INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL STATE FINALS (SATURDAY)
CLASS A: LUTHERAN VS. SOUTHWOOD, 10:30 A.M.
CLASS 2A: FW BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN VS. LINTON-STOCKTON, 12:45 P.M.
CLASS 3A: GUERIN CATHOLIC VS. NORTHWOOD, 6 P.M.
CLASS 4A: BEN DAVIS VS. KOKOMO, 8:15 P.M.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL- NCAA TOURNAMENT
THURSDAY, MARCH 23 (SWEET 16)
NO. 3 KANSAS STATE VS. NO. 7 MICHIGAN STATE | 6:30 P.M. | TBS
NO. 4 UCONN VS. NO. 8 ARKANSAS | 7:15 P.M. | CBS
NO. 4 TENNESSEE VS. NO. 9 FLORIDA ATLANTIC | 9 P.M. | TBS
NO. 2 UCLA VS. NO. 3 GONZAGA | 9:45 P.M. | CBS
FRIDAY, MARCH 24 (SWEET 16)
NO. 1 ALABAMA VS. NO. 5 SAN DIEGO STATE | 6:30 P.M. | TBS
NO. 1 HOUSTON VS. NO. 4 MIAMI | 7:15 P.M. | CBS
NO. 6 CREIGHTON VS. NO. 15 PRINCETON | 9 P.M. | TBS
NO. 2 TEXAS VS. NO. 3 XAVIER | 9:45 P.M. | CBS
ORLANDO 122 WASHINGTON 112
ATLANTA 129 DETROIT 107
CLEVELAND 115 BROOKLYN 109
NEW ORLEANS 119 SAN ANTONIO 84
BOSTON 132 SACRAMENTO 109
OKLAHOMA CITY 101 LA CLIPPERS 100
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NBA/SCOREBOARD.ASP
BOSTON 2 OTTAWA 1
NASHVILLE 7 BUFFALO 3
MONTRÉAL 3 TAMPA BAY 2
CAROLINA 3 NY RANGERS 2
MINNESOTA 2 NEW JERSEY 1
PHILADELPHIA 6 FLORIDA 3
COLUMBUS 7 WASHINGTON 6
NY ISLANDERS 7 TORONTO 2
DETROIT 3 ST. LOUIS 2
WINNIPEG 2 ARIZONA 1
SEATTLE 5 DALLAS 4
CALGARY 5 ANAHEIM 1
VEGAS 4 VANCOUVER 3
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NHL/SCOREBOARD.ASP
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD
LA DODGERS 4 CLEVELAND 2
SAN FRANCISCO 12 LA DODGERS 1
OAKLAND 6 LA ANGELS 5
CHICAGO WHITE SOX 6 MILWAUKEE 5
LA ANGELS 7 ARIZONA 1
CHICAGO CUBS 6 KANSAS CITY 2
SAN DIEGO 14 COLORADO 2
BALTIMORE 6 BOSTON 2
NY YANKEES 6 DETROIT 3
HOUSTON 2 MIAMI 1
PITTSBURGH 4 PHILADELPHIA 3
WASHINGTON 4 ST. LOUIS 4
MINNESOTA 5 TAMPA BAY 2
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/MLB/SCOREBOARD.ASP
HEAR BOBBY THOMSON’S SHOT HEAR AROUND THE WORLD: http://radiotroy.com/
HEAR TODAY’S POSITIVE SPORTS MOMENT, JOHN HAVLICEK: http://radiotroy.com/
HEAR OBSESSED WITH FOOTBALL, JOHNNY UNITAS: http://radiotroy.com/
HEAR OBSESSED WITH BASEBALL, ROBERTO CLEMENTE: http://radiotroy.com/
TOP INDIANA (RELEASES)
INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL FUTURES ROSTER
INDIANA NORTH TEAM
JALEN HARALSON, 6-6, FISHERS, JR.
KANON CATCHINGS, 6-6, BROWNSBURG, JR.
FLORY BIDUNGA, 6-10, KOKOMO, JR.
JUSTIN SIMS, 6-4, CHESTERTON, JR.
BRAUNTAE JOHNSON, 6-2, FORT WAYNE NORTH SIDE, JR.
TREY BUCHANAN, 6-0, WESTFIELD, JR.
DOMINIQUE MURPHY, 6-5, EAST CHICAGO CENTRAL, SOPH.
CHASE KONIECZNY, 6-4, SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH, SOPH.
GRADY CARPENTER, 6-5, TIPTON, SOPH.
ISAAC ANDREWS, 6-1, WAPAHANI, JR.
AJANI WASHINGTON, 6-2, FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA, JR.
SABIEN CAIN, 6-4, UNIVERSITY, JR.
HEAD COACH: CLINT SWAN, CROWN POINT
ASSISTANT COACH: CLIFF HAWKINS, TIPTON
INDIANA SOUTH TEAM
JACK BENTER, 6-4, BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL, JR.
TRENT SISLEY, 6-7, HERITAGE HILLS, SOPH.
AZAVIER ROBINSON, 6-1, LAWRENCE NORTH, SOPH.
DEZMON BRISCOE, 6-7, CRISPUS ATTUCKS, SOPH.
JOSIAH DUNHAM, 6-1, EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN, JR.
MARK ZACKERY, 6-1, BEN DAVIS, SOPH.
BRAYLON MULLINS, 6-4, GREENFIELD-CENTRAL, SOPH.
BRENNAN MILLER, 6-6, LAWRENCE NORTH, FR.
MICAH DAVIS, 6-2, FRANKLIN, JR.
K.J. WINDHAM, 6-3, BEN DAVIS, JR.
BLAKE NEILL, 6-1, BLOOMFIELD, FR.
TARAY HOWELL, 5-8, EVANSVILLE BOSSE, JR.
HEAD COACH: KIRK MANNS, SEYMOUR
ASSISTANT COACH: JACKSON WILLIAMS, GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN
O’NEIL COMMITS TO COLORADO
Cathedral QB Danny O’Neil committed to Colorado Tuesday and new coach Deion Sanders. “Colorado had been right at the top of his list, along with Illinois and Kentucky,” Cathedral coach Bill Peebles said. “He is a big fan of the offensive coordinator (former Kent State coach Sean Lewis). I think everything going on there with coach Sanders is about putting in work and earning your spot. I think that really appealed to Danny. He is a worker and I think he’s excited for that challenge.”
O’Neil completed 62.9% of his passes this past season for 2,654 yards and 32 touchdowns. In his career O’Neill has thrown for 5,718 passing yards and 67 TDs and 604 rushing yards and 19 TDs.
O’Neill also had offers from Kentucky, Illinois, Louisville, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Syracuse, West Virginia, Wake Forest
COLTS FOOTBALL: AGENTS: COLTS SIGN WR ISAIAH MCKENZIE
Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie signed a contract with the Indianapolis Colts, his agents announced on Tuesday.
SportsTrust Advisors did not disclosed terms of the deal for McKenzie, who was released by the Bills on Friday.
McKenzie, 27, recorded career-high totals in catches (42) and receiving yards (423) while playing in 15 games (eight starts) last season. He also had four touchdown receptions, one shy of his career-best total set in 2020.
McKenzie has 141 catches for 1,345 yards and 11 touchdowns in 80 career games (26 starts) with the Denver Broncos and Bills. He was selected by the Broncos in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL
GAME PREVIEW: PACERS AT RAPTORS
The Pacers are north of the border for the first and only time in the regular season, as Indiana (32-40) takes on the Raptors (35-37) on the second stop of a four-game road trip. The Blue & Gold are 2-0 against Toronto this season, taking a pair of games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Nov. 12 and Jan. 2.
This particular trip to Canada is especially significant to rookies Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard, as it marks the first time either will take part in an NBA game in their native country.
Mathurin, a Montreal native, just returned on Monday in Charlotte after missing four games with sprained ankle. The 20-year-old out of the University of Arizona showed little signs of rust, tallying 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting in 30 minutes in a 115-109 loss to the Hornets.
Nembhard, from the Toronto suburb of Aurora, has slid over to the starting point guard position over the last five games with All-Star Tyrese Haliburton sidelined. The 23-year-old Gonzaga product has equipped himself well in that roll, averaging 16.4 points and 5.6 assists over that span, shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from 3-point range.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More >>
Like the Pacers, the Raptors are fighting to earn a spot in the NBA’s Play-In Tournament, where the teams that finish seventh through 10th in each conference in the regular season compete for the final two playoff spots. While the Pacers are currently in 12th place and 2.5 games back of 10th, the Raptors are in ninth and hoping to move up at least to seventh or eighth (where teams only need to win one Play-In game instead of two to secure a postseason berth).
Toronto boasts a balanced attack, with six players averaging at least 15 points per game. Two-time All-Star Pascal Siakam leads the way, averaging 24.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. Point guard Fred VanVleet is also a major catalyst for the offense, averaging 19.6 points and 7 assists and attempting nearly nine 3-pointers per game.
The Raptors bolstered their frontcourt at the trade deadline, reacquiring 7-1 center Jakob Poeltl from San Antonio. The big man out of Austria was originally drafted by Toronto in 2016 and played two seasons there before being dealt to the Spurs in the trade that brought Kawhi Leonard to Toronto. Poeltl has excelled since returning to the Raptors last month, averaging 15.1 points on 62.3 percent shooting and 9.4 rebounds over his first 16 games back in Toronto.
The turnover battle will be worth watching on Wednesday as the Raptors are one of the NBA’s best teams at both preventing and forcing turnovers. Toronto commits just 11.9 turnovers per game, the lowest average in the league. The Raptors also lead the league in steals, forcing 9.3 per contest, and are ninth in blocks per game (5.1).
Pacers: G – Andrew Nembhard, G – Buddy Hield, F – Bennedict Mathurin, F – Aaron Nesmith, C – Myles Turner
Raptors: G – Fred VanVleet, G – Scottie Barnes, F – O.G. Anunoby, F – Pascal Siakam, C – Jakob Poeltl
Pacers: Chris Duarte – questionable (sore left ankle), Tyrese Haliburton – questionable (right ankle sprain), Kendall Brown – out (right tibia stress fracture)
Raptors: Scottie Barnes – questionable (sore left wrist), Dalano Banton – out (left thumb sprain), Otto Porter Jr. – out (left foot surgery – second toe dislocation)
Jan. 2, 2023: Bennedict Mathurin scored a team-high 21 points as the Pacers’ bench outscored the Raptors’ reserves 54-7 in a 122-114 victory at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
“Our second unit came in and gave us what we needed – force, energy, attacking, unselfish play,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “They were the difference in the game as a whole.”
In addition to Mathurin’s contributions, T.J. McConnell scored 15 points off the bench and fellow reserve Jalen Smith recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Buddy Hield led the starters with 19 points, going 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Myles Turner added 18 points, 10 boards, and two blocks, while Tyrese Haliburton tallied 16 points and eight assists.
Gary Trent Jr. had a game-high 32 points for Toronto, going 11-for-18 from the field and 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. Pascal Siakam added 26 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, while Scottie Barnes registered 23 points, eight boards, and eight dimes.
The Pacers have lost their last 15 regular season games in Toronto, with their last regular-season victory at Scotiabank Arena coming on March 1, 2013. They did win a road game against the Raptors in Tampa, where the Raptors relocated for the 2020-21 season, and also beat the Raptors in Toronto in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series in 2016.
With a win on Wednesday, Indiana would sweep the season series with the Raptors for the first time since 2011-12.
The Pacers have made 995 3-pointers on the season and will set a new franchise record for threes made in a season with their third 3-pointer on Wednesday. The Blue & Gold have set a new franchise record in three of the last four seasons, making 779 3-pointers in 2018-19, 889 in 2020-21, and 997 in 2021-22.
Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)
TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)
After a four-game road trip, the Pacers will return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, March 27 at 7:00 PM ET.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONS READY FOR NCAA MEET
MINNEAPOLIS – Repeat Big Ten Champion Indiana men’s swimming and diving is ready to compete on the national stage.
This week, the No. 6-ranked Hoosiers will look to build on their momentum with 13 qualified student-athletes and all five relays competing at the 2023 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships inside the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.
The action kicks off Wednesday night and runs through Saturday (March 22-25). Streaming is available via the ESPN Plus digital platform.
The 200-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay will be contested on Wednesday night, kicking off the meet. IU is the No. 13 seed in the medley relay after swimming a 1:23.52 at the Big Ten Championships and taking bronze. The program record is a second faster, set at the 2022 conference meet in 1:22.51. IU’s 800 freestyle relay is ranked No. 6 in the country after winning gold at Big Tens in 6:10.80.
Thursday is the first full day with a preliminary session beginning at 10 a.m. CT. Sophomore Luke Barr gets the individual swims started in the 200 IM (1:43.14) leading into the 50 free, where the Hoosiers have four swimmers. Senior Van Mathias leads the group as the No. 13 seed with a 19.00 that won the Big Ten title, followed by junior Gavin Wight (19.26) and sophomores Finn Brooks (19.39) and Rafael Miroslaw (19.46).
Day two also marks the first day of diving. Four Indiana divers qualified for all three events, beginning with the 1-meter springboard on Thursday. Sophomore Carson Tyler was the Big Ten Champion in the event as redshirt senior Andrew Capobianco earned silver, sophomore Quinn Henninger also reached the podium in sixth and freshman Maxwell Weinrich earned max points from the consolation final in ninth.
IU is the No. 12 seed in Thursday’s final event, the 200-yard freestyle relay. Mathias, Wight, Brooks and Miroslaw won the Big Ten title in the event with a 1:16.29, about nine tenths short of the program record set in 2019.
Junior Tomer Frankel, Brooks and senior Brendan Burns start IU’s day Friday in the 100 fly. Frankel finished fifth at the 2022 national meet with a career-best 44.38 while Burns was ninth in 44.54. This season at Big Tens, Frankel (44.66) and Brooks (44.38) earned silver and bronze, respectively. Next up in the 200 free, Miroslaw owns the No. 10 time in the country coming in with a 1:32.10 set at Big Tens and owns a career-best 1:31.89 from a 2022 conference meet relay split.
The 100-yard breaststroke is Indiana’s most loaded event with five athletes competing. Mathias (51.32) and sophomore Josh Matheny (51.50) are the Nos. 11 and 13 seeds backed up by junior Jassen Yep (52.05), Barr (52.68) and junior Maxwell Reich (52.84).
Burns will swim his second event Friday in the 100 back, in which he is seeded No. 4 with a 44.65. A year ago, he was the runner-up in the event with a program record 44.15, faster than the top-seeded swimmer in this year’s meet.
Capobianco will try for his third NCAA title on the 3-meter springboard after medaling three times and earning four first-team All-America honors in the event this far in his career.
IU’s 400 medley relay quartet of Burns, Matheny, Frankel and Miroslaw approached the program record (2:59.70) in 2022 while capturing silver at the national championships with a 3:00.76. The same four earned gold at this year’s conference meet in 3:01.53. The relay will certainly challenge for the national title as the No. 4 seed coming in.
The final individual swimming event highlights IU’s final day as Burns defends his 2023 NCAA title in the 200-yard butterfly. He enters the week as the No. 2 seed after winning his fourth straight Big Ten 200 fly title in 1:39.51, though he swam a program record 1:38.71 to win the national title last year.
Leading into the 200 fly, Indiana has four athletes seeded in both the 100 free and 200 breast. Mathias leads the way in the 100 free as the No. 8 seed (41.58), followed by Miroslaw (42.38), Wight (42.75) and Brooks (43.07). Matheny is 11th in the 200 breast (1:51.23), with Yep (1:52.33), Reich (1:52.35) and Barr (1:54.37) behind.
IU’s four divers will close things out in the platform diving event. At Big Tens, Tyler, Henninger, Capobianco and Weinrich finished first, second, third and fifth in a dominant performance.
The meet will conclude with the 400-yard freestyle relay, IU’s third top-10 relay. Mathias, Wight, Frankel and Miroslaw wrapped up IU’s Big Ten title with a victory in the event, going 2:47.11. That time is just a second off the program record.
Wednesday, March 22 – Saturday, March 25 • 11 a.m. ET (prelims), 7 p.m. ET (finals)
Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center • Minneapolis, Minn.
Live Results (Swimming): http://bit.ly/3JXj0fZ/Meet Mobile App
Live Results (Diving): divemeets.com
Live Stream: espn.com/watch
SCHEDULED EVENTS (Finals)
Wednesday (7 p.m. ET) – 200 Medley Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay
Thursday (7 p.m. ET) – 500 Freestyle, 200 IM, 50 Freestyle, 1-Meter Dive, 400 Medley Relay
Friday (7 p.m. ET) – 100 Butterfly, 400 IM, 200 Freestyle, 100 Breaststroke, 100 Backstroke, 3-Meter Dive, 200 Freestyle Relay
Saturday (7 p.m. ET) – 1,650 Freestyle, 200 Backstroke, 100 Freestyle, 200 Breaststroke, 200 Butterfly, Platform Dive, 400 Freestyle Relay
Luke Barr – 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke, 200 IM
Finn Brooks – 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, 100 Butterfly
Brendan Burns – 100 Backstroke, 100 Butterfly, 200 Butterfly
Andrew Capobianco – 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform
Tomer Frankel – 100 Butterfly, 200 Butterfly
Quinn Henninger – 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform
Josh Matheny – 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke
Van Mathias – 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, 100 Breaststroke
Rafael Miroslaw – 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle
Maxwell Reich – 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke
Carson Tyler – 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform
Maxwell Weinrich – 1-Meter, 3-Meter, Platform
Jassen Yep – 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke
Relays: 200 Freestyle Relay, 400 Freestyle Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay, 200 Medley Relay, 400 Medley Relay
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY
The six-time NCAA Champion IU men’s swimming and diving program has finished top 10 at the national meet in nine of the last 10 seasons and top five in three of the last four. For the sixth-straight season, Indiana finished as the top Big Ten team at the NCAA Championships in 2022 – the best stretch for IU since accomplishing the feat for 15 straight seasons from 1964-78.
Indiana finished fifth at the 2023 championships, scoring 265 points as 13 athletes combined for 38 All-America honors. Burns became the first Hoosier since 1973 to win an NCAA 200 fly title. IU has had a national champion in four straight championships, with 10 in that span between individual swimming, diving and relays.
2023 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
For the second-straight season, fifth time in seven years and 29th time in program history, Indiana men’s swimming and diving is the Big Ten Champion.
Indiana earned 27 medals, 11 individual Big Ten Championships and broke nine pool records over four days at Canham Natatorium on the campus of the University of Michigan. The Hoosiers totaled 1595.5 points to outscore runner-up Ohio State (1,290.5) and the field by over 300 points.
For the third straight season, the IU pair of senior Brendan Burns and redshirt senior Andrew Capobianco earned championship award distinctions. Once more the Big Ten Champion in all five events he swam, Burns was named the Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships. Capobianco and sophomore teammate Carson Tyler shared the Big Ten Diver of the Championships Award as they combined to help IU sweep the diving titles for a second consecutive year.
ELEVEN-RUN SEVENTH LEADS TO MIDWEEK WIN
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – An 11-run outburst in the bottom of the seventh inning helped the Indiana baseball program to a 15-4 victory over Indiana State on Tuesday (March 21) at Bart Kaufman Field. It marked the first double-digit run inning for an IU offense since it scored 11 runs in the seventh inning against Butler on March 23, 2016.
Indiana (13-7) opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the second inning, before Indiana State (8-10) scored one in the third. After a two-run Hoosier home run, the Sycamores tallied three runs in the seventh to knot the score at four runs apiece. IU scored 11 runs in the bottom of the seventh to retake the lead. A solo home run in the ninth for ISU capped the scoring.
All nine starters reached base in the game with eight of them collecting hits, led by three-hit nights from sophomores Carter Mathison and Brock Tibbitts. All three of Mathison’s hits went for extra bases with two doubled and one home run, and he added two runs scored and three RBIs. Tibbitts singled three times, walked once, drove in one RBI and scored four runs in the game.
Freshman Devin Taylor posted his third career multi-RBI game with three runs batted in on a double in the seventh inning and freshman Tyler Cerny added a pair of RBIs in the 11-run frame. Senior Phillip Glasser chipped in a pair of hits for his 13th multi-hit game and ran his hitting streak to 10 games in the process. He scored two runs and has been on base in all 21 games this season.
In all, 11 pitchers saw time on the mound in the game for Indiana with junior Seti Manase starting the contest. He fired a scoreless inning, while (in order of appearance) freshmen Brayden Risedorph, freshman Ethan Phillips, freshman Ayden Decker-Petty, graduate student Gabe Levy and sophomore Ryan Kraft also fired scoreless frames.
Redshirt-senior Craig Yoho (2-0) got the win after he allowed one run on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts. He entered with two runners on base and one out in the seventh.
For Indiana State, six of the seven pitchers used gave up multiple runs with Jacob Pruitt (0-1) saddled with the loss after allowing two runs on one hit over two-thirds innings of work. Four of ISU’s seven hits came in the form of two-hit nights from Seth Gergely and Randal Diaz. Both scored runs in the game and Diaz had one RBI.
Brock Tibbitts started the inning with a base hit and moved to third on a double by Carter Mathison. Bobby Whalen’s sacrifice fly pushed the first run across, and a wild pitch scored the second run of the frame.
Indiana 2, Indiana State 0
Adam Pottinger walked to start the inning against reliever Ben Seiler, moved to second on a Seth Gergely base hit and came in to score on a Randal Diaz base hit.
Indiana 2, Indiana State 1
Tibbitts again singled to start the inning and Mathison followed with his third home run of the season to right-center field.
Indiana 4, Indiana State 1
A strikeout and a pair of walks got the inning starter for ISU against Connor Foley before Craig Yoho entered with two on and one out. A base hit loaded the bases, and a hit-by-pitch pushed the first run of the inning across. Back-to-back walks tied the game, before a pair of strikeouts ended the inning.
Indiana 4, Indiana State 4
In all, 15 batters came to the plate and four batters scored multiple runs in the inning as Indiana broke the game open with an 11-run frame. It is the first double-digit run outburst in a single inning since 2016 (11, Butler – 7th inning). A wild pitch scored the first run of the inning and Tyler Cerny drove in two runs with a base hit. Bobby Whalen produced a pair of RBIs with a single and Josh Pyne drew a bases loaded walk later in the frame. Devin Taylor cleared the bases with a double, Tibbitts added an RBI single and Mathison capped the inning with an RBI double.
Indiana 15, Indiana State 4
A solo home run from pinch hitter Dom Krupinski capped the scoring.
Indiana 4, Indiana State 4
Indiana will continue its homestand with its Big Ten opening series against Ohio State beginning on Friday (March 24). First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. and the game can be seen on B1G+ and heard on the Indiana Sports Radio Network
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS NAMED NAISMITH TROPHY FINALIST
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis was among four players selected as a finalist for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Trip-off Club announced Tuesday. The award is given annually to the Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year.
He joins Zach Edey (Purdue), Drew Timme (Gonzaga), and Jalen Wilson (Kansas) as the men’s finalists. The women’s finalists, Aliyah Boston (South Carolina), Caitlin Clark (Iowa), Elizabeth Kitley (Virginia Tech), and Maddy Siegrist (Villanova), were also named in the release.
Scott May (1976) and Calbert Cheaney (1993) are the only Hoosiers to be named the Naismith Player of the Year in program history.
Jackson-Davis, a consensus All-American, averaged career bests in points (20.9), rebounds (10.8), assists (4.0), and blocked shots (2.9) in his fourth and final season on campus. His scoring average marked the highest for a Hoosier since Eric Gordon (20.9 points per game in 2007-08), his rebounding figure was the highest since Steve Downing (15.1 in 1972-73), and his block number was the most since Dean Garrett (3.4 in 1987-88).
TJD finished the season second among all major conference players in points per game, fourth in rebounds per contest, and third in blocked shots.
During the two-game Hoosier run in the NCAA Tournament, the All-Big Ten First Team performer averaged 23.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 5.0 blocks per game. He posted the first ever 20-point, 10-rebound, 5-assist, 5-block game in NCAA Tournament history in the Indiana win over Kent State in the opening round.
Jackson-Davis finished his collegiate career as the program’s all-time leader in rebounds (1,143) and blocked shots (270), third on the all-time scoring list (2,258), and third in double-doubles (50).
He has been named a Karl Malone Award Finalist, to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Late Season Watch List, the John R. Wooden Men’s National Ballot, and the Naismith Trophy Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist list. TJD was also a unanimous choice for the All-Big Ten First Team by the coaches, media, and Associated Press while also collecting All-Big Ten Defensive Team accolades.
“Each of the remaining candidates demonstrates a fantastic basketball playing ability, and their individual accomplishments reflect their talent and dedication to the sport,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “They have been instrumental to the success of their teams throughout the season, and we would be proud to call any of these finalists a Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy winner.”
“Jersey Mike’s extends its heartfelt congratulations to these eight exceptional basketball players on being named a finalist for this prestigious award,” said Jeff Hemschoot, vice president of marketing at Jersey Mike’s. “Their remarkable skill and dedication have both entertained and awed us throughout the season, and we are proud to honor their amazing accomplishments.”
The 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year announcement will take place on Sunday, April 2 at the Naismith Awards Brunch presented by Frost Bank during the Final Four in Houston. The event will be held at the Ballroom at Bayou Place.
Fans will once again be able to support their favorite finalist through the Naismith Awards Fan Vote presented by Jersey Mike’s, which runs Tuesday, March 21 through Tuesday, March 28 at naismithfanvote.com. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall final vote. Fans may also visit the @MarchMadness Twitter page to vote for their favorite men’s player.
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL
EDEY NAMED FINALIST FOR JERSEY MIKE’S NAISMITH PLAYER OF THE YEAR
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue junior center Zach Edey was named a finalist for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith National Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
Edey is joined by Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, Gonzaga’s Drew Timme and Kansas’ Jalen Wilson as finalists for one of college basketball’s elite individual awards. Edey is looking to become the first Purdue player since Glenn Robinson in 1994 to win the award.
The 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year announcement will take place on Sunday, April 2 at the Naismith Awards Brunch presented by Frost Bank during the Final Four in Houston. The event will be held at the Ballroom at Bayou Place. SiriusXM will simulcast the live announcement on SiriusXM College Sports Radio (Channel 84).
Fans will once again be able to support their favorite finalist through the Naismith Awards Fan Vote presented by Jersey Mike’s, which runs Tuesday, March 21 through Tuesday, March 28 at naismithfanvote.com. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall final vote. Fans may also visit the @MarchMadnessWBB and @MarchMadness Twitter pages to vote for their favorite women’s and men’s player.
The finalists for each category emerged from a group of 10 semifinalists and were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding on-court performances during the 2022-23 regular college basketball season. The vote was tabulated and verified by the Atlanta team of J.S. Held, a global consulting firm.
