BOYS HIGH SCHOOL SECTIONAL SEM-FINALS

AT RICHMOND

4              Fri           Pendleton Heights [8-14] vs. Anderson [10-10]

5              Fri           Mount Vernon (Fortville) [15-6] vs. Greenfield-Central [14-9]

6              Sat          Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

AT NEW CASTLE

3              Fri           Muncie Burris [9-10] vs. Hamilton Heights [16-4]

4              Fri           New Castle [7-15] vs. Delta [17-4]

5              Sat          Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

AT GREENSBURG

4              Fri           Connersville [15-7] vs. South Dearborn [13-11]

5              Fri           Batesville [9-14] vs. Greensburg [16-4]

6              Sat          Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

AT ELWOOD

4              Fri           Lapel [8-15] vs. Wapahani [16-7]

5              Fri           Frankton [15-9] vs. Alexandria [7-17]

6              Sat          Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

AT SHENANDOAH

5              Fri           Union County [10-13] vs. Eastern Hancock [18-5]

6              Fri           Northeastern [19-4] vs. Shenandoah [22-3]

7              Sat          Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

AT RANDOLPH SOUTHERN

3              Fri           Blue River [12-10] vs. Tri [5-17]

4              Fri           Union City [8-14] vs. Seton Catholic [7-9]

5              Sat          Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

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MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#2 Michigan 69 Michigan State 50

#3 Baylor 81 #17 Oklahoma State 70

#5 Iowa 100 into Nebraska 64

#6 West Virginia 76 TCU 67

#13 Kansas 67 UTEP 62

#15 Texas 69 #16 Oklahoma 65

#18 Texas Tech 81 Iowa State 54

#24 Colorado 75 Arizona State 61

Duquesne 67 Richmond 62

Massachusetts 100 St. Joseph’s 66

Liberty 69 Kennesaw State 59

Tulsa 107 Northeastern State 74

North Alabama 68 N. Florida 60

Dayton 84 Rhode Island 72

George Mason 73 George Washington 59

Southern Illinois 73 Bradley 63

Central Florida 64 E. Carolina 60

San Francisco 67 San Diego 51

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WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#4 Stanford 92 USC 53

#8 Maryland 88 #12 Michigan 63

#9 Arizona 60 Washington State 44

#10 UCLA 58 Washington 46

Central Florida 58 #13 S. Florida 45

Oregon State 71 #14 Oregon 64

Ole Miss 69 #16 Arkansas 60

#19 Kentucky 73 Florida 64

Wake Forest 82 North Carolina 71

LSU 71 Mississippi State 62

Temple 66 Memphis 52

Syracuse 67 Boston College 61

Alabama 82 Missouri 74

TCU 83 Oklahoma 79

Virginia Tech 72 Miami, Florida 64

New Mexico 68 Colorado State 55

Nevada 69 Air Force 58

Clemson 68 Notre Dame 63

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NBA SCOREBOARD

Boston 132 Toronto 125

Washington 119 LA Clippers 117

New York 114 Detroit 104

Denver 113 Indiana 103

Milwaukee 112 Memphis 111……….DESMOND BANE 4PTS, 6 REB, 1STL

Miami 103 New Orleans 93

Oklahoma City 107 San Antonio 102

Phoenix 120 Golden State 98

Portland 123 Sacramento 119

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NHL SCOREBOARD

Philadelphia 4 Pittsburgh 3

Carolina 5 Detroit 2

Winnipeg 4 Montréal 3

NY Rangers 6 New Jersey 1

NY Islanders 5 Buffalo 2

Tampa Bay 3 Chicago 2

Florida 5 Nashville 4

Columbus 3 Dallas 2

Calgary 7 Ottawa 3

Vancouver 3 Toronto 1

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MLB SCOREBOARD

Texas 5 San Diego 3

San Francisco 3 Chicago White Sox 1

Cleveland 5 Milwaukee 1

Colorado 9 Seattle 9

Arizona 9 LA Angels 2

Kansas City 5 Cincinnati 3

Chicago Cubs 7 LA Dodgers 0

Baltimore 6 Boston 3

Detroit 8 Toronto 2

Tampa Bay 5 Minnesota 2

Philadelphia 15 NY Yankees 0

Pittsburgh 6 Atlanta 1

NY Mets 8 Washington 4

Houston 14 St. Louis 0

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NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL:  Irish Fall to Late Clemson Rally, 68-63

Maddy Westbeld pours in 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The sixth-seeded Notre Dame women’s basketball team (10-10) couldn’t stave off a late fourth-quarter charge from the 11th-seeded Clemson Tigers (11-12), falling prey to a 68-63 defeat in the second round of the ACC Tournament. The Irish led by as much as 10 points with under 12 minutes remaining in the game but 23 costly turnovers were the difference-maker. 

Maddy Westbeld was nearly perfect from the field, going 10-for-11 to lead the squad with 21 points. The freshman nearly captured a double-double with a team-high nine rebounds. 

Fellow freshman Olivia Miles secured her fifth straight game in double figures with 10 points, to go along with her season-high eight assists. Dara Mabrey rounded out the Irish in double figures with 10 points as well. 

“It was a disappointing loss and hats off and credit to Clemson,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Family Head Coach Niele Ivey stated. “They came out and fought until the end. I thought we came out and set the tone the way that I wanted to as far as our team. Then in the second half, I thought Clemson fought all the way to the end and had a tremendous fourth quarter.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

Notre Dame edged Clemson in the first quarter to garner a 17-15 lead. Olivia Miles was the bright spot in the opening stanza, recording six points and two assists. 

The Irish turned up the heat to kick off the second, converting seven of their first eight shots. During that stretch, Notre Dame outscored Clemson 16-9. Destinee Walker scored five straight during the scoring spree, while Maddy Westbeld poured in eight points for the period. 

However, Clemson garnered some momentum to close the half, firing off a 7-2 scoring run to shorten the deficit to 36-31. Notre Dame shot 56 percent in the first half compared to Clemson’s 36 percent, but the Tigers were able to put up 11 more field goal attempts thanks to 11 Irish turnovers. 

A couple of timely three-pointers in the third kept the Tigers at bay for most of the quarter. With it being just a five-point ballgame, Mabrey hit a big trey at 5:26 that led to an eventual 10-point lead for the Irish up 45-35. Next, Clemson took advantage of two Notre Dame fouls on the same play that resulted in a five-point swing. Yet, Miles answered with her first career trey that once again led to a 10-point lead, up 52-42. 

Yet, the Tigers continued to fight back, firing off an 8-0 run, before a Vaughn layup at the buzzer gave the Irish a 54-50 advantage heading into the final quarter. At that point, Miles, Mabrey and Westbeld were all in double figures. 

Later, it was a one-point game midway through the fourth, but the Mabrey to Westbeld connection delivered at 4:35, to make it 60-57. However, with Brunelle’s and Vaughn’s respective fifth fouls, the Tigers gained some momentum and claimed a 61-60 lead with 1:28 remaining. 

Then with 18 seconds left, Clemson’s Kendall Spray threw up a prayer with the shot-clock expiring, lifting her left foot off the ground at the final second (was inside the arc), only for it to bank off the backboard and in. Down four, Westbeld quickly delivered with an and-one to make it a one-point game with less than 14 to go. Yet, Clemson answered from the free-throw line to seal the 68-63 win.

NOTES

  • Notre Dame still leads the overall series, 6-3. Tonight marked the first time the two sides have met in the ACC Tournament. 
  • The Irish fall to 17-3 all-time in the ACC Tournament.
  • The ACC top-scoring freshman Maddy Westbeld didn’t disappoint with 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting, plus nine rebounds.  
  • Since returning from the team’s Covid pause, Westbeld has compiled 67 points and 38 rebounds over four games.
  • Olivia Miles continued her hot shooting, registering her fifth straight game in double figures with 10 points. She also added a career high eight assists. 
  • Dara Mabrey recorded her 10th game in double figures with 10 points. 

UP NEXT

The Irish have to play wait and see on Selection Monday come March 15 to see if the NCAA selection committee votes them in. 

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BIG 10 MEN’S BASKETBALL: No. 2 Michigan clinches Big Ten, beats Michigan State 69-50

(AP) At some point during Michigan’s giddy postgame celebration, Juwan Howard saved himself a little keepsake from this marvelous season.

“I put some of that confetti in my pocket,” Howard said. “I’m just going to keep it in a nice safe place, because it’s hard winning championships, man. I’m going to always remember this moment.”

Franz Wagner scored 19 points, Hunter Dickinson added 14 and No. 2 Michigan wrapped up the Big Ten title with a 69-50 victory over rival Michigan State on Thursday night. It was an emotional night for the Wolverines, even though there weren’t many fans at Crisler Center because of the pandemic. When the game ended, confetti fell from above and players danced on the court before cutting down the net at one end.

Howard reached the Final Four as a player twice with the Fab Five, but even those teams never won the Big Ten. When Michigan shared the conference title in 2012 under John Beilein, it was the program’s first regular-season crown since 1986. The Wolverines won it again in 2014.

Now Howard has a championship in just his second season as coach, having outlasted a loaded league that currently has four teams ranked in the top seven nationally.

“We were fortunate enough to win the Big Ten championship during the regular season. It’s hard doing that. It’s so hard,” Howard said. “And I remember as a player, it was very hard for us, and so to do it this year, it’s a beautiful moment.”

The Wolverines (19-2, 14-2) had a chance to clinch the championship based on winning percentage with a victory in any of their final three games. They were blown out by No. 4 Illinois – the team chasing them – on Tuesday night, but they rebounded with a gritty effort two nights later.

Michigan went on a 9-2 run to take a 39-28 lead into halftime. The Wolverines later went on a 25-4 tear that spanned much of the second half.

Aaron Henry scored 14 points for Michigan State (14-11, 8-11), which will finish with a losing conference record for the first time since 1993. It had never happened before under coach Tom Izzo, and the Spartans are struggling to extend Izzo’s streak of 22 straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

“We’ll bounce back,” Izzo said. “We’ve been here – a lot this year.”

Michigan State did have two recent wins over top-five opponents, beating Illinois and Ohio State. The Spartans will get another crack at Michigan on Sunday. This home-and-home series to finish the regular season came about because of the Michigan athletic department’s coronavirus-related pause that started in January.

“We’ve got some work to do and I’m looking forward to Sunday,” Izzo said.

Wagner and Mike Smith both had 3-pointers early in Michigan’s second-half run. Dickinson also had a couple big dunks, and the 7-foot-1 center made another big play when he dove on the floor for a loose ball.

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MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Creighton suspends Greg McDermott for ‘plantation’ remark

(AP) Creighton University suspended basketball coach Greg McDermott indefinitely Thursday night for using racially insensitive language while addressing the team after a game last weekend.

McDermott publicly apologized Tuesday and again Wednesday for urging his players to “stay on the plantation” after the 14th-ranked Bluejays’ 77-69 loss at Xavier.

McDermott coached in the Bluejays’ 72-60 loss at No. 10 Villanova on Wednesday night. Assistant coach Alan Huss will serve as interim head coach for the home game against Butler on Saturday.

“I made a mistake and I own it,” McDermott said in a Twitter post after the suspension was announced. “Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension.”

Athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said he and university president the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson met with senior administrators Thursday to determine disciplinary action against McDermott.

“Coach McDermott and the team have accepted that, effective immediately, he is suspended for all team activities, including Saturday’s home season finale against Butler.”

The university statement announcing the suspension did not specify how long McDermott would be suspended. Creighton athletic spokesman Rob Anderson told The Associated Press no end date has been set.

Rasmussen said additional sanctions are under consideration, none of which will be made public.

“Coach McDermott and our athletics program must use this incident as an opportunity for growth and learning, as clearly more work needs to be done.”

McDermott, in an apology he posted on Twitter on Tuesday, acknowledged saying: “Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation.”

McDermott, who is white, said he immediately recognized he had made an “egregious mistake” and addressed with his team his use of a term evocative of slavery and the antebellum South.

In a statement, the university called McDermott’s language “deplorable” and said it was inconsistent with the private Jesuit school’s values and commitment to creating a welcoming environment.

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NBA NEWS: Nuggets close out 1st half with 113-103 win at Indiana

(AP) Denver forward Michael Porter Jr. struggled at the start of the Nuggets’ recent 10-game stretch.

He finished it with a flurry.

Porter had 24 points and 11 rebounds Thursday night, outshining Nikola Jokic, in leading the Denver Nuggets past Indiana 113-103.

“Every great player goes through stretches like this,” Porter said. “But I knew I would get out of it and I couldn’t wait to have that one big game. Then once you get it, it just starts flowing.”

Porter has five double-doubles in the last six games, a stark contrast from an 0 for 8 performance Feb. 16, the first of eight road games in a 10-game stretch.

But with Porter rolling and Jokic playing at his usual All-Star level, the Nuggets are rolling. They’ve won four straight road games for the first time since 2011-12.

And everyone has a part. While Jokic had 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Jamal Murray finished with 23 points, his 12th straight with 22 or more.

“We’ve been a team that thrives in adversity,” coach Michael Malone said. “We’re very resilient, a ton of grit and we never find excuses. We find solutions.”

The Pacers need to find some fixes, too, after losing for the fifth time in six games and their fifth straight at home.

Indiana was led by Myles Turner’s 22 points and a season-high tying 12 rebounds. Domantas Sabonis had his fourth triple-double of the season with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

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NBA NEWS: Lillard has 44 and Blazers down Kings 123-119

Damian Lillard had 44 points, including 10 straight at a key moment down the stretch, to give the Portland Trail Blazers a 123-119 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.

Enes Kanter added 22 points and 21 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won three straight and are 21-14 heading into the All-Star break. It’s the Blazers’ best start through 35 games since 2015.

Lillard said the difference in the first half was that the team never got down after CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic were injured.

“When CJ and Nurk went down, we just said `Let’s not feel sorry for ourselves. Let’s show up and let’s get the job done. Let’s come together, let’s lean on each other, count on each other and find a way to get it done.’ And we did that,” Lillard said.

De’Aaron Fox had 32 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for Sacramento, which had six players score in double figures.

