INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL STATE FINALS
GATES OPEN AT 9:30 AM ET
10:30 AM ET | CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
BETHANY CHRISTIAN (24-3) VS. LANESVILLE (27-2)
APPROX. 12:45 PM ET | CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
LAPEL (22-7) VS. FOREST PARK (25-3)
GATES OPEN AT 5 PM ET
6 PM ET | CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
FAIRFIELD (27-2) VS. CORYDON CENTRAL (27-2)
APPROX. 8:15 PM ET | CLASS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
FISHERS (26-2) VS. BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (26-3)
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLLS/RANKINGS
|1||HOUSTON 25-2||1534 (48)||2|
|2||ALABAMA 23-4||1448 (7)||1|
|3||KANSAS 22-5||1409 (7)||5|
|13||MIAMI (FL) 22-5||833||15|
|14||KANSAS STATE 20-7||666||12|
|15||SAINT MARY’S 24-5||650||17|
|22||SAN DIEGO STATE 21-5||336||21|
|23||IOWA STATE 17-9||309||19|
|25||TEXAS A&M 20-7||125||NR|
|1||HOUSTON 25-2||791 (24)||2|
|2||ALABAMA 23-4||753 (6)||1|
|4||KANSAS 22-5||693 (1)||7|
|6||VIRGINIA 21-4||638 (1)||6|
|11||MIAMI (FL) 22-5||437||13|
|14||SAINT MARY’S 24-5||349||17|
|16||KANSAS STATE 20-7||299||14|
|20||SAN DIEGO STATE 21-5||180||20|
|21||IOWA STATE 17-9||174||18|
|24||NORTH CAROLINA STATE 21-7||93||22|
|25||TEXAS A&M 20-7||87||25|
|6||SAN DIEGO STATE 21-5||0.6354||5|
|10||SAINT MARY’S 24-5||0.6262||11|
|11||FLORIDA ATLANTIC 24-3||0.6260||11|
|15||MIAMI (FL) 22-5||0.6195||15|
|17||KANSAS STATE 20-7||0.6140||18|
|19||UTAH STATE 21-7||0.6123||19|
|21||BOISE STATE 21-6||0.6080||24|
|23||NORTH TEXAS 23-5||0.6052||22|
AP WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POLLS/RANKINGS
|1||SOUTH CAROLINA 27-0||699 (27)||1|
|2||INDIANA 26-1||672 (1)||2|
|9||VIRGINIA TECH 22-4||488||11|
|10||NOTRE DAME 22-4||464||10|
|16||OHIO STATE 22-5||291||13|
|20||IOWA STATE 17-7||167||22|
|22||NORTH CAROLINA 19-8||100||19|
|23||FLORIDA STATE 22-7||96||24|
|25||MIDDLE TENNESSEE 22-4||29||NR|
|1||SOUTH CAROLINA 27-0||0.7060||2|
|7||IOWA STATE 17-7||0.6523||7|
|12||VIRGINIA TECH 22-4||0.6491||15|
|13||NOTRE DAME 22-4||0.6483||10|
|21||NORTH CAROLINA STATE 18-9||0.6331||20|
|24||SOUTH FLORIDA 24-5||0.6279||23|
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES
#3 KANSAS 63 #24 TCU 58
DUKE 79 LOUISVILLE 62
WEST VIRGINIA 85 OKLAHOMA STATE 67
HAWAII 61 BAKERSFIELD 50
ILLINOIS 78 MINNESOTA 69
COMPLETE SCOREBOARD: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/CBK/SCOREBOARD.ASP?CONF=-1&DAY=20230220
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
#3 STANFORD 71 #17 UCLA 66
#16 OHIO STATE 74 #12 MICHIGAN 61
MISSOURI 61 TEXAS A&M 35
OAKLAND 66 DETROIT 65
WISCONSIN 88 RUTGERS 62
COMPLETE SCOREBOARD: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/WCBK/SCOREBOARD.ASP?CONF=-1&DAY=20230220
COLLEGE BASEBALL TOP 25
- OLE MISS
- TEXAS A&M
- WAKE FOREST
- EAST CAROLINA
- NORTH CAROLINA
- VIRGINIA TECH
- OKLAHOMA STATE
- SOUTHERN MISS
- NC STATE
- SOUTH CAROLINA
- TEXAS TECH
BOSTON 3 OTTAWA 1
FLORIDA 4 ANAHEIM 3
PHILADELPHIA 4 CALGARY 3
SAN JOSE 4 SEATTLE 0
WINNIPEG 4 NY RANGERS 1
NY ISLANDERS 4 PITTSBURGH 2
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NHL/SCOREBOARD.ASP
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
HOUSTON BACK AT NO. 1 AS NORTHWESTERN MAKES AP TOP 25 DEBUT
Houston returned to No. 1 in the AP men’s college basketball poll on Monday for the third time this season, while Northwestern and Texas A&M barged into the rankings after each had a pair of impressive wins last week.
The Cougars, riding a seven-game winning streak, jumped over Alabama and back into the top spot, where they spent two weeks in November and December and had another two-week stint last month. They picked up 48 first-place votes from the 62-member national media panel to lay claim to No. 1 with just two weeks left in the regular season.
“This is my fourth year coaching these guys. We’ve developed a really good program here,” said Houston coach Kelvin Sampson, referring to his veteran leaders that went to a Final Four two years ago and the Elite Eight last season. “But the emphasis is `we have.’ One person doesn’t do it. I’m proud of our program. I’m proud of everyone in it.”
The Crimson Tide dropped only one spot after losing to Tennessee and routing Georgia in their lone week at No. 1. They held onto seven first-place votes, while Kansas also earned seven to climb two spots to No. 3 in this week’s poll.
UCLA remained at No. 4 while Purdue slid two spots to round out of the top five.
“We’re not as good a basketball team, from a tactical standpoint, as last year’s basketball team yet,” said Jayhawks coach Bill Self, whose team is trying to become the first back-to-back national champions since Florida in 2006 and ’07. “From a competitive standpoint, this team is an equivalent, or on par, with that team.”
That was evident Saturday, when the Jayhawks rallied from 17 down to beat No. 9 Baylor 87-71 in Allen Fieldhouse.
Virginia was at No. 6 after beating Louisville and Notre Dame last week. Arizona was seventh while Texas fell two spots to eighth after losing to Texas Tech and needing overtime to beat Oklahoma. The Bears held their spot while Marquette moved into the top 10 for the first time since Feb. 25, 2019.
The Volunteers dropped to No. 11 after following up their win over Alabama with a loss to Kentucky. Gonzaga, Miami and Kansas State were next, with Saint Mary’s giving the West Coast Conference two teams in the top 15.
The Gaels (24-5, 13-1) and Bulldogs (23-5, 12-2) each play midweek games before their showdown on Saturday.
Xavier held steady at No. 16 this week while Indiana, UConn, Creighton and Providence rounded out the top 20.
Northwestern entered the poll for the first time in more than two years at No. 21 after following its upset of Purdue two weeks ago with wins over the Hoosiers and Iowa. San Diego State, Iowa State and TCU were next, with Texas A&M making it back into the poll after spending one week at No. 24 in November.
“We haven’t gotten ahead of ourselves,” Wildcats coach Chris Collins said. “We’ve had big aspirations of who we could be, and not many people believed it. I’m sure a lot of people laughed at them. But we had them and they were real. And these guys have followed up on it. But we’re still in the moment. For me, it’s not a time for reflection.
“We want more,” Collins continued. “We can reflect at the end of the year, when it’s all done in a month’s time. And we can look back at the ups and downs. But we’re trying our hardest right now to stay in the moment.”
IN AND OUT
The Wildcats, winners of five straight, and the Aggies entered the poll at the expense of North Carolina State and Florida Atlantic. The Wolfpack lost to Syracuse on Tuesday and the Owls lost to Middle Tennessee on Thursday.
RISING AND FALLING
There was very little movement in this week’s poll. Providence made the biggest climb at just four spots to No. 20 after wins over Creighton and Villanova. Iowa State likewise made the biggest fall at four sports to No. 23 after following a win over TCU with a loss to Kansas State on Saturday.
The Big 12 continues to lead the way with six teams in the AP Top 25 and Oklahoma State receiving a vote. The Big East has five teams in the poll – and all in the top 20 – while the SEC and Big Ten have three teams apiece.
NO. 3 KANSAS GETS 5TH WIN IN A ROW, 63-58 OVER NO. 24 TCU
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Big 12 scoring leader Jalen Wilson was struggling with his shot for third-ranked Kansas, and standout freshman Gradey Dick didn’t score again after reaching 19 points only two minutes into the second half.
The Jayhawks, in pursuit of their 21st Big 12 regular-season title, still never trailed after halftime and extended the league’s longest active winning streak to five in a row, beating 24th-ranked TCU 63-58 on Monday night.
“I’ve said all along, we’ve got five guys that can all go out there and play and take over the game. And that’s the beauty of our team,” said Wilson, who had 13 rebounds while making only 3-of-11 shots for seven points, more than 13 below his season average. “We’re all going to have some type of effort to win. … That’s part of a championship team.”
Damion Baugh missed a potential tying 3-pointer with five seconds left for TCU (18-10, 7-8 Big 12). Shahada Wells missed a follow-up layup before Kevin McCullar, who finished with 15 points, was fouled and made two free throws to seal it for the Jayhawks (23-5, 11-4).
Kansas began the night tied with idle eighth-ranked Texas for the conference lead. Coach Bill Self’s reigning national champions have won seven of eight games since a three-game losing streak that included a 23-point home loss to the Horned Frogs.
“We haven’t accomplished jack, but we’ve put ourselves in a favorable position to maybe do something,” Self said. “Everybody talked about our sky’s falling when we lost three in a row. In this league, that can happen easily. But we’ve recovered pretty good since then.”
Not even an appearance from Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan could get the Frogs over the hump. They were within 56-53 with 6:07 left when the four-year starting quarterback, still in his tuxedo after receiving the Davey O’Brien Award in a ceremony about four miles from campus, waved the crowd into a frenzy while going to a courtside seat.
“He looked good tonight with the tux on,” Self said. “I’m just glad he didn’t get here any earlier.”
Neither team made a field goal in the final 4:19. TCU missed its last six shots over that span, while the Jayhawks were 0-for-4 in the final 4:45.
The Frogs tied the game at 48 with 10:13 left when Jakobe Coles made a tough leaner while being fouled, but missed the free throw that would have put them in the lead.
Mike Miles Jr. had 13 points for TCU, which has lost five of its last six games. The first four of those losses came when the guard was out with a hyperextended right knee. Coles added 12 points and Baugh had 11.
It was only the second game Miles and big man Eddie Lampkin played together for the Frogs since their 83-60 win at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 21. That was the second-worst home loss for Kansas in Self’s 20 seasons.
With both of them starting again, TCU beat Oklahoma State 100-75 at home Saturday to end a four-game losing streak while hitting the century mark in a Big 12 game for the first time. Lampkin, who missed four of six games after a high left ankle sprain in the first meeting against the Jayhawks, had two points and eight rebounds in the rematch.
“It’s disappointing how we played and how we executed and how we handled the situation,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “Obviously played good in our last game, excited about having our guys back. But we just didn’t carry it over.”
Kansas: The Jayhawks reached 11 conference wins for the 29th consecutive season, a streak that began in 1994-95 and is the longest active in Division I. They have three regular-season games left, two at home before the finale at Texas.
TCU: After shooting a season-high 68.6% against Oklahoma State two days earlier, the Frogs were a season-low 30.3% (20 of 66) from the field against Kansas. They missed their first eight shots in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the game, then missed their last six shots before the break. TCU missed nine of it last 10.
Kansas is home Saturday to play West Virginia.
TCU travels to Texas Tech on Saturday.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
SOUTH CAROLINA’S NO. 1 RUN IN WOMEN’S TOP 25 HITS 35 WEEKS
(AP) — South Carolina survived one of its stiffest tests of the season to remain No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll released Monday.
The Gamecocks (27-0) topped Mississippi in overtime on Sunday to win their 33rd consecutive game and secure the top spot in the poll for a 35th consecutive week. That is the third-longest run atop the poll, with UConn (51 weeks) and Louisiana Tech (36) having had longer streaks at No. 1. The Gamecocks broke a tie with UConn for third place.
South Carolina received 27 of the 28 first-place votes from the national media panel. It was the first time this season that the team wasn’t a unanimous choice at No. 1.
Indiana got the other first place vote and stayed second in the poll. The Hoosiers have won 14 consecutive games and are 9-0 against AP Top 25 teams this season – the most wins against ranked opponents of any team in the country. The Hoosiers clinched at least a share of their first Big Ten title since 1983 with Sunday’s win over Purdue.
“It’s nothing against South Carolina, but the Big Ten is incredibly strong this season and Indiana has played a tougher conference schedule,” voter Mitchell Northam said. “While the Gamecocks needed OT to get by Ole Miss, the Hoosiers handily beat ranked teams in Ohio State and Michigan this past week. I wanted to reward them for that. Indiana also has five wins against top 10 teams this season, the most in the country, and hasn’t lost since Grace Berger has been healthy.”
Stanford, UConn and LSU round out the top five teams.
Iowa, which hosts Indiana on Sunday, was No. 6. The Hawkeyes were followed by Maryland, Utah, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. The Utes dropped four places after falling to then-No. 18 Arizona. The Wildcats moved up four spots to 14th.
Middle Tennessee and Illinois re-entered the poll tied at No. 25. The Blue Raiders and Illini had spent some time in the AP Top 25 before falling out. They replaced USC, which dropped games to Stanford and Cal over the weekend.
The conference has two of the top five teams in South Carolina and LSU, but no other school is ranked. With three polls left in the season, the SEC is in danger of not having at least three teams ranked in the final AP Top 25 for the first time since the 1980-81 season, when the conference had only two.
BRINK, JONES POWER NO. 3 STANFORD WOMEN PAST NO. 17 UCLA
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Tara VanDerveer asked the crowd to give a standing ovation to her four Stanford seniors, and hundreds of fans who stuck around well past the final buzzer for a postgame ceremony jumped to their feet.
VanDerveer thanked the players’ parents while making something perfectly clear: The Cardinal have plenty of great basketball still to be played with March approaching. Stanford’s seniors have already won 116 games during their careers.
“They call themselves the Funky Four, I call them the Final Four or the Fabulous Four,” the Hall of Fame coach said. “Let’s keep it rolling.”
Cameron Brink scored 25 points and made all 15 of her free throws, the last of which put Stanford ahead for good, and the third-ranked Cardinal beat 17th-ranked UCLA 71-66 on Monday night in their final regular-season home game.
Brink swatted two more shots to give her 102 blocks for the season, and her 15 free throws were the most without a miss by a Stanford player since at least 1999 – Candice Wiggins went 14 for 14 in 2008. Senior Haley Jones added 18 points and converted a layup with 1:22 remaining to put the Cardinal ahead by three.
“There were a lot of different moments tonight we had to change our mentality,” Jones said. “We’re trying to win a Pac-12 championship and this game was necessary to do that. We had to be the aggressor.”
Stanford (26-3, 14-2 Pac-12) has won four straight and is closing in on a third straight Pac-12 regular-season title with games remaining this week at No. 21 Colorado and No. 8 Utah.
Jones hit a go-ahead jumper with 2:45 to play before Lina Sontag answered with a 3 moments later to put UCLA ahead 65-64. Brink’s final two free throws made it 66-65 with 1:53 left.
Freshman Londynn Jones scored 14 points for UCLA (21-7, 10-6), which dropped one spot in the AP Top 25 this week and had its four-game winning streak snapped. UCLA pounded the boards for a 36-33 advantage, getting 17 on the offensive glass.
“They’re a good team and they’re on a mission,” VanDerveer said.
Brink also converted a go-ahead three-point play with 8:55 remaining. The 6-foot-4 junior reached 100 blocks for the first time in her stellar career and set the all-time Stanford record during Friday’s 50-47 win over Southern California – and she still has another collegiate season left to play. Brink has 280 blocks, having topped Jayne Appel’s mark of 273 set from 2006-10.
Stanford won the first meeting 72-59 on Jan. 13 after the teams were tied after three quarters. UCLA made it interesting until the end this time.
“Really proud of our team’s response in the second half,” Bruins coach Cori Close said, “their fight, their togetherness, their belief.”
The cold-shooting Bruins began 3 of 11 and went 5:39 without a basket in the second quarter, missing 10 straight shots as the Cardinal went on a 6-0 run. Christeen Iwuala’s putback with 3:36 left in the quarter ended a nearly six-minute stretch without a field goal by UCLA.
But the Bruins came out energized after halftime, using a 25-point third quarter – they had just 26 points at halftime – while holding Stanford to just four field goals in the period to take a 51-50 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry attended his second straight Stanford game. He has been a regular this season at women’s games on The Farm and also at California in Berkeley. He sat on the baseline with Brink’s parents, Michelle and Greg.
The reigning NBA Finals MVP’s family is close with the Brinks.
“When I was growing up I played with a lot of young girls, we played a lot of pickup together,” Curry said. “I love that the game is growing and getting some more exposure. I grew up watching sports and now to drive awareness on how good the women’s game is, all that stuff matters. I’ve had my daughters here with me to watch, I’ve had my son here with me to watch the game, and they love it. And I’m supporting family, too.”
The Cardinal also acknowledged each UCLA senior before the game. Senior Charisma Osborne had 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a career-best six steals for the Bruins.
UCLA: Scored 14 points off Stanford’s 15 turnovers. … The Bruins were 2 of 11 on 3s in the first half and 7 for 25 overall, with freshman Kiki Rice going 0 for 3. … UCLA has lost six of the last seven in the series.
Stanford: Brink has scored in double figures in 21 straight games. … After Stanford limited USC to 22% shooting Friday for its lowest by an opponent since 2010, UCLA finished at 36%.
UCLA: Hosts Washington State on Thursday night.
Stanford: Visits Colorado on Thursday.
HARRIS, NO. 16 OHIO STATE WOMEN BEAT NO. 12 MICHIGAN 74-61
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Rikki Harris scored a career-high 23 points with five assists and seven steals, Taylor Thierry added 15 points and No. 16 Ohio State beat No. 12 Michigan 74-61 on Monday night to complete a season sweep of the Wolverines.
It was Ohio State’s first victory over a ranked team since topping Michigan 66-57 on New Year’s Eve.
Taylor Mikesell made four 3-pointers and scored 12 for Ohio State (23-5, 12-5 Big Ten). Cotie McMahon had seven points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
McMahon was named the Big Ten freshman of the week for the sixth time earlier on Monday after averaging 19.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
Leigha Brown scored a career-high 36 points with nine rebounds for Michigan (20-7, 10-6). Brown was 11 of 21 from the field, including 3 of 6 from distance, and 11 of 11 at the free-throw line. Emily Kiser added 11 points and Jordan Hobbs scored 10.
Brown had 17 of Michigan’s opening 27 points.
Ohio State concludes its regular season on Friday against No. 7 Maryland. Michigan continues its three-game week against Rutgers on Thursday and at Wisconsin on Sunday to end its regular season.
AP SOURCE: ANTETOKOUNMPO GOING TO NEW YORK FOR WRIST EXAM
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo was scheduled to be in New York on Monday to undergo testing and get further evaluation on his injured right wrist, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday night because neither the Bucks nor Antetokounmpo released the plans publicly.
ESPN first reported that Antetokounmpo was going to New York, and it was later confirmed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Antetokounmpo injured his wrist Thursday night in Chicago after attempting to block a shot. Antetokounmpo exited after only nine minutes and did not return. He had X-rays and Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said at the time they came back clean.
But there evidently has not been much improvement in the wrist since. Antetokounmpo did not join his brothers as planned for the All-Star Skills Challenge on Saturday night in Utah – he was filled in for there by Bucks teammate and fellow All-Star Jrue Holiday.
And he played only 20 seconds in his team’s victory over Team LeBron in the All-Star Game on Sunday night, getting a dunk on the first possession, then taking a foul and heading to the bench to basically become a coach for the rest of the night.
“Taking it day by day, try to get healthy,” Antetokounmpo said after the game. “You know, obviously I had the incident three days ago. I don’t think it’s smart in any way to, you know, play a lot of minutes in the All-Star Game. At the end of the day, obviously, you want to participate, you want to run up and down, joke around, have some dunks, create some work. But at the end of the day, I feel you also have to be mature.”
He did not give any hint that the wrist issue is more serious than a sprain.
“Hopefully, I can, you know, be available for my team when they need me,” Antetokounmpo said.
