On the mound Adams was charged with the loss, throwing 2.1 innings. Nelan picked up three strikeouts in his 3.2 innings of relief, and Brenneman fanned two batters, allowing one hit in three innings of work.

Game 2 | Concordia 9-7 Marian

The Knights got off to a shaky start in the second act, as Craig Nixon struggled in his start, giving up three hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning that allowed Concordia to score four runs. Marian would answer in the home half with a score after Justin Johnson got out of the top half, as Heidlage slammed a triple to left field, scoring on a Davenport single. Concordia would add a run to their total off Johnson in the second as the second-year pitcher had to get out of a three-walk hole.

Marian erased their four-run deficit over the next two innings, starting with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second as Estep and Heidlage recorded RBI singles to bring in two runs. In the bottom of the third, Davenport opened the frame with a double to right-center, coming around to score as an error on Dion Wintjes’ ground ball was thrown away. Max Steffen would bring the game to a tie with an RBI single, evening the game at 5-5 after Wintjes crossed the plate.

Concordia’s offense would find a run against Jace Stoops in the top of the fourth as a lead-off walk scored on an RBI double by Drew Fleming, but in the home half Marian stayed strong at the plate getting a one-out double from Jackson Hogg. Davenport roped a single to center field to put runner’s on the corners, with both players eventually coming in to score on RBI singles by JJ Rivera and Rylan Huntley.

The first lead of the game for Marian would be short-lived, as Concordia responded to the two-run frame with two of their own in the top of the fifth inning, as an error on a squeeze play saw a pair of Cardinals touch the plate. Trailing 8-7, the Knights were unable to do anything with their at bats in the fifth and sixth innings, going down in order in back to back plate appearances. Logan Drook and Michael Mates would allow a run to score in the seventh as walks again hurt the Knights, and in their final chance at the plate the Knights stranded a runner, ending the game in a 9-7 loss.

Davenport led the Knights with three of their 10 hits, while Heidlage had two base hits in the game. Stoops suffered the loss on the mound, while Johnson had the longest outing throwing 2.1 innings in his season debut. Drook led Marian with three strikeouts in his 1.1 innings of work.

Marian will finish the series with Concordia on Sunday afternoon with a 12 p.m. contest. Following the nine-inning affair, Marian’s developmental team will take on Concordia’s reserves in a seven-inning contest.



Winona Lake, Ind. – Marian men’s basketball dropped its semifinals matchup in the Crossroads League Tournament 96-90 to Grace as the Knights fell short in the overtime comeback on Saturday afternoon. Marian is now 21-9 with the loss.

The early minutes of the game were back and forth as the two team traded baskets, with the score tied at 10-10 at the 14:44 mark. Luke Gohmann and Hayden Langkabel knocked down a pair of three-pointer to take the 16-12 lead before Grace responded with one of their own to get within one. The Lancers took the lead but Taeshon Cherry came back firing with the triple to even it up at 18-18 with 11:56 to go.

Marian continued to stay with the No. 4 Lancers with the score deadlocked at 36-36 with 3:08 left in the first half. Back-to-back scores gave Grace the 40-37 lead, but the Knights countered with five unanswered point to go into the break with 41-40 advantage.

A dunk by Elijah Malone fueled Grace to start the second half on an 8-2 spurt to garner the 48-43 lead at the 17:41 mark. Marian managed to pull ahead 51-50 after three points from Josh Bryan. However, a jumper from the Lancers put them back on top.

With 8:15 left in the second half, Grace saw the 12 point lead at 67-57 behind a 12-0 run that was capped off by a Frankie Davidson three-pointer and Malone jumper. The Knights weren’t rattled as they battled back to cut the deficit 76-75 with 2:40 left after a Brody Whitaker three. The Lancer responded with to go ahead by three with 1:25 left, but the Knights got two big buckets from Cherry and a layup from Christian Harvey with 4.7 ticks remaining to send the game to overtime at 81-81.

Grace got started first before a three by Whitaker at the 3:15 mark tied the score at 86-86. However, a 9-2 run put together by the Lancers gave them their largest lead during the extra time at 95-88 with 25 seconds left. Harvey hit a jumper to end the run, but the time was not in Marian’s favor as their comeback fell short to Grace, dropping 96-90.

Marian was led behind Gohmann’s 23 point performance, while pulling down five rebounds. Harvey and Cherry each added 19 points, with Harvey dishing out four assists and corralling six rebounds, while Cherry had a team-high eight rebounds. Whitaker rounded out the double digit scoring for the Knights with 12.

The Knights season is not over as Marian awaits a potential bid into the NAIA National Tournament. The NAIA will unveil the full 64-team field on Thursday, with the show taking place on March 2 at 8 p.m.






