Richaun Holmes dunked to give the Kings a 103-98 lead with 5:41 left, but Lillard answered with a 3-pointer and Kanter’s layup tied it at 103.

Sacramento went up 108-103 with 3:49 to go on Harrison Barnes’ layup and Buddy Hield’s 3. Lillard responded with a pullup jumper, a layup and a pair of 3-pointers in quick succession to put the Blazers ahead 115-108 with just more than a minute left.

Sacramento wasn’t quite done, pulling within 119-118 on a 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds left. After Gary Trent Jr. made two free throws for the Blazers, Fox hit one then appeared to miss the second intentionally. After a review over whether the ball hit the rim, Portland got the ball back with 3.7 seconds left and Lillard was fouled to close it out.

Lillard finished with eight 3-pointers.

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NBA NEWS: Tatum scores 27, Celtics outlast depleted Raptors 132-125

(AP) Jayson Tatum had 27 points and 12 rebounds and the Boston Celtics won their fourth straight game, outlasting the short-handed Toronto Raptors 132-125 on Thursday night.

Jaylen Brown added 21 points and seven rebounds, and Kemba Walker finished with 15 points.

Coach Brad Stevens recently challenged his players to finish the final four games before the All-Star break strong after a stretch in which the Celtics lost nine of 14.

He said he likes how they’ve responded, though he said they also have room to grow.

“Any of these four games could have gone the other way,” Stevens said. “We have a lot to improve on if we want to be the kind of team we want to be.”

Part of that, Brown said, will be continuing to find different ways to win games, which has been a challenge at times.

“I think we’re learning and growing as the season goes on,” Brown said. “I think we’ve definitely made improvement in different categories and that’s that it’s all about.”

Toronto, which played without starters Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby, along with Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw as they remained in the health and safety protocols, has lost four of five.

Coach Nick Nurse and several members of his staff were also in the protocols, leaving the coaching duties to assistant Sergio Scariolo.

The Raptors hit 21 3-pointers and led early before being outscored 35-22 in the third quarter. Chris Boucher led Toronto with 30 points. Norman Powell finished with 25 points and Terence Davis added 22.

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(AP) NFL NEWS: Steelers, Roethlisberger agree to new deal for 2021 season

Ben Roethlisberger is returning for an 18th season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is taking a pay cut to do it.

The team and the two-time Super Bowl winner announced on Thursday they have agreed on a new contract that assures the 39-year-old will be back in 2021.

Financial details were not immediately available, though the Steelers made no secret of the need for Roethlisberger to take a pay cut to ease some of the burden of his NFL-high $41.25-million salary-cap hit scheduled for 2021.

NFL Network, citing anonymous sources, said Roethlisberger’s new deal will essentially pay him $14 million this season and adds four voidable years to spread out the dead money.

“I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team to address other players who are so vital to our success,” Roethlisberger said in a statement. “I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go.”

Roethlisberger passed for 3,803 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 games in 2020 after missing almost all of 2019 with a right elbow injury. The Steelers won their first 11 games on their way to a 12-4 record and captured the AFC North title but were stunned at home by Cleveland in the first-round of the playoff game thanks in part to four Roethlisberger interceptions.

Steelers President Art Rooney II, head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert all expressed the desire to bring Roethlisberger, stressing the need to do it in a way that gives the Steelers some financial flexibility. The new contract does offer a bit more freedom, but Pittsburgh is facing several high-profile departures in free agency.

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, outside linebacker Bud Dupree, running back James Conner and left tackle Alejandro Villanueva are among more than a dozen Steelers who will hit the open market this month. Conner and Villanueva are unlikely to be brought back after underwhelming play in 2020. Smith-Schuster and Dupree have likely priced themselves out of a return.

Throw in the retirements of center Maurkice Pouncey and tight end Vance McDonald and the decision to part with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner – all three of whom have a close relationship with Roethlisberger – and the veteran quarterback will find himself in the midst of an overhaul.

The franchise’s leader in just about every major statistical passing category remains, he was at the controls of an offense that finished last in the NFL in yards rushing and yards per rushing attempt. Those are numbers the front office said it will spend the offseason trying to improve.

Pittsburgh has the 24th pick in the draft and several glaring needs, particularly along the offensive line. If left guard Matt Feiler – also a free agent – doesn’t come back, Roethlisberger could find himself playing behind a line with three new starters and a running back that isn’t Conner for the first time since 2017. Include the imminent departure of the reliable Smith-Schuster and the absence of McDonald – in essence a third tackle in 2020 when he was on the field – and the Steelers will have a very different look in 2021.

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NFL NEWS: Giants cut WR Golden Tate, LB Dave Mayo in salary cap moves

(AP) The New York Giants have cut Golden Tate in a move that clears $6.1 million in salary cap space and says goodbye to a wide receiver who never panned out after signing a $37 million contract as a free agent in 2019.

The 32-year-old Tate confirmed the move in a tweet in which he thanked the organization for its professionalism, told his former teammates to win the NFC East next season, and thanked the New York City metropolitan area fans for their support.

Tate was to earn $8.4 million in 2021.

Tate had some problems with the Giants. He missed the first four games of 2019 for using a performance enhancer. He had injuries last season and was benched for a game against Washington after complaining into an end-zone camera following a touchdown catch against the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers that not enough passes were being thrown to him.

He played in 23 games with 14 starts in his two seasons with the Giants. Considering he missed the first four games, the 2019 total was not bad: 49 catches for 676 yards and six touchdowns. Last season was not as good as Tate had 35 catches for 388 yards and two TDs in 12 games.

The Giants also cut inside linebacker David Mayo, who saw his playing time reduced this past season because of injury and the signing of Blake Martinez as a free agent last season. He led New York in special teams tackles (9) in 2020.

New York will save $2.3 million cutting Mayo, who started 13 games in 2019 and two last year. He tied for second on the team in ’19 with a career-best 80 tackles (50 solo), including his first two career sacks.

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MLB NEWS: Atkins ‘not aware’ of allegations against Callaway

(AP) — Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Thursday he was “absolutely not aware” of any sexual harassment allegations against Mickey Callaway during their time together with the Cleveland Indians organization.

Atkins, who was the Indians executive who oversaw Callaway’s hiring by Cleveland in 2010, said the team failed by not creating an environment for such allegations to be properly addressed.

“There is no chance that we would have overlooked that if we had had any signs of that type of behavior,” Atkins said.

Callaway was most recently the Los Angeles Angels’ pitching coach but he has been suspended while Major League Baseball investigates allegations of inappropriate behavior toward several women who work in sports media. Callaway has also previously served as manager of the New York Mets.

Atkins called the situation “disheartening and sad” and apologized to those affected.

“As a leader, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our staff feels safe, supported,” Atkins said. “I deeply apologize to anyone who ever faced harassment or didn’t feel comfortable to come forward. I see that as a failure on my part that there weren’t the proper channels for someone to feel safe to come forward. As a leader in that organization, that’s heartbreaking for me.”

Atkins said he has not been contacted by MLB regarding the investigation but said he would be willing to cooperate if asked.

The Athletic reported last month that several women gave detailed accounts of multiple instances of aggressive, inappropriate acts by Callaway over five years while he was employed by three teams.

On Tuesday, another report by The Athletic said several former Cleveland employees had come forward in the past month to say the team’s front office was aware of Callaway’s conduct. Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said this week that Cleveland is cooperating with the MLB investigation.

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MLB NEWS: AP source: Bradley agrees to $24M, 2-year deal with Brewers

(AP) Free-agent outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is joining the Milwaukee Brewers, agreeing to the parameters of a $24 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the details of the agreement were still being negotiated and the deal is subject to a successful physical.

Bradley would have the right to opt out after one year and $13 million, allowing him to become a free agent after after this season.

The Boston Globe first reported Bradley’s decision,

Bradley will join the Brewers will into spring training, which started in mid-February. Opening day is April 1.

Bradley turns 31 on April 19 and is regarded as a top defensive center fielder. He had spent his entire career in Boston and batted .283 with seven homers and 22 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He had a .364 on-base percentage and an .814 OPS in 55 games last season.

Bradley earned $4,074,074 in prorated pay from an $11 million salary.

His career numbers include a .239 batting average, .321 on-base percentage. 732 OPS, 98 homers and 376 RBIs. He won a Gold Glove in 2018 and led the American League in assists by a center fielder in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

This move continues the Brewers’ offseason emphasis on defense.

The Brewers already added former St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, a Gold Glove winner each of the last two seasons. Wong signed a two-year, $18 million contract with a 2022 team option after the Cardinals declined to pick up their $12.5 million option on him.

Bradley’s addition seemingly gives the Brewers four potential starters for three outfield spots.

The Brewers already have 2019 Gold Glove center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who opted out after playing five games last season but is back in spring training camp.

“We’re trying to get his legs underneath him and it’s going a little slower than we’d like,” manager Craig Counsell said.

Christian Yelich, the 2018 NL MVP, is set in left field.

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MLB NEWS: Major League Baseball to hold first Lou Gehrig Day on June 2

(AP) Major League Baseball will hold its first Lou Gehrig Day on June 2, adding Gehrig to Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente on the short list of players honored throughout the big leagues.

Each home team will have “4-ALS” logos in ballparks to mark Gehrig’s No. 4, and all players, managers and coaches will wear a Lou Gehrig Day patch on uniforms and may use red “4-ALS” wristbands. Teams that are off on June 2 will observe Lou Gehrig Day on June 3.

MLB said Thursday that the day will focus on finding cures and raising money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the legacy of Gehrig and others who died of the progressive disease that attacks nerve cells controlling muscles throughout the body.

June 2 marks the 96th anniversary of when Gehrig made started at first base for the New York Yankees in place of Willy Pipp, starting his record streak of 2,130 consecutive games played. The mark stood until September 1995 by Baltimore’s Cal Ripken Jr., who played 2,632 consecutive games in a streak that ended in 1998.

Gehrig died of ALS at age 37 on June 2, 1941. He was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1939.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that Gehrig’s “humility and courage continue to inspire our society” and “the pressing need to find cures remains.”

MLB’s committee includes Oakland outfielder Stephen Piscotty, whose mother died of ALS; Colorado outfielder Sam Hillard, whose father has been diagnosed with ALS; and Milwaukee catcher Jacob Nottingham, whose family includes six people who died of ALS.

MLB teams and players helped raise millions of dollars in 2014’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The New York Yankees often mark the anniversary of Gehrig’s farewell speech on July 4, 1939.

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NHL NEWS: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby cleared to play

(AP)  Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has been cleared to return after spending two days in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

Pittsburgh also says assistant coach Todd Reirden will resume his duties for the Penguins’ home game against Philadelphia on Thursday night after spending two days in the protocol.

Flyers forward Joel Farabee, meantime, was added to the COVID-19 list. He is the 10th Philadelphia player to enter the protocol this season, and first since Travis Konecny was cleared on Sunday following a two-week stint.

Nashville’s Ryan Johansen was also cleared from the protocol following a two-day stint.

That leaves a season-low-matching three players listed, including San Jose’s Tomas Hertl, who entered his ninth day in the protocol.

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BALL STATE MBB: Cards Close Regular Season At MAC Champ Toledo

(BSU RELEASE)

The Starting 5  –  The Top 5 Storylines For This Game

A Ball State basketball squad playing well at the right time closes the regular season on TV Friday night against MAC regular season champ Toledo. BSU has won four of six and is scoring 91.5 points per game over the last four games. Toledo clinched the MAC’s No. 1 seed this week, while BSU can still be the 7 or 8 in next week’s tournament.

1. WHAT’S AT STAKE FRIDAY NIGHT

Toledo has already clinched the top seed in next week’s MAC Basketball Championship in Cleveland, but there’s still some seeding to be determined for Ball State. BSU is currently the 8th seed but can be the 7 with a win and a Miami loss at Akron. Should Ball State be the 8, it will have a rematch with Toledo on Thursday in the tournament quarterfinal.

2. LET’S GET STUPID, I MEAN OUTRAGEOUS

In last Saturday’s postgame presser, Ball State’s offensive output was described as “stupid.” Or maybe “stoopid.” The Cardinals’ offensive output has been outrageous in recent games, with the Cards averaging 95.7 points on 54% shooting over the last three games. The Cardinals put up 90 vs. Kent State, 97 vs. Central and 100 vs. Eastern – marking the first time in school history the team has scored 90+ in three straight games. Over the last four games, it’s 91.5 points on 52% shooting. Ball State is shooting 43% (45-of-104) from 3-point range over the last four games.

3. THE 3 STARTING GUARDS OVER 3 GAMES

If winning in the postseason is about guard play, Ball State is in a good place as the regular season comes to a close. Over the last three games, Ball State’s starting guards are averaging a combined 61.4 points on 56% shooting. Jarron Coleman, last week’s MAC Player of the Week, is averaging 21 points and 4.7 assists over the last three games while making 13 of his 24 3-pointers. Here’s how the three guards are faring over the last three games:

COLEMAN           21.0 ppg              4.0 rpg  4.7 apg 62% FG 54% 3FG              8-10 FT

EL-AMIN              20.7 ppg              4.0 rpg  2.0 apg 51% FG 36% 3FG              11-12 FT

WALTON             19.7 ppg              6.7 rpg  0.7 apg 56% FG 0-2 3FG                 9-11 FT

4. CONNECT 4

Ball State is currently on its second three-game win streak of the season. The Cardinals also won three games in a row in December (UIC, Northern Illinois, Illinois State). A win Friday night would give the Cards their first four-game win streak since the 2018-19 team won four times in a row in December-January of that year. The 18-19 Cards actually had a four-game streak and a separate five-game streak in a stretch where the team won nine of 10 games.

5. CARDS AND TOLEDO – THE SERIES

Friday’s game is the 99th meeting between Ball State and Toledo, with UT holding a slight 50-48 lead in the all-time series that dates back to 1938. Ball State has won eight of the last 11 and seven of the last nine over Toledo. UT won 13 of the first 14 meetings but the series has been nearly even since 2000.

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INDIANA STATE MBB: Sycamores Start Arch Madness with Evansville Friday

(ISU RELEASE)

Indiana State opens its 2021 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament with a familiar foe, taking on Evansville for the third time in five games. The Sycamores enter “Arch Madness” having won 10 of their last 12 games, including two over the Purple Aces Feb. 14 and Feb. 17.