Milwaukee has the NBA’s second-best record coming out of the All-Star break at 41-17, a half-game behind Boston in the Eastern Conference.
Antetokounmpo is third in the NBA in scoring at 31.8 points per game, behind only Dallas’ Luka Doncic (33.3) and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid (33.1).
WESTBROOK TO SIGN WITH CLIPPERS AFTER FINALIZING BUYOUT WITH JAZZ
Russell Westbrook plans to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers after finalizing a buyout with the Utah Jazz, his agent told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Clippers reportedly became increasingly interested in Westbrook after a series of conversations with the former MVP, adds Wojnarowski. The ex-Los Angeles Lakers guard apparently communicated a willingness to fit into a “clear and specific role” built around his skill set.
The Utah Jazz acquired Westbrook from the Lakers in a three-team deal before the trade deadline and apparently gave him permission to discuss a potential role with other teams in the event he was bought out.
The Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, and Miami Heat are said to have had talks with Westbrook and his representatives prior to his intention to ink a deal with the Clippers.
Players who are bought out must sign with a new team before March 1 in order to be playoff-eligible.
Clippers star Paul George began recruiting Westbrook shortly after the Lakers shipped him to Utah. The two played a pair of seasons together with the Oklahoma City Thunder but couldn’t register a single playoff series victory.
While Los Angeles was linked with numerous point guards ahead of the trade deadline, the team didn’t acquire a new floor general to fill its playmaking void. Veterans John Wall and Reggie Jackson were both moved, leaving Terance Mann as the team’s primary point guard.
Despite boasting George and Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers rank 21st in offensive efficiency and 25th in assists (22.9 per game).
Westbrook had some success for the Lakers in a reserve role, averaging 15.9 points, 7.5 assists, 6.2 boards, and one steal over 52 appearances.
AP SOURCE: BUCKS GIVE MEYERS LEONARD CHANCE TO RESUME CAREER
MIAMI (AP) Meyers Leonard is getting another chance at the NBA, nearly two years after he used an anti-Semitic slur while playing a video game that was being livestreamed.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations said Leonard and the Milwaukee Bucks have agreed on a 10-day contract, opening the door for the 7-foot center to play in an NBA game for the first time since January 2021. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
ESPN first reported the agreement between Leonard and the Bucks.
Leonard’s career was jeopardized and his reputation was seriously damaged on March 8, 2021 when it was discovered that he used a slur while playing an online game as others watched on a livestream. The Heat told him to stay away from the team indefinitely, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined him $50,000 and Miami eventually traded him to Oklahoma City.
Leonard said then that he knew he’d used a bad term, but was unaware of the term’s meaning. In an apology, he said “my ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse and I was just wrong.” He immediately began scheduling meetings with Holocaust survivors, rabbis in South Florida and other community leaders.
That was the start of him spending much of the last two years trying to atone for what he did – almost all of it quietly, in a deliberate effort to quash any notion his work was simply done to get positive media coverage. He has spoken and worked with several Jewish groups on various things, put on a number of basketball camps for Jewish children and apologized countless times for what he said and his ignorance about what the term meant.
Leonard was not going to play in the remainder of that 2020-21 season after suffering a shoulder injury in January of 2021, two months before the incident. He has since dealt with ankle and other issues, but has been working toward an NBA return for months.
For the Bucks, the move carries almost no risk. They’ll get 10 days to see if Leonard – who was with Miami for its run to the 2020 NBA Finals in the restart bubble at Walt Disney World – can help with their playoff push.
Most players and coaches chose to kneel in that bubble for the playing of the U.S. and Canadian national anthems when the NBA season resumed there. Leonard stood instead, his hand over his heart, and did so with the support of Heat teammates.
“I am a compassionate human being and I truly love all people,” Leonard told The Associated Press at the time.
For his career, Leonard has averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds on 48% shooting, 39% from 3-point range.
NUGGETS’ MALONE: ASG IS ‘WORST BASKETBALL GAME EVER PLAYED’
Denver Nuggets bench boss Michael Malone gave a brutally honest assessment of the NBA’s All-Star Game following Team Giannis’ 184-175 victory over Team LeBron on Sunday.
“It’s an honor to be here. It’s an honor to be a part of a great weekend with great players. But that is the worst basketball game ever played,” Malone told reporters after the exhibition contest, courtesy of Altitude TV’s Vic Lombardi.
This was Malone’s second time as an All-Star coach – he also coached Team LeBron in 2019. Just like his previous go-around, this year’s edition didn’t feature much defense or intensity. The 51-year-old said he isn’t sure that approach will change.
“I don’t know if you can fix it. I give Joel Embiid and Kyrie Irving (credit). Those guys were competing,” Malone said. “Joel was imploring some of the guys to play harder, to try and get some defence in. But no one got hurt, they put on a show for the fans, but that is a tough game to sit through, I’m not going to lie.”
Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown didn’t have a glowing review, either, calling the All-Star Game a glorified “layup line,” per Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.
“That’s not basketball,” Brown said postgame.
The 2024 All-Star Game will take place in Indianapolis.
NBA ON ALL-STAR BREAK, BUT NO EASY ANSWERS TO REST PROBLEM
Golden State coach Steve Kerr wants a shorter NBA season. Milwaukee All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo does not. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver isn’t sure what the right answer is.
Such is the conundrum with the NBA’s ongoing battle with load management — often the fancy way of saying resting — and finding ways to optimize player health, performance and availability. While there is a consensus that the league has problems, there is no consensus on how to solve those problems.
Over the last week, The Associated Press asked a cross section of 48 players, coaches, owners and executives if the NBA should abandon its 82-game, 170-day blueprint of a regular season for something with either fewer games or more days in the season to allow for more rest.
The results were as muddled as the issue itself: 40% said they would simply go along with whatever the league decides is best, 35% said they don’t want the current format changed, and the remaining 25% wants changes.
How fans will be affected is one concern. Money is another.
“I think if you want to get the best player availability, shortening the season may be in the best interest of everybody involved,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “But that’s also a lot of money being lost — TV games, money. Let’s not forget: This is a business.”
With the All-Star Weekend in the books and regular-season play resuming Thursday, there are still 19 players with a chance to play in 82 games this season. There were only five who did it last season, 11 who played every game in a 72-game 2020-21 season and 14 who played all possible games in the COVID-19-interrupted 2019-20 season.
It used to not be so uncommon for players to play every game, or at least almost every game. A decade ago, in 2012-23, there were 28 players making 82 appearances. A decade before that, it was 46. John Stockton played in 82 games 16 times for Utah and missed 22 games in 19 seasons; A.C. Green played 82 games 14 times in his career. Among players currently active, nobody has logged more than five 82-game seasons.
Antetokounmpo doesn’t want change: “I think 82 games is perfect,” he said.
Minnesota guard Anthony Edwards said seeing players sometimes take a game to rest is the thing he dislikes most about the league. His rationale: Somebody might have bought a ticket to just that one game, and feelings can be hurt if the player they want to see most takes the night off.
“Just play, man. If you’re 80%, you’ve got to play,” said Edwards, 21, a first-time All-Star. “I don’t like all the sitting, missing games and stuff. These people might have enough money to come to one game. And that might be the game they come to and you’re sitting out. I take pride in trying to play every game because I don’t know, it might be one fan that has never seen me play, and I’m trying to play.”
Kerr is a proponent of a 72-game season, and has said so this year after some games where the reigning champion Warriors have given their stars — the Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green types — a night off because the team feels it was in the best interest of their health.
He also knows a 72-game season would come with a price. Literally, a big price. Shaving 12% of games from the schedule would, in theory, shave 12% of revenue opportunities. And while it’s not likely owners would embrace making less money, players probably wouldn’t go for that, either.
“I feel terrible for fans who buy tickets who are expecting to see someone play and they don’t get to see that person play,” Kerr said. “It’s a brutal part of the business. That’s why I’m going to continue to advocate for 72-game seasons. And I know that means less revenue, but at some point, I think there just needs to be an awareness from everybody involved.”
At least one other coach is listening to Kerr, loud and clear.
“I do think in an ideal world that the season would be shorter,” Milwaukee’s Mike Budenholzer said. “We would space the games out, give the players more recovery time, hopefully more health. And I think one of the big points of emphasis is for the fans, more player availability. But it’s a complicated equation.”
One potential tweak that some prefer is the idea of not squeezing 82 games into 170 days, which basically means a game every other day. Building even another week into the schedule could allow for more multiday breaks.
The NFL and NHL have bye weeks. Minnesota coach Chris Finch wonders if the NBA should do the same.
“I think what we need to do as a league is remove all the obstacles for guys not playing,” Finch said. “Back-to-backs seem to be a big one. They’ve done a really good job over the last years of trying to limit back-to-backs, make them more intelligent if you will. It doesn’t seem to me that we’re that far off of being able to eliminate them altogether, whether that’s fewer games or, heck, the season’s so long right now anyway, what’s another week or two?”
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are currently in talks on a new collective bargaining agreement, with both sides hopeful that it’ll get done by next month — which hardly guarantees anything, but it’s a reason for optimism.
There is a strong chance that an in-season tournament, something Silver has wanted for years, could be part of the NBA calendar as early as next season. But there is no talk of that changing the format for the season; teams have been told that, if the tournament is added, they’ll get an 80-game schedule this summer with two more games — those matchups based on how they fare in the opening portion of the tournament — to be added later.
“I think part of the realization these days in playing in this league is that this is a year-round pursuit now,” Silver said. “I think part of injury avoidance means how players are treating their bodies year-round, how teams are interacting with players year-round, and using the best data to conclude what will allow players to stay healthy and on the floor as long as possible.
“We think we can do a better job,” he added, “but we don’t have a specific solution yet.”
LOVE SIGNS WITH MIAMI, MOVING FAST AFTER CLEARING WAIVERS
Kevin Love wasted no time. He’s officially a member of the Miami Heat.
The five-time All-Star and 15-year NBA veteran cleared waivers on Monday afternoon, then signed a contract to join the Heat for the remainder of the season not long afterward. The now-former Cleveland forward was in Miami for the signing, with plans to start working out at his new team facility right away.
Love’s first official practice with Miami is scheduled for Thursday when the team returns from its All-Star break, and he could make his Heat debut as early as Friday at Milwaukee.
Love is an NBA champion, an Olympic champion and a FIBA World Cup champion. He’s 42nd on the NBA’s 3-pointers made list with 1,536, which ranks 19th among players currently in the league.
Heat center Bam Adebayo — who was hoping Love would come to Miami if the Cavaliers bought him out — said he planned to call coach Erik Spoelstra on Monday to start a conversation about how he and Love might be able to play alongside one another.
“Spo’s smart. He’ll figure it out, how we’re going to handle things,” Adebayo told The Associated Press. “It’s exciting. We’ve got fresh legs on the team. We’ve got a guy like Kevin Love, who has been through those wars, came back from 3-1 (with Cleveland against Golden State in the 2016 NBA Finals). You’ve got a battle-tested guy like that who has won. It’s big for us.”
Over parts of 15 NBA seasons with Cleveland and Minnesota, Love has averaged 17.2 points and 10.5 rebounds. He averaged career lows of 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 20 minutes per game in 41 games, almost all as a reserve, this season for Cleveland and didn’t play in the team’s final 12 games before the All-Star break.
That’s what led to the buyout talks, and ultimately, Love coming to the Heat.
When he thinks about what adding Love means to the Heat, Adebayo draws parallels between him and two other players — current Heat forward Udonis Haslem when it comes to leadership, and former Heat center Meyers Leonard when it comes to things like an ability to space the floor, talk on defense and bring help defending the rim.
“He’s smart, he stretches the floor, and you can learn from guy like that, having a guy like that in your corner,” Adebayo said. “Him and UD, two different walks of life, but now they’re kind of going down the same road. Having guys like that, it’ll help me tremendously. He’s an all-around great person.”
Miami was also in the process Monday of finalizing a contract with another big man — free agent center Cody Zeller. He has averaged 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in 494 games with Charlotte and Portland.
The 6-foot-11 center was the fourth pick in the 2013 draft.
“He’s really underrated as a team player,” Adebayo said. “He’s underrated for what he does. I know what he’ll bring to our team will make us more successful.”
The Heat will come out of the All-Star break seventh in the Eastern Conference at 32-27, five games back of Cleveland for the No. 4 spot. The top four teams in each conference will have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and the top six in each conference will avoid the play-in tournament to determine the seventh and eighth seeds.
METS’ COHEN CAUTIONS SPENDING DOESN’T MEAN TITLE THIS YEAR
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) Mets owner Steve Cohen cautions the team’s record spending won’t necessarily lead to a World Series title this year.
“You know how hard it is to get to get into the World Series – as we saw last year, right?” Cohen said Monday at New York’s spring training camp. “So the only thing you can do is put yourself in position where good things can happen. Got to make the playoffs. The team’s got to be healthy. It’s got to be rested. It’s got to be raring to go. And then you let the chips fall where they may. And if you keep putting yourself there, one day we’ll get there. Obviously, I’d love it sooner than later. But, you know, I can’t control that.”
New York won its only World Series titles in 1969 and 1986. The Mets won 101 games last year, second-most in franchise history but were unable to hold off Atlanta in the NL East after sitting atop the division for all but six days. The Mets were eliminated by San Diego in a three-game Wild Card Series.
New York raised its payroll to a projected $370 million and is set to shatter the record, set by the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers at $291 million.
The Mets had a $146 million payroll in 2019, the last fully played season under the Wilpon and Katz familiies. New York boosted payroll to $199 million in 2021, the first season after Cohen bought the team, and $275 million last year, when the Mets led the major leagues in spending for the first time since 1989.
Cohen cited inflation as a factor in the offseason spending spree.
“All of the sudden we were looking at prices up 20, 30%,” Cohen said. “That was a shocker to me, and certainly changed our plans, and I had to think differently. You know, $300 million, which is still a lot of money, didn’t get us like it used to – what we could.”
Cohen’s Mets signed AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander to a $86.7 millon, two-year contract, added pitchers Kodai Senga ($75 million for five years), Jose Quintana ($26 million for two years) and David Robertson ($10 million for one years), along with catcher Omar Narvaez ($15 million for two years). New York also re-signed closer Edwin Diaz ($102 million for five years), outfielder Brandon Nimmo ($162 million for eight years), infielder Jeff McNeil ($50 million for four years) and reliever Adam Ottavino ($14.5 million for two years).
New York projects to have a luxury tax payroll of about $390 million, which would result in a tax of about $116 million. While negotiators for teams and players adopted a fourth tax threshold last year know as the “Cohen tax,” the Mets owner has used his hedge-fund riches to keep spending. That has increased disparity in a sport that saw four teams finish last year with payrolls under $100 million.
“They’ve been dealing with that problem for a long time,” Cohen said. “It’s really hard for me to say how to solve that because I think it’s a multi-variable problem. I think ultimately, I think the key for baseball is you need to grow revenues. And it can’t be through constantly raising ticket prices. It’s got to be getting more attendance, getting more interest in the game.”
Cohen said some other owners told him at recent meetings they realized he was following the established rules. He doesn’t believe the owner’s new economic study group will formulate proposals specifically aimed at him.
“Absolutely not,” Cohen said. “There’s plenty of issues there. The media issues, as we know about, there are revenue issues, right? Attendance issues. So, you know, I say it again, I think it’s great that the owners are getting together discuss all these issues.”
With team president Sandy Alderson shifting to a special assistant role, Cohen intends a more of a day-to-day role in management.
Cohen expects improvement from the Mets farm system will cause less dependance on free agents, calling current behavior a “bridge” to the future.
“People have to be patient,” Cohen said. “It’s taking time. I see progress, and I’m encouraged what we’re doing down in the lower part of the system. And from what I hear, we’re developing pitchers, which I think is really important.”
RED SOX CEO KENNEDY: ‘PRESSURE IS DEFINITELY ON’
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy admits the organization heard lots of displeasure from the fans during the offseason.
“Pressure is definitely on the 2023 Boston Red Sox,” Kennedy said on Monday morning at the team’s spring training complex on the first full day of workouts.
Following the departure of shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who signed a $280 million, 11-year free-agent deal with the San Diego Padres during the offseason, and finishing last in the AL East for the fifth time in 11 seasons, Kennedy knows the fans are bothered by stars leaving and inconsistent results.
“We certainly had a lot of interest in our offseason and we heard a lot from fans. We have to be competitive. If we’re competitive it’ll take care of any lack of interest,” Kennedy said.
“We didn’t deliver on 2022 and we need to do a better job of communicating our message to our fans. That’s on me frankly. I’m the leader of the organization and if we’re not effectively communicating our strategy to our fans, that’s on me. That’s on us. We need to get better at it.”
With owner John Henry, who politely declined to speak to the reporters on hand, the Red Sox started to take the field just before 10 a.m.
Fittingly, left-hander Chris Sale was one of the the first ones out the door following a clubhouse meeting that had Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez and manager Alex Cora address the group.
Sale has thrown just 48 1/3 innings in the regular season during the first three years of a $145 million, five-year extension he signed with the club in March 2019. His health could be a first step to erasing the poor taste of 2022.
Cora said his point was simple: “We’ve got to get better. That’s the whole message.”
Former second baseman Dustin Pedroia addressed the infielders on a field and Martinez watched pitchers, including Sale, on another that saw crowds outside that were a bit smaller than usual at the start of school vacation week in Massachusetts.
“It was really good. It was really positive,” Kennedy said. “Some special guest appearances by some well-known Red Sox alums.”
Kennedy also had a simple message for those predicting another bad season.
“As long as I’ve been around, they’re usually wrong. I don’t put a lot of stock in them,” he said. “We’ll let the players do the talking.”
MAJOR LEAGUE TEAMS SEARCHING FOR ADVANTAGES WITH NEW RULES
PHOENIX (AP) — It’s a brand new day in the major leagues — potentially an even brighter one for base-stealers like Trea Turner and Ronald Acuña Jr., and most definitely a change of pace for veteran aces like Gerrit Cole or Yu Darvish.
The bases are bigger, and the pickoff rules are different. The pitch clock has arrived, and infield shifts are gone.
Sorry, Shohei Ohtani, you took too long to throw that pitch. Bryce Harper, get back in the batter’s box. Xander Bogaerts, can’t stand there when Mookie Betts is hitting.
Only one thing is certain to stay the same: Everyone will try to find an edge, aiming to take advantage of baseball’s dramatic alterations.
“I think the one thing we know about our industry is to the extent there’s an advantage to be gained, every team is going to be doing everything possible to try to exploit that advantage to the best of its ability,” said Chris Antonetti, president of baseball operations for the Cleveland Guardians.
Those are the conversations that are dominating spring training this year after Major League Baseball approved a series of changes in September in an effort to make the sport more appealing to a younger generation turned off by its lack of action and leisurely tempo.
As players reported to camps in Florida and Arizona to ramp up their preparation for the season, Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed confidence that the changes would work — after what could be an occasionally bumpy transition period.
“I think you’re going to see a game that moves along with more pace,” Manfred said. “I think you’re going to see more balls in play. I think that you’re going to look at the field and see players positioned the way that most of us grew up seeing them positioned. And I really think that (you’re) going to see a movement toward the very best form of our game.”
The size of the bases has been increased to 18-inch squares from 15. The new pitch clock is 15 seconds with no runners on base and 20 seconds with runners. The increasingly frequent infield shift has been eliminated, and there is a limit of two of what MLB calls disengagements — pickoff attempts or steps off the rubber — per plate appearance.
“I think the pitch clock will be the most impactful for sure,” Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I mean I’m hoping that’s the one that’s most impactful. I hope fans notice a real improvement in the pace of the game.”
The pitch clock helped reduce the average time of a nine-inning game in the minor leagues from 3 hours, 4 minutes in 2021 to 2:38 last season. A catcher is required to be in the catcher’s box with nine seconds left on the clock and a hitter in the batter’s box and focused on the pitcher with eight seconds remaining.
Penalties for violations will be a ball called against a pitcher and a strike called against a batter. And there almost assuredly will be some violations through the start of the season as players get used to the clock.
“I’m not worried about it,” Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn said. “The hitters are going to hate it.”
Under the new rules on defensive positioning, two infielders will be required to be on either side of second and all infielders to be within the outer boundary of the infield when the pitcher is on the rubber. Infielders may not switch sides unless there is a substitution, but five-man infields will still be allowed.
With the elimination of the shift, major league teams could get more creative with their outfielders. It’s not hard to imagine a late-game scenario where a corner outfielder could move into a spot that a shifted infielder used to fill.