The winner will be awarded with the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy, produced and provided by Herff Jones, leading provider of graduation and educational products and services designed to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for students. A replica trophy will be donated by Herff Jones to the player’s university.
Edey was named a finalist after one of the most-dominating seasons in college basketball history. He was named a consensus first-team All-American, the second straight season that Purdue has had a consensus All-American (Jaden Ivey, 2022), after averaging 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists per game.
He became the first player in NCAA history (since blocks became an official NCAA stat) to record at least 750 points, 400 rebounds, 70 blocks and 50 assists in a season, ranking sixth nationally in scoring, second in rebounds, 19th in blocked shots and 21st in field goal percentage (.607), the only player in the NCAA database to rank in the top 25 of all four categories in the same season.
He finished the season ranking sixth on Purdue’s single-season chart for points (757), first in rebounds (438), fifth in field goals made (290), 14th in field goal percentage (.607), first in dunks (76) and second in double-doubles (27).
He has scored in double-figures in 51 straight games, the longest streak in the country, and fourth-longest streak in school history.
For his career in 99 games, he has 1,533 points, the most for a player through his junior season in school history, with 847 rebounds, 148 blocks and 106 assists.
He finished the year with eight games of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, the most for a major-college player in the last 20 years, and his 11 games of at least 25 points and 10 rebounds are the most for a Big Ten player in the last 20 years by four games over Luka Garza (Iowa; 7). The 438 rebounds are the fourth most by a player in Big Ten history behind three seasons by Ohio State great Jerry Lucas (1960-62). Edey is just the second player in Big Ten history to lead the league in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage and is one of just nine players (Blake Griffin, Ike Diogu, Antawn Jamison, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Walton, Lew Alcindor, Gary Bradds) to lead a major-college conference in all three categories in NCAA history. Griffin was the last to do so in 2009.
Edey has already won National Player of the Year honors by The Sporting News and Big Ten Player of the Year accolades after helping Purdue to a Big Ten regular-season title and a No. 1 national ranking for seven weeks. He has been named a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the nation’s top center.
Earlier this season, Edey joined an exclusive list of Boilermakers to win the Big Ten Player of the Year, joining the late Caleb Swanigan (2017), JaJuan Johnson (2011), Glenn Robinson (1994) and Steve Scheffler (1990) as winners of the league’s top honor.
Edey was also named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award and earned a spot on the Big Ten’s All-Defensive team.
MARCUS JOHNSON JOINS PURDUE AS OFFENSIVE LINE COACH
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Heading into the start of spring practice, Purdue Football head coach Ryan Walters announced the addition of Marcus Johnson as the Boilermakers’ new offensive line coach. After spending the past three seasons at Missouri, including two as assistant head coach and run game coordinator, Johnson joins Walters’ staff ahead of the 2023 season.
Walters and Johnson previously crossed paths at Missouri during the 2020 campaign when Walters was defensive coordinator and Johnson served as offensive line coach for the Tigers.
“It is exciting to be reunited with Marcus and bring him here to Purdue,” said Walters. “Marcus is a bulldog on the recruiting trail and commands attention as a coach. His experience as a player and now as a coach will immediately help our guys in the offensive line room. Marcus’ character aligns with our program’s core values.”
Johnson has seven years of experience as an offensive line coach with previous stops at Duke (2016-17), Mississippi State (2018-19) and Missouri (2020-22).
With Johnson as run game coordinator last season, Mizzou’s offense rushed for 158.7 yards per game and 19 touchdowns. For the first time since 2018, the ground game featured three 400-yard rushers (Cody Schrader with 692 yards, Brady Cook with 547 yards, Nathaniel Peat with 400 yards). The 2021 season saw Tyler Badie set a new school record for single-season rushing yards (1,604). His 14 touchdowns in 12 games were good for ninth on Missouri’s single season and Top 10 list. Badie was drafted 196th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Ravens.
During his time at Mississippi State, Johnson’s offensive line paved the way for First Team All-SEC running back Kylin Hill to rank second in the league and 16th nationally with 1,350 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, while the Bulldogs’ rushing attack ranked third in the SEC and 21st nationally, averaging 220.6 yards per game in 2019. Johnson’s first season at MSU was also a successful one as his line helped the offense rank second in the SEC in both rushing yards per game (223.6) and yards per rush (5.7). Anchored by center Elgton Jenkins, the 44th overall pick by Green Bay in the 2019 NFL Draft, the offensive line helped MSU rush for 300 or more yards in an SEC-best four games.
Johnson began his career at Duke, serving as an assistant strength and conditioning coach (2011-12) before moving to offensive quality control coach (2013-15). Prior to the 2016 season, Johnson was elevated to become the Blue Devils’ o-line coach.
An All-SEC offensive lineman at Ole Miss, Johnson was selected in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He spent four seasons in Minnesota before splitting 2009 between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.
Johnson joins Purdue just in time, as the Boilermakers begin spring practice Tuesday evening (March 21). The practices are the first under Walters and the new staff, with 15 throughout the next month.
HOME RUNS POWER PURDUE TO 9-2 VICTORY VS. INDIANA STATE
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Boilermaker softball team split their doubleheader vs. Indiana State in the season’s home-opener at Bittinger Stadium, ending the day with a 9-2 victory, backed a grand slam by Alex Echazarreta to seal the win. The victory comes on the heels of a 2-6 loss to the Sycamores earlier in the day.
With the result, Purdue moves to 4-4 over its last eight games and a 15-13 record heading into Big Ten play.
GAME TWO: Purdue 9, Indiana State 2
Three Boilermakers notched homers in the game, including a grand slam by Alex Echazarreta, a home run by Tyrina Jones and a 2-run dinger by Jade Moy. Echazarreta’s fourth-inning grand slam was the first of the season and served as the game-winner.
In the circle, Madi Elish secured the team win after a complete game performance, which included a strikeout to end the game. The sophomore allowed five hits and no walks in the matchup.
Leadoff Jordyn Ramos led the game with two runs while Echazarreta secured a team-leading three hits and four RBI.
Purdue’s nine runs in the game mark the second-most in a single outing this season (most: 12 vs. Syracuse, 2/17/23). Meanwhile, the team’s three homers are the most in a single game this year.
GAME ONE: Purdue 2, Indiana State 6
The Boilermakers opened the day with a 2-6 loss against the Sycamores. After Indiana State took a 4-0 lead after the first 3.5 innings, the Boilermakers fought back with two runs of their own, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
Freshman pinch hitter Bella Bacon secured her first career RBI in the fourth inning when she singled, sending Echazarreta home from second base.
Echazarreta scored from second base on a single by pinch hitter Bella Bacon in the fourth inning to cut Indiana State’s lead, 1-4. Then in the sixth inning, Kyndall Bailey recorded Purdue’s second run of the day after advancing home on an error by the Sycamore catcher.
The Boilermakers were out-hit 6-10 in the game.
Although senior Mo Wimpee started the game, tossing 3.1 innings with three hits, one run and five strikeouts allowed, relief pitcher Echazarreta is tagged the loss, moving to 5-8 on the season.
Purdue will begin Big Ten play this weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Boilermakers will take on the Huskers in a trio of games, slated for Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET, Saturday at 2 p.m. ET and Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. All three games will be streamed on B1G+.
Purdue’s next home game will be next Wednesday, March 29 with a doubleheader vs. Indiana beginning at 3 p.m. ET. The games will be aired live on Big Ten Network. Admission to all Purdue softball home games are free.
BUTLER WOMEN’S LAX
BUTLER WLACROSSE FACES CINCINNATI IN MID-WEEK MATCHUP
Gameday Information – Butler at Cincinnati
DATE: Wednesday, March 22
LOCATION: Cincinnati, Ohio / Nippert Stadium
LIVE STATS: bearcatstats.com
LIVE VIDEO: ESPN+
Link: Full Notes
The Bulldogs will travel to Ohio on Wednesday to take on the Bearcats. Butler enters the matchup 2-3 on the season while Cincinnati comes in at 7-3.
- Maggie Zentgraf is in her first season as head coach at Butler. She previously coached at Division III Lake Forest, going 11-4 in the program’s first-ever season.
- The Bulldogs went 6-9 in the 2022 season, setting a program-record in wins.
- With 64 career goals, Campbell Connors is now two goals away from becoming the program’s all-time leader.
- Butler’s triple-overtime contest against Winthrop was the longest game in program history. It was also the first time that a game had gone into overtime.
- Both Tessa Fackrell and Elise Latham scored their first goals of the season against Winthrop on Sunday.
- Kayleigh Colleary has recorded two assists in each of her last three games.
- Butler ranks second in the Big East in shots on goal per game with 22.6.
- The Bulldogs also rank second in the Big East in draw controls with 17.8.
- Leah Rubino is two goals away from passing her season total (12) a year ago.
Last Time Out
This past Sunday, Butler lost 10-9 to Winthrop in triple overtime. The contest was the first game in program history to go into overtime, as well as the longest game in program history. Five different players scored a goal, four of them scoring two goals in the contest. Emmie Ridgeway led the team in points with three (two goals, one assist). Leah Rubino, Tessa Fackrell and Kaley Attaway also scored two goals. Elise Latham scored her first goal of the season and Kayleigh Colleary recorded two assists for the third consecutive game.
Scouting the Bearcats
- Butler is 0-4 all-time against Cincinnati.
- The last matchup between the Bulldogs and Bearcats saw Cincinnati edge Butler 16-12 on March 25, 2022.
- Cincinnati averages 17.5 goals in the series versus Butler.
- The Bearcats enter this game coming off a 19-6 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday. Ava Goeller scored a career-high seven goals in the win.
- Bearcats goalie Ashley Lapp has 68 saves this season and allows an average of 9.92 goals per game.
BUTLER DEFEATS EASTERN MICHIGAN 9-7
INDIANAPOLIS – The Bulldogs won their second-straight game on Wednesday night by posting a 9-7 victory over visiting Eastern Michigan. Butler scored five of their nine runs in the bottom of the second inning. Nick Miketinac was credited with the win (1-0) while Aaron Barokas picked up the save (1).
The Bulldogs used a sac fly in the first inning to take a lead, but the game was quickly tied with an EMU run in the top of the second. The bottom half of the inning was huge for BU as the ‘Dawgs scored five runs off three hits. Joey Urban singled through the right side to score two, Lukas Galdoni walked with the bases loaded to add a run and Jake DeFries would push a ball to center for a sac fly.
The ‘Dawgs added a run in the sixth with Urban hitting a triple to lead-off the frame. He came around to score on a wild pitch with Carter Dorighi at the dish.
Insurance runs came in the seventh for Butler. Carter Dorighi singled through the left side of the infield to score Billy Wurch and a bases loaded walk with Kollyn All in the game would help BU come out on top.
Urban was 2-for-4 in the game with two RBI and two runs scored. Dorighi led the team with three hits while adding an RBI and a run. BU also got two hits and two runs from Wurch in his starter at third base.
BU will look to ride this momentum into tomorrow when they face Ball State in Muncie. First pitch for that contest has been moved up to 2 PM.
BUTLER SOFTBALL HOSTS IUPUI FOR MIDWEEK CONTEST
Game Information – Butler vs. IUPUI
DATE: Wednesday, March 22
LOCATION: Indianapolis, Ind. / Butler Softball Field
LIVE STATS: butlersports.com
LIVE VIDEO: N/A
The Butler softball team hosts nearby foe, IUPUI, on Wednesday, Mar. 22. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. The Bulldogs (8-18, 3-0 BIG EAST) are coming off a 5-4 win over Purdue Fort Wayne, while the Jaguars (3-14, 0-0 Horizon League) most recently lost a doubleheader to Indiana State. (IUPUI is scheduled to play a doubleheader with Oakland on Tuesday afternoon.)
(as of 3/19/23)
- Kieli Ryan has thrown out 8 runners attempting to steal. She sits atop the BIG EAST and is 19th nationally in that category. With 6 doubles, she ranks sixth in the conference in doubles per game.
- Monique Hoosen is fifth in the BIG EAST with 5 home runs. With 18 for her career, she is 7th on Butler’s all-time list.
- Kaylee Gross has four sacrifice bunts this season, which ranks second in the BIG EAST in per-game average.
- Paige Dorsett is 7-for-13 (.538) in the last four games, including two doubles vs. Purdue Fort Wayne last Wednesday.
- Butler’s second BIG EAST series with St. John’s (Mar. 17-19) was canceled due to cold weather.
SCOUTING IUPUI (3-14, 0-0 Horizon League)
Series: IUPUI leads, 42-34-2
last game- Apr. 26, 2022, at Butler: Butler 5, IUPUI 0
Butler has won the previous eight contests
IUPUI last won in 2015, taking two games by scores of 8-3 and 7-0
2023 wins: Syracuse, Southern Indiana, Green Bay
2023 losses include: Indiana, Wisconsin, Seton Hall, Indiana State
IUPUI vs. (opponents)
ERA: 4.58 – 1.67
- Kennedy Cowan (.381) 16 H, 3 HR, 5 RBI
- Jaida Speth (.349) 6 2B
- Morgan Gilbert (.306) 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 SB
- Alexa Holman (1-3) 3.97 ERA, 16 K
- Madison Bryant (0-6) 3.98 ERA, 49 K
- Carly Metcalf (1-5) 5.97 ERA, 21 K
IUPUI WOMEN’S TENNIS
WINNING STREAK HITS SIX AS JAGS SWEEP ROSE-HULMAN
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI women’s tennis team advanced its winning streak to six straight matches on Tuesday (Mar. 21) as the Jaguars swept both ends of a twinbill over Rose-Hulman, 7-0 and 4-0 at the on-campus tennis courts. It marks the Jaguars’ fourth and fifth consecutive shutout victories.
In the opener, IUPUI (8-8) cruised to an easy win with all six singles matches ending in straight sets following the doubles clinch. Meghan Bernard and Samantha Hayward won at No. 1 doubles 6-2 while Sarah Lounsbury and Makenzie Myers teamed up on a 6-1 win at No. 2. The freshman tandem of Emma Dell and Grace Lampman authored a 6-0 win at No. 3 doubles.
In singles play, Myers defeated Rose-Hulman’s Taylor Goldman at the top spot, 6-1, 6-4 while four other Jaguars – Bernard, Hayward, Dell and Lampman – all won their matches by 6-0, 6-0 scores. Lounsbury secured her win at No. 6 singles by a 6-0, 6-1 marker.
After a brief respite, the same two teams went at it again with similar results.
Bernard and Hayward won 6-0 at No. 1 doubles this time while Myers teamed with Lounsbury on a 6-2 win at the No. 2 position. Marta Krakowski and Sofia Castillo paired up for a 6-2 win at No. 3 doubles.
The teams played until the clinch in singles play with Bernard, Lampman and Lounsbury earning victories. Bernard won at No. 1 by a 6-0, 6-0 score and Lampman won by the same score at No. 4 singles. Lounsbury earned her win at No. 5 by a 6-0, 6-1 score, moving her personal winning streak to seven straight matches.
Myers, Dell and Krakowski all had commanding leads when play ended.
IUPUI will continue play on Friday (Mar. 24) when it takes on Butler at 2:00 p.m. on the Bulldogs’ campus.
JAGS SPLIT DOUBLEHEADER TO OPEN HORIZON LEAGUE PLAY
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI softball team opened Horizon League play when they split a doubleheader with Oakland on Tuesday. The Jags fell in the first game, 8-1 but evened the day with a walk off win in game two, 6-5.
IUPUI took the lead in game one in the bottom of the first inning with one run on four hits. Kendal Calvert reached on a bunt single then after advancing to third base, Rachel Gregory knocked a single to center field to score Calvert.
In the top of the second inning, Oakland took the lead with seven runs on four hits. The Jags couldn’t answer as the Golden Grizzlies’ Sydney Campbell threw six scoreless innings after the one-run first to seal the victory. Oakland added an insurance run in the top of the sixth to finish the game at, 8-1.
Carly Metcalf took the loss on the mound giving up five runs on two hits and five walks with 11 strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work. Gregory went 2-for-3 at the plate with the lone RBI. Calvert, Kayla Freiberg, Victoria Sivert and Jaida Speth each recorded a hit as well.
After the loss, the Jags rallied to split the doubleheader with a game two victory in walk off fashion, 6-5.
The Jags once again took an early lead with one run in the bottom of the second inning. Kasie Keyes singled up the middle to score Gregory giving the Jags the 1-0 lead. IUPUI extended their lead to 2-0 when Gregory doubled to right center scoring Calvert in the third frame.
In the top of the fourth inning, Oakland took the lead with four runs on four hits. The Jags wasted no time, tying the game at 4-4 with two runs in the bottom half of the fourth. Speth continued her successful second game with a triple to center field to score Sivert then Kennedy Cowan singled to left field to score Speth.
The Golden Grizzlies once again took the lead with one run in the top of the fifth frame when Taylor Carraway singled up the middle to score Reese Ruhlman, 5-4.
IUPUI tied the game with one run in the bottom of the sixth inning with a double from Calvert to score Speth. With the game tied at five runs each, Madison Bryant and the IUPUI defense shut down the Oakland’s offense, going three up, three down.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Jags put two runners on with two outs for Speth to knock her fourth hit of the day scoring Keyes to walk it off, 6-5.
Bryant earned her first win of the season throwing a complete game giving up five runs on eight hits with five walks and nine strikeouts. Speth led the Jaguar offense going 4-for-4 with two runs, two RBI, a double and a triple. Cowan, Calvert and Sivert each collected two hits while Gregory, Jordan Jenkins and Keyes knocked one hit each.
With the split, IUPUI is now 4-15 and 1-1 in the Horizon League. The Jags are set to travel across town for a 5:00 PM first pitch at Butler tomorrow, March 22.
BALL STATE BASEBALL
CARDINALS WELCOME BULLDOGS FOR MIDWEEK NON-CONFERENCE MATCHUP
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team returns to action for a midweek contest with Butler. The Cardinals welcome back former assistant coach and player, Blake Beemer, and the Bulldogs back to Muncie. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Cardinals are coming off a series sweep over the Toledo Rockets. Ball State enters Wednesday with a 13-6 record, while Butler is 3-13.
Gold Glove Peltier
At the conclusion of last season, Ryan Peltier was honored as the best defensive third baseman in the NCAA and received an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove. After being named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year and earning a spot on the All-MAC Second Team for back-to-back seasons, Peltier was awarded the first Gold Glove in BSU history. He was a 2023 Preseason All-American honoree from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Peltier leads the Cardinals with a .429 batting average. He has pelted a team-best six homers and has a team-high 20 RBIs. His six home runs are tied for 90th in the NCAA and tied for fifth in the conference. He has a slugging percentage of .779, which is tied for 49th in the country and second in the MAC. Peltier has scored 26 runs, which is tied for 38th in the NCAA and is fifth the MAC.
What Can Brown Do for You?
Ryan Brown was named the No. 49 prospect in college baseball by D1 Baseball. Brown was the only Mid-American Conference player selected to the top-100 list. He was also tabbed as one of the top mid-major prospects for the 2023 season. Brown also landed on the 2023 MLB Draft: Rising Righthanded Pitchers watch list. Last season, Brown earned recognition as a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-American along with the MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year. He also earned a spot on the All-MAC Second Team.
Brown is currently tied for 63rd in the NCAA with 35 strikeouts. He his 3-1 on the year and has thrown 17 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .150 against him for the season.
Scouting the Cardinals
Matthew Rivera is second on the team with a .370 batting average. He has 18 RBIs, 10 runs scored, six doubles, and four home runs. He has a slugging percentage of .761. Adam Tellier is third on the squad with a .351 average. He has 18 runs scored, 10 RBIs, nine walks, six doubles, two triples, and one home run. Decker Scheffler is fourth on the squad with a .340 batting average. He has 14 RBIs, 11 runs scored, three doubles, two homers, and one triple. Blake Bevis is hitting .333. He is tied for second on the team with 18 RBIs and is tied for second in home runs with four. He has scored 14 runs and has seven doubles. Andrew Wilhite is batting .323 with 10 runs scored, nine RBIs, and two home runs. Nick Gregory might only be hitting .244, but he leads the team with 19 walks. He has scored 18 runs and driven in four runs.
The Cardinal pitching staff is led by Trennor O’Donnell with a 1.95 ERA. He has 32 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings of work. Tanner Knapp as added 20 1/3 innings in seven relief appearances for the Cardinals. Knapp has 21 strikeouts on the year. Jacob Hartlaub is third on the team with 24 strikeouts.
Ball State vs. Butler: The Series
Ball State and Butler will meet for the 122nd time on Wednesday. The Cardinals hold a 72-48 series lead. Ball State is 40-21 at home against Butler. The Cardinals have won the last four games, with the most recent being a 16-10 win on April 4, 2021.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Butler is led by Joey Urban who is hitting .278 with a team-high 14 RBIs. He also paces the squad with four home runs and 10 runs scored. Carter Dorighi is second on the team with a .261 average with 11 RBIs, eight runs scored, two doubles, and one triple. Alex Voss leads the pitching staff with a 3.38 ERA in 21 1/3 innings. Cory Bosecker has a team-best 36 strikeouts and has a 4.38 ERA.
BALL STATE SOFTBALL
MURPHY NAMED MAC SOFTBALL PITCHER OF THE WEEK
CLEVELAND, Ohio – – After a solid relief effort in Friday’s win over Kent State, Ball State softball freshman Bridie Murphy has been named the Mid-American Conference West Division Pitcher of the Week.
Murphy picked up her first career MAC pitching victory by throwing 6.0 innings of solid relief work against the Golden Flashes. She limited KSU to four hits and four unearned runs, while striking out four of the 24 batters she faced.
She also held Kent State to a .190 batting average during her time in the circle.
Murphy and the rest of the Ball State softball team are slated to return to action Friday, when they welcome Central Michigan to the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex for the 2023 home opener. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S LAX
CHOMA NAMED ACC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – As announced by the ACC on Tuesday afternoon, Kasey Choma has earned conference weekly honors, after two big wins against Virginia Tech and Liberty.
In the conference matchup over Virginia Tech, Kasey Choma had a career day, scoring a personal high eight goals, which also matches her career high for points in a game.
Choma had yet another standout game only days later as she tallied a hat trick in the win over Liberty. She now has a team-high six hat tricks on the season.
The Irish travel east to take on Virginia in a ranked ACC showdown at Klockner Stadium. The game is slated to start at noon ET on Saturday, March 25 and will air on ACCN.
NOTRE DAME SWIMMING
HOAGLAND, GUILIANO HEADLINE NOTRE DAME’S NCAA CONTINGENT
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Eight Notre Dame men will conclude their seasons this weekend, as the group heads to Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota for the 2023 NCAA Championships from March 22-25.
Senior Jack Hoagland, sophomore Chris Guiliano and freshman Tommy Janton will compete in individual events.
Hoagland, a senior out of New Mexico, will swim the 400 IM and 500 and 1650 freestyle. He won the 400 IM at ACCs (3:41.15), took fourth in the 1650 (14:48.82) and fifth in the 500 (4:16.31). He holds the school record in the 400 IM (3:40.73).
Guiliano had a breakout meet in Greensboro a few weeks ago, winning his first ACC title in the 200 freestyle (1:32.43). He also finished third in the 50 (18.93) and 100 freestyle (41.85). The sophomore from Pennsylvania broke the school records in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle with those aforementioned times. He subsequently broke his own record with an 18.88 leadoff performance in a time-trialed 200 freestyle relay. Guiliano will compete in each of those events in Minneapolis.
Freshman Tommy Janton is the final swimmer with individual events to swim at NCAAs, as he will compete in the 100 and 200 backstroke. Janton broke the school record in the 100 backstroke (45.61) and went 1:41.08 in the 200 backstroke, which ranks third all-time at Notre Dame. He was an A finalist in both events in Greensboro.
Four additional swimmers will be in Minneapolis for relays: Alec DeLong, Sean Faikish, Thacher Scannell and Cason Wilburn. All three school freestyle relay school records were broken at ACCs. Guiliano’s lead-off leg in the 200 was followed by Stephan Lukashev, Cason Wilburn and Colton Paulson. The 400 was Guiliano, Wilburn, Alec DeLong and Thacher Scannell, and the 800 was Guiliano, Paulson, Hoagland and DeLong. The 400 freestyle relay team got the NCAA A cut with a time of 2:50.14.
Daniel Knapp is the lone representative for the men’s divers after a standout freshman year. Knapp took fifth in the 1-meter (688.00) at Zone C Championships in Bloomington a few weeks ago, qualifying him for his first NCAA appearance in as many tries.
NOTRE DAME SOFTBALL
IRISH OPEN HOME SCHEDULE WITH RUN-RULE WIN FOR THE THIRD-STRAIGHT SEASON
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team opened the 2023 home schedule with an 11-3 five-inning victory over the visiting Miami (OH) Red Hawks. The Fighting Irish have now opened the home schedule with a run-rule shortened victory in each of the last three home openers. Notre Dame improves to 17-7 on the season, while the Red Hawks fall to 14-9.
Payton Tidd got the ball to start. The graduate student worked 4.0 innings in the circle to earn the win. She gave up five hits and two earned runs, while striking out four. Her four strikeouts tie her for ninth all-time in program history, with 445 total punch outs. Shannon Becker worked the fifth, giving up a run and recording a strikeout.
The Irish offense went for 13 hits in the contest, with two players driving in four runs each. That equals the total number of four-RBI performances during the 2023 season to this point. Joley Mitchell went a perfect 3-for-3 with four RBI and hit a home run. Leea Hanks added a 3-for-4 performance with a homer of her own and a homer. Carlli Kloss and Payton Tidd added a pair of two-hit performances. Tidd drove in two with Kloss adding on RBI. Karina Gaskins, Jane Kronenberger and Mickey Winchell each added a hit in the win.
How It Happened
The Irish took a lead in the bottom of the first inning, scoring three times. With two outs, a double from Gaskins started the rally. Lexi Orozco walked and Mitchell drove a single through the left side to score one and both moved up on the play at the plate. Tidd drove a single up the middle that was cut off by a diving shortstop who flipped to the second baseman who fired home attempting get Mitchell trying to score. The Red Hawk catcher mishandled it, as Mitchell scored and Tidd took second on the play.
Miami cut into the lead the following half inning, connecting on a two-run home run to cut the lead to 3-2, Irish.
A three-run homer by Hanks extended the Irish lead in the fourth to 8-2. Singles from Kronenberger and Kloss put two on for Hanks to hammered it over the wall in right center.
Back-to-back singles started the fifth for the Red Hawks. A ground ball moved them into scoring position and a fielder’s choice brought in a run to cut the lead to 8-3.
