INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL STATE FINALS

Class A State Championship
Final | Pioneer 43, Loogootee 42

Class 3A State Championship 

Final | Silver Creek 54, South Bend Washington 48

Class 4A State Championship
Final | Crown Point 44, Brownsburg 34

BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SATURDAY

Barr-Reeve69Shakamak39 
Brownstown Central68Charlestown55 
Cannelton63Dugger Union52 
Clarksville61Crawford County57 
Detroit Loyola (Mich.)47Culver Academy41 
Eastern (Greentown)42Sheridan39 
Hobart56Lake Station54 
Tipton67Rossville64OT
Union City65Lapel64 
Washington57Boonville28 

BOYS BASKETBALL SECTIONALS THIS WEEK

RICHMOND

1              Tue        Muncie Central [0-20] vs. Anderson [9-10]

2              Wed      Mount Vernon (Fortville) [14-6] vs. Richmond [10-9]

3              Wed      New Palestine [14-8] vs. Greenfield-Central [13-9]

4              Fri           Pendleton Heights [8-14] vs. Winner Game 1

5              Fri           Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

6              Sat          Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

NEW CASTLE

1              Tue        Hamilton Heights [15-4] vs. Yorktown [14-7]

2              Tue        Jay County [7-10] vs. Delta [16-4]

3              Fri           Muncie Burris [9-10] vs. Winner Game 1

4              Fri           New Castle [7-15] vs. Winner Game 2

5              Sat          Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

GREENSBURG

1              Tue        South Dearborn [12-11] vs. Lawrenceburg [13-10]

2              Wed      Franklin County [7-13] vs. Batesville [8-14]

3              Wed      Greensburg [15-4] vs. Rushville [1-19]

4              Fri           Connersville [15-7] vs. Winner Game 1

5              Fri           Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

6              Sat          Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

SHENANDOAH

1              Tue        Union County [9-13] vs. Knightstown [0-20]

2              Tue        Hagerstown [5-17] vs. Eastern Hancock [17-5]

3              Wed      Northeastern [18-4] vs. Centerville [8-13]

4              Wed      Cambridge City Lincoln [8-12] vs. Shenandoah [21-3]

5              Fri           Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

6              Fri           Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

7              Sat          Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6

RANDOLPH SOUTHERN

1              Tue        Tri [4-17] vs. Union (Modoc) [3-17]

2              Tue        Seton Catholic [6-9] vs. Randolph Southern [6-14]

3              Fri           Blue River [12-10] vs. Winner Game 1

4              Fri           Union City [8-14] vs. Winner Game 2

5              Sat          Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

INDIANA BOYS STATE SWIMMING

1. Carmel 320

2. Fishers 168.5

3. Zionsville 155.5

4. Franklin Community 137

5. Penn 130

6. Chesterton 100

7. Hamilton Southeastern 99

8. Brownsburg 72.5

9. Center Grove 62

10. Homestead 61

11. Delta 60

11. Carroll (Fort Wayne) 60

13. Munster 49

14. South Bend St Joseph 48

15. Mt. Vernon (Fortville) 36

16. Boonville 34

17. Culver Academies 33.5

18. Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran 32

19. North Central (Indpls.) 29

20. New Prairie 28

21. Elkhart 27

22. Greenfield Central 22

23. Avon 21

24. Floyd Central 20

25. Columbus North 19

25. East Central 19

27. South Bend Riley 18

28. Danville Community 16

29. South Putnam 14

29. Plainfield 14

29. Northridge 14

32. Indian Creek 13

33. Eastern (Greentown) 12

34. Lake Central 11

35. Noblesville 9

35. Maconaquah 9

37. Bloomington North 8

38. Valparaiso 7

39. Concord 6

40. Columbus East 5

41. Hamilton Heights 4

42. South Knox 3

42. Yorktown 3

44. Tipton 2

45. Hobart 1

45. Westfield 1

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 Gonzaga 86 Loyola Marymount 69

#17 Kansas 71 #2 Baylor 58

#3 Michigan 73 Indiana 57

#5 Illinois 74 #23 Wisconsin 69

#6 Alabama 64 Mississippi State 59

Oklahoma State 94 #7 Oklahoma 90 OT

#10 West Virginia 65 Kansas State 43

North Carolina 78 #11 Florida State 70

Xavier 77 #13 Creighton 69

#18 Texas Tech 68 #14 Texas 59

#16 Virginia Tech 84 Wake Forest 46

Utah 71 #19 USC 61

#20 Arkansas 83 LSU 75

#21 Loyola Chicago 65 Southern Illinois 58 OT

#22 San Diego State 62 Boise State 58

Auburn 77 #25 Tennessee 72

Nebraska 78 Minnesota 74

Boston College 94 Notre Dame 90

Louisville 80 Duke 73 OT

Georgia Tech 84 Syracuse 77

TCU 76 Iowa State 72

Georgetown 68 DePaul 60

Connecticut 80 Marquette 62

Ball State 97 Central Michigan 91

Kent State 64 Miami Ohio 51

Eastern Michigan 91 Northern Illinois 57

Buffalo 86 Ohio 66

Toledo 91 Western Michigan 44

Valparaiso 70 Indiana State 58

Evansville 72 Missouri State 63

Arizona 75 Washington 74

Oregon 74 California 63

Oregon State 73 Stanford 62

Arizona State 77 Washington State 74 OT

Colorado 70 UCLA 61

South Carolina 91 Georgia 70

Vanderbilt 75 Ole Miss 70

Florida 71 Kentucky 67

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 Connecticut 97 Butler 68

#7 Baylor 85 Kansas State 49

#11 Indiana 87 #15 Ohio State 75

Houston 67 #13 S. Florida 49

#18 West Virginia 72 Kansas 68

#21 Gonzaga 77 Loyola Marymount 39

#22 South Dakota State 72 Kansas City 66

#23 Missouri State 64 Loyola Chicago 50

#24 DePaul 75 Providence 49

Oklahoma 68 Texas 63 OT

Seton Hall 67 Villanova 55

Ball State 88 Toledo 77

Miami Ohio 81 Kent State 58

Bowling Green 79 Akron 64

Western Michigan 86 Northern Illinois 53

Northern Iowa 67 Evansville 31

Valparaiso 75 Southern Illinois 64

NHL SCOREBOARD

Washington 5 New Jersey 2

Calgary 6 Ottawa 3

Philadelphia 3 Buffalo 0

Nashville 2 Columbus 1

Pittsburgh 4 NY Islanders 3

Tampa Bay 5 Dallas 0

Carolina 4 Florida 3

Toronto 4 Edmonton 0

Detroit 5 Chicago 3

Minnesota 4 Los Angeles 3

Colorado 6 Arizona 2

Vegas 3 Anaheim 2

Winnipeg 2 Montréal 1

St. Louis 7 San Jose 6

TOP HEADLINES

GIRLS STATE A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

(IHSAA RELEASE)

Ashlynn Brooke’s Jumper Lifts Pioneer to First State Championship

Sophomore Ashlynn Brooke’s jump shot with :07 left lifted Pioneer to a 43-42 victory over Loogootee in a rematch of the 2020 Class A state title game.

The victory gives the Panthers of coach Jeff Brooke their first-ever state basketball title and avenges a 45-43 loss to Loogootee in last year’s championship game. The title is also Pioneer’s second of the current school year as the Panthers defeated Loogootee in the Class A volleyball championship match last fall.

Pioneer (25-4) held a 22-18 lead at halftime and used a 13-2 run to close the third quarter to take a 37-29 lead into the final eight minutes.

Coach Brian Smith’s Lions, however, rallied back with an 11-2 run to take a 40-39 lead with 3:52 remaining.

In the final minute, Loogootee (20-5) missed a pair of front-end free throw attempts to give Pioneer a chance.  After a timeout with :23.4 left, the Panthers worked the ball to Ashlynn Brooke who converted the game-winner.

The victory wasn’t secure until Pioneer senior McKenzie Walker stole a pass under the Loogootee basket just before time expired.

Olivia Brooke led Pioneer with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Hailey Cripe added 12 points and Ashlynn Brooke netted 10 points.

Loogootee’s Kylie VanHoy led all scorers with 18 points and Brooklynn Jones added 12.

GIRLS STATE 3A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Ashlynn Brooke’s Jumper Lifts Pioneer to First State Championship

Sophomore Ashlynn Brooke’s jump shot with :07 left lifted Pioneer to a 43-42 victory over Loogootee in a rematch of the 2020 Class A state title game.

The victory gives the Panthers of coach Jeff Brooke their first-ever state basketball title and avenges a 45-43 loss to Loogootee in last year’s championship game. The title is also Pioneer’s second of the current school year as the Panthers defeated Loogootee in the Class A volleyball championship match last fall.

Pioneer (25-4) held a 22-18 lead at halftime and used a 13-2 run to close the third quarter to take a 37-29 lead into the final eight minutes.

Coach Brian Smith’s Lions, however, rallied back with an 11-2 run to take a 40-39 lead with 3:52 remaining.

In the final minute, Loogootee (20-5) missed a pair of front-end free throw attempts to give Pioneer a chance.  After a timeout with :23.4 left, the Panthers worked the ball to Ashlynn Brooke who converted the game-winner.

The victory wasn’t secure until Pioneer senior McKenzie Walker stole a pass under the Loogootee basket just before time expired.

Olivia Brooke led Pioneer with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Hailey Cripe added 12 points and Ashlynn Brooke netted 10 points.

Loogootee’s Kylie VanHoy led all scorers with 18 points and Brooklynn Jones added 12.

GIRLS STATE 4A CHAMPIONSHIP

Crown Point wins First State Title since 1985, Third Overall
Crown Point withstood a torrid shooting start by Brownsburg to roll to a 44-34 victory in the Class 4A championship game.

Crown Point fell behind, 19-10, after one quarter as Brownsburg hit 8-of-11 from the floor, including a 6-for-6 performance by senior Alli Becki.

But coach Chris Seibert’s squad held Brownsburg without a field goal over the next 10:58 of playing time to build a nine-point, 31-22 lead in the third quarter. Brownsburg (17-11) did pull within 31-29 after three quarters, but CP never lost the lead.

Crown Point (25-1) thus claimed its first state championship since winning back-to-back titles in 1984 and 1985.
Junior guard Jessica Carrothers led CP with a game-high 25 points.

Becki finished with 19 points, but hit only two of her last nine shots from the floor. Novalee Glass added 10 points.
Brownsburg, coached by Debbie Smiley, made its first appearance in the state finals since winning the title in 1991.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL: Indiana Falls to No. 3/3 Michigan

(IU RELEASE)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The hugs came, as they should, first from Trayce Jackson-Davis, then from Archie Miller.

A likely final Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall game was wrapping up, and if it did not end the way senior guard Aljami Durham wanted, well, sometimes you have to make the best of it.

Durham certainly did that during Saturday’s 73-57 loss to No. 3 Michigan.

The 6-4 guard from Georgia totaled 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting with two rebounds and an assist in 29 full-throttle minutes.

It wasn’t enough, not against a potential national championship squad playing at peak power despite a 36-hour turnaround from its demolition of No. 9 Iowa.

“It’s been a blessing to play D-1 on the highest stage in America,” Durham said. “I want to give thanks to God, my coaches, my teammates and my family.

“With all the hard work, sweat and tears, it’s bitter sweet, but it’s part of the game.”

This followed Durham’s 20-point effort at Rutgers, and was a huge bounce back from his four-point Michigan State performance. He is the 53rd Hoosier to score 1,000 career points. He has 1,009.

“He’s been fantastic for our program,” Miller said. “He’s extremely unselfish. He has great energy. He’s been a great addition. He’ll be successful in whatever he wants to do.

“He’s as hard a working a guy as you’ll ever be around. He’s finishing the way you want. He’s playing so hard. It’s up to us to figure out how to deliver a better performance for him.”

After the game, Durham talked with Michigan coach Juwan Howard.

“I have nothing but respect,” Durham said. “He told me he loved my game. It was a great conversation. He’s a legend.”

Because of the pandemic, the NCAA has changed its rules to allow every player to return next season. Durham declined to answer if he would do that.

IU, which has lost three straight games, is 12-12 overall and 7-10 in the Big Ten. It will finish with its third straight losing conference record.

Michigan (18-1, 13-1) took another big step to a conference championship.

“Disappointed in the outcome,” Miller said, “but Michigan is a terrific team. They just keep coming. They have amazing size. They have a lot of answers on both ends of the floor.”

The pandemic cost Durham and Cooper Bybee their Senior Day moment. A brief ceremony was held before the game. Senior speeches will be released next week.

IU was without guard Armaan Franklin, sidelined with a right foot injury suffered a few days earlier at Rutgers. He was wearing a boot.

“It’s a pain tolerance thing,” Miller said. “I don’t believe he’ll go the rest of the regular season. We have to collectively be better.”

Without Franklin, IU went with Jerome Hunter at small forward, something that Miller said would likely continue.

“We had some odd combinations,” Miller said. “Jerome played hard. He did a good job.”

Early physicality wasn’t an issue. The Hoosiers banged, battled and attacked with ferocity that would have broken most teams.

The problem — Michigan had the talent and versatility to withstand it, then up the ante.

“In our league,” Miller said, “if you do what they’re doing, they’re the real deal.”

As for IU, he added, “It was a lack of physicality and a lack of discipline. We had some tough reach-in calls that are undisciplined.”

Forward Race Thompson had 11 points and six rebounds. Jackson-Davis had 10 points, but only made three of 12 shots against Michigan’s imposing size of 7-1 Hunter Dickinson, 6-9 Franz Wagner and 6-7 Isaiah Livers.

“He had some good looks, but they were tough shots against that huge size,” Miller said.

Thompson muscled in a basket for the game’s first two points. Guard Rob Phinisee threw a pass to Michigan’s Eli Brooks that became a Wolverine layup, then came right back for a 3-pointer. It was his first basket in three games. He had been 0-for-13 from the field against Michigan State and Rutgers.

IU inched ahead 8-5. Michigan pushed back for a 22-16 lead thanks to a 5-0 edge in points off turnovers. Six Thompson points (2-for-2 from the field, 2-for-2 on free throws) helped the Hoosiers stay within range.

IU got within 22-21 following a highlight-making Jackson-Davis dunk. Michigan scored 10 straight points to get separation. Freshman Khristian Lander ended that run with a long three-pointer, and then a layup.

The Wolverines led 42-29 when Thompson made a pair of free throws. Michigan committed a turnover and Hunter hit a jumper for a nine-point Indiana deficit.

Michigan opened the second half with three straight three-pointers to regain its 13-point lead. IU stayed that close thanks to five Durham points to put him over the 1,000-point barrier.

The Wolverines led 59-42 when Miller called a time out. The result –five straight Hoosier points.

On this day and against this team, it wasn’t nearly enough.

Now comes games at Michigan State and Purdue before beginning Big Ten tourney play in Indianapolis

“We’ve got a lot to get better at,” Miller said.

INDIANA WBB: Fourth Quarter Sends No. 11 IU To Win At Ohio State

(IU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, OHIO – A big fourth quarter propelled No. 11 Indiana to a road win at No. 15 Ohio State, 87-75, inside the Schottenstein Center on Saturday afternoon.

KEY MOMENTS

The Hoosiers (16-4, 14-2 B1G) trailed in the first few minutes of the first quarter but a 10-2 run in the final 3:57 of action put them up 18-12. The first quarter included a high-pressured offense led by senior guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary who initiated a fast break opportunity for Berger, who had eight points.

In a flurry of offense in the second quarter, the Hoosiers shot 50 percent from the floor as it pushed its lead to as any as six in the first portion of the frame. Ohio State (13-6, 9-6 B1G) chipped away, coming within as few as one on two separate occasions but a junior forward Aleksa Gulbe pump fake at the rim and bucket from sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes gave Indiana a 30-25 lead with just over two minutes before halftime.

Indiana would stretch its lead to as many as nine with 36 ticks to play but the Buckeyes had the final word in the first half with back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 39-36.

In its worst shooting performance in the third, Indiana mustered up just a 28.6 field goal percentage as Ohio State took advantage and fell behind with 2:42 remaining.

The deficit continued to grow going in to the fourth, as the Buckeyes led by as many as nine just 33 seconds in to the final quarter.

Indiana continued to chip away as a 3-pointer by senior guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary hit one of her three 3-pointers and Patberg completed a conventional 3-point play to come within three with 7:25 to go. OSU would go up by as many as five but it would be held without a field goal for three-plus minutes down the stretch as Indiana capitalized. Another offensive rebound and putback and Patberg drawing the foul sent her to the line to tie the game at 70. It was all part of a 14-0 run that extended to the 1:04 mark.

NOTABLE

The Hoosiers picked up its first victory in Columbus since 2002 and first win overall against the Buckeyes since 2010.

IU also breaks the school record for Big Ten wins with 14 this season. It set the previous record of 13 in 2019-20.

Four players scored in double figures behind 20 points from junior guard Grace Berger who had her fifth 20-point scoring performance of the season.

Patberg added 19 points and seven rebounds while Holmes added 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

Indiana shot a season-high 40 free throws and went 31-for-40 at the line on the afternoon. Their 40 attempts ties for the fourth-most in a single game.

Cardaño-Hillary grabbed a career-high 11 rebound as she notched her first double-double of the season.  She now has four career double-doubles (three previously at George Mason) as she also added 16 points as she hit three 3-pointers

Gulbe went 6-for-6 at the line as she ended her day in double figures with 10 points.