Eastern Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Boston4417.72124-720-109-127-128-23 W
Milwaukee4217.7121.025-517-128-424-1310-013 W
Philadelphia3920.6614.024-915-117-622-147-31 L
Cleveland3825.6037.025-713-1811-322-127-33 L
Brooklyn3425.5769.018-1116-146-724-144-61 L
New York3527.5659.517-1518-125-824-168-25 W
Miami3229.52512.019-1013-197-415-194-64 L
Atlanta3030.50013.516-1214-185-518-195-51 W
Toronto3031.49214.019-1311-184-918-197-34 W
10 Washington2831.47515.014-1314-186-315-185-51 L
11 Chicago2733.45016.517-1310-205-721-204-61 W
12 Indiana2735.43517.518-159-204-519-183-71 W
13 Orlando2536.41019.015-1610-203-813-265-51 L
14 Charlotte1943.30625.510-189-257-810-294-64 W
15 Detroit1546.24629.08-227-240-96-292-84 L
Western Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Denver4219.68927-415-1510-529-127-31 L
Memphis3623.6105.025-511-186-218-165-51 W
Sacramento3425.5767.018-1216-136-622-136-42 W
Phoenix3328.5419.021-1012-189-122-157-31 W
LA Clippers3329.5329.515-1418-156-519-175-51 L
Dallas3229.52510.020-1012-198-224-166-41 W
Golden State3030.50011.523-77-234-718-154-61 W
Minnesota3131.50011.520-1411-178-722-194-62 L
Utah3131.50011.520-1211-195-621-185-52 W
10 New Orleans3031.49212.020-1010-217-419-154-63 L
11 Oklahoma City2831.47513.017-1211-195-715-194-62 L
12 Portland2831.47513.016-1412-175-820-175-52 L
13 LA Lakers2832.46713.515-1413-183-915-205-52 W
14 San Antonio1447.23028.09-215-262-85-320-1016 L
15 Houston1346.22028.08-205-261-87-322-88 L

Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Division,  Z – Clinched Conference


Eastern Conference
Boston Bruins584585954321912424-2-321-6-27-2-1
Carolina Hurricanes5839118863619815121-7-218-4-68-2-0
New Jersey Devils5939155833820815718-11-221-4-37-2-1
Toronto Maple Leafs5936158803620215723-6-413-9-46-4-0
Tampa Bay Lightning5837174783520916922-4-315-13-15-2-3
New York Rangers5933179753019616616-10-417-7-56-3-1
New York Islanders6230257673017917418-11-312-14-45-3-2
Pittsburgh Penguins5828219652718518715-9-413-12-54-6-0
Buffalo Sabres5730234642921319911-15-219-8-25-4-1
10 Detroit Red Wings5828228642617918415-12-313-10-57-3-0
11 Florida Panthers6129266642721021316-9-313-17-36-4-0
12 Washington Capitals6129266642818418015-13-314-13-33-7-0
13 Ottawa Senators5828264602617718516-12-212-14-26-3-1
14 Philadelphia Flyers61232810562216120211-15-312-13-72-7-1
15 Montreal Canadiens5925304542116321414-15-111-15-35-5-0
16 Columbus Blue Jackets5919355431815221913-18-26-17-34-4-2
Western Conference
Vegas Golden Knights5935186763219216618-13-117-5-56-1-3
Dallas Stars59311612742819115415-8-716-8-53-3-4
Los Angeles Kings6033198742820320117-9-216-10-66-2-2
Edmonton Oilers6032208723223020114-11-518-9-34-2-4
Colorado Avalanche5733195712918215715-9-418-10-17-1-2
Winnipeg Jets5935231713418215520-9-015-14-14-6-0
Seattle Kraken5832206703220218415-11-317-9-34-5-1
Minnesota Wild5932216702617216419-10-213-11-45-3-2
Calgary Flames60272112662619018715-11-212-10-103-4-3
10 Nashville Predators5628226622516316916-10-312-12-36-4-0
11 St. Louis Blues5926285572318021513-13-413-15-13-5-2
12 Vancouver Canucks5923315512019923611-16-112-15-43-5-2
13 Arizona Coyotes5820299491715820513-9-27-20-75-1-4
14 San Jose Sharks6018301248171792236-15-812-15-44-5-1
15 Chicago Blackhawks5821325471914720912-16-39-16-26-3-1
16 Anaheim Ducks601934745161522509-16-110-18-63-5-2

Last updated Feb. 26, 2:01 ET

Eight teams in each conference qualify for the divisional playoff format.  The top three teams from each division make up the first six spots.   The two remaining teams with the highest points, regardless of division, qualify for the final two wild card spots.  