Mitchell led off the bottom of the fifth with a bang, hitting a solo home run to extend the lead to 9-3. The Irish added two more runs to end the game with a run-rule victory. Tidd and Winchell singled to put two on. Kloss drove a hit back up the middle to bring in one, and Hanks ended the game with a single to left center to drive in Winchell to give the Irish the 11-3 victory.
The Irish return to the field tomorrow night as they take on the Western Michigan Broncos at 5 p.m. at Melissa Cook Stadium.
NOTRE DAME BASEBALL
IRISH DEFEAT VALPARAISO IN HOME OPENER
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Valparaiso Beacons in an 8-4 win in their home opener at Frank Eck Stadium on Tuesday, March 21. The Irish advance to 10-8 on the season after today’s midweek matchup as they prepare to host the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals in their first conference series at home this weekend.
How it Happened
The Beacons put their first run of the day on the board in the first inning and took the lead 2-0 in the top of the third, while the Irish were still looking for their first hit of the day.
In the bottom of the third, TJ Williams led off the inning with a single to left field, but was caught stealing on the next play with Coetzee up to the plate. Coetzee followed with a fly out to right field with Zack Prajzner was due up for the Irish. Prajzner launched the ball to deep left field for his first home run of the year and to put the Irish on the board.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the fourth, the Irish held the Beacons scoreless in the top of the inning. Carter Putz led off the bottom of the fourth and reached via a walk, followed by a Jack Penney double down the right field line to put both Putz and Penney in scoring position. Jack Zyska was at the plate and hungry for a hit as he sent the ball over the fence in left field for a three-run home run. Zyska’s first home run of the year gave the Irish the 4-2 advantage heading into the top of the inning.
After a scoreless fifth and sixth for the Irish and the Beacons, Valpo was able to tie it up after scoring two runs in the top of the seventh. A single through the right side and a walked batter put runners on first and second for the Beacons. A double down the right field line would score both of them to tie it up at 4-4.
Prajzner would start the top of the seventh with a walk, but Danny Neri would advance him on a sac bunt to the third baseman to put Prajzner in scoring position. Putz ripped a ball down the middle for a base hit and recorded an RBI as he sent Prajzner home to take the lead 5-4. Penney followed with a single to left field as he advanced Putz to second. Zyska was walked and it was bases loaded for the Irish. Nick Juaire had a big-time single through the right side to send home both Penney and Putz and extend the Notre Dame lead to 7-4.
Brady Gumpf came in as a pinch runner for Juaire. As he went to steal second, the Beacons tried to catch him stealing and while Gumpf was safe on the attempt, Zyska would steal home as the play unfolded to add on the fourth run of the inning.
The Irish held the Beacons scoreless in the eighth and ninth, going three up, three down to close the game and take home the 8-4 win at Frank Eck.
David Lally Jr. made his second career start on the mound, throwing 2.1 innings and allowing two runs off of five hits. He was relieved in the third inning by Carter Bosch, who recorded a season-high six strikeouts across 3.2 innings and gave up no runs while allowing only two hits. Sammy Cooper came in to close in the top of the seventh, taking home his second win of the season.
The Irish will resume conference play as they host No. 2 Louisville for a three-game series starting Friday, March 24 at Frank Eck.
INDIANA STATE FOOTBALL
MALLORY ANNOUNCES ADDITIONS OF ALEX MITCHELL, LOGAN HALE TO SYCAMORE FOOTBALL COACHING STAFF
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State head football coach Curt Mallory announced the additions of Alex Mitchell and Logan Hale to the Sycamore coaching staff on Tuesday afternoon.
Mitchell comes back to the ISU staff and will serve as the new running back coach, while Hale will work with the Indiana State defensive ends.
“I look forward to having these great young coaches join the Indiana State staff,” Mallory said. “Alex (Mitchell) showcased his hard work and dedication to the team over the last year and is a great fit working with our running back unit. Logan (Hale) brings a lot of passion and energy to the defensive room and will be an asset to our team.”
Mitchell takes over a deep running back room that features All-Conference selection Justin Dinka (895 rushing yards, 5.8ypc) and Tee Hodge, as well as Dawson Basinger, Plez Lawrence, CJ Cooper, Korbin Allen, and Ethan Cain in the mix for snaps this spring.
Mitchell previously served as a graduate assistant at Indiana State in the fall of 2022 working extensively with the tight end group and the special teams unit. Among his responsibilities included creating pre-game tests for the tight ends, as well as breaking down opponent fronts, stunts, and blitzes identified during games. He also actively participated in the opponent game planning and conducted scout team meetings with the ISU defensive line and linebackers.
As a part of his special teams responsibilities, Mitchell coordinated the scout teams and was responsible for identifying and communicating opponent schemes during games from the coaches’ box.
Prior to his time at Indiana State, Mitchell coached as Western Michigan University from 2020-2022 first as an offensive quality control coach (2020 & 2021) and then as a defensive graduate assistant (2022). Over his final season at WMU he worked primarily with the defensive linemen, as well as assisting with scout cards, inputting game and practice film data, breaking down opponent film, and managing and running the defensive scout team.
While working offensive quality control, Mitchell worked with the WMU quarterbacks assisting with drills, pre-game warmups, and post-game analysis. He also conducted regular film sessions and meetings with one of the top offensive efficiency groups in the MAC.
Mitchell earned his coaching start at Kenyon College from 2018-20 working with the wide receivers and the running backs. He helped implement and run individual position drills, as well as created scouting reports and analysis of the opposing linebackers and special teams.
Mitchell posted a two-year playing career at Division III Kenyon College earning Scout Team Captain honors before his playing career ended due to three major knee surgeries.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from Kenyon College in May 2020 and completed his master’s in Sport Performance Program from Western Michigan in May 2022.
Hale joins the Indiana State football team by way of Ball State University where he served the last year as a defensive graduate assistant with the Cardinals. He takes over a strong defensive end unit that was a key part of an ISU defense that boasted 23.0 sacks and 63.0 tackles-for-loss in 2022.
Hale worked primarily with the defensive line and inside linebackers during his time at Ball State. Over his tenure he was responsible for opponent run game and pass protection breakdown, as well as coached individual positions on both the BSU kickoff and kickoff return teams. Additionally, he worked from the coaches box diagnosing and communicating personnel, calls, and opponent run plays, while working with special teams substitutions and formations.
Prior to his time at BSU, Hale coached two years at the University of Indianapolis (2020-22) as the outside linebacker coach. Hale directed position meetings and handled all responsibilities for the unit as well as working with opponent run game and pass protection breakdown. During his time at Indianapolis, the Greyhounds were the top-ranked Great Lakes Valley Conference defense in the spring of 2021 leading the way in yards per game, rushing yards per game, passing yards per game, and points allowed. Three linebackers earned First Team All-GLVC honors during his coaching tenure.
Hale’s first coaching stint came at Franklin College where he served as the inside linebackers coach from 2019-2020. He managed the quality control team at Franklin in addition to running position meetings and handling all linebacker film grading responsibilities. Franklin boasted the top run defense in the HCAC during his tenure and he coached Second Team All-HCAC selection Brayton Shannon.
Hale was a four-year letter winner with the Franklin College football team and a two-year letter winner on the Franklin Track & Field program. He earned All-Conference honorable mention honors in 2018 and was a member of the Franklin Football Leadership Council.
He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in elementary education in May 2018.
SEVENTH-INNING RALLY LEADS INDIANA PAST INDIANA STATE ON TUESDAY NIGHT
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana set 16 batters to the plate and scored 11 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to break the game open against visiting Indiana State as the Sycamores fell at Bart Kaufman Stadium to the Hoosiers, 15-5.
The Sycamores (8-11) tied the game up at 4-4 following a three-run rally in the top of the seventh inning. ISU loaded the bases with one out as Josue Urdaneta and Seth Gergely drew back-to-back walks and Randal Diaz singled to right field. Luis Hernandez was hit by a pitch from IU reliever Craig Yoho (2-0) to bring home the first run, while Keegan Watson and Parker Stinson followed with walks to knot the score up.
The first four Hoosiers (14-7) reached base in the bottom half of the seventh to spark the go-ahead 11-run inning. Bobby Whalen connected on a two-run single and Devin Taylor added a three-run double to highlight the scoring. IU took advantage of three batters getting hit by a pitch and three walks to aid the Hoosier offense and Carter Mathison and Brock Tibbitts also drove in runs in the frame as IU broke the game open.
Seth Gergely and Randal Diaz posted two hits apiece for the Sycamores in the midweek loss. Dom Krupinski added a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning, while Diaz, Hernandez, Watson, and Sears also recorded RBI.
Brennyn Cutts went the first 3.0 innings in the start as the sophomore right-hander allowed three hits and two runs while striking out two. Jacob Pruitt (0-1) took the loss on the mound in a relief stint, while Cam Edmonson, Joey Hurth, Kyle Cortner, Luke Patzner, and Cole Gilley all saw time on the mound.
Brock Tibbitts and Carter Mathison paced the Hoosiers with three hits apiece in the Indiana win. Tibbitts scored a team-high four runs, while Devin Taylor and Mathison had three RBI apiece. Mathison finished with two doubles and a home run for the Hoosiers.
How They Scored
Bobby Whalen put Indiana ahead early with an RBI sacrifice fly and Carter Mathison scored on a wild pitch to put the Hoosiers ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the second.
Randal Diaz singled home Adam Pottinger in the top of the third to cut the IU lead down to 2-1.
Mathison added to Indiana’s lead in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run home run to right center scoring Brock Tibbitts to put the Hoosiers ahead 4-1.
ISU tied the game up at 4-4 in the top of the seventh as the Sycamores loaded the bases with one out. Luis Hernandez was hit by a pitch scoring Josue Urdaneta and Keegan Watson and Parker Stinson both drew bases-loaded walks to tie the game up at 4-4 heading into the stretch.
Indiana sent 16 batters to the plate on their way to an 11-run seventh inning highlighted by Devin Taylor’s three-run double to put the Hoosiers ahead 15-4.
ISU’s Dom Krupinski connected on a solo shot to left field with two outs in the top of the ninth to provide the final margin in the game.
News & Notes
Seth Gergely and Luis Hernandez were both hit by pitches to run ISU’s Missouri Valley-leading total to 42 on the season.
Dom Krupinski became the 11th Sycamore to homer in the 2023 season as the freshman went opposite field just to the right of the IU bullpen in the top of the ninth inning.
Mike Sears ran his career-best on-base streak to 15 games following his two-out single in the second inning.
Luis Hernandez continued his double-digit on-base streak now at 12 consecutive games following his second-inning leadoff walk.
Adam Pottinger was walked in both the third and fourth innings to run his streak to nine consecutive games.
Grant Magill threw out his seventh baserunner of the season after throwing out IU’s Phillip Glasser in the bottom of the third inning.
Indiana State returns to Bob Warn Field this weekend as the Sycamores open Missouri Valley play with a three-game series against Valparaiso running from March 24-26. First pitch in Friday’s opener is set for 3 p.m. ET. All three games will be streamed live on ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S GOLF
MASTODON WOMEN’S GOLF GOES TOE-TO-TOE WITH SOME OF LEAGUE’S BEST
PROSPECT, Ky. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s golf team was just one shot behind Oakland and beat three other Horizon League programs at the Nevel Meade Collegiate on Tuesday (March 21).
Oakland, who was picked to finish second in the Horizon League, shot 632 to place fifth. The Mastodons were one shot back with a 633. The ‘Dons beat Cleveland State (638), Northern Kentucky (652) and Detroit Mercy (653). Purdue Fort Wayne’s second round of 307 was the second-best in the field on Tuesday, only behind Central Michigan’s 305. The Chippewas won the event with a 602.
Anna Olafsdottir moved up 16 spots on the leaderboard, moving into a tie for 17th after her 80-75-155. She rebounded from two bogeys to start the round with a par and a birdie on her next two holes. Before she made the turn to the front, she birdied hole 18, the 428-yard par-5.
Laura Caetano was one shot back of Olafsdottir to tie for 17th place. After a bogey to open the round, Caetano rattled off five pars in a row. The senior from Brazil had two birdies after making the turn to the front nine, coming on holes two and five. She finished her round with seven bogey-free holes, starting with the birdie on five.
Luiza Caetano and Arny Dagsdottir tied for 32nd with a pair of 161’s. Caetano parred her opening hole, then birdied 14 two holes later. She was even after five holes. She had six pars on the front nine to finish her tournament with an 81-80-161. Dagsdottir had nothing worse than a bogey on Tuesday, firing a 77 to improve upon her first round of 84. She had 11 pars and a birdie on hole six.
Natalie Papa shot 86-83-169 to tie for 61st. She had seven pars.
Purdue Fort Wayne’s 633 was good for sixth overall in the 13-team field.
The Mastodons will be off until April 15, when they will head to Carmel, Indiana to play in IUPUI’s Lady Jaguar Invitational.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL
SAILORS AND JOHNSON HIT HOME RUNS IN 8-6 MASTODON BASEBALL LOSS AT BGSU
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Purdue Fort Wayne fell in a non-league baseball game at Bowling Green on Tuesday (March 21) afternoon 8-6. Brooks Sailors and Caileb Johnson each had a home run for the Mastodons.
Sailors hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning to tie the game at four. Sailors’ home run was his first collegiate long ball. It scored Cade Nelis and Jarrett Bickel.
The ‘Dons opened the game with a 1-0 lead following a single run in the first inning. Jacob Walker scored on a Ben Higgins sacrifice fly. Johnson’s two-run home run was hit in the seventh inning to make it an 8-6 BGSU lead.
The big innings for the Falcons came in the third and sixth innings. A three-spot each frame helped the Falcons grab a lead. They hit three home runs in the game.
Connar Penrod earned the win. Kevin Fee received the loss. Owen Recker picked up the save.
Nelis finished with two hits and two walks for the ‘Dons.
BGSU improves to 5-12. The ‘Dons fall to 4-17. Purdue Fort Wayne hosts Northern Kentucky on Friday in a 3 p.m. start for the 2023 home opener.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S VOLLEYBALL
MASTODON MVB TO PLAY TWO KEY MIVA MATCHES THIS WEEK
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne will play a pair of MIVA matches this week against McKendree and at Lewis. The Bearcats (1-8) and Flyers (4-4) are one spot below and tied with the Mastodons in MIVA play, respectively.
Game Day Information (Thursday)
Who: McKendree Bearcats
When: Thursday, March 23 | 7 PM
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Gates Sports Center
Live Stats: Link
Game Day Information (Saturday)
Who: Lewis Flyers
When: Saturday, March 25 | 6 PM
Where: Romeoville, Ill. | Neil Carey Arena
Live Stats: Link
Know Your Foes
• McKendree is 6-10 and 1-8 in the MIVA this season. The Bearcats’ only MIVA win was over Quincy on February 17. McKendree is just 1-5 in true road matches this year. Bryce Wetjen is leading the Bearcats with 3.32 kills per set, while outside hitter Kyle Wilson is pacing the defense with 1.75 digs and 0.61 blocks per set. Kyle Wilson and Tyler Poulsen were both named Players of the Week earlier this season.
• Lewis is 13-9 and 4-4 in the MIVA, with wins over Ball State, Quincy and McKendree (2). The Flyers have won their last five matches, but will have to visit Loyola Chicago before welcoming the Mastodons on Saturday. Max Roquet and Christian Prayer are both averaging over 3.00 kills per set. Roquet and Nico Paula were both named MIVA Players of the Week earlier this season.
• Purdue Fort Wayne leads the all-time series with McKendree 10-8 and holds a 7-2 record against the Bearcats at home. The two losses at home came in 2020 and 2021. The Mastodons won the last two meetings 3-1.
• Lewis has a 42-26 advantage in the all-time series, but the Mastodons have won two of the last three. Purdue Fort Wayne won the last meeting in four sets behind 16 kills from Jon Diedrich.
Purdue Fort Wayne handed Loyola Chicago its first MIVA loss of the season with a five-set win over the Ramblers. Jon Diedrich had 19 kills, Bryce Walker had 14 kills with a .520 hitting percentage and a career-high nine blocks, and Sergio Carrillo recorded a double-double with 40 assists and 11 digs.
Movin’ Up The List
Jon Diedrich joined the 1,000-kill club against No. 14 Charleston (March 17). He is among the 20 Mastodons that have eclipsed this mark. Here’s where he ranks.
15. Ted Owen – 1206 (1984-87)
16. Eddie Rivera – 1107 (2011-14)
17. Arcangel Ruiz – 1071 (2000-03)
19. Brad Prieditis – 1026 (1993-97)
20. Jon Diedrich – 1024 (2020-23)
Hello, My Name Is Bryce And I’ll Be Your Server
Bryce Walker is moving up the all-time ace list in program history.
15. Hector Soto – 90 (1997-00)
16. Omar Rivera – 89 (2012-15)
17. Tom Juhnke – 77 (1989-92)
19. Fred Malcolm – 76 (1988-91)
20. Bryce Walker – 75 (2021-23)
Last Time Out
Purdue Fort Wayne took down No. 9 Loyola Chicago in five sets. Jon Diedrich had 19 kills and Bryce Walker had 14 kills with a .520 hitting percentage.
Purdue Fort Wayne will welcome Quincy (March 30) and Lindenwood (April 1) to the Gates Sports Center. The match against the Lions will be Senior Night for Noah Melendez, Sergio Carrillo and Carlo Mercado.
EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S GOLF
WOMEN’S GOLF FINISHES SECOND AT NEVEL MEADE COLLEGIATE
PROSPECT, Ky. – Helped by Mallory Russell’s 2-over 74, the University of Evansville women’s golf team finished in second place in the Nevel Meade Collegiate at Nevel Meade Golf Course.
As a team, the Purple Aces shot a 308 on Tuesday to finish the 36-hole event with a 609. Central Michigan took top honors with a 602. UE came in eight strokes ahead of third-place Dayton.
Leading the way for the Aces was Mallory Russell. A second-round score of 74, coupled with an even 72 in round one, gave her a 146 for the tournament. She came in second place, just two strokes behind medalist Casilda Allendesalazar of the Chippewas.
Allison Enchelmayer came home in a fifth-place tie. After posting a 72 on Monday, she carded a 77 in round two to finish with a 149. Also earning a top ten finish for UE was Kate Petrova. She opened play with a 76 before lowering her score by one in the second round, shooting a 3-over 75. Her 151 was tied for 8th place.
Alyssa McMinn was fourth on the squad. Her totals finished at 81 and 82. Her total of 163 was tied for 43rd. Magdalena Borisova checked in with rounds of 83 and 86 to complete the tournament with a 169. Caitlin O’Donnell followed up her opening day tally of 83 with a round of 85 on Tuesday. She wrapped up the weekend with a 168.
Next week, the ladies travel to Pawley’s Island, S.C. for the Golfweek/AGT Intercollegiate.
BASEBALL HEADS TO SIUE WEDNESDAY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Evansville baseball team will put its five-game winning streak on the line on Wednesday night, as the Purple Aces will travel west to Edwardsville, Illinois to take on the SIUE Cougars at Roy E. Lee Field at Simmons Baseball Complex. First-pitch is set for 5 p.m. and the game can be heard on-line through SIUECougarNetwork.com.
Evansville will bring a 12-7 overall record into Wednesday night’s contest. The Purple Aces have won five-straight and 12 of the last 14 games overall after sweeping a weather-shortened two-game series from Purdue over the weekend. Junior catcher Brendan Hord (Lexington, Ky./Paul L. Dunbar) led UE offensively over the weekend with a .556 average, as he went 5-for-9 with a pair of doubles and two RBI in the two contests against Boilermakers.
Overall, fifth-year first baseman Chase Hug (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike/Olney Central) continues to lead UE offensively with a .431 batting average and a .602 on-base percentage. Hug entered the week ranked second in NCAA Division I baseball in terms of on-base percentage, and he has reached base in all 19 games this year and 25-straight games overall dating back to last season.
Graduate student Jarrett Blunt (Ottumwa, Iowa/Univ. of Omaha) is expected to get the start on the mound for UE on Wednesday night. Blunt will be making his second start of the year, and will bring a 2-0 overall record and 2.00 ERA into Wednesday’s game. He is expected to be opposed by SIUE grad student Taylor Bruninga (1-0, 4.76 ERA). Bruninga actually started his collegiate career as a basketball player at Illinois State, and averaged 4.3 points per game in four career games against Evansville for the Redbirds.
UE leads the all-time series over SIUE, 19-10. The Purple Aces have won two-straight in the series, including a 17-10 game played at UE’s German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium last May. Fifth-year outfielder Danny Borgstrom led UE by going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI in the contest last May, and Borgstrom has hit safely in his last nine career games against OVC competition.
SOUTHERN INDIANA BASEBALL
LATE RALLY DOOMS EAGLES AT BELMONT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – University of Southern Indiana Baseball allowed three runs in the eighth in falling to Belmont University, 6-3, Tuesday afternoon in Nashville, Tennessee. USI watched its record go to 7-14, while Belmont goes to 12-11.
The Screaming Eagles got off to a good start with a 1-0 lead in the third when junior leftfielder Ren Tachioka (Japan) drove in senior centerfielder Evan Kahre (Evansville, Indiana) with a single to center. Kahre had moved into scoring position on a single and wild pitch. USI would hold onto the 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth when the Bruins knotted the game at 1-1.
After Belmont took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh, USI rebounded to tie the game in the top of the eighth with a pair of runs. The Eagles cut the deficit to 3-2 on a RBI-single by junior pinch hitter Gavin McLarty (Buckner, Kentucky) and tied the game when junior rightfielder Steven Molinet (Elberfeld, Indiana) crossed the plate after junior second baseman Alex Archuleta (Evansville, Indiana) reached on an error.
The Bruins would decided the game in the bottom of the eighth, scoring three times to take a 6-3 lead on two walks, a hit batter, a hit, and a pair of USI errors. Eagles’ junior right-hander Cory Anderson (Linton, Indiana) took the loss in relief. Anderson (0-1) was charged for two runs on a walk and a hit batter without getting an out in the eighth.
A bright spot on the mound for USI was sophomore right-hander Gavin Morris (Brazil, Indiana), who got the start and picked up the no decision. Morris struck out two in three scoreless frames, allowing a walk and a hit.
Up Next for the Eagles:
USI opens Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend when it hosts Morehead State University for a three-game set. First pitch for the series opener Friday is 6 p.m.; continues Saturday with 2 p.m. contest; and concludes Sunday at noon.
Morehead is 10-10 after defeating Ohio University, 19-14, today at home. The Morehead Eagles snapped a seven-game losing streak with the win, but have lost 10 of the last 12 since starting the season 8-0.
USI and Morehead, which were predicted to place eighth and second in the OVC this season, are meeting for the first time in the history of the two programs in baseball.
SOUTHERN INDIANA WOMEN’S TENNIS
USI GETS BACK ON TRACK WITH WIN OVER HANOVER
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Tennis (4-10, 0-1 OVC) earned a 7-0 sweep over Hanover College Tuesday afternoon at the Evansville Tennis Center. The Screaming Eagles get back in the win column after losing its last six matches.
Doubles: Kicking off doubles play at number one was the junior Lauren Rowe (Terre Haute, Indiana)/sophomore Madison Windham (Clarksville, Tennesse) duo who reached a 6-0 win over their opponents. Junior Rachel McCorkle/sophomore Abby Myers (Evansville, Indiana) combination scored a 6-1 victory at number two before sophomore Abby Brown (Evansville, Indiana)/senior Elizabeth Cluck (Newburgh, Indiana) partners received a 6-3 decision to secure the doubles sweep.
Singles: All six Eagles nabbed singles wins to push the 7-0 victory over the Panthers. Rowe took home the win at number one (6-1, 6-1) before McCorkle snagged a 6-1, 6-0 victory at number two. Claiming a 6-0, 6-0 sweep at number four was Windham just before Myers took care of her singles opponent at number five (6-1, 6-0). Freshman Khandice Thomas (Pickerington, Ohio) held her ground at number three to claim USI’s sixth point before sophomore Elle Ossenberg (Evansville, Indiana) finished the match with a 6-2, 6-4 decision at number six.
NEXT UP FOR THE EAGLES:
The Eagles get back to conference play this weekend when they host Lindenwood University on Saturday, March 26 at 11 a.m. at the USI Tennis Courts. USI is split 4-4 against the Lions all-time with the last match ending in a 6-1 loss for the Eagles in April 2022.
SOUTHERN INDIANA MEN’S TENNIS
EAGLES BLANK PANTHERS
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Tennis was victorious over Hanover College on Tuesday afternoon at the Evansville Tennis Center, 7-0. The Screaming Eagles improve to 5-9 (1-1 Horizon League) on the year.
USI came out firing to open the day as freshman Omar ElSamahy (Cairo, Egypt) and senior Yahor Bahdanovich (Minsk, Belarus) made quick work of their opponent in the number two doubles, 6-0. Hanover fought back in the number one doubles, but freshman Alfrendo Vogelaar (Den Haag, Netherlands) and senior Lucas Sakamaki (Louisville, Kentucky) came out victorious, 7-6 (6-4), to win the point. The Eagles didn’t stop there as sophomores Guy Finkelstein (Lehavim, Israel) and Quinten Gillespie (Whiteland, Indiana) took down their opponent with ease, 6-2.
The Eagles continued to dominate the Panthers as they would go on to win all six singles matches. Sakamaki got things started in the number two singles, defeating his opponent 6-0 6-1. Vogelaar followed with a dominate win of his own in the number one singles, 6-3 6-2. ElSamahy would secure the match victory for USI in the number three singles with a straight set victory, 6-2 6-2. The Eagles wouldn’t stop there as Bahdanovich would make easy work of his opponent in the number four singles match, 6-0 6-1. Gillespie followed Bahdanovich with a straight set win of his own, 6-2 6-2. Sophomore Blake Deaton (Indianapolis, Indiana) would earn his first collegiate victory in the number six singles, taking down his opponent 6-2 6-3.
Up Next for USI:
The Eagles continue their five-match homestand with three straight Horizon League matches, starting on March 25 as they host Belmont University at the USI Tennis Courts beginning at 2 p.m. USI continues league play as they take on Tennessee State University (March 26) and Tennessee Tech University (April 1) at the USI Tennis Courts. The Eagles conclude the home stand on April 7 when they host Duquesne University at the USI Tennis Courts.
Matches scheduled at the USI Tennis Courts are subject to change due to weather.
SOUTHERN INDIANA WOMEN’S GOLF
EAGLES COMPLETE FIRST SPRING TOURNAMENT
PROSPECT, Ken. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Golf took home 12th place out of 13 teams and 78 competitors in its first spring tournament of 2023 Tuesday afternoon at the Nevel Meade Intercollegiate hosted by Cleveland State University at the Nevel Meade Golf Course.