“At least for my lifetime, when a ball’s hit in a certain spot, you feel like, at least when you’re watching on TV, you feel like it’s a hit and you look up and somebody’s standing there,” San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller said.
“So I think that’ll probably take some getting used to, kind of seeing that shift back, and from a strategy standpoint, how that plays out.”
The bigger bases are intended to help reduce injuries and increase stolen bases — due to their size, the bases are closer together by a few inches. There were 3,297 steal attempts in the majors last year, according to Sportradar, up from 2,926 in 2021 but a marked decrease compared with 4,365 attempts a decade ago in 2012.
All those bang-bang plays on the bases just got a little more interesting.
But the most intriguing change just might be the limit on disengagements. A balk is called for a third step off or pickoff unless there is an out, and the limit is reset if a runner advances.
What pitchers do with their disengagements — which ones keep one in their back pocket, which ones use all of them and which ones are willing to risk a balk with a throw over — will be closely scouted at the start of the season as teams look for a baserunning edge.
“There’s a lot of gamesmanship here,” Chicago Cubs general manager Carter Hawkins said. “So try to figure out how to best play it. I’m sure there’ll be some cat-and-mouse games going on, and different pitchers will come up with different plans that we’ll have to adjust to, and baserunners as well.
“I think that’s exciting to be able to watch and some chances for some competitive advantages.”
JUDGE: `YOU NEVER KNOW’ IF 62 HOMERS POSSIBLE THIS YEAR
TAMPA, Fla, (AP) — Aaron Judge flashed a big smile when asked if he could repeat his accomplishments of last year, when he hit an American League record 62 home runs for the New York Yankees.
“You never know,” he said after the Yankees’ first full-squad workout on Monday. “I don’t really like putting a number on it. I just kind of like going out there and trying to contral what I can control, but you never know what could happen. So, we’ll see about 62.”
Judge was voted the American League MVP after breaking Roger Maris’ AL record of 61 homers, set in 1961. Judge’s 131 RBIs tied the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso for most in the majors and Judge’s .311 batting average was second in the AL. After becoming a free agent, Judge agreed to a $360 million, nine-year contract with the Yankees.
“Last year was fun chasing history and having those moments,” Judge said. “Every time we play in New York I feel like you’re chasing history. It’s never a cakewalk in the Bronx, that’s for sure. You have to enmbrace those challenges.”
Judge slumped offensively as New York was swept in the AL Championship Series by eventual World Series champion Houston. He went 1 for 16 (.063) with no homers or RBIs.
New York hasn’t won the World Series since 2009.
“It bothers me, and I think it bothers the group as well,” Judge said, “Every year we don’t finish what we started, it wears on us in different ways. I think every failure pushes you towards that ultimate goal.”
After Judge agreed to the longterm deal with the Yankees, he become New York’s first captain since Derek Jeter from 2003-13.
“I’ll be doing what I’ve been doing the past six or seven years, try and lead by example,” Judge said. “Be a voice for this team on and off the field. Keep pushing this team to the ultimate goal of bringing a championship back to New York.”
“That’s why I’m here,” Judge added. “It’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to come back and wear pinstripes. Have a lot of unfinished business here. I’m looking forward to the new role but stuff doesn’t change for me.”
Notes: Judge took batting practice for the first time with the pitch clock that will be used this season. “Oh man, I completely forgot about it until about three pitches in,” Judge said. “I had to kind of check myself because I was getting into the box around eight or nine seconds. That would be strike one, strike two, strke three on me. Once we play a couple games, get a couple at-bats, guys will get used to it.” … Judge is looking to improve his contact rate this season and has talked with other big leaguers about two-strike approaches, including mixing in the no-stride approach.
SEAGER’S 2ND SPRING WITH TEXAS ALREADY `WORLD OF DIFFERENCE’
Within hours after Corey Seager was introduced by the Rangers with his $325 million, 10-year contract in December 2021, a lockout prevented him from contacting Texas for more than three months.
Following a late and rushed spring training, the Rangers never had a winning record while skidding to a 94-loss season.
“Not winning is always frustrating,” the All-Star shortstop said.
Texas hired a three-time World Series champion manager and revamped its starting rotation, and Seager was able to have a normal offseason. He has described coming into his second spring with the Rangers as “a world of difference.”
The Rangers held their first full-squad workout in Arizona on Monday. Seager arrived in camp over the weekend, no longer the new guy in the clubhouse.
Seager was in constant contact with the organization all offseason, including general manager Chris Young and new manager Bruce Bochy. The shortstop is getting to know the players who are now the newcomers. Among them two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, former All-Star right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and left-hander Andrew Heaney, all signed to multiyear contracts.
“It just makes everybody better, right? Like when you’ve got the five guys that we have, six guys, seven guys, really, that can go out there and start for us now, it’s that much more comforting,” Seager said even before getting to camp. “It’s more of the buy-in of expecting to win every night. You know there’s no excuses now with who were throwing out there on why we can’t at least expect to win.”
The Rangers introduced their half-billion dollar middle infield of Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien on Dec. 1, 2021, only hours before the lockout began Texas peaked at 24-24 at the end of May and finished with its sixth consecutive losing season.
“It’s probably one of the things I didn’t anticipate enough, is just the impact of an abbreviated spring training,” Young said. “Really a lot of changes and new personalities coming together all at once in the hope that we would get off to a hot start. It didn’t materialize and I think it took us time to really get used to each other, to understand just the locker room dynamics, the coaching dynamics. … We’re in a much better spot than we were last year.”
Seager said the biggest learning curve last spring was the aspect of everything being new for him. Then all the losses started piling up.
Seager spent his first seven big league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year. Los Angeles averaged about 99 wins a year during that time — not including the COVID-shortened 2020 season, when the Dodgers won a franchise-record 71.7% of their regular-season games and went on to win a World Series played entirely at the Rangers’ ballpark.
That makes Seager the only person on the 40-man roster in Texas who has been in a playoff game at Globe Life Field, the retractable roof stadium that was in its first year of use when the Dodgers played 16 of their postseason games there in 2020. They won the NL Division Series and NL Championship Series before a six-game win over Tampa Bay in the World Series, with Seager the MVP of both the World Series and NLCS.
Seager hit a career-low .245 overall last season,but had a career-high 33 homers in his debut season with Texas He hit 22 homers at home, where he batted .273.
Seager and the Rangers will be back home for the March 30 season opener against the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies.
“Last year was so accelerated with new faces, with new everything, too. Spring was tough last year trying to fit everything in a short amount of time,” Seager said. “I think it was just a bad recipe for trying to be prepared with a new team and new people, and stuff like that.”
CUBS, RHP MICHAEL FULMER FINALIZE $4M, 1-YEAR CONTRACT
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — The Chicago Cubs added Michael Fulmer to their bullpen on Monday, finalizing a $4 million, one-year contract with the right-hander.
Fulmer played for Detroit and Minnesota last season, going 5-6 with 3.39 ERA in a career-high 67 appearances. He began the season with the Tigers and was traded to the Twins in August.
Chicago has been active since it went 74-88 last year in its second straight losing season. Shortstop Dansby Swanson, right-hander Jameson Taillon, outfielder Cody Bellinger, first baseman Eric Hosmer, reliever Brad Boxberger and catcher Tucker Barnhart also signed with the team in free agency.
Fulmer said conversations with former Cubs relievers Andrew Chafin and Daniel Norris cemented his decision to join the team.
“It just kind of confirmed my beliefs of me wanting to be here,” Fulmer told reporters, “and ultimately, just glad it worked out.”
Fulmer, 29, is 34-45 with a 3.89 ERA and 17 saves in 204 career games, including 89 starts. He was the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year with Detroit, going 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA.
In a corresponding roster move, Chicago placed reliever Codi Heuer on the 60-day injured list. Heuer had Tommy John surgery in March 2022.
ELVIS ANDRUS TO PLAY 2ND BASE WITH CHICAGO WHITE SOX
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Elvis Andrus enjoyed his short stay in Chicago so much that he decided to return to the White Sox.
Even if it meant changing positions.
Andrus finalized a $3 million, one-year contract on Monday, stepping into team’s opening at second base. The two-time All-Star also finished last season with the White Sox.
“The main thing for me, at this point in my career, I want to win and compete,” Andrus said, “and I know this team is set to do that. … I think that being able to play here (for the) last month last season, get to know the guys, kind of put a lot of weight towards my decision.”
The 34-year-old Andrus has played shortstop for his entire big league career. But he has some experience making plays on the other side of the infield because of the shift.
“Playing second, I don’t think it’s going to be such a big challenge for me,” he said. “I think it’s just put in the work, you know, trying to get the ABC of playing second.”
Andrus also gives the White Sox some insurance at shortstop after Tim Anderson played in just 79 games last year.
The shift provided an opportunity for Andrus to learn some of the angles at second, and the new ban on the infield shift made putting a player such as Andrus at second even more appealing for Chicago.
“With the change in the shift rules, having someone with range and a strong arm and good instincts is going to be of added benefit in the middle infield. We think Elvis profiles that way,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “Certainly going to be no doubt that he’s going to put the work in to make himself as good as possible at that position and look forward to get starting today.”
To make room on the roster, left-hander Bennett Sousa was designated for assignment. Sousa went 3-0 with an 8.41 ERA in 25 appearances with the White Sox last year.
Andrus originally joined Chicago after he was cut by Oakland in August. He hit .271 with nine homers and 28 RBIs in 43 games with the White Sox.
He was signed by the team after Anderson had surgery for a torn ligament in his left middle finger, but the All-Star shortstop is healthy again.
Andrus “was a big spark for us,” outfielder Gavin Sheets said. “Obviously when you lose a player like Tim Anderson, it hurts the clubhouse and hurts the team. He came in and didn’t skip a beat and played really, really well last year. It’s going to help us to bring in another veteran guy that can help us win a championship.”
Andrus is a .270 hitter with 96 homers, 731 RBIs and 335 steals in 14 years in the majors. He broke into the big leagues with Texas in 2009 and played for the Rangers for 12 seasons before he was traded to Oakland in February 2021.
Andrus’ contract includes a $1 million assignment bonus if he is traded. He has never played second in a major league game.
“I think he’s going to be fine over there,” first-year manager Pedro Grifol said. “He’s extremely instinctual. He’s a baseball player. We’ll have a lot of information for him and he knows how to decipher that and I think he’s going to be fine.”
Romy Gonzalez had been in the mix at second, and Hahn said he is going to move around the infield and play the corner outfield spots.
“Very confident Romy is going to help us win ballgames in Chicago in some capacity over the course of this season,” Hahn said.
REDS WILL GIVE STEPHENSON TIME OFF FROM RIGORS OF CATCHING
Catcher Tyler Stephenson is one of the cornerstones of a multiyear rebuild of the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds want to make sure the 26-year-old is fresh and healthy enough to give them 140 to 150 games a year, even if there are fewer starts at his natural position behind the plate.
Stephenson was the Reds best hitter last year, but played only 50 games because of a series of injuries, including a concussion on a collision at the plate and a broken collarbone and broken thumb.
“He just had bad luck,” said second baseman Jonathan India, another one of the team’s young stars who was limited by injuries in 2022.
“There’s a lot of luck that comes with this game. He just didn’t get the right end of the stick. But he controls his attitude the best I’ve ever seen.”
As pitchers and catchers reported to the spring training facility in Goodyear, Arizona, last week, Reds manager David Bell said he’s planning for Stephenson to start around 65 games behind the plate and about 80 at first base or as DH. The manager even went through the schedule and mapped out a daily plan for Stephenson.
“It made the most sense,” Bell said. “I believe it was four out of 10 (catching),” Bell said. “It was about three at DH, two at first out of 10, and then one off-day.”
Stephenson has mixed feelings. He wants to continue to be known as a catcher, but he knows the plan makes sense for his longevity.
“I know it will give me more days of rest,” he said. “It’s going to be new territory for me. We’re going to adapt and see how it goes. I’m confident that it’s going to go well and I will feel fresher, and that will be a big thing going forward.”
To prepare, the Reds signed veteran catchers Curt Casali — who played for Cincinnati in 2018-2020 — and Luke Maile — to share catching duties.
Stephenson split time with veteran Tucker Barnhart in 2021 and became the No 1. catcher last season after Barnhart was traded to Detroit.
The Reds struggled offensively when Stephenson went out.
Joey Votto’s status may determine where Stephenson will fit in the lineup when he’s not behind the plate. The 39-year-old first baseman/DH — entering the final year of a 10-year contract — had surgery in August for tears in both the rotator cuff and biceps in his left shoulder.
Votto is still rehabbing and it’s not clear if he’ll be ready to start the season. Stephenson has been working at first base to get ready to play there.
The three catchers will be expected to bring along a young pitching staff. The presumptive top three starters, Hunter Green, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft, all will be in just their second seasons.
“I’m hoping to be a part of this team for a long time,” Stephenson said. “The pieces are starting to align.”
Full squad spring training workouts began Monday. The Reds open the season March 30 at home against Pittsburgh.
COLLEGE BASEBALL NEWS
COLLEGE BASEBALL NOTEBOOK: NO BREAK IN SIGHT FOR RISING TCU
Big 12 preseason favorite TCU had the best opening weekend in college baseball, knocking off two top-10 opponents in a multi-team event at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
There’s no relief in sight for a Horned Frogs team playing one of the most ambitious nonconference schedules in the country.
Florida State, among the game’s biggest brands and coming off a three-game sweep of James Madison under first-year coach Link Jarrett, visits Fort Worth this weekend. Next it’s Dallas Baptist, Michigan and nationally ranked Louisville in a multi-team event in Houston. Then 2022 NCAA Tournament qualifier San Diego visits for three games.
“Every once in a while you kind of look back and go, ’OK, where is the little take-a-breath weekend?” TCU coach Kirk Saarloos said Monday. “It’s good. You’ll find out a lot about yourself… Sometimes you can play a lot of quote-unquote cupcakes and feel great about yourself and then get punched in the face when you play your conference.”
TCU opened with wins of 11-4 over Vanderbilt and 18-6 over Arkansas, and the Horned Frogs start this week ranked as high as No. 8 in the polls. All but one run against Vandy were scored with two outs, and the Horned Frogs collected 19 hits against Arkansas.
Another promising sign was the work of freshman relievers Kole Klecker, Ben Abeldt and Justin Hackett against Arkansas. They combined for 10 strikeouts and allowed four hits and two runs in 7 1/3 innings.
The down side of the weekend was a 9-8, 10-inning loss to Missouri. The Horned Frogs committed five errors, their most in 142 games.
“We kind of gave one away yesterday,” Saarloos said, “but overall it was a solid weekend. We learned a lot, especially in the loss. The margin for error in college baseball is super thin, and now they understand why we run practice the way we do. Those little things are important to win a game.”
IN THE POLLS
LSU (3-0) took care of business in a sweep of Western Michigan and remains the consensus No. 1 team.
D1Baseball.com ranks Stanford (2-1) second and Tennessee (1-2) third. Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball newspaper have Florida (3-0) at No. 2 and Stanford (2-1) at No. 3.
Defending national champion Mississippi outscored Delaware 35-6 in a three-game sweep, with the last two games ending on the 10-run mercy rule.
Jacob Gonzalez hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high seven runs in Sunday’s 14-4 win. Peyton Chatagnier was 5 for 8 with two homers in the series, and Ole Miss pitchers struck out 41.
Stanford pulled off one of the best comebacks of the weekend Sunday. The Cardinal went into the ninth inning down five runs at Cal State Fullerton and outscored the Titans 15-2 the rest of the way for a 21-13 win in 10 innings.
Braden Montgomery hit a three-run double in the ninth to tie it and he pitched the last two innings for the win.
CAL BAPTIST MILESTONE
Cal Baptist opened its fifth season in Division I with the program’s first series win over a Power Five opponent. Josiah Chavez’s three-run, tie-breaking homer in the eighth inning Sunday lifted the Lancers to a 6-3 win over 2022 national runner-up Oklahoma.
EASY AS 1-2-3
UCLA outscored Omaha 47-2 over three games, finishing the sweep in impressive fashion. Cody Delvecchio struck out the side in the seventh inning, Charles Harrison did the same in the eighth and Luke Jewett ended the game with a nine-pitch ninth.
FANGIO INTRODUCED AS DOLPHINS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Veteran NFL coach Vic Fangio compared the year he took off from the sidelines to a tenured professor on sabbatical leave.
For the 64-year-old Fangio, whose NFL coaching career spans 35 years, class is in session again.
Fangio was introduced as the Miami Dolphins new defensive coordinator at the club’s training facility Monday. Fangio replaces Josh Boyer, who was not retained by head Mike McDaniel after three seasons with the club.
“I think the Dolphins have a good thing going here,” Fangio said. “There are good components of the coaching staff led by Mike that made it intriguing to join that. I still have a lot of coaching left in me. It’s who I am and what I enjoy doing.”
Fangio had a three-year head coaching tenure with the Denver Broncos, going 19-30. He was fired after the 2021 season, when the Broncos finished 7-10, and didn’t coach in 2022.
Fangio is considered one of the league’s respected defensive coaches. Before his career promotion in Denver, Fangio had two four-year stints as defensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears. Fangio also has served as coordinator with the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans.
“It’s an exciting day for the Miami Dolphins organization,” McDaniel said. “Since the season ended we’ve tried to attach in the journey looking towards the future, whom can we entrust to continue to develop the players.”
Under Boyer, the Dolphins were ranked 18th in defense and 27th in passing defense.
“You don’t have a sustaining career — longer than I’ve been alive — like Vic has, without that fearless chase of continuing to evolve and get better,” the 39-year-old McDaniel said.
Although the Dolphins defense was in the bottom half statistically last season, Fangio believes the unit has a young and talented core.
Fangio singled out pass rusher Jaelan Phillips, safety Jevon Holland and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins among the players who could help lift Miami’s defense.
Fangio’s hiring already is attracting assistants from other teams. Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill, who worked with Fangio in Chicago and Denver, will join him in Miami.
“First and foremost, Renaldo is a good coach, a talented coach that’s got a bright future in the NFL,” Fangio said. “His familiarity with me and the system and what we do was important to me. But, regardless of that, just his ability to be a great coach is what attracted me.”
During his time off from coaching, Fangio studied game tapes throughout the season, visited family in the Northeast and played golf. Fangio also served as a consultant to Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni while the club prepared for the NFC championship game and Super Bowl.
“It was an interesting year, one I would recommend for anybody to do it at some point,” Fangio said. “But in this business you can’t do it too often.”
Now, Fangio directs his entire attention to helping the Dolphins defense become a comparable component to their offense.
“You have to fit the scheme to the players that you have while also factoring in the opponents that you’re playing,” Fangio said. “Hopefully we will be a team that would keep the points down and put our offense in a position to score points for us.
“I’m not a buzzword guy. You want to play good defense and what’s good defense? Keep them out of the end zone.”
ISLANDERS’ BARZAL OUT INDEFINITELY WITH LOWER-BODY INJURY
PITTSBURGH (AP) New York Islanders center Mat Barzal is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, the team announced Monday, a devastating blow to its playoff pursuit.
He was injured on a hit from Boston’s Craig Smith early in a 6-2 loss at the Bruins on Saturday. Barzal appeared to take a knee-on-knee hit and left the ice immediately.
Barzal, 25, is second on the team with 51 points. The Islanders hold the second and final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with less than two months to go in the NHL regular season.
They visit Pittsburgh on Monday night. The Islanders and Penguins are tied in points.
New York last month acquired center Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks and signed him to a $68 million, eight-year extension.
BRUINS WIN 4TH STRAIGHT; PASTRNAK NETS 2 TO PASS 40 GOALS
BOSTON (AP) David Pastrnak had already scored twice, and with the Senators’ net empty, a third was within reach.
The Bruins forward passed up the chance at a hat trick – and the league lead in goals – and fed the puck to teammate David Krejci, whose family was at the game for a celebration honoring his 1,000th career NHL game.
“That was my only goal,” said Pastrnak, who scored twice to lead Boston to a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Monday. “I was looking for him all game.”
Linus Ullmark stopped 30 shots in the Bruins’ fourth straight victory. Jake DeBrusk also scored for Boston – the second straight time he has opened the scoring in two games since returning from an injury.
Pastrnak broke a second-period tie to pass the 40-goal plateau for the third time in his career, and added another goal in the third for No. 41. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid leads the league with 42 goals.
With the Bruins in the Ottawa zone and no goalie in net in the final minute, Pastrnak was looking for Krecji.
