INDIANA GIRLS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Linton-Stockton 63 Tipton 25
INDIANA BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Adams Central 83, Lakewood Park 43
Angola 82, Lakeland 64
Austin 71, Crothersville 56
Avon 87, Danville 75
Barr-Reeve 54, Bloomfield 41
Batesville 52, Union Co. 42
Bedford N. Lawrence 65, Ev. North 50
Beech Grove 63, Whiteland 60
Bellmont 47, Jay Co. 35
Benton Central 63, Logansport 47
Blackford 66, Ft. Wayne Northrop 62
Boone Grove 57, Oregon-Davis 49
Borden 71, Salem 47
Bremen 34, Culver 21
Brownstown 68, Orleans 49
Cambridge City 49, Centerville 41
Central Noble 69, Fairfield 33
Churubusco 58, Eastside 57
Clarksville 59, Rock Creek Academy 42
Columbia City 57, Ft. Wayne Concordia 56
Concord 64, Westview 58
Corydon 58, Christian Academy 46
Cowan 68, Southern Wells 54
Daleville 69, Ft. Wayne Smith Academy 22
Delta 70, Muncie Burris 39
E. Central 75, Greensburg 60
E. Chicago Central 59, Griffith 39
Eastern (Pekin) 66, S. Central (Elizabeth) 44
Eastern Hancock 72, Hagerstown 38
Elkhart Christian 64, Argos 49
Ev. Day 66, Brown Co. 44
Ev. Reitz 87, Ev. Bosse 67
Frankfort 55, Delphi 43
Frankton 51, Sheridan 49
Fremont 43, Bethany Christian 37
Frontier 47, Clinton Central 46
Ft. Wayne North 69, Cass 61
Ft. Wayne Snider 98, Marion 96
Gary 21st Century 75, Hammond Noll 58
Gary West 43, Chesterton 40, OT
Glenn 50, Goshen 29
Greenwood 63, New Palestine 58
Hammond 60, Valparaiso 44
Hammond Morton 56, Portage 51, OT
Hamtramck, Mich. 51, Culver Academy 50
Hanover Central 63, Hammond Gavit 55
Heritage Hills 63, Perry Central 48
Hobart 54, Wheeler 43
Huntington North 67, Kokomo 34
Indpls Ben Davis 82, Indpls Tech 69
Indpls Brebeuf 50, Indpls Roncalli 48
Indpls Park Tudor 64, Crawfordsville 61
Indpls Washington 93, Indiana Math and Science Academy 44
Jeffersonville 76, Castle 64, OT
Kankakee Valley 71, N. Judson 58
Kouts 83, LaCrosse 42
Lafayette-jefferson 71, Terre Haute North 44
Lowell 68, Crown Point 65
Madison 65, Jennings Co. 43
Manchester 79, Northfield, Minn. 67
McCutcheon 64, Lake Central 56, 2OT
Merrillville 73, Penn 52
Monroe Central 66, Randolph Southern 51
Morristown 56, Tri 43
Mt. Vernon (Fortville) 57, Yorktown 46
N. Daviess 49, Sullivan 48, OT
New Albany 56, Bloomington North 41
New Castle 63, Muncie Central 57, OT
NorthWood 56, Elkhart 51
Northridge 55, DeKalb 45
Paoli 41, Crawford Co. 32
Pike Central 46, Tecumseh 43
Pioneer 48, Tri-County 38
Providence Cristo Rey 53, Bloomington Lighthouse 39
Rensselaer 65, Winamac 41
Rising Sun 79, Medora 31
River Forest 66, N. Newton 61
Riverton Parke 79, Union (Dugger) 54
Rochester 58, Maconaquah 44
S. Adams 90, Eastbrook 54
S. Bend Adams 64, New Prairie 51
S. Bend St. Joseph’s 71, Mishawaka 51
S. Bend Washington 64, LaPorte 36
S. Central (Union Mills) 68, Westville 59
S. Dearborn 74, Southwestern (Hanover) 64
S. Decatur 88, Knightstown 50
S. Newton 55, Attica 51
S. Ripley 63, Jac-Cen-Del 48
Scottsburg 65, Mitchell 47
Seeger 70, N. Vermillion 24
Shelbyville 54, Indian Creek 51
Shenandoah 44, Wapahani 40
Silver Creek 72, Seymour 56
Southmont 68, Indpls Scecina 57, OT
Southwood 77, Bluffton 45
Tri-West 75, Indpls Ritter 71
Triton 44, Knox 30
Triton Central 69, Speedway 64
Vincennes Rivet 66, Washington Catholic 26
W. Lafayette 72, Rossville 46
W. Noble 69, Garrett 38
W. Washington 45, Shoals 40
Wabash 68, Peru 59
Waldron 75, Anderson Prep Academy 49
Washington 48, Mt. Vernon (Posey) 40
Washington Twp. 55, Morgan Twp. 54
Wawasee 58, Tippecanoe Valley 51
Wes-Del 86, Alexandria 78
Whitko 54, N. Miami 33
Woodlan 46, Leo 43
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#21 Loyola Chicago 60 Southern Illinois 52
Purdue 73 Penn State 52
Indiana State 58 Valparaiso 43
Missouri State 90 Evansville 81
Cincinnati 91 Tulane 71
Bowling Green 83 Akron 71
Drake 80 Bradley 71
Northern Iowa 70 Illinois State 56
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#22 South Dakota State 73 Missouri Kansas City 53
#10 UCLA 93 USC 51
Toronto 122 Houston 111
Boston 118 Indiana 112
Miami 124 Utah 116
Sacramento 110 Detroit 107
Oklahoma City 118 Atlanta 109
Phoenix 106 Chicago 97
LA Clippers 119 Memphis 99…Desmond Bane 4 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists
Golden State 130 Charlotte 121
LA Lakers 102 Portland 93
Minnesota 3 LA Kings 1
NY Rangers 6 Boston 2
Colorado 3 Arizona 2
INDIANA BOYS STATE SWIMMING
500 YARD FREESTYLE
15TH…. Ben Quinn (Senior) Richmond 4:53.99 (SEED TIME) 5:00.06 (FINALS TIME)
INDIANA GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
(PROVIDED BY IHSAA)
1A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS
PIONEER PANTHERS (24-4)
ICGSA Poll (Four Classes): #7
IBCA Poll (Single Class): NR
Pioneer, last year’s runner-up team, making a return trip to the girls basketball state finals for a rematch with Loogootee. One of three teams returning to the state finals this weekend. Panthers enter state championship game on a 12-game winning streak. School aiming for second state championship this school year after the volleyball team claimed its first crown on November 7 at Ball State’s Worthen Arena. Finished third in the Hoosier North Conference with a 5-2 record. Team defense is holding opponents to 37.9 ppg. Avenged a regular season loss to North White defeating them in the sectional championship game 72-53 on Feb. 6.
11/21 Culver Community W 47-11
11/24 at Knox L 40-46
12/2 Caston W 49-32
12/5 Logansport W 48-29
12/8 at McCutcheon L 55-73
12/10 North White L 36-42
12/15 at Caston W 60-45
12/19 at Triton W 46-34
12/30 Rochester W 66-34
1/2 at Logansport W 64-29
1/5 Lafayette Central Catholic W 64-49
1/7 Frontier W 69-27
1/9 West Lafayette W 55-36
1/12 at Maconaquah W 67-45
1/16 Argos W 55-40
1/19 North Judson-San Pierre L 40-61
1/21 Peru W 74-25
1/22 at West Central W 70-36
1/23 at John Glenn W 67-32
1/26 Winamac W 66-37
1/28 at Clinton Central W 70-46
1/29 at LaVille W 61-29
2/2 Caston W 59-32
2/5 Frontier W 58-22
2/6 North White W 72-53
2/13 Kouts W 50-25
2/13 Triton W 65-37
2/20 Northfield W 70-54
Girls Basketball State Tournament History
IHSAA Membership: 1963-present
First Girls Basketball State Tournament: 1976 (First year for girls
State Tournament Record: 32-45 (.416)
State Runner-Up (1) 2020 (A)
State Finals Appearances (2) 2020 (A), 2021 (A)
Semi-State Champions (2) 2020 (A), 2021 (A)
Regional Champions (2) 2020 (A), 2021 (A)
Sectional Champions (5) 1980, 1981, 2019 (A), 2020 (A), 2021
School’s IHSAA State Championship History (5)
Football (3) 1997 (A), 2017 (A), 2018 (A)
So[ ball (1) 2018 (A)
Volleyball (1) 2020 (A)
LOOGOOTEE LIONS (20-4)
ICGSA Poll (Four Classes): #4
IBCA Poll (Single Class): NR
Loogootee is the defending state champion and will meet Pioneer for the title once again. One of three teams returning to the state finals, including two defending champions (Linton-Stockton). Champions of the Blue Chip Conference with an 7-0 record this season. Defeated three consecutive top 10 teams this tournament (all in the same order as last year’s tournament run):
def. #1 Trinity Lutheran 57-46 in regional semifinal
def. #5 Tecumseh 55-38 in regional championship
def. #8 Greenwood Christian 43-33 in semi-state championship
Avenged one of its regular season losses by defeating Tecumseh for the regional crown.
Lost 53-41 to 2A state finalist Linton-Stockton on Jan. 23.
Lions defense holding opponents to 37.1 ppg.
11/17 Eastern Greene W 67-31
12/5 Forest Park L 56-64
12/10 at Washington Catholic W 86-20
12/12 Washington L 45-68
12/17 Barr-Reeve W 61-23
12/19 Springs Valley W 71-40
12/21 at Orleans W 61-34
12/30 Evansville North W 55-31
1/2 Tecumseh L 45-49
1/5 at Shoals W 80-29
1/7 at Wood Memorial W 35-31
1/9 Bloomfield W 48-39
1/12 at Vincennes Lincoln W 47-46
1/14 at Vincennes Rivet W 34-31
1/19 Evansville Memorial W 46-42
1/21 Northeast Dubois W 40-31
1/23 Linton-Stockton L 41-53
1/26 at North Knox W 50-33
2/2 Shoals W 67-34
2/5 North Daviess W 40-19
2/6 Orleans W 55-26
Springs Valley Regional
2/13 #1 Trinity Lutheran W 57-46
2/13 #5 Tecumseh W 55-38
2/20 #8 Greenwood Christian W 43-33
Girls Basketball State Tournament History
IHSAA Membership: 1907-09; 1910-14; 1916-18; 1919-present
First Girls Basketball State Tournament: 1976 (First year for girls
State Tournament Record: 59-44 (.572)
State Championship (1) 2020 (A)
State Finals Appearances (2) 2020 (A), 2021 (A)
Semi-State Champions (2) 2020 (A), 2021 (A)
Regional Champions (4) 1980, 2002 (A), 2020 (A), 2021 (A)
Sectional Champions (6) 1977, 1980, 2002 (A), 2005 (A), 2020
(A), 2021 (A)
School’s IHSAA State Championship History (2)
Boys Basketball (1) 2012 (A)
Girls Basketball (2) 2020 (A)
3A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON PANTHERS (22-5)
ICGSA Poll (Four Classes): #8
IBCA Poll (Single Class): #18
South Bend Washington reaches the girls basketball state finals for first time since 2009 when it competed in Class 4A. Panthers aiming for first state championship since 2007 and second overall.
Washington girls teams enjoyed a four-year run of state finals appearances from 2006-2009.
Finished third in the Northern Indiana Conference race with an 8-2 record this year.
Team ranks 10th in the state in margin of victory at 23.5 ppg. Team is scoring at a 61.4 ppg average.
Defeated two other top 10 teams this tournament:
def. #9 Mishawaka Marian 51-42 for its first sectional crown since 2009 while avenging one of its regular season losses
def. #6 Norwell 61-40 for the semi-state crown
11/3 at Plymouth W 63-47
11/12 at Mishawaka Marian L 48-58
11/20 at Penn L 54-72
11/21 at East Noble W 57-31
11/24 at South Bend St. Joseph W 68-33
12/1 Elkhart W 56-25
12/3 at New Prairie W 70-27
12/5 at Fort Wayne South L 41-50
12/8 Homestead W 56-43
12/11 South Bend Clay W 68-8
12/17 at John Glenn W 71-28
12/29 Fort Wayne Snider W 60-50
12/29 East Noble W 67-22
12/30 Carroll (Fort Wayne) L 58-67
12/30 Knox W 65-45
1/2 at Lawrence North W 53-42
1/8 Bremen W 66-24
1/9 Portage W 65-23
1/14 at South Bend Adams W 85-34
1/19 South Bend Riley W 91-23
1/26 at North Central (Indianapolis) L 42-52
SB Saint Joseph Sectional
2/2 New Prairie W 63-26
2/5 John Glenn W 45-29
2/6 #9 Mishawaka Marian W 51-42
2/13 Kankakee Valley W 70-33
2/13 Lakeland W 64-50
2/20 #6 Norwell W 61-40
Girls Basketball State Tournament History
IHSAA Membership: 1930-present
First Girls Basketball State Tournament: 1977
State Tournament Record: 63-43 (.594)
State Champion (1) 2007 (4A)
Runner-Up (3) 2006 (4A), 2008 (4A), 2009 (4A)
State Finals Appearances (5) 2006 (4A), 2007 (4A), 2008 (4A),
2009 (4A), 2021 (3A)
Semi-State Champions (5) 2006 (4A), 2007 (4A), 2008 (4A), 2009
(4A), 2021 (3A)
Regional Champions (5) 2006 (4A), 2007 (4A), 2008 (4A), 2009
(4A), 2021 (3A)
Sectional Champions (10) 1992, 1993, 1999 (3A), 2004 (4A),
2005 (4A), 2006 (4A), 2007 (4A), 2008 (4A), 2009 (4A), 2021
School’s IHSAA State Championship History (2)
Girls Basketball (1) 2007 (4A)
Football (1) 1973 (3A)
SILVER CREEK DRAGONS (24-3)
ICGSA Poll (Four Classes): #1
IBCA Poll (Single Class): #6
Top-ranked Silver Creek making school’s first appearance in the girls state finals and hoping to land second overall state championship. One of two first-time state finalists this weekend (Tipton). Won team’s first regional and semi-state championships this year. Champions of the Mid-Southern Conference with an 8-0 record this season. Turned away two other top 10 teams during tournament run:
def. #2 Salem 46-27 for its first sectional championship since 2011
def. #4 Evansville Memorial 62-52 in the regional semifinals
Defeated 4A state finalist Crown Point 53-49 on Jan. 2.
11/5 New Washington W 80-41
11/7 Brown County W 63-36
11/13 at Seymour W 56-30
11/14 H New Albany W 75-36
11/25 H North Harrison W 71-32
12/1 at Jeffersonville W 54-31
12/2 Clarksville W 83-23
12/9 at Floyd Central W 79-37
12/15 at Scottsburg W 47-35
12/19 Brownstown Central W 67-38
12/22 Heritage Hills W 67-46
12/29 at North Central (Indianapolis) L 34-44
12/30 Westfield L 35-45
1/2 Crown Point W 53-49
1/5 at Corydon Central W 59-45
1/9 at Salem W 58-56
1/12 at Madison W 46-38
1/14 Bedford North Lawrence L 54-59
1/16 Austin W 89-37
1/19 at Columbus North W 71-55
1/23 at Eastern (Pekin) W 61-42
2/3 Charlestown W 60-41
2/5 Madison W 51-36
2/6 #2 Salem W 46-27
2/13 #4 Evansville Memorial W 62-52
2/13 Rushville W 54-45
2/20 Tri-West W 59-43
Girls Basketball State Tournament History
IHSAA Membership: 1925-present
First Girls Basketball State Tournament: 1976 (first year of girls
State Tournament Record: 48-45 (.516)
State Finals Appearances (1) 2021 (3A)
Semi-State Champions (1) 2021 (3A)
Regional Champions (1) 2021 (3A)
Sectional Champions (6) 1986, 1987, 1995, 1997, 2011 (3A),
School’s IHSAA State Championship History (1)
Boys Basketball (1) 2019 (3A)
4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS
CROWN POINT BULLDOGS (24-1)
ICGSA Poll (Four Classes): #2
IBCA Poll (Single Class): #2
Second-ranked Crown Point making school’s first trip back to state finals in 24 years and chasing third state championship.
Team ranks second in the state in both scoring 67.4 ppg and a 30.3 ppg margin of victory. Bulldogs have won 16 straight games since lone loss of the season a 53-49 road decision to 3A state finalist Silver Creek
53-49 on Jan. 2. Champions of the Duneland Athletic Conference with a 7-0 record this season.
Turned away two top 10 teams in its last two games:
def. #4 Penn 54-45 for the regional championship
def. #6 Carroll (Fort Wayne) 62-46 for the semi-state title
Crown Point’s girls teams became first to win back-to-back state titles in 1984 and 1985 and the first to appear in three straight championship games (1983-85).
11/25 at LaPorte W 70-33
11/28 Castle W 43-42
11/29 at Lawrence North W 78-75
12/1 Lowell W 69-40
12/4 Portage W 64-29
12/5 Penn W 44-42
12/11 at Hammond Morton W 81-22
12/21 Bishop Noll W 81-47
1/2 Silver Creek L 49-53
1/4 Lake Central W 58-35
1/9 Lake Station W 86-38
1/12 at Munster W 79-31
1/15 at Valparaiso W 66-26
1/16 at Merrillville W 69-39
1/19 Kankakee Valley W 70-30
1/21 at Chesterton W 79-36
1/23 at Andrean W 56-50
1/25 Michigan City W 85-40
1/26 Gary West Side W 70-19
2/2 Lowell W 70-20
2/5 Hobart W 82-27
2/6 Chesterton W 67-34
2/13 LaPorte W 52-28
2/13 #4 Penn W 54-45
2/20 #6 Carroll (Fort Wayne) W 62-46
Girls Basketball State Tournament History
IHSAA Membership: 1904-26; 1927-present
First Girls Basketball State Tournament: 1976 (First year of girls
State Tournament Record: 114-43 (.726)
State Champion (2) 1984, 1985
Runner-Up (2) 1983, 1997
State Finals Appearances (5) 1983, 1984, 1985, 1997, 2021 (4A)
Semi-State Champions (5) 1983, 1984, 1985, 1997, 2021 (4A)
Regional Champions (9) 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1992,
1997, 2019 (4A), 2021 (4A)
Sectional Champions (20) 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985,
1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997,
2001 (4A), 2019 (4A), 2020 (4A), 2021 (4A)
School’s IHSAA State Championship History (7)
Girls Basketball (2) 1984, 1985
Boys Soccer (2) 2011 (2A), 2013 (2A)
So[ ball (1) 2017 (4A)
Boys Tennis (1) 1971
Wrestling (1) 2009
BROWNSBURG BULLDOGS (17-10)
ICGSA Poll (Four Classes): NR
IBCA Poll (Single Class): NR
Brownsburg looking for first state championship in school’s second trip to the state finals and first in 30 years. Team tied for fourth place in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference race with a 4-3 record. Bulldogs started season 1-3 but finished strong and have won nine consecutive games to this point. Defeated two top 10 teams during its tournament journey:
def. #1 North Central of Indianapolis in OT 53-47 in the regional semifinals
def. #7 Franklin Community 49-27 to win the semi-state
Brownsburg avenged two regular season losses during the tournament defeating Plainfield to repeat as sectional champions and then upset top-ranked North Central in the regional semifinal round. Bulldogs captured their first regional and semi-state championships since 1991.
11/5 at Cathedral W 56-49
11/7 at North Central (Indpls) L 47-44
11/10 Plainfield L 53-48
1/14 at Ben Davis L 43-30
11/28 Bedford North Lawrence W 43-32
12/1 at Tri West W 47-41
12/8 Noblesville L 45-42
12/18 at Avon W 44-31
12/19 Lawrence North L 52-50
12/22 at Westfield L 48-39
12/28 Franklin Central W 58-25
12/30 Center Grove L 45-36
1/2 at Hamilton Southeastern L 45-36
1/7 Cascade W 57-39
1/9 Tri West W 38-25
1/12 at Carmel L 48-46
1/16 Harrison W 52-43
1/19 Pike L 64-60
1/23 at Terre Haute North W 61-54
1/26 Fishers W 46-43
1/29 Zionsville W 51-47
Terre Haute North Sectional
2/2 Avon W 60-28
2/5 Terre Haute South W 60-33
2/6 Plainfield W 38-24
Decatur Central Regional
2/13 #1 North Central (Indpls) W 53-47
2/13 Mt. Vernon W 44-35
2/20 #7 Franklin Community W 49-27
Girls Basketball State Tournament History
IHSAA Membership: 1906-present
First Girls Basketball State Tournament: 1976 (First year of girls
State Tournament Record: 79-45 (.637)
State Finals Appearances (2) 1991, 2021 (4A)
Semi-State Champions (2) 1991, 2021 (4A)
Regional Champions (3) 1989, 1991, 2021 (4A)
Sectional Champions (16) 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984,
1988, 1989, 1991, 2000 (4A), 2001 (4A), 2013 (4A), 2017 (4A),
2018 (4A), 2020 (4A), 2021 (4A)
School’s IHSAA State Championship History (5)
Baseball (1) 2005 (4A)
Boys Basketball (1) 2008 (4A)
Football (2) 1984 (3A), 1985 (4A)
Wrestling (1) 2017
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL: NOTES: Hoosiers Host #3/3 Michigan Saturday in Home Finale
Indiana University is in its 121st season of competition in men’s basketball and opens the doors of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for the 50th season. The Hoosiers play its 12th and final home game of the season Saturday when they host #3 Michigan. Saturday would normally have featured Senior Day post-game speeches, but this year those speeches will be recorded and distributed later and the 3 seniors and 6 managers will be honored virtually.
#3/3 Michigan (17-1, 12-1 B1G) at Indiana (12-11, 7-9 B1G)
Saturday, Feb 27 • Noon ET
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall • Bloomington, Ind.
TV: Fox (Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery)
Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith) | TuneIn
Series History: Indiana leads, 107-63
Last Meeting: at U-M 89, IU 65; 2/16/20
Indiana Coach Archie Miller is in his fourth season of guiding the Cream and Crimson and is 67-54 with the Hoosiers and earned career win 200 against Penn State. He is 206-117 in 9+ years as a head coach, which includes 6 years at the University of Dayton. His Flyer teams made NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his last four seasons, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2014. Michigan is guided by Juwan Howard who is 36-13 in 2 seasons in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines defeated No. 9 Iowa on Thursday, 79-57.
JACKSON-DAVIS LOOKING FOR POST SEASON HONORS
Sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis ranks among B1G leaders in scoring, rebounds, field goal percentage and blocked shots. He had his 22nd career double-double after posting a 21-point, 11 rebound effort at Rutgers. He had a career-high 34 points and added 9 boards in the last week against Michigan State. He has twice been named Big Ten Player of the Week. His most dominant performance this season was a 25-point, 17-rebound effort at Florida State. He is one of five finalists for the Karl Malone Award given annually to the top power forward in the nation and was named to the Wooden and Naismith Award Mid-Season Watch Lists. He is averaging 20.3 points, 9.5 rebounds while shooting 53.2% from the floor and a team-high 32 blocks this season. He is the only Hoosier in the last 25 years to have 3 games of 25 points and 15 rebounds (at Minnesota, at Florida State, Nebraska). He is 3rd in the nation in FTs made (132) and 1st in FT attempts (198). Both lead the Big Ten. He and Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu are the only players in the league to score in double figures every game this season.