The Screaming Eagles began the intercollegiate with a first-round score of 335 (+47). Sophomore Baileigh Schneider (Huntingburg, Indiana) led the group after shooting 81 (+9) to position herself into a tie for 34th after day one.
Day two was a little brighter for USI, shooting a tournament-best 325 (+37) to cap off a two-round score of 660 (+84). Sophomore Kylee Hormuth (Wentzville, Missouri) and junior Katelyn Sayyalinh (Rockford, Illinois) each finished in a tie for 46th after shooting 164 (+20). Hormuth shot an 84 on day one before improving to an 80 in the second round. Sayyalinh was able to end the opening round with an 83 before cutting down a couple of strokes in round two with an 81.
Central Michigan University won the tournament after a 602 (+26) two-day performance. Central Michigan’s Casilda Allendesalazar took home the title of the Nevel Meade Intercollegiate after shooting a two-round score of 144 to stay at par.
NEXT UP FOR THE EAGLES:
The Eagles are back in action on March 27-28 for The Julie hosted by Northern Kentucky University in Batavia, Ohio.
U OF I BASEBALL
OILERS DROPS GREYHOUNDS IN OFFENSIVE BATTLE
INDIANAPOLIS – The win column continues to evade the No. 21-ranked University of Indianapolis baseball team as they fell in their fifth straight contest, this time to the in-region Findlay Oilers.
The 10-7 loss for the Hounds marks the third straight contest where the Hound pitchers have let up a double digit run total and the Hounds fourth time this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hounds, two days removed from a series ending doubleheader with the Maryville Saints looked toward Greenwood, Ind. native Caden Wilburn to help UIndy break their skid. Brady Ware did his best in the first inning to help out the young Wilburn, crushing a ball into the gap for a double, scoring Drew Donaldson, marking the first run of the contest. Jared Bujdos made it a two run lead in the second with a sac fly scoring Nick Lukac.
After three innings, the day was over for Wilburn, who in his first career start ended with three innings pitched and only one earned run. The UIndy skipper Al Ready called in Cameron Ginter who struggled with the Oilers lineup, giving up two runs in the top of the fourth. Bujdos responded in the bottom half with a double, making it 3-3.
Austin Bestul was the next call to the pen for Ready, with Bestul giving up two runs in the top of the fifth. The momentum continued to swing back and forth as the Greyhounds captilized on errors by the Oilers to go up 7-5 just a half inning later.
The bats were silent for a time after that, with the Oilers adding one in the top of the seventh. The eighth is where the Oilers delivered the death blow to the Hounds, crushing a ball towards the ARC, scoring three and sucking away any Greyhound momentum. A top of the ninth leadoff dinger by the Oilers made it 10-7.
The Greyhounds hope their tide will turn later in the week as they travel for the first time this season. They face the top-5 ranked Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars, starting on Friday.
U OF I WOMEN’S GOLF
WOMEN’S GOLF RUNNER-UP AT LOADED BARRY INVITE
MIAMI SHORES, Fla.—In a field of some of Golfstat.com’s highest-ranked teams, the UIndy women’s golf team earned second place at the Barry Buccaneer Invitational, held at the par-71 Miami Shores Country Club Monday and Tuesday. The Greyhounds bested seven top-25 squads over 54 holes, including No. 1 Lynn University, and ultimately trailed only third-ranked Nova Southeastern.
Led by grad student Elyse Stasil, four Greyhounds finished in the top 20. Stasil tied for the tournament lead with 11 birdies on the week, carding scores of 75-71-74 to finish in a tie for fourth.
Sophomore Anci Dy joined her teammate in the top 10, sharing seventh place at +8. Freshman Ava Ray returned to the lineup to finish T-11, and senior Katelyn Skinner (+14), buoyed by a eagle in the final round, tied for 18th. Freshman Alice Webb rounded out the team scoring at T-57.
The Greyhounds will travel to the Buckeye State for each of their next two tournaments, starting with The Julie in Batavia, Ohio March 27-28.
U OF I MEN’S LAX
BILLIG TABBED NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BALTIMORE, Md. – UIndy attacker Drew Billig was named the USA Lacrosse Magazine Division II National Player of the Week, announced Tuesday.
The Brighton, Mich., native recorded four points on three goals and one assist in the Greyhounds’ 9-6 win at No. 2 Mercyhurst last Saturday.
Per USA Lacrosse Magazine:
Sure, it’s just a hat trick and a helper, but when the final score is 9-6 and you have a hand in almost all of the goals in the second half against Mercyhurst, one of the best teams in the nation, you should be recognized for that effort. UIndy outscored Mercyhurst 5-1 in the second half, and the win propelled the Greyhounds into the top three of the Nike/USA Lacrosse Top 20.
Billig now has 46 points this season on 18 goals and 28 assists. The Brighton, Michigan, native is averaging 6.5 points per game, behind only Wingate’s Willie Grieco.
U OF I SOFTBALL
HOUNDS HOLD STEADY IN DII COACHES POLL
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Coming off a successful trip Spring Break trip, the UIndy softball team remained at No. 9 in this week’s NFCA Division II Coaches Poll, released Tuesday. The Greyhounds went 7-1 at THE Spring Games, including a no-hitter.
NFCA DII COACHES POLL
|RK||TEAM (1st-place votes)||PTS||REC||PREV|
|6.||Grand Valley State||15-2||312||7|
|15.||Cal State San Marcos||16-7||178||5|
|20.||West Texas A&M||23-4||96||22|
|22.||Cal State Dominguez Hills||15-8||57||17|
Others receiving votes: Oklahoma Christian (18), Nova Southeastern (10), Wilmington (7), Saginaw Valley State (4), Oklahoma Baptist (2), West Alabama (2), Shepherd (1).
U OF I MEN’S BASKETBALL
HOUNDS GARNER NABC POSTSEASON AWARDS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UIndy men’s basketball player Jesse Bingham added one more postseason accolade on Tuesday, as the Warren Central graduate was named All-America by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) following the 2022-23 campaign.
On Monday, Kendrick Tchoua earned All-District honors from the organization, while bench boss Paul Corsaro was selected as the Midwest Coach of the Year.
Bingham is the first UIndy hooper to be recognized as an NABC All-American since David Logan in 2005. The redshirt-sophomore topped the team in scoring this winter with 15.7 points per game, while also averaging 32.7 minutes each contest. He also became the 44th Greyhound in program history to reach 1,000 career points on Jan. 16.
Corsaro led the Hounds to a program-record 26 wins this season and the team’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2020. The alum-turned-coach guided Tchoua to GLVC Player of the Year and D2CCA Midwest Region Player of the Year laurels, as well as Bingham’s unanimous selection to the All-GLVC First Team. Jakobie Robinson was also voted to the GLVC All-Defensive team with Bingham. Corsaro joins his predecessor Stan Gouard as the organization’s District Coach of the Year, who earned the award in 2020.
He was named the National Coach of the Week in late January and is eligible for the national award by HoopDirt.com.
Tchoua, who was just named to the D2CCA All-America Third Team on Monday, led all NCAA divisions with a 72.6 field goal percentage, while averaging 14.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
MARIAN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
ELLA COLLIER MAKES HISTORY, NAMED NAIA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2022-23 Women’s Basketball All-America Teams Tuesday morning, with Marian’s Ella Collier headlining the All-American teams as she was named the 2022-23 Player of the Year. Collier is the first Knight to earn the honor and becomes the second NAIA Player of the Year in the Crossroads League history (Skylarr Shurn, 2014, St. Francis).
For the third consecutive season Collier has been named to an NAIA All-American Team, with this year earning her highest honor of First Team and Player of the Year.
Collier was instrumental in the Knights’ success in the 2022-23 season, as the junior was named the Crossroads League Player of the Year en route to earning her third consecutive NAIA All-American honor. The Danville, Indiana native was also named the WBCA NAIA Player of the Year, which was announced earlier last week.
The award caps off an incredible junior campaign, as Collier led Marian in scoring and steals while ranking second on the team in assists, and third in rebounding. The junior guard finished the season with 593 points, pouring in 18 points per game while shooting at a clip of 55.6 percent from field, 43.5 percent from three, and 93.6 percent from the charity stripe, turning in her third consecutive 50/40/90 season. Among all NAIA players this season, Collier ranks in the top-50 in scoring and field goal percentage, top-15 in three-point percentage, and second in free throw percentage.
Collier has continued to climb the career scoring lists this year for Marian, rising to third all-time and finishing the season with a total of 1594 career points.
Marian finished 29-6 in 2022-23 and made a run to the NAIA Quarterfinals.
MARIAN FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES 2023 COACHING STAFF AHEAD OF SPRING PRACTICE
INDIANAPOLIS – The Marian football team is set to begin their spring football practices on Tuesday, March 21, and the Knights have assembled their coaching staff for the spring season under head coach Ted Karras Jr. Karras has brought in six new faces to the staff for the 2023 season, with three members returning to coach at Marian for a second stint in their coaching careers.
Below is the full list of Karras’ coaching staff for the spring season, with the group working over the next five weeks as spring practice begins. In addition to the staff list, a quick breakdown of the new hires is included to learn the new faces of the Marian football coaching staff.
2023 Spring Marian Football Coaching Staff
Head Coach – Ted Karras Jr.
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach/Recruiting Coordinator – B.J. Coad
*Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach – Justin Robinson
*Special Teams Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach – Steve Tutsie
Linebackers Coach/Academic Coordinator – Clay Emmrich
Offensive Line Coach/Football Operations – Dan Smith
Running Backs Coach/Player Development – Henry Brown
*Wide Receivers Coach/Return Specialists Coach – JaQuan Patilla
*Wide Receivers Coach – Sean Wilson
Specialists Coach – Jack Fleck
*Defensive Line Coach – Derelle Hankins
*Nickels Coach – Leodis Moore
Football Operations/Film Coordinator – Tyler Valentine
* identifies new member of the 2023 coaching staff
New Coaching Hires Quick Hitters
Justin Robinson – Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach
Robinson joins the Knights after previously working as the defensive line coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin) in 2022
Robinson coached two all-conference defensive linemen in 2022 with his unit ranking top-25 in the NCAA FCS in sacks and tackles for loss
Prior to UT Martin, Robinson spent four seasons as the defensive line coach at Hanover College
Also served as the recruiting coordinator at Hanover
Developed nine all-conference players at Hanover over four seasons
Prior to collegiate coaching, Robinson served as either a defensive line coach or defensive coordinator for three high school programs.
Robinson is a 2012 graduate of the University of Indianapolis where he was a member of the Greyhound football program for five seasons
Robinson earned his master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan in 2016
Steve Tutsie – Special Teams Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach/Assistant Head Coach
Tutsie returns to the Knights after taking a year away from coaching in 2022
Tutsie began working with Marian in 2016, coaching the Knights corners, nickels, and special teams
The veteran coach worked with seven all-MSFA cornerbacks over six seasons
In his first season as a Marian coach, helped lead Eric Price to the NAIA lead in interceptions, with Price graduating as the program’s career leader in INT’s
Prior to working with the Knights, Tutsie earned his pedigree as a successful high school head coach and assistant coach
Was named the 2006 Schutt Sports National High School Coach of the Year after leading Warren Central High School to an IHSAA State Championship
In his time at Warren Central, Tutsie developed over 125 collegiate football players, with 11 going on to play in the NFL
Won four ISHAA State Championships as an assistant coach with Warren Central
Has degrees in education from IUPUI, Ball State, and Marian University
JaQuan Patilla – Wide Receivers Coach
Patilla is a Marian University alum, earning his degree in exercise studies and sports performance from Marian
Patilla was a team MVP for the Marian football team, serving as a team captain in his time on the field
In addition to football, Patilla was a member of the track and field team, competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and long jump
Patilla ranks fourth all-time in Marian football history in receiving yards and touchdowns, and third all-time in receptions
Patilla has worked as a personalized trainer and fitness director
Sean Wilson – Wide Receivers Coach
Wilson is a veteran coach with over 15 years of collegiate or high school coaching experience
Wilson last served as the offensive coordinator for Mt Vernon (Fortville) High School
In his collegiate experience, Wilson has coached either tight ends or wide receivers at Anderson, Earlham, UIndy, Marian, and Ball State
Wilson worked with the Knights from 2007 through the end of the 2012 season as the Marian football receivers coach and equipment manager
Has a master’s degree from Concordia University (Irvine) and his bachelors degree from Ball State
Leodis Moore – Nickels Coach
Moore joins the Knights after two seasons of coaching at the high school level at Warren Central
Moore has served as the defensive backs coach for the Warriors in 2021 and 2022, coaching a pair of All-MIC defensive backs in 2022
Moore played collegiate football at Eastern Kentucky, earning team captain honors three times
The crafty cornerback at EKU earned First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors, and earned defensive MVP honors for EKU
Moore completed his degree from Eastern Kentucky in Criminal Justice
Derelle Hankins – Defensive Line Coach
Hankins returns to Marian University for a third time in his life, with this his second as an assistant coach
Hankins played on the Marian defensive line for 2009-11 after transferring from Indiana State
Hankins was a member of the Marian coaching staff from 2015-17, working with the defensive line
In his first go around as a coach at Marian, Hankins led all-MSFA linemen Dillon Dittemore, and worked with members of the program’s all-time sack list including Mac Dutra and Dwayne Beckford
Hankins’ unit helped Marian lead the NAIA in sacks in both 2015 and 2016, playing a role in the Knights 2015 NAIA National Championship
After coaching at Marian, Hankins spent time in 2018 as an assistant coach at Pike High School, and from 2019-2021 as an assistant at Butler University
Internal Position Changes
B.J Coad has been elevated to the offensive coordinator title, and will now coach the quarterbacks
Dan Smith has changed sides of the ball, and will move from the defensive line to the offensive line
Henry Brown has shuffled back to running backs after working with the defensive backs in 2022
The Marian University spring football practices will begin on March 21. The annual spring football game will be held on April 22 at 12 p.m. from St. Vincent Field.
MARIAN MEN’S TENNIS
MARIAN DOWNS FRANKLIN FOR THIRD STRAIGHT WIN
FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Marian men’s tennis team picked up their third straight win with the 8-1 victory over Franklin College on Tuesday night. The win improves the Knights’ record to 13-7 overall on the season.
Tonight’s match was played by NCAA rules in which the match was a nine-point match where all three doubles points count and there are eight game pro sets instead of just one six game set.
Marian took the 2-1 lead after doubles action as Shadi Al Tori and Jake Giles picked up the 8-3 victory over Dustin Garrison and Layton Stieneker at No. 1 doubles, while Jona Henze and Max Sternberg won 8-4 against Ezra Schwier and Lucas Densford at the No. 2 spot. At the No. 3 spot, Austin Kuklak and Isaac Lian fell 8-5 to Nathan Jarboe and Shay Kyser.
In singles, the Knights rolled through the Grizzlies, winning at all six spots. Henze and Giles both picked up the 6-0, 6-0 wins, with Henze defeating Garrison at the No. 1 spot and Giles winning at the No. 4 spot over Stieneker. At No. 2 singles, Sternberg took down Owen Pickerill 6-1, 6-0, while Al Tori won 6-2, 6-2 against Schwier at No. 3 singles. Rounding out Marian’s lineup were Kuklak winning 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 singles over Densford, and Lian downing Brian Venemann 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6 singles.
Marian will be back at the Marian Tennis Courts on Sunday when they host Campbellsville and 2 p.m.
ADAMS NAMED WABASH COLLEGE DEFENSIVE LINE COACH
Veteran football player and coach Marcus Adams joins the Wabash College football staff as the Little Giants’ defensive line coach.
“Marcus had an outstanding career as a defensive lineman in the Canadian Football League,” Wabash head football coach Don Morel said. “Marcus knows Wabash as a Ben Davis graduate and is a great person to be around. His experience as a player and a coach will be a great addition to what we teach on defense.”
Adams brings extensive experience as both a coach and player. Adams came to Wabash from Blackhills State University, where he served as defensive line coach for the 2022 season. Before working at Blackhills State, he was the quality control coach for the defensive line at Eastern Kentucky University, and served as defensive line coach at North Canyon and Horizon High Schools in Arizona. Adams was a scout for the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL for two seasons after working from 2012 to 2014 as the assistant general manager and defensive coordinator for the Regina Riot in Saskatchewan. Adams began coaching at the University of Ottawa in Canada in 2012.
Adams played on the defensive line for nine seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL, helping the team win the Grey Cup in 2007 as one of three Grey Cup appearances during his career. He was inducted into the Roughriders Plaza of Honour in 2010. Adams also played one season for the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League and was a member of the ArenaBowl XIX championship team.
Adams was a two-time All-American at Eastern Kentucky University. He earned First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors in 2001 and 2002 and was a Second Team All-OVC selection in 2000. He graduated from EKU in 2002.
Adams graduated from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, earning all-state honors as a Giants’ 1996 state runner-up team member.
“Wabash College is a special place,” Adams said. “I heard about Wabash College when I was in junior high school. I always heard about the rich tradition and the brotherhood of Wabash men. This is a chance to return home and be a part of that brotherhood.”
Adams and his wife, Dianca, live in Indianapolis with their three children, Marcus (MJ), Brynlee, and Jelani. Adams began his duties at Wabash in early March.
INDIANA WESLEYAN FOOTBALL
FOOTBALL HIRES LOCHNER AS CORNERBACKS COACH
MARION, Ind. – Indiana Wesleyan football is proud to announce the hiring of Jeremy Lochner as the new cornerbacks coach for the Wildcats. He comes to IWU after spending the past four seasons at Anderson University as the defensive coordinator. Prior to his time at Anderson, Lochner served six seasons at Taylor University coaching defensive backs and linebackers and assisted with special teams.
Lochner has coached two NAIA All-Americans, two Cliff Harris Award finalists and numerous all-league players, including one conference Defensive Player of the Year.
“I am thankful to have Jeremy as a part of our staff,” said Andrew Rode, Head Football Coach. “He has experience coaching all over the defensive side of the ball, and will lead our Cornerbacks room on and off the field well.”
Coach Lochner graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Olivet Nazarene University in 2009. Jeremy and his wife, Hillary, have two daughters, Charlee and Rory, and one son, Ezekiel.
SOFTBALL STAYS PUT IN NFCA POLL
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Trine University softball team retained their third-place ranking in the latest edition of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III Top 25 Coaches Poll.
The top four teams in the poll remained unchanged with just Salisbury University and Christopher Newport University coming in ahead of the Thunder and with Texas Lutheran University in the fourth spot.
Trine was idle this week after canceling their weekend slate of games due to weather and field conditions. Despite that the team still boasts one of the most powerful offenses in the country sitting ninth in the nation averaging just under a homerun per game.
Individually pitching has shined for the team. Senior Anna Koeppl currently ranks in the top 50 with a 0.94 earned run average (43rd) and with 3.13 hits allowed per seven innings (sixth). Freshman Debbie Hill has also enjoyed early success sitting top 100 in the same categories.
The team will play its home opener tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22 when they host Anderson (Ind.) University. The doubleheader is set to start at 2 p.m.
HANOVER MEN’S LAX
GUTTORMSON NAMED THE HCLC DEFENSIVE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
CARMEL, Ind. – Junior Lance Guttormson (West Bend, Wis.) was named the Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference Men’s Defender of the Week announced Tuesday afternoon by the league office.
The junior led the Panthers to a 1-1 week in frame as he charted a victory over Carroll. He recorded 30 saves posting a 6.44 goals against average.
Hanover returns to action on Wednesday, March 22 when they travel to DePauw. Game time is set for 7:00 PM.
HUNTINGTON MEN’S BASKETBALL
GOODLINE ONE OF THE BEST IN THE NATION
HUNTINGTON, Ind. – With the books closed on another Forester basketball season, the awards continue to pile up for Huntington University senior Zach Goodline. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced its 2022-23 Men’s Basketball All-American honorees with Goodline one of 12 players to earn First Team praises.
Goodline, a Coloma, Mich. (Coloma HS) native, filled the stat sheet night after night for Alford’s crew. The 6-1 point guard led his team in scoring by pouring in 20.9 points a night in addition to averaging a team-leading 5.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals. His 20.9 ppg ranked him 14th among his NAIA peers in scoring.
Goodline was the only member of the conference to receive First Team All-American accolades and is the first Forester since Caleb Kennedy in 2012 to claim a spot on the top tier. Grace’s Elijah Malone was named to the Second Team as the only other player in the CL to be tabbed an All-American.
As one of the craftiest scorers in the league, Goodline earned the respect of the Crossroads League coaches to be voted the 2023 CL Player of the Year. With a year to go, Goodline has scored 1760 points in green and white which currently places him 15th on HU’s all-time scoring list.
Goodline and crew finished the year with an overall record of 24-8. The Foresters, ranked 15th in the final poll, put the finishing touches on a memorable season by making their second straight trip to the NAIA National Tournament.
WILSON AND KOLLEN HONORED BY LEAGUE
HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Forester baseball program swept the Crossroads League weekly baseball honors with senior Satchell Wilson being tabbed the Player of the Week and sophomore Graham Kollen earning Pitcher of the Week accolades.
Wilson was a force to be reckoned with in HU’s four-game series against Mount Vernon. The Anderson native cranked out nine hits which included four doubles, a triple and three homeruns. He scored eight times and knocked in just as many runs. He also drew three walks and swiped two bases against the Cougars.
Kollen wrapped up the MVNU series in dominant fashion by guiding his team to an 11-0 win on the mound. He tossed a complete-game shutout by sitting down ten batters without issuing a walk while scattering three hits. It’s his second consecutive shutout in as many appearances.
The Foresters head to Bethel this weekend with the opening game set for Friday at 1:00 p.m.
IU KOKOMO TRACK
PREVIEW: MEN’S AND WOMEN’S OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD SET TO COMPETE IN IWU POLAR BEAR CLASSIC
KOKOMO, Ind. – The IU Kokomo men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams are set to compete in Marion, Indiana later this week at the IWU Polar Bear Classic.
IWU Polar Bear Classic
Friday, March 24th – Saturday, March 25th • Marion, IN • IWU Track and Field Complex
IU Kokomo @ IWU Polar Bear Classic
The Cougars enter the week looking to build upon a strong first event of the outdoor season after competing in the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational this past week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Invitational featured over 1600 athletes from 45 teams representing NCAA Division I, II, & III as well as the NAIA and club teams.
Eight men’s and women’s track & field athletes combined to break nine different program records, with 25 Cougars setting PR’s.
IU KOKOMO WOMEN’S GOLF
BRANDI JONES NAMED RIVER STATES CONFERENCE WOMEN’S GOLFER OF THE WEEK
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – IU Kokomo women’s golfer Brandi Jones was named River States Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week after winning the Cougars first event of the spring season, the league office announced Monday night.
Brandi Jones, a grad student from Peru, Indiana and Maconaquah HS, won The Woods Invite on the fourth playoff hole at Idle Creek Golf Course in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Jones was tied for the lead heading into the final round after shooting an opening round 81, before firing a final-round 77 to sit in a tie for the lead after 36 holes. Brandi parred the fourth-playoff hole to earn the win and help the Cougars to a second-place finish as a team.
INDIANA TECH MEN’S VB
THANKS COACH SHONDELL!
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Men’s Volleyball head coach Kyle Shondell has resigned from his position, effective March 13.
“We are fortunate to have had Coach Shondell and his family become a part of Indiana Tech Athletics.” Said Jessie Biggs, Director of Athletics. “The fabulous rejuvenation of our men’s volleyball program is a compliment to his level of coaching and recruiting. We thank Kyle for his time at Tech and wish him and his family great success in the years to come.”
Shondell joined the Warrior Athletic Department in 2019 as he took on the task of restarting a Men’s Volleyball Program that had been dormant since 1973 for the 2020 Season. During his time at Tech, Shondell held a record of 69-18 (.793) overall and went 37-8 (.822) in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference while winning two regular season conference titles and one conference tournament championship. He garnered back-to-back WHAC Coach of the Year honors for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. After his third season, Shondell was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year after leading the Warriors to a 29-3 record and their second straight appearance at the NAIA National Championship.
Shondell joins the Butler University Athletic Department to take the helm of the Women’s Volleyball Program. He will be the sixth head coach in program history, taking over after long-time coach Sharon Clark.
Warrior Women’s Volleyball Coach Matt Fishman will continue with the men for the remainder of the season as the interim head coach.
OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION EXTENDS TRAILBLAZER BASEBALL WINNING STREAK TO EIGHT
DANVILLE, Ill. – The Vincennes University baseball team extended their winning streak to eight games with another Mid-West Athletic Conference (MWAC) doubleheader sweep at Danville Area Community College Tuesday, winning game one of the day 18-6 and taking game two 19-11.
The Trailblazers got the day going right from the beginning by scoring nine runs in the top of the first in game one, sending 13 batters to the plate in the inning, capped off by a three-run home run by sophomore Kaden Elliott (New Albany, Ind.).
Danville Area would get on the board with a run in the first and a run in the second before VU would get those runs back in the third on a two-run home run by sophomore Colton Evans (Henderson, Ky.) his fifth long bomb of the season.
Danville Area would cut into the deficit with three runs in the third, which was immediately answered by a three-run inning by the Blazers, with a two RBI double by sophomore Dale Coy (Evansville, Ind.) and an RBI double by sophomore Will Egger (Terre Haute, Ind.).
VU would add to their lead in the sixth with a two-RBI double by Elliott, giving him five RBIs on the game and a two-RBI single by freshman Carter Whitehead (Huntingburg, Ind.).
The Blazers would close out the game in the bottom half of the inning and invoke the MWAC Conference run rule, defeating Danville Area 18-6 in game one of the day.
Vincennes was led off on the mound by sophomore Dawson Blaylock (Eaton, Ohio) who threw two and one-third innings allowing five runs on four hits and striking out one.
Sophomore Caleb Moore (St. Louis, Mo.) pitched three and two-thirds innings of relief, picking up the winning decision and allowing one run on three hits and striking out two.
The Trailblazers then looked to complete their second straight four-game series sweep in game two of the day.
Vincennes had to play from behind in the second game of the day after surrendering two runs in the first and three runs in the second.
VU would battle back in the third with an RBI single by Kaden Elliott and a two-RBI single by Colton Evans. Vincennes would get four runs in the inning to cut the Jaguar lead to 5-4.
The Blazers would take the lead in the fourth on a two-RBI single by sophomore Ethan Burdette (Linton, Ind.). Kaden Elliott would pick up a sacrifice fly in the inning to give VU a 7-5 lead.
Danville Area would score a pair in the bottom of the fourth to even the game at 7-7, before VU grabbed the lead back for good with a monster seven-run inning in the fifth.
VU would send 12 batters to the plate in the inning, highlighted by a two-RBI double by freshman Trevor Newman (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and a two-RBI double by sophomore Kobe Bartlett (Rockport, Ind.).