“It just says a lot about the character that (Pastrnak) has as a human being, and understanding it was a big night for Krech,” said DeBrusk, who returned Saturday after missing 17 games with a broken leg. “He’s in position to get a hat trick and he still dishes it to Krech. It’s pretty cool.”
Claude Giroux scored and Kevin Mandolese stopped 29 shots for the Senators, who were playing back-to-back games; they beat St. Louis on Sunday. Ottawa had won its previous two games against Boston this season.
Playing in only his second game since the Jan. 2 Winter Classic, DeBrusk gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with five minutes remaining in the first. Giroux tied it for Ottawa with 30 seconds left in the period.
It remained that way until the Bruins had two good scoring chances late in the second.
The first came when Pavel Zacha went crashing into Mandolese and lost control of the puck. A review showed that it never crossed the goal line. On the ensuing faceoff, Charlie McAvoy found Pastrnak to the goalie’s left and Pastrnak sent the puck high into the corner of the net.
Midway through the third, Pastrnak drifted down the ice while his teammates fought to gain control in their own zone. Finally, McAvoy chipped the puck free from one knee and it made it to Pastrnak, who had a 20-foot lead on the nearest defender.
“He beat three guys with one pass,” said Pastrnak, who skated in on Mandolese, switched to his backhand at the last minute and then slid it through the goalie’s pads.
The Bruins honored Krejci before the opening faceoff for playing in his 1,000th game.
The forward, who reached the milestone on Jan. 16, has played his entire 16-year NHL career in Boston. The ceremony featured a video with tributes from current and former teammates including Zdeno Chara and Jaromir Jagr to Patrice Bergeron and Pastrnak.
Krejci’s family joined him on the ice when he was given a silver engraved stick, a watch, a painting and a Tiffany crystal from the NHL, which was presented by Hall of Famer John Bucyk.
Many of the Bruins wore hats with a special “1KREJCI” logo.
Bruins anthem singer Todd Angilly had to do a restart before the game when he began with the U.S. national anthem for the game against Ottawa.
With the Canadian flag shown on the scoreboard, Angilly belted out his usual “O say can you see .” before realizing that the organ was playing a different song. He stopped and then went into “O, Canada” and followed it with “The Star-Spangled Banner” without further difficulty.
He smiled and gave the fans a wave before leaving the ice.
Angilly became a fan favorite during the Bruins’ 2019 to the Stanley Cup Final by singing the anthem as a side gig as a bartender in one of the TD Garden clubs. After singing the anthem – or anthems – he returns to serve drinks.
Senators: At Carolina on Friday.
Bruins: At Seattle on Thursday night.
PANTHERS SLIP PAST DUCKS WITH 4-3 OT VICTORY
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Carter Verhaeghe scored 1:42 into overtime to lead the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
Florida has won six of its past nine games. Anaheim has lost its past five.
The Panthers also got goals from Eric and Marc Staal as well as Ryan Lomberg. Sergei Bobrovsky had 29 saves.
Mason McTavish, Frank Vatrano and Dmitry Kulikov scored for the Ducks. John Gibson made 51 saves.
“It was pretty cool, pretty good accomplishment but it was nice to win,” said Verhaeghe, who hit the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career with the overtime winner.
“All game, it felt like we were in control and had a ton of chances. We just could not finish them. They got a couple one-off chances; it was nice to win.”
Anaheim has one of the worst records in the league, but played like the team fighting for its playoff lives instead of the Panthers.
Anaheim scored the first two goals and had a 2-0 lead into the second period.
McTavish opened the scoring at 11:46 of the first by scoring off a rebound.
Vatrano converted on the power play against his former teammates moments after the team played a tribute video for him. Florida traded Vatrano to the New York Rangers last season.
“I thought we had a great first. They are a desperate team over there,” Vatrano said. “They had a good second half and I thought the third was pretty even. We were in it all the way. We scored a late one there, then they get one right back. Overall we could clean up a couple areas, but I thought we played overall a pretty solid game.”
Florida rallied in the second. Eric Staal scored 2:12 into the period with his younger brother, Marc, tying the score at 2 with 2:37 remaining.
The game remained tied throughout the third before Kulikov gave Anaheim the lead back at 12:51.
Florida tied it at 3 just over a minute later when Lomberg knocked in a long shot from defenseman Gustav Forsling.
“We know where we are at, we know we needed these points and that was a great response by everyone to stay with it and ultimately get two big points,” Eric Staal said.
“We knew this was important and was a big night. I liked the way my line played whole way. I thought we were engaged and we ended up being rewarded.”
NOTES: The Panthers were without center Sam Bennett for the third consecutive game after he left their game in St. Louis early. Bennett, out with a lower-body injury, is expected to return Friday night. … Florida lost forward Givani Smith midway through the second period when he was struck in the face by a shot as he turned his back toward to the net. Smith rushed off the ice and did not return. Florida coach Paul Maurice said Smith is not believed to have sustained a concussion as he was not placed in the protocol. … The Ducks were successful in a coach’s challenge on Monday when what would have been Eric Staal’s second goal of the game was taken away for goalie interference on former Anaheim defenseman Josh Mahura. … The Panthers play eight of their next nine at home and do not leave the state of Florida until March 20 when it plays at Detroit.
Ducks: At Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.
Panthers: Host Buffalo on Friday night.
SCHEIFELE, HELLEBUYCK LEAD JETS TO 4-1 WIN OVER RANGERS
NEW YORK (AP) Mark Scheifele scored twice and Connor Hellebuyck made 50 saves as the Winnipeg Jets beat the surging New York Rangers 4-1 on Monday night.
Kyle Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois also scored for the Jets, who are 6-3-0 in their past nine visits to Madison Square Garden. Connor, Josh Morrissey and Mason Appleton each had two assists for Winnipeg, which had lost two straight to open a four-game trip.
“We needed this win tonight,” Dubois said. “Results matter more than anything else.”
Hellebuyck, playing on back-to-back nights after a 4-2 loss at New Jersey on Sunday, stopped all 20 shots he faced in the first period and 30 more the rest of the way to improve to 26-16-1.
“It was a good clean game, a good team game,” Hellebuyck said. “We’ll take wins any way they come.”
Vincent Trocheck scored for the Rangers, who lost in regulation for the first time since Jan. 19 when they fell 4-0 at home to Boston. New York was 8-0-2 in their previous 10 games. Igor Shesterkin finished with 17 saves.
“Every once in a while you run into a goalie that’s standing on his head,” Trocheck said of Hellebuyck’s stellar performance. “You tip your hat to him.”
Dubois opened the scoring on the power play at 5:12 of the first, deflecting a shot by Morrissey past Shesterkin for his 24th goal.
Scheifele made it 2-0 with 3:28 left in the opening period, poking the puck past Shesterkin.
The Rangers outshot the Jets 20-9 in the first period and finished with a 51-21 edge. Hellebuyck made two dazzling saves on Rangers forward Chris Kreider in the third period, including a sterling glove stop with just over eight minutes remaining.
“He was outstanding tonight,? Jets coach Rick Bowness said. “We needed timely saves and we got them.”
In the second, the Rangers failed to convert on two early power-play chances before the Jets increased the lead to 3-0 when Connor scored his 26th goal at 6:04.
“They capitalized on their chances and we just didn’t put ours in,” said Rangers captain Jacob Trouba, who played six seasons for Winnipeg before he was traded to the Rangers in June 2019. “It was just one of those games.”
Morrissey, who also had an assist on Connor’s goal, is second on the Jets with 58 points and third in scoring among NHL defensemen behind San Jose’s Erik Karlsson and Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin.
The 27-year-old Morrissey also broke Dustin Byfuglien’s franchise record for points in a season (56) by a defenseman with his assist on Dubois’ goal. The current Jets franchise history including 11 years as the Atlanta Thrashers before the team relocated to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 campaign.
“To do this here at Madison Square Garden is special,” Morrissey said. “It’s a function of us having a great team and great players here.”
Trocheck ended Hellebuyck’s shutout bid at the 11-minute mark of the second with his 16th goal. Vladimir Tarasenko had the lone assist.
Scheifele scored his second goal of the game and team-leading 34th of the season with a backhand with 4:31 left in the third. Scheifele also scored twice in the previous game between the teams this season, a 4-1 Jets victory in Winnipeg on Oct. 14.
“We had 50 shots. Overall we played a good hockey game and didn’t win,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Hellebuyck was great. You’ve got to give the other team credit.”
Forward Tyler Motte – acquired by the Rangers from Ottawa on Sunday – played on line with Jake Leschyshyn and Barclay Goodrow in his return.
Despite the loss, the Rangers are still 22-5-4 since Dec. 5. … The Rangers are 19-6-4 against the West Conference and 9-4-1 versus Central Division teams. … The Jets are 11-13-0 against Eastern Conference opponents. Winnipeg hasn’t posted a winning record against the East since 2018-19.
Jets: At the New York Islanders to finish a four-game trip on Wednesday night.
Rangers: At Detroit on Thursday night to open a two-game trip.
ISLANDERS RALLY IN THE THIRD FOR 4-2 WIN OVER PENGUINS
PITTSBURGH (AP) The New York Islanders are running out of healthy bodies.
They’re not running out of ways to stun the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Bo Horvat and Anders Lee scored less than 2 minutes apart in the third period as New York rallied for a 4-2 victory over the rattled Penguins on Monday.
The Islanders pulled off their second late comeback over the Penguins in three days when Horvat beat Tristan Jarry to the short side with 11:26 remaining to tie it. Jarry turned it over behind the Pittsburgh net moments later, kickstarting a sequence that ended with Lee jamming it home to give the injury-ravaged Islanders their first lead.
Brock Nelson’s second goal of the game, an empty-netter with 25 seconds left after the Islanders weathered serious pressure, sealed it for New York.
“That’s a team effort. That’s a full-team win,” Lee said. “Really proud of our guys tonight. It could’ve gone another way and we pushed through, we took control and we were able to come out with just a big win.”
Ilya Sorokin made 45 saves for New York and singlehandedly kept the Islanders in the game over the first two periods while the Penguins dominated, just as they did at Nassau Coliseum on Friday.
And just like the last game, the Islanders found a way in the third despite an injured list that includes center Mat Barzal and forwards Josh Bailey, JP Pageau and Cal Clutterbuck. New York leapfrogged Pittsburgh in the crowded race for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots after sending the Penguins to a third straight loss.
“Belief,” Horvat said. “We believe we have done it before and we believed we could do it again. Especially in the second half of that second period … we were starting to gain momentum. I think it just carried on to the third period there.”
Jarry, who hadn’t been in net since Jan. 22 due to an upper-body injury, played well for the first 45-plus minutes before a pair of miscues dropped Pittsburgh to 0-9 in its last nine games against Metropolitan Division opponents. Jarry finished with 28 saves.
“It was a similar circumstance to the way the game was played on Long Island,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “Instead of finding a way to win, we found a way to lose. We made a couple of mistakes that ended up in the back of our net.”
Jake Guentzel scored his 24th for the Penguins. Jason Zucker’s 16th goal of the season gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead just past the game’s midway point.
The Penguins had their way for much of the night and showed a spark they’ve lacked for long stretches during their uneven season.
Pittsburgh led 2-1 late in the second period when all 10 skaters on the ice (minus the goaltenders) exchanged words and occasional punches, with Penguin stars Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang in the thick of things.
So was Zucker, who has spent a large portion of the season serving as the team’s emotional fulcrum. The 5-foot-11 Zucker and 6-5 New York forward Ross Johnston needed to be separated by officials, starting a parade to the penalty box that included all non-goaltenders on the ice.
The scrum and the sight of an entire line in the box brought PPG Paints Arena to life. The momentum didn’t last.
Horvat’s flip from just above the goal line tied it and Jarry’s decision to blindly pass the puck from behind his net brought to mind a similar play against the Islanders two years ago that led directly to an overtime goal by New York in a playoff series the Islanders would go on to win.
The postseason is still eight weeks out. Pittsburgh finds itself in the unusual position of trying to scratch its way into the field, something the franchise has rarely had during its run of 16 straight playoff appearances.
“We understand every game is important,” Malkin said. “Jarry’s back. Just stay focused. Stay positive. Support each other. It’s not over. We need to win a lot. I think we’ll be fine.”
Islanders: Return home to face Winnipeg on Wednesday.
Penguins: Host Edmonton on Thursday.
MEN’S COLLEGE GOLF
TIGER WOODS SIGHTINGS ARE RARE AS HE ENTERS SEMIRETIREMENT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The vantage point was as good as any at Riviera for a clear view of Tiger Woods, and considering how little he plays, Tiger sightings are rare these days.
The man positioned himself behind a stationary TV camera in a tower behind the 12th green as Woods made his way to the 13th tee. He was talking. He was loud. He wouldn’t stop. At one point, Christiaan Bezuidenhout had to back off his shot.
Turns out this wasn’t a cameraman. When asked to show his credential, the man leaned over and slowly raised a can of beer. He came down from the tower, went back outside the ropes and two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies escorted him off the course.
That probably — no, definitely — will not happen at Augusta National, which may very well be the next time golf gets to see its biggest star. Then again, Woods might make his way to the TPC Sawgrass in three weeks for The Players Championship.
Woods said he wants to play the four majors and a few other events. What those tournaments are, no one knows. And if Woods does, he isn’t saying.
“Here’s the deal,” Woods said Sunday after finishing his first tournament since the Masters last year. “I’m not going to play any more than probably the majors and maybe a couple more. That’s it. That’s all my body will allow me to do. My back the way it is, all the surgeries I had on my back, my leg the way it is, I just can’t.
“That’s just going to be my future.”
The schedule is not based on a score. It’s what happens after he signs his card, and what he does before he is announced in between, and what sounds like plenty of ice and other treatment.
As for his golf?
Some of it was great, some of it was pedestrian, none of it was boring. That explains why thousands were waiting for him around the first tee on Thursday morning for his first tournament in seven months, and chanted his name when he finished on Sunday.
“Been in front of large crowds before, but not 10,000 people that’s rooting for one guy in the group,” Bezuidenhout said Saturday after watching Woods post a 67, his lowest score on the PGA Tour since October 2020, which was only five tournaments ago.
Matthias Schwab of Austria also was in the group. He said he has played with Rory McIlroy a few times on the European tour and experienced big crowds.
“This was another level,” Schwab said.
That’s to be expected no matter where he goes because Woods plays so infrequently. Part of the pandemonium is that he is playing at all.
It was two years ago when his SUV went off the road in the Los Angeles suburbs going nearly 87 mph and tumbled down a hill. He spent the summer in a makeshift hospital bed in his Florida home. He was swinging a club in November, playing a 36-hole event with his son while riding a cart in December and playing the Masters five months later.
Woods is an eight-time winner at Bay Hill, but the last of those was 10 years ago. It’s easy to lean on past history, except for Woods that means surgeries on his back and right leg dating to 2014, the left knee the decade prior.
Riviera — which Woods has played the most times (12 as a pro) without winning — made sense because he is the tournament host. The other tournament that benefits his foundation is the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. He’ll likely play there.
Otherwise, the focus is on the majors, and the hope he can recapture a little magic and make a lot of putts and at least go into the weekend with a fighting chance. He was five behind after the first round, and the deficit grew to 11 shots and 12 shots until he finished 16 shots behind Jon Rahm.
That was his first competition in seven months. It could be seven weeks before he plays again at the Masters, and he hopes to be in the other majors. Nothing is guaranteed. There is golf and there is tournament golf, and they are not the same.
“I can do carts at home,” he said. “I can hit balls, chip and putt. But as I said, it’s time or attention and getting your eight to 10 miles of walking in and the concentration that it takes. Yeah, it’s hard. I’ve done it for a long time.
“The body is,” he continued, “sometimes it says no even though the mind says yes.”
Catch him while you can.
MLS OPENS 28TH SEASON, BUILD UP TO WORLD CUP STARTS NOW
The push toward the World Cup in 2026 begins now for Major League Soccer.
The league, entering its 28th season this year, has a new team in St. Louis City SC and a new media deal with Apple TV. This season will also feature an expanded Leagues Cup, which will involve all of the MLS and Liga MX teams for the first time.
The tournament is part of an ever-increasing collaboration between MLS and Liga MX, with both professional leagues looking forward to the attention they’ll see in the run-up to the World Cup hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar was already record-breaking, with 36 MLS players making national team rosters — double the league’s players that were in Russia in 2018.
LAFC is the defending MLS Cup champion and Supporters Shield winner. The Western Conference team is loaded with talent, including Carlos Vela, Kellyn Acosta and Giorgio Chiellini, but top scorer Cristian `Chicho’ Arango was sold to Pachuca in Mexico.
Wales legend Gareth Bale, LAFC’s splashy signing last June, retired in the offseason but not before he provided a memorable moment in the championship game with an equalizer late in extra time that sent the match to penalties and a victory over the Philadelphia Union.
“I think our first 11 is still pretty good, and we’re quite pleased with it. And we have a few very good players off the bench, we just don’t have as deep a bench as last season. So we’re focusing on staying healthy, and trying to manage a lot of games in a congested schedule this year,” LAFC second-year coach Steve Cherundolo said.
Philadelphia, the Eastern Conference’s top finisher last season, didn’t make many huge moves in the offseason but lost key sub Cory Burke in free agency. The Union scored a league-best 72 goals and allowed just 26, fewest in MLS last season and a record for a 34-game season.
“It’s going to be hard to replicate what we did defensively last year, setting a record in goals-against, and then scoring as many goals as we did is certainly going to be a challenge, but this group will fight like hell for our fans and try to get back to that MLS Cup final,” Union coach Jim Curtin said.
The 28th MLS season opens this Saturday.
HOW ABOUT THEM APPLE(S)
MLS kicked off a 10-year partnership with Apple with the launch of Season Pass on Apple TV+ this season. Apple has made previous forays into sports streaming, but this is its first significant involvement with a league.
MLS will receive at least $250 million per season from Apple. The league averaged $90 million per season under its previous eight-year agreements with Fox, ESPN and Univision.
Oh, and for those who prefer watching games at the local pub or eatery, the league has a “commercial establishments” deal with DirectTV.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
St. Louis City joins MLS this season as the 29th club. City opens the season on the road at Austin but returns home to face Charlotte on March 4 at the team’s soccer-specific stadium, CITYPARK. The team’s first home match will be played before a sellout crowd of 22,500.
City named goalkeeper Roman Burki, who came from Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga, as its captain for the inaugural season. Defender Tim Parker was named vice captain.
“We want to play a fast-paced game. We want to keep it action packed, we want to really be working in the transition, we want to be working on the front foot, really bringing a lot of energy to the fans, hoping that they sit on the edge of their seats and not really get too comfortable, right?” coach Bradley Carnell said.
The league plans to add a 30th team, possibly making an announcement in the first half of this year.
One of the biggest coaching moves in the offseason was made by Wilfried Nancy, who left Montreal last season to take over the Columbus Crew after Caleb Porter was dismissed. Hernan Losada, who was coach at D.C. United in 2021 and part of 2022, took Nancy’s spot in Montreal.
Luchi Gonzalez returned from his duties as an assistant for the United States at the World Cup to join the San Jose Earthquakes. Gonzalez also coached at FC Dallas from 2018-21. Ben Olsen is another former MLS coach that has a new team this season. Olsen, previously coach at D.C. United, is now with Houston.
On opening day the season features an El Trafico rivalry game between defending MLS Cup champion LAFC and the LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
The match could break the league’s all-time attendance record for a standalone game, set last year when Charlotte drew 74,479 fans to its season opener.
“We’re looking forward to those games, they’re always fun, they’re always exciting, pretty intense. And I know our players, I know our group, and they’ll be ready,” LAFC coach Cherundolo said.
BIG 10 SOFTBALL
PENN STATE AND RUTGERS EARN BIG TEN SOFTBALL WEEKLY AWARDS
Player of the Week
Kyleigh Sand, Rutgers
Jr. – SS – Norco, Calif. – Norco – Major: Labor and Employment Relations
• Batted .500 with a .625 slugging percentage and .579 on-base percentage in five games at the Mardi Gras Classic in Mobile, Ala., logging eight hits, six runs and seven stolen bases to earn a spot on the all-tournament team
• Had at least one hit in all five games, including two-hit outings in the final three games of the tournament Feb. 18-19 vs. Mississippi Valley State and host South Alabama (twice)
• Also scored two runs in each of the first three tournament games on Feb. 17-18 against Missouri State and Mississippi Valley State (twice), helping Rutgers to its best start since 1980 (8-1)
• Has now reached base in 46 consecutive games, standing second on the Big Ten all-time list behind only Northwestern’s Adrienne Monka (59 in 2011-12)
• Earns her third career Big Ten Player of the Week award
• Last Rutgers Player of the Week: Kyleigh Sand (Feb. 13, 2023)
Pitcher of the Week
Bailey Parshall, Penn State
Sr. – LHP – Belle Vernon, Pa. – Belle Vernon Area – Major: Health Policy and Administration
• Went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, tossing two complete-game shutouts and striking out 22 while walking three and allowing just four hits in 15.0 innings of work last weekend as the Nittany Lions opened their season with a 4-0 record at the UNF-JU Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.