INDIANA MEN’S SOCCER: No. 7 Indiana Falls to Northwestern on Late Goal

(IU RELEASE)

EVANSTON, Ill. – No. 7 Indiana (2-1-0) conceded a late goal in a 1-0 setback against the Northwestern Wildcats (2-1-0) at Ryan Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.

KEY MOMENTS

• Northwestern’s sophomore forward Ugo Achara Jr. cleaned up a scramble inside the 18-yard box to beat the Hoosier defense with the game-winning tally in the 87th-minute.

• Sophomore forward Maouloune Goumballe had a great chance in the 85th-minute off a cross from the right wing. He sliding attempt right in front goal sailed high.

• Senior forward Thomas Warr had three shots on goal in 39 minutes of run, but all were turned back by Northwestern senior keeper Miha Miskovic. The Zemun, Serbia, native made five saves in the match.

NOTABLES

• Sophomore goalkeeper Roman Celentano began the season with 267-straight minutes of scoreless soccer before conceding the late winner from the Wildcats. He made five saves in six chances.

• Celentano has yielded one or fewer goals in 16 of his 17 starts to open his Hoosier career.

• Despite the loss, IU holds a record of 28-2-9 in the program’s last 39 Big Ten Conference regular-season matches.

• Northwestern last defeated Indiana in a 2-0 result on Oct. 25, 2009. IU was undefeated in the previous 14 (8-0-6) matches between the two programs.

• Redshirt freshman midfielder Quinten Helmer and sophomore forward Maouloune Goumballe each made their first career starts for the Hoosiers.

HOOSIER POINTS

GOALS: None.

ASSISTS: None.

UP NEXT

The Hoosiers are next scheduled to play next at 1 p.m. ET on March 7 at Armstrong Stadium against the Penn State Nittany Lions. All times, dates, and locations are subject to change.

PURDUE WBB: Boilermakers Set for Senior Day against Illinois

(PURDUE RELEASE)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Playing its final game at Mackey Arena for the 2020-21 campaign, the Purdue women’s basketball team is set for a Senior Day showdown against Illinois on Sunday. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. on Big Ten Network+

Tim Newton and Jane Schott will provide the coverage for the Boilermaker Sports Network on 95.3 BOB FM and the TuneIn app.

GAME INFORMATION

Purdue (6-14, 3-13) vs. Illinois (3-16, 1-15)

Sunday, Feb. 28

Time: 2 PM

TV: Big Ten Network+

Radio: 95.3 BOB FM

Live Stats: PurdueStats.com

SENIOR SENDOFF

Purdue will honor its 2021 senior class in a postgame ceremony. Seniors Tamara Farquhar, Fatou Diagne, Jenelle Grant and Leony Boudreau will grace Keady Court at Mackey Arena for the final time on Sunday. The quartet can finish their home careers with a 39-23 mark at home with a win over the Illini.

All four seniors have made impressive strides on an off the court over the last four years with more than 125 combined starts and nearly 15 combined points per game. Each senior will graduate or has graduated with their degree from Purdue in the coming months. The 2021 senior class will have the most international representation in program history.

LAST TIME OUT

The Boilermakers squared off with No. 8 Maryland for their annual Beat Cancer Pinkout, falling 88-59. Fatou Diagne picked up her fifth double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Kayana Traylor and Brooke Moore combined for 28 points in the loss.

NOTES

• Purdue leads the all-time series 61-18 with a 31-5 mark at Mackey Arena.

• Madison Layden extended her 3-point streak to 18 games and her steals tally to all 20 games this year. She is the only freshman from the Big Ten with at least 60 assists and 40 steals. Her assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.62 is ninth among rookies with 60 assists across the country.

• Kayana Traylor has averaged 16.6 points at a blistering 50% field goal clip over the last five games. Off the court, a TikTok featuring Traylor’s crossover against No. 8 Maryland garnered more than 100,000 views and 15,000 likes.

• For the second straight season, Fatou Diagne found another gear in the second half of conference play. Diagne is averaging 9.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game over the last eight outings.

• Brooke Moore hit double figures for the last four games, 16.3 points per during the stretch, and 11 games on the year.

• Continuing to make the most of her increased minutes, Rokia Doumbia is averaging 8.3 points and 5.5 rebounds when playing over 20 minutes.

• Cassidy Hardin knocked down her 13th 3-pointer of the year against Maryland. 74 of her 84 career field goals have come from outside the arc.

• Defensively, Purdue has held 14 opponents below the season scoring averages.

PURDUE ATHLETICS: LARRY CLISBY PASSES AWAY

(PURDUE RELEASE)

MELBOURNE, Fla. – Longtime voice of Purdue Basketball Larry Clisby died this morning in his home in Florida his family announced. He was 74 years old. 

Clisby was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung and metastatic brain cancer in June 2018. 

“Cliz was more than just Purdue Basketball’s radio announcer. He was truly a part of our team and program for more than 40 years. He had close relationships with current and former players and we always considered him an extended part of our staff,” head coach Matt Painter said. “While it’s a sad day for all of us and all our great fans, we should all feel fortunate that he was our program’s voice and cherish those memories of him calling games for the team he loved.”

Known for his trademark “Bullseye” call and quick wit, Clisby served as the radio play-by-play voice of Purdue Basketball for almost 40 years before officially retiring before the 2020-21 season. Clisby finished his career calling 1,189 Purdue games, spanning coaches Gene Keady and Matt Painter. 

Clisby started his broadcasting career in Paducah, Kentucky, before being hired by WLFI-TV in Lafayette, in 1977. He started in the area by calling high school basketball games and being the set-up man for Purdue Basketball, before moving full-time to become the Voice of the Boilermakers in 1982, while also hosting the Gene Keady Show. For over 40 years, his name was synonymous with Purdue Basketball. 

He called some of the biggest moments in Purdue history, ranging from Chad Austin’s game-winning shots at Indiana, Glenn Robinson’s basket vs. Michigan to help give Purdue the 1994 Big Ten Championship to Ryan Cline’s stepback 3-pointer against Tennessee in the 2019 Sweet 16. He was a part of nine Big Ten Championship seasons, one Big Ten Tournament title, 28 NCAA Tournaments and three Elite Eight appearances. 

In 2018, Clisby was inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.

BUTLER MEN’S BB: Butler MBB Closes Home Schedule Sunday with Top 10 Villanova

(BUTLER RELEASE)

GAME 22:  Butler (8-13, 7-11 BIG EAST) vs. #8/6 Villanova (15-3, 10-2 BIG EAST)

Sunday, Feb. 28;  12PM

Hinkle Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Ind.

TV:  CBS – Andrew Catalon & Steve Lappas

Radio:  107.5FM/93.5FM/1070AM – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)

TuneIn Radio App, XM 383, SiriusXM Internet 973

Westwood One Radio – @BrandonGaudin & Kyle Macy

@ButlerMBB  |  #ButlerWay  |  ButlerSports.com

The Bulldogs close out the home portion of the 2020-21 schedule by hosting Top 10 foe Villanova Sunday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

• Aaron Thompson (shoulder/thumb) and Bo Hodges (calf) are questionable for Sunday’s game.

• Butler is 7-4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.

• Butler has won three of the last four meetings with Villanova played at Hinkle.

• The 52 points scored by Seton Hall Wednesday are a season-low for a Butler opponent.

• Bryce Nze posted his fourth double-double of the season vs. Seton Hall.

• Nze is averaging 14.4 points per game on 55-percent shooting at home this season.

• Jair Bolden had a team-high 16 points vs. Seton Hall (all in the second half); it pushed him over 1,000 points for his collegiate career.

• Butler went 16-of-17 from the free throw line against Seton Hall.

• Freshmen have scored 35 percent of Butler’s points so far this season.

• Butler is allowing only 66.7 points per game in conference play, which is second in the BIG EAST.

• Butler’s last three opponents are a combined 13-of-64 (20 percent) from three-point range.

• Nze is fourth in the BIG EAST at 8.0 rebounds per game.

• Freshman Chuck Harris leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 11.6 points per game; he has three 20-point games.

• Butler has committed single-digit turnovers in seven games this season.

• Eight different Bulldogs have led the team in scoring this season; five different Bulldogs have posted 20-point games.

• Harris ranks fifth in the BIG EAST in free throw percentage (.827) and tenth in three-point percentage (.389).

• Bolden is fifth in the BIG EAST at 2.6 three-pointers per game.

• Bryce Golden recorded his first career double-double Sunday at Xavier, including a career-best 12 rebounds.

• Butler’s 76-73 overtime win over St. John’s Feb. 9 included overcoming a 16-point deficit.

• No. 8 Creighton is the highest-ranked opponent Butler has beaten since a 101-93 win over No. 1 Villanova, Dec. 30, 2017.

THE SERIES: Butler and Villanova will meet for the 18th time, with all but one of those match-ups coming since the Bulldogs joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 season. Three of Butler’s four wins have come at Hinkle Fieldhouse, and each of those have come since 2017.

Villanova Leads, 13-4

Streak: Villanova, W1

At Hinkle Fieldhouse: Villanova Leads, 4-3

LaVall Jordan (at BU) vs. Villanova: 2-6

First Meeting: Villanova, 62-54; 11/30/96

(Puerto Rico Shootout)

Last Meeting: Villanova, 85-66; 12/16/20 (at VU)

FIRST TIME AROUND: No. 7 Villanova pulled away late from Butler, posting an 85-66 win in Philadelphia Dec. 16. For the Bulldogs, it was their first game in 21 days due to a COVID-19 pause following their season opener.

Collin Gillespie and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl led four Wildcats in double figures with 18 points apiece. The margin was 10 (70-60) when Aaron Thompson went down with a knee injury following his made basket with 4:36 to play.

Butler trimmed the lead to just two with 16:15 to play in the second half on Jair Bolden’s fourth three-pointer of the game. But the lead soon grew to 11.

Bolden led the Bulldogs with 18 points, while Thompson added 14. Bolden provided the early scoring bunch for the Bulldogs, connecting on 13 of Butler’s first 17 points as the team scored on its first eight possessions to take a 17-10 lead with 14:55 remaining in the first half. Bolden had 15 points over the first half.

Butler dressed only nine players, and at one point midway through the second half had four freshmen and reserve forward John-Michael Mulloy in the contest.

LAST TIME OUT: The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 20-6 run to turn a two-point halftime deficit into a 44-32 lead with 11:06 to play.

Jair Bolden led the Bulldogs with 16 points, all of which came in the second half. Butler shot 58 percent from the field in the second half (11-of 19).

The 52 points allowed to Seton Hall are the fewest scored by a Butler opponent this season. Butler limited Seton Hall to 38-percent shooting, and only a 6-of-27 clip from three-point range.

Bryce Nze returned to the line-up after missing the last two games with a groin injury. He posted 11 points and 13 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season and the 14th of his career. Butler out-rebounded Seton Hall, 36-28.

The Bulldogs went 15-of-16 from the free throw line. Butler entered the night shooting .631 from the charity stripe, which was 325th nationally. Seton Hall got to the line only seven times.

Butler played without starting guards Aaron Thompson (shoulder/thumb) and Bo Hodges (calf) for the second consecutive game. Thompson also missed the Jan. 2 loss at Seton Hall, while Hodges had not had his NCAA waiver for immediate eligibility approved at that point in the season.

NEEDING EXTRA TIME: Butler’s Aaron Thompson and Bryce Nze posted double-doubles, leading the Bulldogs to a clutch 76-73 overtime win over St. John’s Feb. 9 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Thompson had 17 points, including the basket with two seconds remaining in regulation that sent the game to overtime, to go along with 10 assists. Nze had a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs overcame a 16-point deficit. Butler was able to end the Red Storm’s six-game winning streak.

Thompson and Nze are the first Bulldogs to post double-doubles in the same game since the same duo accomplished the feat Nov. 9, 2019 in a home win over New Orleans.

CALL IT A COMEBACK: Four of Butler’s eight wins have included a double-digit comeback. The Feb. 9th 16-point comeback against St. John’s is joined by three earlier ones in BIG EAST play. (12 vs. DePaul, Feb. 6; 13 vs. Creighton, Jan. 16; and 11 vs. Georgetown, Jan. 6).

The 16-point recovery against St. John’s was Butler’s biggest comeback since erasing a 20-point deficit at Georgetown Dec. 27, 2017, taking a 91-89 double-overtime win.

2 FOR 20: Bryce Nze and Chuck Harris each scored 22 points in the Feb. 6 home win over DePaul. For Nze, it set his high mark in a Butler uniform (he has a career-high of 25 points from his time at Milwaukee), while Harris tied his career-high set earlier this season against Southern Illinois. The duo combined for seven three-pointers.

Nze and Harris are the first Butler duo to score 20 points in the same game since Kamar Baldwin (30) and Jordan Tucker (24) did so against St. John’s, Jan. 19, 2019.

INSTANT IMPACT: Bo Hodges had an appeal of a waiver for immediate eligibility approved by the NCAA prior to the Bulldogs’ Jan. 30 game with Xavier. In just his second game (and his first start) for Butler, Hodges set career-highs with 12 rebounds and eight assists to go along with 15 points, narrowly missing a triple-double Feb. 2 at Marquette.

‘BOARD’ OUT OF HIS MIND: Redshirt senior Bryce Nze is fourth in the BIG EAST in rebounding at 8.0 caroms per game. Nze pulled down 14 rebounds Jan. 19 at DePaul, his second time in three outings hitting that mark (also at St. John’s Jan. 12). It is his highest total in a Butler uniform (although he had 17 in a game while playing at Milwaukee). He has seven games with 10 or more rebounds this season.

HANDLE WITH CARE: Butler averages only 11.7 turnovers per game. Butler had only six turnovers against Xavier Jan. 30, one of the team’s seven single-digit turnover outputs this season. The six turnovers matched the team’s season-low. The Bulldogs turned the ball over only seven times in 45 minutes of play in the Jan. 16 win over Creighton.

Butler has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 55 of the 120 games that LaVall Jordan has been head coach at Butler.

YOUNG GUNS: The highest-rated recruiting class in Butler history has lived up to the billing so far. Chuck Harris, Myles Tate and JaKobe Coles (who is out for the remainder of the season with a meniscus injury) have each led the team in scoring in a game so far this season.

Harris has a pair of 22-point performances and is second among BIG EAST true freshmen  in scoring (trailing only Marquette’s Dawson Garcia.)

Harris was  named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week by the conference office Dec. 28. Harris is the third Bulldog to earn Freshman of the Week honors since the Bulldogs joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 season. He joins Kelan Martin (final week of the 2014-15 regular season) and Kamar Baldwin (twice during the 2016-17 season) on that list.

Tate posted a career-high 10 rebounds in his first career double-double Jan. 16 vs. Creighton. Tate recorded a career-high 22 points Jan. 2 at Seton Hall. His output included a career-best five three-pointers.

BUTLER WBB: Butler WBB Takes 97-68 Setback to #1 UConn

(BUTLER RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – Butler and #1 UConn took the floor for the first time at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon in front of a 1,721 fans. The Huskies had five players reach double figures in the contest allowing them to post a 97-68 win over the Bulldogs.

How It Happened

The Bulldogs hit 10 3-pointers in the first half to stay within striking distance of #1 UConn. Micah Scheetz gave BU their first lead of the contest at 15-14 with her first 3-point make of the afternoon. The ‘Dawgs shot well early, hitting four of their first five from long range and therefore would only trail the Huskies by one at the first media timeout.

Five different players were responsible for the first five makes from behind the arc, but UConn would end the opening 10 minutes on a 9-0 scoring run to take a 25-17 advantage. The top team in the country ended the second quarter on a scoring run as well to take a 53-39 lead into the half. Tenley Dowell had tied the game at 29-29 with a 3-pointer with 6:52 to play, but UConn would push forward to win the second quarter 28-19.

The game started to take shape in closing half of the third quarter. Each team put five points on the board before a Butler timeout with 7:40 to play. UConn only outscored Butler by two midway through the third, but the home team would go four-plus minutes without a field goal after that and the Huskies took advantage with a 10-0 scoring run that allowed UConn to win that 10-minute stretch by nine.

BU was up on UConn 15-14 with 3:08 remaining in the fourth, but yet another scoring run, this time 7-0, would favor the Huskies and give the top team in women’s basketball a 97-68 win.

Stat of the Game

14 of Butler’s 22 made shots came from 3-point range against UConn. Butler ended the day 14-for-36 from behind the arc (39%).

Inside the Box Score

– No other BIG EAST team has scored more than 68 points against UConn this season.

– Genesis Parker tied her season-high with 18 points. She led BU with four made 3-pointers.

– Upe Atosu was great on Senior Day with 13 points, seven assists, three steals and three rebounds.

– Okako Adika shot 5-for-9 from the field to net 14 points.

– Seven different Bulldogs hit at least one 3-point field goal.

– Butler and UConn were even with 14 turnovers each.

– Paige Bueckers led UConn with 20 points and 14 assists

– Aaliyah Edwards scored a team-high 24 points off the UConn bench.

Up Next

Butler will travel to Chicago tomorrow and end the regular season with a game at DePaul on Monday, March 1.

BUTLER MSOCCER: First-Half Goal Gives Notre Dame 1-0 Decision Over Butler MSoccer

(BUTLER RELEASE)

Visiting Notre Dame used a goal in the 35th minute to take a 1-0 decision over Butler Saturday afternoon at the Sellick Bowl in Indianapolis.

With the result, Notre Dame improves to 6-4 on the season after playing nine matches in the fall. Butler falls to 0-4 this spring.