ODDS AND TRENDS
IU has played a national-high 5 overtime games this season (2-3), the most since they played 6 in 1998-99. IU has won 3 Big Ten road games this season after winning just 2 a year ago. Jackson-Davis is averaging 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds overall and 19.9 points and 9.9 boards in league play. the last Hoosier to average 20 points was Eric Gordon in 2008 at 20.9. The last IU player to average 10 rebounds or more was D.J. White also is 2008 at 10.3. The last Hoosier to average 20 points and 10 rebounds in a season was Steve Downing who contributed 20.1 points and 10.6 boards in 1973. George McGinnis was the last IU player to average 20/10 in Big Ten play (29.9/14.4).Senior Aljami Durham needs 6 points to become the 53rd player in IU history to score 1,000 points or more in his career with the Hoosiers. IU held the nation’s second best offense, Iowa, (87.8) to 69 and 65 points in their two meetings.
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Boilermakers Blast Penn State on Road 73-52
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Sasha Stefanovic scored 16 points, Jaden Ivey added 14 points, and Purdue cruised to a 73-52 win over Penn State on Friday night.
The freshman Ivey had a season-high four blocks for the Boilermakers (16-8, 11-6 Big Ten), who won their ninth of the last 12 and tied No. 9 Iowa for fourth place in the Big Ten standings.
Purdue pulled away to a 41-26 lead at halftime with four runs of at least seven straight points and went on a 15-2 run in the second half to push the lead into double digits for good.
It was the Boilermakers’ largest margin of victory at Penn State since a 64-42 win on Jan. 23, 2008. Trevion Williams had 11 points and Eric Hunter Jr. 10 as the Boilermakers made 27 of 52 shots from the field.
Myreon Jones had 11 points and Jamari Wheeler had nine points, six rebounds and six assists for the Nittany Lions (8-13, 5-12).
Penn State opened the second half on an 8-2 run to get the deficit within nine and made its first five shot attempts of the half but missed the next eight.
Purdue finishes its season hosting No. 23 Wisconsin on Tuesday and Indiana on Saturday. Penn State hosts Minnesota on Wednesday and visits Maryland on Sunday.
Purdue improved to 16-8 overall and 11-6 in the Big Ten Conference with a 73-52 win at Penn State on Friday night.
Purdue won its third straight game, all coming by at least 10 points (75-65 vs. Michigan State; 75-58 vs. Nebraska; 73-52 vs. Penn State).
During Purdue’s three-game win streak, it has trailed for 12 minutes and 14 seconds.
The 21-point Big Ten road win was Purdue’s largest since an 87-64 victory over Iowa on Jan. 20, 2018. Purdue has recorded back-to-back Big Ten road wins of 15 points or more for the first time since Jan. 13 to 20, 2018 (81-47 vs. Minnesota; 87-64 vs. Iowa).
The 21-point victory was Purdue’s largest at Penn State since Jan. 23, 2008 (64-42).
Head coach Matt Painter is now 25-6 all-time against Penn State, including 25-4 in the last 29 meetings.
Purdue finished 5-5 on the road in Big Ten play this season, after starting league play with an 0-3 mark. Purdue was 5-2 in its last seven league games, and was just four points away from winning its last seven Big Ten road games.
Purdue has held 13 straight opponents to 72 or fewer points, tied for the secone-longest streak in the country.
At 11-6 in the Big Ten, Purdue has won at least 11 Big Ten games in 10 of the 16 years during the Matt Painter era, including in six of the last seven years.
Purdue is now 159-7 under Matt Painter when holding foes to 59 or fewer points.
Purdue’s 51.9 field goal percentage was its highest since shooting 53.2 percent against Indiana on Jan. 14.
In the first meeting, Penn State had 23 offensive rebounds, led by John Harrar’s 10 offensive rebounds. In Friday’s contest, the Lions had just seven offensive rebounds and Harrar had zero. The Boilermakers outrebounded Penn State by a 41-28 margin.
Since the 2015-16 season, Purdue has won 53 games by 20 or more points, tied with Michigan State for the fourth-highest total in the country.
Sasha Stefanovic scored 16 points with three assists, two steals and two rebounds. When Stefanovic scores at least 10 points in a game during his career, Purdue is 18-5, including 9-1 this season.
Jaden Ivey scored 14 points with five rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals. He became just the seventh player nationally this season to have a 14-point, 5-rebound, 4-block, 3-steal performance and just the second to add two made 3-pointers (Anthony Tarke – Coppin State).
In Ivey’s last three games, he is averaging 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.7 blocks and 2.3 steals per game.
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Williams Named Finalist for Abdul-Jabbar Award
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Trevion Williams has been named one of five finalists for the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, given to the nation’s top center, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today.
The list is dominated by Big Ten players as Williams joins Iowa’s Luka Garza, Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn, USC’s Evan Mobley and Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey on the list.
A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 student-athletes in November, which was narrowed to 10 candidates in January and now just five finalists. This month, the finalists will be presented to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
The winner of the 2021 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Naismith Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live today, February 26 on hoophallawards.com.
Williams is averaging 16.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 52.6 percent from the field in all games played. In league play only, the numbers improve to 17.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 53.8 percent shooting.
He ranks second in the league in double-doubles and 17th nationally with nine and he is on pace to become just the third player in the last 30 years to average at least 17 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2 assists per game in league play. His five 20-10 games are tied for third among all major-college players and he is 1-of-8 players in school history with two 30-10 games.
With this announcement, Purdue and Gonzaga are the only two schools to have three different players named as finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. Williams joins A.J. Hammons (2016) and Isaac Haas (2018) as players to be named finalists. He is looking to become Purdue’s second recipient of a positional award after Carsen Edwards won the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year in 2018.
BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Cards Back At Home After Big Win
(BALL STATE RELEASE)
After a resounding win over Kent State on Wednesday, the Ball State men’s basketball team returns to Worthen Arena to host Central Michigan. The Cardinals have two home games left on the schedule and are playing their sixth straight game at home. CMU has lost seven straight games and are in 10th place in the MAC.
The Starting 5 – The Top 5 Storylines For This Game
1. CARDS AND CENTRAL – THE SERIES
Saturday’s game is the 105th meeting between Ball State and Central Michigan, with Ball State 67-37 all-time against CMU. Ball State is 41-7 against CMU in Muncie. The Cardinals have won five of the last eight meetings and the two teams have split each of the last three seasons.
2. CARDINALS HAVE BEATEN THE LEAGUE’S BEST
Ball State owns three wins against the top six teams in the MAC, including wins over the current No. 1 and No. 4. In this strange year of scheduling, the Cardinals have played six games against the MAC’s top four teams (2-4) and just three games against the bottom four teams (3-0). BSU’s wins over Toledo, Kent State and Bowling Green have come by an average margin of 19.0 points.
3. CLOSE TO A FULL DECK DOWN THE STRETCH
Everyone on BSU’s eligible roster is now available, aside from transfer Reggie Jones. In total, Cardinal players have missed 49 games in addition to Ishmael El-Amin missing the second half of the first Buffalo game. As Ball State heads into the stretch run of the season, time is needed for newly-available players to find chemistry and rhythm. Here’s a breakdown of games missed by player:
Player Games Missed
Reggie Jones 18
Jarron Coleman 10
Jalen Windham 8
El-Amin 2nd half at Buffalo
4. COMING OFF THEIR BEST PERFORMANCE
BSU comes into Saturday’s game having delivered its best performance of the season in the 90-71 win over Kent State. Jarron Coleman dropped 26 points – 20 in the 1st half – and Ball State hit 13 shots from 3-point range. Also holding Kent star Danny Pippen to six points, James Whitford called it BSU’s best performance of the year “on both sides of the ball.”
5. STANDINGS CHECK
A Ball State win put the Cards into the 8-team championship. BSU is currently the No. 8 team in the standings with two home games in the coming days. The Cardinals can improve positioning by winning and getting some help, but Miami would hold a head-to-head tiebreaker. The Cardinals are 2 games out of 6th behind Bowling Green.
INDIANA STATE MBB: Sycamores’ Defense Stifles Valpo for Road Victory
VALPARAISO, Ind. – Sophomore Jake LaRavia scored 22 points and pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Indiana State men’s basketball team over Valparaiso on the road Friday night, as a stifling defensive effort boosted the Sycamores to a 58-43 victory in the Athletics-Recreation Center.
ISU (14-8, 11-6 MVC) held Valpo (9-17, 6-11 MVC) to a season-low 43 points and just 29.1 percent (16-of-55) from the floor in the contest. It was the fewest points Indiana State has allowed this season and the lowest an opponent has scored since Feb. 5, 2020 (Loyola, 39).
The Sycamores set the tone early, allowing just 16 points in the opening half while holding Valparaiso to 23.3-percent (7-of-30) from the floor and 7.1 percent (1-of-14) from downtown. It was the fewest points allowed in a half this season and matches its lowest of the last three seasons (16 vs. Loyola, Feb. 5, 2020).
LaRavia led all players in points and rebounds on the night, and paced what was an otherwise balanced offensive attack from Indiana State. Graduate transfer Randy Miller Jr. was the only other Sycamore to finish in double-figures with 10, as sophomore Tre Williams added an eight-point, six-rebound performance, and freshman Julian Larry scored four points and pulled down six boards
The Sycamores’ defense led to the convincing road win, as Valparaiso shot just 29.1 percent (16-of-55) for the game and 13.6 (3-of-22) from three. ISU was able to force Valpo into nine turnovers while committing just five of its own, and dominated in the paint, outpacing Valparaiso 30-to-14 inside and also winning the rebound battle, 43-to-37. It marked the second straight game Indiana State won despite being outscored from the free throw line (8 to 7).
Donovan Clay and Ben Krikke were the only two players from Valparaiso to finish in double-figures, each scoring 11.
Indiana State finishes the regular season Saturday, Feb. 27 with a 6 p.m. ET showdown with Valparaiso.
EVANSVILLE MBB: Jawaun Newton has career game against Missouri State
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Jawaun Newton scored a career-high 26 points while Shamar Givance added 21 in Friday evening’s 90-81 loss to Missouri State at the Ford Center.
Newton hit 8 of his 16 field goal attempts on the way to his top scoring effort at UE (8-15, 6-11 MVC). Prior to tonight, his career scoring mark stood at 22 points, which he recorded on January 16 at Bradley. Shamar Givance finished the evening just one point shy of his career mark. He posted 21 points with nine of his attempts finding the bottom of the net. He has reached double figures in each of the last six games.
Leading Missouri State (16-5, 12-5 MVC) was the duo of Gaige Prim and Isiaih Mosley. Prim scored a game-high 33 points while Mosley wrapped up the night with 26.
“I am really proud of the way our team competed tonight – our guys kept fighting the entire way,” Aces head coach Todd Lickliter exclaimed after the game. “I always tell our guys that we are either winning or getting ready to win and the way we are competing every game has been a positive for us.”
Both teams made their opening three shots of the game, leading to a 7-7 score. Missouri State continued its hot start, making its first five tries to take a 13-7 lead. A jumper by Evan Kuhlman ended a 4-minute scoring drought and helped the Aces begin a 7-0 stretch that was wrapped up when Jax Levitch drilled a triple on the break to put UE back in front by a 14-13 score at the 12:27 mark.
The lead changed hands five times before the Bears wrestled away a 30-25 advantage inside of the 5-minute mark. The Aces recorded five in a row to tie it up with Jawaun Newton connecting from downtown, but Missouri State countered with a 12-2 stretch to open up a 42-32 lead with 1:13 left in the half. Facing its largest deficit, Evansville was able to cut the gap in half over the final minute with Shamar Givance hitting a triple and a layup to make it a 42-37 MSU lead at halftime.
Newton had 12 points in the opening frame with Gaige Prim tallying a game-high 14 points for the Bears.
Givance continued his scoring streak in the second half with Newton finding him on consecutive possessions before a shot by Kuhlman put the Aces back in front at 43-42 with 18:11 left in the game. The Bears wrestled a two-possession lead back over the next stretch, going back up by a 53-47 tally before a 3-point play from Newton was part of a 5-0 stretch to get UE back within one with 14 minutes remaining.
Once again, MSU answered with a 10-2 run to take a 9-point edge as the second half moved past the midway point. The lead for Missouri State extended back to double figures before getting as high as 14 points (80-66) with under three minutes left. Evansville never relented, knocking down four 3-pointers in the final minutes while getting within six points, but the Bears converted their free throws to win by a final of 90-81.
Evan Kuhlman had another strong outing for Evansville, registering 16 points while Samari Curtis added 11. Givance led all players with seven assists while Newton was credited with a career-high four steals. MSU shot 69.4% on the night with the Aces finishing at 50.9%. The Bears also finished with a 30-21 edge in rebounds.
Saturday night, the Aces and Bears meet up inside the Ford Center for the regular season finale at 6 p.m.
MIAMI MBB: RedHawks Host Kent State at 4:30 p.m. Saturday
SATURDAY’S GAME: Miami returns home to host Kent State at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 in the second meeting between the teams this season. It is the final home game for the RedHawks this season.
ABOUT KENT STATE: The Golden Flashes enter Saturday’s game with a 14-6 overall record and 11-5 MAC mark. KSU had won four straight before dropping a 90-71 decision at Ball State on Wednesday. Danny Pippen leads the team, averaging 19.5 ppg and 8.6 rpg. Tervell Beck averages 10.5 ppg. On the season, the Golden Flashes are averaging 78.5 ppg and are averaging 77.8 ppg in MAC action.
THE SERIES WITH THE GOLDEN FLASHES: Saturday marks the 149th meeting between Miami and Kent State with the RedHawks holding a 92-56 lead in the all-time series. When playing in Oxford, Miami is 54-17. The Golden Flashes have won the last two meetings, both in the M.A.C. Center, including a 77-68 win on Feb. 2 earlier this year. Miami’s last win in the series was the last meeting between the teams at Millett Hall, a 77-74 triumph on Jan. 14, 2020. KSU’s last win in Oxford was on Mar. 5, 2019, 75-66.
TELEVISION: Saturday’s game will be televised on ESPN3. Steve Baker and Randy Hollowell will call the action.
REDHAWKS CLINCH SPOT IN MAC TOURNAMENT: Miami has secured a spot in the eight-team Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland March 11-13. The RedHawks clinched a berth following a 74-66 win at Western Michigan on Feb. 25 and with three regular-season games remaining on their schedule.
STREAKING: Miami has won three straight, all on the road and all coming during a six-day stretch as the RedHawks captured a 69-64 win at Northern Illinois on Feb. 20, a 96-54 win at Central Michigan on Feb. 23 and a 74-66 win at Western Michigan on Feb. 25. The string of wins equals a three-win stretch over five days for the RedHawks in late January.
ROARING 20s: In Miami’s last six games, four different RedHawks have eclipsed 20 points in scoring, two notching career-high scoring efforts of 24 points.
Junior forward James Beck came off the bench at Buffalo on Feb. 6 and poured in a career-high 24 points off 10-of-14 shooting from the floor, connecting on 71.4 percent of his shots. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Junior guard Mekhi Lairy amassed a career-high 24 points against Akron on Feb. 12, tallying 12 points in each half. Lairy knocked down 8-of 14 field goals (.571) and was 6-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Senior forward Dalonte Brown tallied a season-best 21 points off 6-of-10 shooting from the field, including a 3-for-7 effort from three-point range at Toledo on Feb. 16. He also sunk all six free throws.
Sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant recorded 26 points off 8-of-18 shooting, including a 4-of-10 effort from three-point range, while knocking down 6-of-7 free-throw attempts at Northern Illinois on Feb. 20.
Grant followed with a 25-point effort at Central Michigan on Feb. 23. He was 9-of-14 (.642) from the field, including 7-of-12 (.583) from three-point range.
Brown and Lairy teamed up for a pair of 20-point scoring efforts in a 74-66 win at Western Michigan on Feb. 25. Brown was 7-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line, while Lairy was 6-of-17 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. Both were 3-of-7 from three-point range.
BROWN REACHES 1,000 CAREER POINTS: Senior forward Dalonte Brown became the 37th member of Miami’s 1,000 Point Club on Jan. 12, 2021. Brown enters Miami’s next game with 1,172 career points and has moved up to 28th on the list.
MORE ON BROWN: Dalonte Brown played in his 100th career game on Tuesday, Dec. 15 against Buffalo. He made his 100th career start against Toledo on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Entering Miami’s next game, Brown has played in 115 career games and made 108 career starts, which ranks seventh among MU career leaders.
FEBRUARY 23 HIGHLIGHTS
Miami set a program record for three-pointers in a game with 18 at CMU, eclipsing the previous record of 17 against Midway on Nov. 29, 2017. Six different RedHawks contributed to the record.
Sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant led all players with 25 points, including a 7-for-12 effort from three-point range. His seven treys tie for eighth among all-time Miami leaders in a single game.
The 96 points against the Chippewas match the season-best scoring effort the RedHawks had earlier this season against Bowling Green on Jan. 21.
The 58 first-half points for the RedHawks were their most in a half this season, besting a 55-point second-half effort against Bowling Green on Jan. 21.
Miami shot 52.1 percent from the floor and 51.4 percent from three-point range for the game. The RedHawks shot 61.1 percent from the field and 63.2 percent from three-point range in the opening half.
The 42-point win for the RedHawks in their 96-54 triumph at Central Michigan on Feb. 23 ties for the 19th-largest margin in a win and is third-largest margin of victory against a MAC opponent. It is Miami’s biggest win against CMU.
ODDS ‘N ENDS
Senior guard Milos Jovic joined the Century Club on Jan. 30 against Western Michigan, playing in his 100th career game. Entering the RedHawks’ next game, Jovic has played in 106 career games.
With 25 points at Central Michigan on Feb. 23, sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant notched his fifth 20-point scoring effort of the season and now has the top four scoring efforts for Miami this season. Grant also scored 28 points at Eastern Michigan (Jan. 23) and 27 points against Bowling Green (Jan. 21) and 26 points at Northern Illinois (Feb. 20).
Redshirt junior guard Isaiah Coleman-Lands has been stingy with turnovers and currently boasts a 2.57 assist/turnover ratio with 59 assists to 23 turnovers through 19 games. He ranks second in the MAC 28th nationally in assist/turnover ratio.
Averaging 10.8 turnovers per game, Miami ranks second the MAC in fewest turnovers and ranks 22nd nationally. Miami has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent in 12 of its 20 games and the same number in four games this season. The RedHawks have had 10 or fewer turnovers in 11 of their 20 games, including a season-low four against Mount St. Joseph on Dec. 11.
UP NEXT: Miami travels to Bowling Green for a 7 p.m. game on Tuesday, Mar. 2. The RedHawks round out the regular season at Akron at 7 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 5.
CINCINNATI MBB: Davenport’s 27 Leads UC to 91-71 Win Over Tulane
CINCINNATI – Cincinnati scored a season-high 91 points in a 20-point victory over Tulane, 91-71, in American Athletic Conference on Friday afternoon inside Fifth Third Arena.
The Bearcats (9-8, 7-5 AAC) used a 31-12 run during a nine-minute stretch of the second half to turn a one-point lead into a 20-point advantage with 2:12 remaining to take the season series over the Green Wave (9-11, 4-11 AAC). UC made its run with the same five players in the game, Mika Adams-Woods, Jeremiah Davenport, Tari Eason, Mason Madsen and Mike Saunders Jr.
After Keith Williams picked up his fourth foul with almost 11 minutes left in the game, UC head coach John Brannen went with the young lineup, containing two sophomores and three freshmen, and it paid dividends as the Bearcats notched an 8-0 run in less than a minute to lead 70-62 with 8:18 left to quickly put the game out of reach.
Despite only having eight available scholarship players and playing its third game in six days, the Bearcats finished with their largest margin of victory this season and ran their February record to 6-1, including three-straight wins at home.
Davenport had a career-high 27 points to go with five rebounds, five assists and two steals. He’s the third UC player to go for 25 or more in a game this season, along with Williams and David DeJulius who scored 27 against Furman and 26 at Temple, respectively.
Eason had his first double-double with a career-high 20 points and 13 boards to go with three blocks. Adams-Woods tied his career mark with 16 points and dished out a career-best seven assists while Madsen poured in a career-best 11.
Tulane’s Jaylen Forbes scored a game-high 37 points, the most by an AAC men’s player this season. Bearcats women’s basketball player IImar’I Thomas holds the league’s high-water mark with her 51-point effort at East Carolina earlier this week.
UC plays its fourth game in eight days Sunday when it greets Memphis at Fifth Third Arena. Tipoff is 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
BIG EAST Announces Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket
NEW YORK – The BIG EAST Conference has announced the bracket for the 2021 BIG EAST Tournament Presented by Jeep which returns to Madison Square Garden for the 39th consecutive year.
The BIG EAST Tournament will be held March 10-13 at the World’s Most Famous Arena. FOX Sports, the conference’s television partner, will continue its wall-to-wall coverage with FS1 televising all nine games in the first three days of the Tournament before the FOX broadcast network carries the championship game on Saturday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m. ET. The BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden is college basketball’s longest running conference tournament held at the same venue.
With the readmission of the University of Connecticut giving the BIG EAST 11 teams, the Tournament will have an additional game in the first round. The tripleheader on Wednesday, March 10, begins with the No. 8 seed meeting the No. 9 seed at 3 p.m. The No. 7 seed battles the No. 10 seed at 6 p.m. and the No. 6 seed plays the No. 11 seed at 9 p.m.
The three first-round winners advance to the quarterfinal round on Thursday, March 11, which begins at noon. The quarterfinal winners meet in the semifinal round on Friday, March 12, at 6 p.m.
INDIANA WBB: Regular Season Road Slate Comes To A Close for No. 11 IU At No. 15 Ohio State On Saturday
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The No. 11 Indiana Hoosiers close out its final road swing of the regular season when it travels to No. 15 Ohio State on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.
#11/11 INDIANA (15-4, 13-2 B1G) AT NO. 15/14 OHIO STATE (13-5, 9-5 B1G)
Saturday, February 27, 2021 • 3 p.m. ET
Schottenstein Center • Columbus, Ohio
ABOUT THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State is looking to end a three-game skid after falling in road games to Michigan and Penn State. They are led by sophomore guard Jacy Sheldon’s 17.1 points per game along with a double-double average from junior forward Dorka Juhasz with 15.3 points and 11.2 points per game. The Buckeyes are averaging 81.4 points per game this season, the third highest scoring offense in the Big Ten.
Ohio State leads 60-21
1/28/21 – L, 70-78 (Bloomington, IN)
- Indiana is looking to protect a six-game win streak on Saturday heading into Columbus. It is coming off a 77-49 win over Wisconsin to sweep the season series against the Badgers.
- Sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes paced IU with 23 points while senior guards Ali Patberg and Nicole Cardaño-Hillary each added 14 points in the win.
- A win on Saturday would push the Hoosiers to another school record in Big Ten wins. They would surpass last season’s record-breaking mark of 13 conference wins, setting the record for the second-consecutive season.
- The two teams will meet for the second time this season as the Buckeyes took the first meeting in Bloomington on Jan. 26. Indiana was led by 26 points from Holmes in the loss, its most recent loss of the season. The Hoosiers have gone on to win six-straight.
- Holmes and Patberg have made their mark on the IU record books this season in single game and career records. Holmes has tallied up 55 blocks this season, which ties her for sixth in a single season. Her 82 career blocks also put her in to the top 10 of all-time blocks at IU, tying Alexis Gassion for 9th place all-time. Patberg’s 1,248 career points ranks 18th all-time and her 383 career assists ranks fifth all-time.