• Threw a one-hit shutout and fanned nine in a Feb. 17 win over North Florida
• Added a two-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts in a Feb. 18 victory over Jacksonville
• Collects her third career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award
• Last Penn State Pitcher of the Week: Bailey Parshall (March 21, 2022)
Freshman of the Week
Paige Maynard, Penn State
RHP – Shady Spring, W.Va. – Shady Spring – Major: Biology
• Became the first Penn State pitcher in program history to throw a no-hitter in her college debut, blanking Bethune-Cookman on Feb. 18 at the UNF-JU Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.
• Struck out four and did not walk a batter in her seven innings in the circle
• Faced one batter over the minimum and did not allow a runner past second base — only two fielding errors stood between her and a perfect game
• Captures her first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
• Last Penn State Freshman of the Week: Madison Seifert (April 18, 2016)
BIG 10 MEN’S BASKETBALL
PENN STATE SCORES MEN’S BASKETBALL WEEKLY ACCOLADE
Player of the Week
Jalen Pickett, Penn State
G – Sr. – 6-4 – Rochester, N.Y. – Aquinas – Major: Broadcast Journalism
Averaged 36.5 points per game on 65.0 percent shooting to go with 8.0 assists in leading Penn State to a pair of wins last week
Set a Bryce Jordan Center record with 41 points on 15-for-20 shooting, including his 2,000th career point, in a 93-81 win over Illinois
Paired 32 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in the Nittany Lions‘ 76-69 victory over Minnesota, becoming the only Big Ten player in the last 20 years to tally 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assist sin a conference game.
Per OptaSTATS, Pickett, LeBron James and Steph Curry are the only three players in Division I or the NBA in the last 25 years to have had a two-game span with 70+ points, 15+ assists, 10+ rebounds, 65.0+ FG% and 90.0+ FT%
Garners his second career Player of the Week award.
Last Penn State Player of the Week: Jalen Pickett (Dec. 27, 2022)
BIG 10 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
INDIANA AND OHIO STATE EARN BIG TEN WEEKLY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL AWARDS
Player of the Week
Mackenzie Holmes, Indiana
Sr. – F – Gorham, Maine – Gorham – Major: Human Development & Family Studies
• Averaged 26.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game with a .706 field-goal percentage in three wins last week, helping the No. 2/2 Hoosiers to a share of their first Big Ten Conference title since 1982-83
• Scored a career-high 33 points (15-18 FG) and grabbed five rebounds in a Feb. 13 win at No. 13/12 Ohio State
• Added 27 points, five rebounds and five blocks in a Feb. 16 victory over No. 12/13 Michigan
• Finished the week by making 10-of-11 shots (20 points) while collecting seven rebounds, four blocks and three steals in Sunday’s win over Purdue that clinched a piece of the conference championship
• A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection (2021, 2022) and 2021 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar
• Captures her seventh career Big Ten Player of the Week award and fourth this season
• Last Indiana Player of the Week: Mackenzie Holmes (Jan. 30, 2023)
Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly Honor Roll
Kendall Bostic, Jr., F, ILL: Posted her 11th double-double this season with 22 points and 18 rebounds (tying the most rebounds by a Big Ten player this year) in Sunday’s win over Penn State
Caitlin Clark, Jr., G, IOWA: Registered 27.0 ppg., 5.5 rpg., 8.0 apg. with a .576 field-goal percentage and .471 three-point percentage in Iowa’s wins over Wisconsin and Nebraska last week
Diamond Miller, Sr., G, MD: Paced the Terrapins to a Feb. 18 win at Michigan State with a game-high 29 points and six rebounds
Freshman of the Week
Cotie McMahon, Ohio State
F – Centerville, Ohio – Centerville – Major: Sport Industry
• Recorded 19.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game with a .680 field-goal percentage last week as Ohio State split conference matchups with No. 2/2 Indiana and Penn State
• Piled up her first career double-double on Feb. 16 in a win at Penn State, finishing with 17 points and a career-high 11 rebounds
• Added a team-high 22 points, six rebounds and three assists in the Feb. 13 contest with Indiana
• Collects her sixth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award, tying for eighth-most in conference history
• Last Ohio State Freshman of the Week: Cotie McMahon (Feb. 13, 2023)
MAC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
MAC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Re’Shawna Stone, Guard, Buffalo
Graduate student guard Re’Shawna Stone had a monster week for the Bulls, averaging 29.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 57% from the floor and 50% from beyond the arc over two games. On Wednesday, Stone scored a career-high 36 points to go with five rebounds and three assists and she followed that up with a game-high 23 points on Saturday. The Waynesville, MO native leads the Bulls in scoring at 16.7 ppg and has scored in double figures in 18 of the last 19 games. She has taken her game to a new level in MAC play as she ranks third in scoring (20.2 ppg) fourth in field goal percentage (52.8) and fifth in assists per game (3.9).
MAC MEN’S BASKETBALL
AKRON’S FREEMAN, TOLEDO’S DENNIS SHARE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
MAC Men’s Basketball Co-Players of the Week
Enrique Freeman, Akron, Forward
Junior, Cleveland, Ohio
Enrique Freeman helped guide the Zips to a pair of wins over Eastern Michigan (78-51) and Buffalo (86-66) by averaging a double-double with 21.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Freeman shot 64.0 percent from the field (16-of-25), scoring 43 total points while grabbing 25 total rebounds, consisting of six offensive boards and 19 defensive caroms. He added five assist, three blocked shots and one steal. At EMU, Freeman registered his 14th double-double of the season, shooting 9-of-12 to lead the Zips with 22 points and 15 rebounds. He had one assist and on blocked shot. He followed with a 21-point, 10-rebound performance at The JAR against Buffalo to record his 15th double-double of the season. Freeman 7-of-14 from the field with four assists, two blocks and a steal.
RayJ Dennis, Toledo, Guard
Junior, Plainfield, Ill. (Oswego East)
Junior RayJ Dennis averaged 22.0 ppg, 5.5 apg and 4.0 rpg to help Toledo extend its winning streak to 11 games (3rd in the nation) last week with victories over Miami and Bowling Green. He also shot 53.8% (14-of-26) from the field, 50.0% (3-of-6) from three-point range and made all 13 of his free-throw attempts to enable the Rockets to set a school record for longest MAC winning streak in a single season. Dennis opened the week by scoring 17 points and dishing out four assists in the Rockets’ 89-71 home victory over the RedHawks. He then led UT with 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a 91-86 triumph at arch-rival Bowling Green. Dennis scored 19 of his points in the second half, including six straight points during a key stretch that helped Toledo hold off the Falcons’ rally. A Plainfield, Ill. native, Dennis ranks third in the MAC with 19.1 ppg as well as 15th nationally with a MAC-best 5.8 apg.
KENT STATE’S WHITMAN, OHIO’S PATINO EARN WEEKLY CONFERENCE ACCOLADES
MAC Baseball Player of the Week
Alec Patino, Ohio, INF
Junior, Sioux City, Iowa
Patino was dominant during his debut weekend with the Bobcats, starting at first base in all three games at the Hugh Bros Challenge in Wilmington, N.C. On the weekend, the junior led the team in hits (7), RBIs (11) and touched bases (13) and was one of two Bobcats to finish with three doubles. During Ohio’s season opener against host UNC Wilmington, Patino went 3-for-3 with a double, home run, two runs scored and four RBIs. His strong weekend continued against Virginia, where he finished the game 1-for-3 with a double. The junior wrapped up the weekend with a team-best seven RBIs on three hits against the Navy in the Bobcats’ 27-9 victory on Sunday (Feb. 19).
MAC Baseball Pitcher of the Week
Joe Whitman, Kent State, LHP
Whitman was dominant in his debut for the Flashes. The lefty struck out 11 in his five innings of work, allowing only a pair of hits against one walk. He got stronger as the game went on, striking out the side in the 5th, his final inning of work and departing after 82 pitches. Kent State would go on to win the game 10-6 in 16 innings.
HCAC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
HCAC 2022-23 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK, WEEK 14
Athlete of the Week:
Madison Kellione (Cynthiana, Ky.) Transylvania University | Guard | Senior – Kellione helped lead the Pioneers to a pair of wins, first against Hanover where she dropped a season high 28 points shooting at a high 81 percent (9-for-11) from the field and then a higher 83 percent from three-point range (5-for-6), a season high in made three-pointers. In the second win against Earlham in just 20 minutes, Kellione netted 14 points going, shooting 55 percent from the field and 66 percent from three. Combined in both games, she collected seven rebounds and six assists.
- Lexi Dellinger (Berne, Ind.) Anderson University | Guard | Graduate Student – Dellinger averaged 24 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3 assists as Anderson went 1-1 on the week. Dellinger notched 26 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists against Great Lakes Christian. She then contributed 22 points and 6 rebounds against Manchester.
- Sammy Shardo (Findlay, Ohio.) Bluffton University | Guard | Senior- Shardo averaged 16.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 2.5 APG as Bluffton went 1-1 on the week. She hit 5-of-8 from long range for a career-high 23 points in a double-overtime loss at Defiance on Friday night.
- Kalista Friday (Woodsfield, Ohio.) Defiance College | Guard | First Year- Defiance freshman Kalista Friday set a new career-high with 21 points with 7 rebounds in a thrilling double-OT win over Bluffton on Friday. She hit a team-best three 3-pointers and sent 6-for-6 at the free throw line. Friday was one of three in double figures in Tuesday’s victory at Earlham by scoring 12. She led the program for the week with 33 points (16.5 ppg) and five 3-pointers while also dishing out five assists.
- Grace Bezold (Covington, Ky.) Hanover College | Guard | Sophmore – Bezold led the Panthers to a 1-1 week including a team-high 23 points and eight rebounds in the teams contest with Transylvania. Against MSJ, she also added 23 points with four rebounds and three steals.
- Allison Graber (Mooresville, Ind.) Manchester University | Guard | Freshman- Manchester went 1-1 on the week, falling to Bluffton Tuesday and defeating rival Anderson on Friday to clinch the #6 seed in the HCAC Tournament. During Friday night’s win against Anderson, Ally Graber finished with her first career double-double after scoring 12 points and pulling down 16 rebounds for the Spartans. For the week, Graber averaged 12 rebounds and 11 points per game while totaling 8 assists and 2 steals for MU.
- Morgan Jenkins (Erlanger, Ky.) Mt. St. Joseph University | Guard| Freshman – The Lions freshman Guard led the Lions to a 1-1 record last week. Jenkins scored a career high versus Hanover netting 26 points while adding 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Jenkins also added 11 points and 6 rebounds in a victory over Franklin.
TOP INDIANA NEWS RELEASES
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL
INDIANA BASKETBALL GAME NOTES – GAME 28 AT MICHIGAN STATE
• Indiana University hits the road for the first of two road games in its 123rd season of competition in men’s basketball at Michigan State at 9 p.m. ET on Feb. 21. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
• The Spartans, led by Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame head coach Tom Izzo, enter the Tuesday night contest with a 16-10 record and an 8-7 mark in B1G play.
• The game will be the first played in East Lansing since the tragic shootings at Michigan State University on Feb. 13.
Feb. 21, 2023 • 9 p.m. ET
Breslin Center (15,000) • East Lansing, Mich.
TV: ESPN (Brian Custer, Jay Bilas, Myron Medcalf)
Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, John Herrick)
Series History: Indiana leads, 72-58
Last Meeting: IU 82, MSU 69 on Jan. 22, 2023 in Bloomington
• Indiana controls the series (71-58) against Michigan State. The Spartans have won 23 of the last 25 games of the series played at the Breslin Center dating back to the 1991-92 season.
• The Hoosiers knocked off Michigan State by a score of 82-69 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Jan. 22. Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis went off for 31 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and five blocked shots in the win. He became the first high-major player since Michael Sweetney (Georgetown, 2003) to accomplish that statistical line in a men’s college basketball game.
• Head coach Mike Woodson averaged 21.4 points in his eight career contests against the Spartans.
Last Time Out
• Indiana overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half against Illinois to walk away with a 71-68 win to sweep the season series against the Illini. With four games remaining, IU ranks third in the Big Ten standings.
• Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis compiled a 26-point, 12-rebound double-double in the victory. He also added five blocks, three steals, and two assists. He is the first high-major conference player since Emeka Okafor (UConn, 2004) to post at least 25 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks and three steals in a game.
• Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino came up big in the clutch to seal the win for Indiana with 13 points, a career-high-match seven rebounds, and three assists. He scored four points in the final 1:20, including the go-ahead free throws with 30 seconds to play.
• Fifth-year senior forward Miller Kopp knocked down four 3-points to score 12 points and sixth-year senior Race Thompson added 10 points and six rebounds.
Jackson-Davis, The All-American
• Since the calendar flipped to 2023, senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis has averaged 23.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 3.3 blocks per game. His rebounding figure marks the highest tally in the NCAA during the 12-game stretch.
• In Big Ten play, Jackson-Davis leads the league with 22.1 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 3.3 blocked shots per game. His rebounding rate is the highest in conference play in the last 25 seasons.
• Over the last 25 years of basketball only Jackson-Davis (Jan. 2023), Tim Duncan, and Shaquille O’Neal have averaged at least 23.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game in a calendar month (min. 5 games) in Division I basketball or the NBA.
• Jackson-Davis made 130-of-2237 (54.9%) of his shots from the floor and 69-of-100 (69.0%) of his free throw attempts in the first 14 games of the new year. He has recorded a double-double in 11 of the 14 games.
• TJD posted three 30-pooint games in the month of January, including back-to-back games with 35 points at Illinois (Jan. 19) and 31 points against Michigan State (Jan. 22). He also grabbed at least 20 rebounds three times during the stretch of nine games.
Rise of the Fino
• Since returning to the Indiana lineup against Kansas on Dec. 17, freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino is averaging 14.2 points and 4.1 assists on 42.2% shooting from the floor and 40.3% shooting from the 3-point line. He has 13 double-digit scoring outputs during that stretch, including four games exceeding the 20-point threshold.
• Hood-Schifino scored a career-best 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the floor and 5-of-7 shooting from the 3-point line against Northwestern on Jan. 8, the highest point total by a Hoosier freshman since Eric Gordon scored 33 against Chattanooga on Nov. 12, 2007.
• JHS ranks third among all freshmen in the Big Ten in scoring (12.6 points per game), second in assists (4.1), fourth in rebounds (4.0), and fifth in made 3-pointers per game (1.3). He is second in the league averaging a combined 20.8 points, rebounds, and assists per game.
• In seven crunch-time Big Ten games, defined as single-digit outcomes in the final four minutes of play, Hood-Schifino 9-of-15 (66.7%) from the floor, 2-of-2 from the 3-point line, and 7-of-8 (87.5%) from the free throw line.
• Fifth-year senior forward Miller Kopp has knocked down a team-best 50 3-pointers this season. He is hitting the long ball at a 46.3% clip (50-of-108), the second-highest percentage on the team (min. 20 attempts).
• In the two games against Rutgers this season, Kopp averaged 19.5 points and hit 60.0% (9-of-15) of his shots from behind the arc. The two games mark his two highest scoring outputs of his season.
• Kopp provided the key stop on Michigan freshman Jett Howard on Feb. 11, forcing Howard into a difficult shot at the buzzer to preserve Indiana’s 62-61 victory in Ann Arbor.
The Trey Gallo-Way
• Junior guard Trey Galloway has averaged 7.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game in 17 starts this season. Indiana is 12-5 in his starts this season.
• Overall this season, Gallo is shooting 51.3% from the floor and 48.8% from the 3-point line. He has made more 3-pointers (21) this season than his first two seasons on campus (12) combined.
• Galloway scored a career-high 20 points on 4-of-6 shooting from deep in IU’s first Big Ten win of the season over Nebraska on Dec. 7. The Culver Academies graduate scored 17 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the 3-point line against MSU on Jan. 22.
He Did What?
• In his career, senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis has recorded four games with at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocked shots. The rest of the Big Ten has combined to post five such games in the last 25 seasons.
• TJD posted 25 points, seven rebounds, and five blocked shots in Indiana’s 79-74 victory over No. 1/1 Purdue on Feb. 4. He is the first player to produce at least 25 points and five blocks in a win over the AP No. 1 team since Marcus Camby had 32 points and 5 blocks in UMass’ win over Kentucky on November 28, 1995.
• The four-time Big Ten Player of the Week compiled 25 points, 21 rebounds, and six blocked shots at Minnesota on Jan. 25. The game marked the first 20-20 game from a Hoosier since D.J. White on Jan. 8, 2008. He also became the first high-major player to post a 25-20-5 game since UConn’s Hasheem Thabeet on Feb. 14, 2009.
• Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis currently sits fifth all-time at IU in scoring (2,081), third in rebounds (1,068), and holds the school record for blocked shots (251). He joins Alan Henderson as the only Hoosiers to be top-10 all-time in career scoring, rebounding, and blocks.
Up Next: Career Scoring Leaders
1. Calbert Cheaney (2,613)
2. Steve Alford (2,438)
3. Don Schlundt (2,192)
4. A.J. Guyton (2,100)
5. Trayce Jackson-Davis (2,081)
Up Next: Career Rebounding Leaders
1. Alan Henderson (1,091)
2. Walt Bellamy (1,087)
3. Trayce Jackson-Davis (1,068)
Up Next: Career Double-Doubles
1. Walt Bellamy (59)
2. Archie Dees (56)
3. Alan Henderson (49)
4. Trayce Jackson-Davis (47)
• TJD is the fifth player in Big Ten history to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, joining Joe Barry Carroll (Purdue), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin), Greg Kelser (Michigan State), and Herb Williams (Ohio State).
• The Center Grove product is the only active men’s Division I player to tally at least 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds, and 250 career blocks. In the last 25 seasons, only five players have achieved those numbers in college basketball. Only Kyle Hines (UNCG) produced those numbers on a higher career scoring average.
• Jackson-Davis is one of two high-major players (Zach Edey; Purdue) to average at least 20.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game this season.
• In 16 conference games, TJD is averaging 22.1 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game.
• TJD is the active career Big Ten leader in points (2,081), rebounds (1,068), blocked shots (251), double-doubles (47), made field goals (782), and free throws made (517).
TJD, The Big Fundamental, and The Diesel
• In the last 30 seasons of Division I men’s college basketball, only senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis and NBA Hall of Famer Tim Duncan have averaged at least 19.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game.
• Over the last 25 years of basketball only Jackson-Davis (Jan. 2023), Duncan, and Shaquille O’Neal have averaged at least 23.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game in a calendar month (min. 5 games) in Division I basketball or the NBA.
INDIANA MEN’S SOCCER
MEN’S SOCCER WELCOMES NEWCOMERS FOR 2023
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana men’s soccer head coach Todd Yeagley announced on Monday (Feb. 20) the addition of 11 newcomers ahead of the 2023 season.
“I’m really excited to have this group of young men join us here at Indiana.” Yeagley said. “We have great versatility with this group. We have every line of the field covered. Some [will be] immediate contributors, and some others might take time but, overall, great culture, great kids and excellent students. We think all of them are going to have a big impact here at Indiana.”
Hugo Bacharach | Defender | 6-4 | Benicàssim, Spain | Colegio La Magdalena/Fairleigh Dickinson
Spanish defender Hugo Bacharach joins IU after three years at Fairleigh Dickinson, where he was selected first-team All-Northeast Conference following each season. As a junior, Bacharach was named the NEC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Knights to NEC regular season and tournament titles to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Saed Anabtawi | Goalkeeper | 6-2 | Fort Wayne, Ind. | Fort Wayne Canterbury School
Indiana native Saed Anabtawi joins IU as a mid-year enrollee and will participate in the program’s training sessions and exhibitions. Anabtawi comes to Bloomington from Fort Wayne Canterbury High School, where he totaled 27 shutouts and 294 saves in his career. Anabtawi is a two-time United Soccer Coaches High School All-American.