The Fighting Irish goal came as a cross was attempted to be cleared by the Butler defense. However the ball ended up at the foot of Matthew Radivojsa, who one-timed it into the lower right corner.

Butler’s best chance came about 10 minutes into second half play as Hemi Nasser’s shot from inside the box was saved by Notre Dame keeper Keagan McLaughlin. The rebound made its way to Jack Streberger, but his shot went wide right.

Those were two of Butler’s 10 shots in the second half.

“I thought we came out in the second half with more energy, and I was really pleased with the opportunities we created over the last 45 minutes,” said Butler coach Paul Snape. “But we have to do that from the beginning to be successful against the quality competition we have faced. While we’re disappointed in the 0-4 record, we’ve seen growth.”

Despite Notre Dame owning a 6-1 shot advantage in the first half, Butler held an 11-8 edge for the match. Wilmer Cabrera, Jr. had a game-high four shots.

Gabriel Gjergji made two saves for the Bulldogs; McLaughlin had three for Notre Dame.

The Bulldogs will now turn their attention to BIG EAST play as the conference has gone to a modified format for the spring 2021 season, dividing into Midwest and East Divisions. Butler will play home-and-home series with DePaul, Marquette, Xavier and Creighton. Up first is a Wednesday home match against DePaul. The match will be streamed live on the Butler Athletics YouTube page.

BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Cardinals Take Care Of Business vs. Central

(BALL STATE RELEASE)

MUNCIE — The Ball State men’s basketball team looks like it is clicking at the right time.

The Cardinals rode another hot shooting performance to a 97-91 victory Saturday over Central Michigan at Worthen Arena, locking up a spot in the eight-team MAC Tournament with two regular season games left.

Ishmael El-Amin, who reached 1,000 career points the last time out, celebrated with the highest scoring game of his career. The senior guard racked up 33 points to lead all scorers, while sophomore point guard Jarron Coleman added 24.

Coleman and Brachen Hazen both had six assists, while Kani Acree and Luke Bumbalough had five each for a BSU team (9-11, 7-8 MAC) that racked up 23 assists on 33 made baskets.

It was enough to hold off a strong offensive performance by a game Central Michigan team (6-15, 2-12 MAC) and its three-headed monster of Ralph Bissainthe with 27 points and Meikkel Murray and Caleb Huffman with 24 each.

TURNING POINT: Central Michigan cut a 10-point Ball State lead to two at 71-69 with 6:10 to play, but Coleman answered to stave off the Chippewas. Coleman knocked down 3-pointers on two of the next three BSU possessions and later added a pair of free throws and another 3 as part of a 13-4 run that stretched the lead back to double figures. Central Michigan was then forced to foul down the stretch to try to get back in it.

STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH: “I thought our guys played really hard, and I thought Central Michigan played really hard,” James Whitford said. “They really competed from start to finish and played well, and they made shots. I thought it was two teams really battling. But we really shared the ball and played well on offense.

“We weren’t always our best self on defense today. Central certainly had a lot to do with that. But with that being said, we were a together team all the way through. We made mistakes out there, but you could really see our guys kind of staying together and staying connected and trying to solve problems.”

COLEMAN’S BIG WEEK: Coleman’s Saturday performance came three days after he scored a career-high 26 points in Ball State’s 90-71 victory over a Kent State team near the top of the league. The reigning MAC Freshman of the Year has rounded into form, now 10 games into his season after missing the first 10 to injury. For the two games this week, he averaged 25 points and six assists while shooting 67 percent from the floor (16-for-24) and 65 percent from 3-point range (11-for-17).

PILING UP POINTS: Ball State scored 90 points in back-to-back MAC games for the first time in three years. The Cardinals last did it in February of 2018, scoring 90 and 99 in wins over Akron and Toledo.

TRIPLE PLAY: The Cardinals hit 13 3’s as a team Saturday, the same number they hit last time out against Kent State. BSU shot 50 percent from deep against the Golden Flashes and 48 percent against Central Michigan for its two best 3-point percentage games of the season.

UP NEXT: Ball State will host Eastern Michigan for a 7 p.m. tipoff on Senior Night at Worthen Arena. An oddity because of COVID postponements and cancelations, Tuesday’s game will be the seventh straight at home for the Cardinals. BSU will then close the regular season Friday at Toledo.

BALL STATE WBB: Freeman Scores Career High 28 Points In WBB’s Win At Toledo

(BALL STATE RELEASE)

TOLEDO, Ohio – The Cardinals continue to be road warriors this season, winning their 11th away game Saturday afternoon in Mid-American Conference action at Toledo in Savage Arena.

It is always a battle when these two teams collide but today Ball State (13-9, 11-7 MAC) had yet another all around dominating performance against Toledo (10-12, 6-12 MAC), taking home the 88-77 victory.

The Cardinals’ charge was led by sophomore guard Sydney Freeman who outscored all players today with a career high 28 points. Freeman knocked down six of BSU’s 12 3-pointers today, she also got help from teammate junior forward Thelma Dis Agustsdottir, as she registered six 3-pointers as well for an 18-point performance.

Redshirt sophomore guard Anna Clephane dropped in 13 points and junior guard Essence Booker made her return to the court scoring 10.

BSU went 12-of-24 (.500) from behind the arc today against the Rockets.

For a team that typically gets most of their points in the paint, head coach Brady Sallee said he had to make some adjustments to what Toledo was going to do defensively against the Cardinals this afternoon.

Sallee knew that the Rockets were going to concentrate on taking senior forward Oshlynn Brown out of the game, forcing BSU to shoot from the outside.

So that is what the Cardinals worked on this week and Sallee thought his team was very efficient from 3-point range today.

Agustsdottir opened the contest with a 3-point basket and that would set the tone of the ball game, as BSU outscored the Rockets 22-13 in the first 10 minutes of action.

Toledo would get their offense going in the second quarter to cut the Cardinals first frame lead to three (24-21) with 5:53 remaining in the first half.

But again, Agustsdottir came to the rescue knocking down yet another 3-point basket to put BSU back up by six (27-21).

The Rockets would remain within reach but soon after Agustsdottir’s 3-pointer her partner in crime Freeman also made another 3-pointer, helping the Cardinals eventually take a 38-27 edge over the Rockets at intermission.

After the half, Toledo came to within three on a few more occasions, but Ball State’s all-around team effort gave BSU a 15-point cushion early in the final frame of action and after that the rest was history.

The Ball State women’s basketball team will close out its MAC regular season action at home this week as BSU hosts Central Michigan on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET and then Western Michigan on Saturday for senior day. That game will tipoff at 1 p.m. ET in Worthen Arena.

BALL STATE SOFTBALL: Softball Tops Austin Peay in Saturday Action

(BALL STATE RELEASE)

CARBONDALE, Ill. – – Junior shortstop Amaia Daniel opened Saturday with a solo home run, while junior designated player Faith Hensley recorded three hits and a pair of RBI to lead the Ball State softball team to a 5-2 victory over Austin Peay on the second day of the Coach B Classic hosted by Southern Illinois.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals (2-2) saw their early-season winning streak come to an end later in the afternoon with a 6-1 loss to the tournament host and undefeated Salukis (8-0). SIU already owns a win over a top 25 team this season, earning a 6-5 (8) victory at No. 22 Mississippi State, who the Cardinals will face next Friday.

In the first big coaching connection of the season, Saturday’s win over the Governors (4-2) saw first-year Ball State head coach Lacy Wood earn her second career win over an APSU squad led by head coach Kassie Stanfill who was an assistant for the Cardinals from 2013-15.

Overall, the Cardinals had another solid all-around day on offense, with 19 total hits. Senior Haley Dominique had five of them over the two games, including an RBI single to drive in Ball State’s lone run versus SIU. Senior first baseman Janae Hogg and Hensley also finished the day with three hits each, while nine players tallied at least one hit.

Through the first four games, Dominique is batting .667 (6-for-9) and owns an even more impressive .769 on base percentage. Hensley is right behind with a .556 (5-for-9) average and a team-leading 1.000 slugging percentage.

In the circle, junior Tieghan Morio picked up her first win of the year after holding APSU to just one hit and an unearned run over the first 4.0 innings. Sophomore Deborah Jones relieved her and earned the save after allowing just two hits over the final 3.0 innings.

The Ball State softball team is scheduled to close play in the Coach B Classic Sunday morning with a 11 a.m. ET / 10 a.m. CT rematch versus DePaul.

Game 1 Recap: Ball State 5, Austin Peay 2

Sparked by Daniel’s home run to lead off the game, the Cardinals quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Senior third baseman Stacy Payton would follow a one-out double by senior center fielder Kennedy Wynn with an RBI single down the right field line to plate the second run.

After a two-out double by Dominique, Hensley registered her first of three hits in the game with an RBI single up the middle to give Ball State its third run of the contest.

After a scoreless second inning, the Cardinals extended their lead to 4-0 thinks to an RBI groundout from sophomore catcher Jazmyne Armendariz. Freshman pinch runner Brooke Ligacki scored on the play after entering for Dominique who reached on an error, moving to second on a wild pitch and advancing to third on a Hensley double to left.

The Governors countered with a one-out, first and third steal which saw the runner at second get caught in a rundown which allowed the runner at third to score.

Following another scoreless inning, the Cardinals used a one-out RBI single from Hensley to plate its fifth run of the game in the top of the fifth. The single drove in sophomore pinch runner Haley Wynn who entered after a two-out double from Hogg and advanced to third on a single from Dominique.

Once again, APSU would answer in the bottom of the inning, this time using an RBI single from Lexi Osowski to trim the Ball State lead.

That was the only run Austin Peay would get the remainder of the game, however, as Jones retired eight of the final nine batters she faced to pick up her first career save. She allowed just two hits over her 3.0 innings of work, while striking out a pair.

Morio on the other hand, picked up her 11th career victory by limiting APSU to one hit and an unearned run over her 4.0 innings of work. She also struck out a pair.

Game 2 Recap: SIU 6, Ball State 1

Unfortunately, the nightcap saw Southern Illinois jump out to a 6-0 lead, scoring one run in the second, four in the third and another in the fifth.

Ball State tried to mount a late-inning comeback, however, starting with a K. Wynn walk to open the sixth. Two batters later, Hogg followed with a single to right setting up an RBI single down the left field line for Dominique. It was Dominique’s third hit and three at bats versus the Salukis.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals could not continue the rally as SIU’s Sarah Harness retired the next five batters she faced, including the final two batters of the sixth.

Senior Darcie Huber started the game in the circles, throwing the first 3.0 innings and striking out three. Senior Alyssa Rothwell threw the final 3.0 innings, adding two more strikeouts to her season total.

NOTRE DAME SOFTBALL: IRISH WIN TWO AT LIBERTY CLASSIC, HIT THREE HOMERS ON DAY

(ND RELEASE)

LYNCHBURG, Virginia — Notre Dame Softball (6-5) completed a 2-0 day at the Liberty Classic Saturday, as junior pitcher Payton Tidd (2-3) earned the win in the 8-0 shutout victory over Villanova, and senior pitcher Alexis Holloway (4-2) pitched a complete game in the 3-1 win over RV Liberty.

Both pitchers hit home runs on the day, as Tidd’s came vs. Villanova, scoring two, while Holloway’s came at Liberty, a solo shot and the third of her career.

For the first time since 2019, the Irish hit back-to-back home runs, as Tidd sent her second-career home run outside the walls in the second inning vs. Villanova, and junior Quinn Biggio followed with a solo homer, upping her career total to seven. The last Notre Dame pair to hit two-consecutive home runs was Cait Brooks and current graduate student infielder Katie Marino, who did it at FIU on March 13, 2019.

In the field, the Irish were clean, committing zero errors in either game.

Junior Emma Clark led Notre Dame at the plate, recording five hits and three runs on the day, adding three RBI, over the course of both games.

Freshman Bryn Boznanski saw her first game action in an Irish uniform in Saturday’s game vs. Villanova.

GAME 1

The Irish bats were hot from the beginning, as Sweet led off the first game with a triple. Clark singled to bring Sweet home, before stealing second herself. Clark took third on a Marino flyout, and took home after Villanova delivered a wild pitch. The Irish finished batting up 2-0.

Tidd struck out two in the first inning, allowing no runs for Villanova, and the Irish returned to the plate in the second for more. Sophomore Leea Hanks led off with a single, before Tidd delivered her second-career home run to score both. Immediately following, Biggio sent her shot out of the park for a solo score. After Clark singled and Marino reached on an error, a fielder’s choice was the last out and ended Notre Dame’s scoring at 5-0.

In the bottom of the second, Tidd struck out two more, and both teams were retired in order in the third.

In the fourth, sophomore Macie Eck drew a HBP pinch-hitting for freshman Carlli Kloss. Kloss returned to run, and Sweet doubled to send Kloss to third. Another Clark hit, a single, brought Kloss home. Clark again stole second, and Marino doubled to score both Sweet and Clark in what proved to be Notre Dame’s last scoring play of the game, ending the top of the fourth up 8-0.

Senior Morgan Ryan entered to pitch for Tidd in the bottom of the fourth, and through the fourth and the fifth, Ryan struck out two and did not allow any Villanova runs. In the top of the fifth, Ryan also delivered a single of her own, her second-career hit.

The Irish ended it in five innings, with a final score 8-0.

GAME 2

Both squads went three up, three down in the first inning. The Irish went up to bat in the second, and Holloway sent her solo home run outside the walls with one out to give the Irish the lead. With no more runs scored in the inning, Notre Dame also held Liberty without a hit or any bases in the second to enter the third up 1-0.

After two outs in the third, Sweet singled, scoring on a subsequent Clark triple, to put the Irish up 2-0 at the close of the inning. With no runs in the bottom of the third or top of the fourth, Liberty sent a solo home run to lead off the fourth, and the Irish responded with a 3-6-4 double play from senior Sarah Genz to graduate student Chelsea Purcell and back to Marino at first to limit the damage at 2-1.

Both teams were retired in order in the fifth inning, and in the sixth, Clark led off for the Irish with a single, later stealing second. Clark advanced to third on a Marino groundout, and was brought home as Genz forced an error, extending the lead to 3-1.

Holloway and the Irish put Liberty away in order in the sixth, and the Irish did not score any more in the top of the seventh. To end the game, Liberty went three up, three down to preserve the final score at 3-1, Notre Dame.

In all, Holloway gave up just two hits at Liberty, throwing her third complete game of the season.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame will close out the Liberty Classic win facing Villanova on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET. Live stats can be found at und.com/mediastats. No broadcast coverage will be available.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S HOCKEY: IRISH SWEEP PAST SPARTANS WITH 2-0 WIN

(ND RELEASE)

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Special teams proved pivotal as the Fighting Irish put together a second consecutive 2-0 win at Michigan State for a weekend sweep at Munn Ice Arena.

Colin Theisen and Landon Slaggert each scored power-play goals and Dylan St. Cyr made 29 saves for the Irish (12-12-2). 

St. Cyr stopped all 56 shots he faced over the weekend to lead the Irish to the sweep, while Graham Slaggert had a pair of assists on Saturday.

The Fighting Irish power play finished 2-for-4 on the day, while the Notre Dame penalty kill unit held the Spartans to a 0-for-3 mark, including killing off a five minute major to start the third period.

“Our special teams have gotten better over the last month, credit to our guys on the PK for doing an outstanding job and then the power play as well, scoring a couple critical goals,” Head Coach Jeff Jackson said.

“I thought [Dylan St. Cyr] played a quiet, calm game and when we needed him he was there. I thought he did an outstanding job handling and moving the puck, he made the saves he needed to and made a few that were above the norm.”

How It Happened

Michigan State’s Joshua Jagger took a 5-minute major on a hit from behind at 4:41 of the first period and the Irish went to work on the power play.

After a few good looks early, Colin Theisen’s one-timer from the slot beat Drew DeRidder for a 1-0 lead at the 8:16 mark. Graham Slaggert and Nick Leivermann had the assists on Theisen’s seventh of the season.

St. Cyr turned aside all eight shots he faced in the first 20 minutes as Notre Dame took the 1-0 lead to the locker room. Irish put 18 shots on goal in the first, with DeRidder totaling 17 saves.

The teams skated to a scoreless second period, with Alex Steeves, Ryder Rolston and Landon Slaggert having Notre Dame’s best looks including a goalmouth scramble with two minutes left in the period.

St. Cyr was tested more in the second but he turned aside all 15 shots he faced. The Spartans began a five minute power play with 35 seconds remaining in the middle frame after a Notre Dame major.

Still leading 1-0, the Irish opened the third by killing off the remaining 4:26 of Michigan State power-play time by holding the Spartans without a shot on goal.

St. Cyr made a left pad save on Tommy Apap at the 8:25 mark to preserve the 1-0 lead.

Then Landon Slaggert doubled the Irish lead to 2-0 at 11:10 of the third when he netted his seventh goal of the season from in close on DeRidder, with the assists going to Graham Slaggert and Alex Steeves.

Notes

Senior Matt Hellickson skated in his 143rd-consecutive game, dating back to the first game of his freshman season.

With a pair of assists, Graham Slaggert posted his sixth multipoint game of the season and the seventh of his career.

With a goal, Landon Slaggert extended his point streak to four games (2-5-7).

Landon Slaggert and Colin Theisen now rank tied for second on the team with seven goals on the season.

Dylan St. Cyr posted his second consecutive shutout, his third of the season and the fifth of his career.