Indiana closes out the regular season at home with two games starting on Wednesday, March 3 against Iowa. Tipoff is set at 4:30 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.
OHIO STATE WBB: WBK: Buckeyes Seek to Continue Streak vs. Indiana on Saturday
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State returns home for potentially its final home game of the season when it hosts No. 11 Indiana on Saturday. The Buckeyes have won 15 consecutive games against the Hoosiers, a streak dating back to 2010. Tip-off Saturday is set for 3 p.m. and BTN will have the coverage.
- Ohio State and Indiana will be meeting on Saturday afternoon for the 81st time.
- The Buckeyes lead the all-time series 59-21 and have won the last 15 games between the two teams.
- The 15-game streak is the longest current streak against any Big Ten opponent. The last OSU loss to Indiana came back in 2010 and the Buckeyes have not lost to Indiana in Columbus since 2002.
- Earlier this year, Ohio State went to Bloomington Jan. 28 and came home with a 78-70 victory. The Buckeyes rallied from an 11-0 hole to start the game.
- Braxtin Miller scored a season-high 25 points and had five steals in the win, becoming the first Buckeye with those numbers against a ranked opponent.
- Overall, the Buckeyes are looking to rebound as they have dropped three of the last four and have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
- Indiana on the other hand is rolling, winners of its last six games. In fact, the last Hoosier loss came to the Buckeyes on Jan. 28. Mackenzie Holmes leads three Hoosiers in double figures at 17.6 ppg and she’s also the team’s leading rebounder at 7.5 rpg.
- The Buckeyes have three 100-point games this season, marking the first time in the “non-Kelsey Mitchel era” that a team has had three 100-point games in the same season.
- The flip side of that is the Buckeyes are 0-4 when not scoring 70 points this season. Hit 70 points, and it’s usually a Buckeye victory. Under McGuff, OSU is 147-25 (.855) when scoring 70 or more points.
- Jacy Sheldon leads five Buckeyes in double-figures at 17.1 ppg. She has scored 307 points this season in 18 games which is just 10 points shy of what she scored last season in 33 games. Sheldon is also the only Buckeye to play and start every game this season.
- Dorka Juhasz has had a double-double in seven of her last eight games and a total of 11 this season. She has also grabbed double-digit rebounds in each of the last nine games and is second in the Big Ten at 11.2 rpg.
- Aaliyah Patty has scored in double-figures in 10 of the last 11 games.
- Freshman Kateri Poole has started the last three games and has dished-out a total of 20 assists for an average of 6.7 per game.
BUTLER WBB: Butler WBB to Host #1 UConn Saturday
INDIANAPOLIS – The top team in the country will make their first-ever trip to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon to face the Bulldogs. The SNY broadcast featuring #1 UConn taking on Butler will get underway at 4:30 with Allen Bestwick and Meg Culmo on the call.
– The Bulldogs will recognize Jaia Alexander, Upe Atosu, Genesis Parker and Micah Scheetz on Senior Day.
– Atosu scored a career-high 23 points in the win over Xavier. It was the third time this season she has led BU in scoring.
– Genesis Parker tied her season-high scoring total with 18 points vs. the Musketeers.
– Nyamer Diew stuffed the box score with a career-high 12 points, four steals and five blocks vs. Xavier.
Scouting #1 UConn
UConn is 19-1 on the year and a perfect 16-0 against conference foes. Their lone setback this season came at #19/17 Arkansas on Jan. 28 by the final score of 90-87. Signature wins outside of BIG EAST action came against #25 Tennessee (67-61) and of course the 63-59 overtime win vs. then #1 ranked South Carolina on Feb. 8. UConn averages over 80 points per game and only allows 50. Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Evina Westbrook are the only players to start in all 20 games, but the team is led in the scoring column by the Preseason Freshman of the Year selection Paige Bueckers.
All-Time Series vs. UConn
This contest will be just the second meeting between the two programs and mark UConn’s first trip to Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Huskies lead the all-time series 1-0 after claiming a 103-35 win over BU at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.
Last Meeting vs. The Huskies
Okako Adika and Genesis Parker combined to score 33 of Butler’s 35 points in the first-ever meeting between Butler and UConn. Adika led the way with 18 points despite being limited to just 24 minutes. She was whistled for her second personal foul with 6:39 to play in the first quarter. The Huskies were up by just three with Adika available, but quickly would lead by 10 at the end of the first. The game became out of reach after UConn outscored Butler 20-5 in the second quarter. Christyn Williams scored eight of her 17 points during that stretch. She was one of five Huskies to reach double figures. Olivia Nelson-Ododa led UConn with 18 points while Aubrey Griffin posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Saturday’s Game is on SNY
UConn’s SNY games will be available to stream in-market (CT, NY, NJ, PA) to authenticated subscribers via the NBC Sports app: http://stream.nbcsports.com/rsn/sny. Out-of-market fans will be able to stream UConn’s SNY games at no additional cost to authenticated subscribers who have FOX as part of their television package. Users will need to sign in with their TV provider credentials at https://www.foxsports.com/ or in the FOX Sports app. The games can also be accessed at www.fox.com/sports or in the FOX Now app.
Butler’s win over Xavier allowed the Bulldogs jump the Musketeers in the conference standings. If the tournament were to start today (2/26), Butler would play as the No. 10 seed against the No. 7 seed Providence. The 8-9 matchup would feature St. John’s and Georgetown. The 6-11 game would be between Creighton and Xavier.
Top Team To Hinkle
Saturday marks the first time the Butler women’s program has hosted the No. 1 team in the country. The last No. 1 team to play inside Hinkle Fieldhouse was Villanova on the men’s side (Dec. 30, 2017). The Bulldogs won 101-93.
Attendance Record Watch
Butler set a new single-game women’s basketball attendance record during the 2019-20 season when 2,028 fans attended the game on Dec. 11 against #12 Indiana. Capacity for Saturday’s game vs. UConn with COVID-19 protocols in place is set at 2,275. Fans interested in attending can purchase tickets online at ButlerSports.com/BuyTickets.
Butler picked up their second win of the season on Monday with a 73-61 victory over the visiting Xavier Musketeers. BU ended the first quarter on a 13-1 scoring run, yet would trail the Musketeers by one at the half (37-36). The opening stages of the third quarter would swing momentum back to the home team as BU outscored Xavier 11-1 to take a five-point advantage into the final 10 minutes. Butler would push that lead to 10 points in the fourth by going on a 7-2 run.
20 Point Quarters
Butler scored 70+ points for the first time this season at Villanova (2/16) and followed that effort with 73 points in the win over Xavier. The Bulldogs scored 48 second half points against the Wildcats roughly one week later, would take a seven-point lead over Xavier after the first quarter by scoring 26 points in the first ten minutes. The Bulldogs have only scored 20+ points in a quarter nine times this year. Four of the nine have come over their last two games. Their season-high scoring total came at Seton Hall when they posted 28 points on the Pirates in the second quarter.
Two to Go
The final two opponents to appear on Butler’s regular season schedule are nationally ranked. Under the direction of Coach Godlevske, the Bulldogs have faced 13 opponents ranked in the Top-25. They have wins over #21 Villanova and #11 Marquette. Each win came on the road.
Four from 900
Grad transfer Micah Scheetz needs four points on Saturday to reach 900 in her career. The shooting guard scored 92 points as a freshman at UAB and 742 in two years at ETSU. This season, Scheetz has 62 points in 13 games. At Butler, Scheetz provides leadership to an overall young roster. She recently pulled down a team-high eight rebounds in the win over Xavier. Scheetz was responsible for the final four defensive rebounds of the game to limit the Musketeers to one shot in crunch time.
Found Five Starters
Butler has used nine different starting lineups over the span of 17 games. No Bulldog has started in all 17 games and only Tenley Dowell has appeared in all 17. The unit of Adika, Scheetz, Parker, Alexander and Atosu is the most used combination for head coach Kurt Godlevske. That starting five unit has opened up a game four times this year. Coach G has used the starting five of Adika, Diew, Parker, Dowell and Atosu in each of the last three games.
Jaia Alexander, Abby Stoddard and Oumou Toure were all inactive vs. Xavier.
The final game of the 2020-21 regular season will send Butler to #24 DePaul on Monday, March 1. The upset-minded Bulldogs will play the Blue Demons at Wintrust Arena on BEDN at 5 PM.
VALPO WBB: Women’s Basketball Continues Road Swing at SIU This Weekend
Valparaiso (9-10, 5-7 MVC)
Games #20/21 – Feb. 27/28 – 4 p.m./4 p.m.
at Southern Illinois (8-11, 5-9 MVC)
Banterra Center (9,000) – Carbondale, Ill.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: Coming off a thriller Wednesday night in Chicago, the Valpo women’s basketball team continues its five-game road stretch to close the regular season this weekend with a two-game series at Southern Illinois Saturday and Sunday. The games against the Salukis, which were originally slated to be played Jan. 22-23, are vital for the standings and postseason seeding, as Valpo enters the weekend one game ahead of SIU.
Previously: Fans will be forgiven if they thought they were experiencing déjà vu while watching the closing seconds of Valpo’s game against Loyola Wednesday evening from Chicago, as for the second time in as many years, junior Shay Frederick delivered a game-winning shot against the Ramblers as she converted a layup with 5.2 seconds to play to give Valpo the 57-55 victory. Senior Grace White finished one point off her career high with a game-high 22 points to lead the way for the Brown and Gold.
Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans (34-46) is in her third season as head coach of the Valpo women’s basketball program in 2020-21. Evans led the Valpo program to a remarkable season across the board in 2019-20, one that concluded among the nation’s top turnarounds from the season before. Valpo posted a 17-12 record in Evans’ second season at the helm, the 17 wins the most by a Valpo team since the 2006-07 campaign and the 10th-most in a single season in program history. Valpo improved its record by 10.5 games over the previous season in 2019-20, tied for the sixth-best improvement in Division I.
Series Notes: It’s a brief series between SIU and Valpo, as the two programs did not meet prior to Valpo joining the MVC in 2017-18. The Salukis claimed victories in each of the first five meetings before Valpo earned a 69-58 victory in Carbondale in what turned out to be the final game of the 2019-20 season. Grace White led four players in double figures in that contest with 16 points, while Shay Frederick posted eight points and a career-best nine rebounds.
MIAMI WBB: ‘Hawks Host Flashes on Senior Day
ON TAP: The Miami University women’s basketball team hosts Kent State on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m. The contest will also be Senior Day for the RedHawks.
SENIOR MOMENTS: On Saturday, the RedHawks will honor three seniors: Abbey Hoff, Kelly McLaughlin and Kenzie Schmitz. Combined, the trio has scored 1,110 points and pulled down 744 rebounds.
ABOUT KENT STATE: The Flashes are 10-6 on the year and 9-4 in Mid-American Conference play, good enough for second place in the league standings. KSU averages 69.7 points per game and are led by Nila Blackford, who averages 15.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per contest.
ROUND TWO WITH THE FLASHES: These two teams squared-off back on Feb. 6 with KSU coming away with a 71-69 victory. Peyton Scott amassed 34 points to lead all scorers, and Tihanna Fulton chipped in with eight points and six rebounds.
SERIES WITH KSU: This is the 95th meeting between the two schools with Kent State holding a slight 48-46 advantage in the all-time series. KSU has won the last four, and Miami’s last victory in Oxford was back on Jan. 26, 2019.
SCORING MACHINE: Over her last six games, Peyton Scott has scored at least 27 points in five of those contests. Her lone blemish, a seven-point effort at Toledo, was a contest the RedHawks won, 62-60. Over her last six games, the sophomore is averaging 29.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals. She is also shooting 52.8 percent (67-127) from the floor.
LAST TIME OUT: Miami is coming off an 84-63 loss at home to the Akron Zips on Wednesday. Peyton Scott had 27 points and senior Kelly McLaughlin added 12 points and nine rebounds.
NO RESERVES: Miami has played much of the season with an extremely thin roster, competing much of the year with a max of 10 players due to opt outs and injuries. In 21 games this season, Miami has used eight different starting lineups and just Peyton Scott and Katie Davidson have started every contest.
GREAT SCOTT: Peyton Scott had a banner year for the RedHawks in 2019-20, averaging 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, earning All-MAC Freshman honors, but that is nothing compared to what she is doing in 2020-21. The sophomore is averaging 21.6 points and 6.6 rebounds this season. Playing much of this season as the team’s point guard, Scott is also averaging 5.0 assists per game after averaging just 2.2 a year ago. She ranks fourth in the MAC in scoring (21.6), 10th in rebounding (6.6), second in assists (5.0), sixth in steals (2.6), 13th in field goal percentage (42.8%) and seventh in free throw percentage (83.5%).
LEAVING IT ALL ON THE FLOOR: Peyton Scott also ranks second in the MAC in minutes played (37.6), but even that doesn’t tell the entire story. Over her last 15 games, the sophomore has played 443 of 460 available minutes. In all, she has played all 40 minutes in 10 of 21 games this year.
REWRITING HISTORY: Peyton Scott’s attack on the record has kept Miami’s SID busy in 2020-21.
* She now owns four top-10 scoring performances all-time at Miami, with 34 points versus NIU and Kent State, 37 points against Western Michigan and 39 versus Ball State.
* She made 15 field goals against the Cardinals, which is the most in school history.
* She became the first RedHawk in school history to score at least 30 points in four-straight games and matched a Miami record with Courtney Osborn with 71 points in a two-game stretch. Even the great Wally Szczerbiak only scored 67 points in back-to-back games during his incredible NCAA Tournament run in 1998-99.
* Earlier this year she had 13 assists at Ball State, which is tops in school history.
* Her season average of 21.6 points would rank first all-time at Miami, tied with Amanda Jackson’s 21.6 average during the 2007-08 campaign.
* Scott is on pace to finish her first two seasons at Miami with a combined 900 points. Only Lauren Dickerson (1,146) and Courtney Osborn (1,033) have scored more points in their first two years at Miami.
SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST: Kelly McLaughlin scored 188 points and had 125 rebounds in her first three years with the RedHawks, averaging 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds. This year, the senior has already scored 228 points and recorded 138 rebounds in 19 games.
BALL STATE FOOTBALL: Complete 2021 Football Schedule Announced for ‘Run it Back’ Cardinals
(BALL STATE RELEASE)
MUNCIE, Ind. — The road for the defending Mid-American Conference champion is set, as the Ball State football team looks to run it back in 2021. The league office unveiled the complete schedule today for the fall.
The Cardinals’ non-conference dates were already in place — a Thursday, Sept. 2 opener against Western Illinois at Scheumann Stadium, road trips Sept. 11 to Penn State and Sept. 18 to Wyoming, and a home matchup Oct. 2 with Army.
Ball State also knew its league opponents, announced last month, just not the order. Now the complete picture is clear. The Cardinals will begin defense of their MAC title Sept. 25 against Toledo on Family Weekend at Scheumann Stadium.
“It is exciting to see our full 2021 schedule laid out before us,” head coach Mike Neu said. “Our guys are already hard at work in our offseason program, intently focused on the new season ahead. This special, championship group remains hungry to achieve even more against a slate of talented teams we know will be aiming for us in the fall.”
After the Army game and road trips to Western Michigan (Oct. 9) and Eastern Michigan (Oct. 16), Ball State will welcome Miami for Homecoming on Oct. 23. This year’s Red Bird Rivalry Game is a matchup of the past two MAC champions and a chance for the Cardinals to avenge their only loss from last season.
The calendar then turns to November with four midweek #MACtion games to close out the regular season. The first two of those are on the road with trips to play Tuesday, Nov. 2 at Akron and Wednesday, Nov. 10 at Northern Illinois, as BSU aims for a third straight win in the Battle for the Bronze Stalk.
The Cardinals will then finish with back-to-back home games, Wednesday, Nov. 17 against Central Michigan and Tuesday, Nov. 23 against Buffalo in a rematch of the 2020 MAC Championship Game.
This year’s MAC title game will be played Saturday, Dec. 4 at Ford Field in Detroit.
The Cardinals defeated the previously undefeated and 23rd-ranked Bulls in last year’s championship game and then went on to take down 19th-ranked San Jose State in the Offerpad Arizona Bowl. With those consecutive wins over nationally-ranked opponents, Ball State finished the year at No. 23 in both the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll.
BSU is slated to welcome back 20 starters from that 7-1 team, and 16 seniors from are returning to take advantage of the additional year of eligibility being offered by the NCAA.
2021 Ball State Football Schedule
Sept. 2 (Thurs.) vs. Western Illinois
Sept. 11 (Sat.) at Penn State
Sept. 18 (Sat.) at Wyoming
Sept. 25 (Sat.) vs. Toledo* (Family Weekend)
Oct. 2 (Sat.) vs. Army
Oct. 9 (Sat.) at Western Michigan*
Oct. 16 (Sat.) at Eastern Michigan*
Oct. 23 (Sat.) vs. Miami* (Homecoming)
Nov. 2 (Tues.) at Akron*
Nov. 10 (Wed.) at Northern Illinois*
Nov. 17 (Wed.) vs. Central Michigan*
Nov. 23 (Tues.) vs. Buffalo*
Dec. 4 (Sat.), MAC Championship Game (Detroit, Mich.)
MIAMI FOOTBALL: Football Announces 2021 Schedule
The Miami University football team has announced its 2021 schedule, highlighted by trips to Cincinnati and Army combined with five home games at Yager Stadium.
Following the Sept. 4 contest versus UC, Miami travels to Minnesota (Sept. 11) before hosting LIU Post on Sept. 18. Miami concludes the non-conference schedule on Sept. 25 at Army.
Miami begins conference play in a rematch of the 2019 MAC Championship contest at home versus Central Michigan (Oct. 2). Other home MAC games include Akron (Oct. 16), Buffalo (Nov. 9) and Bowling Green (Nov. 16). Conference road trips comprising Eastern Michigan (Oct. 9), Ball State (Oct. 23), Ohio (Nov. 2) and Kent State (Nov. 27).
In its last 34 MAC contests the RedHawks are a league-best 25-9 and won the 2019 MAC Championship with a 26-21 win over Central Michigan. Even in the 2020 shortened season, the Red and White went 2-1 including a 38-31 win over Ball State, the eventual 2020 conference champion. In all, Miami has been bowl eligible in four of the past five seasons.
Miami returns a plethora of talent entering 2021, including starting quarterback Brett Gabbert. The 2019 MAC Freshman of the Year has accounted for 18 touchdowns and just eight turnovers in his career and is joined by eight other starters returning on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, 10 starters return, including All-MAC performers Kameron Butler and Lonnie Phelps. Overall, 16 of its top 17 tacklers from a year prior return for 2021.
Homecoming and Family Weekend, along with information about ticket prices and attendance policies will be announced at a later date. Miami will continue to follow the State of Ohio and Butler County guidelines surrounding COVID-19.
Saturday, Sept.4 – at Cincinnati
Saturday, Sept. 11 – at Minnesota
Saturday, Sept. 18 – LIU POST
Saturday, Sept. 25 – at Army
Saturday, Oct. 2 – CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Saturday, Oct. 9 – at Eastern Michigan
Saturday, Oct. 16 – AKRON
Saturday, Oct. 23 – at Ball State
Saturday, Oct. 30 – BYE
Tuesday, Nov. 2 – at Ohio
Tuesday, Nov. 9 – BUFFALO
Tuesday, Nov. 16 – BOWLING GREEN
Saturday, Nov. 27 – at Kent State
INDIANA MEN’S SOCCER: No. 7 Indiana Faces First Road Test at Northwestern
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The No. 7-ranked Indiana Hoosiers (2-0-0) will play the Northwestern Wildcats (1-1-0) at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday at Ryan Fieldhouse in Evanston, Ill.
A live stream of the match will be provided by BTN+, while live stats will be available at NUSports.com.
SETTING THE SCENE
• Indiana is red-hot offensively through two games this season and have won both matches by a score of 3-0 behind the brilliant striking ability of sophomore forward Victor Bezerra and clean goalkeeping play of sophomore keeper Roman Celentano.
• The Hoosiers are plus-six in goals scored this season, the largest point differential for the team to open a season since 1991 (+8).
• The IU offense has scored three-plus goals in five of the last six regular season matchups against Big Ten Conference opponents dating back to the end of the 2019 season.
• Celentano and the Indiana defense have pitched back-to-back shutouts to open the 2020-21 season, the first time a Hoosier squad has achieved that feat since 2017.
NEWS AND NOTES
• Bezerra was named National Player of the Week by College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week on Feb. 23 following his season-opening two-goal performance against Wisconsin.
• Celentano has started 16 matches for the Hoosiers in his career. He has allowed one goal or less in 15-of-16 starts and has held a clean sheet on 10 occasions.
LAST TIME OUT
• For the second-straight match, IUMS exited Grand Park with a 3-0 result after scoring three goals in the second half to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes (0-1-0).
• Bezerra notched his second-straight brace. His first goal came from the spot in the 62nd-minute before scoring off a set piece in the 83rd-minute. He has scored seven goals in his last four matches dating back to the end of the 2019 season.
• The Chicago native is the program’s active career leader in goals scored with 12.
• Redshirt sophomore defender Daniel Munie tallied his second-career goal off a corner service from redshirt senior defender Spencer Glass.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
• Northwestern enters the match as the only team to match Indiana’s conference-leading six total goals this season. On the flip side, the Wildcat defense has conceded six goals on the season, the second-highest figure in the league.
• The Wildcats are led by legendary head coach Tim Lenahan. He has patrolled the Northwestern sidelines for the last 20 seasons, is the program’s winningest coach, and has secured 156 victories over the last 15-plus seasons.
• Northwestern has had five different players score goals this season, led by two tallies from sophomore forward Ugo Achara Jr.
• Junior midfielder Bardia Kimiavi leads the Cats with three assists, including two against Wisconsin in the last match.
• Graduate transfer goaltender Ethan Bandre is one of three keepers to log minutes in front of the net this season for the Wildcats. He has played a team-high 115 minutes in net and surrendered three goals on seven shots on frame.
• The two programs have met 40 times on the pitch. Indiana has emerged with a result in 38 (31 wins, seven ties) of the 40 games played. IU has a scoring margin of +102 against the Wildcats, the second-largest figure of any Big Ten opponent.
• Indiana has outright won five matches in a row against Northwestern and has earned a result in 14-straight matches (8-0-6) dating back to the 2009 campaign. The Hoosiers opened the series winning the first 20 matches, with 15 coming via shutout.
• The Hoosiers took care of business (W, 3-1) in the lone matchup last season in Evanston. IU received goals from three freshman: Maouloune Goumballe, Joshua Penn and Aidan Morris in the win.
• In the program’s last 38 Big Ten regular season matches Indiana holds a record of 28-1-9. During the four-and-a-half year run, IU was unbeaten in the regular season during conference play from Oct. 16, 2015 until Oct. 18, 2019, a span lasting 1,464 days and 32 matches.
• Indiana has a clean 2-0 record against the B1G this season.
• In 2018, the team posted a perfect 8-0 record. The eight wins in conference play marked the most ever by a Big Ten program. The season marked the first undefeated, untied season by a B1G since Penn State achieved a 6-0 record in 2005. IU accomplished the same feat (6-0) in 2002.