Alex Barger | Forward | 5-9 | 150 | Naperville, Ill. | Naperville North High School
Last season as a junior, Alex Barger was named the 2021-22 Gatorade Illinois Boys Soccer Player of the Year. The Midwest’s No. 13 recruit according to Top Drawer Soccer, Barger played for Sockers FC Chicago and Evolution SC while earning four letters at Naperville North High School, where he sits No. 2 in career assists, with 42, and No. 7 in goals, with 43. Barger is a two-time United Soccer Coaches High School All-American.
EJ Dreher | Midfielder | 5-8 | 145 | Valparaiso, Ind. | Valparaiso, Ind.
Indiana native EJ Dreher is a mid-year enrollee for IU this spring. Dreher led his club team, Indiana Elite FC, to four state cup championships and a Super Y national runner-up finish. Dreher also lettered all four years at Valparaiso High School, where he scored 30 goals and tallied 34 assists. A two-sport athlete, Dreher also lettered in basketball at Valparaiso.
Alex Kara | Goalkeeper | 6-4 | 185 | Louisville, Ky. | Louisville Collegiate School
Goalkeeper Alex Kara joins Indiana from Sporting Kansas City Academy, with whom he has trained since 2021. Kara is from Louisville, Kentucky, where he played for Javanon FC until joining Sporting KC. With Javanon, Kara helped his club to two Kentucky state titles in 2018 and 2021 as well as a midwest regional final appearance in his final season. Kara is also a two-time state champion with Louisville Collegiate School.
Josh Maher | Defender | 6-3 | 175 | Caseyville, Ill. | Althoff Catholic
Top Drawer Soccer rated Josh Maher as a four-star recruit as well as the No. 35 overall prospect in the nation. Maher was selected to St. Louis CITY SC’s first team during its MLS NEXT Pro season in 2022 and helped the club to a western conference title. During his youth career, Maher also captained St. Louis CITY SC Academy’s U17 team, as well as Saint Louis Scott Gallagher academy squads. Josh is the youngest brother of former Hoosier Jack Maher, now in Major League Soccer with Nashville SC, and Joey Maher, a current member of the IU program.
Clay Murador | Forward | 5-11 | 165 | Aledo, Texas | Aledo High School
Clay Murador is a three-sport star at Aledo High School in Texas, where he has lettered in soccer, football and track and field. A four-year letterwinner in soccer, Murador has totaled 44 goals and 15 assists for Aledo while winning two state titles in football and setting a school record in the 400-meter race with a time of 48.06. Murador also played for the Dallas Texans and led the club in scoring in each of its last two seasons.
Collins Oduro | Forward | 5-7 | 150 | Bibiani, Ghana | The Phelps School
The Philadelphia prep player of the year in 2022, Collins Oduro is coming off a 39-goal season last fall at The Phelps School, which he led to a 22-2 record – the best mark in school history – on its way to the Penn-Jersey Athletic Association title. Oduro played club for the Right to Dream Academy, which he captained and led to a Gothia Cup title in 2021.
Logan Oliver | Midfielder | 5-11 | 165 | Baltimore, Md. | YSC Academy
Logan Oliver joins IU after captaining the Philadelphia Union U17 team which won the MLS NEXT Cup title in 2022. In 2023 Logan was one of the few Academy players called up to play with Philadelphia Union II in MLS NEXT PRO. The Union were rated as the top academy in the country in 2022. Oliver is rated No. 134 in Top Drawer Soccer’s 2023 club player rankings.
Justin Shreffler | Midfielder | 5-10 | 150 | Westlake, Ohio | Westlake High School
Justin Shreffler is a 2022 United Soccer Coaches All-American after leading Westlake High School to an undefeated regular season. A four-year Varsity letterwinner, Shreffler has totaled 46 goals and 30 assists during his career at Westlake. Shreffler also competed at Spire FC.
Lucas Wolthers | Forward | 6-1 | 180 | Hendersonville, Tenn. | Merrol Hyde Magnet School
Lucas Wolthers is the No. 2-rated South Region recruit and a top 150 recruit Nationally. Wolthers has seen academy action with Nashville SC, leading the club in scoring during the 2021-22 season. During the 2020-21 season with Tennessee United Soccer Club, Wolthers totaled 43 goals and 11 assists over just 23 matches.
URBAN EARNS BIG EAST BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR
NEW YORK –Joey Urban opened the 2023 season and his collegiate career with a bang over the weekend and has now been named BIG EAST Player of the Week after an announcement from the conference office.
Urban shined in his Bulldog debut, batting .438 (7-for-16) over four games against Farleigh Dickinson. The freshman posted a 1.062 slugging percentage and registered a .500 on base percentage, tallying at least one run, hit and RBI in all four games. Overall, Urban tallied six runs, six RBI, two home runs, a triple and earned a walk, while also putting out 14 for a perfect fielding percentage on defense.
Seton Hall’s Nick Payero was tabbed BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week.
BUTLER WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
BUTLER BACK IN ACTION TO HOST XAVIER TUESDAY NIGHT
INDIANAPOLIS – Butler will host Xavier on Tuesday night in the program’s annual Pink Game. The Bulldogs are down to just three regular season games with two of the three to be played at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Tip vs. the Musketeers is set for 7 PM.
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 21
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Indianapolis, Ind. – Hinkle Fieldhouse
Live Stats: ButlerSports.com – Statbroadcast
Watch: FloSports.com – BEDN
– Tuesday is the 52nd overall meeting between Butler and Xavier.
– Butler, Xavier, Georgetown and Providence are all guaranteed to play in the first round of the tournament.
– Xavier is locked as the #11 seed and Creighton has clinched a bye.
– Butler swept a BIG EAST opponent on Wednesday night for the first time since 2019-20.
– Rachel McLimore scored a game-high 21 points and recorded six assists in the win over Georgetown.
– McLimore dished out a career-high seven assists the last time Butler played Xavier.
– McLimore has made 11 3-pointers over her last three games while shooting 57 percent from distance.
– Butler has made at least seven 3-pointers in seven-straight games.
– Jordan Meulemans has made a 3-pointer in six-straight games.
– Anna Mortag ranks third in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (42.4).
– Shay Frederick ranks fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (40.6), McLimore is sixth (40.4) and Dowell is seventh (40.3).
– Butler outrebounded Georgetown 30-22 and took twice as many free throw attempts as the Hoyas.
– Butler led Georgetown by seven heading to the fourth, but trailed the Hoyas by one with just 26.2 seconds left.
– McLimore’s game-winning layup came with 17 seconds remaining in the contest.
– Jessica Carrothers corralled a career-high nine rebounds vs. Georgetown.
– Carrothers ranks 11th in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (48.9).
– Sydney Jaynes ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (50.8).
The Musketeers have not won a game since Dec. 9, keeping them winless in BIG EAST action (0-17). Tuesday signals the end of a lengthy road trip for Xavier that also included stops in Omaha and South Orange. 10 different players have started in a game for Xavier this season and no Musketeer has started in all 26. Courtney Prenger leads the team in minutes played and freshman Fernanda Ovalle is near the team lead with an 8.9 scoring average. Ovalle is the second leading scorer in the BIG EAST among all freshman, trailing Georgetown’s Kennedy Fauntleroy (11.5). As a team, the Musketeers rank fifth in both blocked shots (3.7) and steals (8.1).
All-Time Series vs. Xavier
Butler leads the all-time series against Xavier 30-21. The first-ever meeting went down as a 71-64 Bulldog victory during the 1982-83 season. Since joining the BIG EAST at the start of the 2013-14 season, BU has gone 13-7 against their Midwest foe. Five of those 13 wins came at Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Bulldogs also have eliminated the Musketeers from the postseason two times (2016 in Chicago / 2017 in Milwaukee).
Butler’s Last Game vs. Xavier
The Bulldogs used a 19-0 scoring run in the first quarter to build a lead and claim a 79-65 BIG EAST road win at Xavier on Dec. 28. Butler buried a season-high 14 3-pointers in the victory and shot 42 percent from the field. Four Bulldogs finished in double figures, including a game-high 20 points for Rachel McLimore who also tallied a game-best seven assists. Butler registered 20 assists on 26 field goals. Mackayla Scarlett led Xavier with 16 points, including an 8-for-8 clip from the free-throw line. The Musketeers shot .421 from the field and .455 from three, but Butler shot .473 and .483, respectively.
Xavier’s Last Game
Seton Hall posted a 72-59 win over Xavier at Walsh Gym. Lauren Park-Lane paced the Pirates with a game-high 20 points while adding 10 assists in 40 minutes of action. Azana Baines was also in the box score with a double-double by recording 19 points and 10 rebounds. The Player of the game for Xavier was Shelby Calhoun. The junior guard had 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.
McLimore Makes BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll
Rachel McLimore scored a game-high 21 points off 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three, to go along with a game-best six assists as Butler topped Georgetown.
Behind The Arc
Butler ranks seventh in the NCAA and second in the BIG EAST in 3-point field goal percentage (38.3). The Bulldogs average 7.9 made 3-point field goals per game (2nd in the BIG EAST) and most recently hit nine in the win over Georgetown.
Let it Fly
Butler hit a season-high 14 3-pointers at Xavier in the first meeting between the two teams. It stands as the second-highest 3-point total of any BIG EAST team this year. Creighton holds the top spot with 16 made 3-pointers vs. Providence (Jan. 4). Butler’s single-game team record is 16; set at Georgetown (1/11/14).
Butler has made at least one 3-pointer in every quarter in 10 straight-games. The last time the ‘Dawgs didn’t make a 3-pointer in a quarter was at Villanova on Jan. 8. The ‘Dawgs missed their only attempt in the fourth.
Butler and Xavier first competed as conference rivals in the North Star Conference (NSC) from 1984-86. Each program was then a part of the Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) from 1986-1995. The rivalry was renewed in 2012 with each team joining the Atlantic 10 (A-10) and each program would eventually join the BIG EAST for the 2013-14 season.
Butler vs. Georgetown Recap
Butler scored on their final possession to take a two-point lead and the Bulldogs (9-17, 4-13) would end the game with a stop to record their ninth overall win of the season. The 58-56 victory over visiting Georgetown is Butler’s second-straight win and fourth conference victory of the season. Rachel McLimore drove past a Hoya defender and scored a layup while being fouled with just 17 seconds left. McLimore went to the line and added a free throw to give the ‘Dawgs a two-point lead and the Butler defense would get a stop on the other end to secure the win. McLimore scored a game-high 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting. She made three 3-pointers and was perfect from the charity stripe (6-6). Georgetown saw four finish in double figures with Kelsey Ransom leading the way with 12 points.
The 2023 BIG EAST women’s basketball tournament is 11 days away. If the tournament started this week, Butler would play as the No. 10 seed and face No. 7 seed DePaul. The winner of that contest would advance to the quarterfinals to play No. 2 seed Villanova. Other first round pairings would feature No. 6 seed Seton Hall playing No. 11 seed Xavier and No. 8 seed Georgetown playing No. 9 seed Providence. The tournament will be held in Uncasville, Conn. at Mohegan Sun Arena. Action starts March 3 and the championship game will air March 6 on FS1.
Tournament seeding for the first round will come down to the final three games of the regular season. BU is currently 10th (4-13), but would get to five conference wins with a victory over Xavier. That win could help them leap Providence (4-13) in the conference standings and tie Georgetown (5-13) as the Bulldogs attempt to reach the 8 vs. 9 seed game in the tournament bracket.
Senior Day is Friday, Feb. 24 for Shay Frederick, Tenley Dowell, Rachel McLimore and Kelsy Taylor. Butler will host Seton Hall that night inside Hinkle Fieldhouse for a 7 PM tip. Fans can catch the action on FloSports.com.
IUPUI MEN’S BASKETBALL
JACKSON NAMED #HLMBB FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
INDIANAPOLIS – IUPUI freshman guard DJ Jackson has been named this week’s #HLMBB Freshman of the Week for his efforts in the Jaguars’ two-game trip to Oakland and Detroit Mercy last week. It marks the second time this season he’s collected the league’s weekly award and the eighth time an IUPUI freshman has been recognized this season.
Jackson, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged 15.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 56 percent (14-of-25) from the field for the week. He was also a perfect 3-of-3 from the free throw line in the two games. He opened with a career-high 23 points (10-15 FG, 3-3 FT), four rebounds and a career-high three steals at Oakland on Wednesday (Feb. 15) night. His 23 points were the most by an IUPUI freshman this season and marked his first career 20-point game. He followed up with eight points (4-10 FG), a rebound and an assist at Detroit Mercy on Sunday (Feb. 19).
For the season, Jackson is averaging 8.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting 42.8 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free throw line. He missed nearly two months due to an injury earlier this season, but has started 14 games since his return and is averaging 9.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 16 Horizon League games, while ranking third on the team in steals (14) in league play.
IUPUI MEN’S GOLF
JAGUARS CHARGE THE LEADERBOARD WITH SECOND ROUND 280 AT DISNEY
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The IUPUI men’s golf team surged up the leaderboard on day two of the three-day, 54-hole Mickey Mouse Intercollegiate on Monday (Feb. 20), firing a second round 280 to move from 13th to a tie for second place. IUPUI was 8-under as a team, fueled by Sam McWilliams’ 5-under 67 and Kevin Tillery’s 3-under 69.
Junior Taylor Gardner followed up Sunday’s 67 with an even par 72 and Preston Nanthavong also shot a second round 72. IUPUI’s 280 tied for the eighth-best team round in program history.
McWilliams was brilliant throughout the day, recording seven birdies, including two on his final three holes to get back to 5-under. Tillery shot 4-under 32 on his final nine holes of the day, including an eagle on the par-5 No. 7 to play his final three holes to 3-under. Gardner was steady with 14 pars, including six straight to close his round.
Both McWilliams and Gardner are tied for second overall heading into Tuesday’s finale at 5-under 139.
“Today was a lot of fun and I had no idea what the team was at until I finished. It’s the lowest team round I’ve ever been a part of and it was really cool to see us shoot up the leaderboard,” McWilliams said. “Today was also the best I’ve hit it in a while and I started rolling in some putts to go with it. These are the the type of positions we’ve worked hard for, so we’ll take a lot of confidence from today into tomorrow.”
Nanthavong’s even par 72 was a tad more eventful as he had seven pars in his first nine holes for an even par 36 at the turn. On his second nine, he mixed three birdies with a bogey and double bogey to get in at even par for the second time this season.
All six Jaguars made birdie on the par-5, No. 1 as Morgan Tournemire and Noah Kirsch also found success on the course’s first hole. Tournemire ended his round at 79 while Kirsch shot 84, playing as an individual.
McWilliams continued to lead the 91-player field in par-3 scoring at 4-under for the week while also topping the field with 12 birdies in two days. Gardner is tied for sixth overall with 25 pars and second on the team with eight birdies.
Wofford leads the field at 8-under 568 as the Jaguars are eight shots off the lead. Wofford’s Matthew Larkin is the individual leader at 8-under 136 as Gardner, McWilliams and Wofford’s Harry Jones are tied for second at 5-under.
IUPUI will be paired with Wofford, Queens University of Charlotte and host Bellarmine for tomorrow’s final round.
BALL STATE MBB
CARDINALS SLATED FOR SHOWDOWN WITH KENT STATE ON TUESDAY
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Worthen Arena on Tuesday for a battle with Kent State. The Cardinals (19-8, 10-4) and the Golden Flashes (22-5, 12-2 MAC) are scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip. Tuesday’s game sponsor is Ivy Tech Community College of Muncie.
All BSU students in The Nest and receive a free hot dog, a slice of pizza, a fountain drink, or a beer. Arrive early, cheer loud, and enjoy responsibly.
Head Coach Michael Lewis is the first, first-year head coach to produce a seven-game winning streak. Ball State started 16-7 overall, which is the best start since the 1999-2000 season. The 19-7 start is the best start since the Cardinals started 1997-98 with a 21-7 record. He is the second coach in BSU history to win the regular season opener and the MAC opener in their first season as a head coach. He joins Rick Majerus in achieving the feat.
Last Time Out
Ball State is coming off a 78-68 loss on the road to Western Michigan. Jaylin Sellers produced a team-high 22 points along with five rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Jarron Coleman finished with 15 points, four rebounds, and a team-high four assists. Payton Sparks brought down a team-high eight rebounds to go along with 11 points, two steals, and one assist. Mickey Pearson Jr. added nine points, six rebounds, two steals, and one assist.
Boogie on Down
Jarron Coleman is averaging a team-high 14.9 points per game. He leads the team with 66 made 3-pointers and is shooting 37.5 percent from behind the arc. He leads the team with 99 assists and leads the squad in steals with 39. Coleman has added 10 blocks. He has compiled five games of 20 or more points. Earlier this season, Coleman recorded his 1,000th career point.
Sellers is second on the team with 13.6 points per game. He is shooting 48.5 percent from 3-point range, which leads the team. He is averaging 3.7 rebounds per game. He has produced a field-goal percentage of 48.5on the season. Sellers has collected 23 assists, 18 steals, and 15 blocks. He has notched five games with 20 or more points for the season.
Sparks leads the team with 8.5 rebounds per game, which is tied for 56th in the country and fourth in the conference. His 3.26 offensive rebounds per contest have him tied for 30th in the nation and third in the MAC. He is third on the team averaging 12.9 points per game. He is shooting 60.1 percent from the field, which leads the team. He has eight double-doubles on the season, which is tied for 58th in the country and is third in the MAC. He is third on the team with 53 assists, second on the team with 24 blocks, and has added 14 steals.
Spreading the Love
The Cardinals have four players averaging double-digit points. Demarius Jacobs rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.9 points a contest. He has a team-high 35 blocks, which is tied for 95th in the NCAA and most in the MAC. His 1.30 blocks per contest is tied for 102nd in the nation and first in the conference. He second on the team in assists with 88 and is second on the team in steals with 35. He is averaging 3.9 boards per contest. Pearson is second on the squad with 5.6 rebounds per contest and is averaging 7.7 points a game. Pearson is shooting 50.4 percent from the field.
Taking Advantage at the Free-Throw Line
As a team, the Cardinals are averaging 24.4 free throws per game, which is third in the NCAA and leads the MAC. Ball State is averaging 16.4 free-throws made per contest, which is tied for 19th in the nation and is second in the conference. Sparks is eighth in the nation with 197 free-throw attempts, which leads the MAC.
The Cardinals are currently shooting 47.3 percent from the field, which is tied for 41st in the NCAA and is second in the MAC. Ball State has been effective from behind the arc with a combined 37.6 percent from 3-point range, which is tied for 27th in the country and third in the MAC.
Series History with Kent State
Tuesday will be the 91st meeting between Ball State and Kent State. The Golden Flashes hold a 49-41 advantage in the series. Kent State won the meeting earlier this season 86-65. The Cardinals are 28-14 against the Golden Flashes at home. BSU is 11-10 inside Worthen Arena.
Scouting the Golden Flashes
In the matchup earlier this season, Sincere Carry produced a game-high 18 points for KSU, while adding three assists, two rebounds, and one steal. Chris Payton added 16 points, six rebounds, two blocks, and one steal. The Golden Flashes are sixth in the NCAA with a 5.1 turnover margin. The 9.4 steals per game have Kent State tied for 10th in the country. Carry leads the team with 16.3 points per game to go a long with a team-best 138 assists. His 5.1 assists per game are tied for 37th in the nation and second in the MAC. He has tallied 3.5 rebounds per contest, 47 steals, and six blocks. Malique Jacobs is second on the squad with 12.1 points a game. He paces the team with 77 steals, which is second in the NCAA. Jacobs has added 92 assists, 17 blocks, and is averaging 5.0 rebounds per game. Miryne Thomas rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.0 a contest. He is tied for the team lead with 5.3 rebounds per game. He has 32 steals, 17 assists, and 17 blocks. Payton leads the team with 26 blocks.
NOTRE DAME SWIMMING
IRISH MEN FINISH 5TH, WOMEN 8TH AT ACC CHAMPIONSHIPS
GREENSBORO, N.C. — After more than four months of regular season training and meets, the Notre Dame men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams headed to the Greensboro Aquatic Center for the 2023 ACC Championships last week. After a five-day meet, the No. 20 Notre Dame men took fifth place, while the women finished eighth.
FINAL MEN’S SCORES
FINAL WOMEN’S SCORES
Day 1 Highlights:
The divers got the party started for Notre Dame. Freshman Daniel Knapp, who had posted a standout rookie season to date, continued his excellent work in the 1-meter event. He earned the No. 2 spot with a 364.65 in the morning session and finished fourth overall. Calie Brady finished eighth in the 3-meter (275.20).