KEY NAMED FIRST TEAM FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON

Senior Tyreke Key was named to the All-MVC First Team this week, marking the second consecutive appearance on the conference’s first team for the guard. Key finished the regular season with an average of 17.2 points per game, good for second in the Valley.

The Celina, Tenn. native is one of just three players in program history to be named to the Valley’s All-Conference team for three seasons, joining current assistant coach Jake Odum (2nd – 2011; 1st – 2012; 1st – 2013) and ISU Hall of Famer John Sherman Williams (2nd – 1981; 2nd – 1982; 1st – 1983; 1st – 1984).

LARAVIA EARNS 2ND TEAM HONORS

Sophomore Jake LaRavia earned a spot on the All-Valley Second Team, continuing to show his development after being a member of both the All-Freshman and All-Newcomer teams a season ago. The Indianapolis, Ind. native averaged 12.5 points and tied for the team-high in rebounding at 6.1 boards per game, while averaging 11.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in Valley play.

With Key and LaRavia earning first and second team honors, it marked the first time since the 2000-01 season that Sycamore teammates earned All-Valley first and second team distinctions (Matt Renn – First Team; Michael Menser – Second Team).

WILLIAMS THE DEFENSIVE DISRUPTOR

Sophomore Tre Williams was named to the Valley’s All-Defensive team after leading the league in blocked shots per game (1.4) and total blocks (34). The Reynoldsburg, Ohio native also averaged 9.0 points and 6.1 rebounds on the season, shooting a team-best .528 from the floor.

SCHOLAR BALLERS

The sophomore tandem of Jake LaRavia and Tre Williams were also honored for their academic prowess this week, as both were named to the All-MVC Scholar-Athlete Second Team. LaRavia holds a 3.30 grade-point average in Sports Management, while Williams has a 3.79 GPA in the Scott School of Business.

It marked the first time since 2014-15 that Indiana State had two members of the MVC Scholar-Athlete team (Justin Gant – First Team; Jake Kitchell – First TEAM).

10+ VALLEY WINS

When Indiana State defeated Evansville on Senior Night, Feb. 17, it secured its second consecutive 10-win Valley season and fifth in the Greg Lansing era.

AGAINST EVANSVILLE IN THE VALLEY TOURNAMENT

Friday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament showdown between Indiana State and Evansville will be the sixth time the two have played in the conference tournament. The Purple Aces hold a 3-2 edge over the Sycamores in the postseason, having won each of the last two games. ISU is 2-2 against UE in the postseason in the Greg Lansing era.

THIS SEASON AGAINST EVANSVILLE

Indiana State took both games against the Purple Aces during the 2020-21 regular season. The Sycamores won in Evansville, 76-70 on Feb. 14, and then turned around to win in Hulman Center three days later by a 87-73 final.

100 MISSOURI VALLEY WINS FOR LANSING

When Indiana State defeated Evansville on Feb. 14 it marked the 100th Missouri Valley Conference win of head coach Greg Lansing’s career. He became just the 11th coach in Valley history to reach the century mark, and the second to do it this season (Porter Moser, LUC).

NEXT UP

Should the Sycamores defeat Evansville for the third time this season, they will go on to play the winner of  No. 1 Loyola and either No. 8 Bradley or No. 9 Southern Illinois. The semi-final is slated for a 1 p.m ET start time Saturday, March 6 and can be seen on CBSSports.

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DAYTON MEN’S BASKETBALL: Men’s Basketball Pulls Away From Rhode Island To Advance In The Atlantic 10 Championship

(DAYTON RELEASE)

RICHMOND, Va. – Ibi Watson scored a season-high 25 points, while Jalen Crutcher added 14 points and seven assists to lead the University of Dayton men’s basketball team to an 84-72 win over Rhode Island in the second round of the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship.

Dayton, 14-8 on the season, will face the tournament’s second-seed VCU Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

First Half:  Dayton 40, Rhode Island 31

Dayton scored the first five points of the game, but Rhode Island worked its way back to tie the game at 7-7 with 14:42 to go.

The Rams led at the next two media breaks – 13-9 at 10:51 and 18-17 at 7:25.

UD got the lead back to have a 30-26 advantage with 2:31, and then in the final 1:04 of the half, the Flyers scored eight unanswered points to lead 40-31.

Dayton shot 47% (7-15) from the three, made all seven of its free throws and outrebounded Rhode Island 20-16 in the first half.

Ibi Watson (14 points), Jalen Crutcher (12) and R.J. Blakney (8) combined for 34 of Dayton’s 40 points.

Second Half:  Dayton 84, Rhode Island 72

URI chipped away at Dayton’s lead, cutting it to 48-41 with 15:38 left, and 56-50 after a Zimi Nwokeji free throw at 11:24.

Then a 5-0 Ram run made it a one-point game inside 11 minutes to go.

The Flyers responded with an 8-0 spurt, and a 10-1 overall run to regain control.

Eight of the 10 points came from freshmen. Nwokeji hit a big and-one, Koby Brea drained a corner three, and after a layup by senior Jordy Tshimanga, Mustapha Amzil hit another layup to make it 66-56 with 7:35 to go.

Rhody scored a fast-break bucket to get the margin under 10, but Brea hit another three to push Dayton’s lead to double digits for the remainder of the game.

BY THE NUMBERS

Six Flyers scored at least eight points in the game.

In addition to Ibi Watson’s 25 and Jalen Crutcher’s 14, four freshmen combined for another 39 points.

Mustapha Amzil scored 14 (12 in the second half), Zimi Nwokeji had nine (all in the second half), Koby Brea scored eight points (six in the second half) and R.J. Blakney had eight (all in the first half).

Amzil made all five of his two-point shots (5-6 FG overall) and all four of his free throws.

Rodney Chatman and Crutcher each had seven assists to lead UD.

Dayton won the battle of the boards 35-30.  Seven players grabbed at least three rebounds, led by Jordy Tshimanga’s seven.  Brea grabbed a career-best six boards, and three of Blakney’s four were on the offensive glass.

UP NEXT

Dayton advances to the A-10 quarterfinals to face VCU at the Ram’s Siegel Center.

The UD-VCU winner advances to the tournament semifinals on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.

The Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship Game will be played at the University of Dayton Arena on Sunday, March 14 at 1 p.m. ET.

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CINCINNATI MBB: Men’s Basketball Welcomes Vanderbilt For Home Finale

(CINCINNATI RELEASE)

VANDERBILT (7-14, 3-12 SEC)

at CINCINNATI (9-9, 7-6 AAC)

Thursday, Mar. 4 // 7 p.m. ET

Fifth Third Arena // Cincinnati, Ohio

SERIES INFO: Eighth meeting; Cincinnati leads 6-1 overall; UC leads 3-0 in Cincinnati;

UC leads 2-0 in Nashville; Series is tied 1-1 at neutral sites;

LAST MEETING: Cincinnati won 67-58 in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Nov. 23, 2009

STREAK: Cincinnati – 3

COACHES: John Brannen – second season at Cincinnati (29-19); sixth season overall (111-71)

Jerry Stackhouse – second season at Vanderbilt (18-35); second season overall (18-35)

AP/USA TODAY RANKINGS (MAR. 1): Cincinnati (–/–); Vanderbilt (–/–)

RADIO: 102.7 WEBN FM; Dan Hoard provides play-by-play with color analyst Terry Nelson

TV: ESPN+; Matt Noonan provides play-by-play with color analyst Kevin Johnson

JOIN THE CONVERSATION (TWITTER, FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM): @GoBearcatsMBB

GAME PREVIEW

Cincinnati (9-9, 6-6 American) steps out of league play Thursday to welcome Vanderbilt (7-13, 3-11 Southeastern Conference) to Fifth Third Arena. The regular-season home finale for the Bearcats tips off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+. 

The Bearcats are coming off an 80-74 home setback to Memphis on Senior Day Sunday. Keith Williams and Mike Saunders Jr. led UC with 19 points each. Mika Adams-Woods added 10 points.

Vanderbilt suffered an 83-68 setback at LSU on Tuesday night. Maxwell Evans led the Commodores with 20 points.

UC and Vanderbilt have played seven times in series history with the Bearcats winning six times, including the last meeting a 67-58 result in the first round of the 2009 Maui Invitational.

UP NEXT: UC wraps up regular-season play at East Carolina on Sunday. Tipoff is 1 pm. ET on ESPN+.

CINCINNATI HEADLINES

Cincinnati is 6-2 since coming off a 25-day pause for COVID-19 issues.

Jeremiah Davenport was named to the AAC Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 56.3 percent (18 of 32) from the field and 50 percent (9 of 18) from 3-point range. He ranks among the AAC leaders in 3-pointers per game (9th at 1.8), field goal percentage (13th at .453), and points (18th at 11.0).

Preseason AAC First Team honoree Keith Williams entered Wednesday ranked seventh in the AAC in scoring, averaging 14.6 points. He scored a game-high 24 points with a career-best six assists at Tulsa (2/25).

Tari Eason ranks among AAC leaders in blocked shots (4th at 1.2), field goal percentage (7th at .495), offensive rebounds (7th at 2.1) and rebounds (11th at 5.6).

In November, CBS Sports named Cincinnati the 10th greatest college basketball program since the advent of the NCAA Tournament in 1939.

BEARCATS TIP-INS

COVID-19 CHALLENGES: It’s been a challenging year for all college basketball programs. Here’s a look at some of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Cincinnati.

UC currently has eight scholarship players entering March. Four players have opted out of the program, most recently David DeJulius last week.

The Bearcats had six games postponed (one of which was rescheduled) from Jan. 13 through Jan. 30, marking a 25-day layoff between games.

UC is coming off playing four games in eight days after the Tulane game was rescheduled from Jan. 16 to Feb. 26.

Tonight’s game against Vanderbilt resulted after COVID-19 protocols prevented SMU from playing basketball. 

UC learned SMU would not be able to be tonight’s opponent late Saturday evening and immediately switched Senior Day festivities to prior to this past Sunday’s game with Memphis.

The Bearcats recently came off a stretch of six of eight games on the road before their current three-game homestand. UC’s game with Temple (2/12) marked its first home game since a 70-66 loss to Tulsa (1/2) – a span of 41 days.

LATEST NONCONFERENCE GAME SINCE: UC’s matchup with Vanderbilt on Thursday marks the latest regular-season nonconference game for the Bearcats since a 72-70 win over Duquesne on Mar. 4, 1975, when UC was an independent. The following season UC joined the Metro Conference. 

BRANNEN TEAMS DOWN THE STRETCH: John Brannen-coached teams have performed well during the months of February and March. Over the last five seasons (including his last three at Northern Kentucky) his squads have compiled a 38-15 (.717) mark down the stretch, including an 13-5 record at Cincinnati.

WILLIAMS SEVENTH IN AAC IN SCORING: Preseason AAC First Team honoree Keith Williams entered Wednesday ranked seventh in the AAC in scoring, averaging 14.6 points.

Over the past three games he is averaging 17.0 points, 5.3 assists and 1.7 blocks. He scored a game-high 24 points with a career-best six assists at Tulsa (2/25) and poured in 19 points with six assists vs Memphis (22/28).

Williams became the 54th member of UC’s 1,000-point club at Tulane (2/7) with a game-high 20 points against the Green Wave. 

DAVENPORT NAMED TO AAC HONOR ROLL: Sophomore guard Jeremiah Davenport was named to the AAC Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 56.3 percent (18 of 32) from the field and 50 percent (9 of 18) from 3-point range.

He tallied a career-high 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting with four triples and five assists against Tulane (2/26) and posted 14 points with four threes and seven rebounds at Tulsa (2/24).

Davenport ranks among the AAC leaders in 3-pointers per game (9th at 1.8), field goal percentage (13th at .453), and points (18th at 11.0).

In his first career start against SMU (1/7), Davenport posted his first career double-double with 18 points and a career-best 10 rebounds while hitting a trio of 3-pointers..

SAUNDERS STEPPING UP: Freshman Mike Saunders Jr. has stepped up for UC, especially over the last two games, playing more than 30 minutes each contest. He poured in a career-high 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting with a pair of three against Memphis (2/28). He has started six of the last eight games for the Bearcats.

EASON REGISTERS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Freshman Tari Eason posted his first collegiate double-double against Tulane (2/26) with a career-high 20 points and career-high 13 rebounds to go with three blocks. He finished 8 of 8 from the field with a 3-pointer. 

Eason, who has led UC in rebounds in eight games this season, ranks among the AAC leaders in blocked shots (4th at 1.2), field goal percentage (7th at .495), offensive rebounds (7th at 2.1) and rebounds (11th at 5.6).

SCOUTING VANDERBILT

Vanderbilt is playing three true road games this week. The Commodores lost at LSU on Tuesday and play at Ole Miss on Saturday.

VU has battled injuries throughout the season, starting 15 different lineups in 21 games. 

Scotty Pippen Jr. (20.5 points, 5.2 assists) and Dylan Disu (15.0 points, 9.2 rebounds) rank atop the list of Commodores scorers.

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INDIANA STATE BASEBALL: Baseball Heads to South Beach For Series with Florida International

(ISU RELEASE)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State baseball returns to the Sunshine State this weekend for a weekend series with Florida International, March 6-8 in Miami. The series opener on Friday is set for 7 p.m., with Saturday’s contest set for a 6 p.m. start. The Sycamores (3-4) and Panthers (4-3) will wrap up the series on Sunday at noon. Games on Friday and Sunday will be available to watch through CUSA.tv. Saturday’s game will not be streamed.

NEWS AND NOTEWORTHY

» With a weekend split at No. 16 Tennessee, Indiana State became the first team to defeat the Volunteers in the month of February since 2018. Entering the weekend, UT was 26-0 against opponents during the month over the last three seasons. The weekend also marked the first ranked win for the Sycamores since knocking No. 25 Dallas Baptist out of the MVC Tournament in 2019; two of four ranked wins for the Trees in 2019 (Illinois, Michigan, DBU).