Dating back to game two at Wisconsin (Feb. 20), St. Cyr has an active shutout streak of 125:27.

Next Up

The Irish are slated to close out the regular season at home next weekend against Penn State (March 5-6).

Game one (7:30 p.m.) will be televised on NBCSN, while game two (5:30 p.m.) is slated for RSN distribution including SNY, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBC Sports Washington. 

Saturday’s game will include a post-game ceremony to honor the team’s graduating senior class of Pierce Crawford, Matt Hellickson, Dylan St. Cyr, Nick Sanford, Matt Steeves and Colin Theisen.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER: IRISH BLANK BULLDOGS, 1-0, TO OPEN SPRING

(ND RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS — Matthew Radivojsa scored in the 34th minute to lift Notre Dame to a 1-0 win over Butler in its opening game of the spring season on Saturday afternoon at the Sellick Bowl.

Keagan McLaughlin made three saves as Notre Dame (6-4, 3-2 ACC) earned its fourth clean sheet of the season.

Both sides earned four corner kicks and each recorded three shots on goal.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Irish started the match strong by controlling play and keeping possession for the majority of the opening half and were rewarded with the match’s opening goal by Radivojsa in the 34th minute.

Radivojsa beat Butler goalkeeper Gabriel Gjergji with a shot in the bottom right corner from 15 yards out for the game’s lone tally.

Notre Dame outshot the Bulldogs 6-1 in the opening half, and forced Gjergji to make a pair of saves, but were unable to find another marker before halftime.

All three saves by McLaughlin came in the second half to keep Butler scoreless.

McFARLAND FAMILY MEN’S HEAD SOCCER COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE

“Really proud of the team, it was a true team performance.  We knew it wouldn’t be perfect with it being our first game in a few months and after only a couple of weeks of training, but the team did a great job of grinding it out.”

UP NEXT

The Irish hit the road to take on Virginia next Sunday (March 7) in Charlottesville. First touch from Scott Stadium is set for 1 p.m. ET

NOTRE DAME WBB: GAME 19 PREVIEW: NO. 6/5 LOUISVILLE

(ND RELEASE)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In a season unlike any other, it already comes down to just one more regular-season contest on Sunday, Feb. 28. With NCAA Tournament aspirations, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team (10-8, 8-6) has a giant opportunity when they host the Louisville Cardinals (20-2, 13-2) inside Purcell Pavilion. Tip is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST on ESPN.

SHOES FOR CHANGE

Sunday vs. Louisville, the Irish will be using their voice to speak up about social injustice. Their platform – their shoes and their warm-up shirt. Please check out the full feature on the ‘Shoes for Change.’ Below is a brief summary.

The program was both inspired by the local art downtown, plus a desire to help serve and give back to the community they love. Notre Dame then came across local artist Kamika Perry, who has lived in the community for over 10 years. Coach Ivey shared her beliefs and program values, and from there, Kamika took those concepts to a blank canvas.

Kamika hand-painted over 17 pairs of shoes for the team. The right shoe — a protest fist in the shape of a heart. The left shoe — a peaceful protest where each player got to express their individuality on social justice with a word choice. The shooting shirt – the hopeful young girl – representing that what the team does now can influence the next generation. Hope for a better tomorrow. The quote on the back of the shirt states, “We Hope, We Inspire, We Believe.”

LAST TIME WITH LOUISVILLE

The Irish rallied down 11 points in the fourth quarter and had a chance to take the lead after a Maddy Westbeld steal and fast-break pull-up jumper, but the freshman’s shot fell short, as the Cardinals pushed ahead for the 71-65 victory.

All seven Notre Dame players who registered points scored eight or more in a very balanced attack. Four players all led with a team-high 10 points, including Olivia Miles. Sam Brunelle nearly had a double-double with 10 points and a season-high nine rebounds. The other two in double figures were Mikki Vaughn and Maddy Westbeld – both of whom reeled in eight boards.

Louisville’s Dana Evans was a huge difference-maker in the game, carrying the squad with 27 points on 9-of-21 shooting.

WHY MADDY DESERVES ACC ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Maddy Westbeld has the most complete game among ACC rookies this season and here are the stats to back it up:

• She leads all ACC rookies in scoring with her 15.2 ppg. Diving deeper into ACC Freshmen stats only, she ranks 1st in Scoring, 2nd in Rebounding, 3rd in Steals, 4th in Blocks & 3rd in Assists. She is the only freshman in the league to rank in the top-four in all the above-mentioned categories.

• Maddy is the only freshman in the country averaging at least 15 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists & 1.4 steals. In fact, there are only six Division-I players achieving this feat.

• Ranks 4th in the country among freshmen in the Points+Rebounds+Assists/Game category with 25.7. Tops ACC freshmen.

• Her scoring average ranks 9th overall in the league and 11th among all Division I freshmen.

• Riding a career-high eight-game double-digit scoring streak.

• Two straight double-doubles and boasts three overall on the year.

6TH WOMAN OF THE YEAR NOMINEE

The stats don’t lie, Destinee is the fourth highest scoring sub in the entire country right now, averaging 12.1 ppg. When looking at the ACC, the next best sixth player is Syracuse’s Emily Engstler, who averages 9.8 ppg.

It’s not too often you have a 2020 ACC Honorable Mention player coming off your bench. Over the last 12 games in particular, Destinee has thrived, scoring in double figures in eight of them, and even leading the Irish in scoring in three.

Destinee has surged in this last week of the regular season, compiling 22 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and seven assists.

RECORD CHASING

Speaking of Destinee, she has been absolutely dominant at the free-throw line this season. She ranks 2nd in the ACC and 12th in the country, converting 89.8 percent of her attempts, aka 53-of-59. She just had a streak of 27 straight made free throws break at the Florida State game on Feb. 25.

Destinee has a solid chance at becoming the new top ND single-season free-throw shooter. The record is currently held by Kayla McBride, who shot 90.0 percent (90-of-100) in the 2012-13 season (minimum of 2.0 made per game).

HERE COME THE IRISH — OLIVIA MILES

Miles will be riding a three-game double-digit scoring streak heading into Louisville, in which she’s shot 15-of-25 (.600) in said span. The freshman is coming off a season-high performance in both points (11) and rebounds (8) against Florida State.

Miles made up one-half of Coach Ivey’s top-five nationally ranked recruiting class that also featured guard Sonia Citron. Miles was ranked the No. 8 prospect overall by ESPN and the No. 2 point guard.

WHO’S HOT

Joining Miles in the hot-hand department is the team’s scoring leader Maddy Westbeld. Since returning from the team’s Covid Pause, Westbeld has posted two straight double-doubles, totaling 37 points and 23 rebounds. In the win over FSU, she led the team in points, rebounds and assists. She’s riding a career-high eight-game double-digit scoring streak heading into Louisville.

Before the break in games, Sam Brunelle was starting to hit a stride. The sophomore posted three straight games in double figures, totaling 39 points, 13 assists and 21 rebounds. Thus, she averaged 13.0 points, 4.3 assists and 7.0 rebounds. She almost made it four straight games but came up just shy with eight points vs. Florida State. Furthermore, her 21 rebounds over the last 3 games are more than the previous 9 games combined.

Perhaps the squad as a whole is hitting its stride at the right time. Notre Dame held Pitt to a season-low point total on Monday, as the defense flexed its most impressive performance of the season. Then on Thursday vs. Florida State, the Irish had five players in double figures for the first time this season.

BRACKETOLOGY REPORT

“Great moments are born from great opportunity.”

With the big win over Florida State on Thursday, ESPN’s Charlie Creme moved the Irish from First Four Out to Last Team In. On Sunday, the Irish have a great opportunity to notch a top-line item on their resume against the No. 6/5 Louisville Cardinals.

The Irish boast a NET ranking of 51. Notre Dame is 5-5 this season against Top-50 NET opponents.

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL: Ex-Notre Dame football star Louis Nix, 29, found dead after reported missing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former Notre Dame and NFL football player Louis Nix, who had been reported missing earlier this week, was found dead on Saturday, family members told two Jacksonville television stations. He was 29.

Nix’s family reported him missing on Wednesday to police. After several days of searching, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office tweeted at 8 p.m. ET Saturday that Nix had been located but did not report Nix’s condition. CBS/Fox affiliate Action News Jax reported that Nix’s mother confirmed that Nix had died. WJXT TV-4 reported Nix’s death via another family member.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Nix was last seen at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, leaving his father’s Jacksonville residence. Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly sent out a tweet Saturday morning asking for the public’s help in finding Nix.

Nix was injured in a shooting in December while filling his car’s tires at a gas station near the Jacksonville airport. He said on social media that he spent 10 days in the hospital and that a bullet ricocheted off his sternum and went into his lung.

Nix starred at Jacksonville’s Raines High School and played three seasons at Notre Dame before being drafted in the third round by the Houston Texans in 2014. Nix, a defensive tackle, never played a game for the Texans because of knee injuries and played in just four games in 2015 for the New York Giants. He also spent time on the practice squads with Washington and the  Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016.

INDIANA STATE BASEBALL: Sycamore Baseball Takes Down No. 16 Tennessee, 3-1

(ISU RELEASE)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Indiana State baseball handed No. 16 Tennessee its first loss of the 2021 campaign and the first in the month of February in three years with a 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. With the win, the Sycamores moved to 2-3 on the season while the Volunteers fell to 6-1.

Connor Cline (1-0) was lights out of the bullpen for the Sycamores as he allowed just two base hits – both of which came in the ninth inning – over five innings of work en route to earning his first win of the season. Cline struck out five Tennessee batters and issued just one walk in his outing.

Tyler Grauer entered in the ninth inning with two runners on and no outs as the Vols recorded back-to-back singles to open the frame. The Sycamores picked up a break as a UT baserunner ran past his teammate at second and was called out in what would have loaded the bases. Grauer went on to record a strikeout and a fly ball to secure his first save of the season.

Geremy Guerrero picked up the no decision after going three innings in the start. Guerrero battled heavy rain in the early portion of the game and allowed just wo hits and one run while facing 14 batters.

The Sycamores got just enough run support as Max Wright reached base all five times he stepped to the plate. The redshirt senior picked up three walks, a hit-by-pitch and a single in the win. Diego Gines shined once again for the Sycamores as the redshirt freshman was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.

Gines singled in the first run of the day for the Trees in the second inning on a ball down the left field line. Two innings later he doubled in Mike Sears with a ball to the gap in left center.

With the bases loaded in the fifth, ISU added an insurance run on a bases loaded fielder’s choice.

Jordan Beck drove in the lone run for the Vols with an RBI triple in the fourth inning of action.

The Vols were just 3-for-17 with runners on and 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. ISU outhit UT 8-5 on the afternoon. Blade Tidwell (0-1) was charged with the loss for Tennessee after pitching four innings and allowing four hits while striking out six.

INDIANA STATE SOFTBALL: Leslie Sims 100th Career Stolen Bases Highlights Day One of Hilltopper Classic

(IS RELEASE)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Indiana State suffered two setbacks in the opening day of the Hilltopper Classic Saturday, Feb. 27, dropping its first game to Bowling Green by a score of 8-2, before being shut out by host Western Kentucky by a score of 6-0 at the WKU Softball Complex.

KEY MOMENT – GAME ONE

Super senior Leslie Sims reached the 100 career stolen bases mark; she is the first Sycamore to reach this accomplishment in Sycamore Softball history. True freshman Isabella Henning hit her third career homerun with a 2-run shot driving in Indiana State’s only runs of the contest.

SCORING SUMMARY – GAME ONE

Top 4th – (BG 1, ISU 0)

The Falcons got on the board first with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Bottom 4th – (BG 1, ISU 2)

Annie Tokarek broke the no-hitter for Bowling Green with a single up the middle and Isabella Henning’s two-run bomb over the left field wall gave the Sycamores the lead.

Bottom 5th – (BG 2, ISU 2)

Bowling Green tied the game with a solo homerun.

Top 7th – (BG 8, ISU 2)

Bowling Green scored six runs on three hits and two errors.

PITCHERS OF RECORD

Win: Payton Gottshall, Bowling Green (6-1)

Loss: Peyton Ottersbach, Indiana State (0-1)

Save: None

KEY MOMENT – GAME TWO

The Sycamores offense was cold in game two with only three hits from Leslie Sims, Isabella Henning and Lexie Siwek.

SCORING SUMMARY – GAME TWO

Bottom 1st – (ISU 0, WKU 1)

A Paige Carter homerun put the Hilltoppers on the board first.

Bottom 2nd – (ISU 0, WKU 2)

Western Kentucky took advantage of an ISU adding to their lead.

Bottom 3rd – (ISU 0, WKU 5)

The Hilltoppers loaded the bases with a pair of singles and an ISU error setting up a two-run double and a sacrifice fly to extend their lead.

Bottom 4th – (ISU 0, WKU 6)

WKU gets a base runner with a single and advances around to third and then scores on a groundout.

PITCHERS OF RECORD

Win: Kelsey Aikey, Western Kentucky (2-1)

Loss: Lexi Benko, Indiana State (0-1)

Save: None

PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL: Baseball Drops Pair of One-Run Games at Murray State

(PFW RELEASE)

MURRAY, Ky. – Purdue Fort Wayne was edged by Murray State in a pair of non-league baseball games on Saturday (Feb. 27) afternoon. The ‘Dons fell 5-4 in the opener and 3-2 in the final game of the day.

Game 1 – Murray State 5, Purdue Fort Wayne 4

The ‘Dons scored one in the first on a Justin Greene RBI single to knock in Aaron Chapman. Purdue Fort Wayne then put up a three spot in the fourth to give the ‘Dons a 4-2 lead. Jack Lang recorded an RBI single in the inning and then Chapman had a fly ball fall just inside the right field line to knock in two runs for a double.

Murray State knotted the game with two unearned runs in the sixth inning. It was stayed 4-4 the rest of the way until Murray State scored one in the bottom of the ninth to win it. The Mastodons’ best chance to go ahead came in the top of the ninth when Garett Lake advanced to second with two outs before Trenton Stoner flew out to end the inning.

Kevin Fee took the loss. He is 0-1. Jacob Myer started and earned a no-decision after 7.2 innings of work. He allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out seven.

Chapman finished with three hits, two RBI and a run scored. Lang had two hits. Stoner had a hit and a walk.

Jacob Pennington threw the final 5.1 innings to get the win. He allowed only one hit.

Game 2 – Murray State 3, Purdue Fort Wayne 2

After two walks in the top of the second inning, Stoner bunted both runners to second and third base. A single from Andrew Arteaga drove Andrew Lawvere home for the Mastodons’ first run of the game. Lucas Kolovitz then came around on a wild pitch.

In the fourth, Murray State took the lead back when Jordan Cozart scored on a base hit from Brennan McCullough. Later that inning, a single to right field hit by David Hudleson advanced McCullough and Trey Woosley home, adding two additional runs.

Michael Madura was charged with the loss for the ‘Dons after giving up three runs in 4.1 innings. Ryan Robison didn’t allow a run in the final 1.2 innings. 

Alec Whaley earned the win while Connor Holden got the save for the Racers.

At the plate, Kolovitz had a hit, run scored and a walk.

The ‘Dons fall to 1-3. Murray State improves to 4-3. The Mastodons are back in action next weekend when they host Youngstown State in the Horizon League opener.

IUPUI SOFTBALL: JAGUARS OFFENSE QUIET IN LOSSES TO AUBURN

(JAGS RELEASE)

AUBURN, Ala. – IUPUI softball lost to Auburn twice on Saturday (Feb. 28) by equal 5-0 scores. The Jags offense struggled to get things going against the Tigers pitching staff, managing just three hits over the two games.

Jaida Speth finished with two hits in the second game of the day and Rachael Gregory finished 1-for-1 with two walks but IUPUI stranded eight runners in the night cap.

AUBURN 5 – IUPUI 0

The Jags could not get the bats going in the first game of the day against the Tigers as IUPUI was no-hit by Auburn starter Maddie Penta. IUPUI had 16-straight strikeouts to start the game before Tori Sivert flew out to center field in the sixth inning.

IUPUI starter Lexi Lucas held the Auburn offense in check for the first three innings. Lucas stranded two runners in each of the first two innings before putting the Tigers down in order in the third.

Auburn’s bats finally got to Lucas in the fourth on a leadoff home run that broke the scoreless tie. The Tigers would take advantage of an IUPUI error later in the inning to add another run to the board. Another error in the fifth inning led to Auburn scoring three more runs to increase the lead to 5-0.

The Jags avoided the perfect game with Jaylin Calvert drawing a full count walk with one out in the seventh and Rachael Gregory got on with a fielder’s choice in the next at bat. Lauren Youngblood kept the inning going with another walk but Hailey Pop struck out to end any threat of an IUPUI rally.

AUBURN 5 – IUPUI 0

IUPUI again struggled at the plate in the second game of the day against the Tigers, managing just three hits. The first hit came in the second inning but Rachael Gregory was stranded at first. Jaida Speth singled in the third with one out and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt but was left in scoring position after a strikeout.

After tallying three hits and stranding two runners in the first two innings against starter Brooke York, Auburn broke through in the third with a grand slam. The Tigers would add another run later in the inning off Carly Metcalf to push the lead to 5-0.

The Jags had a chance to claw back in to the game in the fourth, loading the bases with only one out but a strikeout and groundout kept IUPUI off the board.

IUPUI continued to threaten, getting a runner to second in the fifth and getting two runners on, including a runner to third, in the sixth, but could never get the clutch hit and were shut out for the second-straight game.