BUTLER MENS SOCCER: Saturday’s Contest with Notre Dame Serves as Final Non-Conference Match for Butler MSoccer
The Bulldogs will play their first true home game of the season Saturday afternoon, hosting Notre Dame at the Sellick Bowl on the Butler campus. This will be Butler’s fourth match of the spring season, but the first three were each played indoors at the Grand Park facility in Westfield, Ind.
Butler and the Fighting Irish will kick at 1 p.m. The match will be streamed live on the Butler Athletics YouTube channel as a student-run production in conjunction with the university’s College of Communication.
Butler enters the contest with a record of 0-3, dropping decisions to SIUE, Western Michigan and Saint Louis. With the typical fall season modified and moved to the spring due to COVID, the Bulldogs will play an abbreviated non-conference slate in addition to a regional BIG EAST slate being implemented this spring.
Notre Dame is 5-4 on the season. The ACC played a fall schedule and Saturday’s match will be the first for the Fighting Irish this spring. Notre Dame’s fall season ended Nov. 18 when they fell to top-seeded Pittsburgh in the ACC semifinals.
This will be the seventh meeting between the two programs, but the first regular season match-up since Nov. 4, 1994 (the teams have played exhibition contests in recent seasons). Notre Dame won that 1994 decision by a score of 4-1. In the overall series, Notre Dame holds a slight 3-2-1 advantage.
Butler was picked as the preseason favorite to win the BIG EAST’s Midwest Division. Butler topped the Midwest Division Poll with 15 points, tallying three first-place votes. Creighton followed in second with 14 points and the remaining two first-place tallies. Xavier followed in third place with 10 points, followed by Marquette with seven points and DePaul with four points.
Butler had two standouts named to the 2021 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team in sophomore Wilmer Cabrera Jr., and senior Rhys Myers.
Cabrera, Jr., was named the 2019 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, scoring eight goals, including six game-winners. Myers played a pivotal role in anchoring Butler’s defense that only allowed 1.3 goals per game in 2019.
Butler’s returners also include junior midfielder Jack Haywood. He earned All-BIG EAST third-team honors following the 2019 campaign, tying for the conference lead with nine assists. The nine assists are tied for fifth on Butler’s single-season list.
Cabrera, Jr., earned a third-team spot as TopDrawerSoccer unveiled its Preseason Best XI teams earlier this spring.
Saturday’s game is the final non-conference match-up on the Bulldogs’ spring schedule. Butler opens the modified, regional BIG EAST slate Wednesday (March 3) with a home contest against DePaul. The Bulldogs will play DePaul, Marquette, Xavier and Creighton in home-and-home series.
INDIANA VOLLEYBALL: Indiana Volleyball Travels to Purdue for Second Match of the Week
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– The Indiana volleyball team will have another chance against Purdue this week as the two teams square off again on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Indiana vs. No. 11 Purdue
Sunday February 28, 2021 • 4:30 p.m. ET
Holloway Gym • West Lafayette, Ind.
TV: Big Ten Network (Chris Vosters, Liz Tortorello-Nelson)
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Attendance at 2020-21 volleyball matches will be limited to the immediate family of student-athletes, coaching staff, volleyball personnel and members of the team traveling parties.
• Purdue has posted a 7-4 record on the season with series sweeps against Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern.
• Senior outside hitter Caitlyn Newton leads Purdue with 164 kills and ranks third in the Big Ten in kills per set at 4.21/set.
• Newton also ranks third in the conference in aces at 0.46/set (18 aces in 39 sets).
• Purdue comes into the match ranked fourth as a team in hitting percentage at .251.
• Purdue leads the all-time series 71-34 and have won the last 16 matches. The last few matches have been close, with three of the last four going to five sets. The last Indiana win in the series was Oct. 16, 2012 in Bloomington.
• IU head coach Steve Aird is in his third season with Indiana volleyball.
• The Hoosiers 2020 class of current freshmen were ranked 15th in the country by PrepVolleyball.Com. It is the highest ranked class in program history and includes eight freshmen.
• In addition to the eight freshmen the Hoosiers add transfer Brooke Westbeld. Westbeld comes from Dayton and will be a senior. In 2018 Westbeld earned AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honors.
• The Hoosiers return just four players that played 17 or more sets in the 2019 season.
• The Indiana 2021 class, announced in November includes three top kids from Indiana and a player current on the Canadian Junior National Team.
• In March, then sophomore Breana Edwards was selected to the US Collegiate National Team – Gold Roster. She would have trained over the summer with the senior national team in their preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but that was canceled.
• Although no fans will be allowed this season, last year the Hoosiers ranked 15th in the country in attendance and set a program record for average attendance.
• The Hoosiers captains for the 2021 season are Brooke Westbeld, Emily Fitzner and Breana Edwards.
• Indiana has played six of their 11 matches against top-10 opponents (No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 5 Nebraska and No. 8 Penn State).
• Haley Armstrong has recorded double-digit digs in seven of her last 10 matches. Armstrong leads Indiana in digs with 118 on the season (3.28 digs per set).
• Freshman Leyla Blackwell leads the Hoosiers in blocking at 1.05 per set. Blackwell earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors following the Hoosiers five set win at Iowa, where she recorded 13 blocks in the match.
• Freshman Tommi Stockham leads the Hoosiers with 122 kills on the season and 3.13 per set. Stockham posted double-digit kills in each match at Penn State. Stockham was the Big Ten Freshman of the Week following the Hoosiers series with Iowa when she tallied 26 kills in the Hoosiers five set win over Iowa.
• In the Hoosiers series with Penn State, Indiana won the second set of the first match, 27-25. It was the first time since 2012 that Indiana had won a set against the Nittany Lions.
Indiana hosts Maryland on March 5 and 6 at Wilkinson Hall. Both matches are set for 5:00 p.m. ET.
BALL STATE MEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Men’s Volleyball Looks To Remain Undefeated At Home Saturday Against Ohio State
(BALL STATE RELEASE)
Ball State (7-1, 4-0 MIVA) | Ohio State (4-6, 3-3 MIVA)
Muncie, Ind. | Worthen Arena | Ball State Notes (PDF) | Ohio State Notes
Date: Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. ET: Watch: ESPN3 | Listen: SL Digital | Live Stats
WELCOME BACK TO WORTHEN: The Cardinals are 6-0 in Worthen Arena thus far this season after defeating Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 28 by a score of 3-0 and then took the Railsplitters down again on Jan. 29, 3-1. BSU continued its winning ways when it opened up MIVA action at home on Feb. 5-6 against Purdue Fort Wayne, winning both those matches 3-1 and 3-0, respectively. Ball State then swept Lindenwood in both MIVA competitions on Feb. 20 and 21 by a score of 3-0. The Cardinals now look to remain undefeated on its home court Saturday when it hosts MIVA rival Ohio State. The Cardinals defeated the Buckeyes in their lone meeting last year in four sets (16-25, 29-27, 26-24, 25-18) on March 4, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE: The Buckeyes enter tonight’s contest with an overall record of 4-6 and a 3-3 MIVA record. Ohio State is looking to continue on the winning track after earning two impressive wins over No. 11 Loyola Chicago last weekend. The Buckeyes defeated the Rambler’s 3-2 on Saturday and a 3-0 sweep on Sunday. The Buckeyes standout player from last week was Martin Lallemand who finished the weekend with a .370 hitting percentage and total of 27 kills. Ohio State owns a 31-38 record when playing in Muncie.
JENNESS AND ISAACSON SWEEP MAC WEEKLY HONORS: Ball State junior outside hitter Kaleb Jenness (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) and senior setter Quinn Isaacson (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) have been tabbed as the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) offensive and defensive players of the week. Jenness and Isaacson led the Cardinals in a pair of 3-0 sweeps over the weekend against Lindenwood to help Ball State extend its winning streak to seven and remain undefeated in MIVA action. Jenness opened the weekend with a 19-kill performance on 34 swings for a .441 hitting percentage in Saturday’s win. On Sunday, he mimicked that performance with 18 kills on another 34 attempts for a .353 hitting percentage. He also helped defensively with six digs. For the week, Jenness totaled 37 kills on 68 attacks for a .397 hitting percentage. Isaacson also played a huge roll in the Cardinals’ two victories. He led Ball State defensively with a season-best 13 digs on Saturday night against the Lions. He recorded six digs more on Sunday to total 19 for the weekend, an average of 3.17 per set. Isaacson also registered two block assists.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Cardinals will travel to Lewis next weekend for a pair of matches on March 5 and March 6 with both matches beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
PRESEASON ALL-MIVA: Junior outside attacker Kaleb Jenness (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) was named to the Preseason All-Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association team, while the Cardinals were picked to finish third in the preseason poll. Jenness finished the abbreviated 2020 season with a team high 246 kills to earn a spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American Honorable Mention Team.
THE END OF AN ERA: One of the winningest coaches in NCAA men’s volleyball history will lead Ball State’s program for one more season. Head coach Joel Walton announced he will retire following the completion of the 2021 season. A two-time Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) Coach of the Year, Walton enters his 23rd and final season at the helm of the Cardinals ranked fourth among active NCAA men’s volleyball head coaches (Divisions I, II or III) with 403 career wins, owning an overall record of 403-230 (.637).
NOTRE DAME WBB: IRISH ROLL WITH A COMPLETE 72-64 WIN OVER FLORIDA ST
(NOTRE DAME RELEASE)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In a pivotal game to move up in the ACC standings and add a key win to the resume, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team (10-8, 8-6) stepped up with a 72-64 win over the visiting Florida State Seminoles (9-9, 8-8). With the victory, the Irish move up to fifth place and sit a half-game back from Syracuse.
Five Irish finished in double figures including two of whom were honored on Senior Night. Mikki Vaughn netted 12 points and three rebounds, while Destinee Walker added 11 points, four boards and four assists. Speaking of seniors, Nicole Benz received her first career start tonight.
Maddy Westbeld continued to do super freshmen things, securing her second consecutive double-double (third on the year) with 17 points and 12 rebounds. She also dished out five assists. Fellow freshman Olivia Miles was a bright spot once more, tallying her third straight game in double figures with a season-high 11 points, plus a season-best eight rebounds.
Lastly, Anaya Peoples rounded out the double-digit scoring performances with 11 points, in which eight came in the third quarter.
“I’m super excited about this win,” Karen & Kevin Keyes Family Head Coach Niele Ivey stated. “To be able to come out and beat a really good Florida State team, I am so proud of this group. I’m proud of the seniors, to honor them tonight with a victory.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame got off to a quick 10-2 start before Florida State cut the deficit to one possession at 10-7. The Irish then ended the quarter on a 7-0 run, shooting 7-of-17 in the period, to go up 17-7. Notre Dame’s defense held FSU scoreless for the final four minutes, limiting the Seminoles to 3-of-17 shooting. Westbeld led the home squad with seven points.
The Irish made their last four shot attempts from the field to end the second quarter, as Vaughn, Miles, Brunelle and Peoples all got in on the action. Notre Dame outscored Florida State 20-2 in the paint in the first half. The Irish were 14-of-30 (.467) from the field compared to FSU’s 8-of-32 (.250), and as a result, Notre Dame led 32-19 at the midway point.
The Fighting Irish fired off a 7-0 run from 6:11 to 4:42 in the third to garner their largest lead of the game, up 18, at 48-30. The quarter featured a superb one-on-one driving layup from Peoples and a great rebounding tip assist from Miles to Peoples that got the early enrollee fired up.
The Seminoles did muster a little momentum at the end of the third, hitting a trey at the buzzer to pull within 52-39. Peoples was 3-for-3 in the period with eight points to go into double-digits.
In the fourth, Miles, Walker and Vaughn continued to thrive, scoring the team’s first 12 points. A Westbeld trey with 3:19 left pushed the lead back up to 18 at 67-49. Yet a late FSU flurry pulled the Seminoles within six (70-64), but the combo of Westbeld, Walker and Miles iced the game from the free-throw line.
- Notre Dame now leads the overall series 11-0, with a 4-0 record at home.
- Tonight marked Notre Dame’s first home game since Jan. 17.
- Entering tonight’s game, Florida State had won the rebounding battle in each of its last five games played. In that span, it had out-rebounded the opposition by +5.8 boards per game (192-163). Tonight, Notre Dame outrebounded FSU 44-31.
- With the victory, the Irish move up to fifth place and sit a half-game back from Syracuse.
- Westbeld extended her career-high double-digit scoring streak to eight.
- She notched her second straight double-double.
- Walker’s free throw streak ended at 27 tonight. She went 5-of-6 from the line.
- Olivia Miles registered her third straight game in double figures with a season high 11 points to go with her season high eight rebounds.
- Both seniors in Vaughn and Walker finished in double figures on Senior Day. Meanwhile, senior Nicole Benz earned her first career start.
The Irish end the regular season hosting No. 6 Louisville at Purcell Pavilion on Sunday, Feb. 28. If the Irish would be successful, they could potentially climb to a No. 4 seed and earn a first-round bye in the ACC Tournament.
NOTRE DAME HOCKEY: IRISH BLANK SPARTANS, 2-0
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Landon Slaggert and Alex Steeves scored and Dylan St. Cyr stopped all 27 shots he faced to lead the Fighting Irish to a 2-0 win at Michigan State on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena.
Slaggert’s goal was his first career game winner, while St. Cyr’s shutout was his second of the season and the fourth of his career. Matt Hellickson finished with a pair of assists.
“I thought we played a patient game,” head coach Jeff Jackson said after the win. “They’re a tough team to play against and they are good defensively and don’t give you a lot, so you have to play a patient game. We waited for our chances and scored a couple timely goals and Dylan played well in goal and gave us a chance to win.”
With the victory, Jackson moved into sole possession of 11th place for all-time wins (527) at the NCAA DI level as he had been tied with George Gwozdecky.
How It Happened
The teams skated to a scoreless first period as Dylan St. Cyr totaled six saves and Michigan State goaltender Pierce Charleson made eight stops.
Notre Dame’s best look came with 1:39 left in the period when Trevor Janicke slammed a one-timer from the slot on goal but Charleson made a pad save.
Landon Slaggert broke the scoreless tie at 4:31 of the second period. He caught a Matt Hellickson clearing feed in the neutral zone and skated in on a two-on-one chance and put a shot on net that Charleson fought off. Slaggert then corralled the rebound and flipped a wrist shot into an open net for his sixth goal of the season.
St. Cyr was called upon to make a point blank pad save on Michigan State’s Kyle Haskins midway through the second period, preserving the 1-0 lead.
Alex Steeves’ wrist shot from the slot rang off the crossbar with 59 seconds left in the second and the Irish took the 1-0 lead to the locker room after two periods of play.
The teams traded power-play chances early in the third period but neither team scored on the advantage.
The Spartans looked to have gotten on the board midway through the third but Notre Dame challenged the play for offsides and the goal was overturned.
Alex Steeves then doubled the Notre Dame lead at 11:24 of the third, taking a Landon Slaggert drop pass and weaving through a Spartan defenseman before beating Charleson through the five hole for his 14th goal of the season. Matt Hellickson also notched his second assist of the night on the play.
Michigan State pulled Charleson in favor of the extra attacker with a minute left but Notre Dame controlled the play and earned the win.
Senior Matt Hellickson skated in his 142nd-consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.
With a pair of assists, Hellickson posted his first multipoint game of the season and the sixth of his career.
With a goal and an assist, Landon Slaggert extended his point streak to three games (1-5-6).
It marked Landon Slaggert’s seventh multipoint game this season and he notched his first career game winner.
The Irish and Spartans will close out their regular-season series on Saturday with a 3 p.m. ET game (Feb. 27).
MIAMI HOCKEY: RedHawks End Regular Season with Western Michigan
Miami RedHawks (5-15-2) vs.
Western Michigan Broncos (8-11-3)
Friday, Feb. 26 | 6:05 p.m.
Lawson Arena (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
Sunday, Feb. 28 | 2:05 p.m.
Steve “Coach” Cady Arena (Oxford, Ohio)
All-Time Series vs. WMU: 70-71-13 (Tied last meeting, 3-3, on Jan. 9, 2021)
WATCH | GAME NOTES (PDF) | @MiamiOH_Hockey
OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University hockey team ends the 2020-21 regular season this week as the RedHawks take on Western Michigan for a home-and-home series against the Broncos.
ABOUT LAST WEEKEND: Miami continued the regular travel portion of the schedule with a home series on February 12 -13 that brought the Huskies of Saint Cloud to Oxford. The RedHawks split the weekend, with the RedHawks capitalizing at the right moments on Friday to upset the No. 6/7 Huskies by a 3-2 score. Casey Gilling, Alec Capstick, and John Sladic were able to add to their goal totals in game one, with Gilling’s goal being the eventual game-winner. The RedHawks offense only saw two goals on Saturday, with Dylan Moulton getting the first goal of his career. Senior goaltender Grant Valentine also got action in net for the first time this season, stopping 28 shots to keep the game close on senior night.
ABOUT WESTERN: The Broncos come to Oxford after sweeping a home series against the Bulldogs of Minnesota Duluth by scores of 4-0 and 4-1, respectively. Currently, junior Drew Worrad leads the team in scoring with 20 points on four goals and 16 assists on the season. Seniors Ethen Frank and Josh Passolt are second on the team scoring, with Frank holding the team-lead in goals, with 11. The Broncos are an assist heavy squad and have five players with at least ten assists on the season, led by Worrad’s 16. Cole Gallant has 12, Ronnie Attard has 11, and Passolt and Paul Washe have 10. WMU has been averaging 2.91 goals per game, which improved with their sweep of the Bulldogs. Defensively, Western Michigan allows 3.64 goals per game. Senior Austin Cain has been the starter in net for WMU, having started in 11 of the 22 games this season, including two games against the RedHawks this season. He holds a 4.05 goals-against average and a .868 save percentage. Freshman Alex Aslanidis saw action in the other games against Miami and has a 5-3-1 record, with a .882 save percentage and 3.03 GAA. Aslandis and Attard both earned NCHC Weekly honors after they swept Duluth.
QUITE A DEBUT: With sixteen games on the docket so far this season, all seven of the RedHawk rookies saw action in at least one game. Holland, Moulton, Drazner, Barbolini, Rydqvist, and Cassetti have all scored their first career goals so far this season, and Drazner and Barbolini both have assists to go with their goals. With his .935 save percentage and 2.24 GAA, Persson is one of the top-ranked rookie goaltenders in NCAA Division 1 hockey, ranking second among freshmen goaltenders in save percentage. Persson was named the NCHC Goaltender of the Week for 12/14, 12/21, and 1/4, along with being named December’s Goaltender of the Month for the NCHC.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: After a significant senior class graduation and a bunch of other departures, there are many holes in the Miami lineup, and that’s where the big freshman class comes in. With three forwards, three defenders, and one goaltender, the freshman class for 2020-21 is one of the most geographically diverse classes in Miami history. The rookie class includes:
Hampus Rydqvist: Defender/Gothenburg, Sweden (Maryland Black Bears, NAHL)
Robby Drazner: Defender/Buffalo Grove, Ill. (Nanaimo Clippers, BCHL)
Michael Holland: Forward/Charlotte, N.C. (Boston Jr. Bruins, NCDC)
Brian Silver: Forward/Lake Bluff, Ill. (Omaha Lancers, USHL)
Dylan Moulton: Defender/Nolensville, Tenn. (Green Bay Gamblers, USHL)
Matthew Barbolini: Forward/Williamsville, N.Y. (Lincoln Stars, USHL)
Ludvig Persson: Goalie/Hindas, Sweden (Lone Star Brahmas, NAHL)
TOUGH COOKIES TO CRACK: With the NCHC sporting four teams ranked in the USCHO.com poll and two more receiving votes, the RedHawks figure to once again play one of the most challenging schedules in the country this season. The league is also already home to the past four national champions, which means its success will come down to how it performs against the nation’s top teams. Last year, the Red & White played 11 games against teams that finished in the top 15 (2-8-1) and 16 against teams that finished in the top 20 (3-11-2). Miami met the #1 and #3 ranked teams in the country in the first week of action. The RedHawks have already seen three victories over ranked teams this season, getting a 1-0 win over #17/RV Omaha on December 12, a 3-0 shutout victory over #8/7 Denver on December 17, and a 3-2 victory over #6/7 St. Cloud on February 12.
OFFENSIVE DEFENSE: Of Miami’s 42 goals this season, 16 have come from defensemen (38.1%), with eight different Miami blue liners finding the back of the net already. The 16 goals from defensemen are second in the NCHC and are fourth in the NCAA.
BACK BEHIND THE BENCH: Chris Bergeron (Miami ’93) continues his tenure and is on the second season as a head coach. After starting fresh in Oxford, Bergeron and his staff finished the 2019-20 season (his first) with an 8-21-5 overall record. Before returning to Oxford, Bergeron went 171-154-44 in nine seasons as Bowling Green’s head coach, leading the Falcons to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1990 in his final season in 2018-19. BGSU posted 20 or more victories in Bergeron’s last five seasons at the helm. Before going to Bowling Green, Bergeron spent ten seasons as an assistant coach at Miami and helped the Red & White go an astounding 226-139-37 during his tenure. The RedHawks qualified for six NCAA Tournaments and reached the Frozen Four in Bergeron’s last two seasons as an assistant, including a national runner-up finish in 2009. As a player, Bergeron spent two years as team captain and helped Miami capture its first CCHA title in 1992-93, posting 61 of his 120 career points that season.
OHIO STATE HOCKEY: BUCKEYES LOSE IN OT TO NO. 5 WISCONSIN, 2-1
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team fell in overtime to No. 5-ranked Wisconsin, 2-1, Friday in LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wis. The Buckeyes allowed a first period power play goal and then tied the game with a power play goal of their own in the second. Late in the scoreless third a Buckeye penalty put the Badgers on their sixth power play of the night and Wisconsin converted 42 seconds into overtime for the Big Ten Conference win.
The Buckeyes and Badgers will close the weekend and regular season series at 5 p.m. ET Saturday. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Wisconsin and streamed through BTN Plus, with coverage also on Ohio State Radio. The game is the Buckeyes’ final conference game of the season; the team closes the regular season with a home series vs. Arizona State next Thursday and Friday.
Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik
“This was a tough loss. The guys fought hard all game and got better as the game went on. We took too many penalties and ultimately their power play came through at the end.”
MIAMI BASEBALL: FIU Takes Series Opener, 3-1
MIAMI, Fla. — The Miami University baseball team picked up its second loss of the 2021 season on the road, falling to the Florida International University Panthers by a 3-1 score on Friday evening. With the loss, the RedHawks are now 3-2 on the season, and FIU moves to 3-1.
How it Happened:
Miami was the first one to get on the scoreboard in the third. Cole Andrews reached first base on an error by the first-baseman, and scored Mac Hippenhammer.
The score stayed at 1-0, until the Panthers scored three unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth to put the score in their favor.
Sam Bachman was given the start on the mound for Miami, and pitched six innings with ten strikeouts with no runs allowed.
Miami continues their season with a doubleheader at Florida International University. The game is scheduled for Feb. 27, with the first game scheduled for a 1 p.m. start in Miami.
WRIGHT STATE BASEBALL: Baseball heads to Alabama for weekend series
Teams: Wright State (0-2, 0-0 HL)
Alabama (4-1, 0-0 SEC)
Location: Sewell-Thomas Stadium / Tuscaloosa, AL
The Wright State baseball team heads back on the road to face an SEC opponent for the second straight series to open the 2021 season this weekend, as the Raiders travel to Tuscaloosa for a three game set against Alabama beginning on Friday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. ET on Friday, followed by a 3 p.m. ET start on Saturday before the series wraps up with a 2 p.m. Sunday finale.