» Redshirt senior Max Wright leads the Sycamores at the plate through seven games. The Ontario native sits at the top in average (.360), slugging (.640), on-base percent (.467), home runs (2), hits (9), total bases (16) and walks (4). He recorded five hits against the nationally ranked Volunteers for a .385 batting average while also drawing four walks after not picking up a walk in three games against Pitt to begin the season.

» Jordan Schaffer has started all seven games for the Sycamores at shortstop in 2021. After leading the team in average in a shortened 2020 season, the redshirt junior is hitting .290 while tying for the team lead with nine base hits. The leadoff man also leads the Sycamores in runs scored with six. Schaffer was off to a blazing start as he hit a team-best .462 (6-for-13) on opening weekend with a three-game series with Pittsburgh. Schaffer also led the team with two runs scored while stealing a base. The Terre Haute, Ind. native was 4-for-5 on opening day and recorded a hit in each game during the Snowbird Baseball Classic.

» Connor Fenlong put together a phenomenal showing in his season debut for the Sycamores. He tossed 3.2 innings and struck out five Pitt batters in a combined shutout on opening day. He continued his strong start to the season in Knoxville, appearing in two games against No. 16 Tennessee. The right-hander pitched a combined 3.1 innings for the Trees and did not allow a run while earning his first win of the season in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader. On the season, he has held opponents to a .222 average against while striking out eight and not issuing a walk over seven innings of work.

» Left-hander Tristan Weaver made his return to the mound in the series opener against Tennessee after battling back from an offseason injury. Weaver went 4.1 innings and struck out four as the Vols sprayed six hits during the outing.

» Western Illinois transfer Javin Drake has made two starts for ISU in 2021. The right-hander has been strong early, allowing just two earned runs over 7.1 innings while striking out 11. He holds a 1.23 ERA and has held the opponents to a .214 average against.

» Geremy Guerrero pitched one of the best games of his career on opening day of the 2021 season. The left-hander held Pittsburgh scoreless in a 5.1 inning outing, finishing a strikeout short of a career high with six on the day. Guerrero allowed just four baserunners in the start as Pitt singled three times and was able to work one walk before reliever Connor Fenlong closed the door on the combined shutout. Guerrero has put together a 1.08 ERA over 8.1 innings for the Sycamores this season. He has struck out seven and allowed just two extra-base hits.

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NOTRE DAME BASEBALL: IRISH CONTINUE EARLY SEASON ROAD TRIP AGAINST CLEMSON

(ND RELEASE)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team is back on the road this weekend as they play their second ACC road series to begin the season. The Irish are set to square off with the Clemson Tigers this weekend at Doug Kingsmore Stadium for a three game series starting on Friday, March 5. The Irish (2-1, 2-1 ACC) and Tigers (4-2, 0-0 ACC) did not meet in the 2020 season but both squads were two of three teams to sweep their first ACC series last season.

Irish Continue Road Trip Down in Clemson

Notre Dame heads south to Clemson to continue its early season road trip as ACC continues.

Clemson holds a 12-8 advantage over the Irish but Notre Dame won the last series between the two schools and the series is even at 5-5 in games down in Clemson.

These two teams squared off in 2019 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium and the Irish opened the series with a convincing 9-2 win.

Tommy Sheehan tossed his first career complete game in the win as the Irish jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second. The game was capped in the ninth after a three-run home run from Eric Gilgenbach. Sheehan struckout four and allowed just two runs in the win.

After dropping the second game by a score of 5-1, the Irish responded in the series finale.

Niko Kavadas gave the Irish an early lead with a solo home run in the second. The Tigers tied the game in the eighth but the Irish bullpen kept the game tied going into extras. Carter Putz scored the go-ahead run in the 10th and Mitch Megias came on to nail down the save and clinch the series for the Irish.

Clemson enters the series with a 4-2 record and coming off a 6-3 midweek win over East Tennessee State. The Tigers have not started ACC play as they lost two games against in-state rival South Carolina this past weekend.

Scafidi, Rao Shut Down Demon Deacons

The Irish rode a complete performance from the bats and the arms to clinch the series against No. 16 Wake Forest with a 10-0 win on Sunday.

The Irish put up a number of crooked numbers to build an early lead as they scored two or more runs in four of the first six innings.

They scored in the first inning (3) for the third straight game and also tallied multiple runs in the third (3), fifth (2) and sixth (2) innings.

Brooks Coetzee set a career high with 5 RBI, Jared Miller set a career high with four runs and David LaManna tied career highs with three hits and three RBI.

On the mound, Christian Scafidi and Alex Rao combined to shut the Demon Deacons out for the first time since April 27, 2018.

Scafidi earned his first win in an Irish uniform while Rao recorded his first career save.

The Irish pitching staff held the Demon Deacons scoreless over the final 14 innings of the series.

Power, Pen Lead Irish Over Wake

The Irish bounced back with a 5-4 win in game two of the doubleheader against Wake Forest thanks to some timely power and quality innings out of the bullpen.

In his first at-bat in an Irish uniform, Alex Brait blasted his first career grand slam to left field to put the Irish up 4-0 in the opening frame.

After the Deacs tied the game in the fourth inning, the Irish pen kept them at bay.

Liam Simon and Aidan Tyrell held the Deacs scoreless over the final 5.1 innings.

The Irish regained the lead in the seventh as David LaManna scored on a wild pitch.

Simon set a career high with 3.1 innings pitched to earn his second career win.

Tyrell earned the save with 2.0 innings of work and allowed just one batter to reach base.

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PFW BASEBALL: Baseball Series With Youngstown State Moved to Defiance

(PFW RELEASE)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne (1-3) baseball team will open Horizon League play this weekend against Youngstown State (2-6). The games have been moved to the artificial turf field of Defiance High School in Defiance, Ohio. Also note the adjusted game times.

Who: Youngstown State at Purdue Fort Wayne

When: Friday, March 5 – Noon | Saturday, March 6 – 3:20 p.m. | Sunday, March 7 – Noon (Doubleheader, 7 inning game followed by 9 inning game)

Where: Defiance High School | Defiance, Ohio

Video: None

Live Stats: Link

Series History: Youngstown State leads 4-2

Fan Policy: No spectators allowed

Probable Starters:

Purdue Fort Wayne:

GM 1 – LHP Justin Miller (2.08 ERA, 1-0)

GM 2 – RHP Cameron Boyd (9.00 ERA, 0-1)

GM 3 – LHP Jacob Myer (2.35 ERA, 0-0)

GM 4 – RHP Michael Madura (6.23 ERA, 0-1)

Youngstown State:

GM 1 – LHP Colin Clark (10.97 ERA, 0-2)

GM 2 – LHP Collin Floyd (6.00 ERA, 0-1)

GM 3 – RHP Jon Snyder (2.89 ERA, 1-0)

GM 4 – TBD

Scouting the Mastodons (1-3): The ‘Dons picked up one win last week at Murray State but likely feel like they could’ve had more after dropping two games on Saturday by just one run. The ‘Dons hit .280 as a team on the weekend with newcomer Justin Greene recording six hits and knocking in three runs. Aaron Chapman, who hit a Summit League best .382 last season, picked up right where he left off by recording six hits and scoring twice against the Racers. The ‘Dons used 10 pitchers last week with only Ryan Robison seeing multiple outings. He picked up the save in game one. The newcomer Robison also played in the field at first base in three games.

Scouting the Penguins (2-6): Youngstown State opened the season by winning one of four games at Troy. Last week the Penguins lost to LSU twice and split with Nicholls State. They lost the second game to LSU 5-3 on a walkoff home run. Andre Good leads the Penguins in hitting with a .368 average. He joins Turner Grau (.357) and Phillip Glasser (.313) as the three Penguins hitting .300 on the young season. Look for Gary Clift Jr. out of the pen for the Penguins. He has two saves on the season. The Youngstown State pitching staff has given up 17 home runs on the season.

Series History:

04/17/2004         vs            Youngstown State           L              6-1          Fort Wayne, IN

04/17/2004         vs            Youngstown State           L              6-3          Fort Wayne, IN

04/18/2004         vs            Youngstown State           W           13-5       Fort Wayne, IN

04/18/2004         vs            Youngstown State           W           7-6          Fort Wayne, IN

04/03/2005         vs            Youngstown State           L              7-4          Fort Wayne, IN

04/03/2005         vs            Youngstown State           L              13-5       Fort Wayne, IN

Hi Again: The Mastodons will make a return trip to Youngstown on May 7-9 for a league series.

1-2 Punch: Aaron Chapman and Garett Lake batted 1-2 in the Mastodons’ lineup for all four games last weekend. They are the only ‘Dons that batted in the same position for all four games.

Meep, Meep!: The Mastodons went 7-of-8 in stolen bases last week with Aaron Chapman going 2-of-2 in attempts.

Ranked in the League: The ‘Dons rank first in the Horizon League in batting average (.270), on-base percentage (.338) and stolen bases per game (1.5).

A Grand First: Lucas Kolovitz recorded his first collegiate home run at Murray State and did it in a big way. He hit a grand slam to deep right field in game two.

Nearing 500: Head coach Doug Schreiber spent 18 seasons as the head coach at Purdue and enters the weekend with 491 career victories.

Looking Ahead: The Mastodons will step out of league play next weekend for a trip to Butler for three games.

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EVANSVILLE BASEBALL: Evansville welcomes in an old friend with weekend series against WIU

(ACES RELEASE)

EVANSVILLE – A familiar face will make its way back to Evansville, as the University of Evansville baseball team welcomes in head coach Andy Pascoe and his Western Illinois Leathernecks for a four-game series this weekend at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.

Last Time Out: Kentucky 8, Evansville 5

  • Earning an early lead, the University of Evansville baseball team fell on the road at Kentucky, 8-5, on a late Wildcats rally in a non-conference matchup on Wednesday evening at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Ky.
  • “We just didn’t do enough in all aspects of the game to take advantage of the opportunities UK gave us to win the game,” said Evansville head baseball coach Wes Carroll. “There were some bright spots with Nick Smith and Drew Dominik on the mound. Also at the plate I really liked some at bats from Borgstrom, Shallenberger and Scherry. I look forward to playing more consistent complimentary baseball this weekend.”
  • It took no time for the Aces offense to get rolling as sophomore Danny Borgstrom lifted the second pitch of the game over the right field wall to give Evansville an early run.
  • Later in the top of the first inning, the Aces added another run on a RBI single to left by junior Tanner Craig that scored Beilsmith.
  • Kentucky got a run back in the bottom half of the first as a base-hit moved runners along, scoring one and cutting the Aces lead to one.
  • Evansville would tack that run back on in the third as senior Craig Shepherd grounded-out, scoring Tanner Craig as the Aces lead moved to 3-1.
  • A tricky top of the fourth inning caused some damage for the Aces as the Wildcats scored two runs to tie the game, one coming on a walk and the other on a sacrifice fly.
  • The Wildcats still threatened in the fourth after the two runs were scored, but junior Drew Dominik helped limit UK to just two runs.
  • The fifth inning saw Kentucky takes its first lead of the game at 4-3 on a single to center field. 
  • Evansville had an answer in the top of the seventh as the Aces loaded the bases and Craig drew a walk to tie the game again, this time at 5 all.
  • In the next at bat, freshman Mark Shallenberger popped a sacrifice fly to center that scored Borgstrom and regained the lead for the Aces, 6-5. 
  • The Aces found themselves in some trouble in the seventh as a two-run double to center field regained the lead for the Wildcats at 6-5 and with more damage still being threatened.
  • Before the conclusion of the seventh, Kentucky added another run, this time via a sacrifice fly.
  • The final run of the night for Kentucky came in the eighth as a runner scored from third on a balk as Kentucky went on to capture the 8-5 win.


Previewing the Matchup: Western Illinois

  • Evansville and Western Illinois are meeting for the 13th time in the all-time series in Friday’s series-opener.
  • The Aces lead the all-time series with the Leathernecks, 9-3.
  • Back during the 2018 season, the Aces swept WIU, earning trio of victories by scores of 4-0, 8-0, and 6-3.
  • The Leathernecks come into this weekend’s series with a 1-3 record, with their lone victory coming in impressive fashion in an 8-3 win over then-No. 4 Louisville last Friday.
  • Making his return to his alma mater is Leathernecks head coach Andy Pascoe, who played for Wes Carroll and the Aces from 2007-10 and served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the team from 2011 to 2015.

Borgstrom Walks

  • After hitting a leadoff home run in the first against Kentucky on Wednesday, sophomore Danny Borgstrom only bolstered his season at the plate.
  • Borgstrom has hit a pair of home runs, driven in three runs, and also has been patient at the plate.
  • The Morris, Ill. native sits inside the top 50 in the nation in walks, recording 10 base on balls so far this season.


The Evansville-WIU Connection

  • With Andy Pascoe taking over head coaching duties at Western Illinois, the Evansville coaching pipeline to Macomb continues.
  • Prior to Pascoe, WIU’s head coach was Ryan Brownlee, and Evansville playing and coaching alum, who spent seven seasons as head coach for the Leathernecks.

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Michigan Tabbed Big Ten Baseball Favorite

Big Ten coaches select Wolverines to claim conference title for second-straight season

ROSEMONT, Ill. – Michigan was voted the preseason favorite to claim the 2021 Big Ten Baseball Championship as selected by the conference coaches and announced on Thursday. The coaches voted on the top six teams and also selected three students from their own squads to a Preseason Honors list.

The Wolverines were followed in the preseason poll by Indiana in second place and No. 3 Ohio State

No. 4 Iowa, No. 5 Maryland and No. 6 Illinois.

Michigan enters the season as the top-ranked team in both the Midwest Region and Big Ten Conference, ranked No. 21 nationally by Baseball America. In last season’s shortened campaign, the Wolverines earned their No. 1 ranking by beating No. 1 Vanderbilt (4-3, Feb. 14) and No. 3 Arizona State (5-0, Feb. 15). Michigan became the first school from the Big Ten to earn Baseball America’s No. 1 ranking.

The 2021 Big Ten baseball season is set to begin Friday. The preseason poll, featuring the top six teams, and the complete Preseason Honors list can be found below.