Jennah Speth was solid in relief for IUPUI, shutting out the Tigers over the last three innings.

UP NEXT

IUPUI will finish the Tiger Invite with one game on Sunday (Feb. 28). The Jags will take on Murray State in the final game of the tournament with first ptich set for 12 p.m. ET.

EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S SOCCER: Aces Drop Season Opener Against Illinois State

(ACES RELEASE)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – After over a year of waiting the University of Evansville opened the 2020-21 season Saturday at Arad McCutchan Stadium against Illinois State, falling 1-0.

The Purple Aces registered one shot on goal off a free kick from Alex Eyler. The match was left at a draw going into the half.

The Redbirds came out hot in the second half attempting a shot within the first minute, before breaking the tie in the 68th minute with a goal by Ashley Santos.

UE added another shot on goal at the 87:53 mark by Emily Wolak before the game drew to a close.

Goalkeeper Michael Till made five saves, including two back-to-back attacks by Illinois State.

The Aces are back in action on March 5 when they take on Northern Iowa at home at 5 p.m.

EVANSVILLE BASEBALL: Craig delivers walk-off win for Aces to cap ninth-inning rally

(ACES RELEASE)

EVANSVILLE – Trailing 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, the University of Evansville baseball team mounted a four-run rally, delivering a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over NIU in the series opener on Friday evening at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.

“Great come from behind win for our guys. We needed a spark offensively and that will hopefully carry over,” said Aces head baseball coach Wes Carroll. “Our offense runs through Tanner Craig so it was great to see him deliver. (Shane) Gray gave us a chance on Friday which is all you can ask. Very proud of the fight from our guys.”

Both offenses got started in the third inning as the Huskies struck first with a run in the top half of the inning off a single by Jake Dunham. The Aces answered in the bottom of the frame as junior first baseman Tanner Craig dropped a double into deep left center that rolled to the wall and scored senior third baseman Craig Shepherd.

Brady Huebbe did the damage for NIU in the seventh and ninth innings, hitting a two-run shot to left field to give the Huskies the 3-1 lead and then adding to NIU’s advantage with an RBI double.

Evansville brought the 7-8-9 batters to the plate in the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-1 as NIU brought in Brandon McPherson to the mound. Freshman second baseman Simon Scherry opened the half inning with a single to right field that got the Aces offense rolling. Following Scherry, redshirt senior Kenton Crews came in as a pinch hitter and was walker. With junior Robbie Wilkes pinch-hitting in the nine spot, a wild pitch aided the Evansville effort, moving Crews and Scherry into scoring position. Wilkes was able to deliver in his opportunity as he struck-out swinging, but reacted quickly as the wild pitch got away from the catcher, reaching first safely as Scherry scored to narrow the deficit to two runs.

After redshirt senior Troy Beilsmith struck out, Shepherd came to the plate and singled to right field, scoring Crews. With the tying run represented at second in freshman Max Malley, who pinch ran for Wilkes, and the winning run at first base in Shepherd, Craig came to the plate. Craig capitalized on the moment, smashing a double down the left field line that scored Malley easily. Shepherd followed closely behind the freshman, sliding in safe and beating the throw to deliver a 5-4 win for the Aces.

Craig led the way on the evening for Evansville, going two-for-four at the plate with a pair of doubles and three RBI, while also earning a walk. Also recording a pair of hits was Scherry, who also went two-for-four.

Junior Shane Gray pitched another impressive performance, lasting five innings, allowing just three hits and one earned run, while striking-out four. The win was credited to sophomore Eric Roberts, who pitched a pair of innings, allowing one run, and striking-out four batters.

Evansville and NIU continue their series on Saturday at 1 PM with their second contest at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.

INDIANAPOLIS MEN’S BASKETBALL: UIndy Nets Another Comeback in Regular Season Finale

(U OF I RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – Facing a 15-point deficit midway through the second half, the UIndy men’s basketball team stormed back for a 77-74 win against visiting Lindenwood Saturday evening. The Greyhounds capped the regular season with a 10-11 record and await the release of final GLVC Points Ratings standings to learn their postseason fate.

EARLHAM MEN’S BASKETBALL: Men’s hoops downed at Anderson in HCAC opening round clash

(EC RELEASE)

Final Score: Anderson 86, Earlham 56

Location: Anderson, Indiana – O.C. Lewis Gymnasium

Records: Earlham 1-8 / Anderson 8-5

ANDERSON, Indiana – Earlham College received double-digit scoring contributions from three different players, but were unable to get past a hot-shooting Anderson University squad in an 86-56 loss to the Ravens, Saturday afternoon at O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.

Jamel Barnes Jr. led the Quakers with 15 points, while Tommy Makabu netted 14 for the Maroon and White. Josh Ozanne charted his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.

Barnes’ 15-point performance sends the senior out with 1,028 career points over 80 career games for Earlham, an average of 12.9 points per game.

Earlham shot 33.9 percent (21-of-62) from the field, which left the Quakers way off the 50.0 percent (31-of-62) fired by the Ravens from the floor over 40 minutes – including an 18-of-31 clip (.581)  from the field in the second half alone.

Anderson’s cause was also boosted by a 12-of-26 mark from 3-point range.

Fred Shropshire paced the Ravens with 18 points, including a 6-of-8 mark from beyond the arc, while Ronny Williams finished with 11 points and 11 boards. Cade Gentry and Francis Uzorh came off the bench to add 13 and 12 points respectively, with Gentry connecting on three 3-point attempts.

MARIAN MEN’S BASKETBALL: KNIGHTS DOWN COUGARS 79-70, CHRISTIAN HARVEY HAS 14

(MARIAN RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – The No. 13 Marian men’s basketball team (21-4) took down Mt. Vernon Nazarene 79-70 Saturday evening to advance to the Crossroads League Tournament Championship. The championship appearance marks the Knights’ first since the 2000-01 season.

The Knights offense started the night strong scoring the first six points of the game followed by an and-one 3-point basket from Christian Stewart. Marian continued to hold the momentum later following with a 7-0 run and widening the lead to 23-11 with 8:38 to play in the first half.

The Knights kept up the intensity for the remainder of the half on both ends of the floor, controlling the tempo and forcing Mt. Vernon turnovers. As the tide started to turn back in the Cougars’ favor with just under three minutes to go, Christian Harvey unloaded on both ends. The sophomore drained a 3-point shot, nabbed a steal from the Cougars, and then soared in for an uncontested fast break dunk. The chaotic 12 seconds gave Marian its largest lead of the half at 14.

The Knights headed to the locker room leading Mt. Vernon Nazarene 39-26. Marian outrebounded the Cougars 26-17 in the opening half and forced five turnovers off four steals. The Cougars’ turnovers turned into nine points for the Knights on the other end.

Harvey and Stewart led all scorers at the half with nine points apiece. Harvey shot an efficient 4-5 from the floor in the half.

Coming back from the break, each team attempted to gain momentum, trading baskets and stepping up the pressure on defense.

Neither team was able to put together a run until the Knights finally extended the lead to 17 with a 6-0 spurt with 6:07 remaining. The Cougars did not back down. Mt. Vernon quickly responded with a 5-0 run to bring it back to 63-51 with 3:37 to go.

Despite a response by Marian, Mt. Vernon came back with another 5-0 surge to get within 10 points with just over 2:00 remaining.

The Cougars got within seven points with under a minute to play, but clutch Stewart free throws and tough Marian defense put the game away to clinch the 79-70 semifinals victory.

The win marks the 12th straight for the Knights and moves them to 21-4 on the season. The semifinal victory moves the Knights to the Crossroads League Championship is also the first since the 2000-01 season.

Stewart led the Knights in scoring, dropping 21 points while shooting 11-13 from the free throw line down the stretch. Stewart also logged seven assists, seven rebounds, and a block. Harvey scored 14 points while energizing the offense shooting 5-9, nabbing four steals, pulling down five rebounds, and dishing out three assists.

Gavin Bizeau scored 14 points off the bench and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds notching a double-double. Cameron Wolter rounded out the Knights’ scoring efforts tallying 11 points and pulling down nine rebounds.

Marian outrebounded Mt. Vernon Nazarene 47-30 and forced eight turnovers on seven steals. The Knights were helped to 27 points off the bench and 11 points off turnovers.

With the Saturday night victory, Marian looks forward to a date with St. Francis Tuesday evening as the second-seeded Knights host the fourth-seeded Cougars at 7 p.m. on John Grimes court.

OHIO STATE WBB: Miller Scores 23 But Indiana’s Late Run Was Too Much

(OSU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s Braxtin Miller scored 23 points and dished-out a season-high six assists but Indiana’s big run late allowed the Hoosiers to pull away for an 87-75 victory.

The Buckeyes fall for the first and only time at home this season and are now 13-6 overall and 9-6 in the conference.

Ohio State closed the third quarter on a 14-4 run and led 56-51 heading to the fourth quarter. After a back and forth start to the fourth, Indiana went on a 14-0 run to build a 10-point lead and the Buckeyes were only able to get two field goals over the final six minutes of play.

Miller’s 23 points paced four Buckeyes in double figures. She also had five rebounds to go along with her six assists and two steals. Dorka Juhasz notched her 12th double-double of the year with 11 points and 12 rebounds. She also added three blocks.

Freshman Kateri Poole had 17 points and grabbed six rebounds. Jacy Sheldon was marred by foul trouble most of the game and finished with 11 points, three steals and two assists.

The first half was a competitive, back and forth battle, indicative of two Top 15 teams. But the second half was bogged by fouls and neither team was able to get into much of a rhythm. Indiana shot 41 free throws in the game while the Buckeye only attempted 14.

Ohio State will finish the season next Friday when it travels to Rutgers for the teams’ lone meeting of the season. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. and it will be televised on ESPN.

OHIO STATE VOLLEYBALL: HISTORIC RUN CONTINUES WITH 3-2 WIN AT RUTGERS

(OSU RELEASE)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The No. 19 Ohio State women’s volleyball team got the job done once again, this time in a five-set nail-biter at Rutgers on Saturday. The Buckeyes’ 3-2 victory (25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25, 16-14) puts them at 11-0 on the season and in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

Ohio State is putting on a historic performance in an unprecedented season. The Buckeyes are off to their best start in the Big Ten since 1991 and has the most consecutive wins since 2013. Jen Flynn Oldenburg has already made her mark as it also happens to be the best start under a first-year head coach in program history.

Tonight, Rylee Rader wrote her name in the Ohio State record book. Her career-high 11 blocks are the most by a Buckeye since 2015 and the most by a freshman since 1987.

Rader also thrived offensively with a career-best 13 kills on 23 swings with one error to hit .522. Emily Londot continued her season-long streak of reaching double digits in kills and topped all scorers with 20. Gabby Gonzales turned in her fourth double-double (13 kills, 13 digs) and Vanja Bukilić earned 10 kills.

Mac Podraza distributed 51 assists for the third time this season and served a career-high four aces. Lauren Witte chipped in eight kills and Kylie Murr tallied 19 digs.

SET 1: A solo rejection by Gonzales sent the Scarlet Knights to their bench as they trailed 13-7. Rutgers put together a 6-0 run, which cut Ohio State’s lead to 22-18. Londot had the last three kills for a 25-20 Buckeye victory.

SET 2: Ohio State had a 16-15 edge until six straight points helped Rutgers to a 21-16 advantage. The Buckeyes responded with a 6-0 sprint of their own to pull ahead, 22-21. The Scarlet Knights won the set, 25-23, after scoring four of the last five points.

SET 3: The Buckeyes opened the frame on a 9-1 sprint, featuring four kills by Londot. Rutgers steadily worked its way back, 20-18, and forced a timeout. Ohio State closed the set on a 5-0 run.

SET 4: After falling behind midway through the rally, Ohio State tied the score at 17-all. The remainder of the set was a back and forth battle that ended in Rutgers’ favor, 25-22.

SET 5: Ohio State fought its way through the final frame for a 16-14 triumph. The Scarlet Knights took a 12-7 lead but the Buckeyes countered with a 5-0 run to lock the set at 12-all. Rutgers had a match-point opportunity while up 14-13. Ohio State remained poised as Gonzales and Rader scored the last three points to clinch the win.

UP NEXT

The Buckeyes visit Penn State on Wednesday, March 3 at 5 p.m.

OHIO STATE MEN’S HOCKEY: BUCKEYES END B1G PLAY WITH LOSS TO NO. 5 BADGERS

(OSU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s hockey team closed Big Ten regular season play with a loss to No. 5 Wisconsin, 7-0, Saturday in LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wis. The Badgers, who won the series opener 2-1 in overtime Friday, led 1-0 after the first period and extended the advantage to 4-0 through the second, adding three goals in the third for the final.

Ohio State will end the regular season with two games vs. Arizona State. The teams will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday in Value City Arena, with the matchups streamed through BTN Plus and on Ohio State Radio.

Ohio State at Wisconsin

In the First … Wisconsin’s Cole Caufield opened the scoring at 11:48, which stood as the only goal of the first. The Badgers went on a major power play with 4:38 left in the period but were unable to extend their lead. Tommy Nappier had 12 saves on 13 UW shots in the period; Ohio State was limited to three shots on net.

In the Second … The Buckeyes killed the remainder of the major power play but Wisconsin’s Caufield scored on a 2-on-1 shortly after for a 2-0 lead. The Badgers added two late goals in the stanza – at 15:12 from Dylan Holloway and at 19:28 from Ty Emberson – for a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes. Shots were 14-12 in favor of Wisconsin in the period.

In the Third … Caufield completed his hat trick 1:59 into the third and Ty Pelton-Byce scored twice in the period, with an even strength score at 12:18 and power play tally at 15:32. Wisconsin outshot the Buckeyes in the period, 16-6.

Shots … The Buckeyes were outshot, 43-21, in the game. Nappier had 29 saves on 35 shots in 52:18 and Ryan Snowden played the final 7:42, allowing one goal on eight shots.

Special Teams … Ohio State was unable to score on two power play chances and Wisconsin was 1-for-3.

OHIO STATE MEN’S LAX: Ohio State Suffers Setback Against Rutgers

Buckeyes are 1-1 on the year and head to Penn State next Saturday

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite a career-high five goals from junior Griffin Hughes, the sixth-ranked Ohio State men’s lacrosse team suffered a 22-12 setback on Saturday to No. 9 Rutgers inside Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes, 1-1 on the season, fell behind 9-3 midway through the second quarter and weren’t able to recover.

The Short Story

Hughes (five goals) and Tre Leclaire (three goals) paced Ohio State’s offensive effort, but Rutgers generated 58 shots on offense and broke the game open with a 7-1 third-quarter run. Adam Charalambides scored five times and added an assist while Shane Knobloch added four goals.

Hughes’ five goals gives him a team-high eight of the season. His previous career high was three last week at Johns Hopkins and in 2020 against Detroit Mercy.

Quotable

“Credit to Rutgers,” said head coach Nick Myers. “They are a good team and did a nice job today. For us, we will regroup, refocus and turn our attention to having a great week of preparation for next week at Penn State.”

How the Goals Were Scored

The Buckeyes and Scarlet Knights traded the first six goals of the game, but following a Hughes score at 6:53 of the first quarter, Rutgers went on a 6-0 run over the next 11 minutes of game action to open a 9-3 lead with 11:26 to play in the first half.

The Buckeyes were able to string together two goals in the final 2:48 of the second quarter to cut the deficit to four at halftime, 11-7.

Rutgers opened the third quarter with three goals in less than three minutes before the Buckeyes answered with Leclaire’s third of the day to make the score 14-8 in favor of Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights scored the final four goals of the third quarter to open their largest lead, 18-8, entering the fourth.

Fourth quarter goals by Ohio State came from Hughes (twice), Johnny Wiseman and Jack Myers, who finished the day with five points (two goals, three assists).

Statistically Speaking

Shots: Rutgers 58, Ohio State 31

Ground Balls: Rutgers 38, Ohio State 28

Faceoffs: Rutgers 20-38, Ohio State 18-38

Clears: Rutgers 21-24, Ohio State 14-15

Extra Man: Ohio State 2-6, Rutgers 0-2

Saves: Rutgers 11, Ohio State 11

Turnovers: Ohio State 19, Rutgers 13

What’s Next

Ohio State is on the road next weekend as it heads to State College, Pa. for a matchup against Penn State on Saturday, March 6. The game will be streamed live on BTN Plus.

OHIO STATE MEN’S SOCCER: Ortiz Goal Gives Buckeyes 1-0 Win at Maryland

(OSU RELEASE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior Joe Ortiz scored in the 72nd minute to give Ohio State (1-1-0, 1-1-0 B1G) a 1-0 win at Maryland (0-2-0, 0-2-0) Saturday in College Park. The win was the second in program history for the Buckeyes over the Terps and first on the road.

Ortiz, a senior Midfielder from Albuquerque, New Mexico, took a cross from the right side from freshman midfielder Laurence Wootton for the goal. It was the first career assist from Wootton, a native of Halstead, England.

The goal was the first of the season and second of his OSU career for Ortiz, who transferred to Ohio State from Air Force prior to the 2019 season. He now has three career goals.

The Buckeyes put two of six total shots on goal in the game, both by Ortiz.

Noah Lawrence recorded the shutout for the Buckeyes, his first as a Buckeye and sixth for his career in 38 career games. He played for three seasons before transferring to Ohio State last year.

Lawrence faced three Maryland attempts at the net in the game.

The Buckeyes travel to Michigan State to take on the Spartans March 3.