Fans can follow the action with live stats each game and the series will also be broadcast on SEC Network+. All links are available on the team’s schedule page.
WSU: Sam Wirsing, RHP, So.
ALA: Tyler Ras, RHP, Jr.
WSU: Austin Cline, RHP, RSr.
ALA: Antoine Jean, LHP, So.
WSU: Jake Schrand, RHP, Jr.
ALA: Dylan Smith, RHP, Jr.
LAST TIME OUT
Wright State finally took the field for the first time in the 2021 season on Monday afternoon, playing a pair against Vanderbilt after waiting throughout the weekend due to inclement weather in the Nashville area. Facing two of the better pitchers in the country on Monday, the Raiders dropped the opener 14-1 before a tough, 1-0 loss in the second game. Wright State had its chances, stranding 12 runners in the first game and five more in the nightcap.
RETURNING TO THE FIELD
Wright State returns 30 players from last season’s team, including infielder Tyler Black, who was named to the 2019 Horizon League First Team and All-Freshman Team after hitting .353 with 41 RBIs and 23 extra-base hits. The Canadian also had 38 walks in the shortened 2020 season. Fellow infielder Damon Dues was also named to the HL All-Freshman Team in 2019, and hit .316 in 2020 and .307 in the Raiders’ last full season with 41 RBIs. He also had 28 steals in 35 tries. Outfielder Quincy Hamilton is coming off a .357 season, and first baseman/DH Zane Harris batted .284 and was seventh with 27 RBI in 2019.
LOOKING BACK AT 2020
The Raiders played 10 of their 15 games against nationally ranked opponents last season, and won four of their last five contests – including a series win at then-No. 11 Tennessee – before the remainder of the season was put on hold and ultimately canceled due to the pandemic. Wright State made the most of the shortened season, with three of its six wins coming against ranked programs, including a 10-3 victory at then-No. 1 Louisville on February 19. The Raiders won the series opener at then-No. 11 Tennessee on March 6 by a 5-4 score and capped the weekend and earned the series win with a 6-3 victory on March 8. Wright State’s two wins at Tennessee turned out to be the Volunteers’ only two losses.
DAYTON BASEBALL: Baseball Will Play Three-Game Series At Campbell This Weekend
DAYTON – The University of Dayton baseball team will head to Buies Creek, N.C. to take on Campbell. The Flyers will open the season on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. before returning Saturday for a 3 p.m. contest against the Camels. UD will finish the series on Sunday at 12 p.m. with all three games coming at Jim Perry Stadium.
All three games will include free live stats and there will be a stream available for fans to watch with a paid subscription to ESPN+.
SCOUTING THE FLYERS
The Flyers opened the season last weekend against South Carolina, who was ranked 18th in the country to open the 2021 season. UD fell in all three games but stayed with the Gamecocks for seven innings on Sunday, allowing four runs in the eighth to fall 5-1. Senior Cole Pletka put up a big performance in the contest, allowing just one run in six innings on the mound.
Pletka was a key contributor on the pitching staff, and offensively junior Benjamin Blackwell got a hit in all three contests in Columbia, S.C., leading the team with a .375 batting average. Senior Riley Tirotta and graduate student Alex Brickman each hit a home run over the span of the weekend.
SCOUTING THE CAMELS
Campbell is the defending champion of the Big South Conference and were selected as the top team in the conference in the Preseason Poll. The Camels went 2-1 over opening weekend against Liberty. After falling in the season opener, Campbell dominated on Saturday winning 17-3 over the Flames before taking the series with a 3-2 victory on Sunday.
Offensively the Camels sport the Big South Preseason Player of the Year in Collin Wolf. The redshirt senior went 5-11 against Liberty driving in four runs over the first weekend. Wolf’s .455 batting average ties him for first on the team with redshirt junior Zach Williams. Williams went deep during Saturday’s contest against the Flames driving in four runs as well on the season.
On the mound, Ryan Chasse will get the ball for the Camels on Friday to bring up a lefty vs. lefty matchup between him and Dayton senior Hunter Wolfe. Chasse picked up the first victory of the season for Campbell, going five innings giving up just two earned runs on four hits while striking out six. Thomas Harrington and Jonathan Beymer will follow Chasse as the probable starters for the weekend.
Game 1 – Hunter Wolfe (0-1, 14.40 ERA) vs. Ryan Chasse (1-0, 3.60 ERA)
Game 2 – Ben Olson (0-1, 18.00 ERA) vs. Thomas Harrington (0-0, 1.80 ERA)
Game 3 – Cole Pletka (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Jonathan Beymer (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
This will mark the fifth, sixth, and seventh games between the two programs with Campbell holding a 3-1 advantage over the Flyers. The two programs split a two-game series at Campbell on March 17-18, 2009 while The Flyers fell on the road to open the season on Feb. 23, 2008 in both games of a doubleheader with the Camels.
CINCINNATI BASEBALL: Baseball Heads To Western Kentucky This Weekend
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati baseball team returns to action this weekend, facing Western Kentucky in a three-game series at at Nick Denes Field.
The Bearcats and Hilltoppers will square on at 4 p.m. ET on Friday and 2 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.
The teams have met six times previously, dating back to 1937. The Hilltoppers own a 5-1 edge in the series and 4-0 in Bowling Green. The squads have only played once in the last 21 seasons, a neutral-site matchup in 2016.
HOW TO FOLLOW
This weekend’s games will not be live streamed. An audio stream and live stats are available.
ABOUT THE BEARCATS
• UC 0-3 after dropping a three-game set at No. 25 Clemson last weekend.
• Head Coach Scott Googins is in his fourth season with a 66-70 mark at UC and a career mark of 407-427.
• The Bearcats offense improved throughout last weekend with UC totaling 19 hits against a strong pitching staff.
ABOUT THE HILLTOPPERS
• WKU is 1-3 on the season, knocking off North Dakota State 10-4 in the season opener on Feb. 21 before dropping three-straight, two to the Bison and a Wednesday matchup at No. 3 Vanderbilt.
• Head Coach John Pawlowski is in his sixth year at WKU after previous head coaching stops at College of Charleston and Auburn.
• Jackson Gray (.429) has six hits, including two doubles and five runs scored through four games.
• Friday – LHP Evan Shawver (CIN) vs. RHP Jake Kates (WKU)
• Saturday – LHP Dean McCarthy (CIN) vs. RHP Sean Bergeron (WKU)
• Sunday – LHP Garrett Schoenle (CIN) vs. TBA (WKU)
STREAKS, STORYLINES, SIDEBARS …
LHP Evan Shawver has been named one of the Top 100 prospects in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft according to D1 Baseball. Listed at No. 45, the Amherst, Ohio, native ranks as the AAC’s top pitcher. Shawver posted a 1.59 ERA in four starts during 2020, recording 35 strikeouts in 22.2 innings.
Shawver, 3B Eric Santiago and DH Wyatt Stapp were preseason All-American Athletic Conference selections, the first time in UC history three players earned preseason honors. Stapp is a two-time preseason all-conference honoree while Santiago and Shawver were tabbed for the first time.
Shawver went four scoreless innings in his 2021 debut at Clemson last weekend with two strikeouts.
Reliever Beau Keathley scattered three scoreless innings of 1-hit ball against the Tigers, putting up two strikeouts.
Santiago had three hits, including a double and two runs scored last weekend.
OF Jake Murray had a strong debut weekend in the red and black as the NKU transfer finished with three hits and an RBI.
Joey Bellini and Jace Mercer also share the team lead with three hits.
Head Coach Scott Googins led the Bearcats to one of the most successful seasons in program history in 2019. The Bearcats won the Anerican Athletic Conference Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first time in 45 years.
The AAC’s preseason poll, released on Dec. 30, 2020, tabbed the Bearcats to finish sixth. The conference will feature four-game home series this year with one day featuring a twin bill DH.
UC will open the home schedule at UC Baseball Stadium set for Friday, March 12 against Western Michigan.
Baseball earned a 3.345 team GPA in the fall of 202 with six players, Joey Bellini, Deondrae Bremner, Wyat Geesaman, Tanner Holen, Griffin Merritt and Zach Segalnamed TOP CATS for 4.0 GPAs.
INDIANA TRACK: 10 Hoosiers Advance to Saturday’s Final At B1G Indoor Championship
GENEVA, Ohio. – Indiana Track & Field completed day two of the Big Ten Track & Field Championships on Friday night as 10 advanced to Saturday finals. The women remain in fourth with 24 point and the Hoosier men are in sixth in 20 points headed into the final day.
Matthew Schadler and Arjun Jha were the first Hoosiers to advance to a final on Friday afternoon. Schadler clocked a time of 4:22.58 to win his heat while Jha picked up a time of 4:02.64.
Rikkoi Brathwaite is taking a trip to a final for the third year in a row after clocking the second fastest time in the 60m with a time of 6.68.
Shaton Vaughn is moving on to the final of the 400m for the second straight season as he crossed in a time of 47.49.
Teddy Browning laid it all on the line in the 800m prelims where he was able to pass the field in the final 100 meters to nab a personal best time of 1:49.31 and the fastest time heading into Saturday’s final. Nick Couyoumjian is in the final in his first career event after securing a time of 1:51.77.
On the women’s side, Bailey Hertenstein led the Hoosiers in the mile. The junior moved on to the final with a time of 4:49.74. Jenna Barker advanced to the first final of her career in the mile after crossing in a time of 4:47.66.
For second straight year Alyssa Robinson moved on to the final of 60m with a personal best matching time of 7.49.
Kelly Mindak saw a season best time of 2:07.59 and she was the lone Hoosiers to advance to the final in the 800m.
Hope Purcell picked up 3,654 points in the pentathlon to place fourth overall. That ties her best finish in the event at the championships. Purcell’s finish added five points to the Hoosiers team total.
The Hoosiers will wrap their stint at the 2021 Big Ten Indoor Championships on Saturday Feb. 27. The men’s final day is scheduled to get underway at 11 a.m. and the first women’s final is set for 4 p.m.
All-Big Ten Awards
Hope Purcell (Pentathlon) – Second Team
INDIANA SWIMMING AND DIVING: Indiana Diving Scores Big on Friday
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Hoosier men’s and women’s diving teams sent four to Championship Finals on the Friday from the diving well at the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center at Purdue.
MEN’S 3-METER DIVE
After winning the 2021 Big Ten Championship on the 1-Meter springboard, redshirt junior Andrew Capobianco finished one spot off the podium in the 3-meter event with an NCAA A Standard mark of 414.80.
Junior Cole VanDevender set a career-best mark of 390.20 in the preliminary round to reach the final round. He rounded out the night finishing sixth in the event with a score of 384.05. Both are NCAA B Standard marks.
Senior Mory Gould charted the second-highest score in the preliminary round with an NCAA A Standard mark of 395.20. He missed his two middle dives, but finished strong with two dives sniffing the 70-point range to finish in eighth with 340.10 points.
Senior Seamus Scotty finished 16th out of the Consolation Final with a score of 307.80. He hit an NCAA C Standard mark of 333.30 in the prelims to advance to the finals.
WOMEN’S PLATFORM DIVE
Freshman Tarrin Gilliland improved on her seed entering the Championship Final with a career-best, NCAA A Standard score of 269.75 in the Platform competition. She placed seventh.
• The men’s 3-meter competition marked the first time this season in which Capobianco did not win a springboard event during the 2002-21 season. He held a record of 5-0 on the springboard in the regular season and won the 1-meter competition on Thursday night.
• Hoosier divers registered a total of nine NCAA Standard Scores, including three A Standard marks.
• Gilliland, competing in her first Platform meet of the season, notched an NCAA A Standard mark in the finals.
MEN’S 3-METER DIVE
4. Andrew Capobianco – 414.80 (NCAA A Standard)
6. Cole VanDevender – 384.05 (NCAA B Standard)
8. Mory Gould – 340.10 (NCAA C Standard)
16. Seamus Scotty – 307.80
WOMEN’S PLATFORM DIVE
7. Tarrin Gilliland – 269.75 (NCAA A Standard, Career Best)
21. Anne Fowler – 198.40
22. Alyssa Wang – 187.30
The diving portion of the competition will wrap up with the third and final day of action. The men will tackle the platform dive and the women will compete on the 1-meter springboard.
INDIANA SOFTBALL: Hoosiers Split Doubleheader With Nebraska On Opening Day
LEESBURG, Fla. – Returning to play for the first time in 2021, Indiana Softball (1-1, 1-1 Big Ten) won the first of two games against Nebraska 3-1 while the Cornhuskers took game two by a score of 4-2.
Game One: Indiana 2, Nebraska 1
• Senior outfielder Gabbi Jenkins saw the first hit of 2021 for the Hoosiers which resulted in a bunt to the pitcher for a single in the first inning.
• The Cornhuskers were the first score, hitting on home run to lead it 1-0.
• Indiana used the bottom of the fourth inning to regain control of the game. Grayson Radcliffe got it going with a double through the gap in right field. Gabbi Jenkins would bring Radcliffe home on an RBI double to left center to even the score 1-1.
• Bella Norton brought in Jenkins for the winning run with a hit out to left field in the fourth inning.
• With Nebraska having a runner in scoring position with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, the Indiana defense came up clutch to retire the side and keep their 2-1 lead.
• In the bottom of the sixth, Hannah Davis singled to the Nebraska shortstop and added to the Indiana lead by bringing in Norton.
• The Hoosiers sent the Nebraska batters down in order at the top of seventh inning and preserved their 3-1 lead and won the game.
• Freshmen Brooke Benson and Macy Montgomery saw their first career starts for Indiana on Friday morning.
• Grace Lorsung entered the game as a pinch hitter to earn her first looks in an Indiana uniform.
• Davis, Jenkins, and Norton turned in a multi-hit game. They all had two hits each while also tallying one RBI.
• Senior Emily Goodin pitched a complete game where she gave up one run on three hits with nine strikeouts.
Game Two: Nebraska 4, Indiana 2
• Nebraska earned the first run of the second game in the bottom of the second where they scored after a wild pitch.
• Answering back in the fourth inning, Desiree Dufek hit a solo home run over the center field wall to tie it.
• Jenkins put the Hoosiers ahead by plating Taylor Lambert with a sacrifice fly to left field in the top of the fifth.
• the Cornhuskers regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth by scoring two runs.
• Grayson Radcliffe, Jenkins, and Norton were due up for Indiana in the top of the seventh inning but couldn’t get anything going as the Hoosiers fell to Nebraska, 4-2.
• Montgomery saw her first career innings in the circle for the Hoosiers.
• Junior Tete Hart and sophomore Abigail Meeks made their season debuts.
• Sophomore Desiree Dufek hit her first home run of the season and fourth in her career.
The Hoosiers will return to the diamond on Saturday as they will play two against the Wisconsin Badgers. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. with the second game of the doubleheader scheduled immediately after.
PURDUE SWIMMING AND DIVING: Merriman Upgrades to Silver on the Tower at Big Tens
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Maggie Merriman rallied with her top two scores over the final two rounds to win silver on platform, leading the way as Purdue had three of the top five finishers on the tower at the Big Ten Diving Championships for the second year in a row.
Maycey Vieta placed fourth and Emily Bretscher fifth on the platform. Merriman upgraded her bronze medal at Big Ten’s last season to silver this year. Meanwhile, Vieta has now been top four in her premier event in each of her first two years at Big Ten’s. Bretscher competed in her sixth consecutive championship final at Big Ten’s dating back to the platform event at the 2019 championships. A night after winning bronze on 3-meter, she qualified for her eighth career championship final overall.
Brandon Loschiavo qualified for his first career championship final on 3-meter, settling for seventh place on the night before he makes a run at a third career Big Ten title on platform. It was his sixth career championship final overall at Big Ten’s. He had not even competed on 3-meter at the Big Ten Championships since his freshman season in 2017.
All six Boilermakers that competed Friday advanced out of the preliminaries and went on to finish among the top 13. Greg Duncan and Ben Bramley scored in the consolation final for the second day in a row. Bramley joins Loschiavo among the favorites on platform for Saturday.
The Boilermakers racked up 79 team points in the women’s platform and 53 in men’s 3-meter.
Merriman’s career-best score of 307.6, good for 10th best in program history, was predicated on her strong finish. She aced her armstand in round 4 for an award of 68.8, which put her back in contention for a medal. But it was a 70.4 in the final round, the top-scoring final dive of the competition, that allowed her to win silver. She bested Ohio State’s Ciara McGing by 0.6 tenths and Vieta in fourth place by 3.3 points.
Vieta’s list score of 304.3 was also a career best, moving her into 11th place in Purdue history. Executing her armstand successfully in round 2, she raced out to a fast start and was in position to medal throughout the five rounds.
Bretscher was once again very consistent over the first three rounds, but she missed her reverse 2 ½ in round 4 and that eliminated her opportunity to medal again.
Loschiavo had the top-scoring dives of the competition in rounds 2 and 6 of the final, but it was rounds 3 through 5 that cost him an opportunity at a medal. He ripped his final dive, a back 3 ½, for a list-high score of 88.2. He improved on his prelim score by seven points.
Duncan once again got stronger as the day played out, continuing to battle through a back injury that ultimately prevented him from medaling at Big Tens for the third year in a row. He improved on his prelim score by 12 points from the prelim to the consolation final (349.85).
The Big Ten Diving Championships conclude Saturday with women’s 1-meter and men’s platform. Prelims are set for 12:20 p.m. and finals at 6:35 p.m.
2021 Big Ten Diving Championships / Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center / West Lafayette, Ind.
Friday, Feb. 26
Purdue’s Divers Competing
* – Purdue Season-Best Score
^ – Personal Season-Best Score
(Z) – NCAA Zone Qualifying Score
Men’s 3-Meter (53 Points)
Brandon Loschiavo, 380.10^ (Z) – Finished 7th in Championship Final (23 Points)
Greg Duncan, 349.85 (Z) – Finished 3rd in Consolation Final (16 Points)
Ben Bramley, 347.05 (Z, Prelim Score) – Finished 5th in Consolation Final (14 Points)
Women’s Platform (79 Points)
Maggie Merriman, 307.60* (Z) – Finished 2nd in Championship Final (28 Points); 10th Best Score in Program History
Maycey Vieta, 304.30^ (Z) – Finished 4th in Championship Final (26 Points); 11th Best Score in Program History
Emily Bretscher, 281.00 (Z, Prelim Score) – Finished 5th in Championship Final (25 Points)
PURDUE TRACK AND FIELD: Martin Wins Silver, Greene Bronze on Second Day of Big Tens
GENEVA, Ohio – Junior Isaiah Martin won a silver medal in the heptathlon and senior Tamar Greene claimed bronze in the triple jump for the Purdue track & field team on the second day of the Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday afternoon at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Four Boilermakers also qualified for Saturday’s finals and freshman LJ Hill joined Martin and Greene with a top-eight podium finish. Purdue added two marks that rank in the top-10 in school history, while seven personal-best marks were set.
“I was very, very happy with our men’s performance today,” Purdue coach Norbert Elliott said. “Particularly, Isaiah Martin, who finished second in the heptathlon, and it’s really close, it looks like he might have a chance of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. And Tamar Greene, who was third in the triple jump. We also got scores from freshman LJ Hill, he scored in the long jump yesterday and triple jump today, so that was pretty good. We had some qualifiers as well, the defending champion in the 60, Waseem Williams, along with his teammate, Marcellus Moore, qualifying in the 60, and Brian Faust in the 400. Marcellus had the fastest time, so I’m excited about that, he’s looking really good right now.
“Additionally, Emma Tate in the mile, and she looked pretty good, I’m happy for her. We had some really good, strong performances as well. Overall, today was the second day of competition and the second day of competing with grit and tenacity, so I like that. Those are our famous words, we like to use those words, and we encourage our student-athletes to just compete, and we’re doing a really good job of competing.”
Martin finished second overall in the heptathlon with 5,610 points to earn his second medal in the event in as many years. The second-best mark in program history, Martin was just shy of his school-record 5,631 points he earned at last year’s meet to win bronze. On Friday, Martin finished second in the 60-meter hurdles, in 8.17 seconds, and was fifth in the pole vault with a jump of 4.35 meters. He finished the meet in the 1,000, where he was ninth in 2:47.40. Martin’s 5,610 currently ranks No. 9 in the NCAA.
Greene earned Purdue’s second medal of the meet when he placed third in the triple jump to win bronze. His jump of 16.14 meters ranks No. 3 in school history in the event and he moves up from No. 5. It also is No. 9 in the country.
Freshman LJ Hill also placed in the triple jump for his second podium finish of the championships. His jump of 15.00 meters was seventh overall after he placed eighth in the long jump yesterday.
Sophomore Marcellus Moore ran the fastest 60-meter dash qualifying time and finished in 6.67 seconds, the fifth-fastest time in program history. He already held the No. 5 spot in the Purdue record books, but improved his personal-best mark by 0.02 seconds. In the prelims, Moore was first in his heat by 0.09 seconds.
Senior Waseem Williams was third in the 60 prelims and will join Moore in tomorrow’s final. The reigning Big Ten champion and conference and school record-holder in the event, Williams finished in 6.71 seconds and was first in his heat. His time would be tied for No. 7 in Purdue history if he didn’t already own the record of 6.58.
In the 400, senior Brian Faust qualified for the final with a prelim time of 46.79. Faust, who set the school record in the event a year ago, ran the third-fastest qualifying time and was first in the fifth heat by 1.90 seconds.
Sophomore Emma Tate posted the top finish for the Purdue women and will run in tomorrow’s final in the mile. In Friday’s prelim, she finished in 4:48.01, the ninth-fastest time. Tate set a personal-record mark by more than 13 seconds and was 0.26 seconds shy of a top-10 time in the event in school history.
Faust and Moore each earned their second finals berth, after Moore qualified for each posted top-four marks in the 200 prelims on Thursday.
All four Boilermaker women earned personal-best marks on Friday and placed in the top-11, including Tate. In the 60, junior Camille Christopher finished in 7.55 seconds, coming just 0.02 seconds shy of an appearance on Purdue’s top-10 list. Freshman Deborah Obadofin missed the triple jump final by two centimeters when she finished 10h overall with a personal-best jump of 12.17 meters. In the 400, freshman Cierra Williams was 10th in 55.81, also a PR.
For the men, freshman Jahn Riley joined Greene and Moore with personal-best marks when he finished the men’s 400 in 48.43.
After six championship events scored, the Purdue men are fifth and the women are 13th.
On Thursday’s opening day of competition, Purdue earned five podium finishes and six Boilermakers earned berths in Saturday’s finals. Additionally, three top-10 marks in program history were set to go along with four personal-best scores. A complete recap of Thursday’s action can be found at PurdueSports.com/TrackField.
The championships conclude on Saturday, Feb. 27, with the men from 11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., and the women from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Fans can follow all the action with live results, a BTN+ live stream and the event schedule (PDF), available on the track & field schedule page on PurdueSports.com/TrackField. Additional meet information can be found at BigTen.org/ITFChamps.
BALL STATE BASEBALL: Shutdown Pitching Gets Cards DH Sweep
(BALL STATE RELEASE)
NORMAL, Illinois – On one day’s notice before the series was set, Ball State went to Normal and won twice. BSU swept a doubleheader vs. Bradley Friday night 4-3 behind John Baker and 5-0 behind Chayce McDermott.