The Irish men started off with a bang, breaking the Notre Dame 800 freestyle relay record with a time of 6:16.29. Chris Guiliano, Colton Paulson, Jack Hoagland and Alec DeLong topped the previous top mark set in 2020. Wilburn was also on that relay three years ago.
Day 2 Highlights:
Guiliano earned his second individual medal of the meet, taking bronze in the 50 freestyle with an 18.93 and breaking his own school record.
After breaking into the top 10 all-time in the 500 freestyle earlier this season, sophomore Mary Cate Pruitt bested her mark and moved into fifth all-time with a 4:44.79 performance in the B final on Wednesday night.
Freshman Grace Courtney wrapped up the night by earning an eighth place finish in the women’s 3-meter (274.15).
Day 3 Highlights:
Thursday was a huge one for the Irish. Hoagland won the 400 IM (3:41.15), and Guiliano took gold in the 200 freestyle (1:32.43). Hoagland narrowly missed his own school record in the former event (3:40.73), while Guiliano broke a 2014 record with his swim.
On the women’s side, Coleen Gillilan went 52.34 in the 100 butterfly to take 11th overall. Her time was an NCAA B cut and would have made the field last season. Younger sister and freshman Renee went 52.55 and finished 18th.
Day 4 Highlights:
The Gillilan sisters were back at it on Friday, swimming side-by-side in the B final of the 200 butterfly. Renee got the edge this time, finishing 1:57.33 in 10th place. Coleen’s 1:58.39 was 14th. Both girls earned NCAA B cuts. The elder Gillilan still holds the school record in the event (1:53.94).
Senior captain Ellie Jew posted her best 100 breaststroke swim ever on Friday night, breaking the minute mark and going 59.73. She won the B final and now ranks third in program history in the event.
Friday brought the start of platform diving for the women, and Courtney took sixth overall (258.75).
Turning to the men, freshman Tommy Janton earned his first individual short course program record with a 45.61 time in the 100 backstroke. He went 45.97 in the final and finished seventh.
A time trial 200 freestyle relay broke another program record on the men’s side (1:16.89). The team was composed of Guiliano, Stephan Lukashev, Wilburn and Paulson. Guiliano led off and went 18.88, besting his school record set on Wednesday of 18.93.
Day 5 Highlights:
Saturday night finals started with a sixth place finish for sophomore Maggie Graves in the 1650 freestyle. Her time of 16:14.95 was fast enough to make NCAAs last year and now ranks second in school history. Hoagland followed her swim with a 14:48.82 mile swim of his own, narrowly missing the podium and finishing fourth.
Guiliano broke a third individual record on both Saturday morning and Saturday evening, this time shattering his own previous best in the 100 freestyle. Guiliano entered the meet with a 42.34 set earlier this year, went 41.94 in prelims, and wrapped up his individual slate with a 41.85.
To wrap up the individual swims on the women’s side, Jew won the C final in the 200 breaststroke (2:10.52).
In the final swimming event of the meet, a team composed of Guiliano, Wilburn, DeLong and Scannell earned the NCAA A cut in the 400 freestyle relay and downed the previous school record with a time of 2:50.14. Guiliano led off with a 41.99 split, his third time under 42 seconds at the meet.
In the diving well, freshman Ben Nguyen made his first final for the blue and gold, finishing eight on the platform (306.05).
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
SYCAMORES CONTINUE FLORIDA TRIP AGAINST FGCU, AT NO. 22 MIAMI
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State baseball continues its swing through the Sunshine State week as the Sycamores take on Florida Gulf Coast (Tuesday) and Miami (Fla.) (Wednesday) in midweek action.
Tuesday’s contest against the FGCU Eagles is set for 2 p.m. first pitch in Port Charlotte, Fla. on field C-10 in the Snowbird Baseball Classic. The game will be streamed live on FloSports.com, while live stats will be provided courtesy of FGCU Athletics. The Sycamores make the trip down to Miami to take on the Hurricanes on Wednesday afternoon with first pitch at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field set for 6 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ACCNX with live stats courtesy of Miami Athletics.
The Sycamores went 1-1 over the opening weekend as ISU fell in extra innings to Iowa, 6-2, in the 2023 season opener this past Friday afternoon, before bouncing back to top Quinnipiac on Saturday, 6-1.
In the opener against the Hawkeyes, Iowa took advantage of a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 11th inning to take the 6-2 win over the Sycamores. Indiana State connected on five extra-base hits in the contest, including a pair of Josue Urdaneta and Luis Hernandez doubles, but ISU left 11 batters on base in the contest in the loss. Matt Jachec and Connor Fenlong split the pitching duties for the game for Indiana State with the duo combining to strike out nine while allowing just one walk in the contest.
Saturday’s 6-1 win over Quinnipiac featured an ISU five-run seventh inning as the Sycamores broke open a pitching duel against the Bobcats. Indiana State sent 11 batters to the plate against QU in the decisive frame drawing four walks and had three batters hit by a pitch in breaking open the 1-0 contest. Josue Urdaneta connected on a pair of singles to lead ISU’s offense, while Brayden Lybarger (1-0) picked up his first ISU win following a three-inning scoreless relief stint.
Over the opening weekend, the Indiana State pitching staff posted a 3.20 ERA with a 23:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio, while limiting opponents to hitting just .191 from the plate. The strikeout-to-walk ratio puts ISU fifth in the NCAA in the category (7.67) and eighth overall in WHIP (0.81). The pitching staff currently also leads the conference and is seventh in the NCAA Division I in walks allowed per nine innings (1.37).
Offensively, Josue Urdaneta continues to thrive in Florida as the redshirt junior infielder has hit safely in his last nine games in the state dating back to the 2022 season. Urdaneta paces the Sycamores and leads the conference with a .571 batting average and is 33rd overall in the NCAA in on-base percentage .700.
Scouting the Opposition
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
Florida Gulf Coast enters the midweek contest with a 4-0 record on the year after sweeping the opening weekend series against Hofstra. The Eagles topped the Pride with a 13-0 (7 inn.) win in the season opener, while adding 7-2, 10-7, and 7-4 victories.
Alejandro Figueredo (.467) and Joe Kinker (.467) highlighted the FGCU offense over the opening weekend as the duo combined for 14 hits, six doubles, two home runs, 10 RBI, and 12 runs scored. Florida Gulf Coast hit .322 as a team from the plate with four players hitting .400 or better in the series against the Pride. Pitching-wise, Jason Woodward was the ace on the mound going 6.0 innings in the opening date start, while Mason Miller (3.86 ERA, 4.2 IP) also picked up a win as a starter over the weekend. Overall, 11 different pitchers pitched for the Eagles with the staff posting a 2.81 ERA and a 26:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
FGCU’s roster features a number of key standout returners including preseason All-Americans Alejandro Figueredo and Joe Kinker. Figueredo doubled up as the ASUN Preseason Player of the Year as voted on by the conference office, while teammate Brian Ellis was tabbed the Player of the Year by D1Baseball. The Eagles were selected third in the ASUN preseason rankings as voted on by the coaches.
Florida Gulf Coast has not lined up against a current member of the Missouri Valley Conference since the 2021 season when the Sycamores last made the midweek trek to Fort Myers. ISU topped FGCU in the contest, 5-3, in the lone previous matchup. Prior to that, FGCU last took on a MVC team back in the 2018 season when the Eagles swept Evansville on March 9-11, 2018, in a three-game set at Swanson Stadium.
FGCU Player Watch
Alejandro Figueredo lived up to his preseason billing as the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper preseason All-American and ASUN Preseason Player of the Year hit a robust .467 in the series against Hofstra. He was the ASUN batting champion in 2022 with a .392 batting average while posting 13 home runs, 21 doubles and 62 RBI last season. This year, the third baseman is off to another hot start with two doubles, a home run, and five RBI over the opening series sweep over the Pride.
Indiana State – Iowa Series History
March 9, 2021 – W, 5-3 (Ft. Myers, Fla.)
Indiana State and Florida Gulf Coast have only faced off once in their respective histories as the teams competed in a midweek contest back in 2021. The Sycamores jumped out to an early 5-1 lead thanks to a pair of three-hit games by Josue Urdaneta and Sean Ross, while Miguel Rivera drove in a pair of runs in the win. Joey Hurth picked up his first win of the season with a 4.0-inning start, while Zach Frey, Connor Fenlong, and Tyler Grauer shut the door for the Sycamores bullpen.
Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes
Miami enters the week with a 2-1 overall record after their season-opening series against Penn State. The Hurricanes fell in the season opener to the Nittany Lions, 9-5, before taking the final two games of the series, 10-2 and 3-2. Miami will play a Tuesday night game against Stetson before hosting the Sycamores on Wednesday.
Zach Levenson (.500) was the standout at the plate for Miami over the opening weekend with three of his five hits leaving the ballpark against Penn State. Blake Cyr added a .400 average, while Dominic Pitelli hit .333 as the Hurricanes hit .242 as a team over the opening weekend. Pitching-wise, Miami utilized 12 pitchers on the mound in posting a 4.00 team ERA and a 31:14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Rafe Schlesinger was the lone Miami player to make multiple appearances while posting a 0.00 ERA.
The Hurricanes are looking to get back to the postseason this season after seeing their tournament dreams dashed in the NCAA Regional last year. Miami went 40-20 overall with a 20-10 mark in ACC play in 2022 on their way to earning the No. 6 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Hurricanes returne CJ Kayfus (.366 average), pitcher Gage Ziehl, and All-American closer Andrew Walters (1.65 ERA, 14 SV). The Hurricanes boasted five players on the Bobby Bragan National Collegiate Slugger Award watch list with Ian Farrow, Dario Gomez, Kayfus, Zach Levenson, and Yohandy Morales all garnering recognition.
Miami has not faced a team from the Missouri Valley Conference since the 2013 season when the Hurricanes hosted Illinois State in a Tuesday-Wednesday midweek series. Illinois State took the series opener against UM, 17-6, while Miami won the rematch, 9-2, over the March 12-13 series.
Miami Player Watch
Yohandy Morales is the player to watch for the Hurricanes this season as the infielder hit .329 with a team-high 18 home runs and 59 RBI in 2022. Morales struggled in the opening weekend against Penn State hitting .231 from the plate with a pair of RBI, but the junior infielder hit safely in all three contest with RBI in the first two games against the Nittany Lions.
Indiana State – Miami (Fla.) Series History
This is the sixth matchup all-time in the series between the Sycamores and the Hurricanes dating back to 1980. Miami has won all five contests played down in Miami, Fla. including a weekend sweep in the 1981 season.
Indiana State Opening Week Notes
They Get Plunked
One year after leading the Missouri Valley in getting hit by pitches, the Sycamores are once again on top of the standings through their first two games of the year. The Sycamores were hit five times over their opening games against Iowa and Quinnipiac, including three times during a five-run rally in the win over Quinnipiac. Luis Hernandez has been hit twice on the year to lead the Sycamores, while three other players have all been hit by a pitch this season. Jordan Schaffer led ISU last season after getting hit 23 times.
They Don’t Walk
Both Indiana State starting pitchers over the opening weekend did not allow a walk as both Matt Jachec and Zach Davidson did not surrender freebies against Iowa and Quinnipiac. The Sycamore starters combined to post a 10:0 strikeout-to walk ratio over a combined eight innings while allowing just six hits and two runs.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S GOLF
NICK HOLDER TURNS IN EVEN 72 IN SECOND ROUND OF MICKEY MOUSE INTERCOLLEGIATE
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Nick Holder of the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s golf team had the team’s best score on Monday (Feb. 20), shooting an even 72 in round two of the Mickey Mouse Intercollegiate.
Holder now sits in a tie for 21st with a 74-72-146. He started his day with a birdie on the 487-yard opening hole, then birdied hole five and seven to shoot a 1-under 35 on the front. His second round featured a birdie on 11 and six pars in a row for a 37.
Kasey Lilly still has the best total on the team with a 144, shooting 74 in round two. He started his round with a two-putt birdie on the opening hole, then found birdies on six and seven. He was 2-under on the front. On the back nine, he birdied 13 and 14.
Joining his teammates with a birdie on the first hole, Hunter Mefford shot his second 74 of the week. He turned in an even 36 on the back nine thanks to birdies on 11 and 14 to balance out bogeys on 16 and 18. He parred the rest of the back, finishing with 11 pars on the day.
Marking the last contribution to the team score, Burke Pitz shot a 77 in round two. He had birdies on two, seven, 13 and 17, pairing with eight pars. Jadden Ousley was two strokes back of Pitz on Monday. He had a bogey-free front nine with a birdie on hole four. He had 12 pars en route to his 79.
Wofford’s Matthew Larkin is leading the pack with a 136. His team is also in first with a 568, eight strokes ahead of the next-best team. The Mastodons are in seventh with 587.
The third and final round of the Mickey Mouse Intercollegiate will tee off in the morning on Tuesday (Feb. 21).
EVANSVILLE MEN’S GOLF
MEN’S GOLF TIES FOR SECOND AT ASU SPRING CLASSIC
PRATTVILLE, Ala. – Led by Michael Ikejiani’s 8th place finish, the University of Evansville men’s golf team tied for second place at the ASU Spring Classic on Monday at RTJ Golf Trail at Capitol Hill.
Scoring a 755 for the 2 ½ rounds, the Purple Aces completed the tournament tied with Alabama State for the second position. Arkansas-Pine Bluff took top honors with a 742. Michael Ikejiani was the top performer for UE, finishing round two with a 76 before carding a 40 in the final nine holes. He had a 188. His 72 in round one tied for the team’s low score at the tournament.
Daniil Romashkin tied for the 9th spot with a 189. Following rounds of 74 and 76, he notched a 39 in the last nine holes. One behind him was the duo of Nicholas Gushrowski and Henry Kiel. Both scored a 190 to tie for 12th place. Gushrowski finished both full rounds with a 76 and was halfway there in the last nine, totaling a 38. Kiel had a 75 to open play before shooting an even 72 in the second round. His final nine holes finished at a 43.
Caleb Wassmer registered an 80 in round two and a 41 in the 9-hole finish.
Ignacio Puente of Alabama State was the medalist. His 179 bested the competition by one shot. Highlighting his weekend was a 1-under 71 in the second 18.
UE will have a few weeks off before returning to action in Sevierville, Tenn. for the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate, which starts on March 12.
BIG START HELPS SOFTBALL DEFEAT GREEN BAY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Scoring three runs in the first inning, the University of Evansville softball team earned a 6-0 shutout win over Green Bay to complete the opening weekend of Tri-State Orthopaedics Field at James & Dorothy Cooper Stadium with a perfect 4-0 mark.
Evansville had a big start, plating three runs in the top of the first. Taylor Howe and Zoe Frossard both reached to lead things off. With one out, Marah Wood got the Purple Aces on the board with a 2-run single. Alexa Davis followed with the third single of the frame to score Wood and make it a 3-0 game.
Pitching took over for both teams at that point as the game would remain 3-0 in favor of UE until the bottom of the sixth. Davis hit a leadoff home run to extend the advantage to 4-0 while Lacy Smith and Hannah Hood added unearned runs to complete the scoring.
Erin Kleffman improved to 3-0 as she tossed four shutout innings of one-hit ball. Mikayla Jolly gave up two hits in two innings while Paige McAllister pitched the seventh. The trio held the Phoenix to just three hits.
Frossard and Davis recorded two hits apiece while Wood and Davis had two RBI each.
UE continues its home slate on Friday with a 12:30 p.m. game against Purdue Fort Wayne.
SOUTHERN INDIANA BASEBALL
NIEHAUS NAMED OVC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana freshman infielder Caleb Niehaus (Newburgh, Indiana) was named Ohio Valley Conference co-Player of the Week for his efforts versus Western Illinois University to open the 2023 season. Niehaus shared the OVC weekly award with Morehead State University senior outfielder Chase Vinson.
Niehaus played in all four games last weekend, including a pair of starts at second base. The freshman’s first collegiate hit was a home run to left field during his first collegiate start in USI’s 6-0 win on Saturday.
Niehaus finished the weekend series by going three-for-four with two runs scored, a home run, a triple, and four RBIs in the Screaming Eagles’ 5-4 victory Sunday. He gave USI the lead and drove in the eventual game-winning run with a three-run triple in the eighth inning series clinching win.
Overall for last week’s series, Niehaus batted .500 (4-8) with four runs scored, one triple, two home runs, and a team-best five RBIs.
The Eagles continue action Tuesday on the road when they visit Lipscomb University for a 3 p.m. contest in Nashville, Tennessee. Lipscomb (2-1) opened 2023 last weekend by taking two-of-three from the University of Notre Dame.
The Bisons lead the all-time series with the Eagles, 11-1, dating back to 1973. The last meeting between the two teams was in 1980 when they split a doubleheader with Lipscomb taking game one, 9-3, and USI taking the nightcap, 7-5.
Following the USI-Lipscomb match-up on Tuesday, the Eagles open the 2023 home schedule Friday when they start a three-game series versus former GLVC-rival Bellarmine University at the USI Baseball Field. The series starts Friday with a 3 p.m. first pitch; continues Saturday with a 1 p.m. start; and concludes Sunday with a noon match-up.
VALPO MEN’S BASKETBALL
KRIKKE EARNS MVC PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOD
For the second time this season and the third time in his career, Valparaiso University men’s basketball standout Ben Krikke (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Jasper Place) was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Monday.
Krikke averaged 29.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists over two games this week, shooting 61.1 percent from the floor (22-of-36), 40 percent from 3-point range (2-of-5), and 80 percent from the free-throw line (12-of-15). Krikke’s week was highlighted by a career-high 34 points on Sunday at UIC, the second-highest single game scoring output by a Missouri Valley Conference player this season.
Krikke went 14-of-19 from the field, 2-for-2 from 3 and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. The 14 made field goals were the most by an MVC player this year and tied for the most by a Valpo player in the last decade. Sunday’s game also saw Krikke pull down 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
Krikke had 24 points and went 8-of-10 at the foul line on Tuesday vs. SIU. The Edmonton native eclipsed the 1,500-career-point milestone on Tuesday before cracking the program’s all-time top 10 and moving all the way up to eighth in program history in career scoring on Sunday.
Krikke leads the conference in scoring average, both overall (19.6 ppg) and in conference only games (21.0 ppg). The Beacons will return to action on Wednesday at 6 p.m. as Bradley comes to the Athletics-Recreation Center for Senior Night and the final home game of the season.
MEN’S BASKETBALL TO RECOGNIZE SENIORS ON WEDNESDAY
Bradley (21-8, 14-4 MVC)
at Valparaiso (11-18, 5-13 MVC)
Game No. 30 – Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will take the Athletics-Recreation Center floor for the final time this season on Wednesday night as first-place Bradley comes to town for the home finale. It’s Senior Night for the Beacons as Kobe King, Quinton Green, Nick Edwards, Luke Morrill and Ben Krikke as well as student manager Sam Back and senior cheer/dance team members will be recognized prior to the game. After the game, head coach Matt Lottich and senior players will address the crowd. Krikke is currently undecided on whether or not he will utilize his extra year of eligibility created due to COVID-19, while the other aforementioned seniors will close out the home portion of their collegiate careers on Wednesday. The pregame festivities will also feature O Canada in honor of Krikke’s Senior Night. The game will be televised regionally in the Chicago market on NBC Sports Chicago Plus.
Last Time Out: Ben Krikke poured in a career-high 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting while grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds, but UIC edged Valpo 74-73 at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago. Valpo had two empty possessions with opportunities to shoot for the lead in the game’s closing seconds, allowing the Flames to hold on in a zany affair that saw UIC lead by as many as 11 and Valpo lead by as many as nine in the first half before the second half was tightly-contested throughout. Neither team led by more than three points over the final 10 minutes of the game and the gap was no larger than four over the final 18:30. Kobe King supported Krikke with 15 points, while Nick Edwards gave out eight assists.
Following the Beacons: Television – MVC TV Network (NBC Sports Chicago Plus, Ball Sports Indiana Extra, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports Kansas City and Bally Sports Southeast) – Jordan Bernfield (play-by-play) and David Kaplan (analyst)
Streaming – ESPN+ – available out of market only, blacked out in the states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR, ValpoAthletics.com, TuneIn Radio App – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and James Doerer (analyst)
Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball
Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (108-114) is in his seventh season as the head coach of the men’s basketball program in 2022-2023. Twice during his tenure, Valpo has upset Top-25 opponents, defeating Drake and Rhode Island at the ARC. Valpo has four wins over AP Top 25 teams in program history, and two have come under Lottich. In 2019-2020, Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness, the annual Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in St. Louis, to reach the title game after playing in the opening round by winning three games in three days. Lottich, hired as the 22nd head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April 2016, graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and New Trier High School (Illinois) in 2000.