OHIO STATE MEN’S TENNIS: Buckeyes Dominant in 7-0 Win over Penn State

Ohio State improves to 6-1 on the season

COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 7 Ohio State continued its run against Penn State with a dominating 7-0 win on Saturday afternoon. The Buckeyes have now won 23 consecutive matches against the Nittany Lions dating back to 1999.

Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy paired together for the first time in doubles and they rolled to a 6-2 win on court three over Alp Sentay and Bora Sengul. The No. 4 team of John McNally and Robert Cash followed with a 6-4 win on court one to secure the point. James Trotter and Justin Boulais were on their way to a win as well, leading 5-3 on court two.

In singles, the Buckeyes won all six first sets and would only drop one set on the. Senior Kyle Seelig won quickly 6-2, 6-0 on court four and McNally was right behind him at 6-2, 6-2 on court two. Trotter had the clinching point with his 6-3, 6-3 win on court three.

The teams played the rest of the matches out and Tracy collected his 10th win on the season with a 6-2, 6-3 win on court five. Kingsley remained perfect on the year with a 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (6) win on court one over Christian Lakoseljac. The final point came from Cash on court six as he beat Tim Ruetzel 6-3, 6-3.

The Buckeyes remain at home next weekend, hosting Purdue at 6 p.m. on Friday and Indiana at Noon on Sunday.

#7 Ohio State 7, Penn State 0

Singles

1. #5 Cannon Kingsley (OSU) def. Christian Lakoseljac (PSU) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-6)

2. #11 John McNally (OSU) def. Bora Sengul (PSU) 6-2, 6-2

3. #80 James Trotter (OSU) def. Christos Antonopoulo (PSU) 6-3, 6-3

4. #25 Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Charl Morgan (PSU) 6-2, 6-0

5. JJ Tracy (OSU) def. Miko Eala (PSU) 6-2, 6-3

6. Robert Cash (OSU) def. Tim Ruetzel (PSU) 6-3, 6-3

Doubles

1. #4 John McNally/Robert Cash (OSU) def. #40 Christian Lakoseljac/Christos Antonopoulo (PSU) 6-4

2. #37 James Trotter/Justin Boulais (OSU) vs. Tim Ruetzel/Charl Morgan (PSU) 5-3, unfinished

3. Cannon Kingsley/JJ Tracy (OSU) def. Alp Sentay/Bora Sengul (PSU) 6-2

Match Notes:

Penn State 0-3

Ohio State 6-1; National ranking #7

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (4,2,3,5,1,6)

Official: Julio Colon  T-2:01  A-52

MIAMI WOMEN’S BB: Scott’s Buzzer-Beater Secures 61-58 RedHawk Victory

(MIAMI RELEASE)

OXFORD, Ohio – Sophomore Peyton Scott’s three-pointer at the buzzer gave the Miami University women’s basketball team a 61-58 victory on Saturday afternoon over the Kent State Golden Flashes. Scott finished the game with 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, while Kelly McLaughlin had 21 points.

Miami also celebrated senior day on Saturday, honoring Abbey Hoff, McLaughlin and Kenzie Schmitz prior to the contest. The win moves the RedHawks to 4-18 overall and 3-16 in Mid-American Conference play. Kent State falls to 10-7, 9-5 MAC.

How it Happened:

Kent State raced out to a 15-6 advantage with 1:53 to play in the first quarter until Hoff and McLaughlin hit back-to-back triples to close the gap to 15-12. The Golden Flashes led 18-12 after 10 minutes of action.

The KSU lead was as much as 32-21 with 3:40 left in the half before the RedHawks closed the quarter on a 10-1 spurt. Highlights of the run included back-to-back threes from Schmitz and Katie Davidson just 28 seconds apart late in the second quarter. The Golden Flashes led 33-31 at the half.

A pair of free throws late in the third by Scott gave Miami a 51-44 advantage, its largest lead of the contest. Miami would lead 51-46 heading to the fourth.

Kent State held a 58-55 advantage with 1:06 to play. On the ensuing possession, Scott converted an old-fashioned three-point play to knot the score at 58-58. After a stop on the other end of the floor, Miami called timeout with 10 seconds to play. Scott lost control of the inbounds play and Miami was forced to call timeout with 3.2 seconds to play. Scott then pulled up from behind the arc as time expired for the game winner.

Game Notes:

Peyton Scott nearly became just the second member of the women’s basketball program to record a triple-double, finishing with 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Only Linda Mallender accomplished the feat (12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) in 1984.

Scott’s 12 rebounds was also a career-best, surpassing the 11 she had versus Ohio and Western Michigan earlier this season.

Up Next:

Miami travels to Buffalo on Wednesday, March 3. Opening tip is slated for 5 p.m. 

MIAMI SOFTBALL: RedHawks Split Saturday Action

(MIAMI RELEASE)

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Miami University softball team split a pair of games on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 9-1 decision to No. 19 Georgia and picking up a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over Georgia State. The RedHawks are now 4-4 on the young season.

How it Happened (Game One) – vs. Georgia:

Miami got on the board first with the help from a Kaylee Juarez single to plate Lily Wilmot in the top of the second.

Georgia scored five in the second, three more in the fourth and one in the fifth to claim a 9-1 victory.

How it Happened (Game Two) vs. Georgia State:

Georgia State hit a two-run homer in the first to take a 2-0 lead, but Miami responded in the second as Allie Cummins blasted a solo shot to straight away center to cut the deficit to 2-1.

GSU added two run in the fourth to take a 4-1 advantage.

After Wilmot singled up the middle and Cummins drew a walk, Adriana Barlow smashed a three-run bomb over the left field wall to knot the game at 4-4 in the top of the sixth.

Juarez and Wilmot each picked up an RBI in the top of the seventh to complete the comeback.

Brianna Pratt pitched the final four innings, allowing three hits, to pick up the win.

Up Next:

Miami finishes off the trip down south with a Sunday afternoon contest with Kennesaw State. Opening pitch is set for 11 a.m.

MIAMI MEN’S BASKETBALL: RedHawks Fall to Golden Flashes, 64-51

(MIAMI RELEASE)

OXFORD, Ohio–The Miami University men’s basketball team dropped a 64-51 decision to the Kent State Golden Flashes on Saturday afternoon inside Millett Hall. Redshirt sophomore guard Myja White led Miami with a career-high 14 points. Miami drops to 11-10 overall and 8-8 in Mid-American Conference play. KSU moves to 15-6 overall and 12-5 in MAC action.

How It Happened:

Miami jumped out to a 10-5 lead less than five minutes into the opening half with five points coming from White. The Golden Flashes used a 12-2 run to push ahead 24-17 by the 6:02 mark.

The RedHawks clawed their way back and used a 10-2 flurry, that included six points from redshirt junior forward James Beck, to take a 27-26 lead with 2:24 to go in the opening half. The Golden Flashes scored seven unanswered over a minute span to post a 33-27 lead.

White hit a jumper to put the RedHawks within four with 40 seconds remaining in the half, 33-29, but KSU’s Tervell Beck had a three-point play with 15 seconds remaining to extend the Golden Flash lead to 36-29 going into the half.

The RedHawks opened the second half with back-to-back triples from junior guard Mekhi Lairy and senior forward Dalonte Brown to pull within one, 36-35.

The teams traded buckets before the Golden Flashes used an 11-3 run to push ahead 49-40 with 12:23 to go. KSU led by as many as 16 in the second half before posting the 64-51 win.

Notes:

White was 6-of-9 from the field for the RedHawks en route to his 14-point game. He added two steals.

Brown and Beck were the other RedHawk players to score in double figures at 11 points apiece.

Senior forward Precious Ayah hauled in six boards to lead the team, while Lairy led all players with five assists.

Up Next:

The RedHawks start a two-game road trip to close out the regular season as they travel to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons on Tuesday, March 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

XAVIER MEN’S BASKETBALL: Scruggs, Freemantle Lead Musketeers to Senior Day Win Over No. 11 Creighton

(XAVIER RELEASE)

CINCINNATI – Senior Paul Scruggs and sophomore Zach Freemantle combined for 40 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists on Saturday evening, leading the Musketeers to a 77-69 win over No. 11 Creighton on Senior Day.

The Musketeers improved to 13-5 (6-5 BIG EAST), while the Bluejays dropped to 17-6 (13-5 BIG EAST).

• The opening 11 minutes had four lead changes with neither team leading by more than two possessions. Creighton led by four points (15-11) at the 12:18 mark before the Musketeers went on an 11-1 run capped by a C.J. Wilcher three pointer, giving Xavier a 22-16 lead and forcing a Bluejays timeout.

• Creighton responded with a 9-3 run to tie the game at 25-25 with 4:05 on the clock. The two teams each scored six points over the next three and a half minutes before Zach Freemantle hit a shot with 32 seconds left in the half, giving the Musketeers a two-point lead (33-31) going into the break.

• Xavier held a 19-16 advantage on the glass at the break and scored one more point off of turnovers (5-4).

• Paul Scruggs led the Musketeers in scoring with 11 points, while Zach Freemantle chipped in nine points and a team-high five rebounds.

• After Creighton hit the opening basket of the second half to tie the game, the Musketeers went on a 10-0 run capped by a Paul Scruggs three pointer – giving Xavier its first double-figure lead (43-33) of the game at the 15:12 mark.

• Xavier led by as many as 13 points (67-54) with 5:48 left in regulation before Creighton scored nine unanswered points, closing within four points (67-63) and forcing a Xavier timeout (3:38). The Musketeers outscored Creighton, 10-6, down the stretch on 4-for-6 shooting – pulling away for the 77-69 victory. Dwon Odom and Adam Kunkel both scored four points in the final four minutes of the game.

• The Musketeers hit 63.3 percent (19-for-30) of their shot attempts in the second half and went 4-for-10 from behind the arc. Paul Scruggs scored 12 of his 23 points in the second half on 5-for-5 shooting.

• Senior Paul Scruggs scored a game-high 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting, his sixth game of the season with 20 or more points. He added seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.

• Sophomore Zach Freemantle posted his fifth straight double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. He was 7-for-12 from the floor and 1-for-3 from behind the arc. The forward added three assists and one block.

• Freshman Dwon Odom scored a season-high 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go along with four assists and three rebounds. Adam Kunkel added 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting.

• Xavier won the battle on the glass, 36-32, and scored three more points off of turnovers (12-9). The Musketeers also had four more blocks (9-5). The nine blocks are tied for the second-most in a game for the Musketeers this season.

• Xavier hit 54.2 percent (32-for-59) of its shot attempts, its fourth-highest mark in a game this season.

• Xavier returns to action on Tuesday, March 2 at Georgetown. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. with the game being aired nationally on FS1.

DAYTON BASEBALL: Baseball Picks Up First Win Of The Season Saturday At Campbell

(DAYTON RELEASE)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – The University of Dayton baseball team picked up the first win of 2021 on Saturday, taking down Campbell 5-4 in Buies Creek, N.C.

“I really liked how Ben Olson got us started on the mound,” head coach Jayson King said. “Andrew Zapka did exactly what we needed to finishing the game. Some of the situational offensive execution was also well done.”

The Flyers improve to 1-4 on the season with the win. UD jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning and held on late to earn a victory over Campbell. Senior Andrew Zapka kept the Camels off the scoreboard late, holding Campbell scoreless over the final 2.2 innings on the mound after graduate student Ben Olson opened the game strong, tossing 4.1 innings of one run baseball.

Offensively, junior catcher Jay Curtis went 2-4 with an RBI, while senior Riley Tirotta and junior Marcos Pujols each doubled in the win.

On the Mound

Olson put the Flyers in a good spot with his performance. In his second start of the season, the graduate student scattered two hits over his 4.1 innings of work, allowing just the one run and striking out one. Graduate student Tyler Jones finished the fifth inning for Dayton and got the first out in the sixth before his night ended. Jones went one inning and allowed one run on one hit and also picked up a strikeout.

Junior Bryce Hellgeth entered and allowed two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning of work. Senior Jonathan Brus got one out after relieving Hellgeth, allowing two hits. Zapka went the rest of the way, going 2.2 innings allowing just one hit and picking up the save.

Scoring Plays

Top 3: (3-0 Flyers)

Senior Mitchell Garrity led off the inning with a single before senior Mariano Ricciardi followed by reaching on an error by Campbell’s shortstop. Tirotta was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A failed pick off attempt skipped into center field scoring Garrity and putting Dayton up 1-0. Pujols hit a ball past the first baseman, scoring Riccardi and Tirotta, making it 3-0 Dayton.

Top 4: (4-0 Flyers)

Junior Benjamin Blackwell led off with a walk. Two batters later Curtis moved Blackwell over to third on a well-executed hit and run. Garrity drove him in with a squeeze bunt extending the lead to four.

Bottom 4: (4-1 Flyers)

Matthew Christian hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, cutting the lead to 4-1.

Top 6: (5-1 Flyers)

Graduate student Eddie Pursinger reached on a one-out single to center field. He advanced to second on a wild pitch before Curtis drove him in with a single to center field.

Bottom 6: (5-2 Flyers)

A one-out triple chased Jones from the game and two batters later a single drove in another run for Campbell, cutting Dayton’s lead to three.

Bottom 7: (5-4 Flyers)

A leadoff home run cut the lead to two. A walk and a single put runners on first and second and a one-out single just went past Blackwell at shortstop to load the bases. Zapka induced a ground out to second with one run scoring, but got the next batter to line out to center field to end the inning.

Up Next:

The Flyers will look to take the rubber match on Sunday at 12 p.m. against the Camels. Cole Pletka will take the mound for UD.

DAYTON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Women’s Basketball Wraps Up Regular Season At Davidson Sunday

(DAYTON RELEASE)

DAYTON – The University of Dayton women’s basketball team will travel to Davidson to face the Wildcats in Atlantic 10 action Sunday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. at Belk Arena.

SCOUTING THE FLYERS

Dayton is now 12-2 on the season after having its 11-game winning streak snapped last outing against Saint Louis. The Flyers are still atop the Atlantic 10 standings with a 11-1 mark and are looking to clinch their sixth regular season championship.

Head coach Shauna Green is in her fifth season in charge of the Flyers and was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year last season, her second time at UD. She is just one win away from career win No. 100 at Dayton.

As a team, the Flyers are averaging 66.3 points per game and holding opponents to 55.0 points each outing. Dayton is shooting 41.7 percent overall, 35.1 percent from three point range, and 69.3 percent from the free throw line. The Flyers are one of the top rebounding teams in the country with a +11.7 margin.

Dayton is led by redshirt senior Erin Whalen with 13.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while fellow senior Jenna Giacone is adding 12.5 points each contest.

SCOUTING DAVIDSON

Davidson hosts Dayton in the regular season finale with an 8-12 record overall and a 5-9 A-10 mark. The Wildcats are coming off a double-digit loss to Saint Louis on Friday, but are 5-2 at home this year.

Head coach Gayle Fulks is in her fourth season at Davidson, and fourth season as a collegiate head coach.

This year, the Wildcats are scoring 62.6 points per game and giving up 66.5 points to opposing squads. Davidson is shooting 38.4 percent from the field, 29.4 percent from behind the arc, and 68.4 percent from the charity stripe. The Wildcats are committing fewer turnovers, but are being outrebounded by opponents.

Leading Davidson is Chloe Welch with 16.2 points per game and shooting 45 percent from the floor. Suzi-Rose Deegan is chipping in 10.7 points and 5.4 rebounds each contest as well.

LAST TIME OUT

Dayton suffered its first conference loss of the season against Saint Louis at home Saturday, 57-64. The Flyers stormed back from down double-digits to take a late lead, but were unable to hold on down the stretch.

Davidson faced Saint Louis on Friday and fell 45-57 to the Billikens. The Wildcats were outscored in every quarter despite only committing five turnovers in the game. Katie Turner led the way with 14 points and three three pointers.

THE SERIES

Dayton and Davidson have played eight times previously with the Flyers winning all eight times. In the meetin on Jan. 14 this season, Dayton was victorious at home 64-58. The Flyers got 19 points each from Whalen and Magassa in that contest.

STATISTICAL RANKINGS

This season the Flyers rank ninth in the nation in rebound margin and 12th in field goal percentage defense and 16th in scoring defense. Individually, Tenin Magassa is 18th overall in the country in blocked shots per game while Araion Bradshaw is 25th in assist to turnover ratio.

SHORTENED NON-CONFERENCE PLAY

The Flyers only had two non-conference games and no exhibition contests due to COVID concerns. Dayton opened the season at Morehead State on Nov. 25  with a victory before dropping the home opener to Akron on Dec. 6.

BRADSHAW HELPS START ATHLETES DRIVING CHANGE

Redshirt senior Araion Bradshaw was one of a few Atlantic 10 women’s basketball players to start Athletes Driving Change, a minority female, student-run organization dedicated to racial and social injustice on campuses in the A-10. Their mission is to create change through education, action, and service. Bradshaw also serves on the A-10 Commission on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

THREE POINTS OF EXCELLENCE

Dayton has hit at least one three-point shot in 615 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 2, 2001, the longest streak in the Atlantic 10 Conference and one of the top streaks in the nation. The Flyers made a program-record 15 three-point field goals against Buffalo in the Connecticut World Vision Classic on Nov. 25, 2011. Dayton tied the record with 15 vs. Wright State on Nov. 28, 2012.

OFF TO A HOT START

Dayton has found much success under Coach Green in the month of January, going 34-2 in her first five seasons as head coach of the Flyers. That includes going undefeated in four of her five seasons.