X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference


February 26, 1989 – Dallas Cowboys fire coach Tom Landry after a 29-year career. Tom Landry received his first glimpse of coaching as a Giant when Head Coach Steve Owen asked the young Landry to explain the 6-1-4 defense to his teammates when he was still a player in New York. In 1954 and 1955 with Steve Owen out as coach Landry served as a player/assistant coach under new head man Jim Lee Howell. Landry was the defensive coordinator while a man named Vince Lombardi was in charge of the Giants offense. Early in 1960 before they even officially existed, Tom Landry was hired as the Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys. The first year coach had some tough sledding as his team went 0-11-1. The Cowboys owner, Clint Murchison Jr., had faith in Landry though as he promptly signed him to a 10 year extension. The patience paid off as the team improved and in 1966 the team won 10 games and earned the right to play Lombardi’s Packers in the NFL Championship game. Landry coached teams in Dallas made the Super Bowl 5 times, winning two of them and he was a Bart Starr QB sneak in the Ice Bowl away from a sixth. 1990 Coach Landry was selected to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

February 26, 1991 – The World League Of American Football teams open up Training Camps just days after the league’s first draft had completed! We spoke about the draft of the WLAF on our February 24 post.


February 26, 1886 – Blue Bell, Pennsylvania – The two way end/fullback from the University of Pennsylvania from 1904 through 1908, Bill Hollenback was born. For more on this legend of the game, simply click his name.

February 26, 1914 – Cleveland, Ohio – The stud center from the Ohio State University from 1933 through 1935, Gomer Jones celebrated his date of birth.

February 26, 1930 – Elyria, Ohio – The slick halfback of the Ohio State Buckeyes from 1949 through 1951, Vic Janowicz arrived into this world. The Football Foundation website delivers the story that Vic is one of the best All-around football players to ever put on pads. As a sophomore defender in 1949, Vic became the hero of the 1950 Rose Bowl, as he picked off two passes, ran one back 41 yards, and helped Ohio State beat California 17-14. The next year the coaching staff had Janowicz play on both sides of the ball. Vic’s athleticism was on full display from the tailback position of the single- wing formation, where he ran, passed, punted, blocked, and place-kicked. His highlight game of 1950 was against Pitt where Janowicz threw four touchdown passes in a 41-7 victory. That’s not where his exploits stopped, as he booted a 90 yard punt against Minnesota, scored 46 points against Iowa as he went on to become a unanimous All-American and even won the Heisman Trophy! The National Football Foundation voters selected Vic Janowicz for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1976. Vic played a few years of Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates and played a couple seasons in the NFL with Washington. A car accident ended his promising pro career in both sports.

February 26, 1973 – New Orleans, Louisiana – Marshall Faulk the talented running back for San Diego State University from 1991 through 1993 was born. What can you say about this player? Well for starters the tells us that he was a First -Team All-American in all three seasons he played college football. Faulk became the first freshman in history to lead the nation in both scoring (140 points) and rushing (158.8 yards per game) in 1991. He was a finalist for the Heisman three times. The NFF selection committee called the name of Marshall Faulk in 2017 for entrance into the College Football Hall of Fame. Marshall was the number 2 overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft. He played 12 seasons in the NFL split between the Indianapolis Colts and the St. Louis Rams. For his career he amasses 12279 yards rushing, and added another 6874 yards receiving on 767 passes caught. Faulk scored 136 TDs and was the League MVP in 2000. Marshall was the first player in history two earn over 2000 yards of total offense in four consecutive seasons. The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio seized the opportunity to put Marshall Faulk in a Gold Jacket in 2011.


1911       General Taylor acquires the rights to a parcel of land known as the Dana Lands, a property once owned by a leader of the Sons of Liberty named Francis Dana, at a public auction for $120,000. The Red Sox minority owner’s acquisition will become Fenway Park, the team’s new home,

1914       In London, the White Sox edge the Giants, 5-4 in 10 innings in the final contest of their World Tour. Chicago won 24 and lost 20 against New York, with two games ending in ties during their five-month global journey that included stops in Japan, Australia, and Egypt.

1935       Babe Ruth is granted his release by the Yankees, allowing the aging superstar to play for the Braves. The 39-year-old outfielder hit 659 home runs and batted .349 during his 15-year tenure with New York.

1943       The Phillies hire future Hall of Famer Bucky Harris to manage the club. The veteran skipper, who compiles a 39-54 record, will be fired by the team’s new owner Bill Cox at the end of July and replaced by Freddie Fitzsimmons.

1952       Don Newcombe, who posted a 56-28 record his first three years with the Dodgers, will miss the next two seasons when he is sworn into the Army to serve in the Korean War. The 26-year-old right-hander struggles upon his return in 1954 but returns to form the following season with a 20-5 record, helping the team capture their only world championship while playing in Brooklyn.