Vincennes would extend their lead in the sixth with an RBI single by Kaden Elliott, giving him three RBIs on the game and eight RBIs on the day. Elliott was followed by a two-RBI triple by Colton Evans.
Danville would not go away quietly, scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit down to six before VU tacked on two runs in the seventh on a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly.
Vincennes closed out the game in style, retiring the side in order in the seventh to invoke the conference run rule and end the game with a 19-11 win in seven innings.
Sophomore Jake Stuteville (Rockport, Ind.) got the start on the mound in game two of the day, throwing four innings, allowing seven runs on four hits and striking out five.
Freshman Logan Medsker (Marshall, Ill.) would pick up the winning decision after throwing an inning and a third, allowing two runs on three hits.
Freshman Jack Robinson (Mooresville, Ind.) entered to finish out the sixth inning, throwing two-thirds of an inning, allowing two runs on two hits and striking out one.
Sophomore Eli Steimel (Sullivan, Ind.) started the seventh inning and retired the only batter he faced on four pitches, before turning the game over to sophomore Xavier Hart (Jeffersonville, Ind.), getting the final two outs of the game, including striking out the final batter he faced for the second straight day.
The Trailblazers will look to continue their winning streak next weekend when VU heads to Peoria, Ill. to face-off in another MWAC Conference weekend series at Illinois Central College.
The first two games of the four-game weekend series are set for Saturday, March 25 with first pitch set for 2 p.m. eastern, with the teams returning for day two on Sunday, March 26 at 1 p.m. eastern.
VINCENNES MEN’S BASKETBALL
UPDATED: FIRST HALF DEFENSE PROPELS NO. 15 VINCENNES TO NATIONAL QUARTERFINALS
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The No. 15 Vincennes University Trailblazers advanced to the NJCAA Division I National Quarterfinals Tuesday night after defeating No. 2 College of Southern Idaho 75-70.
VU’s zone defense in the first half caused the Golden Eagles fits as CSI’s shooters went 0-9 in the first half from behind the three-point arc and VU held Southern Idaho to just 19 points in the opening 20 minutes of play.
The Trailblazers struck first early at the Hutchinson Sports Arena, with VU quickly jumping out to an early 5-0 lead.
Southern Idaho would answer back to take the lead and held their biggest lead at 9-7, before VU used a 6-0 scoring run to take the lead back.
VU would grow their lead throughout the opening period of play, before scoring the final five points of the first half to take a 33-19 lead into the locker room break.
Vincennes looked to continue this hot start out of the locker room in the second half and built what would be their largest lead of the game at 37-22.
The two teams would trade baskets with the Golden Eagles slowly chipping away at the VU lead by trading twos for threes.
Southern Idaho would get the VU lead back down to single digits before VU used a small 4-0 run to grow the lead back to 11.
CSI’s shooters really caught fire late with the Golden Eagles coming within a single point of VU with under a minute to play.
VU sophomores Tasos Cook (Columbus, Ohio) and Caleb Johnson (N. Preston, Nova Scotia) converted at the free throw line down the stretch as VU managed to hang on to the five-point, 75-70 victory and advance to the National Quarterfinals on Thursday.
“We played the zone defense pretty well in the first half,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin said. “We thought we could catch them off a little bit with that. We thought we needed to do that because their point guard is so outstanding that we felt like we didn’t need to be dealing with him going down hill on us all night. We thought we had some things in that zone that at least for a half would keep them off balance.”
“We knew at some point tonight we were going to have to play a man defense,” Franklin added. “We tried to hold off as long as we could because we had Tasos out there playing some big minutes and because that guy is so good at going down hill and you don’t know how the whistle is going to blow.”
“I thought our guys did a really good job,” Franklin said. “We played all 12 guys in the first half, so everybody was involved in it tonight. Obviously, we did a good job to be up 33-19 at the half. I thought we really controlled it. Then they went to pressing and trapping and we had to fight and battle to hold on in the second half. They were 10 of 14 from three in the second half, which they can do. That’s why they were the No. 1 team in the country all year long.”
“We knew they were going to make a run,” Franklin added. “And we did some things to help them on that run. But that’s going to happen. It’s hard to play throughout that entire game against somebody that good. You just throw blows back and forth and just hope you have more there at the end. I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve had some great wins and some heartbreaking losses out here but we are not usually an easy out and we weren’t going to be an easy out today.”
“We didn’t think of this as an upset,” Franklin said. “A week and a half ago we had Logan on the ropes with three minutes to go on the road. We have been a legitimate top-10 team all year. Anybody out there that doesn’t think so, they weren’t watching the games. We have been and we’ve played like it. We’ve had to learn as we go along, but we’ve been there the whole time. It’s just about getting through that wall.”
“This is our fourth game against the two teams that have been No. 1 all year, Logan and Southern Idaho,” Franklin added. “We’ve been battle tested in every way possible throughout and we’ve been right there. The first time when we played Logan on the road, was the only time. Every other game against those two teams has come right down to the end with this new team learning and tonight we just got through it. Now we’ll see if we can get through three more.”
The Trailblazers were led offensively by Caleb Johnson, who finished with 17 points and three rebounds on the night.
Freshman Ryan Oliver (Antioch, Tenn.) came off the bench to score 14 points, grab five rebounds and dish out four assists. Oliver also led the Blazers with a pair of steals defensively.
Tasos Cook came on down the stretch, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the second half, while also dishing out a team-high seven assists.
Freshman Kris King (Washington, D.C.) played some big minutes off the bench to score 12 points and grab a team-high eight rebounds. King would also dish out five assists for the Blue and Gold.
Freshman Michael Osei-Bonsu (Bolingbrook, Ill.) scored eight points on a perfect four of four shooting from the floor and freshman Karyiek Dixon (London, UK) came off the bench to grab six big rebounds.
“I thought Caleb was much more himself tonight offensively,” Franklin said. “He had 19 yesterday in the first game and he had 17 tonight but tonight I thought he was better. He looked more confident and more assured. He made plays where he looked more like himself and hopefully that is where he’s rolling now.”
“I thought Kris King was really good,” Franklin added. “He had a couple of charge calls not go his way, but I thought he was going to stick the ball in the basket on those and have himself a really big night. I thought he played well.”
“Everybody was involved in the game,” Franklin said. “We played all 12 in the first half and were up 14. This was everybody and it had to be everybody. It will have to be everybody if we are going to get through these next three.”
The Trailblazers advance to the Round of Eight in Hutchinson, Kansas and will play the defending National Champions, No. 7 Northwest Florida State on Thursday, March 23 for the right to advance to the Final Four. Tip-off time Thursday is set for 3 p.m. eastern.
“We came out here looking at this as two tournaments,” Franklin said. “Yesterday and today were the first section and if we could get through that, then we would have that day off and then go into the second section of the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Well, we’ve pushed through to that second tournament. Now you are in the Elite Eight.”
“I don’t have much to say about it right now,” Franklin added. “Our guys have played great. I’m proud of them. I love them. We have pushed them hard all year long so they would be able to do this. We’ve been through it and have done it before. We know what it takes and I’ve said all along, I think that they can do it. They just have to dig down and get through it. Tonight, we did and we’ll have another big chance to play in another big-time game Thursday afternoon.”
“I hope that everybody understands how special this stuff is,” Franklin said. “There are not a lot of teams in Indiana that are going to Elite Eights. There are not a lot of teams in Indiana that are winning National Championships. But they do here in Vincennes and we have been. So, everybody needs to perk up and get excited about the Trailblazers. Because the Trailblazers have been doing special things for a long time and this team here has done a really special thing. Nobody on this team has done it before. It’s an all-new environment and they’ve learned all year. They have put 30 wins on the board and have taken on the best of the best on the schedule and we are still standing here with as good a chance to win this thing as anybody. Hats off to our guys. But we are not done.”
“We’ll be fine Thursday,” Franklin added. “Energy will not be a problem. You can’t be tired because you have to go out and play day after day when you are playing for a National Championship. Day off tomorrow, we’ll be fine. We’re healthy. We’re good. We won’t get beat because we are tired. We’ll scout our opponent and have a good plan. Our guys will be ready and we’ll give it a heck of a go come Thursday afternoon.”
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WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
WOMEN’S SWEET 16 FEATURES NEW FORMAT AND HISTORIC FIELD
The Sweet 16 features a new format and a bit of history when it begins later this week.
The NCAA changed its setup for the women’s tournament this season, trimming the traditional four regional sites to two. Seattle and Greenville — a city of 71,000 in South Carolina about halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina — will each host eight teams before sending the winners on to Dallas for the Final Four.
It is also just the second time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1994 that two of the No. 1 seeds didn’t reach the regional semifinals after Mississippi and Miami knocked out Stanford and Indiana, respectively. It also happened in 1998.
The other top seeds — South Carolina and Virginia Tech — advanced. The Gamecocks, led by star Aliyah Boston, are four wins from completing their own historic journey and back-to-back national championships. They are seeking just the 10th undefeated season ever in women’s basketball, and the next steps for coach Dawn Staley’s team are just a 90-minute trip from campus.
There are a lot of teams that have ended long Sweet 16 droughts, like the Hokies, Hurricanes, Colorado and Villanova. UConn, on the other hand, will be playing in its 29th consecutive regional semifinal.
Despite the parity that took place during the regular season and the exit of those two No. 1 seeds, it is the second time in the past six years that no double-digit seed reached the round of 16. It’s also the first time since the Big 12 was formed in 1996 that no teams from the conference reached the second weekend.
There’s plenty of star power across the field with Angel Reese, Maddy Siegrist, Caitlin Clark and Elizabeth Kitley joining Boston in the regional semifinals.
The Gamecocks are the heavy favorite to come out of this region and, for that matter, to win another title. The regional semifinal opponent is No. 4 seed UCLA. The Bruins gave the Gamecocks a competitive game back in November, leading at halftime by four before losing by nine.
No. 2 seed Maryland will play No. 3 seed Notre Dame in the other semifinal. The Terrapins, led by Diamond Miller, used a strong second half to get by Arizona in the second round. The Fighting Irish overcame season-ending injuries to Olivia Miles and Dara Mabrey to get to the Sweet 16. Notre Dame got a strong effort from post Lauren Ebo, who set a school NCAA tourney record with 18 rebounds in a win over Mississippi State.
With Indiana losing, the bracket is more open, with Villanova and Siegrist playing the Hurricanes in one of the semifinals. Siegrist, who leads the nation in scoring, has the Wildcats back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003. Miami’s drought was even longer, not making it this far since 1992.
The other semifinal in the region pits two of the most talented forwards in the country against each other: LSU’s Angel Reese and Utah’s Alissa Pili. Reese helped the Tigers reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014. The “Bayou Barbie” had 25 points, an eye-popping 24 rebounds and six blocks in the third-seeded Tigers’ rout of Michigan. Second-seeded Utah is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006 after edging Princeton in the second round.
Second-seeded UConn, which has dealt with injuries all season, will face third-seeded Ohio State in one semifinal. The Buckeyes needed a shot in the final few seconds by Jacy Sheldon to advance this far for the fourth straight season.
Top seed Virginia Tech is the newcomer here, making its first appearance in the Sweet 16 since 1999 after two impressive home wins in the first two rounds. Kitley and Co. head across the country for a rematch against Tennessee. The two teams played Dec. 4 and the Hokies came away with a three-point win. The Lady Vols were missing Rickea Jackson for that game and it was the final one that Tamari Key played in before being sidelined for the season with blood clots.
Tennessee has run through the first two rounds, becoming just the fourth team to win each of its first two games by 45 points or more. UConn did it the other three times, according to ESPN.
Ole Miss crashed the party with its upset of Stanford and is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2007. Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin’s defensive-minded squad will face a Louisville team that routed Texas on the Longhorns’ home court. Cardinals star Hailey Van Lith grew up in Central Washington, a few hours from Seattle.
The other matchup will feature Clark and her logo-range shooting for Iowa against Colorado. Iowa edged Georgia in the second round, erasing the memory of last season’s round of 32 defeat to Creighton. The Hawkeyes will face a Colorado team in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
COLLEGE HOOPS STAFFS SPECIALIZE TO MEET ROSTER, NIL DEMANDS
Kelvin Sampson has been around college basketball long enough to remember when preseason practices started in October following a true offseason, teams remained largely intact for multiple seasons and players weren’t permitted to pursue endorsement deals.
It might as well be a different planet now.
The way Houston’s coach sees it, the top-tier programs must evolve to better manage recruiting, the transfer portal and roster demands, and athlete compensation deals.
“Absolutely, you have to,” the 67-year-old Sampson said as March Madness headed to Sweet 16 weekend. “To (manage) those kinds of things, you’ve got to have specialization on your staff.”
That means bolstering support staffs, much like how analysts and quality control staffers have become common across college football. Specialized roles for recruiting, scouting or analytics. Adding special assistants to aid head coaches, general managers to navigate the new era of players profiting from use their name, image and likeness (NIL), even creative-content staffers to pump out videos or social media to promote the program’s brand.
If anything, staffs are starting to resemble their counterparts in the pros.
“I’ve got three – I guess there are four of them now – former (graduate assistants) and managers that work in the front office at the (NBA’s) Phoenix Suns,” Kansas State first-year coach Jerome Tang said before clinching a Sweet 16 appearance. “Those guys told me that the four guys that are on the bench across the country are probably the same. It’s the next level that separates you.”
March Madness resumes Thursday, and there are examples of these increasingly specialized staffs on teams still chasing a national title.
Six teams — Houston, Xavier, Texas, Arkansas, San Diego State and Florida Atlantic — have an assistant or special assistant to the head coach, often designed as catch-all helpers who shoulder administrative duties while potentially taking on tasks such as breaking down film. Tang and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo each has a chief of staff.
Top overall seed Alabama has a director of scouting and analytics. Fellow Southeastern Conference team Tennessee has someone overseeing analytics.
Titles vary. The goal doesn’t.
“I have people on my staff in charge of something with one of our kids 24 hours a day,” Sampson said. “And it’s all built around relationships. You know, these kids can transfer today and not even have to tell the coach. They can just go to the compliance office. … So in order to combat those kinds of things, it’s more and more important that you’re involved in their daily lives.”
Kevin Sutton joined Kansas State’s staff as director of strategies, working with game plans, scouting and film review. He is part of a broader effort to deal with roster management in the portal era, when rosters change dramatically from one year to the next.
“It’s the college version of free agency and it’s something that goes on all the time and it continues to grow on a daily basis,” Sutton said. “We have to retain our players. … So having a larger to staff to be able to be involved in the current players’ lives and then have an eye on what’s happening outside of your program in terms of the transfer portal.”
Juggling that with the core goal – winning games — isn’t easy, either.
For Arkansas coach Eric Musselman, that meant stopping game-prep work last year for recruiting Zooms on the eve of beating No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga to reach a second straight regional final.
“I think it was five, maybe four (Zooms), before we played Gonzaga the night before, up until maybe 11:15, 11:30 at night doing Zooms when you are trying to make an Elite Eight, playing in a Sweet 16 game,” he said.
Musselman, whose team is fresh off beating 1-seed and reigning national champion Kansas, has a 14-person support staff beyond his three assistants and the goal of being “at the forefront of analytics.” That includes a director of internal operations, director of scouting, recruiting coordinator, assistant director of recruiting and scouting, and seven graduate assistants.
Consider it the trickle-down of NBA influence into college ranks.
“Players watch the NBA guys, they want to be like them, play like them, be in an offense like them,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew, whose team reached the tournament’s second round. “Then you look at staffs. And as universities try to keep up and provide the best for their student-athletes, then you’re getting into analytics. You’re getting into nutrition. You’re getting into player development.”
That has included the very-pro-sounding role of GM, arriving at Duke and DePaul as an NIL resource to players.
Daniel G. Marks fills a similar role as the first chief program strategist at Howard, which reached the NCAA tourney for the first time since 1992. He spent nine seasons with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, including the 2020-21 championship season.
Marks said he is coming with an open mind to work with coach Kenny Blakeney.
“Even when coming up with a title for my job, it’s like: What’s a title that other people are going to say, ‘Oh, that’s interesting, what does he do?’” he said. ”(Blakeney) wants programs across the country to look at Howard and say … ‘How can we learn that and emulate that?’”
Those were all things Duke’s Jon Scheyer considered in building his first staff to replace retired Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski. Notably, the 35-year-old added former Elon head coach Mike Schrage as special assistant to provide experience, then hired former Nike and NBA staffer Rachel Baker as general manager.
Guard Jeremy Roach said the setup gave players “so many people who can help us out.” And it helped Duke win an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title before falling in the NCAA second round.
The challenge for Scheyer and his peers? Be ready for whatever comes next.
“Communication’s really important and just being current,” Scheyer said. “I’m not even talking age. I’m talking current in terms of understanding what these guys are going through, their families.
“It’s so much more than it used to be. … We have the staff to do that. We’ve done an amazing job while still getting a feel for each other. So that’s something where we have to be better next year, because it can be all different next year.”
ARIZONA STATE EXTENDS HURLEY THROUGH 2025-26 SEASON
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona State has agreed to a contract extension with men’s basketball coach Bobby Hurley that runs through the 2025-26 season.
The deal announced on Tuesday is subject to approval by the Arizona Board of Regents. Hurley’s previous contract was set to expire after next season.
“Coach Hurley has made our program relevant nationally with many significant wins and an exciting style, along with a firm commitment to the academic success of our student-athletes,” Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson said in a statement. “He has made it clear to us that he wants to be here and we have done likewise with him. We share a strong confidence in the present and future state of Sun Devil men’s basketball.”
Hurley led the Sun Devils to 23 wins this season and their third trip to the NCAA Tournament the last five times it has been played. Arizona State beat Nevada in the First Four before losing to Texas Christian on a last-second shot last Friday.
The Sun Devils have won at least 20 games four of the past six seasons. They are 141-113 in eight seasons under Hurley.
TOBIN ANDERSON LEAVING FDU TO REPLACE RICK PITINO AT IONA
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (AP) — Tobin Anderson is leaving NCAA Cinderella Fairleigh Dickinson after one fairy-tale season and replacing Rick Pitino at Iona.
Iona athletic director Matt Glovaski announced the hiring on Tuesday, a day after Pitino left to take the job at St. John’s of the Big East Conference.
Anderson led the No. 16 seed Knights to a win over No. 1 Purdue in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament last week, only the second time a No. 16 seed has knocked off a top-seeded team. UMBC beat No. 1 Virginia in 2018.
“Iona University represents everything my family and I were looking for in a school, a basketball program and a campus atmosphere,” Anderson said in a statement. “Our goal is to build upon the tremendous tradition of Iona basketball and elevate the program to greater heights.”
Iona of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference was knocked out of this year’s tournament by UConn on Friday.
“We have long known him to be a fantastic coach and an even better person,” Glovaski said. “Now, with his team’s impressive run in the NCAA Tournament, everyone paying attention to March Madness also knows this. We’re delighted that he will be at the helm of our men’s basketball program.”
Anderson led FDU to a 21-16 overall record and 10-6 in Northeast Conference play. The Knights lost to Merrimack in the conference title game but got the NCAA berth because Merrimack was ineligible to compete as a transitioning school from Division II.
FDU, one of the shorter teams in the 68-team field, beat Texas Southern in a First Four game and followed that with the upset over Purdue. Florida Atlantic knocked the Knights out of the tournament on Sunday.
FDU had a 4-22 record in 2021-22. Anderson was hired after running the program at St. Thomas Aquinas, located less than 25 miles (40 km) from Iona’s campus. In nine seasons, he turned the team into a perennial Top 25 program in Division II after inheriting a team that won just five games prior to his hire.
Anderson got his first taste of Division I coaching, serving as an assistant at Siena for two seasons from 2011–2013. Before his time at Siena, Anderson was a head coach at the Division III level at Hamilton College and Clarkson University in upstate New York. He worked as an assistant at Clarkson and Le Moyne College.
Anderson graduated from Wesleyan University in 1995.
JEROME TANG HAS RISING KANSAS STATE FEELING SWEET AGAIN
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Jerome Tang was tearing around his property on an unseasonably warm spring day not long ago, just before Kansas State headed down Interstate 70 for the Big 12 Tournament, when he noticed his four-wheeler was running out of fuel.
So, the Wildcats’ coach did what anyone would do in a small town: He steered that bad boy onto the road, conveniently forgetting that it wasn’t exactly street legal, and headed off for the service station.
“So I’m zooming down and the college kids are outside. They’re hollering at you, happy to see you. I mean, how great is that?” Tang recalled. “My wife was upset. She’s like, ‘You’re going to get arrested. It’s going to be on the news!’”
Tang glances around furtively, his ever-present smile growing just a bit wider.
“I can’t, like, get in trouble for something that already happened, right?”
Not these days. Not in Manhattan, Kansas.
One year after taking over a downtrodden program coming off three straight losing seasons, Tang and his upstart Wildcats are preparing to play Michigan State in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night. They’ve already taken down mighty Kentucky and its roster of NBA prospects, and now they will face Tom Izzo and the Spartans — a program synonymous with NCAA Tournament success — under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.
The fan apathy that reached a nadir last spring? Forgotten after eight straight sellouts to end the regular season. Chants of “Eff K-U” during home games, the epitome of a long-standing inferiority complex toward their bitter rival, replaced by pride-filled shouts of “K-S-U,” much to the relief of a coach who demands 10 pushups every time his players swear.
This is a coach who can be found posted up on a purple sofa delivered to random spots around campus, from dining halls to the engineering building, so that he can chat with students going about their everyday lives.
“I mean, I’m just happy to see Coach Tang and our team having so much success,” says Markquis Nowell, their All-American guard. “He’s the reason we play with so much love and joy. And you know, we still have a lot to prove.”
Tang kept using the term “elevate” when he was hired to replace Bruce Weber a year ago. But not even the longtime Baylor assistant could imagine how quickly, and how high, he would have the Wildcats soaring.
“We surpassed the epectations I had,” Tang said in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press. “But like, you don’t enjoy this, you shouldn’t be doing it, right? Our guys, our young people, our community deserves to have someone that really appreciates them and desires to be around them. They deserve this.”
The first thing to understand about Tang’s winding road to the heartland of America is fortunate to be here. Not here, as in Kansas State. Here, as in alive.
Born in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, Tang moved to St. Croix with his mother and three siblings while his father chased work in the oil industry. He was about 5 years old and playing marbles beneath a car in his aunt’s driveway when his cousin, not knowing he was there, got behind the wheel and drove away.
“Drove right over him,” remembers Tang’s older sister, Kim. “He’s lucky. He was in the hospital for weeks.”
Perhaps that brush with death somehow infused in Tang his profoundly deep faith — “I believe my gift is ministry,” he explains, “and my passion just happens to be basketball.” Or perhaps it somehow led to a preternaturally optimistic outlook on life, which has served him well as he tries to resurrect Kansas State’s basketball program.
“He treats people the right way,” says Baylor coach Scott Drew, his longtime friend. “He just always sees the good in people.”
Tang grew up playing cricket and soccer, and when his family moved to the Houston area, it became baseball and football — this was Texas, after all. But in 1979, while watching Magic Johnson and Michigan State beat Larry Bird and Indiana State in the title game that truly gave birth to March Madness, Tang fell in love with basketball.
Except, well, he wasn’t very good.
It was a bible scholarship that got him to North Central College. He later attended junior college before dropping out, partly because of money, partly due to immaturity. (He would earn his degree from Charter Oak State College years later.)
Tang returned to Texas, intent on becoming a youth pastor. But when the founder of Heritage Christian Academy, Dr. Jennifer Cooper, was searching for a basketball coach, she turned to Mike Allard, Tang’s own youth pastor at Green’s Bayou Assembly of God. He recommended this energetic kid with a devout faith in both Jesus and basketball.
“We drove around in, like, a Cheech-and-Chong van to get places,” Tang says. “It was the best place in the world.”
Tang soon built the small school into a national power, pumping out prospects such as Von Wafer, who played at Florida State and in the NBA. And he was still there in 2002 when Drew was hired to clean up an inconceivable mess at Baylor.
Drew needed someone with an unflinchingly positive attitude who could recruit in Texas, and over dinner one night, Tang won him over, earning a job that Drew had very nearly given to someone else.
Nearly two decades later, inside a quiet football stadium at the end of an NCAA Tournament played entirely inside a COVID-19 bubble, Drew and Tang celebrated the Bears winning the 2021 national championship.
“Scott allowed us to make mistakes,” says Tang, who has Drew’s book, “The Road to Joy,” prominently displayed above his otherwise haphazard desk. “I mean, we were young, so we could make mistakes. And sometimes in this business, you’re not allowed to make mistakes. I’ll never be able to thank him for that.”
Gene Taylor remembers a moment last year when the Wildcats still had just five players on their roster, and he was rightfully nervous. The athletic director had hired Tang after a pair of lengthy linterviews, one in Kansas City and one at Tang’s home in Waco, Texas, and entrusted him with a program long on tradition but short on recent success.
“I asked, ‘Are we OK?’” Taylor recalled, “and he said, ‘Gene, we’re fine. I don’t just want guys; I want the right guys.’”
The right guys turned out to be a motley crew carefully assembled during that hot summer in the Flint Hills.
Nowell is the 5-foot-8 sparkplug that Kentucky coach John Calipari couldn’t get himself to call by name — “That little guy,” coach Cal said — after he’d minced up his own Wildcats in last weekend’s second-round tourney game.
Keyontae Johnson, voted an All-American alongside Nowell, was playing for Florida when he collapsed on the court during a game in December 2020. Most schools were unwilling to clear Johnson to play, due to his underlying heart condition, but Tang was willing to take every step and precaution necessary to get him back on the court.
Cam Carter came from Mississippi State, David N’Guessan from Virginia Tech. Desi Sills arrived from Arkansas State, Abayomi Iyiola from Hofstra. Nae’Qwan Tomlin, who never even played basketball in high school, signed out of junior college, and a pair of freshmen were sold on Tang’s unwavering vision for the future.
“Nobody,” Kansas coach Bill Self said, “has done a better job of assembling talent in a short amount of time.”
Picked to finish last in the Big 12, the Wildcats finished third. The reward was a No. 3 seed in March Madness, where the Wildcats knocked off Montana State in the first round before toppling Kentucky last weekend.
Now, they’re just two more wins away from their first Final Four in nearly 50 years.
“I like doing first stuff, you know?” Tang says, leaning forward in a purple wingback chair in the corner of his office, where boxes still remain unpacked a year after moving in. “Players, you ask them, do you remember your first dunk? They all remember their first dunk. Do you remember your third dunk? They don’t. Do you remember your first girlfriend? My first girlfriend was Pam Hubbard. My last was Careylyen, and I married her.