2021 BIG TEN BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL (top six teams)
RankTeam
1Michigan
2Indiana
3Ohio State
4Iowa
5Maryland
6Illinois

2021 BIG TEN BASEBALL PRESEASON HONORS LIST

Branden Comia, SS, So., Illinois

Andrew Hoffmann, RHP, So., Illinois

Taylor Jackson, OF, Jr., Illinois

Cole Barr, 3B, Jr., Indiana

McCade Brown, RHP, So., Indiana

Grant Richardson, CF, So., Indiana

Austin Martin, C, Sr., Iowa

Ben Norman, OF, Sr., Iowa        

Trenton Wallace, LHP/OF, Jr., Iowa

Randy Bednar, OF, Sr., Maryland

Sean Burke, RHP, So., Maryland

Maxwell Costes, 1B, Jr., Maryland

Steven Hajjar, LHP, So., Michigan

Jimmy Obertop, 1B/C, So., Michigan

Cameron Weston, RHP, So., Michigan

Mason Erla, RHP, Jr., Michigan State

Bryce Kelley, OF/LHP, Sr., Michigan State

Bailey Peterson, 2B, Sr., Michigan State

Sam Ireland, RHP/1B, So., Minnesota

Zach Raabe, 2B, Jr., Minnesota

Jack Wassel, 3B, Sr., Minnesota

Chance Hroch, RHP, Sr., Nebraska

Cade Povich, LHP, Jr., Nebraska

Spencer Schwellenbach, SS/RHP, Jr., Nebraska

Michael Doherty, RHP, Jr., Northwestern

Shawn Goosenberg, SS, Jr., Northwestern

Tyler Uberstine, RHP, Jr., Northwestern

TJ Brock, RHP, Jr., Ohio State

Garrett Burhenn, RHP, Jr., Ohio State

Seth Lonsway, LHP, Jr., Ohio State

Bailey Dees, RHP, Jr., Penn State

Gavin Homer, IF, Sr., Penn State

Tyler Shingledecker, LHP, So., Penn State

Skyler Hunter, OF, Sr., Purdue

Trent Johnson, RHP, Sr., Purdue

Ben Nisle, OF, Sr., Purdue

Danny DiGeorgio, SS, Sr., Rutgers

Harry Rutkowski, LHP, Jr., Rutgers

Richie Schiekofer, CF, Jr., Rutgers

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NOTRE DAME BASEBALL: Irish Continue Early Season Road Trip Against Clemson

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame baseball team is back on the road this weekend as they play their second ACC road series to begin the season. The Irish are set to square off with the Clemson Tigers this weekend at Doug Kingsmore Stadium for a three game series starting on Friday, March 5. The Irish (2-1, 2-1 ACC) and Tigers (4-2, 0-0 ACC) did not meet in the 2020 season but both squads were two of three teams to sweep their first ACC series last season.

Irish Continue Road Trip Down in Clemson

  • Notre Dame heads south to Clemson to continue its early season road trip as ACC continues.
  • Clemson holds a 12-8 advantage over the Irish but Notre Dame won the last series between the two schools and the series is even at 5-5 in games down in Clemson.
  • These two teams squared off in 2019 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium and the Irish opened the series with a convincing 9-2 win.
  • Tommy Sheehan tossed his first career complete game in the win as the Irish jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second. The game was capped in the ninth after a three-run home run from Eric Gilgenbach. Sheehan struckout four and allowed just two runs in the win.
  • After dropping the second game by a score of 5-1, the Irish responded in the series finale.
  • Niko Kavadas gave the Irish an early lead with a solo home run in the second. The Tigers tied the game in the eighth but the Irish bullpen kept the game tied going into extras. Carter Putz scored the go-ahead run in the 10th and Mitch Megias came on to nail down the save and clinch the series for the Irish.
  • Clemson enters the series with a 4-2 record and coming off a 6-3 midweek win over East Tennessee State. The Tigers have not started ACC play as they lost two games against in-state rival South Carolina this past weekend.

Scafidi, Rao Shut Down Demon Deacons

  • The Irish rode a complete performance from the bats and the arms to clinch the series against No. 16 Wake Forest with a 10-0 win on Sunday.
  • The Irish put up a number of crooked numbers to build an early lead as they scored two or more runs in four of the first six innings.
  • They scored in the first inning (3) for the third straight game and also tallied multiple runs in the third (3), fifth (2) and sixth (2) innings.
  • Brooks Coetzee set a career high with 5 RBI, Jared Miller set a career high with four runs and David LaManna tied career highs with three hits and three RBI.
  • On the mound, Christian Scafidi and Alex Rao combined to shut the Demon Deacons out for the first time since April 27, 2018.
  • Scafidi earned his first win in an Irish uniform while Rao recorded his first career save.
  • The Irish pitching staff held the Demon Deacons scoreless over the final 14 innings of the series.

Power, Pen Lead Irish Over Wake

  • The Irish bounced back with a 5-4 win in game two of the doubleheader against Wake Forest thanks to some timely power and quality innings out of the bullpen.
  • In his first at-bat in an Irish uniform, Alex Brait blasted his first career grand slam to left field to put the Irish up 4-0 in the opening frame.
  • After the Deacs tied the game in the fourth inning, the Irish pen kept them at bay.
  • Liam Simon and Aidan Tyrell held the Deacs scoreless over the final 5.1 innings.
  • The Irish regained the lead in the seventh as David LaManna scored on a wild pitch.
  • Simon set a career high with 3.1 innings pitched to earn his second career win.
  • Tyrell earned the save with 2.0 innings of work and allowed just one batter to reach base.

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OHIO STATE BASEBALL: Opening Day is Here!! Buckeyes and Illini This Weekend in Greenville
All four games this weekend will be streamed on BTN Plus+

Ohio State vs. Illinois
Game 1
Date:
 March 5, 2021 | Time: 3:00 p.m | Watch: BTN Plus+ | Live Scoring
Probable Starters:
Ohio State – Garrett Burhenn (Jr., RHP, Indianapolis, Ind.)
Illinois – Andrew Hoffmann (Sr. RHP, Plainfield, Ill.)

Game 2
Date:
 March 6, 2021 | Time: 10:00 a.m | Watch: BTN Plus+ | Live Scoring
Probable Starters:
Ohio State – Seth Lonsway (R-Jr., LHP, Celina, Ohio)
Illinois – Riley Gowens (Fr. RHP, Libertyville, Ill.)

Game 3
Date:
 March 6, 2021 | Time: After game 1 | Watch: BTN Plus+ | Live Scoring
Probable Starters:
Ohio State – Jack Neely (Jr., RHP, San Antonio, Texas)
Illinois – Andrew Rybarczyk (So. RHP, Spring Valley, Ill.)

Game 4
Date:
 March 7, 2021 | Time: 10:00 a.m | Watch: BTN Plus+ | Live Scoring
Probable Starters:
Ohio State – Will Pfennig (Jr., RHP, Mason, Ohio)
Illinois – Cole Kirschsieper (Fr. LHP, Frankfort, Ill.)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Baseball season is upon us as Ohio State opens the year against Illinois this weekend in Greenville, S.C. The teams will play a four-game series at Fluor Field with single games on Friday and Sunday and a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch for the opener is set for 3 p.m. 

  • The Buckeyes come into the season with a veteran group both on the mound and in the field.
  • Ohio State was picked third in the Big Ten Preseason Poll by the league’s head coaches.
  • The Buckeyes are the defending Big Ten Tournament Champions (it wasn’t played last season) and will remain the defending champs for another year. The Big Ten coaches elected for no Big Ten Tournament this season.
  • Ohio State has made the regionals in three of the last four seasons.
  • Last season, the Buckeyes were 6-8 prior to the shutdown.
  • Illinois was 8-5 in the abbreviated 2020 season. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with Illinois 106-103-2. The teams haven’t played since 2018 and split the last two three-game series in 2016 and 2018.
  • The Buckeyes return all three weekend starters from the last two years in juniors Garrett Burhenn, Seth Lonsway and senior Griffan Smith.
  • Lonsway was named to the Golden Spikes Preseason Watch List. The award annually goes to the best amateur player in the country each year.
  • Burhenn, Lonsway and TJ Brock were all named to the Big Ten preseason honors list. Burhenn and Lonsway will be at the top of the Buckeye rotation this season and Brock will be one of the anchors at the backend of the bullpen.

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BALL STATE BASEBALL: Cardinals Face Test At Kentucky

(BSU RELEASE)

The Ball State baseball team continues its 100th varsity season this weekend with a three-game set at Kentucky. The Cardinals are coming off a series win vs. Bradley after splitting four games with Arizona. Kentucky enters the weekend 6-0 on the year.

Ball State has rode dominant pitching early in the season, led by starters John Baker and Chayce McDermott. Those two have combined for a 1.28 ERA with 29 strikeouts over 21 innings. A group of other pitchers, including Feb. 23 MAC Pitcher of the Week Tyler Ruetschle have also contributed to a good start.

Ross Messina, an all-conference player in 2019, leads BSU in hits (9), RBIs (5), runs (3) and doubles (2).

Kentucky won Tuesday and Wednesday to improve to 6-0 on the year. After losing its first weekend series, Kentucky opened the season with a 5-1 over Ball State rival Miami.

Following this weekend, Ball State is scheduled to head to Old Dominion March 12-14.

What To Know For This Weekend

— John Baker entered the season as one of the most accomplished pitchers in the Midwest and he’s adding to that legacy. Baker worked 4.2 innings in relief in the season opener at Arizona. In his Friday start last week, he struck out 12 and pitched into the 9th inning.

— Ball State pitching has 73 strikeouts in 61 innings, a rate of 10.77 per 9 innings. The Cardinals led the nation in Ks per 9 innings in 2019 (11.12).

— ln each win this season, BSU has found the big inning. In the Feb. 19 8-7 season-opening win, BSU scored four times in the 8th inning. The next day, a 4-run 6th inning led to another win. In a 5-0 win over Bradley, the Cards got four in the 2nd inning.

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PURDUE MSOCCER: Purdue Soccer: Rally Falls Short at Nebraska

(PURDUE RELEASE)

LINCOLN, Neb. Redshirt junior midfielder Sarah Griffith scored her second goal of the season, but it was not enough for the Purdue soccer team in a 2-1 loss at Nebraska on Thursday afternoon at Hibner Soccer Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Boilermakers (1-3-0) fell behind 1-0 in the 12th minute and 2-0 in the 59th, before Griffith cut the deficit in half in the 68th minute. However, the Huskers (1-1-1) did not let Purdue find the equalizer.

Playing its first true road match of the season, the Boilermakers had 10 shots to Nebraska’s 11, while the home side had a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal. Seven of Purdue’s 10 shots came in the second half and four of its five corner kicks occurred in the final 45 minutes.

Griffith led the squad with four shots, while freshman forward Nicole Kevdzija had three shots and senior defender Maya Lambert had two. Griffith, Kevdzija and Lambert each had a shot on goal in the contest. In goal, junior goalkeeper Marisa Boba made four saves.

“Unfortunately we got off to a slow start, and that kind of set the tone for the first half,” Purdue coach Drew Roff said. “Going down a goal, certainly on the road, that’s not the way you want to start out a game. Nebraska brought energy, a lot of physicality at the start, and I felt like we didn’t match that. By the time that we grew into the game, it was towards the end of the first half, and then the beginning of the second half, but we then gave up the second goal in transition. Having to dig ourselves out of a 2-0 hole really required a lot of energy, and we ended up coming up a little bit short. It wasn’t our best performance of the season, and that’s where my frustration lies. I feel that we certainly didn’t start the game well enough, and that’s something we need to correct. We have to get back to work soon and figure out the best way to put together a better 90 minutes on Monday.”

All four of the Boilermakers’ matches this year have been one-goal contests.

Purdue’s goal came at 67:00. The play began on the far side near the bench, where freshman midfielder Emily Mathews centered a ball to junior midfielder Grace Walsh near the center circle. Walsh quickly delivered a long ball up to the far corner of the 18-yard box for Griffith, and she one-touched it past Nebraska’s keeper, who was out of the goal, and into the near corner of the net.

Griffith tallied her second goal of the season, while Mathews earned her second assist of the year and Walsh her first.

Nebraska had the first opportunity of the match, with a blocked shot at 4:17, and Bova made her first save 41 seconds later.

At 11:58, the Huskers took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Eleanor Dale. The goal was on a header from inside the six on a cross in from the right of the goal on the endline.

The Boilermakers had a great chance with a corner kick in the 17th minute. Freshman forward Victoria Kevdzija sent a ball into the box to Nicole Kevdzija, but the shot from 10 yards out went wide.

Lambert had the next opportunity for Purdue in the 34th minute on a free kick near midfield. The senior sent a long ball into the box, but was unable to connect with a Purdue attacker.

In the final three-plus minutes of the half, Lambert had a shot saved, and then Bova made a nice save with 30 seconds left.

The Huskers had two great chances in the opening minutes of the second half. First, Bova made a save inside the six and junior defender Teagan Jones followed with a great block on the near post on the rebound attempt. On the ensuing corner, Jones had a header to clear the ball out of the box.

Bova made another save at 51:55, and Nebraska’s keeper stopped a shot by Nicole Kevdzija.

Nebraska extended its lead to 2-0 on Dale’s second goal of the match at 58:06. Dale scored on a header from just outside the six on a cross in from the near corner.

Purdue answered in the 68th minute to make it a 2-1 match.

Junior midfielder Sydney Duarte had a shot blocked in the 77th minute, and Griffith had one blocked in the 80th. She had another blocked shot in the 83rd to set up a corner kick, but that proved to be the last shot of the match for either team.

Up next, Purdue faces Wisconsin, the reigning Big Ten regular-season champions, on Monday, March 8, at 2 p.m. The UW home match will be played at Mercyhealth Sportscore Two in Loves Park, Illinois.

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PURDUE WSOCCER: No. 11 Purdue Visits No. 10 Penn State

(PURDUE RELEASE)

Friday, March 5 | 7 p.m. ET

BTN+ | WSHY 104.3

No. 11 Purdue at No. 10 Penn State

Saturday, March 6 | 2 p.m. ET

ESPNU | Listen Online

No. 11 Purdue at No. 10 Penn State

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A top-11 showdown between No. 11 Purdue volleyball (8-4) and No. 10 Penn State (4-4) is slated for this weekend in State College’s Rec Hall.