1957       The Giants trade right-hander Hoyt Wilhelm to the Cardinals for their former All-Star first baseman/outfielder Whitey Lockman. The knuckleballer will win only one of five decisions for the Redbirds before being selected off waivers by Cleveland in September, with New York’s newest infielder spending two seasons with his old club, hitting .246 in 225 games over that span.

1989       A California court throws out the $12-million breach-of-contract suit brought against Wade Boggs by Margo Adams. During their four-year association, the former Miss Anaheim claimed the Red Sox third baseman had promised her a salary and expenses.

1991       The Veterans Committee select Bill Veeck, considered the P.T. Barnum of baseball due to the imaginative innovations he put in place as the owner of the Indians (1946-50), Browns (1951-53), and White Sox (1959-61, 1975-80), for induction into the Hall of Fame. ‘Sport Shirt Bill’ integrated the American League by signing Larry Doby to play for the Tribe and assembled the 1948 World Champion Indians, a team that drew more than 2.6 million fans, setting an attendance record that lasted for more than three decades.

1992       Red Sox owner Jean Yawkey dies at 83 after suffering a stroke. The JRY Trust, headed by the club’s CEO John Harrington, inherits her interest in the team, selling the team to John Henry and an investor group in 2002.

2004       At Harry Caray’s restaurant in Chicago with hundreds of onlookers, including a man covered in ivy, singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Michael Lantieri blows the foul ball made famous by Steve Bartman in the 2003 NLCS a. The Oscar Award-winner, a die-hard Cubs fan who has worked on similar special effects in Jurassic Park and Back to the Future, executes the infamous ball’s demise.

2005       Atlanta Braves’ hurler Mike Hampton and his wife offer a $25,000 reward for the safe return of Jessica Marie Lunsford. The nine-year-old, who disappeared from her Florida bedroom four days ago, is in the same grade as one of the Hamptons’ two sons at Homosassa Elementary School.

2006       “He’s an idiot. He’s selfish. That’s why we don’t miss him. And we’ve held it in for far too long.” – KENNY WILLIAMS, White Sox general manager, reacting to his former player’s negative comments.

Frustrated with the latest comments from former employee Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox general manager Kenny Williams responds by calling his former superstar selfish as well as being an idiot. The former MVP, who signed with the A’s in January, has been very vocal about feeling unappreciated and mistreated by Chicago after spending 16 years with the organization.

2009       Tim Lincecum (18-5, 2.62) signs a $650,000, one-year deal with the Giants. The 24-year-old right-hander, last season’s National League’s Cy Young Award recipient, fanned a big league-leading 265 batters while yielding 182 hits in 227 innings.

2019       Nolan Arenado becomes baseball’s highest-paid position player annually, making $33.5 million per season after signing an eight-year, $260-million extension with the Rockies. Last month, the 27-year-old third baseman set an arbitration record, receiving a $26 million award in a one-year deal with Colorado.


3 – 20 – 11 – 23 – 6 – 41 – 33

February 26, 1935 – The New York Yankees released their legendary slugger Babe Ruth, who wore Number 3 with the club. Ruth hit what was in essence free agency and quickly signed with the Boston Braves and put on the 3 there as well.

February 26, 1961 – Marvin Panch in his Number 20 Pontiac won the Daytona 500 in a 1960 Pontiac owned by Smokey Yunick when race leader Fireball Roberts’ car suffered a blown engine with 13 laps remaining

February 26, 1967 – Mario Andretti in his Number 11 blue Ford shows he can drive almost any type of race car and win as he takes the checkered flag in the Daytona 500. It was his one and only NASCAR Grand National event. In doing so Andretti became the only time driver born outside the US has ever won the Great American Race. That is is if you don’t want to count Jean Girard from the movie Talladega Nights, and trust me we aren’t counting him!

February 26, 1987 – The great Number 23 of this era of the NBA, Michael Jordan, poured in 58 points in one game to set a Chicago Bulls record.

February 26, 1991 – Bill Veeck a pioneer baseball executive and Tony Lazzeri, who early on in his career was known to wear the Number 6 uniform as an infielder for the New York Yankees were selected to have their career stats, stories and numbers entered into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

February 26, 2017 – At the 59th running of the Daytona 500 it was Kurt Busch in the Number 41 Haas Ford who pulled into Victory Lane after the Number 42 Chevy of driver Kyle Larson ran out of gas on last lap.

February 26, 2017 – Jeffrey Earnhardt in the Number 33 Chevy made NASCAR history, as he became the first ever 4th generation driver to compete in Daytona 500.


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