POSTSEASON EXPECTATION

The Flyers have made 13-consecutive postseason appearances between the NCAA Division I Tournament and the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. Here are the past 13 campaigns

Year    Record    Postseason

2019-20    25-8    NCAA Tournament – Canceled due to COVID-19

2018-19    17-14    WNIT – 1st Round

2017-18    23-6    NCAA Tournament – 1st Round

2016-17    22-10    NCAA Tournament – 1st Round

2015-16    14-15    WNIT – 1st Round

2014-15    27-6    NCAA Tournament – Elite Eight

2013-14    23-8    NCAA Tournament – 1st Round

2012-13    28-3    NCAA Tournament – 2nd Round

2011-12    23-7    NCAA Tournament – 1st Round

2010-11    21-12    NCAA Tournament – 1st Round

2009-10    25-8    NCAA Tournament – 1st Round

2008-09    21-14    WNIT – 2nd Round

2007-08    25-9    WNIT – 1st Round

UP NEXT

The Flyers will travel to Richmond, Va. to compete in the 2021 Atlantic 10 Championships March 10-14.

CINCINNATI BASEBALL: Baseball Drops First Game Of DH, 5-4, On WKU Walk-Off

(CINCINNATI RELEASE)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The University of Cincinnati baseball suffered its third-straight, walk-off loss, dropping the opening game of a Saturday doubleheader to Western Kentucky, 5-4, at Nick Denes Field.

Cincinnati (0-5) gave up the go-ahead run on a one-out, sacrifice fly by Davis Sims which scored pinch runner Ty Crittenberger as the Hilltoppers (3-3) dealt the Bearcats a heartbreaker for the second-straight game.

Drake Batcho (0-1) took the loss for the Bearcats while WKU’s Mason Vineyard (1-0) picked up the win.

UC had hopped out to an early 3-0 lead in the fourth and once again rode a strong opening stint from one of its starters. LHP Dean McCarthy was nearly flawless in the first 6.2 innings, scattering five hits and striking out five. WKU scored four runs with two outs in the seventh, including a three-run home run by Ray Zuberer III. McCarthy ended up with a no decision, going 6.2 innings giving up four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks.

The Bearcats battled back to knot things up in the eighth with Eric Santiago hitting his second double of the game and later scoring on a sac fly by Joey Bellini.

SCORING INNINGS

TOP OF THE 4TH

UC struck first in the top of the fourth inning. Santiago led off with a double to left center after the Bearcats were sat down in order through the first three innings. Bellini singled through the right side and Wyatt Stapp doubled down the right-field line to score Santiago and Ryan Nicholson hit an RBI groundout to short, scoring Bellini. Jake Murray reached on an error and Stapp scored.

BOTTOM OF THE 7TH

Gray led off with a single and was later out on a fielder’s choice which put Riffe on first. Wilson was hit by a pitch with two outs and Constantine singled through the hole to score Riffe from second. Zuberer cranked a homer down the right-field line on a 1-2 count, putting WKU up 4-3 and chasing McCarthy from the game. Batcho relieved and struck out Swiney to end the inning.

TOP OF THE 8TH

Santiago hit a one-out double to right center and WKU made a pitching change, swapping Crosby for Vineyard. Santiago advanced to third and scored on a sac fly by Bellini to knot things up at 4-4. Stapp drew a two-out walk but a ground out ended the UC threat.

BOTTOM OF THE 9TH

Wilson drew a leadoff walk on four pitches and took second on a wild pitch. Batcho was pulled for Max Bergmann and Constantine flied out to center but advanced Crittenberge, who pinch ran for Wilson, to third. Zuberer was intentionally walked to put runners on the corners but Crittenberge scored the game-winning run on a sacrifice to left field by Sims.

UP NEXT

The Bearcats and Hilltoppers will close out the series with a nightcap 40 minutes after game one ends. An audio stream and live stats are available.

CINCINNATI WBB: BACK-TO-BACK: Women’s Basketball Tops Tulsa, 71-58

(CINCINNATI RELEASE)

TULSA – IImar’I Thomas scored a game-high 28 points with nine rebounds and three blocks and Caitlyn Wilson added 20 points with six 3-pointers as Cincinnati won its second consecutive game, posting a 71-58 road win at Tulsa on Saturday.

With the effort Thomas moves into third place on UC’s all-time scoring list with 1,853 points behind only Cheryl Cook (2,367 points from 1982-85) and Valerie King (2,156 points from 2001-04).

Thomas, who scored a school-record 51 points in UC’s 76-61 win at East Carolina on Wednesday, did most of her scoring in the first and fourth quarters Saturday. She helped the Bearcats get off to a solid start with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting in the game’s first 10 minutes and finished the contest with a 12-point fourth quarter thanks mostly to 8-of-10 shooting from the free throw line.

Thomas comes up one rebound shy of her fifth double-double of the season while registering her 15th 20-point game of 2020-21.

Wilson made four of her six threes in the first half, including three in the second quarter when UC ended the half on a 15-7 run to grab a 37-29 halftime lead.

Tulsa sisters Maya and Wyvette Mayberry accounted for 37 of Tulsa’s 58 points. Maya Mayberry scored 10 of her team-high 22 points in the third quarter, including a layup with 5:39 left in the frame that pulled the Golden Hurricane within 41-38. Wyvette finished with 15 points for Tulsa.

Wilson answered for the Bearcats, hitting consecutive 3-pointers to give UC a 47-38 lead at 4:00 in the third quarter.

Thomas had a personal 9-0 run for UC midway through the fourth quarter, giving the Bearcats their largest lead of the day at 68-51 with 1:29 remaining.

Jillian Hayes contributed eight points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals for the Bearcats. Milan Schimmel added seven points, seven assists and six rebounds.

UP NEXT

UC wraps up regular-season play Tuesday at Houston. Tipoff is 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

CINCINNATI BASEBALL: Baseball Erupts For 11 Runs In Win Over WKU

(CINCINNATI RELEASE)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The University of Cincinnati baseball picked up its first win of the season with an 11-3 win in game two of a Saturday twin bill against Western Kentucky at Nick Denes Field.

Cincinnati (1-5) scored four runs in the second, one in the fifth, four in the sixth and one in the seventh and ninth to notch a season-best mark on the scoreboard in the young season.

Garrett Schoenle (1-0) picked up the win while WKU’s Ryan O’Connell (0-2) took the loss. Schoenle went 5.0 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and a walk. A trio of relievers, Jose Guzman, Jalen Wade and Aiden Bradbury, gave up one hit of the final four innings of shutout ball, fanning seven.

NOTABLE

• Guzman and Bradbury made the collegiate debuts.

• Joey Bellini had the second four-hit game of his career and first since March 10, 2019 in the Joe Nuxhall Classic vs. Miami (OH).

• Griffin Merritt had a 3-for-5 day, scoring three runs, plating two RBI while hitting a double and a triple.

• Jake Hansen was 2-for-3, with 2 RBI, a double, two walks and he scored two runs.

• Jake Murray finished 2-for-4, with a pair of runs scored and RBI, a triple and a walk.

SCORING INNINGS

TOP OF THE SECOND

The Bearcats were on the board first again after Ryan Nicholson led off with a single and scored on Murray’s triple. Merrit was next with a single to right center which brought Murray home. Hansen walked and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. A strike out notched the first WKU out of the inning, but a passed ball allowed Merrit to score and advanced Hansen to third. Another strike out led to the second out, but Eric Santiago walked, got caught in a run-down trying to steal second but stayed alive long enough for Hansen to score the fourth run of the inning.

BOTTOM OF THE THIRD

Eric Riffe homered off Schoenle with one out and Jack Wilson doubled to left center. After a hit-by-pitch and strikeout, Davis Sims singled through the left side to score Wilson. Schoenle struck out the next batter to end the inning.

TOP OF THE FIFTH

Cam Scheler led off with a double down the left-field line and scored after Bellini poked a one-out single and was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.

BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH

Wilson led off with a double and scored on a double by Ray Zuberer III.

TOP OF THE SIXTH

Murray hit a one-out bunt single and legged out a score on a triple by Merritt. Hansen and Cole Harting walked to load the bases. Merrit scored on a wild pitch and Scheler walked. Santiago reached on a fielder’s choice and Hansen scored. Belliini singled through the right side, Harting scored and UC had a 9-3 edge.

TOP OF THE SEVENTH

Hansen singled up the idle to score Ryan Nicholson who led the inning off with a single.

TOP OF THE NINTH

Merrit hit a one-out double to left field on the first pitch he saw, later scoring on a double by Hansen.

UP NEXT

UC is back on the road next weekend, playing a four-game set at UNC Wilmington from Thursday-Sunday. Games on Thursday-Saturday will feature a 4 p.m. ET first pitch while Sunday’s closer will start at 1 p.m. ET. The Seahawk Digital Network will stream Thursday and Friday’s games and FloBaseball will televise the weekend set. Live stats will also be available.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: No. 17 KU ends No. 2 Baylor’s perfect start with 71-58 win.

After its record streak in the Top 25 came to an end, Kansas spent the past the past three weeks quietly getting better, ripping off five consecutive wins before taking No. 14 Texas to overtime in a close loss on the road.

Baylor spent most of that same stretch mired in a COVID-19 shutdown.

So when No. 17 Kansas walked into Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, it had reason to be confident it could end the Bears’ perfect start. And by the time David McCormack finished pouring in 20 points, and Marcus Garrett added 14 on his senior night, the Jayhawks walked out with a 71-58 victory that left No. 1 Gonzaga as the nation’s only undefeated team.

“We had three weeks where they got worse and they had three weeks where they got better,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew, whose team led Kansas wire-to-wire in a 77-69 victory last month in Waco, Texas. “Even Superman has kryptonite and I guess COVID protocols are ours.”

Kansas (18-8, 12-6) had something to do with it, too.

The Jayhawks held the nation’s top 3-point shooting team to 6 of 26 from beyond the arc. They had a 48-28 advantage on the boards. They forced Baylor (18-1, 11-1) into early foul trouble and proceeded to go 18 of 26 from the foul line.

They also made sure Baylor would need to wait at least a few more days to clinch its first conference title since 1950.

“There were a lot of naysayers saying whatever they would like,” said McCormack, who fouled out in the final minutes. “We had our ebbs and flows, but we’re continuing to rise, and we’re going to continue to rise into March.”

MaCio Teague scored 18 points and Davion Mitchell added 13 for the Bears, but leading scorer Jared Butler was 2 of 9 from the field and managed just five points while Garrett – one of the nation’s best defenders – hounded him all night.

The result was just the Bears’ second loss in 12 games against ranked opponents over the past two years, and an end to the best start in school history – though one that still has them positioned for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s a huge win for us. It’s not going to get you a ring on your finger or anything like that, but it’s a big win,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We could have easily won in Austin and really finished strong, but I’m really happy with the way we played.”

Baylor got off to a lousy start, just like it did in its return from its long COVID-19 pause, when it struggled to a comeback win over Iowa State. The Bears had nearly as many air balls (three) as points (four) over the first 6-plus minutes, and foul trouble sent Butler, Mark Vital and Matthew Mayer to the bench for long stretches.

Baylor eventually got on track, only for Kansas to close with seven straight points and lead 33-30 at the break.

The Jayhawks kept stretching their lead early in the second half. Ochai Agbaji finally knocked down a 3 after missing his first six tries, and McCormack followed Garrett’s miss with an easy put-back to make it 41-33 at the under-16 timeout.

Thus began a back-and-forth tussle between what has become the two premier programs in the Big 12.

Seldom-used guard Dajuan Harris scored five straight points for Kansas. Teague answered with back-to-back 3-pointers for Baylor, getting fouled on the second one and turning it into a four-point play. Christian Braun drove the lane and drew fouls for the Jayhawks, then Vital began getting shots to go in the paint for the Bears.

Kansas was still clinging to a 57-52 lead with 5 minutes to go when Braun made a pair of free throws. That began a 10-2 run over the next 3 1/2 minutes, most of the offense coming at the foul line, effectively putting away the game.

“Our guys, we didn’t quit. We had chances,” Drew said. “It was down to five or seven, I thought we were right there. They drew a foul and I thought that was the turning point as far as our comeback.”

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Perfect Zags: No. 1 Gonzaga stays unbeaten, tops LMU 86-69

At this point in its long run of success, it’s hard to find a new accomplishment for Gonzaga to check off.

The top-ranked Bulldogs completed one of those unfinished tasks on Saturday night, closing out an unbeaten regular season with an 86-69 win over Loyola Marymount.

Corey Kispert made six 3-pointers and finished with 24 points, and the top-ranked team remained the only unbeaten in the country after No. 2 Baylor lost earlier on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (24-0, 15-0 WCC) won their 51st straight home game to set a school record, and finished off the first perfect regular season in program history. Gonzaga has won 28 straight games dating to last season and is the first team to finish the regular season unbeaten since Kentucky in 2014-15.

“It’s getting harder and harder to find something that’s never been done in this program. There’s very few things left,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “For this group to be able to notch that is amazing, and when you factor in they didn’t have `The Kennel’ to rely on at all to me is just remarkable.”

Normally the final home game of the season for Gonzaga would have been a wild celebration of the Zags two seniors – Kispert and Aaron Cook. And while both were acknowledged before tip off, the game itself was just another obstacle in the Zags attempt for perfection.

“It did just feel like another game,” Kispert said of likely his final home game. “That’s just kind of the theme of the whole year. We got to be professional about this kind of stuff. I know, whether we like it or not, there’s nobody in the building so you know it hasn’t hit me yet.”

Gonzaga had five players finish in double figures. Drew Timme scored 16 points, Joel Ayayi 13, Jalen Suggs 12 and Anton Watson 11.

Eli Scott had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Loyola Marymount (12-8, 7-5), and Mattias Markusson added 19 points and 10 rebounds. LMU coach Stan Johnson felt the Lions had opportunities to keep the game closer, but turnover problems late in the first half changed the momentum.

“If you’re going to play a team like that, to give them that many possessions back, your chances of winning are minimal,” Johnson said. “That really changed the game. Our turnovers led to easy baskets and got them in transition.”

Kispert rediscovered his shooting touch from deep that had been a bit off of late. Kispert was 6 of 20 on 3-pointers during a five-game span earlier this month. But he hit 3 of 8 in the Bulldogs win over Santa Clara on Thursday and was even better against LMU.

Kispert made 6 of 10 shots from deep against the Lions, and the Bulldogs shot 53% from behind the arc.

“Our guys really deserved to have Gonzaga fans in the stands with as hard as they’ve played, as well as they’ve played, as spectacularly as they played,” Few said. “This team deserved to have fans screaming and yelling and it would have really made for an even more incredible year and experience.”

For the second straight game, the Bulldogs were pushed early. Loyola Marymount led by as many as five points midway through the first half before Gonzaga closed the half on a 12-3 run to take a 40-30 lead at the break.

The Lions saw the lead evaporate after Keli Leaupepe picked up his third foul with 5:59 left and LMU leading 23-22. Gonzaga outscored LMU 63-47 over the final 26 minutes.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: No. 6 Alabama holds off Mississippi State 64-59 to win SEC

For the first time in 45 years, Alabama is the Southeastern Conference champion in football and men’s basketball.

Jaden Shackleford scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half, and No. 6 Alabama beat Mississippi State 64-59 on Saturday night to clinch its first SEC regular-season championship since 2002.

The men’s basketball crown comes just two months after the powerhouse Crimson Tide football team claimed the conference title on the way to winning the national championship. It’s the first time both programs won titles in the same academic year since 1975-76, and ending a 19-year drought in basketball was cause for celebration.

“I went in there and they dumped a bunch of water on me,” second-year Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats said of the joyous postgame locker room. “They were already celebrating before we got off the floor. They were fired up about it, they knew what was at stake. It’s big. It doesn’t happen very often.”

Alabama (19-6, 14-2) led by double digits for much of the game, but the Bulldogs (13-12, 7-9) closed to 56-53 on Iverson Molinar’s layup with 4:17 left. Mississippi State had a chance to draw even closer over the next three minutes, but Alabama came up with a couple of big stops and James Rojas drained a 3 from the right corner to make it 59-53 with 43 seconds left.

D.J. Stewart Jr. made four free throws for MSU in the final minute, but Alabama went 5 for 6 at the line down the stretch, including two successful attempts for John Petty Jr. with 11.9 seconds to go. Alabama held on despite shooting just 32%, including 25% from beyond the arc.

Jahvon Quinerly had 19 points for Alabama, including 15 before halftime that helped the Tide snap out of a cold shooting start. Herbert Jones grabbed 14 rebounds, helping Alabama to a 45-40 advantage on the glass.

Stewart scored 15 points for the Bulldogs, who had won their past two games. Deivon Smith had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Molinar scored 11 points.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Kessler, Tar Heels rally from 16 down to upset No. 11 FSU

Freshman Walker Kessler scored a season-high 20 points to help North Carolina upset No. 11 Florida State 78-70 on Saturday, earning a needed victory to boost its NCAA Tournament chances while giving coach Roy Williams his 900th career victory.

The 7-foot-1 freshman had 14 of his points after halftime in an huge performance off the bench, providing a game-changing spark for a team that was down 16 with 2 1/2 minutes before halftime.

Trailing 41-29 at halftime, the Tar Heels (15-8, 9-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 50% after halftime. But more importantly, they rode Kessler’s production to better production in the paint while cutting down on the turnovers that undercut any offensive flow in the opening half.