Scouting No. 11 Purdue (8-4)

– Purdue is the best receiving team in the Big Ten with 0.67 opponent service aces allowed.

– On the serve, Purdue has doubled the amount of aces than they’ve allowed, cashing in 63 aces and allowing just 29.

– Purdue ranks 38th in the nation in hitting percentage (.258) and 46th in blocks per set (2.52).

– The Boilermakers rank No. 5 in the league in hitting percentage (.258).

– Purdue is ranked No. 11 in the nation for the fourth straight week, marking the first time with four straight weeks with a No. 11 ranking or better since Preseason 2014 (No. 8), Sept. 1 (No. 7), Sept. 8 (No. 8) and Sept. 15 (No. 11) in 2014. The last time Purdue was ranked in the top-10 was Sept. 19, 2016.

– The Boilermakers are ranked for 55 consecutive weeks in the AVCA Polls (Preseason 2017-2021).

– Purdue committed no reception errors in the sweep vs. Indiana (2/28), marking the first perfect match since the 2019 NCAA First Round vs. Wright State (12/6/19) and the fifth time since the start of the 2018 season.

– Five Boilermakers are registering a .270 or higher hitting % (minimum: 30 or more kiils): freshman Taylor Trammel (.400), junior Jael Johnson (.361), junior Grace Cleveland (.327), sophomore Maddy Chinn (.297), and redshirt junior Hayley Bush (.289).

– Three Boilermakers have earned Big Ten weekly awards this season: Jael Johnson (Player of the Week, 2/1), Hayley Bush (Setter of the Week, 2/15) and Taylor Trammell (Defensive Player of the Week, 2/15).

– The Boilermakers tallied 32 blocks in Week Four at then-No.24 Michigan, including 17 in the first night – which ties the 2019 and 2018 season-bests. It is the most combined blocks by a Purdue team in back-to-back matches in over six seasons.

– Two of the team’s three 2019 All-Americans returned: Cleveland (third-team) and Caitlyn Newton (honorable mention).

Scouting No. 10 Penn State (4-4)

– Penn State is coming off a 3-0 loss to undefeated No. 19 Ohio State on Wednesday night,

– Freshman Allie Holland hit .615 with eight kills and no errors on 13 swings against the Buckeyes.

– Anastasiya Kudryashova recorded 11 kills to lead the Nittany Lions on Wednesday.

– As a team, Penn State is hitting at a .258 hitting clip, while holding opponents to .195.

– With just three ball handling errors on the season, Penn State ranks 5th in the league with 1.21 opponent aces per set.

– Leading the team this season in kills is Jonni Parker, who has played in every set this season. Parker is averaging 3.36 kills per set and a .288 attack %, along with a team-best nine aces.

– Jenna Hampton is the defensive leader with 86 digs while Kaitlyn Hord reigns at the net with 46.0 blocks (1.39 per set).

– Penn State has had four matches postponed this season, including the opening weekend (1/22-23) at Michigan and last week’s matches (2/27-28) at Maryland due to COVID-19.

The Last Six Matches

– The Boilermakers are on a six-match winning streak. Over the six matches, Grace Cleveland has led the team with a .414 attack % (74 kills with 11 errors on 152 swings).

– Caitlyn Newton leads with 4.00 kills per set, followed by Cleveland at 3.52 per set.

– The Boilermaker block party is led by middle blockers Taylor Trammell (freshman) and Jael Johnson (junior). Trammell is averaging 1.57 blocks per set (3 solo, 30 assisted) while Johnson owns 1.48 per set (3 solo, 28 assisted).

– In the back row, libero Jena Otec has been a steady force, accumulating 83 digs (3.95 per set) over the six matches. Additionally, the libero recorded a perfect reception percentage in three of the last six matches, including both matches at then-No. 24 Michigan (2/13-14) and vs Indiana (2/28).

Set. Match. Series.

– The 2021 series vs. in-state rival Indiana was the fastest played in recent history (through matches of 1999), clocking in at 2 hours 46 minutes over the two matches.

    > Feb. 23, 2021 | W, 3-0 | One hour 21 minutes

    > Feb. 28, 2021 | W, 3-0 | One hour 25 minutes

– Purdue improved its record against IU to 72-34, while retaining the Monon Spike trophy for the 13th consecutive year.

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OHIO STATE WSOCCER: Freshmen Lead in 3-1 Win Maryland

(OSU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s soccer team (2-0-1 BIG) earned its second-consecutive win of the season with a 3-1 victory at Maryland (0-3-1 B1G) Thursday at Ludwig Field in College Park. 

Lori Walker-Hock, head coach of the Buckeyes, credited the team’s depth in the win.

“It was a solid team effort today,” Walker-Hock said. “The depth of our bench was extremely helpful. Our young players are really growing into the pace of the Big Ten.”

The Buckeyes scored first on a goal by freshman Peyton McNamara, the first collegiate score for the Norwalk, Conn., native. The score came in the 7th minute unassisted.

Maryland tied the game in the 26th minute but McNamara answered with her second goal of the game in the 31st minute for a 2-1 Ohio State lead.

Another Ohio State freshman, Kine Flotre, a native of Fjellhamar, Norway, scored off an Ohio State corner kick in the 58th minute for the 3-1 advantage.  

Senior keeper Bailey Kolinsky (Derry, N.H.) benefited from a solid Ohio State defensive effort. Maryland took 11 shots with just two on goal.

The Buckeyes improved to 6-0-2 all-time against the Terps.

Ohio State will remain on the road, heading to Rutgers for an 11 a.m. game Sunday in Piscataway.   

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BALL STATE WSOCCER:  Soccer Starts Strong, Blanks Toledo in Anticipated Opener

(BSU RELEASE)

MUNCIE, Ind. — Shelby Kean and Tatiana Mason scored first-half goals Thursday, as the Ball State soccer team rolled to a 2-0 win over Toledo in a long-awaited season debut at the Briner Sports Complex.

The Cardinals (1-0), preseason favorites in the MAC West Division, controlled possession for the majority of the game in their first competitive action in 16 months.

Maitane Bravo made the first start of her BSU career in goal and teamed with Kean the rest of the Cardinals’ back line on the shutout of the Rockets (0-1)

Kean, a key defensive player, got offensive in the 20th minute when Ball State’s early pressure resulted in back-to-back corner kicks. Kean came up into the box and headed a perfectly placed feed from Lexy Smith past the Toledo keeper.

The Cardinals tacked on their second goal just five minutes later when Mason took advantage of a misplay by the Rockets, beat the only defender in front of her, and fired a shot into the corner of the net.

That proved to be more than enough scoring on this day. Toledo generated some offensive chances near the end of the first half, but Ball State controlled the action completely over the final 45 minutes.

The Cardinals now hit the road for the first time, traveling for a noon kickoff Sunday at Central Michigan, before returning home for three in a row in this shortened, 10-game season.

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MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Villanova Wildcats PG Collin Gillespie expected to miss rest of season with torn MCL

Villanova guard Collin Gillespie has suffered a torn MCL in his left knee and is expected to miss the rest of the men’s basketball season, the school announced Thursday.

Gillespie left Wednesday’s game against Creighton with 6 minutes, 38 seconds remaining in the first half after landing awkwardly and immediately grabbing at his left leg. He tried to walk it off along the baseline after the play, but he left the bench shortly after and had to be helped to the locker room. Gillespie didn’t return, and coach Jay Wright said after the game it was a “serious” injury.

An MRI on Thursday morning confirmed the MCL tear.

“We are all devastated for Collin,” Wright said. “He is the heart and soul of our program. We know we can’t replace him. We all just want to step up and play so that we can honor him. Collin is as mentally tough and resilient as any player we have had here. I know he will get through this and make it a positive for his career.”

Gillespie, a 6-foot-3 senior, was averaging 14.0 points and 4.6 assists this season. He has been the starting point guard for Villanova the past three seasons after playing a key role off the bench on the Wildcats’ national championship team in 2018. He was recently named one of the five finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, honoring the nation’s best point guard.

Because the NCAA is giving an additional year of eligibility to every winter sport student-athlete, Gillespie is eligible to return to Villanova next season if he chooses.

Villanova went on to beat Creighton 72-60 on Wednesday night. Brandon Slater took Gillespie’s spot in the lineup, while Justin Moore and even big man Jeremiah Robinson-Earl took on more of the playmaking duties.

The No. 10 Wildcats clinched the Big East regular-season title with their win over the Bluejays.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Report: LSU internal investigation found Les Miles had inappropriate behavior with female student workers in 2013

A 2013 internal investigation accused former LSU coach Les Miles of inappropriate behavior toward female students, but did not find that Miles had sexual relationships with any of the women, according to a USA Today report on Thursday.

Citing the investigation, USA Today reported that Miles was accused of “texting female students, taking them to his condo alone, making them feel uncomfortable and, on at least one occasion, kissing a student and suggesting they go to a hotel after telling her he could help her career.”

According to the report, Miles strongly denied kissing the student and said he didn’t do anything wrong, that he was mentoring young women at the university. Athletic department staff accused Miles of saying that female student employees who helped lure top recruits to the football team “needed to be attractive, blonde and fit,” according to USA Today, and if they didn’t fit that description, they should be given fewer hours or fired.

In a statement provided to ESPN, Miles’ attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said the release of the investigation, which was done by law firm Taylor Porter on behalf of LSU, “should put an end to the baseless, inaccurate media reports that Coach Les Miles engaged in an inappropriate touching of an Athletic Department student volunteer eight years ago.”

“As the Report concludes, the allegation that coach Miles attempted to kiss the woman was supported by no evidence and warranted no discipline: ‘We do not believe under existing law and the terms of the contract there is cause to discipline and/or terminate’ Coach Miles. Coach Miles denied then, as he denies now, that any such conduct occurred.”

The Taylor Porter investigation determined “we are unable to determine what occurred” in Miles’ car, where the woman said Miles had kissed her twice, according to USA Today.

Miles’ attorney said a second woman made a similar allegation that was not supported in the findings.

As a result of the investigation, LSU issued Miles a letter of reprimand, according to the report, and he was ordered to stop hiring student employees to babysit and was not allowed to be alone with them.

Miles, who is now head coach at Kansas, also had to attend eight, one-hour sessions with an attorney and pay for them himself. USA Today has reported widespread mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations by LSU’s athletic department and administration. As a result, LSU hired law firm Husch Blackwell in November to audit its handling of dozens of sexual misconduct cases since 2016.

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UFC: With COVID-19 restrictions lifted, Dana White wants to hold UFC event in Texas ‘ASAP’

LAS VEGAS — The UFC has not done a show in the United States outside its home of Las Vegas in more than a year. That could be changing soon, according to UFC president Dana White.

White said Thursday at the UFC 259 prefight news conference that as soon as he heard Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had lifted COVID-19 restrictions — including a capacity limit for facilities — he started making calls. White said the city of Dallas turned the UFC down, but the promotion is now working on Houston.

The promoter, who has touted the fact that the UFC was the first major sport back, in May, after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, said he wants to run a UFC event in Texas — with a full crowd — as soon as he can.

“I want to go to Texas ASAP,” White said. “I’ll go in the next two, three weeks. I’m ready to roll. We’ll be first. We’ll open this thing up, we’ll sell it out and be on our way.”

White said UFC 260 on March 27, an event initially slated for Las Vegas, could be moved to Texas. And UFC 261 on April 24 is very much on the table for there, he said.

“I’m ready to go,” White said. “I’d move this one (UFC 259 on Saturday) if we could. I told everybody when this opened up that I would be first and we would go first. And we will. … If we could do it, we’d do it.”

On Tuesday, Abbott tweeted that Texas businesses and facilities can resume operations at 100% capacity and the state mask mandate has been lifted. Those two provisions have been in place in many states and cities across the country since last year, based on COVID-19 recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

White has been firm that he doesn’t want the UFC to run domestic shows with partial crowds. He has said repeatedly that he would only leave Las Vegas for an opportunity to run an event in front of a full house. The UFC has been holding all of its U.S. shows at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, a facility across from the promotion’s corporate campus that was initially meant to hold smaller Dana White’s Contender Series events.

The UFC has held all its international events since the pandemic restart on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, which was dubbed “Fight Island.” There were ticketed fans in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for UFC 257 in January, a card headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier, but only a select amount with social-distancing practices in effect. The UFC has not had ticketed fans in the United States since UFC 248, which was one year ago this week.

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NFL NEWS: GM George Paton says Denver Broncos want Von Miller back in 2021, pending legal issues, contract

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With a decision about Von Miller’s future looming, Denver Broncos general manager George Paton said Thursday that the team wants the linebacker back for 2021 but is waiting to hear more on potential legal issues Miller might have and did not rule out a discussion about a pay cut for him to return.

“We’re still working through it with Von, his agent, and in regards to the legal process, we’re just going to let the legal process play out,” Paton said. “But obviously it’s a serious situation, but we want to let it play out before we comment on that.”

Miller, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and the Super Bowl 50 MVP, has an option clause in his contract that if the Broncos pick up would guarantee $7 million of Miller’s $17.5 million base salary and engage the final year of a six-year, $114.5 million deal he signed in 2016.

The Broncos, as well as Miller, are still waiting on a decision from the district attorney in the 18th Judicial District in suburban Denver to determine whether Miller will be charged in the wake of an investigation by the Parker, Colorado, police department. Neither the police nor the district attorney’s office has released details of what specific charges Miller could face.

Miller has not responded to requests for comment. If charges are filed, Miller could face league discipline as well.

Asked whether Miller’s return could also hinge on a salary cut, Paton said:

“We want to bring Von back; we’re still working through that, I don’t want to get into everything, but we want to bring him back. Obviously the legal process, what he’s going through, it’s a serious situation, obviously, and I don’t know all the details, but we respect what’s going on. We do want Von back.”

Miller missed all of the 2020 season after an ankle injury just days before the season opener. At the time, coach Vic Fangio said he had expected Miller to have “a hell of a year.”

Miller’s eight sacks in 2019 were his lowest total since 2013, when he finished with five sacks after serving a six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and then suffering a torn ACL in December of that year.