Game 1 – Ball State 4, Bradley 3 (10 Innings)
It was a vintage Johnny B Friday night for the Cardinals as Baker pitched into the 9th inning and struck out 12. After winning at Arizona last weekend, Baker made his first start of the season and allowed two hits and one earned run and Ball State led the entire game before Bradley tied it in the bottom of the 9th. With a runner already placed on base in extras, Noah Navarro smacked a double to start extra innings for BSU and Ross Messina delivered the big blow. Messina pulled a 2-run single to left to make it 4-2. Bradley got a run back in the bottom of the 10th but Andre Orselli slammed the door shut to record the win.
“Baker was sensational in game one and Ross came up with the big 2-run single, and Orselli was solid as well,” head coach Rich Maloney said. “We threw strikes and made routine plays. When you get timely hits, you will win a lot of games and we did that today.”
Messina was the only Cardinal with two hits in the game as many players contributed. Ball State had eight hits against a strong Bradley pitching effort that struck out 11 in its season debut. Bradley’s lone run off Baker came on a home run on a 1-2 pitch in the 4th inning, then Baker answered by striking out four of the next five batters.
After two outings, Baker has allowed one earned run over 12.2 innings with 19 strikeouts.
Game 2 – Ball State 5, Bradley 0 (7 Innings)
Chayce McDermott followed Baker’s gem with one of his own, pitching five shutout innings with seven strikeouts in a 5-0 win. Ball State capitalized on Bradley freebies, as Navarro delivered a 3-run triple after the Cards drew several walks and that was more than enough as McDermott and Tyler Schweitzer handled the 7-inning game with little trouble.
“Chayce and Tyler were excellent in game two and Navarro’s triple was the difference,” Maloney said.
Justin Conant drove in two runs in the nightcap with an RBI walk in the big inning and an RBI single in the 6th inning. Decker Scheffler scored two runs and Messina hit a double as Ball State led early and pitching led the way in a shortened game win.
For the day, Messina had three hits (two doubles) and Navarro had a team-best three RBIs.
Ball State and Bradley will play again Saturday night in Normal starting at 9 p.m. ET (8 local).
BALL STATE SOFTBALL: Team Effort Leads to Strong Opening Day for Softball
(BALL STATE RELEASE)
CARBONDALE, Ill. – – The Ball State softball team completed the opening day of the Coach B Classic hosted by Southern Illinois with a dominating 8-1 victory over Saint Louis Friday afternoon at Charlotte West Stadium.
After falling in a hard-fought 6-5 (9) contest to perennial Big East power DePaul in the opening game of the season, the Cardinals (1-1) answered with an impressive win over the Billikens (0-2) out of the Atlantic 10. It was the program’s first win under first-year head coach Lacy Wood who was named the 10th head coach of the program in August.
Overall, the Cardinals pounded out 15 hits over the two games, with 12 players logging at least one. Two of the biggest hits, a two-run home run by junior outfielder Faith Hensley in the ninth inning versus DePaul and a three-run blast by junior catcher Stacy Payton in the sixth inning of the win over SLU.
Hensley, Payton and junior shortstop Amaia Daniel each finished the day with two hits, while senior left fielder Haley Dominique registered a team-leading .833 on base percentage with a single, three walks, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice bunt.
In the circle, Ball State’s pitchers combined to allow just five earned runs over the two games for a 2.19 ERA on the day. Sophomore Deborah Jones picked up the win over the Billikens, while senior Darcie Huber earned the save. Huber and opening game starter senior Alyssa Rothwell each tallied five strikeouts, while Jones threw four.
The Ball State softball team returns to action in the Coach B Classic Saturday with games versus Austin Peay (11 a.m. ET / 10 a.m. CT) and the host Salukis (1:15 p.m. ET / 12:15 p.m. CT).
Game 2 Recap: Ball State 5, St. Louis 1
In Friday’s second game, it was St. Louis which would strike first courtesy of a two-out RBI single through the right side by Aubrey Hacke in the bottom of the third.
Ball State would counter quickly, however, taking the lead at 2-1 in the top of the fourth. Senior catcher Stacy Payton and senior first basemen Janae Hogg drew back-to-back one out walks to start the rally. Two batters later, senior left fielder Haley Dominique was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
BSU’s first run crossed the plate in the next at bat, when sophomore third baseman Haley Wynn was also hit by a pitch. Senior right fielder Katie Janiga followed with an RBI single to push the Cardinals in front 2-1.
After SLU stranded a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the fourth, the Cardinals extended their lead to 5-1 with three more runs in the top of the fifth. Junior shortstop Amaia Daniel started the rally with a double down the left field line, while senior second baseman Gabby Magnifico followed with a walk.
Senior center fielder Kennedy Wynn then got into the action with her first hit of the young season, an RBI single to left-center field. After a double steal by Magnifico and Wynn put a pair of runners in scoring position, Payton capitalized with an RBI single up the middle. Junior pinch hitter Mackenzie McCarty followed with a sacrifice fly to left, capping the scoring in the inning.
St. Louis looked to threaten in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with two outs. However, after a brief rain delay, senior relief pitcher Darcie Huber, who started the inning, got the final batter swinging to maintain the 5-1 lead.
Payton would pick up three more RBI in the top of the sixth, extending Ball State’s advantage to 8-1 with a two-out, three-run home run to center field. Senior pinch hitter Hailey Demnianiuk and K. Wynn set up the three-run shot with back-to-back two-out walks.
In the circle, sophomore Deborah Jones picked up right where she left off last season, earning the victory after limiting SLU to four hits and one earned run over the first four innings of play. She also struck out four batters.
Huber would earn the save after entering the game in the bottom of the fifth with the Cardinals leading 2-1. She struck out five of the 13 batters she faced over her 3.0 innings of work.
Game 1 Recap: DePaul 6, Ball State 5 (9)
In the opening game of the season, Ball State gave perennial Big East power DePaul all it could handle in an extra-inning thriller. Unfortunately, the Cardinals fell a run short to the 21-time NCAA Regional participant Blue Demons (4-2) in a 6-5 (9) loss.
Ball State jumped on the scoreboard early, capitalizing on a two-out throwing error in the bottom of the first inning to score the game’s first two runs. Senior second baseman Gabby Magnifico singled to left center to open the inning and moved to second on a two-out single through the left side by senior first baseman Janae Hogg.
After a walk to senior left fielder Haley Dominique loaded the bases, a throwing error by the pitcher on a ball hit by junior shortstop Amaia Daniel allowed the first two runs of the game to score.
The Cardinals held the lead until the top of the fourth inning, when a two-out RBI double by DePaul’s Angela Scalzitti tied the score.
The score remained deadlocked at two apiece until the top of the eighth inning, when the Blue Demons took early advantage of the international tiebreaker and used a walk, sac bunt and RBI single up the middle to push the placed runner home.
Ball State would counter in the bottom of the inning, however, as Hogg was placed and second and replaced by senior pinch runner Katie Janiga. A sac bunt from Dominique moved Janiga to second, while a two-out RBI double to left-center field from senior catcher Delanie Johnson tied the score.
In the top of the ninth, a pair of wild pitches allowed the placed runner to push the go-ahead run across the plate early. A walk and a two-out, two-run home run from Brooke Johnson then gave the Blue Demons a 6-3 edge.
The Cardinals would not go away quietly, however, as junior right fielder Faith Hensley blasted her second career home run to lead off the inning, bring home sophomore placed runner Haley Wynn in the process. Unfortunately, the Cardinals’ next three batters were retired in order to give DePaul the win.
Despite the loss, the Cardinals were able to out-hit DePaul by a 7-to-3 margin in the contest. Hensley had two of the hits, including her home run and a fourth inning infield single.
In the circle, senior Alyssa Rothwell threw the first 4.0 innings, striking out five batters and allowing just one hit. Junior Tieghan Morio pitched the final 5.0 innings and suffered the loss after striking out two batters and allowing just a pair of hits.
DePaul’s Krista Dalgarn picked up the complete game victory, throwing all 9.0 innings and holding the Cardinals to seven hits and one earned run while striking out nine.
NOTRE DAME SOFTBALL: HOLLOWAY MARKS CAREER-HIGH 13 STRIKEOUTS, IRISH GO 1-1 ON DAY ONE OF LIBERTY CLASSIC
LYNCHBURG, Virginia — Notre Dame Softball (4-5) split opening day of the Liberty Classic, taking an 8-2 morning win over Villanova before suffering a final-inning loss to RV Liberty (2-3). Senior pitcher Alexis Holloway (3-2) earned the win vs. Villanova with 13 strikeouts, a career-best, while junior pitcher Payton Tidd (1-3) shouldered the loss to Liberty.
Holloway was the player of the day for the Irish, as she allowed just two runs in 6.1 innings during her 13-strikeout campaign vs. Villanova. Her 13 K on the day are the most by any ACC pitcher in a single game this season. Her previous strikeout high was 12, which came from her first-ever game in an Irish uniform in 2018 (Feb. 9 vs. Seattle at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona).
In the batter’s box vs. Villanova, she also made a statement, notching two hits, including a 3-RBI double in the sixth.
In the second game, the Irish battled in the box, as no Notre Dame player struck out against Liberty. Graduate student infielder Katie Marino hit her first home run of the season, and 26th of her career, to get Notre Dame’s two runs on the board against the Flames.
Senior outfielder Abby Sweet continued her on-base streak, stretching it to 25 games at present. On the day, she totaled three hits (two doubles, one single), with a run scored and drawing two HBP. Her two HBP vs. Villanova marked the first time an Irish player was hit by a pitch twice in one game since Sweet was twice vs. Illinois in the 2020 Big Ten/ACC Challenge (Feb. 15, 2020).
Holloway took the circle first for the Irish, posting three strikeouts, two of which came with the bases loaded, to keep Villanova off the board. Sweet led off for the Irish in the box, and was hit by a pitch, advancing when junior Emma Clark was walked. Sweet was tagged out on a Marino fielder’s choice, leaving Clark on second and Marino on first.
A Villanova error helped Clark score, and sophomore Leea Hanks forced another error to score both Marino and senior infielder Sarah Genz. The Irish ended the inning up 3-0.
After two more Holloway strikeouts, Villanova brought in two runs on a single in the second, before junior Quinn Biggio chased down the runner to limit the damage. In the bottom half of the inning, Sweet was hit by a pitch on her second-consecutive at-bat, and advanced to third on subsequent at-bats thanks to a passed ball and error. Marino delivered a fielder’s choice to score Sweet, ending the second inning up 4-2.
Both teams were scoreless through the third, fourth and fifth innings, as Holloway added six more strikeouts. She posted two more strikeouts in the top of the sixth inning, totaling 13 on the day.
The Irish took the plate in the sixth looking for insurance runs, and were successful. Biggio led off with a single, as Sweet pushed her to third with a double. Clark walked to load the bases. Marino delivered a fielder’s choice which tagged Biggio out at the plate, but Sweet was brought home on a Genz walk. Holloway then doubled, scoring Marino, Clark and Genz to pad the lead.
The Wildcats were unable to respond in the seventh, as senior pitcher Morgan Ryan entered the circle to close with the final score 8-2.
The Irish came out strong batting at Liberty, as Clark forced an error and Marino doubled. A double play ended the initial campaign, and Liberty took advantage of an Irish error with two outs to score a run, before freshman catcher Carlli Kloss put the inning away on a ground ball at 0-1.
Both teams were scoreless through the third and fourth innings, and the Irish again failed to record runs in the fifth. A Liberty home run increased the Flames’ lead to 0-2, but Notre Dame notched three-consecutive outs to end the inning.
In the sixth, the Irish responded. Clark singled, speeding to second on a throwing error for another base. Marino sent her home run outside the walls to bring both to the plate and even the score. The inning ended tied at 2-2, and Liberty was unable to score in the sixth.
Notre Dame went three up, three down in the top of the seventh, and after one out in the bottom of the inning, Liberty doubled to bring in a run, ending the game at 2-3.
The Irish will face both teams again on the second day of the Liberty Classic Saturday. Notre Dame will take on Villanova at Noon ET and Liberty at 5:30 p.m. ET.
MIAMI VOLLEYBALL: RedHawks Collect 3-0 Win at Northern Illinois
DEKALB, Ill.—The Miami University volleyball team captured a decisive 3-0 win in the second of a two-match series at Northern Illinois University on Friday night. The RedHawks notched 25-22, 25-21 and 25-15 wins in straight sets to move to 5-5 on the season, while the Huskies drop to 5-7.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Miami built a 15-10 lead in the first set. The Huskies closed within 15-14 but Miami was able to push ahead to a 22-17 with help from a senior Morgan Seaman service ace and kills by senior Sarah Wojick and junior Sophie Riemersma. NIU closed within two, 24-22, but a Riemersma kill cinched the first set for the RedHawks, 25-22.
Northern Illinois opened up a 5-1 lead in the second set, but Miami fired back with a 9-1 run— highlighted by four kills from Riemersma—to take a 10-6 lead. The Huskies got as close as three, but Miami took the second set, 25-21. The RedHawks hit a solid .424 in the set.
After an 11-11 tie in the third set, kills by freshman Maggie McCrary and Riemersma sparked a 14-4 RedHawk run to close out the third set to hand Miami the match with a 25-15 set three win. The RedHawks hit .310 in the third set.
COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH CAROLYN CONDIT:
“Good passing allowed Morgan Seaman to connect with her attackers for 45 kills in three sets. Solid production from our defense and taking care of our serves helped us to one of the best matches of the season.”
Riemersma led all players with 14 kills, while hitting .367. She also tallied nine digs.
Seaman led all players with 45 assists and added seven digs, three kills, two blocks and a service ace to her line.
Senior Abigail Huser led all players with 12 digs and tallied two service aces.
Senior Avarie Powell notched nine kills and three blocks.
McCrary recorded eight kills and hit .545 for the match.
The RedHawks travel to Kent State for a pair of Thursday/Friday matches, facing the Golden Flashes at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 4 and 5 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 5.
MIAMI SOFTBALL: RedHawks Sweep Georgia Tech on Friday
ATLANTA, Ga. – The Miami University softball team picked up a two-game sweep of Georgia Tech on Friday night in Atlanta, Ga., by scores of 7-6 and 9-3. The RedHawks had seven home runs in the two-game series as the RedHawks improve to 3-3 overall while the Yellow Jackets fall to 5-7.
How it Happened (Game One):
Miami got on the board in the third to take an early lead. Freshman Holly Blaska drew an opening walk and stole second. A sacrifice bunt moved her to third and she came in to score off the bat of Mackenzie Moore.
The RedHawks exploded for three runs in the fourth, two coming off a home run from Adriana Barlow. Blaska then singled up the middle to plate Karli Spaid as Miami held a 4-0 advantage.
Georgia Tech scored one run in the bottom of the fourth and five runs in the fifth to claim a 6-4 lead.
Jada Dotson homered in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-5 and Karlee Juarez and Moore homered in the top of the seventh to spot the Red and White a 7-6 lead.
Junior Brianna Pratt picked up the save, setting down the Yellow Jackets in the seventh to preserve the win.
How it Happened (Game Two):
Georgia Tech put two on the board in the bottom of the second before Miami responded with two of their own in the third. Lily Wilmot hit the left-center gap to plate two to knot the score at 2-2.
Miami added five runs in the fourth. Juarez recorded a sacrifice fly for an RBI and Wilmot drove one over the right field fence for a three-run homer. Junior Allie Cummins followed Wilmot with a solo shot just a few pitches later as Miami led 7-2.
The Yellow Jackets got one back in the bottom half of the fourth, but Maclai Branson homered to left to push Miami’s lead to 8-3 in the top of the fifth. Julia Kennedy drove in a run in the seventh to extend Miami’s lead to 9-3.
Miami returns to the diamond on Saturday with games versus Georgia (2 p.m.) and Georgia State (4 p.m.) in Atlanta.
WRIGHT STATE BASEBALL: Alders HR, seventh inning push not enough on Friday
The Wright State baseball team dropped the opening game of its weekend set at Alabama on Friday night, falling 8-4 in the first of three against the Crimson Tide.
The Raiders (0-3) tied things up early in the top of the second on an Alex Alders solo home run, and then battled back with three runs in the seventh to pull closer, but left eight runners stranded throughout the game. Damon Dues paced the Wright State offense with a pair of hits, while four other Raiders had one hit each.
Sam Wirsing took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits over 1.1 innings. Five Raider relievers combined for the final 6.2 frames, with Alex Theis tallying four strikeouts over his two-plus innings of work.
Alabama finished with 12 hits and saw four players each with two hits, while Tyler Ras struck out five over six innings with one run on one hit to earn the win.
Alabama got on the board first in the bottom of the first with a Parker Wilson solo homer, but Alders’ shot to left field in the top of the second knotted the score early. The hosts took the lead in the bottom of the second with a pair of runs before extending the advantage with a pair of solo homers from Zane Denton and T.J. Reeves, along with a bases loaded walk, in the fourth frame. Alabama pushed the lead to 7-1 with a two-out RBI double in the fifth.
Wright State cut into the deficit in the top of the seventh, with Zane Harris (hit by pitch) getting on to start the frame before back-to-back singles from Julian Greenwell and Konner Piotto set the Raiders up with the bases loaded and one out. Sammy Sass delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly to plate Harris, then moments later Greenwell scored on a wild pitch for the second run of the inning.
After a Dues infield single, Quincy Hamilton reached thanks to an Alabama throwing error, allowing Piotto to cross the plate and cut the deficit to 7-4. Dues stole third ahead of Tyler Black’s walk to re-load the bases, but Gehrig Anglin struck out to end the inning and the threat.
Alabama extended its lead back to four with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, but the Raiders again set themselves up in the eighth, this time with back-to-back walks from Harris and Alders to begin the top of the eighth. Both runners would be stranded as Alabama struck out the side to end the frame.
Dues led off the bottom of the ninth with a single but the Alabama closed the night with a strike out, line out and fly out to wrap up the opener.
DAYTON VOLLEYBALL: Volleyball Wins Home Opener Against Duquesne
DAYTON – The University of Dayton volleyball team defeated Duquesne 3-1 (25-16, 25-15, 26-28, 25-17), in its first home game of the season at the Frericks Center. Freshman Lexie Almodovar led the Flyers with a season and career-high 28 kills on 42 total attempts (.667%).
Dayton improves to 3-1 (1-0 Atlantic 10) on the season while Duquesne falls to 0-2, with both losses in Atlantic 10 play.
• 30 – Senior Bridget Doherty had 57 of Dayton’s 64 assists, including 30 in the first two sets.
• 71-42 – The Flyers had 71 kills on the night while Duquesne had 42.
• 12 – Dayton served 12 aces, while Duquesne only had three. The Dukes’ first ace did not come until the third set.
• 18 – Junior Maura Collins led the Flyers with 18 digs for the match.
• 44 – Almodovar and junior Jamie Peterson combined for 44 of the Flyers’ 71 kills.
UD will remain home next week and will face Davidson on Friday, March 5 and VCU on Saturday, March 6. Both matches will begin at 5 p.m. ET.
DAYTON BASEBALL: Baseball Drops Series Opener At Campbell
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – The University of Dayton baseball team fell on Friday afternoon in the series opener with Campbell 8-1 at Jim Perry Stadium in Buies Creek.
The Flyers fall to 0-4 on the young season with the loss. Junior Marcos Pujols led the team offensively, going 2-3 with a walk and a stolen base, but UD went just 6-31 at the plate as a team. Dayton also made some mistakes in the field, committing four errors leading to three unearned runs.
On the Mound
Senior Hunter Wolfe started the game for the Flyers, going three and two-thirds innings allowing six runs, only four of which were earned, on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Junior Dylan Keller relieved Wolfe in the fourth inning, facing two batters and walking them both. Sophomore Nate Espelin allowed the other two runs, one of which was earned, over his one inning of work, allowing two hits in the process.
The next four Dayton pitchers finished the game pitching three and one-third scoreless innings. Freshman Nick Rispoli pitched one inning, allowing just one hit and no runs. Junior Thomas Braybrooks relieved him, going one and a third innings without allowing a hit while picking up two strikeouts. Freshman Brock Begesha went two-thirds of an inning without allowing a run and freshman Eli Majick finished the game, retiring the only batter he faced.
Bottom 1: (3-0 Camels)
Hunter Wolfe started the game for Dayton, but the first four hitters on the Camels got on. A leadoff hit by pitch was followed by a double and a walk to load the bases. A single brought home two runs. Wolfe retired the next three hitters, with the first out bringing home the third run on a groundout to senior Riley Tirotta.
Top 3: (3-1 Camels)
Junior Jay Curtis opened the inning with a single through the left side. Senior Mitchell Garrity advanced him to second on a sacrifice bunt and Curtis got to third on a wild pitch. Tirotta reached on an error by the Campbell second baseman, scoring the Dayton catcher and putting the Flyers on the board.
Bottom 3: (4-1 Camels)
Wolfe retired the first batter of the inning before walking Collin Wolf of Campbell. That was followed by a double, advancing the runner to third and a groundout to Benjamin Blackwell scored the run making it 4-1 Campbell.
Bottom 4: (6-1 Camels)
The first two Campbell hitters were retired by Wolfe before an error by Tirotta extended the inning. The next Camel singled and the first run of the inning score on an error by right fielder Jared Howell. Wolfe then walked the next hitter on the eighth pitch of the at bat. Keller walked the next two hitters to make it 6-1 Campbell.
Bottom 5: (8-1 Camels)
Campbell opened the fifth inning with a single with the runner advancing to third on an error by left fielder Chris Cabrera. A groundout to second moved the runner to third and the run scored on an interference call extending the score to 7-1 Camels. Jay Curtis threw out a runner at third to record the second out, but a walk and an RBI double gave the game its final score of 8-1.
The Flyers will return to Jim Perry Stadium tomorrow to take on Campbell for the second of three games in the series at 3 p.m.
CINCINNATI BASEBALL: Baseball Falls 5-4 In 12 Innings Friday at WKU
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The University of Cincinnati baseball team dropped its second-straight extra-innings game, losing 5-4 in a 12-inning battle at Western Kentucky’s Nick Denes Field on Friday.
A double by the Hilltoppers 3B Eric Riffe with runners on the corners and one out in the 12th off UC reliever Zach Segal scored the game-winning runs and handed the Bearcats a fourth-straight loss to open the season.
Cincinnati (0-4) had taken a 4-3 lead in the top of the inning after an RBI groundout by Joey Bellini scored Cole Harting to break a 3-3 tie. Harting and Eric Santiago hit back-to-back singles and later advanced on a wild pitch before Bellini’s poke up the middle.
The Bearcats took the lead on four different occasions and each time, the Hilltoppers (2-3) had an answer. UC was its own worst enemy at times, stranding eight runners and hitting five batters, including three-straight WKU batters on consecutive pitches in the bottom of the ninth which loaded the bases and led to the game-tying run.
The game started on a great note with a Jace Mercer home run on the first pitch he saw with one out in the top of the fourth to put the Bearcats in the driver’s seat. Starer Evan Shawver pitched a gem, going 6.0 innings with a season-best nine strikeouts and giving up a single hit to the Hilltoppers in the no decision.
• Ryan Nicholson lined a sacrifice to center in the eighth to score Santiago.
• Jake Murray roped a leadoff triple to right center in the top of the ninth and later scored on a passed ball to give UC a 3-2 edge.
• UC tied a season-best with 10 hits featuring Santiago and Bellini both hitting a pair.