“You remember your firsts and your lasts,” Tang says, “and I like firsts.”
AFTER INJURY, CREIGHTON’S NEMBHARD FUELING MARCH MADNESS RUN
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Ryan Nembhard was injured and watched from the bench during Creighton’s two-game stay in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
The point guard is front and center for the sixth-seeded Bluejays this year, having just played the game of his life to lead them into the Sweet 16.
“It’s a feeling you can’t describe,” Nembhard said of the turnabout.
Nembhard scored a career-high 30 points in an 85-76 win over third-seeded Baylor on Sunday night. The victory sends Creighton to Louisville, Kentucky, to play No. 15 seed Princeton in a South Region semifinal Friday. Win that game, and the Bluejays would be in the Elite Eight for the first time.
“I was obviously out last year and it was tough for me to watch, but I’m super excited to get back out with my guys this year,” he said. “Our goal this year was to get back to a game like this, and we’re super happy we could pull out the win.”
Nembhard was the 2022 Big East freshman of the year but went out with two weeks left in the regular season when he broke his right wrist trying to steal a pass against St. John’s.
The Bluejays went 4-4 without Nembhard and earned a No. 9 NCAA seed after losing to Villanova in the Big East Tournament championship game. With Trey Alexander running the point in place of Nembhard, the Bluejays beat San Diego State in overtime before exiting with a 79-72 loss to eventual national champion Kansas.
Nembhard, the brother of Indiana Pacers rookie Andrew Nembhard, came back fully healthy this season and has started all 35 games. The player nicknamed “R2” — to avoid confusion with Ryan Kalkbrenner — was third in the Big East in assist-turnover ratio (2.4-to-1) and free-throw shooting (87.8%).
In a lineup with five double-digit scorers, he went into the NCAA Tournament as the team’s fourth option behind Kalkbrenner, Alexander and Baylor Scheierman.
“To have a point guard like R2, he gets our offense going,” Alexander said. “I feel like he’s at the heart of the flow of the offense, and I feel like him as a player kind of gets us going as a team. Anytime you look down the court, you see him just speeding past anybody or you see him finding the open guy or talking you through the offense. He’s just a winner.”
Nembhard turned into a scorer with Kalkbrenner and Scheierman combining for only four points in the second half. Nembhard had 19 of his 30 points after halftime. On four occasions, Baylor pulled within 10 points and Nembhard either hit 3-pointers or scored from the free-throw line to restore a double-digit lead. He made three 3-pointers in a row during a stretch in which he shot 5 of 6 overall.
“Everybody knew that he was going to have a big night sooner or later,” Alexander said, “but at the end of the day, he just wants to win.”
Nembhard moved to Florida to attend Montverde Academy for high school, and by his senior year he was rated the No. 62 national recruit by ESPN. Montverde was 69-4 in Nembhard’s three years, and he chose Creighton over Florida and Stanford.
Creighton coach Greg McDermott said he and assistant Alan Huss first saw Nembhard at an event in Las Vegas while they were there to scout another player.
“I said, ‘Who’s that little guy from Canada?’” McDermott said.
McDermott and Huss expected Nembhard to go to Florida, where Andrew Nembhard started his career. Once Andrew transferred to Gonzaga, Creighton knew it had a chance to land Ryan.
“He’s never going to get too high when things are going well, and he’s never going to get too low if he’s struggling,” McDermott said. “To me that’s one of the characteristics that has to be with a great point guard, and he has it.”
ALABAMA’S QUINERLY SEEKING SWEET ENDING IN MARCH MADNESS
Jahvon Quinerly’s knee injury that helped doom Alabama’s NCAA Tournament chances a year ago is hardly the start of his college basketball saga.
It’s probably not even the low point.
The Crimson Tide point guard, who has re-emerged as one of the top players on one of the nation’s best teams, is winding down a career that veered off course at times but has a shot at ending in storybook fashion as March Madness heads to the regional semifinals.
“We could go all the way back to when I committed to Arizona and the FBI scandal,” Quinerly said after his 22-point performance against Maryland. “I always think of it but I don’t like to bring it up to the media because I feel like I’m just bringing up old news. It’s just really surreal because I really have been through a lot.”
Not many athletes make it to this point after their career starts off with an “FBI scandal.”
Quinerly has helped the top-seeded Tide (31-5) reach the Sweet 16 for the second time in his career, setting up a meeting Friday night with No. 5 seed San Diego State (29-6) in Louisville, Kentucky.
This comes after struggling much of the season to regain his old form after tearing his left ACL before even getting a chance to break much of a sweat in the Tide’s second-round loss to Notre Dame a year ago. That injury, which forced Quinerly to postpone plans to turn pro, came one year to the day before his big game against Maryland.
Quinerly is the only Alabama player still around who played in an 88-78 overtime loss to UCLA in the Sweet 16 two years ago after earning Southeastern Conference Tournament MVP honors. Coach Nate Oats said he can’t help but wonder if last year’s team would have made it that far again with a healthy Quinerly, adding that he has “taken ownership of this team.”
“He’s playing his best basketball by far right now,” Oats said. “He doesn’t want to let his teammates down. He wants to take this team as far as we could go.”
Quinerly’s college career was eventful well before that knee injury.
It started with Arizona, where the five-star recruit was planning to join three cousins before he was the subject of allegations about recruiting payouts as part of a federal investigation.
Then-Arizona assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson, who had helped recruit him out of New Jersey, later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. A wiretap recording said he gave $15,000 of a $20,000 bribe to Quinerly’s mother, Caren. Richardson’s attorney later said the coach kept the money. In the meantime, Quinerly and his family lived under a cloud of suspicion.
Quinerly headed to Villanova, which had offered him a scholarship as a ninth-grader. After playing less than 10 minutes a game as a freshman, he opted to join Oats at Alabama, still known for being a powerhouse in football, not basketball.
“When I transferred to ’Bama, people laughed at me,” Quinerly said. “I promise you people laughed at me. They didn’t think I would win the way that we have won. It’s just a really good feeling proving people wrong. I feel like that motivated me to go even harder, and it’s definitely special getting back to the Sweet 16 after everything that I’ve been through. I’m really looking to take it the whole way with this special group.”
At Alabama, he had to sit out a season after the NCAA denied a request for a waiver because of what he had been through with Arizona. When he did play, he emerged as one of the Tide’s better players in the 2020-21 season, averaging nearly 15 points and ending it with 15 consecutive double-digit scoring efforts. Quinerly put up similar numbers last season before he was injured.
Quinerly has started the past five games, all Tide wins, after coming off the bench all season. For the most part, he struggled to return to form until late February. Things turned around against Arkansas and Auburn, when he combined for 40 points and 13 assists.
“I knew it would come back. I just didn’t know when,” Quinerly said. “I didn’t know if it would take 14 months, 16 months. To see it come back like month 9, month 10, it’s an amazing feeling.”
It took multiple rehab sessions and workouts. It also took plenty of time working on his mind, too, ultimately leading to the point where he was able to stop fixating on his knee.
“I have a therapist I talk to about my injury and just mental health,” Quinerly said. “That’s a real thing. Just talking to the right people. It took some time to get to the point where I felt like I could go out there and do the things I used to do.”
His own team and family aren’t alone in being happy about that. Maryland coach Kevin Willard, then at Seton Hall, had been watching Quinerly since the point guard’s ninth-grade year.
“I’ve watched him every second of the way,” Willard recalled. “To see him turn into the player he’s turning into and to see what he went through early in his college career and now seeing him blossoming and having confidence — he has the swagger he had in high school back.”
WILLIS REED, LEADER ON KNICKS’ 2 TITLE TEAMS, DIES AT 80
NEW YORK (AP) Willis Reed, who dramatically emerged from the locker room minutes before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to spark the New York Knicks to their first championship and create one of sports’ most enduring examples of playing through pain, died Tuesday. He was 80.
Reed’s death was announced by the National Basketball Retired Players Association, which confirmed it through his family. The cause was not released, but Reed had been in poor health recently and was unable to travel to New York when the Knicks honored the 50th anniversary of their 1973 NBA championship team during their game against New Orleans on Feb. 25.
The Knicks tweeted a photograph picturing Reed from behind walking onto the floor as his teammates were warming up for the 1970 finale, one of the most memorable moments in NBA and Madison Square Garden history.
“As we mourn, we will always strive to uphold the standards he left behind – the unmatched leadership, sacrifice and work ethic that personified him as a champion among champions,” the team said. “His is a legacy that will live forever.”
Nicknamed “The Captain,” Reed was the undersized center and emotional leader on the Knicks’ two NBA championship teams, with a soft shooting touch from the outside and a toughness to tussle with the era’s superstar big men on the inside.
He was remembered Tuesday perhaps more for the manner he led the Knicks than how superbly he played for them.
“Willis Reed was the ultimate team player and consummate leader. My earliest and fondest memories of NBA basketball are of watching Willis, who embodied the winning spirit that defined the New York Knicks’ championship teams in the early 1970s,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “He played the game with remarkable passion and determination, and his inspiring comeback in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals remains one of the most iconic moments in all of sports.”
Reed’s accomplishments – seven All-Star selections, two NBA Finals MVP awards among them – would have warranted Hall of Fame induction by themselves. During the 1969-70 season, he became the first player to sweep the MVP awards for the regular season, All-Star Game and NBA Finals.
But his spot in history was secured simply by walking onto the floor on the final night of that season.
Reed had injured a thigh muscle in Game 5 of the series between the Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, tumbling to the court in pain. He sat out Game 6 as counterpart Wilt Chamberlain had 45 points and 27 rebounds in a Lakers romp that forced a deciding game at Madison Square Garden.
Reed’s status was unknown even to his Knicks teammates as he continued getting treatment until shortly before Game 7. Both teams were warming up when Reed came out of the tunnel, fans rising and roaring when they saw him emerge from the tunnel leading to the locker room.
“And here comes Willis and the crowd is going wild,” radio announcer Marv Albert said.
The Lakers stopped to watch Reed, who made two quick jump shots in the early minutes of the game, running back down the court after both with a noticeable limp. He wouldn’t score again but the Knicks didn’t need it, with their captain’s return and Walt Frazier’s 36 points and 19 assists energizing them to a 113-99 romp and their first NBA title.
Frazier’s performance was one of the finest ever in a deciding game, but it was forever a footnote to Reed’s return. In 2006, to coincide with the NBA’s 60th anniversary, it finished third in voting of the league’s 60 greatest playoff moments, behind Michael Jordan’s championship-winning jumper for his sixth title in 1998 and Magic Johnson ending his rookie season by filling in for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at center in Game 6 of the 1980 finals to lead the Lakers to a championship.
Long afterward, a player’s return from injury has sometimes compared to Reed, such as when Boston’s Paul Pierce was carried off the floor with a knee injury in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals against Los Angeles before quickly returning. But Phil Jackson, a teammate of Reed’s and then Lakers coach, dismissed that because of how serious Reed’s injury was.
“If I’m not mistaken, I think Willis Reed missed a whole half and three-quarters almost of a game and literally had to have a shot – a horse shot, three or four of them – in his thigh to come back out and play,” Jackson said.
Reed wouldn’t be able to recover so quickly from injuries in the coming years. He was limited to just 11 games in 1971-72 but came back strong the next season to spark the Knicks to a second title in what was his last full season.
Though his return always made the ‘70 title the more celebrated one, it was the ’72-73 squad, having been fortified by Hall of Famers Earl Monroe and Jerry Lucas, that stood out to Reed.
“That, to me, in my mind was the best team,” he said during its 40th anniversary celebration.
Reed would play only 19 games in 1973-74 before retiring because of a knee injury after just 10 seasons.
That was long enough to collect more than 12,000 points and 8,400 rebounds, both of which still rank in the top three on the Knicks’ career lists.
He had a successful post-playing career as a coach and executive, with 76ers coach Doc Rivers recalling playing for Atlanta when Reed was an assistant coach.
“He was simply a great person, A man!!! A leader!!! A Winner!!!” Rivers tweeted.
Willis Reed was born June 25, 1942, in Hico, Louisiana. He stayed in his home state for his college career, leading Grambling State to the 1961 NAIA championship and a third-place finish in 1963. The school retired his number and named its court after Reed in 2022.
A second-round pick in 1964, he quickly proved that standing only 6-foot-9 wouldn’t keep him from becoming one of the league’s top centers. He was voted Rookie of the Year and earned the first of his seven straight All-Star selections.
Reed was the anchor as the Knicks became one of the best teams in the NBA, with Hall of Famers such as Frazier, Bill Bradley and Dave DeBusschere.
Reed provided them with 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds for his career, along with plenty of toughness. An ESPN documentary in 2014 on those Knicks showed footage of a 1966 fight in a game against the Lakers in which Reed appeared to throw punches at multiple opponents, with Jackson noting that it appeared Reed “decimated this team.”
His No. 19 was the first number retired by the Knicks and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1982.
Reed went on to coach the Knicks to a playoff berth in 1977-78 but coached them only 14 more games the following season. He also was a head coach at Creighton and the New Jersey Nets, but his greatest success after his playing career came in the front office.
He was their senior vice president of basketball operations when they drafted Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson, who became All-Stars and led the Nets to the playoffs in the 1990s.
ANALYSIS: INJURIES SLOWED PROGRESS IN DETROIT, CHARLOTTE
The Detroit Pistons entered the season with a young nucleus led by Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft. There was talk of a new phase of their rebuild.
Instead, they appear poised to finish with the worst record in the NBA.
An injury to Cunningham limited him to 12 games this season, and Detroit has lost 14 of its last 15 to fall to 16-56. The Eastern Conference’s second-worst record belongs to the Charlotte Hornets, who have dealt with their own major injury to LaMelo Ball. Instead of showing progress in 2022-23, both teams have had to spend another season being patient.
“We’ve been doing it with young players, and their development is our situation now with our record,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said recently. “But for me, their growth, a young man like James Wiseman, a young man like Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, those guys’ growth is our record. We don’t talk about wins, we talk about having small victories, whether it’s rebounding, transition defense, those little things that probably the everyday fan wouldn’t pay attention to. But for us, that’s growth, because for us, the pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow.”
Pistons fans can be forgiven for thinking they were a bit closer to the end of that rainbow before this season. They’d added Ivey and Duren, two of the top 13 picks in last year’s draft, and Cunningham was coming off a strong rookie season. Detroit had also acquired Bojan Bogdanovic from Utah in a trade.
Casey said at the time the Pistons were young, but the most talented they’d been since he took over in 2018.
But Cunningham didn’t play after Nov. 9 and eventually had season-ending surgery on his shin. The Pistons acquired Wiseman, the second overall pick in 2020, from Golden State. He had 22 points and 13 rebounds against Miami on Sunday, but that was yet another defeat.
The Hornets (23-50) also feel strongly about their future, but this season has been nothing short of a disaster for coach Steve Clifford in his return to Charlotte.
Ball, taken one pick after Wiseman in 2020, was an All-Star last season but has been limited to 36 games in 2022-23 due to three left ankle sprains and a fracture in his right ankle. Ball is currently in a walking boot and on crutches and is done for the season.
He said Monday he expects to be ready for training camp in September.
Charlotte went 43-39 last season. But even before their injury problems, the Hornets’ 2022-23 campaign seemed doomed. Restricted free agent Miles Bridges, the team’s leading scorer last season, was arrested on domestic abuse charges and never re-signed. He pleaded no contest.
Clifford does feel good about the young talent on the roster, including the development of rookie Mark Williams and Nick Richards, the team’s two young 7-foot centers. He’s also high on forward JT Thor and guard Bryce McGowens.
“I think Nick Richards has emerged and he can be in the rotation for a good team, and Mark Williams is every bit the defender, or maybe even more, that people thought he could be, and much better offensively,” Clifford said.
Unlike the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, the two teams bringing up the rear in the West, the Pistons and Hornets haven’t had success in the particularly recent past. Detroit hasn’t won a playoff game since 2008. Charlotte made the play-in round last year, but that was the Hornets’ lone winning season of the past seven.
The injuries to Cunningham and Ball have made this season another dreary one for the Pistons and Hornets, but the presence of those two players mean improvement could certainly come quickly if they’re back to full health. And now Detroit and Charlotte can look forward to more high draft picks.
“It’s a rebuilding year,” Casey said. “But in the future, these last two years is really going to pay off for the franchise and for these players.”
NBA ROUNDUP: PAUL GEORGE GETS HURT IN CLIPPERS’ LOSS
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points against his former team and Jalen Williams added 20 as the Oklahoma City Thunder continued to solidify their playoff standing Tuesday with a 101-100 victory over the host Los Angeles Clippers.
Josh Giddey scored 13 points and Isaiah Joe added 12 as the Thunder won for the eighth time in their past 10 games.
Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points and Paul George added 18 against his former team before departing with a knee injury. George appeared to hyperextend his right knee after he was fouled by Luguentz Dort on a rebound attempt with 4:38 remaining. He did not return to the game.
Leonard had a chance to give the Clippers the victory on the last possession after a rebound of a Williams miss. However, after dribbling near the 3-point arc for 21 seconds, he was unable to get a shot off in time.
CELTICS 132, KINGS 109
Jayson Tatum scored 36 points, Jaylen Brown added 27 and Boston beat host Sacramento to finish 4-2 on a cross-country trek.
Derrick White added 20 points for the Celtics, and Marcus Smart scored 17. White completed a double-double with a team-high 11 assists, while Tatum was Boston’s leading rebounder with eight boards.
Domantas Sabonis tallied 16 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists for the Kings, who lost their second straight. Sabonis’ triple-double was his 12th of the season. De’Aaron Fox led Sacramento with 18 points.
CAVALIERS 115, NETS 109
Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points as Cleveland took control in the second quarter to beat Brooklyn in New York — the Cavaliers’ eighth win in 11 games.
Mitchell made 10 of 22 shots, including five of Cleveland’s 14 3-pointers. Former Net Caris LeVert added 18 points, while Darius Garland and Evan Mobley contributed 17 apiece for the Cavaliers, who shot 50.6 percent.
Day’Ron Sharpe scored 20 points to lead the Nets, who tied a season high with their fourth straight loss. Spencer Dinwiddie added 19 points and 11 assists, while Mikal Bridges contributed 18 points.
HAWKS 129, PISTONS 107
Trae Young bounced back from his second-worst scoring night of the season to score 30 points as Atlanta finished off a four-game season sweep of Detroit.
Young added 12 assists for his 35th double-double and 24th 30-point game of the season. Bogdan Bogdanovic started at guard in place of Dejounte Murray (illness) and scored 18 points. John Collins added 15 points and eight rebounds, and Clint Capela had 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Detroit’s Marvin Bagley III scored a season-high 31 points, including a career-high four 3-pointers. The Pistons also got 21 points from Killian Hayes and 17 from Jaden Ivey.
MAGIC 122, WIZARDS 112
Seven players scored at least 14 points, led by Gary Harris’ 22, and Orlando dealt a blow to visiting Washington’s play-in aspirations.
Paolo Banchero finished with 18 points for the Magic on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor and matched Carter’s team-high total of nine rebounds.
Kristaps Porzingis returned to the lineup after missing Washington’s Saturday loss to Sacramento due to an illness, and he scored a game-high 30 points. However, Kyle Kuzma was a late scratch because of an ankle sprain.
PELICANS 119, SPURS 84
Brandon Ingram scored 32 points to lead five players in double figures as host New Orleans routed short-handed San Antonio.
Jonas Valanciunas added 19 points and 15 rebounds and Trey Murphy III scored 17 points as the Pelicans completed a four-game sweep of the season series.
Sandro Mamukelashvili scored 20 points for the Spurs, who played without Keldon Johnson (neck), Devin Vassell (knee) and Zach Collins (rest). San Antonio lost for the third time in four games.
OHTANI FANS TROUT, JAPAN TOPS US 3-2 FOR WBC CHAMPIONSHIP
MIAMI (AP) Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout had dreamed of this moment, along with millions of fans throughout Japan and the United States: the two biggest stars on the planet, longtime teammates, facing each other at 60 feet, 6 inches, the world title at stake.
Of course, the count went full.
And then Ohtani got Trout to swing under a slider on the outside corner, sealing Japan’s 3-2 win Tuesday night and its first World Baseball Classic title since 2009.
“This is the best moment in my life,” Ohtani said through a translator.
Ohtani, the two-way star who has captivated fans across two continents, was voted MVP of the WBC after batting .435 with one homer, four doubles, eight RBIs and 10 walks while going 2-0 with a save and a 1.86 ERA on the mound, striking out 11 in 9 2/3 innings.
“I think every baseball fan wanted to see that. I’ve been answering questions about it for the last month-and a-half,” said Trout, Ohtani’s Los Angeles Angels teammate since 2018.
“Did you think it was going to end in any other way?”
Watching the eighth and ninth innings unfold, Japan first baseman Kazuma Okamoto was in disbelief.
“I thought it was like a Manga,” he said through an interpreter, referring to a Japanese comic book.
U.S. manager Mark DeRosa savored the matchup – except for the ending.
“I just would have liked to have seen Mike hit a 500-foot homer,” he said.
Ohtani had given a pregame pep talk in Japan’s clubhouse.
“Let’s stop admiring them,” he said, according to a Los Angeles Times translation of the video posted on the website Samurai Japan. “If you admire them, you can’t surpass them. We came here to surpass them, to reach the top. For one day, let’s throw away our admiration for them and just think about winning.”
Japan then joined the Dominican Republic in 2013 as the only unbeaten champions of baseball’s premier national team tournament. The Samurai Warriors went 7-0 and outscored opponents 56-18, reaching the final for the first time since winning the first two WBCs in 2006 and 2009. No other nation has won the title more than once.
Trea Turner put the U.S. ahead in the second against Shota Imanaga (1-0) with his fifth home run of the tournament, tying the WBC record set by South Korea’s Seung Yuop Lee in 2006.
Munetaka Murakami tied the score on the first pitch of the bottom half off Merrill Kelly (0-1) driving an up fastball 432 feet into the right-field upper deck, a 115.1 mph bullet. Japan loaded the bases and Lars Nootbaar, the first non-Japanese-born player to appear for the Samurai Warriors, followed with a run-scoring groundout off Aaron Loup for a 2-1 lead.
Okamoto boosted the lead in the fourth when he sent a flat slider from Kyle Freeland over the wall in left-center for another solo homer. Kyle Schwarber pulled the Americans within a run when he went deep in the eighth off Yu Darvish.
Ohtani was Japan’s designated hitter and first went to the bullpen ahead of the sixth inning. He returned to the dugout and beat out an infield single in the seventh before again walking down the left-field line to Japan’s bullpen and warming up for his third mound appearance of the tournament.
He walked big league batting champion Jeff McNeil to begin the ninth, then got six-time All-Star Mookie Betts to ground into a double play.
That brought up Trout, the U.S. captain, a 10-time All-Star and a three-time MVP.
“I saw him take a big deep breath to try and control his emotions,” DeRosa said. “I can’t even imagine being in that moment, the two best players on the planet locking horns as teammates in that spot.”
Ohtani started with a slider low, then got Trout to swing through a 100 mph fastball. Another fastball sailed outside and Trout missed a 99.8 mph pitch over the middle. A 101.6 offering, the fastest of Ohtani’s 15 pitches, was low and way outside.
Ohtani stepped off the mound and blew on his pitching hand. He went back to a offspeed option, a slider.
Trout grimaced after his futile swing, his 12th strikeout of a tournament in which he hit .296 with one homer and seven RBIs. Ohtani raised both arms and threw his glove, then his cap, as teammates mobbed him.
Ohtani got his second career save, the first since a 2016 playoff game with the Pacific League’s Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. He and Trout had hugged behind the batting cage during pregame workouts, then held their nation’s flag while leading their teams toward home plate in single file during the introductions, Trout down the right-field line and Ohtani in left.
Several thousand fans had arrived hours early to watch Ohtani take batting practice and applauded when he hit a drive off the video board above the second deck in center.
“What he’s doing in the game is what probably 90% of the guys in that clubhouse did in Little League or in youth tournaments, and he’s able to pull it off on the biggest stages,” DeRosa said. “He is a unicorn to the sport. I think other guys will try it, but I don’t think they’re going to do it to his level.”
Japan gets $3 million in prize money and the U.S. $1.7 million. Half of each goes to players, the other half to the national baseball federaton.
MLB openers are March 30, the same day the season starts in Japan.
PHILLIES KEEP ‘OPTIONS OPEN,’ BRYCE HARPER AVOIDS 60-DAY IL
Bryce Harper might not be back sooner than expected, but all indications from president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski are the Philadelphia Phillies’ slugger won’t be later than projected, either.
Dombrowski said Tuesday on SportsRadio 94 WIP that the Phillies will hold Harper on the 40-man roster rather than pushing him to the 60-day injured list, which was considered a formality following offseason elbow surgery.
“We’re going to keep our options open,” Dombrowski said.
Harper underwent Tommy John surgery in November and said earlier this month he wasn’t ready to talk about timetables for his potential return to the team.
“I think today we’ll probably go over that a little bit more, get a sense of where they’re at, where I’m at,” Harper said. “I had a great offseason. After I had surgery I felt really good. I still feel good now. I don’t want to put a timeline on anything. I’ve never dealt with anything like an elbow. So it’s definitely different waters for me.”
The Phillies initially said Harper’s likely return would be near the All-Star break in July. Harper said he was comfortable with that projection, but did note the date is subject to change.
“Things can change either way,” Harper said. “I can be after, I can be before. As of now, that’s the date we solidified. We’re not going to rush. We’re going to be smart about it. We knew at the end of the year last year that this might happen. So we’re thankful for the DH — again. I mean, I was so against it, but I’m all about it. I love doing it, too.”
Harper, 30, originally sustained the injury on April 11 and ended up moving from the outfield to designated hitter for the remainder of the season as the Phillies captured their first pennant since 2009.
Harper hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs in 99 games last season. He batted .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games, with the Phillies losing the World Series to the Houston Astros in six games.
The seven-time All-Star has 285 homers, 817 RBIs and a .280 batting average in 1,382 games with the Washington Nationals (2012-18) and Phillies.
MLB WILL CLARIFY NEW RULES BEFORE OPENING DAY
Major League Baseball’s new rules will be clarified ahead of the season openers on March 30, commissioner Rob Manfred said on Tuesday.
Among the alterations made for the 2023 season are implementing time limits between pitches (20 seconds with runners on base, 15 seconds with the bases empty), preventing dramatic defensive shifts and limiting the number of pickoff throws.
“We had a series of clarifications that we’re going to announce shortly, things that have come out of player input conversations that have taken place,” Manfred said. “We have another set of issues that we want to see some regular-season games before we make a decision on them.
“I’ve met with six teams already. Our feet are not in stone this. On one hand, we are prepared to make adjustments based on input; on the other hand, we want to give it a chance to see exactly how it plays out after a period of adjustments in some regular-season games before we make any really significant changes.”