Miller leads all active players who were on NFL rosters last season with 106 sacks.

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NFL NEWS: Detroit Lions tell CB Desmond Trufant he’ll be released, source says

The Detroit Lions have told cornerback Desmond Trufant that he will be released at the start of the league year, which begins on March 17, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Trufant signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Lions before the 2020 season to be the team’s replacement for Darius Slay, who was traded to Philadelphia. Detroit still owes Trufant $3.5 million in guaranteed money for 2021.

It never quite worked out for Trufant, who was the Week 1 starter, as he spent most of the season with hamstring issues that limited him to 6 games, 1 interception and 4 passes defended. He also ended up in a playing-time battle with rookie first-round pick Jeff Okudah and second-year pro Amani Oruwariye for outside spots. Trufant’s role as a No. 1 corner was in question for the 2021 season.

With both Oruwariye and Okudah under contract for the foreseeable future and being much younger, that made the 30-year-old Trufant expendable. He was scheduled to make $9.5 million in cash in 2021 and carry a salary-cap hit of $12.5 million.

By releasing him, the Lions saved $3 million in cap space — and if he’s designated as a post-June 1 cut, they’ll save $6.5 million. He will carry a $6 million cap charge for the Lions this year, according to Roster Management System.

Releasing Trufant helps the Lions clear cap space after the trade of Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff.

On Tuesday, head coach Dan Campbell said the Lions needed competition at cornerback.

“We need competition in that area. We need depth in areas,” Campbell said. “We need competition. I mean, just because for example, we’ve got two young cornerbacks, man, you still want competition. You want guys that they’re having to compete [with] that are able to push them, or they’re pushing for that starting position. I mean, it’s just healthy. It makes you better.”

Trufant, a former first-round pick for Atlanta in 2013, made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and has started all 103 games he’s played in during his career, making 14 interceptions with 83 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles and 7 fumble recoveries. He played all but last season with the Falcons.

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NFL NEWS: Report: Wilson ‘not happy’ with Seahawks, team fielding trade calls

Russell Wilson hasn’t demanded a trade, but he’s “not happy” with the Seattle Seahawks, ESPN’s Dianna Russini said Thursday on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Russini added that Seattle isn’t shopping the star quarterback but is fielding calls from inquiring teams.

There’s reportedly a growing belief among NFL executives that the eight-time Pro Bowler will be traded due to ongoing friction between the two sides.

Wilson’s lack of input regarding organizational matters – including its work to address the team’s offensive line – reportedly factors into his growing dissatisfaction with the Seahawks.

Though Wilson said he wants to remain in Seattle, he’d waive his no-trade clause to be acquired only by the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, or Chicago Bears.

However, the veteran passer reportedly doesn’t expect to be traded.

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NFL NEWS: Ramsey: Watson is ‘extremely serious’ about leaving Texans

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey may have offered significant insight into Deshaun Watson’s situation.

The cornerback said he thinks Watson has very likely played his last snap for the Houston Texans. Ramsey and Watson share the same agent in David Mulugheta.

“I highly doubt (Watson) will suit up in a Texans uniform again. He’s extremely serious,” Ramsey said on the “Huddle and Flow” podcast.

Watson has been involved in a standoff with the Texans organization since the 2020 season ended. The club remains adamant he won’t be dealt, but the signal-caller is demanding a trade, and Watson reportedly told new head coach David Culley he still wants out.

“You got to know where you stand, and he stands in a very good place,” Ramsey said.

“He knows his leverage, and I believe he’ll get what he wants,” he added.

The Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets have been linked to Watson as potential suitors this offseason.

The three-time Pro Bowler threw for a career-high 4,823 passing yards and 33 touchdowns in 2020. He signed a four-year, $156-million extension last year that contains a no-trade clause.

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OHIO STATE HOCKEY: MHKY: Buckeyes Post 8-3 Win over Sun Devils

Cheremeta, Leslie and Treloar each post four points in victory

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With points from 12 players, including four-point nights by Mark Cheremeta, Jaedon Leslie and Travis Treloar, the Ohio State men’s hockey team defeated Arizona State, 8-3, Thursday in Value City Arena. The Buckeyes led 3-0 after the first period and 5-2 entering the third, outscoring the Sun Devils 3-1 in the last 20 minutes. Treloar had two goals and two assists, while Cheremeta and Leslie both had a goal and three assists.

The teams will close the series and the regular season at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Value City Arena. The game will be streamed through BTN Plus and on Ohio State Radio. The six members of the Buckeye senior class – Eugene Fadyeyev, Grant Gabriele, Evan Moyse, Tommy Nappier, Collin Peters and Austin Pooley – will be recognized pregame, with the ceremony on facebook.com/OhioStateMensHockey and on OhioStateBuckeyes.com starting about 5:05 p.m. 

Quoting head coach Steve Rohlik

“We talked a lot as a group to try to get out there, get a quick start and try to play with a lead. Certainly we hadn’t done that in a while. It almost takes some of the pressure off you. We still made some mistakes against a good hockey team but it was nice to score a few goals.”

Ohio State vs. Arizona State

In the First … Buckeye defenseman CJ Regula opened the scoring at 5:50, scoring over the goalie’s shoulder from in close, set up by Collin Peters and Austin Pooley. At 8:15 Travis Treloar scored off a pass from Mark Cheremeta, with Jaedon Leslie also assisting. The Buckeyes then added a shorthanded goal. Pooley blocked a shot and he and Treloar turned it into a 2-on-1. Treloar’s shot was tipped by Pooley in front for a 3-0 Buckeye lead at 11:48. Ohio State outshot Arizona State, 11-9, in the period.

In the Second … Arizona State got on the board just 36 seconds into the period. Ohio State scored the next two, with Gustaf Westlund tipping a Cheremeta shot on the power play at 3:06, also assisted by Grant Gabriele, and Cheremeta scoring a goal of his own, assisted by Leslie, at 6:41. The Sun Devils tallied at 16:01 for a 5-2 Buckeye lead through two. Ohio State had the shot advantage, 12-8, in the period.

In the Third … Just 1:38 into the third Kamil Sadlocha backhanded the puck in over the ASU goalie, picking up the rebound of a Tate Singleton shot. Ryan O’Connell also assisted on the goal. Treloar notched his second of the night at 3:04, again assisted by Cheremeta and Leslie. Leslie scored one of his own at 6:05, taking a pass from Evan McIntyre, with the second assist from Treloar. The final goal came from ASU at 6:12. The Sun Devils had the shot advantage, 11-10.

Shots … Ohio State outshot Arizona State, 33-28, in the game. Tommy Nappier made 25 saves in 59:56 for the Buckeyes. Two ASU goalies combined for 25 saves.

Special Teams … Ohio State was 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Buckeye This and That … Treloar leads the Buckeyes with eight goals and 20 points, while Cheremeta is first with 14 assists and second with 19 points … the eight goals were a season high for the Buckeyes … Nappier’s win was the 40th of his career, moving into ninth alone all-time for the Buckeyes … with four points, Treloar had his sixth career multiple point game and first with more than two points; it was his second career two-goal game and third two-assist outing … Leslie had his first multiple point outing as a Buckeye with a goal and three assists (his first helpers of the year) … Cheremeta had his first career three-assist game after three games with two helpers; the four points surpassed the three he had at Notre Dame Dec. 13 … Treloar and Leslie both were +5 in the win, with Cheremeta +4 … Pooley, with a goal and an assist, had his second career multiple point game after a three-point night in January.

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INDIANA SWIMMING: Frankel Medals Twice on Thursday Night

(IU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 8-ranked men’s swimming team remains in second place, but trails No. 11 Michigan by only 3.5 points after three days of competition at the 2021 Big Ten Championships at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

100 BUTTERFLY

Freshman Tomer Frankel earned his first-career Big Ten individual championship with a dominant performance in the A Final of the 100 Butterfly. He was the only swimmer to go sub-45 seconds, winning with a career-best time of 44.91.

Sophomore Brendan Burns took the second spot on the podium clocking a time of 45.26. Junior Van Mathias secured the fourth-fastest time in the field at 46.22, while senior Corey Gambardella earned a sixth-place finish at 46.75.

400 IM

Senior Spencer Lehman brought in 22 points for the Hoosier team score with an eighth-place finish out of the Championship Final in the 400 IM with a time of 3:50.74.

Junior Mikey Calvillo earned 12th out of the Consolation Final with a time of 3:48.07, while freshman Maxwell Reich claimed 16th out of the same heat with a career-best mark of 3:49.76.

Redshirt sophomore Michael Brinegar won the C Final (17th overall) with a time of 3:48.65. Junior Ben McDade rounded out the Hoosier scoring in the event with a 22nd-place effort and a time of 3:52.85.

200 FREESTYLE

Frankel earned his second medal of the evening with a bronze finish in the 200 Freestyle with a time of 1:33.27 in a difficult double attempt.

Junior Jack Franzman led a foursome of Hoosiers in the C Final, placing 18th with a time of 1:35.78. Senior Thomas Vanderbrook (1:36.42) claimed 19th, sophomore Jacob Destrampe (1:36.47) nabbed 20th, and senior Griffin Eiber (1:37.74) took 24th.

TEAM SCORES

1. Michigan – 767 pts.

2. INDIANA – 763.5 pts.

3. Ohio State – 748 pts.

4. Purdue – 483.5 pts.

5. Wisconsin – 444 pts.

6. Northwestern – 413 pts.

7. Penn State – 360.5 pts.

8. Iowa – 325.5 pts.

9. Minnesota – 287 pts.

10. Michigan State – 107 pts.

NOTABLES

• Frankel becomes the 16th Hoosier champion in the 100 Butterfly, and the first since Vini Lanza (2018). His time of 44.91 ranks as the seventh-fastest performance in program history. He also swam the eighth-quickest mark (45.08) in school history in the preliminary heats.

• His time in the 100 Butterfly currently ranks as the fifth-fastest time in the country, matching the times set by Shaine Casas (Texas A&M) and Alvin Jiang (Texas).

• The freshman from Jerusalem gave the Hoosiers back-to-back bronze medals in the 200 Freestyle with a time of 1:33.27, his fastest non-relay split of the season. Mohamed Samy earned a third-place finish in the event last season.

• The career-best time swam by Burns in the 100 Butterfly ranks as the ninth-fastest time nationally. He also moves up a spot to the third-fastest performer in program history in the event.

• Just 19 points separate the top three schools after both Michigan and Indiana jumped Ohio State in the team standings. 

FINALS RESULTS

100 BUTTERFLY

1. Tomer Frankel – 44.91 (NCAA A Cut, Career Best)

2. Brendan Burns – 45.26 (NCAA B Cut, Career Best)

4. Van Mathias – 46.22 (NCAA B Cut)

6. Corey Gambardella – 46.75 (NCAA B Cut)

400 IM

8. Spencer Lehman – 3:50.74 (NCAA B Cut)

12. Mikey Calvillo – 3:48.07 (NCAA B Cut)

16. Max Reich – 3:49.76 (NCAA B Cut, Career Best)

17. Michael Brinegar – 3:48.65 (NCAA B Cut, Career Best)

22. Ben McDade – 3:52.85

200 FREESTYLE

3. Tomer Frankel – 1:33.27 (NCAA B Cut)

18. Jack Franzman – 1:35.78 (NCAA B Cut)

19. Thomas Vanderbrook – 1:36.42

20. Jacob Destrampe – 1:36.47

24. Griffin Eiber – 1:37.74

UP NEXT

The 2021 Big Ten Championships will continue on Friday morning with the preliminary heats in the 100 Backstroke, 100 Breaststroke and 200 Butterfly. The day is slated to begin at 11 a.m. ET on BTN+.

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PURDUE SWIMMING: Pellini, Riley Move Into Third Place; Sherman Wins B Final

(PURDUE RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Trent Pellini and Brett Riley moved into third place in program history for Purdue men’s swimming with career-best times Thursday at the Big Ten Championships.

Pellini placed fifth in the A final of the 100 butterfly, finishing among the top five in an event for the second day in a row and fourth time in his career. His premier event, the 100 breaststroke, remains on the schedule for Friday. He dropped .36 hundredths of a second off his prelim time in the final Thursday, finishing with an NCAA provisional qualifying time (B Cut) of 46.36.

Riley placed third in the B final of the 400 IM, also dropping time in the final via a B Cut of 3:46.74. He improved on his time at Big Tens last season by 1.5 seconds and was 1.28 seconds faster in the final vs. the prelim.

The Boilermakers have now posted nine times this week that rank among the top three in program history. Nick Sherman accounted for the first individual mark (1:33.81) of the bunch when he eclipsed the 200 freestyle record Tuesday on the opening leg of the 800 free relay. Thursday, he raced individually in the 200 free and for an encore he won the B final of the event. His winning time of 1:34.77 also bested John Schmitt’s previous record (1:34.94), which had stood since 2009. Sherman dropped 0.86 hundredths off his prelim time.

Liam Walker moved into eighth place in program history with a career-best time of 47.48 while scoring in the C final of the 100 fly.

Nikola Aćin (1:36.55) and Batuhan Hakan (1:37.09) scored in the C final of the 200 free. They join Pellini, Riley and Sherman as Boilermakers with an opportunity to score in all three of their individual events this week. Riley and Sherman aim to accomplish the feat for the second year in a row.

Purdue remained in fourth place in the team scoring, holding a 39.5-point lead on fifth-place Wisconsin. Action resumes Friday with prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6:30 p.m. ET. On the schedule for Friday is the 100 back, 100 breast, 200 fly and 200 free relay.

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INDIANA WSOCCER: No. 24 Indiana Women’s Soccer Falls to No. 13 Penn State, 2-1

(IU RELEASE)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 24 Indiana women’s soccer dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 13 Penn State on Thursday afternoon at Holuba Hall in University Park, Pa. after the Nittany Lions scored the gamewinner in the 60th minute.

KEY MOMENTS

• After a defensive battle in the first half that left both teams scoreless, Indiana took the lead in the 53rd minute. On an IU corner kick, freshman defender Anna Aehling headed it right to senior defender Hanna Németh who booted a long one to the far back of the net.