Series Notes: Bradley holds a 10-5 lead in the all-time series, but Valpo is 5-2 at home against the Braves. Bradley has won four straight head-to-head matchups including the first meeting of the year between the two squads. The home team is 12-2 in the 14 matchups between these two foes that have been held at campus sites.
Jan. 7 – Bradley 88, Valpo 66: Bradley used a pair of 11-0 runs and all told a 22-2 spurt in the first half to take control of an 88-66 victory over Valpo in early January in Peoria. Ben Krikke was a Beacon bright spot with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Four Valpo players reached double figures but Bradley sustained its home dominance and extended its then home-court winning streak to 16.
Senior Night Success: Valpo holds a 26-5 record in its final home game of the season over the last 31 years, but did fall 71-65 to Drake in last year’s ARC finale. Valpo has already secured a winning record at home, the team’s 31st straight season with an ARC mark of .500 or better.
LOCKWOOD HONORED AS MVC PITCHER OF THE WEEK
After a stellar outing during the season’s opening weekend, Valparaiso University baseball right-handed pitcher Connor Lockwood (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) has earned Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week honors, as announced by the league office on Monday.
Lockwood pitched the team to a power-5 victory on Saturday, logging seven shutout innings of two-hit ball while walking none and striking out six in an 11-3 victory over Kansas. Lockwood was the winning pitcher after the longest outing of his career. The six strikeouts shattered his previous personal best of four. The sophomore sent down the final 16 Jayhawk batters that he faced in the game, helping Valpo to its first power-5 win in five years.
After an encouraging showing over the first weekend of the season, Valpo will visit UT Martin for a three-game series beginning on Friday. Lockwood joins Jake Miller, Colin Fields (twice) and Easton Rhodehouse as the only Valpo players to earn MVC Pitcher of the Week honors since the program joined the Missouri Valley Conference.
U OF I MEN’S LAX
JACKSON VOTED GLVC MEN’S LACROSSE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
INDIANAPOLIS – UIndy graduate defender Josh Jackson has been named the GLVC Defensive Player of the Week in men’s lacrosse, it was announced by the league office Monday.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Josh Jackson, UIndy
Gr. | D | Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Major: Master’s in Management
Team Result: 17-16 W at #11 Seton Hall (2/18)
Recorded six ground balls and three caused turnovers in road victory over 11th-ranked Seton Hall
Scooped three grounds balls and caused one turnover in fourth quarter
Earns first career Defensive Player of the Week Award
Last Greyhounds’ Defensive Player of the Week: KC Carlson (2/6/23)
MEN’S LAX STANDS PAT IN USILA TOP 20
BALTIMORE, Md. – The UIndy men’s lacrosse held steady in the latest USILA national coaches poll on Monday, weighing in at No. 7 for the second straight week. It also marks the 21st consecutive edition the Greyhounds have been ranked in the top 10.
The Hounds improved to 3-0 over the weekend with a big win at No. 11 Seton Hill. Read the thrilling recap here.
Tampa remains atop the poll, collecting all 22 first-place votes. Also representing the GLVC was Lewis, which entered at No. 20 following its 2-0 start.
The complete poll can be found here.
U OF I WOMEN’S LAX
GREYHOUNDS MOVE UP TO #7 IN RECENT ILWOMEN/IWLCA POLL
NORTHBOROUGH, Ma. – The UIndy women’s lacrosse team has moved up one spot to No. 7 in the first edition of the ILWomen/IWLCA top 25 poll, announced by officials on Monday.
The Hounds (3-0) earned 530 points and two first-place votes in the poll after collecting wins over Concordia-St. Paul, Walsh, and Findlay to begin the new season. East Stroudsburg still holds the top spot while Adelphi, West Chester, Florida Southern, and Le Moyne round out the top five, respectively.
UIndy also earned the No. 8 spot in the recent USA Lacrosse Magazine poll that was released on Monday.
The Greyhounds return to action on Saturday, Feb. 25 to battle Lee in Cleveland, Tenn., at noon ET. The Flames were receiving votes in this recent poll.
ILWOMEN/IWLCA DII Poll
|RK||SCHOOL (1st-place votes)||REC||PTS||PREV|
|1.||East Stroudsburg (23)||0-0||670||1|
|10.||Grand Valley State||1-1||436||5|
U OF I BASEBALL
DONALDSON DUBBED GLVC BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
INDIANAPOLIS – University of Indianapolis junior second baseman Drew Donaldson was named the GLVC Player of the Week, it was announced by the league office Monday.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Drew Donaldson, Indianapolis
Jr. | 2B | Hilliard, Ohio
Major: Business Administration & Management
Team Result: 17-1 W, 32-7 W vs. Notre Dame College (2/18) | 13-1 (7 inn.) W vs. Notre Dame College (2/19)
Batted .667 (10-for-15) with a 1.067 slugging and .706 on-base percentage in 3-0 season-opening week
Tallied 11 runs, 10 RBI, two walks, one home run, one double, and one triple with 16 total bases
Helped UIndy score program-record 32 runs in second game with five of his own and five RBI
Earns first career Player of the Week Award
Last Greyhounds’ Player of the Week: Alex Vela (2/1/22)
U OF I MEN’S BASKETBALL
TCHOUA TABBED GLVC MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
INDIANAPOLIS – UIndy big man Kendrick Tchoua has been named the GLVC Player of the Week for the second time this season, it was announced by the league office Monday. The award is also the third of his career.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kendrick Tchoua, UIndy
Jr. | F | Silver Spring, Md.
Major: Sport Management
Team Results: 76-65 W vs. Drury (2/16) | 86-79 W vs. Southwest Baptist (2/18)
Averaged a double-double of 23.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in two wins
Shot 80 percent (16-of-20) from the field and 67 percent (14-of-21) from the foul line
Added two blocks, one steal, and one assist
Recorded career-high 27 points against Drury
Earns third career Player of the Week Award (2/20/23, 1/16/23, 11/29/21)
Last Greyhounds’ Player of the Week: Kendrick Tchoua (1/16/23)
LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE WITH SIDEARM SPORTS
INDIANAPOLIS – MUKnights.com, the home of Marian University Athletics, will take over a new look starting on Wednesday, February 22, as the Knights have entered into a new partnership with SIDEARM Sports. SIDEARM Sports will serve as the new provider of the department’s website, and will launch on Wednesday morning.
“We’ve been working with SIDEARM since late last summer to develop a new athletics website, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally see the new MUKnights.com go live this week,” Marian University Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Mitch Huppert said. “SIDEARM is a respected and well-known platform in the world of college athletics that provides an excellent product to its clients and fans.
There have been multiple conversations internally about bringing a new look to the home of Marian Athletics, and we did our due diligence when picking our new partner. We believe that SIDEARM offers the best product available, and it will give us an opportunity to continue the growth of our successful athletic department.”
SIDEARM and Marian have worked closely to develop a new and improved website, one that will offer fans easier access to content and a more visually appealing experience. The new look will feature better social media integration, more in-depth roster and schedule pages, a new mobile experience with a mobile app to launch in the coming weeks, and much more.
Marian joins multiple members of the Crossroads League and WHAC, Marian’s primary and affiliate conference pages, as members with SIDEARM websites as well.
MARIAN WOMEN’S TRACK
JAI-LYN NORWOOD NAMED CROSSROADS LEAGUE FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Jackson, Mich. – After helping Marian win their third overall and second consecutive Crossroads League Indoor Track and Field Championship on Saturday, the Knights’ Jai-Lyn Norwood has been named the Field Athlete of the Week by the league. The honor comes after Norwood was named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Meet.
Norwood highlighted Marian’s dominant performance as she was named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Meet and led Marian to the team title by taking All-Crossroads League honors in two field events and one running event. Norwood won the long jump, took second in the triple jump and 400 and hit NAIA standards in all three events.
Marian will now set their focus to the NAIA National Championships, which begin on March 2 in Brookings, South Dakota, held once again at South Dakota State University.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|New York||33||27||.550||9.5||16-15||17-12||5-8||23-16||6-4||3 W|
|Oklahoma City||28||29||.491||12.0||17-12||11-17||5-6||15-17||5-5||1 W|
|LA Clippers||33||28||.541||1.0||15-13||18-15||6-4||19-16||6-4||2 W|
|Golden State||29||29||.500||3.5||22-7||7-22||4-6||17-14||5-5||1 L|
|LA Lakers||27||32||.458||6.0||14-14||13-18||2-9||14-20||4-6||1 W|
|New Orleans||30||29||.508||6.0||20-10||10-19||7-4||19-15||4-6||1 L|
|San Antonio||14||45||.237||22.0||9-21||5-24||2-7||5-30||0-10||14 L|
|1 Boston Bruins||56||43||8||5||91||41||210||118||24-2-3||19-6-2||6-3-1|
|2 Carolina Hurricanes||55||37||10||8||82||34||188||147||19-6-2||18-4-6||9-1-0|
|3 New Jersey Devils||56||37||14||5||79||36||195||149||16-10-2||21-4-3||7-2-1|
|4 Toronto Maple Leafs||57||34||15||8||76||34||194||153||22-6-4||12-9-4||6-4-0|
|5 New York Rangers||57||33||15||9||75||30||192||156||16-10-4||17-5-5||7-1-2|
|6 Tampa Bay Lightning||55||35||17||3||73||33||195||162||21-4-2||14-13-1||6-2-2|
|7 New York Islanders||60||29||24||7||65||29||175||170||17-10-3||12-14-4||6-2-2|
|8 Florida Panthers||60||29||25||6||64||27||209||210||16-8-3||13-17-3||6-4-0|
|9 Pittsburgh Penguins||56||27||20||9||63||26||180||178||15-8-4||12-12-5||4-5-1|
|10 Washington Capitals||58||28||24||6||62||27||175||170||14-11-3||14-13-3||3-7-0|
|11 Buffalo Sabres||54||28||22||4||60||27||201||187||11-14-2||17-8-2||6-3-1|
|12 Detroit Red Wings||55||26||21||8||60||24||172||179||14-11-3||12-10-5||7-3-0|
|13 Ottawa Senators||56||27||25||4||58||25||172||179||16-12-2||11-13-2||7-2-1|
|14 Philadelphia Flyers||58||23||25||10||56||22||157||186||11-14-3||12-11-7||3-4-3|
|15 Montreal Canadiens||56||23||29||4||50||19||151||205||14-14-1||9-15-3||4-5-1|
|16 Columbus Blue Jackets||57||18||34||5||41||17||146||212||12-17-2||6-17-3||4-4-2|
|1 Vegas Golden Knights||56||34||18||4||72||31||184||157||17-13-0||17-5-4||6-2-2|
|2 Dallas Stars||57||30||15||12||72||28||185||148||15-7-7||15-8-5||3-2-5|
|3 Winnipeg Jets||57||35||21||1||71||34||180||148||20-8-0||15-13-1||5-5-0|
|4 Los Angeles Kings||57||32||18||7||71||27||196||193||17-9-2||15-9-5||7-2-1|
|5 Seattle Kraken||57||32||19||6||70||32||197||178||15-10-3||17-9-3||4-5-1|
|6 Colorado Avalanche||55||31||19||5||67||27||173||155||14-9-4||17-10-1||6-2-2|
|7 Edmonton Oilers||57||30||19||8||68||30||214||191||13-11-5||17-8-3||4-1-5|
|8 Minnesota Wild||56||30||21||5||65||24||167||161||18-10-2||12-11-3||5-4-1|
|9 Calgary Flames||57||26||20||11||63||25||180||176||15-11-2||11-9-9||4-4-2|
|10 Nashville Predators||54||26||22||6||58||24||152||163||15-10-3||11-12-3||5-5-0|
|11 St. Louis Blues||56||26||27||3||55||23||175||205||13-13-2||13-14-1||3-7-0|
|12 Arizona Coyotes||57||20||28||9||49||17||155||199||13-8-2||7-20-7||5-1-4|
|13 Vancouver Canucks||56||22||30||4||48||19||191||226||11-15-1||11-15-3||4-5-1|
|14 San Jose Sharks||58||18||29||11||47||17||174||213||6-14-7||12-15-4||4-4-2|
|15 Chicago Blackhawks||55||18||32||5||41||18||136||201||11-16-3||7-16-2||4-5-1|
|16 Anaheim Ducks||57||17||33||7||41||14||144||240||9-16-1||8-17-6||4-4-2|
February 21, 1995 – The CFL’s Sacramento Gold Miners become San Antonio Texans according to OnthisDay.com. Apparently fields in the San Antonio area were not up to the Canadian Football League’s standards and after failed attempts to have any of them upgraded and a failed bid by Texans owner Fred Anderson to build a new stadium led to the demise of the franchise just a couple months after the League’s Grey Cup was played. Our friend Chris Lawton from the Ninety-Nine Yards website has an interesting story on what he describes as the ill-fated U.S. Expansion of the CFL in the mid 1990’s. From 1993 through the 1995 seasons the Canadian Football League tried to gain a foothold in the USA by introducing Americans with teams such as the Baltimore Stallions, Birmingham Barracudas, Las Vegas Posse, Memphis Mad Dogs, Shreveport Pirates in addition to the Gold Miners/Texans franchise. Unfortunately none of them would stick on American soil for a variety of reasons as US fans are very loyal to their NFL and college teams and it is extremely difficult for other forms of football to garner market share.
HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAY FOR FEBRUARY 21
February 21, 1921 – Youngstown, Ohio – The awesome former end of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Bob Dove experienced his arrival into this world. According to his biography on the NFF website Dove was awarded with the honor of being a consensus All-America at the end position in 1941 and 1942. The Washington Touchdown Club awarded him its Rockne Trophy as the nation’s best lineman in 1942. The National Football Foundation voters checked all the boxes in 2000 to place Bob Dove into the College Football Hall of Fame. Bob continued his gridiron career as he played professional football with the Chicago Rockets, Chicago Cardinals, and the Detroit Lions. When he hung up his cleats he bounced around the country coaching on a variety of NFL and college teams.
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1931 The Dodgers arrive in Cuba to start a series of five inter-squad games. Brooklyn right-hander Dolf Luque, known as the Pride of Havana, will appear in the exhibitions scheduled for the spacious Tropical Stadium.
1945 Due to wartime travel restrictions, the Office of Defense Transportation has requests major league clubs to cut travel by twenty-five percent. Commissioner Ford Frick estimates the decision to cancel the All-Star game, which has taken place annually since its inception in 1933, will save 500,000 passenger miles.
1966 Emmett Ashford becomes the first black to be a major league umpire when the American League hires him. ‘Ash,’ known for his flashy style in the PCL, will spend five years in the bigs, working the 1967 All-Star game and the 1970 World Series, before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.
1968 The players and owners reach the first-ever collective basic agreement. The two-year CBA raises the minimum salary from $6,000 to $10,000, the first increase in two decades, and provides a new grievance arbitration procedure for labor disputes empowers the commissioner as the final arbiter.
1974 Tom Seaver becomes the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history when he signs a one-year contract for $172,000, a twenty-five percent increase from last season, to hurl for the Mets. The 29-year-old right-hander known as ‘Tom Terrific’ has posted a 135-76 record during his seven years in New York.
1980 Billy Martin signs a two-year, $250,000 deal to be the A’s manager becoming Charlie Finley’s fifteenth different skipper in the past twenty years. During the three-year reign of ‘Billy Ball,’ the fiery 51-year-old skipper will compile a 215-218 record, winning a division title as the first-half leader of the 1981 strike-shortened season in the AL West.
1986 In defiance of the Reds’ policy, Rollie Fingers refuses to cut off his trademark handlebar mustache and retires from baseball. The future Hall of Fame reliever, who leaves the game with 341 saves, had been offered a contract by Cincinnati’s skipper Pete Rose after being released by the Brewers at the end of last season.
1989 Reds manager Pete Rose meets with Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and Commissioner-elect Bart Giamatti to explain the allegations concerning his gambling habits. Major League Baseball will launch a full investigation into the matter next month, which will lead to “Charlie Hustle’s” permanent ban from the game in August.
2000 Denying the acquisition of Ken Griffey, Jr. as the reason, the Reds announce the team has dropped its prohibition on earrings. Players have worn the jewelry in the Cincinnati clubhouse but weren’t allowed to take the field wearing earwear.
2006 The National Baseball Hall of Fame selects Gene Elston to receive the Ford C. Frick Award. During his 47 years in the broadcast booth, the former Astros announcer brought a no-nonsense approach to reporting the happenings on the diamond.
2008 Ryan Howard, who made $900,000 last season, gets a substantial raise by winning his salary arbitration case against the Phillies. The 28-year-old first baseman receives a $10 million award, tying Alfonso Soriano, who had sought $12 million and lost, for the highest amount ever given to a player in the process.
2009 In a decision which team general manager Neal Huntington calls easy, the Pirates pick up John Russell’s contract option for this season. The sophomore skipper went 67-95 in his first season with the last-place Bucs.
2019 Manny Machado agrees to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres, making the 25-year-old infielder’s deal the richest free-agent signing in baseball history. Bryce Harper will surpass the all-time free-agent jackpot in two weeks, signing a 13-year, $330 million commitment with the Phillies.
SPORTS IN NUMBERS
30 – 11
February 21, 1948 – NASCAR is incorporated.
February 21, 1951 – South Carolina House of Representatives suggests that “Shoeless Joe” Jackson be reinstated by Major League Baseball, stating that the baseball great was innocent of the charges of the Black Sox scandal decades earlier.
February 21, 1953 – Longest collegiate basketball game of 6 Overtime sessions took place when Niagara outlasted Siena College 88-81.
February 21, 1985 – The National League’s Montreal Expos baseball player Tim Raines, who wore Number 30, was awarded a $1.2 million salary for 1985 by arbitrator. This man earned it too as during the 1985 season he hit .320 and stole 70 bases.
February 21, 2016 – At the 58th running of the Daytona 500, Denny Hamlin in his black FedEx Number 11 Chevy wins closest finish in race history – by just 0.01s from Martin Truex Jr.
|NCAA BASKETBALL GAMES – MEN’S||TIME ET||TV|
|Villanova at Xavier||6:30pm||FS1|
|Baylor at Kansas State||7:00pm||ESPN/2|
|Tennessee at Texas A&M||7:00pm||ESPN/2|
|Miami (FL) at Virginia Tech||7:00pm||ESPNU|
|Mississippi State at Missouri||7:00pm||SECN|
|Georgia Tech at Pitt||7:00pm||ACCN|
|Murray State at Missouri State||7:00pm||CBSSN|
|Saint Louis at Richmond||7:00pm||MASN|
|VCU at Saint Joseph’s||7:00pm||–|
|Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Northern Illinois at Ohio||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Youngstown State at Robert Morris||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Akron at Toledo||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Bowling Green at Miami (OH)||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Central Michigan at Buffalo||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Kent State at Ball State||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|East Carolina at Tulsa||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Marquette at Creighton||8:30pm||FS1|
|Indiana at Michigan State||9:00pm||ESPN|
|Texas Tech at Oklahoma||9:00pm||ESPN2|
|Georgia at Arkansas||9:00pm||SECN|
|Utah State at Wyoming||9:00pm||CBSSN|
|Iowa State at Texas||9:00pm||LHN|
|Fresno State at Air Force||9:00pm||ALT|
|San Jose State at Nevada||10:00pm||–|
|Colorado State at San Diego State||11:00pm||CBSSN|
|COLLEGE BASKETBALL – WOMEN’S||TIME ET||TV|
|Iowa at Maryland||8:00pm||BTN|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Anaheim at Tampa Bay||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Detriot at Washington||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Montreal at New Jersey||7:00pm||Sportsnet|
|St. Louis at Carolina||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Toronto at Buffalo||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|Los Angeles at Minnesota||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Vancouver at Nashville||8:00pm||Sportsnet|
|Vegas at Chicago||8:30pm||ATTSN-RM|
|Philadelphia at Edmonton||9:00pm||NBCS-PHI|
|SOCCER MATCHES||TIME ET||TV|
|UEFA Champions League: Liverpool vs Real Madrid||3:00pm||CBS|
|UEFA Champions League: Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli||3:00pm||Paramount+|
|Recopa Sudamericana: Independiente del Valle vs Flamengo||7:30pm||beIN Sports|
|FFA Cup of Nations: Czech Republic vs Spain||11:00pm||ESPN+|