While Manfred did not detail the tweaks, USA Today reported that they will be:
–No warmup tosses allowed in the final 30 seconds of an inning break.
–Baserunners in motion on a pitch will, after a foul ball, be permitted time to return to the previous base.
–Quick pitches will be averted by giving hitters in the batter’s box during the final eight seconds time to get set.
“The clarifications are important in my mind,” Manfred said, “because they are responses to things players said.”
SPRING TRAINING ROUNDUP: A’S YIELD INSIDE-THE-PARK HR, RALLY PAST ANGELS
Tyler Wade knocked a go-ahead RBI double to left in the top of the ninth, and the Oakland Athletics hung on to beat the host Los Angeles Angels 6-5 in a spring training game on Tuesday in Tempe, Ariz.
Cristian Pache started the rally earlier in the ninth when his double-play grounder scored the tying run and put Jose Escorche on third. Then Wade came to the plate and collected his second hit of the day.
Taylor Ward scored an inside-the-park home run for the Angels in the first inning. Ward’s liner to center got past a diving Esteury Ruiz, and the A’s were slow to chase it down. He later added an RBI single.
Luis Rengifo went 3-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, including a solo homer in the fourth that put Los Angeles ahead 5-4.
YANKEES 6, TIGERS 3
Josh Donaldson homered twice for four RBIs and host New York topped Detroit in Tampa, Fla.
Yankees starter Luis Severino struck out nine batters in four innings, and reliever Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0) struck out the side in the sixth for the win. Kerry Carpenter had a solo homer for the Tigers.
PIRATES 4, PHILLIES 3
Chris Owings scored on a walk-off wild pitch for Pittsburgh to beat visiting Philadelphia in Bradenton, Fla.
Phillies reliever Noah Skirrow (0-1) was responsible for the wild pitch and finished with four walks, two hits and two runs over 2 1/3 innings. Jake Cave hit his third homer of spring training for Philadelphia, while Pirates veteran Andrew McCutchen hit his first of the spring, a two-run shot.
ORIOLES 6, RED SOX 2
Adley Rutschman and Ryan Mountcastle launched solo homers in the first inning to power Baltimore to a win over visiting Boston in Sarasota, Fla.
Mountcastle finished 2-for-3 with two runs. Adam Duvall hit a solo shot and scored both Red Sox runs, but starter Chris Sale was shelled for six runs on nine hits over five innings in the loss.
ASTROS 2, MARLINS 1
Chas McCormick and Jeremy Pena hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the third inning, and host Houston hung on to beat Miami in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Astros starter Ronel Blanco (2-0) struck out three and gave up one hit and one walk over three innings, while Bryan Garcia worked a rare four-inning save. The Marlins scored their only run on a Garcia balk.
NATIONALS 4, CARDINALS 4
Host St. Louis scored all its runs — including a bases-loaded walk and two runs on errors — in the bottom of the eighth to forge a tie with Washington in Jupiter, Fla.
Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty scattered nine hits across 4 2/3 innings, while Nationals starter Josiah Gray was sharper, striking out five and yielding four hits and no walks in six scoreless innings. Washington got a two-run homer from Victor Robles and outhit St. Louis 15-6.
TWINS 5, RAYS 2
Carlos Correa hit a two-run home run and finished 2-for-3 with two runs to help Minnesota beat visiting Tampa Bay in Fort Myers, Fla.
Christian Vazquez added two RBIs for the Twins. Rene Pinto and Luke Raley hit back-to-back homers in the third to account for the Rays’ runs.
DODGERS 4, GUARDIANS 2
David Peralta’s three-run homer in the second inning boosted Los Angeles’ split squad to a win over host Cleveland in Goodyear, Ariz.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw (1-1) struck out three and allowed two runs on four hits and no walks over five innings. Cam Gallagher hit a two-run double for the Guardians.
GIANTS 12, DODGERS 1
Thairo Estrada had three hits and three RBIs to help visiting San Francisco pile on the Los Angeles split squad in Glendale, Ariz.
The Giants had 16 hits, hanging six hits and six runs on Dodgers starter Noah Syndergaard (1-2) over 4 1/3 innings. Giants starter Alex Wood (1-1) threw five innings of one-hit ball with six strikeouts and no walks.
ANGELS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 1
Anthony Rendon went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run and Jo Adell hit a two-run homer, his fourth of spring training, as visiting Los Angeles beat Arizona in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. supplied the D-backs’ only run with an eighth-inning RBI double.
WHITE SOX 6, BREWERS 5
Romy Gonzalez, Gavin Sheets and Adam Haseley all went yard for visiting Chicago in a victory over Milwaukee in Phoenix.
Jake Burger added a two-run ground-rule double and starter Lucas Giolito struck out six batters with just one hit over 4 1/3 innings. The Brewers scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, including Isaac Collins’ two-run single, but fell short of completing the comeback.
CUBS 6, ROYALS 2 (7 INNINGS)
Jameson Taillon allowed two runs in five innings while striking out nine as Chicago won a rain-shortened game against Kansas City in Surprise, Ariz.
The Cubs’ Christopher Morel and the Royals’ MJ Melendez hit home runs. Patrick Wisdom added two hits and two RBIs for Chicago.
PADRES 14, ROCKIES 2
Matt Carpenter went 3-for-4 with four RBIs to lead San Diego to a rout of Colorado in Peoria, Ariz.
Fernando Tatis, Jake Cronenworth, Brandon Dixon and Xander Bogaerts added two hits apiece for the Padres. The Rockies’ Brenton Doyle had two hits, including an RBI double.
JAKOBI MEYERS HOPES TO CREATE NEW MEMORIES IN LAS VEGAS
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Jakobi Meyers knew the question was coming at some point in his introductory news conference Thursday, and finally 14 queries in, a Las Vegas TV sports reporter asked it.
“I was waiting on it,” Meyers said, pounding his right fist on the podium. “Thank you. I appreciate you, man.”
The question Meyers knew was coming concerned his lateral on the last play of the Dec. 18 game between the Raiders and New England Patriots.
He inexplicably tossed the ball backward in a tie game that seemed destined for overtime, and Las Vegas defensive end Chandler Jones snagged the lateral out of the air and scored on a 48-yard touchdown to beat the Patriots 30-24.
Now Meyers will play in that same Allegiant Stadium as a member of the home team after signing a three-year, $33 million contract with the Raiders, of which $21 million is guaranteed.
Meyers said he is determined to use his gaffe, which handed the Patriots a crucial late-season loss as they chased a playoff spot, to help other teammates if they’re in similar situations.
“I knew what it meant to the team that I was on at the time, so it really hurt me,” Meyers said. “When I went through it in the moment, my heart was broken, but days after just seeing how guys kind of rallied around me, it built me up as a person.”
Meyers joins a Raiders team with receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow as well as newly acquired speedster Phillip Dorsett, who last season played for the Houston Texans.
Jimmy Garoppolo will be the new quarterback after signing a three-year deal Friday.
“They’ve got some real dogs on the offensive side,” Meyers said. “I feel like they can really play football, and I’ll just be another piece of the puzzle just trying to do my role and do my job and hopefully keep this machine rolling smoothly.”
The Raiders get a player coming off two strong seasons. Meyers caught a career-high six touchdown passes last season to go with 67 receptions for 804 yards. The year before, he set career highs with 83 receptions and 866 yards receiving.
Not bad for a player who signed as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina State four years ago.
“That’s something I won’t ever probably let myself forget,” Meyers said. “I remind myself every day, ‘Just don’t get too big-headed. At the end of the day you’re still that undrafted kid from Georgia.’”
The Patriots’ decision to let Meyers go in free agency was reportedly criticized in the locker room. New England essentially replaced him with free agent JuJu Smith-Schuster, who like Meyers signed a three-year, $33 million deal.
“Cold world lol,” Meyers tweeted at the time. He said Thursday he was just having fun with the tweet and that he appreciated his time in New England.
Until now, Meyers has played his entire four-year NFL career there, but there are familiar faces in Las Vegas.
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels was his offensive coordinator three of those seasons, and Las Vegas has in many ways become “Patriots West.” Those former Patriots players understand McDaniels’ system and expectations.
Meyers learned early that it wasn’t always easy playing for McDaniels, saying, “I wasn’t his biggest fan,” but has since seen the rewards through his play.
“His thing is just ironing out all the details,” Meyers said. “I feel like if you take care of the little things with Josh, it’ll make sure all the big things are erased. He definitely drilled home focusing on every single detail if that’s route depth, step count, inside leverage, winning outside. And if you didn’t do it the way he liked it, you repeated it.”
Now that Meyers is in Las Vegas, the one thing he doesn’t want to repeat is what happened last December.
He’s here to create new memories, ones that he won’t want to forget.
“That’s probably one of the most exciting opportunities for me, just to learn what it’s like living out here and meeting people and what it’s like as far as support,” Meyers said. “I’m excited to get to meet everybody. I mean I’m not turning down any conversation. I really am excited to just embrace the community and embrace everybody.”
NOTES: The Raiders signed safety Jaquan Johnson, who played for the Buffalo Bills the past four seasons. He has four starts in 60 games, with 39 tackles and two interceptions. He started three games last season, and made a career-high 25 tackles. They also added wide receiver Cam Sims, who played for Washington the past five seasons. He caught eight passes for 89 yards last season, and for his career has 57 receptions for 804 and three touchdowns.
AGENTS: CHIEFS RE-SIGN DT DERRICK NNADI
The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, his agency SportsTrust Advisors said Tuesday.
Contract terms were not disclosed for the two-time Super Bowl champion.
Nnadi, 26, started all 17 regular season games and all three playoff games last season.
A third-round draft pick by Kansas City in 2018, Nnadi has 193 tackles and four sacks in 81 games (69 starts).
DONT’A HIGHTOWER RETIRES FROM NFL AFTER DECADE WITH PATRIOTS
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Dont’a Hightower is making a quiet exit to a memorable career with the New England Patriots.
The veteran linebacker, who did not play last season, announced his retirement Tuesday in an essay posted on the Players’ Tribune website.
It ends a decade-long run in New England that began with the Patriots selecting him 25th overall in the 2012 draft. It included three Super Bowl rings (2014, 2016, 2018) and a pair of Pro Bowl selections (2016, 2019). He also was named a second-team All-Pro in 2016.
Hightower called his decision “a happy day.”
“People always ask what makes the Patriots culture so different. Easy answer: it was about professionalism, period. You knew that you had to show up every single day — not just physically but more so mentally,” he wrote. “We had a saying, ‘If you do it right, you do it light.’ Being good was expected. Being great might even get you a thumbs up from (coach) Bill (Belichick). Luckily, I knew a thing or two about that from my time at Alabama under Coach (Nick) Saban.
“For nine seasons, I lived that mentality 24/7. Today, I’m totally at peace knowing that I gave this franchise every ounce of sweat I had left.”
Hightower appeared in 117 games in his NFL career, amassing 27 sacks and 353 tackles.
With his wife expecting their first child, he opted to sit out the 2020 season because of concerns about COVID-19. He returned in 2021, but his production was down. He played in 15 games, logging 64 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
He became a free agent that summer but didn’t sign a new contract.
Hightower likely will be most remembered for tackling Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch on the 1-yard line late in the Super Bowl following the 2014 season. The play preceded Russell Wilson’s pass that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler in the end zone to clinch the Patriots’ 28-24 victory.
“When I saw Seattle line up in that I-form, I knew Beast Mode was getting it, and I knew they’d been gashing us with that strong-side lead all game,” Hightower recalled in his essay. “I knew he was going to walk through a huge hole if I didn’t take a risk. … I figured we had nothing to lose. So I ripped up under (Russell) Okung and shot my shot. All I saw was Marshawn’s two legs churning, and I just prayed to God that I could clip him up or something. I reached out … and you already know what happened next.”
Two seasons later, he came up big again in the Super Bowl. With the Patriots trailing the Falcons 28-12, his strip-sack of Atlanta’s Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter was recovered by Alan Branch. New England used a short field and scored to get within one possession. The Patriots ultimately tied it and capped off a historic comeback win in overtime.
“I’ll never get tired of inscribing ‘The Strip Sack’ on anything I sign,” Hightower wrote.
STEELERS SIGN FORMER EAGLES GUARD SEUMALO TO 3-YEAR DEAL
PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed longtime Philadelphia Eagles guard Isaac Seumalo to a three-year, $24 million contract.
The deal, announced Tuesday, fortifies the interior of the Steelers offensive line as Pittsburgh builds around second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett.
The 29-year-old Seumalo, a Hawaii native who played at Oregon State, started 60 games across seven seasons with the Eagles, who selected him in the third round of the 2016 draft. Seumalo appeared in 81 games in all for Philadelphia and won a Super Bowl with the Eagles following the 2017 season.
Seumalo is considered an excellent run blocker, though he has improved in pass protection during his career. He allowed just one sack while playing 1,137 offensive snaps in 2022.
While Seumalo can play all three interior line positions, he seems a natural fit at left guard. Kevin Dotson started all 17 games at the position for Pittsburgh in 2022 but seems headed to a reserve role in 2023.
Seumalo is the second offensive line signing by the Steelers so far in free agency. Pittsburgh brought in former New York Jets lineman Nate Herbig last week. Herbig, who signed a two-year deal, figures to serve as a backup at several positions.
REPORT: DOLPHINS RE-SIGNING LB ANDREW VAN GINKEL
The Miami Dolphins are re-signing linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, USA Today reported Tuesday.
The report said Van Ginkel drew interest from at least four other teams but is returning to Miami on a one-year deal.
Van Ginkel, 27, registered 47 tackles and one interception in 17 games (five starts) for the Dolphins in 2022.
A fifth-round pick by Miami in 2019, he has 181 tackles, 11 sacks and four forced fumbles in 56 games (31 starts).
2023 NFL MOCK DRAFT
1. Carolina Panthers (via CHI) C.J. Stroud QB, Ohio State
2. Houston Texans Bryce Young QB, Alabama
3. Arizona Cardinals Will Anderson Jr. EDGE, Alabama
4. Indianapolis Colts Anthony Richardson QB, Florida
5. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN) Tyree Wilson EDGE, Texas Tech
6. Detroit Lions Christian Gonzalez CB, Oregon
7. Las Vegas Raiders Jalen Carter IDL, Georgia
8. Atlanta Falcons Myles Murphy EDGE, Clemson
9. Chicago Bears (via CAR) Broderick Jones OT, Georgia
10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO) Devon Witherspoon CB, Illinois
11. Tennessee Titans Paris Johnson Jr. OT, Ohio State
12. Houston Texans (via CLE) Jordan Addison WR, USC
13. New York Jets Peter Skoronski OT, Northwestern
14. New England Patriots Darnell Wright OT, Tennessee
15. Green Bay Packers Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR, Ohio State
16. Washington Commanders Deonte Banks CB, Maryland
17. Pittsburgh Steelers Joey Porter Jr. CB, Penn State
18. Detroit Lions Will Levis QB, Kentucky
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bijan Robinson RB, Texas
20. Seattle Seahawks Bryan Bresee IDL, Clemson
21. Miami Dolphins [Pick forfeited]
22. Los Angeles Chargers Dalton Kincaid TE, Utah
23. Baltimore Ravens Lukas Van Ness EDGE, Iowa
24. Minnesota Vikings Zay Flowers WR, Boston College
25. Jacksonville Jaguars Michael Mayer TE, Notre Dame
26. New York Giants Quentin Johnston WR, TCU
27. Dallas Cowboys Nolan Smith EDGE, Georgia
28. Buffalo Bills John Michael Schmitz IOL, Minnesota
29. Cincinnati Bengals Brian Branch SAF, Alabama
30. New Orleans Saints (via DEN) O’Cyrus Torrence IOL, Florida
31. Philadelphia Eagles Calijah Kancey DL, Pitt
32. Kansas City Chiefs Derick Hall EDGE, Auburn
NHL ROUNDUP: ALEX OVECHKIN HITS 40 GOALS FOR RECORD 13TH TIME
On a night he was honored for passing one NHL legend, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin made history by eclipsing another. However, the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets stole the show with a stunning 7-6 overtime win over the Capitals on Tuesday night.
Jack Roslovic took advantage of a T.J. Oshie turnover and scored his second goal of the night 2:43 into overtime, giving the Blue Jackets (22-41-7, 51 points) the win on a night when they trailed 3-0 and 5-3.
Before the game, Ovechkin was honored in a 20-minute on-ice ceremony for passing Gordie Howe for second place on the all-time NHL goals list on Dec. 23. On Tuesday, Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season, passing Wayne Gretzky for the most 40-goal seasons in NHL history with his 13th.
Though they earned a point, the loss was a painful one for the Capitals (33-31-8, 74 points), who are trying to catch the Florida Panthers for the second and final Eastern Conference wild card. They ended the night five points behind Florida.
KRAKEN 5, STARS 4 (OT)
Defenseman Adam Larsson scored on a breakaway at 1:52 of overtime as Seattle overcame a near-disastrous finish to defeat host Dallas.
Joe Pavelski pulled the Stars within a goal with a tip-in at 16:34 of the third. Brandon Tanev had two goals and an assist, and Daniel Sprong and Jared McCann had one of each for the Kraken, who extended their road winning streak to six games. Joey Daccord, recalled from the American Hockey League to fill in for a sick Philipp Grubauer, made 25 saves.
Dallas’ Jamie Benn scored with 0.7 seconds remaining to force the extra session. Miro Heiskanen and Wyatt Johnston also scored for Dallas. Jake Oettinger stopped 22 of 27 shots.
HURRICANES 3, RANGERS 2
Teuvo Teravainen gave Carolina its first lead of the game with 2:33 remaining and the Hurricanes used a three-goal third period to win at New York.
Jalen Chatfield and Stefan Noesen scored 49 seconds apart for the Hurricanes, but Carolina gave up a goal in between in an eventful final 11 minutes. Frederik Andersen stopped 29 shots as the Metropolitan Division leaders hit 100 points in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history.
Tyler Motte and Kaapo Kakko scored for the Rangers, who missed a sweep in its season-long five-game homestand. Igor Shesterkin made 36 saves.
WILD 2, DEVILS 1 (OT)
Matt Boldy scored with two seconds left in overtime and Filip Gustavsson made a career-high 47 saves as Minnesota beat host New Jersey in Newark, N.J.
After the Devils’ Jack Hughes hit the post in the waning seconds of overtime, the puck caromed off the far board and onto the stick of Boldy, who broke free, then flipped a back-hander past Vitek Vanecek (27 saves).
Mason Shaw also scored and Gustavsson kept his team in the game all night as the Wild (41-22-8, 90 points), tied for the Central Division lead with Dallas, improved to 13-1-3 in their last 17 games. Timo Meier scored for the Devils (45-18-8, 98 points), who are two points out of the lead in the Metropolitan Division but mired in a 1-2-2 stretch.
CANADIENS 3, LIGHTNING 2
Kirby Dach and Jonathan Drouin both tallied a goal in their return to the lineup as Montreal topped visiting Tampa Bay.
After missing 16 games due to a lower-body injury, Dach netted the night’s first goal. Drouin — who dressed but didn’t skate during Montreal’s Saturday loss in Tampa for disciplinary reasons — added a second as the Canadiens salvaged one of four contests in the season series.
Mike Matheson also hit the back of the net for Montreal, and Nick Suzuki notched two assists. Sam Montembeault stopped 31 shots. Brayden Point and Pat Maroon scored for the Lightning. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy saw his 11-game winning streak against Montreal came to an end after making 17 saves on 20 shots.
JETS 2, COYOTES 1
Nikolaj Ehlers and Adam Lowry each scored in the first period and Winnipeg held on to edge visiting Arizona.
Morgan Barron and Neal Pionk each added an assist for Winnipeg (40-29-3, 83 points), which won for just the second time in the last five games. Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves.
Barrett Hayton scored the lone goal for Arizona (27-33-11, 65 points), which saw its four-game winning streak come to an end. Clayton Keller picked up an assist, extending his point streak to nine games. Karel Vejmelka turned aside 23 shots.
FLYERS 6, PANTHERS 3
Travis Sanheim scored two goals, and Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee each had a goal and an assist as host Philadelphia doubled-up Florida.
Scott Laughton and Ivan Provorov contributed one goal apiece while Egor Zamula, Noah Cates and Tyson Foerster had two assists each for the Flyers (26-32-12, 64 points). Goaltender Carter Hart made 41 saves for Philadelphia, which went 1-4-1 in its previous six games.
Brandon Montour and Sam Reinhart each had one goal and one assist for the Panthers, who saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Matthew Tkachuk added a goal for Florida (36-28-7, 79 points). One day after becoming the Panthers’ career points leader with 614, Aleksander Barkov registered two more assists.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4, CANUCKS 3
Phil Kessel and Reilly Smith scored first-period goals off giveaways as the Vegas kicked off a three-game Canadian road trip with a victory over Vancouver.
Teddy Blueger and Pavel Dorofeyev also scored and William Karlsson had two assists for the Golden Knights, who have won nine of their past 11 games. Jonathan Quick turned aside 31 shots.
J.T. Miller notched two goals and an assist, Phillip Di Giuseppe also scored and Quinn Hughes had two assists for the Canucks, who have lost just two of their past nine games. Thatcher Demko made 23 saves.
PREDATORS 7, SABRES 3
Luke Evangelista had two goals and two assists and Matt Duchene added two goals and one assist to power Nashville to a victory over host Buffalo.
Philip Tomasino, Ryan McDonagh and Tommy Novak each had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who ended their three-game losing streak that included a setback in overtime. Juuse Saros made 28 saves for the Predators. Dylan Cozens, Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner scored for the Sabres, who have dropped four straight.
Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Sabres halved the deficit at the 3:36 mark of the second period. JJ Peterka carried the puck the length of the ice only to be stopped by Saros, who failed to make a clean save, enabling Cozens to put home the rebound from close range. But Nashville responded with four unanswered goals and took a 6-2 lead into the final period.
BRUINS 2, SENATORS 1
A two-goal first period stood up as host Boston defeated visiting Ottawa for its fourth consecutive win.
After Ottawa drew first blood, David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk scored for Boston. Hampus Lindholm assisted on both, posting multiple helpers in a game for the eighth time this season. Linus Ullmark made 40 saves for Boston, improving to 10-1-0 in his last 11 starts.
Dylan Gambrell scored Ottawa’s goal, and Mads Sogaard stopped 33 shots. The Senators are 1-5-1 in their last seven games. Ottawa finished with a 41-35 shots advantage and went 0-for-3 on the power play, letting a late opportunity go by with the goaltender pulled.
ISLANDERS 7, MAPLE LEAFS 2
Cal Clutterbuck posted his first two-goal game in more than a year, and New York took advantage of a spate of turnovers by Toronto to earn a win in Elmont, N.Y.
Zach Parise, Hudson Fasching, Simon Holmstrom, Noah Dobson and Anders Lee also scored for the Islanders, who extended their lead over the Florida Panthers to three points in the race for the first Eastern Conference wild card. New York is four points ahead of the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins. Goalie Ilya Sorokin made 25 saves.
Sam Lafferty and Mitch Marner scored for the Maple Leafs, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Goalie Ilya Samsonov recorded 22 saves.
RED WINGS 3, BLUES 2 (SO)
Magnus Hellberg made 20 saves as Detroit won in St. Louis in a game that saw four goals scored in the first period and then nothing else until the shootout.
Lucas Raymond earned the extra point for the Red Wings (31-30-9, 71 points) by scoring the only goal in the four rounds of the shootout. Alex Chiasson and Filip Zadina scored regulation goals for the Red Wings, who earned just their third victory in their last 13 games.
Robert Bortuzzo and Marco Scandella scored and Joel Hofer made 28 saves for the Blues (31-33-6, 68 points), who have lost three of their last five games.
FLAMES 5, DUCKS 1
Nick Ritchie scored in the opening minute and Tyler Toffoli collected three assists as Calgary scored an easy victory in Anaheim.
Troy Stecher, Rasmus Andersson, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane also scored for the Flames (32-25-15, 79 points), who are four points out of a playoff spot with 10 games remaining. Toffoli has netted nine points in a four-game point streak.
Frank Vatrano scored for the Ducks (23-38-10, 56 points), who have one victory in their last five games. Goalie John Gibson stopped 38 shots.
MEN’S GOLF NEWS
COLUMN: MEMORIES ABOUND FROM 20-PLUS YEARS OF MATCH PLAY
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The end of the World Golf Championships was a matter of time, especially with the arrival next year of smaller fields and enormous prize money for the elite players.
What stings is losing the Match Play.
The tournament began in 1999 at La Costa in California. If that seems like a long time ago, consider that Tiger Woods had only one major when he beat six-time major champion Nick Faldo in the opening round. “I’m not going to feel sorry for him. He’s had his chances to win tournaments,” Woods said. He was 23 and already ruthless.
The final version takes place this week at Austin Country Club. It has moved to five other courses and the format has switched from single elimination to group play. What hasn’t changed are memories that have left a mark on the most fickle event in golf.
Gene Sarazen was 97 and watching from his home in Florida when Jeff Maggert won the inaugural event in 38 holes. It reminded Sarazen of his 1923 PGA Championship win over Walter Hagen.
“I went 38 holes with Hagen, just like Jeff Maggert went 38 holes with … what was the name of the player he beat?” he asked.
The Squire could remember details from a match 76 years earlier, but he couldn’t remember the previous day’s runner-up. That was Andrew Magee. And it was the first indication the Match Play rarely went according to plan.
The seeds of the first four champions sounded like a lottery drawing: 24, 19, 55, 62.
Stephen Ames had his clubs shipped to Tucson, Arizona, for an opposite-field event in 2006, but then he got into the Match Play when Thomas Bjorn withdrew. He was on the range at La Costa with a set of backup clubs when two reporters approached and asked him about having to play Woods, the No. 1 seed, in the opening round.
“Anything can happen, especially where he’s hitting the ball,” Ames said with a smile. He quickly pointed at the reporters to make clear he was joking, yet sensing this was not going to be received very well.
Ames was on the receiving end two days later. Woods beat him, 9 and 8.
Match Play moved to Dove Mountain in the high desert of Arizona the following year. Ames, the No. 39 seed in 2007, played Robert Karlsson in the first round. He beat the Swede so badly that Ames didn’t realize the match was over when he chipped in for birdie on the 11th.
One year after losing in 10 holes, Ames won 8 and 7. Funny game.
Most telling was the phone call to his wife. She was surprised to hear from him so soon and wanted to know if he was able to catch a flight home that night.
“I won’t be coming home tonight,” he told her.
Match Play went Down Under in 2001 to Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, a course Stuart Appleby referred to as “Augusta without the makeup.” The trouble was the timing.