• In the 54th minute, Penn State’s Frankie Tagliaferri fired back when she sent a shot flying straight to the middle of the goal from the center of the penalty box where it hit the gloves of Kopel, but she was unable to get the save.

• The Nittany Lions’ Sam Coffey found the winning goal on a breakaway in the 60th minute to give Penn State the lead, 2-1.

• Senior Melanie Forbes and sophomore Avery Lockwood took a couple of on target shots but was saved by Penn State goalkeeper Katherine Asman.

• Indiana looked for the equalizer late as the Hoosiers earned a corner in the 90th minute, but a shot from Madeline Carlson to the top right of the net went wide.

NOTABLES

• Indiana is now 2-2 on the season while Penn State improved to 3-1.

• Senior Hanna Németh netted her first career goal. 

• Freshman Anna Aehling recorded her first career assist and point. Aehling has also started in all four of the Hoosiers’ games this year.

•Indiana took six shots on goal and held the Nittany Lions to one after they tied it up in the 60th minute but couldn’t capitalize as PSU’s goalkeeper was there for the saves.

• IU led with 15-12 shots in today’s match, seven of those being on goal.

HOOSIER POINTS

GOALS: Hanna Németh

ASSISTS:  Anna Aehling

UP NEXT

• Indiana will continue its road trip as the Hoosiers are set to face the Maryland Terrapins on Sunday, March 7 at 11:30 a.m. in College Park, MD.

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PGA NEWS: McIlroy, DeChambeau put on a show for fans at Bay Hill

(AP) Bay Hill was bustling Thursday, just like golf before the pandemic. The fans were limited in numbers but they all wanted the same dose of entertainment provided by Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau.

First it was McIlroy, slowly feeling better about his game, and with good reason. Starting with a 55-foot putt on the par-3 second hole, he ran off five straight birdies for a share of the lead with Corey Conners in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at 6-under 66.

In the group behind McIlroy was DeChambeau, who has been contemplating a shot across the water to cut the 528-yard sixth hole down to size by going for the green. This was not the day with a slight breeze into his face, so the U.S. Open champion had some fun. He took out an iron, and then hit a conservative tee shot (309 yards) to the middle of the fairway.

It was a boring birdie, his third in a row, and he opened with a 67.

“There was a high expectation level of me trying to go for the green there, and it was a little pressure that I wasn’t expecting,” DeChambeau said. “But no, it was fun. The crowds were great with it. I pulled out an iron as a joke off the tee box. And for me, it was just too much off of the right and more into the wind than anything.”

In the group with DeChambeau was Jordan Spieth, making his debut at Bay Hill, and producing high adventure in a 70 that left him satisfied he remained on track – and irritated hitting off the toe of his driver and into the water on No. 6.

Even having to hit his third from the tee, he salvaged bogey with a 25-foot putt and made a 35-foot birdie on the next hole.

“Definitely proud of the way I responded, but the way I putted today, certainly would have liked a lower number,” Spieth said. “But it all just comes down to one shot for me today.”

Conners played in the afternoon and was 6 under through six holes, capped off by an eagle on the par-5 16th. He took the lead with birdie on the par-5 sixth, but finished with a three-putt bogey from 60 feet to fall into a tie with McIlroy.

Shadow Creek winner Jason Kokrak opened with a 68. Of the 60 players who teed off in the morning, only six broke 70. Defending champion Tyrrell Hatton shot a 77, while past Bay Hill winner Francesco Molinari took a step back from his progress with a 78.

McIlroy wasn’t too happy with his game after missing the cut – a rarity for him these days – at Riviera, then not having ideal practice sessions. He still managed some improvement last week in the World Golf Championship, and saw big even better results Thursday.

Most pleasing was seeing the ball go where and how he wanted it. He made three of his birdies on par 3s, the strength of Bay Hill. What stood out was a pair of 5-irons into the wind on the 14th and 17th holes, both tight draws, flighted the way he wanted to about 15 feet.

“Those shots last week that I was trying to hit were missing the target 20 yards left,” he said. “So it was nice to just see them coming out in the window I was anticipating.”

He said it was his best round of the year, and it helps being at Bay Hill, where McIlroy had a victory and no finish worse than a tie for sixth the last four years. He has seen enough of Tiger Woods’ eight victories in the Arnold Palmer Invitational to appreciate how to attack.

“He played it very conservatively. He took care of the par 5s. And that was usually good enough to get the job done,” McIlroy said. “So sort of take a little bit of a leaf out of his book.”

He only made birdie on two of the par 5s, going long on the 16th and having to lay up on the 12th from a fairway bunker.

Through it all, it was the activity outside the ropes at Bay Hill that stood out.

RankNameRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Total Thru 
1tRory McIlroy66   -6 (66)F
1tCorey Conners66   -6 (66)F
3Bryson DeChambeau67   -5 (67)F
4tJason Kokrak68   -4 (68)F
4tByeong Hun An68   -4 (68)F
4tSebastian Munoz68   -4 (68)F
7tVictor Perez69   -3 (69)F
7tMartin Laird69   -3 (69)F
7tLanto Griffin69   -3 (69)F
7tLee Westwood69   -3 (69)F
7tMatthew Fitzpatrick69   -3 (69)F
7tKeegan Bradley69   -3 (69)F
7tViktor Hovland69   -3 (69)F
7tSungjae Im69   -3 (69)F
15tAndrew Putnam70   -2 (70)F
15tJordan Spieth70   -2 (70)F
15tTommy Fleetwood70   -2 (70)F
15tPeter Malnati70   -2 (70)F
15tCameron Tringale70   -2 (70)F
15tMatt Wallace70   -2 (70)F
15tChristiaan Bezuidenhout70   -2 (70)F
15tRory Sabbatini70   -2 (70)F
15tPaul Casey70   -2 (70)F
15tAdam Long70   -2 (70)F
15tIan Poulter70   -2 (70)F
15tMax Homa70   -2 (70)F
15tJason Day70   -2 (70)F
15tPadraig Harrington70   -2 (70)F
29tEmiliano Grillo71   -1 (71)F
29tLuke List71   -1 (71)F
29tKyoung-Hoon Lee71   -1 (71)F
29tMaverick McNealy71   -1 (71)F
29tHenrik Norlander71   -1 (71)F
29tBrendan Steele71   -1 (71)F
29tJustin Rose71   -1 (71)F
29tChris Kirk71   -1 (71)F
29tMark Hubbard71   -1 (71)F
29tDoug Ghim71   -1 (71)F
29tCharley Hoffman71   -1 (71)F
29tRichy Werenski71   -1 (71)F
29tKevin Na71   -1 (71)F
29tRobert MacIntyre71   -1 (71)F
43tBernd Wiesberger72   E (72)F
43tHarold Varner III72   E (72)F
43tSteve Stricker72   E (72)F
43tTyler Duncan72   E (72)F
43tDenny McCarthy72   E (72)F
43tAlex Noren72   E (72)F
43tCameron Percy72   E (72)F
43tLucas Glover72   E (72)F
43tWill Gordon72   E (72)F
43tAnirban Lahiri72   E (72)F
43tSung Kang72   E (72)F
43tMatthew NeSmith72   E (72)F
43tErik van Rooyen72   E (72)F
56tTalor Gooch73   +1 (73)F
56tTim Herron73   +1 (73)F
56tSepp Straka73   +1 (73)F
56tDanny Willett73   +1 (73)F
56tNick Taylor73   +1 (73)F
56tDoc Redman73   +1 (73)F
56tPatrick Rodgers73   +1 (73)F
56tWill Zalatoris73   +1 (73)F
56tDanny Lee73   +1 (73)F
56tKevin Kisner73   +1 (73)F
56tKeith Mitchell73   +1 (73)F
56tHarris English73   +1 (73)F
56tHenrik Stenson73   +1 (73)F
56tPatrick Reed73   +1 (73)F
56tPaul Goydos73   +1 (73)F
71tBo Hoag74   +2 (74)F
71tBrian Stuard74   +2 (74)F
71tJason Dufner74   +2 (74)F
71tCharles Howell III74   +2 (74)F
71tMarc Leishman74   +2 (74)F
71tChez Reavie74   +2 (74)F
71tTom Hoge74   +2 (74)F
71tJohn Huh74   +2 (74)F
71tWyndham Clark74   +2 (74)F
71tJoel Dahmen74   +2 (74)F
71tBranden Grace74   +2 (74)F
71tBrendon Todd74   +2 (74)F
71tBilly Horschel74   +2 (74)F
71tZach Johnson74   +2 (74)F
71tC.T. Pan74   +2 (74)F
71tRussell Knox74   +2 (74)F
87tAustin Cook75   +3 (75)F
87tJim Herman75   +3 (75)F
87tBrandt Snedeker75   +3 (75)F
87tAaron Wise75   +3 (75)F
87tHideki Matsuyama75   +3 (75)F
87tPat Perez75   +3 (75)F
87tShane Lowry75   +3 (75)F
87tJazz Janewattananond75   +3 (75)F
87tKristoffer Ventura75   +3 (75)F
96tRobby Shelton76   +4 (76)F
96tKyle Stanley76   +4 (76)F
96tMatt Every76   +4 (76)F
96tPatton Kizzire76   +4 (76)F
96tCameron Davis76   +4 (76)F
96tKramer Hickok76   +4 (76)F
96tMatthias Schmid76   +4 (76)F
96tCharl Schwartzel76   +4 (76)F
96tMatt Jones76   +4 (76)F
96tJ.T. Poston76   +4 (76)F
96tRickie Fowler76   +4 (76)F
107tSam Burns77   +5 (77)F
107tCameron Champ77   +5 (77)F
107tTyrrell Hatton77   +5 (77)F
110tRobert Streb78   +6 (78)F
110tHudson Swafford78   +6 (78)F
110tBrian Gay78   +6 (78)F
110tFrancesco Molinari78   +6 (78)F
110tRod Perry78   +6 (78)F
115tTyler McCumber79   +7 (79)F
115tAdam Hadwin79   +7 (79)F
115tGraeme McDowell79   +7 (79)F
115tDylan Frittelli79   +7 (79)F
115tRobert Gamez79   +7 (79)F
120Camilo Villegas81   +9 (81)F
121John Augenstein83   +11 (83)F
122Kamaiu Johnson84   +12 (84)F
Si Woo Kim80WD

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NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Philadelphia2412.66716-38-96-218-66-42 W
Brooklyn2413.6490.513-611-73-211-99-12 W
Boston1917.5285.012-57-123-414-106-44 W
New York1918.5145.511-78-111-313-107-31 W
Toronto1719.4727.08-89-113-512-115-52 L
 
Central Divison
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Milwaukee2214.61114-58-98-012-76-41 W
Chicago1618.4715.07-119-72-27-86-41 W
Indiana1619.4575.57-119-84-210-114-61 L
Cleveland1422.3898.09-105-122-510-104-61 L
Detroit1026.27812.06-104-160-77-153-71 L
 
Southeast Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Miami1818.50010-88-103-49-127-31 W
Charlotte1718.4860.59-88-105-19-95-51 W
Atlanta1620.4442.08-98-113-311-125-52 W
Washington1420.4123.07-107-101-65-147-31 W
Orlando1323.3615.08-125-114-29-134-65 L
 
Western Conference
Northwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Utah279.75015-212-73-212-56-42 L
Portland2114.6005.511-610-82-311-96-43 W
Denver2115.5836.09-712-87-113-96-44 W
Oklahoma City1521.41712.06-119-102-67-164-61 W
Minnesota729.19420.04-133-162-44-151-99 L
 
Pacific Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Phoenix2411.68612-612-54-215-78-24 W
LA Lakers2413.6491.011-813-51-417-83-72 L
LA Clippers2414.6321.512-612-85-214-74-63 L
Golden State1918.5146.012-67-123-49-105-53 L
Sacramento1422.38910.58-126-103-47-112-81 L
 
Southwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
San Antonio1814.5639-109-44-512-136-41 L
Dallas1816.5291.09-89-84-19-108-23 W
Memphis1616.5002.07-119-53-58-105-51 L
New Orleans1521.4175.010-95-124-38-134-62 L
Houston1123.3248.05-106-134-58-110-1013 L

——————————————————————————————————————————————

NHL STANDINGS

GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Washington Capitals221354301175707-3-26-2-27-2-1
New York Islanders231364301363528-0-25-6-27-2-1
Philadelphia Flyers201253271267626-2-26-3-15-3-2
Boston Bruins201253271060525-1-17-4-25-4-1
Pittsburgh Penguins22129125968718-2-04-7-16-4-0
New York Rangers2199321859555-6-24-3-15-4-1
New Jersey Devils19710216747602-8-15-2-13-7-0
Buffalo Sabres21612315448652-7-24-5-12-7-1
 
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights1914412914614110-2-14-2-07-3-0
St. Louis Blues231382281275734-6-29-2-06-4-0
Colorado Avalanche201271251261485-3-07-4-16-4-0
Minnesota Wild201271251262545-3-07-4-16-3-1
Arizona Coyotes22109323859666-6-34-3-04-4-2
Los Angeles Kings2198422862593-3-36-5-16-2-2
San Jose Sharks20810218459772-4-06-6-24-5-1
Anaheim Ducks23612517548693-7-33-5-21-7-2
 
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Toronto Maple Leafs251852381888599-3-19-2-17-2-1
Winnipeg Jets231571311578629-4-16-3-07-3-0
Edmonton Oilers2514110281480786-8-08-3-06-4-0
Montreal Canadiens221066261071654-5-16-1-52-4-4
Calgary Flames2411112241066735-4-06-7-24-5-1
Vancouver Canucks271015222977916-6-24-9-04-4-2
Ottawa Senators268171177701025-6-13-11-05-5-0
 
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Tampa Bay Lightning211641331674419-1-07-3-17-3-0
Carolina Hurricanes231661331281627-1-19-5-06-3-1
Florida Panthers221444321372647-3-37-1-16-2-2
Chicago Blackhawks241275291175716-3-26-4-36-3-1
Columbus Blue Jackets251010525969806-4-34-6-23-5-2
Nashville Predators231013020955737-6-03-7-05-5-0
Detroit Red Wings26716317754874-6-23-10-13-6-1
Dallas Stars1868416648504-3-32-5-11-6-3