The teams will close out the series with a Saturday twin bill featuring two nine-inning games in Bowling Green. The first game will start at noon ET as UC LHP Dean McCarthy gets the nod on the hill and will face WKU RHP Sean Bergeron. An audio stream and live stats are available.
NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0
1. Jacksonville Jaguars — Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Urban Meyer and Jags brass were naturally in attendance for Lawrence’s superb pro day effort in the latest item to check off on the list as they move toward picking the Tigers superstar atop the draft. While there might be some concern about his shoulder surgery, it’s not the worst thing to get it out of the way early so he’s ready to go for camp down in Duval.
2. New York Jets — Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
General manager Joe Douglas’ phone will probably get busier the closer we get to the draft, but if the Jets stay put, it continues to look like a reset button on the QB position is coming by bringing in the electric Wilson to change the franchise’s fortunes.
3. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans) — Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
You have to go back several years to a time where the Dolphins had one, much less two, true threats in the passing game at receiver. Chase solves that right away as the explosive playmaker Tua needs to thrive in South Florida.
4. Atlanta Falcons — Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The Falcons hope they won’t be hanging around this part of the draft again, and for as much as the new regime in charge wants to add another key piece, landing a long-term QB should be just as paramount. Maybe the selection elevates Matt Ryan’s game like Aaron Rodgers’ did last season, but if not, at least the team won’t be pressed into playing Lance right away despite being a good fit for new head coach Arthur Smith’s scheme.
5. Cincinnati Bengals — Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Pitts is just such a mismatch for most defenses that he can instantly make his QB that much better. While Joe Burrow knows better than most that offensive line upgrades are needed, landing a pass-catching talent like Pitts doesn’t come along often.
6. Philadelphia Eagles — Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Carson Wentz has exited stage left, and while that would seemingly solidify Jalen Hurts’ status, the front office won’t blink an eye at landing another top QB with their first-rounder no matter how much they think they’re committed to Hurts. The presumed starter knows this situation all too well from his time in college, but Fields could represent a long-term bet at solidifying the position.
7. Detroit Lions — Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
So many different directions the franchise can go in light of the Jared Goff trade, but if we’re talking pressing need, it might be the gigantic hole at linebacker more than anything. Parsons is one of the most unique athletes in the draft and could be a starter right away in Detroit.
8. Carolina Panthers — Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
While the Panthers may be doing their best to find an upgrade at QB, they should be just fine to see Sewell’s name fall to them at No. 8 given he’s one of the most polished offensive linemen in the draft. Matt Rhule and Co. won’t shy away from drafting the best player available by any means.
9. Denver Broncos — Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The lack of bodies in the secondary means the front office figures to be looking heavily at taking a corner in the draft, and Surtain has the pedigree and tape to match. While some may have Caleb Farley a bit higher on their boards, the pressing need to win now for Vic Fangio could nudge them toward the player who played last season and won a title.
10. Dallas Cowboys — Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
A new, high-priced defensive coordinator should usher in plenty of selections on that side of the ball, but Slater figures to be hard to pass up here given how the tackle spot has been an Achilles heel the past few seasons.
11. New York Giants — Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
It’s no secret that Daniel Jones needs better protection and better weapons, but it’s rare this front office will pass up the opportunity to add a playmaker in the trenches. Rousseau has rare size coming off the edge and his versatility should allow him to be used all over in an improving defense in the Big Apple.
12. San Francisco 49ers — Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The 49ers are a lock to add some free agents in the secondary given the depth chart is pretty much empty, but a new long-term starter can be found with the pick of Farley. He has all the traits of a No. 1 corner and could fit in well given all the dynamic QBs and WRs he’ll face in this division.
13. Los Angeles Chargers — Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
Since most scouts are staying local, the Chargers might as well head across town for their selection too. Vera-Tucker has shown he can play either guard or tackle and should step in as a Day 1 starter protecting Justin Herbert.
14. Minnesota Vikings — Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
The Vikings are no stranger to drafting a high-upside pass rusher with their first-rounder, and Phillips fits that bill. His ceiling might be the highest in the entire class off the edge and could form quite a tandem opposite a healthy Danielle Hunter.
15. New England Patriots — Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
You know that Bill Belichick would get the real scouting report on Waddle from his old buddy Nick Saban, who will likely rave about the wideout’s competitiveness and ability to line up pretty much everywhere in any formation. It’s been a long time since the Pats have had a No. 1 threat at receiver, but Waddle could be that right away as a rookie.
16. Arizona Cardinals — DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
You probably don’t have to ask Kliff Kingsbury or Kyler Murray twice about adding the Heisman Trophy winner. Good luck to defenses seeing Smith and DeAndre Hopkins line up next to each other.
17. Las Vegas Raiders — Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
As bummed as Jon Gruden has to be about missing out on either of the Alabama wideouts, GM Mike Mayock will be gushing over what Moehrig can do for the Raiders’ lackluster secondary. Given they will face off against Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert four times a year for the next decade or so, the instinctive TCU safety can help make the defense better in a number of ways.
18. Miami Dolphins — Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
Miami could be a candidate to move both up and down the board with their second first-rounder, but they could really help transform the offense by nabbing Darrisaw to pair with Austin Jackson and allow Robert Hunt to kick inside to a more natural guard spot.
19. Washington Football Team — Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Alex Smith still has to make a decision, and despite a new contract, is Taylor Heinicke really the future after such a small sample size? Jones has garnered split opinions in the scouting process, but Ron Rivera won’t mind another low-maintenance QB he can build around the next few years.
20. Chicago Bears — Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
Perhaps a solution other than Nick Foles (or Mitchell Trubisky’s return) reveals itself for the Bears, but they have to get better up front either way. Enter Mayfield, who could start as a rookie at right tackle and provide an immediate boost to the run game too.
21. Indianapolis Colts — Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
The Colts may or may not bring back T.Y. Hilton to pair with new acquisition Carson Wentz, but even if they do, Toney could help supercharge the offense with another dynamic playmaker. He would also pair well with Michael Pittman Jr. in Frank Reich’s offense.
22. Tennessee Titans — Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Owusu-Koramoah seems like just the kind of linebacker that Mike Vrabel will love for his ability to just make a play on nearly every snap. While you could nitpick his size a bit, he could be just the solution the team has been searching for off the edge.
23. New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks) — Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Jets have the cash to bring in a big name at corner, but they could still nab a starter in the back half of the first round. Horn’s ability to play near the line of scrimmage should endear him to new head coach Robert Saleh and allow him to play right away as a rookie despite still needing a tad more polish.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers — Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Ben Roethlisberger’s status is the talk of the Steel City, but there are plenty of other key issues for the front office to sort out in addition to fixing a tough cap situation. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Bud Dupree walk as a result, but at least Collins’ could help replace his production on that swarming defense.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) — Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
In a move bound to light up the airwaves in Columbus and Ann Arbor, Paye could be a nice fit coming off the edge of a defense that has to get some fresh legs. Urban Meyer is sure to have studied him closely and has to believe he can help unlock all that athleticism at the next level.
26. Cleveland Browns — Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
The Browns have plenty of talent on the roster for a growing team and cap room to spend but Bolton could be a terrific upgrade in the middle of the defense. His ability to come downhill is well suited to the AFC North, and he has the tools to be a three-down player the team can build around.
27. Baltimore Ravens — Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington
This feels like a prime spot for the Ravens to trade back into the early second round to garner yet more draft capital, but Tryon could be a quality solution for a defense that has been improved in recent years but could be replacing some key free agents. His ability to get after the quarterback while also giving it his all in the run game will make him a good fit in Baltimore.
28. New Orleans Saints — Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
There are going to be a lot of interesting moves made with the Saints’ roster, and that’s not even getting to an announcement on Drew Brees’ likely retirement. Barmore has his detractors, but the upside is there as a guy with top-15 talent. As defensive coordinator Dennis Allen looks to get a bit more out of Cameron Jordan and Co., adding Barmore to take some pressure off in the middle could prove an effective solution.
29. Green Bay Packers — Tevin Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Everybody will await this selection to see if the Packers get Aaron Rodgers some help, and that they do by landing Jenkins. His ability to add to the downhill running game the team wants is a plus and he’ll provide some cover for recovering left tackle David Bakhtiari before eventually forming a nice opposite number at right tackle.
30. Buffalo Bills — Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The Bills have to like their tailbacks on the roster, but they probably don’t love them given how it was sometimes difficult to find a ton of consistency running the ball. Harris should solve those issues while remaining a key weapon out of the backfield for his old Alabama OC, Brian Daboll. Pity the defenses that have to find a way to tackle both Harris and Josh Allen multiple times a game.
31. Kansas City Chiefs — Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
Watching the Super Bowl, it’s clear the offensive line is an area of focus in the draft for the Chiefs, but some additional talent on the back end of the defense should be in play too. Newsome is extremely polished and has all the traits to contribute right away for another Lombardi run.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
As the season went on, it’s clear the Bucs’ coaching staff never seemed settled on their backfield — even if that became a bit of a different story in the postseason run. Etienne fits all the attributes head coach Bruce Arians wants in a lead tailback and would be a dangerous weapon for Tom Brady to lean on for all three downs.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic criticizes LeBron James for activist role: ‘Do the category that you do’
AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has found a new way to say “stick to sports” and is aiming it at the most common target in Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
Ibrahimovic, a former Los Angeles Galaxy star, doesn’t approve of anyone with “status” getting involved in politics and took issue specifically with James.
Ibrahimovic doesn’t approve of James’ activism
Ibrahimovic, who is from Sweden, told UEFA and Discovery+ in Sweden James is “phenomenal, but I don’t like when people with ‘status’ speak about politics at the same time as what they’re doing.”
“Do what you’re good at. Do the category that you do,” he said. “I play football because I’m the best at playing football, I’m no politician. If I’d been a politician, I would be doing politics. This is the first mistake famous people do when they become famous and come into a certain status. For me it is better to avoid certain topics and do what you’re best at doing, because otherwise it doesn’t look good.”
Ibrahimovic, 39, was with the Galaxy for two years. He joined AC Milan in December of 2019; the club is in contention for the Serie A title.
Court documents detail deceased coach John Geddert’s alleged abuse
Investigators say that former Olympic gymnastics coach John Geddert sexually assaulted a 14-year-old and routinely abused his gymnasts physically and verbally, leading multiple gymnasts to attempt suicide, according to court documents obtained by ESPN.
Geddert was charged with 24 felonies Thursday morning, including multiple counts of human trafficking and sexual assault. Hours later, he was found dead in his car at an interstate highway rest stop. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed that his death was by suicide. Geddert was 63.
Geddert coached the 2012 Olympic team to a gold medal in London and worked closely with disgraced national team doctor Larry Nassar for more than a quarter century. Among the charges against Geddert was a claim that he lied to police about his knowledge of Nassar’s serial sexual abuse, much of which took place in the gym that Geddert owned, Twistars USA Gymnastics Club.
When the news broke of Geddert’s suicide, the gymnastics community reacted with a mix of shock and anger, stemming largely from a concern that Geddert’s alleged crimes would not be revealed in full during his criminal trial and his victims would not have an opportunity to get some form of closure.
“Someone who cannot own up to their actions, especially actions that have negatively affected young children into their adult lives forever, is the biggest coward there is,” said Lindsey Hull, who trained with Geddert at Twistars and says she was sexually assaulted by Nassar on hundreds of occasions at the club. “The case is considered done, but we’ll never have an actual ending. Only what we can assume.” ESPN has obtained a court document, first reported by Detroit News, that reveals at least some of the information which might have come out in open court, had Geddert not taken his own life. The allegations detailed by a special investigator with the Michigan attorney general’s office paint a picture of a coach who routinely terrorized and assaulted young girls at his gym.
In court testimony Wednesday morning, the investigator detailed Geddert’s alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old gymnast. Geddert, the investigator said, followed the gymnast into the Twistars locker room after practice, threw her up against the wall, and groped and digitally penetrated her.
During the assault, Geddert leaned in and told the young gymnast: “This wouldn’t be happening if you just completed my assignment at practice like you were supposed to the day before,” the court document states.
The investigator told the court Wednesday that when the victim went home after practice, she found blood in her underwear, threw up several times and cried herself to sleep.
Multiple women told investigators they attempted suicide after years of trauma from training with Geddert. One of those women said Geddert ignored serious injuries on multiple occasions and forced her to continue practicing. She said at one point Geddert called her a “disrespectful bitch” and told her she “should climb off the top of the rafters of the gym, jump off and kill herself.”
Multiple others who were interviewed by investigators reported that they had heard Geddert tell them or other gymnasts to kill themselves.
PACERS BASKETBALL: Indiana loses at Boston
After losing a close battle to Golden State, the Pacers had hopes of rebounding against the slumping Boston Celtics on Friday night. However, despite limiting the high-scoring duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to 24 combined points, Kemba Walker erupted for 32 to lead Boston (16-17) to a 118-112 victory.
Trailing 112-103, a 6-0 Pacers run trimmed Boston’s lead to 112-109 with 1:23 to go. With just under a minute remaining, Indiana (15-16) had a chance to tie. However, Justin Holiday’s 3-pointer kicked out. Daniel Theis’ 3-pointer on the opposite end with 36.4 seconds to go then deflated Indiana’s sails on its comeback attempt.
Five Pacers ended up in double figures on the night. After being named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team earlier on Friday as a replacement for an injured Kevin Durant, Domantas Sabonis led the way with 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Justin Holiday added 19, including five triples. Myles Turner notched his sixth double-double of the season, tallying 17 points and 10 boards, while Aaron Holiday added 15 off the bench. But the Pacers failed to get over the hump once again.
“We just have to keep grinding it,” coach Nate Bjorkgren said postgame. “Keep playing hard. I think we had a shot — a corner three to tie it. It didn’t go down.”
The night started fantastic, as the Blue & Gold drilled their first five attempts from deep. Turner notched nine of the first 12 Pacers points, and Indiana sprinted out to an 18-4 lead before five minutes ticked by.
But Walker began pulling the Celtics out of the hole. The former UConn standout tallied 10 points of a 15-2 Celtics run over a 3:41 span to close the gap to one, 20-19. A pair of free throws from Brown at the 3:05 mark finally knotted the score at 25.
In the final three minutes, Indiana stretched its lead to three at 31-28 on a pair of free throws from Turner with 1:12 remaining. However, consecutive buckets from Tatum and former Pacer Jeff Teague pushed the Celtics ahead by one, after one.
The teams remained in close combat during the early stages of the second. Down 39-36, Doug McDermott nailed a baseline 3-pointer from the left side to tie the score with 9:17 to go. However, the Celtics used the glass to earn themselves multiple offensive chances and keep the lead. At the 8:19 mark, the hosts hauled in consecutive offensive boards, leading to a slam from Robert Williams III that pushed Boston ahead by four, 45-41.
Boston continued to hold a slim lead over the next several minutes. Walker used his stop-and-go ability to find space in the mid-range. With 5:08 to play, he sank a 16-foot pull-up jumper, then followed with a pair of free throws to push the Celtics’ lead to 55-49.
But Indiana continued to fight. After Walker’s layup with 3:03 to go pushed the Celtics ahead, 57-52, Indiana strung together an 8-2 spree to regain a 60-59 lead. However, Brown’s layup with 27.1 seconds left pushed Boston back in front by one at the break.
A Justin Holiday triple tied the score at 63 at the 10:32 mark in the third. However, the Celtics controlled the game early in the third. The hosts responded with a 14-4 run over the next 3:45 to jump ahead by 10. Five straight points by Theis concluded the run and forced Bjorkgren to call a timeout with 7:07 left in the third.
The timeout appeared to ignite the Pacers, as Justin Holiday and Malcolm Brogdon combined for five unanswered to quickly trim the Celtics’ lead to 77-72 with 5:58 to play in the period. After the teams traded a pair of points, Holiday nailed a baseline triple from the left side to complete a 10-2 run and cut the deficit to two with 3:48 to go.
Yet, Boston held on for the rest of the frame. Walker sank a 3-pointer on the right wing out of a Boston timeout. Later, Williams finished an and-one alley-oop off a lob from Teague to extend the back to 87-80. With 37.7 seconds left, Sabonis’ hook shot trimmed the Celtics’ lead to 89-84. But Tatum responded with a 26-foot pull-up triple, and Boston took a 92-84 lead into the final frame.
Despite getting open looks, Indiana could not capitalize early in the fourth. Breakdowns in the paint on the defensive end allowed Boston to jump ahead by double-digits, 98-88, with 9:21 left. However, the Pacers kept on fighting.
Back-to-back and-one finishes from Jeremy Lamb and Edmond Sumner, followed by a corner three from Aaron Holiday, gave the Pacers nine unanswered in 53 seconds to pull within one, 98-97. Boston responded swiftly, notching six straight to extend its lead back to seven with 6:45 to play. Later, Turner’s layup at the 6:00 mark trimmed the Celtics’ lead back to one possession, 104-101.
Yet, despite the push, Indiana failed to take over the lead. Instead, Boston tallied six unanswered, including Walker’s 30th point, to pull ahead 110-101 with 3:47 to play.
Consecutive Pacers trips to the charity stripe cut Boston’s lead to five, 112-107 with 2:07 remaining. Sabonis then worked the low block against Tristan Thompson for a tough finish to pull within three. After Tatum stepped out of bounds, Indiana had a chance to tie. Justin Holiday fired his open look from the left corner, appearing true. But the rim was unfriendly, and the ball kicked back out and fell to Williams. Walker received the ball and fired to Theis in the opposite corner. Theis connected, and shattered Indiana’s momentum.
After a triple from Sabonis gave the Pacers one last glimmer of hope, Walker finished his superb night by sealing the deal at the free-throw line. Feeling the pressure of hovering around the .500 mark, Indiana appears fired up to face the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
“We don’t have time,” Turner said. “We have to nip it in the bud now.”
PACERS NEWS: Sabonis Added to 2021 NBA All-Star Game
INDIANAPOLIS – The National Basketball Association announced Friday that Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, March 7, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
In his fifth NBA season and fourth with the Pacers, Sabonis was named an NBA All-Star for the second consecutive season. Sabonis previously participated in his first NBA All-Star Game in 2020, and NBA All-Star Weekend in 2017 and 2018 as part of the Rising Stars Challenge.
Sabonis set a Pacers franchise record by opening the season with 16 consecutive double-doubles. He ranks second in the NBA this season overall with 24 double-doubles. Sabonis has posted three triple-doubles on the year and is now the franchise’s leader in career triple-doubles with seven.
Sabonis is the sixth player in franchise history to be selected to multiple NBA All-Star Games, joining Jermaine O’Neal (6), Reggie Miller (5), Paul George (4), Roy Hibbert (2) and Victor Oladipo (2).
INDY FUEL HOCKEY: FUEL RALLY TO BEAT KOMETS 3-2 IN OVERTIME
NDIANAPOLIS – In the first of three games in three days, the Indy Fuel hosted I-69 rival Fort Wayne Komets on Friday night. Giving up two goals in the first period, Indy would rally to score two goals in the third period to force overtime. Matt Marcinew got loose on a breakaway to give Indy the 3-2 win in overtime on Friday night.
After a slow start to the game, it would take until the middle of the opening frame for anybody to get on the board. Fort Wayne would take the lead at the 9:32 mark in the first period when Matt Boudens got loose and one-timed a pass from Mathieu Brodeur past Billy Christopoulos. Indy would earn a later power play but would fail to score, sending Fort Wayne into the locker room leading 1-0.
Through the first 12 minutes of the second period, Indy outshot the Komets 6-3 but Fort Wayne goaltender Stefanos Lekkas would hold on to the 1-0 lead. It took until the dying seconds of the second period for either team to score when Fort Wayne’s Anthony Petruzzelli streaked past the Fuel defense and beat Christopoulos with a wrist shot.
Scoring their first goal of the game 1:22 into the third period, Indy would cut the Fort Wayne lead in half. Jumping on a Komets turnover, Jared Thomas made Chris Martenet a pass and Martenet beat Lakkas with a wrist shot. Tying the game halfway through the final period, Nic Pierog collected a pass from Chris Martenet and fired a wrist shot past Lekkas to knot the game at two goals apiece. The Komets would kill off a long, 5-minute penalty to Brandon Hawkins forcing overtime.
Nearly ending the game early in overtime, Michael McNicholas got alone in the Fort Wayne defensive zone and rang the post. Forcing a Fort Wayne turnover in the Fuel defensive zone Mike Lee sprung a pass to a streaking Matt Marcinew who tucked the puck through the legs of Lakkas to give Indy the 3-2 win on Friday night.
Various ticket options are now on sale for the Fuel’s 7th season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan – grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don’t forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2020-21 season.
Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant out through All-Star break with left hamstring strain
Brooklyn Nets star forward Kevin Durant will remain out until after the All-Star break due to a left hamstring strain he suffered earlier this month, the team announced Friday.
After a follow-up MRI, the Nets determined Durant “will require an additional recovery period” that will keep him out through the All-Star break, which includes next month’s All-Star Game in Atlanta.
“While we are confident that Durant will return at full strength, this extra recovery time will allow him to perform at the level at which he has been playing this season once he returns,” the Nets said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Nets coach Steve Nash had said he expected Durant to come back before the All-Star break.
“We’re just trying to monitor and be cautious,” Nash said before the Nets beat the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. “We definitely have kind of slowed things down in that respect: not putting any pressure on him, not trying to rush him back in any capacity and just make sure that we give him the right amount of time to be more than healed, to be strong and conditioned to come back to the team.”
Durant will be replaced in the All-Star Game by Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis, the NBA announced Friday.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Durant, who was named a captain for the All-Star Game, would remain in charge of selecting players for one of the teams despite not playing in the game. This is the first time one of the captains has been unable to play in the game since the league changed its format from East vs. West to two captains choosing their respective teams.
Durant has missed nine of Brooklyn’s past 10 games — three because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, after being pulled midway through Brooklyn’s loss to the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 5 due to contact tracing with someone who had a positive coronavirus test, and then the past six games after suffering a hamstring strain against the Golden State Warriors in a win on Feb. 13.
The Nets have won eight games in a row — the longest current winning streak in the NBA — and will face the Dallas Mavericks on ABC in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
After playing Dallas, the Nets have two more games before the break: in San Antonio against the Spurs on March 1, and in Houston against James Harden’s old team, the Rockets, on March 3.
Durant, 32, is averaging 29 points, 5.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game this season.
Depleted Raptors hand Rockets 10th straight loss
Coronavirus protocols forced the Toronto Raptors to play Friday night without most of their coaching staff and forward Pascal Siakam.
But they had two coaches ready to take over on an interim basis, and one of them was on the floor.
Kyle Lowry had a triple-double – 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists – in a 122-111 victory over the Houston Rockets. The veteran guard added his share of input to assistant coach Sergio Scariolo, who took over as coach in the absence of head coach Nick Nurse.
“We undestood the situation, and we didn’t want to make it overcomplicated. Me and and Freddy (VanVleet) are always coaches on the floor anyway,” said Lowry, who played 33 minutes and made four of five 3-point shots.
“I like the kind of players who are challenging you in a positive way,” Scariolo said. “It’s different from the view a coach can have from the sideline.”
Norman Powell scored 30 points and Nick Van Vleet added 25 for the Raptors.
Victor Oladipo led the Rockets with 27 points, and John Wall had 21 points and 12 assists. Houston has lost 10 straight.
The Raptors were without Nurse and five members of his staff in accordance with the NBA’s health and safety protocols regarding the coronavirus. They learned shortly before the game that Siakam would be unavailable for the same reason.