It started Jan. 3 and with single elimination, not everyone was keen to fly 20-plus hours for the possibility of one match. The 64-man field had to go to No. 104 in the world ranking to fill the field.
The biggest star was Ernie Els, and he didn’t show up until the sun began to set on the eve of the first round. Wearing shorts and beach sandals, Els popped open a Heineken and drove a few holes in a cart. The next morning, he played 16 holes, a practice round ahead of the first match (that’s allowed in match play). Maybe the Big Easy knew something. He beat Greg Kraft in 16 holes, and eventually made it all the way to the semifinals.
Of the 34 Americans in the field, only a dozen survived the first round. The others faced a long trip home.
The bracket in the single elimination era, and the time of the year, made Match Play feel like March Madness with one big exception. This level of golf, over 18 holes, there’s really no such thing as an upset. That’s not to suggest players aren’t upset.
Pat Perez comes to mind, a player whose emotions can run hot. He made his debut in 2008 and lost in the first round to Phil Mickelson. Scott Crockett, an esteemed media official for the European Tour, offered to get a quick word from Perez on his experience.
He returned a very short time later and recorded only three words from Perez.
“And I can’t use two of them,” he said.
Woods holds the record for most titles (3) and most matches won (36). The best winning percentage belongs to Geoff Ogilvy, who was 20-5 in seven appearances.
It didn’t start out that easily. Ogilvy won in his debut at La Costa in 2006, but not before having to watch 10 times as an opponent had a putt to win the match. “No one made one, which is pretty fortunate,” he said.
Rory McIlroy was hopeful of a quick knockout in his quarterfinal match at Harding Park in 2015 against Paul Casey. Why the rush? He had arrangements for a quick flight to Las Vegas to watch the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight at the MGM.
Instead, darkness kept them from finishing.
The fight was shown in the press center, and only when reporters looked up from their laptops did they realize McIlroy was sitting there with them.
He finished off Casey the next morning, beat Jim Furyk in the semifinals and then won his only Match Play by taking down Gary Woodland.
Woods has left his prints all over the Match Play. He will not be around for the finale, denying this format what would have been the most curious sight of all.
Woods has lost in the first, second and third rounds. He has lost in the quarterfinals. He lost in the championship match to Darren Clarke in 2000. But he never lost in the semifinals, meaning he never had to play a consolation match.
One can only imagine the size of the gallery watching him in the consolation match instead of the final match, much less how television would have handled it.
For all the amazing shots in Match Play, the best came from the guy who didn’t win.
Victor Dubuisson of France was in extra holes with Jason Day at Dove Mountain in 2014 when he somehow slashed his golf ball out of a cactus and a desert bush — not just once, but twice — to stay in the match before losing on the 23rd hole.
He went 2-0-1 in the Ryder Cup later that year. He now is No. 433 in the world. But he will always be linked with the Match Play, even when it is no longer around.
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 x-Milwaukee||51||20||.718||—||29-7||22-13||8-5||30-15||7-3||1 W|
|2 x-Boston||50||23||.685||2.0||26-9||24-14||9-4||29-16||5-5||1 W|
|3 x-Philadelphia||48||23||.676||3.0||26-11||22-12||7-6||29-16||8-2||1 L|
|4 Cleveland||46||28||.622||6.5||29-8||17-20||12-3||30-15||7-3||2 W|
|5 New York||42||31||.575||10.0||20-17||22-14||8-8||28-17||6-4||1 L|
|6 Brooklyn||39||33||.542||12.5||19-15||20-18||7-8||26-19||5-5||4 L|
|7 Miami||39||34||.534||13.0||24-13||15-21||9-5||20-24||6-4||1 W|
|8 Atlanta||36||36||.500||15.5||20-15||16-21||7-8||22-23||5-5||1 W|
|9 Toronto||35||37||.486||16.5||23-13||12-24||4-9||20-22||5-5||1 L|
|10 Chicago||34||37||.479||17.0||20-16||14-21||6-8||25-22||6-4||3 W|
|11 Indiana||32||40||.444||19.5||19-17||13-23||7-6||22-22||5-5||2 L|
|12 Washington||32||40||.444||19.5||16-18||16-22||7-6||19-26||2-8||3 L|
|13 Orlando||30||43||.411||22.0||17-19||13-24||6-8||16-28||4-6||1 W|
|14 Charlotte||23||50||.315||29.0||12-24||11-26||7-9||14-34||3-7||1 W|
|15 Detroit||16||57||.219||36.0||9-29||7-28||1-12||7-38||1-9||4 L|
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 xy-Denver||48||24||.667||—||30-6||18-18||10-5||32-13||5-5||1 W|
|2 Memphis||44||27||.620||3.5||30-5||14-22||11-2||26-19||6-4||3 W|
|3 Sacramento||43||29||.597||5.0||21-15||22-14||8-6||27-15||6-4||2 L|
|4 Phoenix||38||33||.535||9.5||23-12||15-21||9-3||24-18||5-5||1 L|
|5 LA Clippers||38||35||.521||10.5||19-17||19-18||7-7||22-22||5-5||1 L|
|6 Golden State||37||36||.507||11.5||29-7||8-29||6-9||24-20||4-6||1 W|
|7 Oklahoma City||36||36||.500||12.0||22-15||14-21||7-7||22-23||8-2||2 W|
|8 Dallas||36||36||.500||12.0||22-14||14-22||9-6||27-22||4-6||1 L|
|9 Minnesota||36||37||.493||12.5||20-17||16-20||8-7||25-20||5-5||1 W|
|10 Utah||35||36||.493||12.5||22-13||13-23||5-8||22-22||5-5||2 W|
|11 LA Lakers||35||37||.486||13.0||19-17||16-20||4-9||20-24||6-4||1 W|
|12 New Orleans||35||37||.486||13.0||23-13||12-24||10-5||24-20||5-5||2 W|
|13 Portland||31||40||.437||16.5||17-18||14-22||5-8||21-21||2-8||6 L|
|14 San Antonio||19||53||.264||29.0||13-25||6-28||2-13||7-38||4-6||1 L|
|15 Houston||18||54||.250||30.0||12-26||6-28||4-10||11-37||5-5||2 L|
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.
X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference
|1 x-Boston Bruins||70||54||11||5||113||52||265||151||28-3-3||26-8-2||7-3-0|
|2 Carolina Hurricanes||69||46||15||8||100||42||232||179||24-8-2||22-7-6||7-3-0|
|3 New Jersey Devils||71||45||18||8||98||43||247||193||19-13-4||26-5-4||5-3-2|
|4 Toronto Maple Leafs||70||42||19||9||93||41||239||194||25-7-5||17-12-4||5-4-1|
|5 New York Rangers||71||41||20||10||92||37||241||194||21-12-4||20-8-6||6-3-1|
|6 Tampa Bay Lightning||72||42||24||6||90||39||250||221||25-7-5||17-17-1||5-4-1|
|7 New York Islanders||72||37||27||8||82||37||215||198||21-12-3||16-15-5||7-2-1|
|8 Florida Panthers||71||36||28||7||79||34||250||241||21-10-4||15-18-3||7-2-1|
|9 Pittsburgh Penguins||70||34||26||10||78||33||224||228||19-11-5||15-15-5||4-5-1|
|10 Washington Capitals||72||33||31||8||74||31||227||226||16-14-5||17-17-3||4-4-2|
|11 Ottawa Senators||71||34||32||5||73||32||221||231||19-13-3||15-19-2||3-6-1|
|12 Buffalo Sabres||70||33||31||6||72||32||251||263||13-20-3||20-11-3||2-6-2|
|13 Detroit Red Wings||70||31||30||9||71||28||206||231||17-14-4||14-16-5||3-6-1|
|14 Philadelphia Flyers||70||26||32||12||64||25||187||232||14-16-5||12-16-7||3-5-2|
|15 Montreal Canadiens||71||28||37||6||62||24||201||264||15-17-3||13-20-3||2-6-2|
|16 Columbus Blue Jackets||70||22||41||7||51||21||189||273||13-20-2||9-21-5||3-6-1|
|1 Vegas Golden Knights||71||44||21||6||94||40||235||200||22-14-1||22-7-5||8-2-0|
|2 Dallas Stars||71||38||19||14||90||35||247||199||17-9-9||21-10-5||6-3-1|
|3 Los Angeles Kings||71||41||20||10||92||35||247||229||23-9-4||18-11-6||8-0-2|
|4 Minnesota Wild||71||41||22||8||90||34||212||192||22-11-3||19-11-5||7-1-2|
|5 Colorado Avalanche||69||41||22||6||88||36||231||191||19-11-5||22-11-1||7-2-1|
|6 Edmonton Oilers||71||40||23||8||88||40||279||239||19-12-5||21-11-3||8-2-0|
|7 Seattle Kraken||70||39||24||7||85||39||245||227||16-15-4||23-9-3||6-3-1|
|8 Winnipeg Jets||72||40||29||3||83||39||217||203||22-12-2||18-17-1||5-4-1|
|9 Calgary Flames||72||32||25||15||79||30||228||225||16-14-4||16-11-11||5-3-2|
|10 Nashville Predators||69||35||26||8||78||31||198||205||17-12-4||18-14-4||5-3-2|
|11 St. Louis Blues||70||31||33||6||68||28||220||255||15-16-5||16-17-1||5-4-1|
|12 Vancouver Canucks||70||31||34||5||67||26||236||262||16-18-1||15-16-4||7-3-0|
|13 Arizona Coyotes||71||27||33||11||65||24||200||246||20-11-3||7-22-8||6-2-2|
|14 Anaheim Ducks||71||23||38||10||56||20||184||288||12-19-3||11-19-7||3-4-3|
|15 Chicago Blackhawks||70||24||40||6||54||22||175||249||14-18-3||10-22-3||3-6-1|
|16 San Jose Sharks||71||19||37||15||53||18||204||274||6-20-10||13-17-5||1-6-3|
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the divisional playoff format. The top three teams from each division make up the first six spots. The two remaining teams with the highest points, regardless of division, qualify for the final two wild card spots.
X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1939 The 20-year-old injury-plagued Pete Reiser homers in his first at-bat during the Dodgers’ second spring training game, beginning a streak of ten consecutive hits. ‘Pistol Pete,’ one of 74 minor-leaguer free-agents when Commissioner Landis ruled the Cardinals signed too many players to play on multiple teams in the same leagues, hits .301 in 38 games with the Elmira Pioneers, the team’s Eastern League Single-A affiliate.
1962 In the first meeting between the two New York clubs, the Mets defeated the World Champion Yankees in a spring training game with a dramatic walk-off 4-3 victory at Al Lang Field. Casey Stengel, the former skipper of the Bronx Bombers, now the expansion team’s manager, clearly wanting to beat his old club, calls upon veteran Richie Ashburn, who delivers a ninth-inning pinch-hit single for the Amazins’.
1962 Roger Maris declines to pose with Mets coach Rogers Hornsby because the veteran had criticized him in the recently published autobiography, My Wars with Baseball. In the book, the 65-year-old Hall of Famer dismisses the Yankees slugger as a mediocre hitter who couldn’t bat .400 even with all of his averages added up.
1972 The Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Red Sox for lefty reliever Albert Walter Lyle. Sparky will pitch in 420 games in relief over the next seven years with a 57-40 record and a 2.41 ERA, notching 141 saves as he helps the Bronx Bombers appear in three World Series.
1986 The Yankees announce Britt Burns, an 18-game winner with the White Sox last season, will miss the entire season due to a degenerative hip condition. The 26-year-old southpaw will never throw another major league pitch, ending his eight-year career, played entirely with Chicago, with a 70-60 (.538) won-loss record.
2002 After a miserable spring trying to make the Dodgers as a bench player, 38-year-old Dante Bichette (.299, 274, 1,141) announces his retirement. The four-time affable All-Star, who played with the Angels, Brewers, Rockies, Reds, and Red Sox during his 14-year major league career, will have a brief stint as the Rockies’ batting coach in 2009.
2005 Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds, 11 home runs shy of passing Babe Ruth on the all-time list, indicates he may not play this season. Implicated in the sport’s steroids scandal, the 40-year-old National League MVP, who has had two knee operations, cites being physically and mentally “done,” blaming the media for his unhappiness.
2010 With the same pen he used to sign his rookie contract in 2001, Twins catcher Joe Mauer (.365, 28, 96) signs a $184 million, eight-year contract extension, keeping him with the small-market team through 2018. Last year, the 26-year-old backstop, after starting the season on the DL as a result of back surgery the previous year, captured his third batting crown and was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player.
2016 In a game attended by Barack Obama, the first sitting United States president on Cuban soil since 1928, the Rays beat the Cuban National team, 4-1, marking the first time in 17 years a major league team has visited the island nation. In 1999 at Havana’s Estadio, the Orioles edge the home team, 3-2, thanks to Harold Baines’ eventual game-winning hit in the 11th inning.
“The way I see it, the first thing you want in a catcher is the ability to handle the pitchers. Then you want defensive skill, and, of course, the good arm. Last of all, if he can hit with power, well, then you’ve got a Johnny Bench.” – Frank Cashen.
Johnny Bench, raised in the tiny town of Binger, Okla., was taught catching at an early age by his father. Making his major league debut in 1967 at the age of 19, he would go on to play his entire 17-year big league career (1967-83) with the Reds, rewriting the standards for catchers.
As the leader of Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine of the 1970s, in which he helped the franchise to four National League pennants and two World Series titles, the rugged and durable Bench was a 10-time Gold Glove Award winner as the result of his skilled handling of pitchers, unparalleled defensive skills and a lightning quick throwing arm that would intimidate would-be base runners. He led the NL in caught stealing percentage three times and putouts twice.
Bench also provided a potent bat, hitting 389 home runs and leading the league in RBI three times and homers twice. Highly honored during his career, Bench won the 1968 NL Rookie of the Year, was a two-time NL MVP (1970 and 1972) and 14-time All-Star. He won the 1976 World Series MVP Award as the Reds completed their back-to-back run of titles.
“I don’t want to embarrass any other catchers by comparing him with Johnny Bench,” said Reds manager Sparky Anderson.
Bench was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989.
The winningest manager in baseball history saw his share of outstanding big-game pitchers. But when Connie Mack had everything on the line, Charles Albert Bender was his guy.
“If everything depended on one game, I just used Albert – the greatest money pitcher of all time,” said Mack of Charles Albert Bender, a full-blooded Ojibwa Indian often called “Chief” who pitched for Mack for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1903-14. “I’d tell Albert when I planned to use him in a crucial series. Then I relaxed. He never let me down.”
Born Charles Albert Bender on May 5, 1884 in Crow Wing County, Minn., Bender prepped at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. While pitching indoor batting practice at the age of 16, he caught the eye of Glenn “Pop” Warner, an innovative coach in the young sport of football. Warner was also Carlisle’s baseball coach – and upon witnessing Bender’s talent immediately assigned the lanky right-hander to the varsity squad.
In 1902 while playing for a semi-pro team down the road from Carlisle in Harrisburg, Pa., Bender caught Mack’s eye after beating the Chicago Cubs in an exhibition game. By 1903, Bender was in the major leagues.
As a 19-year-old rookie, Bender went 17-14 with 29 complete games and a 3.07 earned-run average. Two years later, Bender was 18-11 with the pennant-winning A’s, capturing Philadelphia’s only victory in that year’s World Series while losing his other start in the Fall Classic to Christy Mathewson.
Bender continued to improve over the next few years, peaking in 1910 with a 23-5 record and 1.58 ERA – the eighth season in a row where he lowered his ERA from the previous campaign. The A’s won the World Series in 1910, 1911 and 1913, with Bender winning five of his seven Fall Classic starts in that stretch.
In 1914, Bender went 17-3 – leading the AL in winning percentage for the third time in five seasons. But the A’s lost to the Boston Braves in that World Series, and soon after Mack dismantled his dynasty in the face of surging salaries brought on by competition with the new Federal League.
Bender jumped to the Baltimore Terrapins of the FL in 1915, but went 4-16 with a 3.99 ERA. He returned to Philadelphia to pitch for the Phillies in 1916 and 1917, then made his last big league appearance in 1925 with the White Sox.
Bender retired with a career record of 212-127, good for a .625 winning percentage.
Bender was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953. He passed away on May 22, 1954.
BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW
1919 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Off the field…
A federal prohibition act known as the “Volstead Act” was passed over the veto of President Woodrow Wilson making provisions for the enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment, which strictly forbid the manufacturing, sale, importing, or exporting of all intoxicating liquors. The act defined an intoxicating beverage as one containing more than .5% alcohol by volume and included all hard liquors and wines. It also gave federal agents the power to investigate and prosecute violations of the amendment at their own discretion.
On September 9th, three-quarters of the Boston police force voted to go on strike. Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge quickly intervened to dismiss the strikers, stating that no labor dispute would be allowed to compromise public safety.
Race riots erupted in twenty-six U.S. cities during the summer including an extremely violent protest in Chicago that left thirty-eight dead, more than five-hundred injured, and many more homeless. The killing of a black teenager at the 26th Street beach sparked the conflict, but racial tension had been brewing in the “Windy City” for years.
In the American League…
In December, Colonel Jacob Ruppert purchased Babe Ruth from Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee. The New York Yankees owner paid a reported sum of $125,000 and guaranteed a $300,000 loan with Fenway Park as collateral for the promising pitcher / infielder (13-wins / 11-home runs).
Chicago White Sox ace Eddie Cicotte (a member of the “Black Sox” scandal) beat the Philadelphia Athletics for the second time on June 14th en route to a 29-7 season and an astounding 1.82 ERA.
On June 23rd, Boston Red Sox first baseman Stuffy McInnis made his first fielding error after successfully handling five-hundred twenty-six chances.
In the National League…
On June 8th, the Philadelphia Phillies outsmarted the New York Giants and broke the record for most stolen bases in an inning (set by Washington in 1915) after four runners made it to first base in the ninth and each stole both second and third.
Brooklyn Dodger Ed Konetchy went five-for-five on June 29, 1919, then collected his tenth straight hit on July 1st during a 9-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, tying a record set by Washington’s Jake Gettman in 1897.
The National League voted to ban the use of spitball’s by all new pitchers. The ban was formally worked out by the Rules Committee the following February and was expanded to include the use of all foreign substances (saliva, resin, talcum powder, paraffin) as well as any other alterations (shine or emery) to balls by pitchers.
Around the League…
Anticipating a poor season at the gate, major league owners decided to open a reduced one-hundred forty game season. Despite the lack of close races, attendance remained high all year and every club managed to show a profit at the end of the year.
The 1919 World Series ignited the infamous “Black Sox” scandal after eight members of the participating White Sox including pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude (Lefty) Williams, outfielders Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch, first baseman Chick Gandil, shortstop Swede Risberg, third baseman Buck Weaver and reserve infielder Fred McMullin were all charged with conspiring to fix the outcome of the Fall Classic against the Cincinnati Reds. Cynics were tipped off before the Series even started when the pre-game betting odds swapped shortly before the first game. Despite the rumors, most fans and members of the press accepted the games to be true, but all that would change in 1920 as suspicions turned into confessions. To this day participants in the conspiracy have been denied entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Quarterback Troy Aikman finished his collegiate career as the third rated passer in NCAA history. An All-America at UCLA, Aikman joined the Dallas Cowboys as the first overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. He became the first Dallas rookie quarterback to start a season opener since Roger Staubach in 1969. Although he showed great promise and threw for a rookie-record 379 yards in a game against the Phoenix Cardinals, the team finished 1-15. As the young quarterback improved, however, so too did the Cowboys’ record.
In 1990, Aikman completed 226 of 399 passes for 2,579 yards and 11 touchdowns – the team finished 7-9. The following year he completed an NFC-best 65.3 percent of his passes, and the Cowboys improved to 11-5 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
In 1992, in just his 52nd game, Aikman reached the 10,000-yard passing mark, and his 302 completions were second most in team history. That season also marked the end of Dallas’ odyssey from worst to first. With their high-powered offense and stingy defense, the 13-3 Cowboys swept through the 1992 NFL playoffs, scoring a combined total of 116 points in three games including a 52-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII. Aikman’s 22 of 30 for 273 yards passing and four touchdowns earned him Super Bowl MVP honors.
Over the next three seasons, the Cowboys enjoyed three consecutive 12-4 records and victories in Super Bowls XXVIII and XXX. Aikman, wide receiver Michael Irvin, and running back Emmitt Smith delivered an offensive attack that opponents found nearly impossible to contain. When defenses focused on Irvin and/or Smith, Aikman would find tight end Jay Novacek or wide receiver Alvin Harper. In the 1994 NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Green Bay Packers, Aikman completed 23 of 30 passes for 337 yards. Irvin, Novacek, and Harper, each had more than 100 yards receiving. Aikman’s 94-yard touchdown pass to Harper was the longest play from scrimmage in NFL post-season history at the time.
With 90 wins in the 1990s, Aikman became the winningest starting quarterback of any decade in NFL history at the time of his retirement. Unfortunately, during his final two seasons, injuries began to take a toll on the Dallas quarterback and the team’s winning ways. Finally, after the 2000 season, the Cowboys’ six-time Pro Bowl selection announced his retirement from football. His career statistics include 32,942 yards and 165 touchdowns for a passer rating of 81.6.
TODAY IN HISTORY
March 22, 1989 – Pete Rozelle announces his retirement as NFL commissioner after 29 years. Rozelle if you remember was a surprise choice to become NFL Commissioner to replace the legendary Bert Bell who had very suddenly and tragically passed away at a Steelers versus Eagles game. Ironically two teams that he had formerly owned. Pete at the time was in the front office of the Los Angeles Rams and had recently completed deals like the blockbuster one that brought running back Ollie Matson to the Rams from the Cardinals for 11 players. Rozelle of course was eventually replaced by Paul Tagliabue.
March 22, 1879 – Baltimore, Maryland – Art Poe the great end of Princeton University was born. He was the nephew of famous writer Edgar Allen Poe and had five brothers that played ball too. More on him on own page, found easily by clicking his name above.
March 22, 1931 – Cleveland, Oklahoma – Billy Vessels the fine halfback from the Oklahoma Sooners celebrated the anniversary of his birth. Voters of the National Football Foundation inducted Billy Vessels into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974. More on this legend by clicking his name above.
March 22, 1954 – Warren, Ohio – The University of Notre Dame’s Ross Browner claimed his date of birth. Browner is one of the top most decorated college players in NCAA history, as he played defensive end for the Irish in 1973 and then 1975 through 1977. Ross was the Outland Trophy winner in 1976 for being the top interior lineman in the country as well as claiming unanimous All-America honors in his final two collegiate seasons. As a senior Browner captured the coveted Lombardi Trophy as the nation’s best lineman and the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best player. The ballot came in from Football Foundation voters in 1999 sending Ross Browner into the College Football Hall of Fame. Ross registered a school record 340 tackles, ten deflected passes and two blocked kicks. Browner also put points on the board as he scored a touchdown and two safeties. The touchdown came when he blocked a Navy punt and recovered it in the end zone. His first safety was in the 1973 Northwestern game. Ross blocked a punt, and the ball rolled out of the end zone. The second safety was N against Miami of Florida during the 1975 season. Browner bet his blocker then tackled the Hurricane quarterback in the end zone. Browner went on to play nine years with the Cincinnati Bengals and one with the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League.
March 22, 1960 – Conway, Pennsylvania – The University of Pittsburgh’s big offensive tackle, Jimbo Covert arrived into this life. His bio on the Football Foundation site says that Covert joined the Pitt team wanting to be a defensive lineman. Jimbo was skilled at the position but the Panthers were loaded with talent in that area. An injury in his second year gave him some time to think and the results were that he asked his coaches if he could switch to play offensive line instead, in an attempt to get on the field more. What a great choice it was for all involved as Covert became a starter on the same line as Mark May and Bill Fralic. Pitt was on fire with offensive firepower. The Panthers posted two consecutive 11-1 seasons twice finishing as the nation’s second-ranked team. In his three seasons at tackle he allowed only three sacks, none as a senior. His sacks allowed statistic is even more remarkable by the fact that Pitt averaged 34 passes a game. That year, he became a unanimous All-America after his first team All-America season in 1981.The National Football Foundation council approved the name of Jimbo Covert for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003. THe Chicago Bears picked Jimbo sixth overall in the 1983 NFL Draft and in nine seasons, he twice made the Pro Bowl, was an All-Pro twice and led the Bears to a victory in Super Bowl XX. The Offensive Lineman of the Year went to Covert in 1986. Jimbo Covert was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.
March 22, 1969 – Chicago, Illinois – The Miami Hurricanes stud defensive tackle, Russell Maryland was born. Maryland did not have a tremendous amount of college suitors as he was over 300 pounds and not the mobile player we came to know him as per the NFF article on him. The University of Miami though saw potential in the youngster and red shirted him, encouraging him to lose 50 pounds to have him at the ideal playing weight for a man his size. The transformation was remarkable as he had a big time breakout game when he went against All-American John Vitale and Michigan in 1988. It gave Maryland confidence in his abilities and unlocked the athletic potential hiding within him. Russell went on to notch up 20-½ sacks, 279 tackles and 25 tackles for loss in his career. Maryland helped the Hurricanes to two national titles, four bowl wins, a perfect home record and a 44-4 overall record in his four seasons in Coral Gables. Russell Maryland was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011. After classes were over Maryland was the first pick in the 1991 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Russel was a big part of the Cowboys winning three Super Bowls. He also played in the 1993 Pro Bowl and started 140-of-154 games in his 10-year career. He posted 375 tackles, 24.5 sacks and forced nine fumbles as a pro.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
22 – 33 – 19
March 22, 1958 – Elgin Baylor, Number 22 of Seattle University helps his Cinderella team to knock off powerful favorite Kansas State 73-51 in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament final four game. Baylor scored 23 points and hauled down 22 rebounds in the victory.
March 22, 1969 – Lew Alcindor Number 33, of UCLA is voted as the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament Most Outstanding Player. UCLA overwhelms Purdue 92-72. It is the third year in a row for the great center to win the award and a three-peat for the Bruins to win the National Championship game. Alcindor would later change his name for religious reasons to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
March 22, 1972 – Speaking of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he on this day in history won the prestigious NBA Most Valuable Player Award for the season for his performance wearing the Number 33 of the Milwaukee Bucks.
March 22, 1979 – The National Hockey League franchises voted to accept four of the former World Hockey Association teams. The Edmonton Oilers, Winnepeg Jets, Nordiques & Hartford Whalers all are absorbed into the NHL as a result.March 22, 1984 – Bryan Trottier, Number 19 of the New York Islanders ties an NHL record when he scored 5 seconds into a game against the Boston Bruins. The two teams ended up in a 3-all tie at the completion of the game.