“All day it was was kind of reacting, all the time, to something different,” said Scariolo, who had been away from the Raptors until Monday while coaching Spain in FIBA’s EuroBasket 2022 qualifiers, and just cleared quarantine Friday. “But at the end of the day we got a W, so who cares?”
“I don’t really want to put too much into it,” said VanVleet. “Obviously, that’s why you have a strong coaching staff, for situations like this.”
Scariolo has extensive experience as a head coach, winning championships of leagues in Italy, Spain and Russia, plus has been Spain’s national coach – helping that team win medals at the 2012 London Games and 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics, plus capture the Basketball World Cup title in 2019.
“It’s something I never wanted to happen, but it happened” he said of Friday’s developments. “I just tried to do my best to get the team a win.”
Siakam was listed as out about two hours before the game, indicating that he either has a testing issue or a contact tracing issue. He played Wednesday night in Miami in the Raptors’ loss to the Heat.
Lowry and Powell led Toronto on a 44-21 run over a 13-minute span that put the Raptors in command at 65-50 late in the first half.
Butler, Dragic carry Heat past NBA-best Jazz, 124-116
The Miami Heat don’t believe in statement wins.
This might have been one anyway.
Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 33 points, reserve Goran Dragic tied his season-best with 26 and the Heat beat Utah 124-116 on Friday night – handing the NBA-leading Jazz (26-7) just their third loss in their last 25 games.
“A high-level game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “and we had some big plays down the stretch.”
Bam Adebayo scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Miami, which has won a season-best five straight games. Duncan Robinson scored 15 and Kendrick Nunn added 12 for the Heat, who held Utah to 29% shooting in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t want to say that we’re good yet,” Butler said. “I think we’ve got so much more to figure out. We’ve got so much more that we can be better at. Myself, anybody, I don’t want us to get complacent and think that we’re cool, we’re good. Nah, that’s not the case. We’ve got a long way to go.”
Donovan Mitchell scored 30 for the Jazz, but missed eight of his final nine shots. Utah got got 17 from Bojan Bogdanovic, 15 from Rudy Gobert and 14 from Mike Conley.
“Tonight, we ran up on a team that really just out-executed us down the stretch,” Conley said. “They made plays when it mattered most.”
Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles scored 13 apiece for the Jazz, who were outrebounded by a 50-36 count – the second-largest differential any team has had against Utah this season – and shot 15-for-46 from 3-point range.
“Tonight, we just tried to take away their easy shots,” Dragic said. “And we did.”
There were 14 lead changes and 10 ties, the last of those coming when Clarkson made a 3-pointer with 8:20 left to knot the game at 103-103.
Dragic sparked an 11-4 Heat run that put Miami ahead for good, capping that flurry by finding Andre Iguodala for an open 3-pointer, then making another himself on the next Heat possession for a 114-107 lead.
Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer with 3:39 left started the last Jazz gasp, Conley got a layup on the next Utah possession and Gobert made two free throws on the next. Just like that, the Jazz were within 116-115.
But they got no closer, with Dragic taking a charge to erase what would have been a basket by Conley with 1:58 left. The Jazz wound up missing their last seven shots and were 3-for-16 from the floor in the final eight minutes.
“We just made a lot of mistakes, had too many breakdowns on both ends,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.
Miami led 96-94 lead after three quarters – the prerequisite for beating the Jazz this season. Utah came into Friday 24-0 when leading after three quarters, 2-6 when trailing.
They’re 2-7 now.
“There were a lot of things that we can do better,” Snyder said.
Green notches triple-double, Warriors avenge loss to Hornets
Do-everything Draymond Green vowed to make up for losing his cool and costing Golden State a win at Charlotte last weekend.
He delivered with a triple-double of a career-high 19 assists, 12 rebounds and 11 points to help the Warriors to their first three-game winning streak of the season with a 130-121 victory against the Hornets on Friday night.
“Revenge game would be a bit of a stretch,” Green said. “Just me coming out and making it right. Trying to do whatever I can to help this team get a win. Can’t just forget about what happened last week.”
Stephen Curry added 29 points and eight assists after he sat out with an illness Saturday night in his hometown of Charlotte.
“With Curry back, it changes our defense,” Hornets coach James Borrego said.
Green notched his franchise-leading 25th career triple-double and first this season – dishing on each of Kelly Oubre’s six first-quarter dunks as he finished with 27 points on a night seven Warriors reached double figures. Green credited Oubre’s timely cuts helping the cause.
“Just trying to exploit the lack of focus in certain areas,” Oubre said of Charlotte’s defense.
Green, especially, wanted a big game after he was hit with two technical fouls and ejected with 9.3 seconds left last Saturday for arguing the outcome of a jump ball. Terry Rozier made an off-balance jumper from the left corner as time expired for a 102-100 win by the Hornets.
“Kind of a sour ending,” is how Andrew Wiggins described it earlier Friday.
Added Oubre: “We owed them.”
The Warriors matched a franchise record with 16 assists on their 17 first-quarter baskets – Green dishing out eight of those to tie the most he’s had in a single quarter – while shooting 77.3%. They led 66-51 at halftime.
“It started right at the beginning of the game. He was just picking the defense apart,” coach Steve Kerr said of Green. “He’s on top of his game right now. I just think he’s been playing better and better over the last couple weeks.”
Wiggins scored 17 for the Warriors in a quick visit home from a 2-2 East Coast road trip before another four-game trip all against the Western Conference. Golden State snapped a three-game skid to Charlotte, led by Rozier’s 24 points.
Rookie James Wiseman and fellow big man Kevon Looney boosted the rotation after they were both still sidelined from injuries before returning Tuesday against the Knicks.
The Warriors have won three straight after having consecutive victories seven different times previously without winning a third in a row.
“I kind of like the fact that nobody in the locker room was really that happy with the way we played. We had some good moments and some good individual performances but it was a wild game, an awkward game,” Kerr said. “The locker room’s quiet, that’s a good sign. We’ve won three in a row and nobody’s that happy. We know we can play better and it’s a sign that we think there’s more to come.”
A hard foul by Green on PJ Washington at the 9:43 mark of the opening quarter went to review and was ruled a Flagrant 1 foul.
Green had his fourth game in February with 15 or more assists. His assists were the most by a Warrior since Baron Davis had 19 against Memphis on Jan. 11, 2008.
Schröder returns, Lakers beat Blazers 102-93 to snap skid
LeBron James had 28 points, Dennis Schroder added 22 in his return to the Lakers’ lineup, and Los Angeles snapped its four-game losing streak with a 102-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.
Montrezl Harrell had 17 points, while James added 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocked shots as the defending NBA champions avoided their longest losing streak since March 2019.
The fresh-legged Schroder was outstanding after a four-game absence under the NBA’s health and safety protocols, scoring 13 points in the second half and leading the Lakers’ decisive surge on both ends of the court.
“His energy alone gives us a spark,” James said of Schroder. “His competitive nature gives us a spark. To have him back in our lineup just means so much to our team. It was big-time.”
Los Angeles pushed ahead in the third quarter and hung on comfortably for only its second win since losing All-Star selection Anthony Davis to a calf injury 12 days ago.
Damian Lillard scored 24 of his 35 points in the first half for the Blazers, who lost their fourth straight. Portland committed 16 turnovers while losing to the Lakers at Staples Center for the first time since November 2018.
“Tonight was about our offense,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “There’s always room to improve defensively, but the Lakers did a really good job of being aggressive on us, creating turnovers in the third quarter, and we weren’t able to capitalize on some of the opportunities that we did have.”
The Lakers broke open a close game with a 14-4 run led by Schroder late in the third quarter. The German point guard also teamed with Alex Caruso to play solid defense on the largely unstoppable Lillard, who got just one shot while playing the entire third quarter.
“In the first half, we pretty much had our way,” Lillard said. “I was able to get in the paint, play pretty free. In the second half, they just loaded up. They were blitzing, and I didn’t really have any space.”
Pandemic changes NBA draft rules for seniors
In a shift from years past, the NBA league office will require college seniors to petition the league for inclusion on the NBA early-entry list in order to become draft-eligible in 2021.
Last October, due to disruptions caused by the pandemic, the NCAA granted an additional year of eligibility to winter athletes, meaning every senior in college basketball is eligible to return for an additional season in 2021-22.
While the NBA is requiring players to opt in to the draft, the NFL took the opposite stance last month, requiring graduating college seniors (who played four years) to opt out by March 1 if they intend to return to college for their additional year of eligibility.
The NBA’s move is expected to result in a record-breaking number of players on the draft’s early-entry list, which last year had 163 college underclassmen.
Garth Glissman, vice president of basketball operations for the NBA, told ESPN that this was the right approach for NBA teams and for college basketball players.
“If you think about all that college students across the world and college basketball players have been through — they are in this situation through none of their doing,” he said. “They didn’t want the pandemic to abruptly end [play] last season. They certainly didn’t want to play through a pandemic this season. This entire situation has occurred by virtue of circumstances beyond their control. So we didn’t think it was appropriate to add on to their plate an additional layer of responsibility that they have to affirmatively opt out. We’re essentially taking on the administrative burdens at a time that these players have enough on their plates and are in this situation for reasons that are completely beyond their control.”
According to the NBA collective bargaining agreement, graduating college seniors — meaning those who have exhausted their four years of NCAA eligibility — are automatically eligible for the NBA draft and do not need to declare themselves eligible via the early-entry list.
The wording is: “The player has graduated from a four-year college or university in the United States, and has no remaining intercollegiate basketball eligibility.”
With the NCAA granting all players an extra year, the second part of that rule is no longer applicable, as every player in college basketball has “remaining intercollegiate basketball eligibility.”
The language required the NBA to consult with the NBA players’ association and the NCAA to determine whether to automatically include all seniors in the draft “unless they elect not to avail themself of the fifth year of college eligibility,” as the NFL stated, or instead require players to opt in to the NBA draft this spring.
According to ESPN Stats & Information data, 19.7% of players drafted over the past five years have been NCAA seniors.
In terms of the timetable for when players must declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft and begin the process of “testing the waters” to determine their likelihood of being selected, quite a bit of uncertainty still exists.
Texans release center Nick Martin, running back Duke Johnson
The Houston Texans have released center Nick Martin and running back Duke Johnson.
Martin spent his entire career with the Texans after being drafted in the second round in 2016. He missed his rookie season after sustaining an ankle injury which required surgery before starting 14 games in 2017. He started every game in each of the past three seasons.
Johnson has been with the Texans for the past two years and ran for 235 yards with a touchdown last season. He spent his first four NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns after he was drafted in the third round in 2015.
The moves come amid a time of upheaval for the Texans, who released three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt earlier this month and are dealing with a trade request by star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
WNBA NEWS: WNBA approves sale of Dream following pressure on Loeffler
Real estate investor Larry Gottesdiener was approved Friday as the lead owner of the Atlanta Dream following pressure on former Sen. Kelly Loeffler to sell her share of the WNBA team.
The three-member investor group also includes former Dream guard Renee Montgomery and Suzanne Abair, president of Northland Investment Corp. in Massachusetts, the firm Gottesdiener founded.
Montgomery becomes the first former player to become both an owner and executive of a WNBA team. She sat out the 2020 season to focus on social justice issues and recently announced her retirement from the league after 11 seasons.
The approval by the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors was expected and unanimous. It means co-owner Mary Brock also sold her share of the team, which will remain in Atlanta.
The WNBA announced on Jan. 20 the ownership change was close to being completed.
Players around the league have called for Loeffler to sell her 49% stake in the Dream after she wrote a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert over the summer objecting to the league’s initiatives to advocate for racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“With the unanimous WNBA and NBA votes, today marks a new beginning for the Atlanta Dream organization and we are very pleased to welcome Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair to the WNBA,” Engelbert said in a statement.
“I admire their passion for women’s basketball, but more importantly, have been impressed with their values. I am also thrilled that former WNBA star Renee Montgomery will be joining the ownership group as an investor and executive for the team. Renee is a trailblazer who has made a major impact both in the game and beyond.”
Montgomery said her new role can set a tone.
“Breaking barriers for minorities and women by being the first former WNBA player to have both a stake in ownership and a leadership role with the team is an opportunity that I take very seriously,” Montgomery said. “I invite you to join me as the Dream builds momentum in Atlanta!”
Montgomery is in her first season as a studio analyst on Atlanta Hawks broadcasts for Fox Sports Southeast.
Montgomery won titles with the Minnesota Lynx in 2015 and 2017. She was an All-Star with the Connecticut Sun in 2011, when she set a career high with her average of 14.6 points per game. She was the WNBA’s Sixth Woman of the Year in 2012.
Gottesdiener said he considers it “a privilege to join a team of inspiring women who strive for excellence on the court and equity off the court.”
Late string of birdies gives Koepka the lead at Concession
Brooks Koepka hit one his worst tee shots of the day that barely cleared the water on the 15th hole. That turned out to be the start of three straight birdies that led to a 6-under 66 and a one-shot lead Friday in the Workday Championship.
In some respects, that’s how his recent surge has been.
Coming off a pair of missed cuts, Koepka won the Phoenix Open to end an 18-month drought. And now he’s starting to hit his stride with the first major of the year creeping up quickly.
Koepka hit a chip 9-iron to 6 feet for birdie on No. 15, nearly holed his wedge on the next hole and then birdied the par-5 17th with a splendid bunker shot across the ridges and down the slope to tap-in range.
He closed with a bogey by avoiding a deceptive pin near the water on the closing hole at The Concession. Koepka, who finished at 11-under 133, had a one-shot lead over Cameron Smith, Billy Horschel and PGA champion Collin Morikawa, who made up ground quick with six birdies over his last 10 holes.
“Usually I can never find my game until The Players. That’s kind of when it starts to feel like it’s coming around,” Koepka said. “But the fact that it’s here a little bit early is nice.”
Koepka spent most of his offseason with trainer Derek Stone in San Diego, saying he has not spent more than about 25 days at his home in South Florida since August. It was all about getting his left knee healthy, and his game looks as good as his health.
A dozen players were separated by five shots going into the weekend of this World Golf Championship, which moved from Mexico City this year because of COVID-19 circumstances and is providing a vastly different test.
Players have gone from mile-high altitude to flat Florida, with fairways lined with water hazards and palmetto bushes and greens with wild slopes and contours.
Even with a 71-man field, the difference between first and last was a whopping 22 shots.
Morikawa matched the low score of the tournament with a 64. The other 64 belonged to U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who was 13 shots better than the opening round.
“It’s just a tale of golf. You can have both ends of the stick,” DeChambeau said. “I didn’t play terrible yesterday, I just didn’t get anything going my way, especially on that back nine. Had some bad mistakes and that’s what happened. I made some good putts and good strokes today that just luck went my way today.”
Defending champion Patrick Reed had three straight birdies to start the front nine after he made the turn, the last one coming after he topped a 3-wood in the fairway into a bunker, and blasted that out from 142 yards to 4 feet.
And then he had two bogeys, hitting his drive into the water on No. 5 when his left foot slipped, and hitting into the water on the par-4 eighth with a shot he feared would be a little long and instead came up woefully short.
Reed was three shots behind.
The strangest day belonged to Viktor Hovland, who was 7 under for his round and playing flawlessly until one hole at the end ruined it. From a fairway bunker on the par-4 ninth, Hovland went right into the pine straw. His chip went across the green into a bunker, leaving a tough shot that he sent back across the green into the woods that led to a penalty drop.
He didn’t get that one up to the green, pitched to 10 feet and holed that for a quadruple-bogey 8.
“It’s mainly the second shot in the bunker that’s a little bitter,” Hovland said. “That’s costing me four shots right there just that second shot. I hit a lot of good shots today and made a lot of putts, so it’s just unfortunate that one terrible shot comes at that time.”
Dustin Johnson was only slightly better. The world’s No. 1 player, who opened with a 77, had only one big penalty. He tried to drive the 12th green on the 308-yard 12th hole protected by a massive bunker complex. This went too far left into the bushes. He hit another drive into the bunker and got that up-and-down from 100 feet to at least save bogey.
Still, Johnson had to settle for a 69 and was 13 shots behind.
Jon Rahm, who opened with a 68, went the other direction. He ran off four straight bogeys on the back nine, mostly due to his short game and then a tee shot too far left that went into the water on the par-5 17th. Just when he was starting to turn it around, He went from the bunker into the water on the par-4 fifth for a double bogey. He shot 76 and was 11 back.
Rory McIlroy was stuck in neutral, trading seven birdies with three bogeys and one big mistakes when his bunker shot to lay up on the par-5 seventh hit the lip and caromed to the right into the pine straw. It took five shots to get to the green, and then he missed a 6-foot putt and made double bogey. McIlroy shot 70 and was six behind.
Mickelson in contention in Champions event after mud birdie
Phil Mickelson waded into the mud after his tee shot on Tucson National’s 15th hole trickled into a pond. He adjusted his feet for balance and punched a 9-iron down the fairway, earning applause from playing partner Fred Couples.
Another 9-iron on the par 5 to 4 feet and, after wiping off his shoes, an improbable birdie.
A bit of Mickelson magic has Lefty in the hunt to make history.
Mickelson’s mud birdie highlighted a 3-under 70 at the Cologuard Classic on Friday, putting him in contention for a third straight victory to open his PGA Tour Champions career.
“I was so heated, I was going to get in there and play it no matter what – how high that mud came up, it didn’t matter,” Mickelson said. “It wasn’t a hard shot, the ball was sitting fine, so I was going to get in there.”
Mickelson was four shots behind Mike Weir, who had a bogey-free 66 in windy conditions at Tucson National. Scott Verplank holed out from a greenside bunker for birdie on the par-4 ninth to close out a 65.
Mickelson is bidding to become the first player to win his first three starts on a PGA Tour-sanctioned tour.
Lefty had a relatively stress-free front nine, shooting 3 under on one of the courses where he became the last amateur to win on the PGA Tour 30 years earlier. He hit his second shot on the par-5 eighth hole onto the side of the adjacent No. 3 tee, where Jeff Sluman was walking past after teeing off.
“I hit it way over here just to say hi,” Mickelson said, drawing a laugh from Sluman.
Facing a difficult downhill lie in the dormant Bermuda, Mickelson hit the ball to about 6 feet and made the putt for birdie.
The five-time major champion began having trouble on the back nine, starting with a three-putt bogey on the par-4 11th. Mickelson took double bogey after hitting out-of-bounds on the par-4 13th and appeared to be in trouble when his tee shot on No. 15 rolled into a pond at the corner of the dogleg.
The pond was 237 yards from the tee, so Mickelson figured there was no way he could hit a 5-iron that far into the wind. Once the ball trickled into the mud, he went right in after it.
“I’m going to have to have Callaway send me another pair of those shoes because these were new, but they’re not any good anymore,” he said.
Mickelson followed with another birdie on the par-5 17th, carving a 3-iron to the front bunker and nearly holing it. He closed with a par on the difficult par-4 18th to shoot even-par 37 on the back nine.
Mickelson won the Ozarks National in Missouri last August in his first start after turning 50 and followed up with a win at the Country Club of Virginia in October. Though primarily focused on playing on the PGA Tour, he opted to return to Tucson, where he won three times – the first at Tucson National and TPC Starr Pass as 20-year-old amateur at Arizona State.
“I’ve got some work to do to get those short irons close,” Mickelson said. If I can do that, I can make a lot of birdies here, but this was not the day. I did not score very well today. I’ve got to get after it because these guys are making a lot of birdies and I’ve got to try to pass them.”
Weir opened with two birdies and followed with seven straight pars. The 2003 Masters champion and had five birdies in a stretch of seven holes to shoot five-under 32 on the back nine.
“Overall, it was just solid all the way around,” he said. “I made a couple nice putts. When you shoot 7 under, it’s a few close ones, made a few nice ones, played well, too.”
Verplank had a stretch of six birdies in seven holes after starting on the back nine and followed eight straight pars with his holed-out bunker shot.
“I hadn’t hit many bunker shots, but let’s see what happens and I hit a really good shot,” Verplank said. “But they’re lucky when they go in, so I’ll take it.”
Steve Stricker, who’s also playing both the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, was among a group tied for sixth at 69. He hasn’t played a PGA Tour Champions event since September and tied for fourth at the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Open this month. He won the 2018 tournament for the first of his five senior titles.
Back after 12 years, Sorenstam gets 2 more days on LPGA Tour
Annika Sorenstam went more than 12 years without playing on the LPGA Tour. Now she gets two more days.
Sorenstam made three birdies after making the turn Friday at Lake Nona and posted a 1-under 71 in the Gainbridge LPGA. And even with the wrong ruling the previous day that led to an extra stroke, she still made the cut on the number.
“I did what I could,” Sorenstam said. “The goal was to shoot under par and I did, and so that’s all I can do.”
She still was 12 shots out of the lead as Lydia Ko posted a 3-under 69 and took a one-shot lead over Nelly Korda (68). Ryan O’Toole had her second straight 68 and was another shot behind.
Sorenstam, making a one-time appearance because the LPGA Tour is at her home course, finally got some putts to drop and ran off three birdies on her second nine. She finished 36 holes at 2-over 146 and was right on the cut line.
And then she had to wait for the other half to play in the afternoon, wonder if that ruling in the opening round would come back to cost her the weekend.
Sorenstam took a triple bogey on the fifth hole of the opening round when her tee shot avoided going out-of-bounds by a fraction. But it was directly under the gate of a wrought iron fence, the boundary. She asked about opening the gate but was told a stipulation in the rules didn’t allow for that.
So she chose to take a penalty drop, pitched out to the fairway and three-putted from 18 feet in her round of 75.
Turns out that was one of the changes to the modernization of the Rules of Golf in 2019, the largest overhaul ever. The gate now is treated as a movable obstruction – meaning it could be swung open, provided it was not locked (it wasn’t).
The penalty could not be rescinded because Sorenstam played from a different spot.
The rules official, Dan Maselli, was devastated and apologized to Sorenstam after the second round. Sorenstam was not bothered, saying the rules are so new that it’s easy to get it wrong in such a quirky situation.
“He wanted to apologize. He said he was wrong. I could have opened the gate and I could’ve played,” Sorenstam said. “But he said, `This is going to hurt me. This is eating me inside.’ I said, `Please, please don’t feel that way.’ I appreciate it. He said, `I won’t make that mistake again.’ I said, `Well, I won’t hit there anymore.’
“You know, those things happen. The rules have changed,” she said. “That’s the way it goes.”
Even if she didn’t play – making the cut meant finding someone to take daughter Ava to volleyball – the 50-year-old Swede did what she wanted.
Sorenstam, who retired after a three-win season in 2008 to start a family, described this as an appearance, not a comeback. She wanted a little competition as she contemplates playing he U.S. Senior Women’s Open this summer, and she said she wouldn’t have played an LPGA tour event if it wasn’t on her home course.
This was not about trying to add to her 72 career victories. But for someone out of competition for nearly as long as her career on the LPGA Tour, she still has ample game.
“The goal was to be a little bit more aggressive. I was at times; not as much as I should have,” she said. “Overall, I’m very pleased. A little chip-in there didn’t hurt. But yeah, I look at it as a great round. I’m not going to analyze it too much.”
The attention shifts to Ko, a former teen prodigy and No. 1 in the world who won her first LPGA Tour event at 15. Ko has gone nearly three years since her last victory, though her game has been trending upward.
“No matter what happens over the weekend, I think it’s good to just keep putting myself in these positions,” Ko said. “I think you get more comfortable with it and the more times you’re there I think the higher chance that at the end it will all happen for you.”