By the end, the Tar Heels were knocking down clinching free throws and denying comeback bids from the ACC’s top team just days after a clunker of a performance in a home loss to Marquette.

Kerwin Walton added 13 points for North Carolina, which made all 10 of its free throws in the final 2:15 to stay in control.

RaiQuan Gray scored 17 points to lead the Seminoles (14-4, 10-3), who went from being in firm control to watching it slip away amid a mistake-filled second half. As North Carolina built confidence, Florida State shot just 32% after the break and committed more turnovers (12) than field goals (11).

When it was over, the Tar Heels joined Williams at midcourt to quickly honor Williams for the milestone victory after becoming just the fourth Division I men’s coach to hit 900 wins.

It also marked North Carolina’s first home game with fans in attendance, which came after Gov. Roy Cooper eased public-gathering restrictions earlier this week to permit indoor arenas with a capacity of at least 5,000 to bring up to 15% of that total. That meant North Carolina could bring around 3,200 fans in the Smith Center seating more than 21,000.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Cunningham scores 40, Oklahoma St tops No. 7 Oklahoma in OT

Cade Cunningham unleashed his best performance yet in his first Bedlam rivalry game.

Oklahoma State’s freshman star scored 10 of his season-high 40 points in overtime to help the Cowboys defeat No. 7 Oklahoma 94-90 on Saturday.

“I think getting the win was how I wanted to put my plant on Bedlam,” the 6-foot-8 point guard said. “I have a trust in my coaches and teammates allowing me to get 40, but I think we all played to win, and that’s what I’m most happy about.”

Now, the Cowboys will try to duplicate the performance – the teams will meet again on Monday at Oklahoma State. Cunningham said being ready for the rematch will go beyond ice tubs, healthy eating and rest.

“We just put a big physical toll on ourselves, so just making sure that we’re mentally ready, knowing personnel, watching film — things like that — those are the best things you can do,” he said.

Cunningham, the Big 12’s leading scorer, blew away his previous scoring high of 29 points. He made 12 of 21 field goals and 13 of 14 free throws. He also finished with 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Many project Cunningham to be the first pick in this year’s NBA draft. The Sooners found out why up close.

“He’s not predicted No. 1 for no reason,” said Oklahoma’s Austin Reaves, the No. 2 scorer in the conference. “He’s a player. We knew he was a really good player, and he performed tonight, to say the least.”

Bryce Williams and Avery Anderson III each scored 15 points for Oklahoma State (16-6, 9-6 Big 12), which won its fourth straight.

De’Vion Harmon matched a career high with 23 points and Reaves had 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Oklahoma (15-7, 8-7), which was coming off an upset loss at Kansas State.

“I’m not worried,” Harmon said. “We’ll get it right. We’ve got to bounce back. We’ve got another one on Monday, so we’ve got to turn around quick.”

Saturday’s game was an intense back-and-forth contest with plenty of hard, clean fouls.

Oklahoma, aided by an 11-0 run, led 38-31 at halftime. Harmon had 14 points at the break for Oklahoma while Cunningham had 13 for the Cowboys.

A 3-pointer by Harmon pushed the edge to 10 at the start of the second half before Oklahoma State surged. Williams hit a 3-pointer to cut Oklahoma’s lead to 51-50, and Cunningham’s deep 3 put the Cowboys ahead.

With Oklahoma State up by two, Reaves drove and found Brady Manek for the tying layup with seven seconds to play in regulation. Cunningham lost control of the ball while looking to create space for a game-winning shot, forcing overtime.

Oklahoma couldn’t control Cunningham in the extra period, and now, the Sooners will have to find answers quickly.

“Same thing we’ve always done,” Harmon said. “Whether we win or lose, watch the film and get better. We can get better from every game that we play, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL: Game Rewind: Pacers 107, Knicks 110

(PACERS RELEASE)

For the third straight game, the Pacers were right there in the final minutes with a chance to win, but came up a play or two short.

Indiana led by as many as 16 in the first half on Saturday night in New York and rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead, but could not hang on down the stretch. In the end, the Pacers (15-17) fell to the Knicks (17-17) on the second night of a back-to-back.

It was the third straight loss and the ninth in the last 13 games for the Blue & Gold. New York, on the other hand, has won five of its last eight contests.

The Pacers led 98-93 with four minutes remaining, but the Knicks responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead. RJ Barrett knocked down a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play to put New York back in front. Then after a timeout, Julius Randle hit a three and Barrett made a layup to extend the Knicks’ lead to 104-98.

T.J. McConnell ended the Pacers’ drought on a layup with 2:13 remaining, then found Edmond Sumner for an open three 25 seconds later to trim the deficit to one.

Two Nerlens Noel free throws with 1:16 to play made it a three-point game. On the other end, Myles Turner had an open look from the right corner to tie the game, but couldn’t get the shot to fall.

Domantas Sabonis was then whistled for a foul on Randle on the other end and the All-Star forward made both foul shots with 29.7 seconds left.

Out of a timeout, the Blue & Gold got a quick look for Sabonis, who banked in a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game with 25 seconds remaining. The Pacers then fouled Barrett, who missed both free throws with 14.9 seconds left.

But the Blue & Gold never got a shot off, as Sabonis and McConnell botched a handoff, allowing Derrick Rose to deflect it and Frank Ntilikina to corral the loose ball. Ntilikina then sealed the game with two foul shots with 2.9 seconds left.

“Plain and simple, that’s on me,” McConnell said. “Coach (Nate Bjorkgren) drew up a great play for me if there wasn’t the backdoor (look) to come off Domas’ (dribble handoff). I just completely turned my head. That one’s 1,000 percent on me.”

With the win, the Knicks took the season series against Indiana for the first time since 2016-17. The Pacers beat New York in the season opener on Dec. 23, but the Knicks won at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Jan. 2.

All five starters scored in double figures in Saturday’s loss for Indiana. Doug McDermott had a team-high 20 points, while McConnell recorded a double-double with 17 points and 12 assists while also pulling down six rebounds.

The Pacers jumped out to an early 8-0 lead behind two threes by Justin Holiday and a dunk by Turner. The Blue & Gold remained in front for the entirety of the opening frame.

Holiday and McDermott scored eight points apiece in the first quarter. Indiana’s reserves then checked in and combined for 10 unanswered points to open up a 13-point lead before four Knicks points to close the frame trimmed the Pacers’ lead to 32-23 entering the second quarter.

The visitors extended the margin to 46-30 following an 11-3 run midway through the second quarter. But the Knicks roared back, as All-Star forward Randle scored six points and Barrett hit two threes as the Knicks reeled off a 21-6 run to make it a one-point game in the closing seconds of the first half.

Sabonis had the ball on the right block with under five seconds remaining and tried to fire a pass to the opposite corner, but Rose deflected it to Randle, who pushed the break and dished to Rose for a deep three at the buzzer that gave New York a stunning 54-52 lead at the intermission.

“Just some dumb turnovers that let them get some easy buckets in transition,” McDermott said of the Knicks’ run to close the first half. “I think we maybe settled a little bit. Earlier in the game we were really moving the ball and kicking it out and I thought maybe they were collapsing on us a little more and we weren’t making the right reads there…We’ve got to play a certain style for 48 minutes. We can’t get high on ourselves when we’re up.”

The Pacers regrouped at halftime and played well to open the third quarter. McDermott scored nine of Indiana’s first 13 points in the frame, giving the Pacers the lead again with a 3-pointer with 7:28 remaining in the period.

Indiana led 67-64 before the Knicks scored seven straight to surge back ahead. They remained in front for the remainder of the third quarter. Randle scored 11 points in the frame as New York took an 81-78 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Knicks quickly added to their lead in the final frame thanks to a Noel dunk and a four-point play by rookie Immanuel Quickley.

The Pacers quickly rallied, however, reeling off nine unanswered points, capped by a Sumner slam off a lob from Aaron Holiday, to tie the game at 89 with 8:36 to play. Indiana then took a 94-91 lead when Turner hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 6:37 remaining.

NBA NEWS: Mavs end Nets’ 8-game run as Porzingis returns, Irving sits

With one star back for Dallas and another one sidelined for Brooklyn, the NBA’s longest winning streak was halted rather easily.

Luka Doncic scored 27 points, Kristaps Porzingis added 18 in his return from injury and the Mavericks snapped the Nets’ eight-game run with a 115-98 victory Saturday night.

James Harden had 29 points for the Nets, but only four after halftime while playing as Brooklyn’s solo superstar with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sidelined.

“Obviously, they had two great players out but he’s an amazing player. It’s very tough to stop him,” Doncic said. “We did a great job in the second half. I think it was way better.”

Durant missed his seventh straight game with a left hamstring strain and Irving rested his surgically repaired right shoulder. That took more than 56 points per game away from the NBA’s highest-scoring team and Brooklyn managed just 34 points after halftime.

“Look, I know they’re down a couple of superstars, but to hold them to 18 and 16 in the second half is pretty damn good,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.

Porzingis missed last three games with lower back tightness and shook off his rust after halftime to help Dallas break open the game.

Leading by four at halftime, the Mavericks came out for the third quarter focused on throwing the ball inside to the 7-foot-3 Latvian, who has 7 inches on any starter in the Nets’ small-ball starting lineup. He responded with 10 points in the quarter, including a three-point play that capped an 11-2 spurt and pushed Dallas’ lead to 85-74.

It became 91-76 when Dorian Finney-Smith blocked Harden’s shot to lead to Tim Hardaway Jr.’s basket. Dallas put it away with 12 straight points early in the fourth, making it 106-84 and soon after Harden was removed for good.

“That second half we just didn’t have any legs,” Harden said.

Jalen Brunson scored 14 points for the Mavericks, who split games against the East’s top teams after losing at Philadelphia on Thursday, when they committed a season-high 22 turnovers. They had only nine Saturday.

Doncic and Harden each scored 15 points in the first quarter, but the Mavs gave more help to their point guard and led 38-26 after shooting 61%. Brooklyn cut it to 68-64 at halftime, when Harden had 25.

NBA NEWS: Sexton, Garland help Cavaliers upset 76ers 112-109 in OT

Collin Sexton flashed three fingers on each hand as he walked off the court a winner and simply said “that’s game.”

And who saw that game coming for Cleveland?

Yes, the Cavaliers rebounded from a 10-game losing streak with wins against lowly Atlanta and Houston. But undermanned – and arguably outmatched – Sexton, Darius Garland and Isaac Okoro helped grind out an upset.

“You’re going to see these type of moments again,” Okoro said.

Sexton scored 28 points, Garland had 25 and the feisty Cavaliers beat the East-best Philadelphia 76ers 112-109 in overtime on Saturday night.

The Cavaliers earned their first road win since Jan. 7 at Memphis and No. 4 on the season. They got one against a Sixers team that built the best record in the Eastern Conference (22-12) on the strength of a 14-2 mark at home.

Make it 14-3.

“Any time you get a tough win like this, it validates what you’re capable of,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.

Okoro scored the first three points of OT and had 15 when he fouled out. The Cavs led by three and turned the ball over only for Ben Simmons to get whistled for an offensive foul. Garland hit a floater for a five-point lead and the 11-point underdog Cavaliers were on their way to their third straight win.

Joel Embiid had 42 points and 13 rebounds for Philadelphia. Simmons scored 24.

“That’s a win we’ve got to get,” Simmons said.

Sexton hit a 3 late in regulation that put the Cavs ahead 92-90, but Embiid answered with a tying dunk. The score went back-and-forth all quarter and the Cavs had a chance to win late. Sexton missed a long 3 coming out of a timeout and Matisse Thybulle grabbed the defensive rebound. Embiid missed a step-back 15-footer with one second left and the game went into OT tied 92-all.

Embiid, who seems good for one injury scare a game, sure enough came up limping late in the first quarter. He stayed in the game after a timeout and promptly passed out of a double team to Danny Green for a 3.

Embiid’s ability to draw fouls – he’s been accused of flopping – at an elite level continued against the Cavs. Embiid let out an “ahhh!” as he tangled with JaVale McGee and went to the line. McGee was whistled for three fouls in 1 minute that led to four made free throws by Embiid, and Jarrett Allen also had three fouls by halftime. Embiid was 11 of 12 from the line in the half; the Cavs just 10 of 13.

Sixers coach Doc Rivers yelled, “Wake up! Let’s go!” with the Sixers down 39-30. The Sixers needed time to snap out of their slumber.

“We were running our offense like it was a walkthrough,” Rivers said.

Embiid and Simmons carried the Sixers in the first half and combined to score 33 of their 47 points. The other three starters scored just seven points and the Cavs led 56-47 at the break.

The Cavaliers ran and ran after Sixers’ misses and scored 17 fast-break points in the half.

The Sixers shook off a 13-point hole and got rolling in the third, in large part because Embiid and Simmons had help from the bench. Mike Scott hit a 3 that pulled them within one. Shake Milton hit the floater that tied it at 65.

The Cavs pushed the pace and shut down every Sixer outside of Embiid and Simmons to get a win they hope will prove better days are ahead.

“Are we there yet? No, we’re not finished,” Bickerstaff said. “But we’ve got to continue to answer the bell when tested.”

NBA NEWS-leading Jazz rebound from loss to beat Magic

Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points and Joe Ingles filled in well again at point guard in place of Mike Conley to help the Utah Jazz beat the Orlando Magic 124-109 on Saturday night.

Utah bounced back from a loss a night earlier in Miami, improving to 6-1 following a defeat. The NBA-leading Jazz have lost consecutive games just once all season and not since Jan. 6 when they were 4-4.

“We’re not allowed to be tired, for one thing,” said Utah coach Quin Snyder, whose team improved to 5-1 this season on the second night of a back-to-backs.

Mitchell shook off a scoreless first quarter and scored 25 of his 31 points in the second half. He 15 points in the third quarter when Utah pushed a four-point halftime lead out to as much as 14. The Jazz improved to 25-0 when leading after three periods and won by double digits for an NBA-best 23rd time this season.

“I had a few lapses in the first half and a few bad shots and then it was like, `OK, this is what I see,'” said Mitchell, who made 9 of 13 shots after halftime. “At the end of the day, I’ve seen every coverage and it’s just about adjusting.”

Ingles had 17 points, six assists and three 3-pointers. The Jazz are 7-0 this season when he starts at point guard in place of Conley, who was out with right hamstring injury management. That’s the same injury that kept the point guard out from Feb. 2-12, a six-game stretch where Utah won each game with Ingles sharing ball-handling duties with Mitchell.

“I try to play the same game, but I realize I’m going to have the ball more in certain situations,” said Ingles, who had four assists to center Rudy Gobert in the first half. “I’m just making sure I’m getting guys involved and getting them in the right spots.”

Gobert had 12 points and 16 rebounds. Jordan Clarkson, the NBA’s top-scoring reserve, had 18 points for Utah, which shot 52.9% and made 17 of 45 3-pointers.

Magic All-Star center Nikola Vucevic scored 34 points, but missed out on his 24th double-double by two rebounds. Orlando was pounded 52-37 on the glass and surrendered 24 second-chance points to the Jazz.

“That was the key tonight, giving up 24 against a team that’s already the best team offensively right now in the NBA,” Vucevic said.

Evan Fournier (16 points) and Terrence Ross (10 points) combined to shoot just 11 of 36 from the floor and made only 1 of 13 from 3-point range.

NBA NEWS: DeMar DeRozan has 32 points, 11 assists in Spurs’ victory

DeMar DeRozan returned to the court Saturday night and it was exactly what San Antonio’s veteran guard needed after a chaotic and sorrowful two weeks.

DeRozan had 32 points and 11 assists and the short-handed Spurs held on to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 117-114.

DeRozan returned after missing a game after his father’s death. He posted a tribute on Instagram Feb. 19 after his father, Frank, died following a long illness.

“All I cared about was making you proud,” wrote DeRozan, who was not available following the game. “Over the past three years I seen you display the ultimate measure of a man fighting to the end. Wish I could tell you thank you one last time.”

DeRozan responded with his fifth game of least 25 points and 10 assists since joining San Antonio in 2018. He had only one turnover in 36 minutes against New Orleans.

“It just showed he’s a real professional, real vet,” said Spurs guard Dejounte Murray, who had 18 points. “This is his happy place, because what he was going through, I can only imagine. I talked to him the whole time he was gone, letting him know I’m here for him, the team’s here for him. We’re brothers.”

Brandon Ingram had 29 points and Zion Williamson added 23 points and 14 rebounds for New Orleans. The Pelicans have lost two straight and seven of 10.

DeRozan’s return was a needed boost for the Spurs, who played their first home game since Feb. 9 before embarking on what was supposed to be seven-game trip. San Antonio’s annual month-long excursion was shortened when the team had to postpone four games after multiple players contracted COVID-19 or encountered someone with the virus.

Rudy Gay, Keldon Johnson, Derrick White, Devin Vassell and Quinndary Weatherspoon all missed their sixth straight game while following the league’s mandate for COVID-19.

The Spurs leaned on DeRozan with two starters and two key reserves sidelined. The 12-year veteran had his fifth 30-point game and third in his last seven outings.

“To be gone that long and not show any rust and be able to have wind and play as much as he did and as hard as he did … he was special,” San Antonio coach Popovich said.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points off the bench in his second game back after missing six games because of a sore right hip.

“We were a little bit better (defensively) down the stretch, but today we couldn’t make shots and our defense isn’t good enough over the course of the game to win for us,” New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy said.

“We are totally dependent on our offense to win games and you’re not going to go far with that.”

NBA NEWS: Wizards send Timberwolves to 7th straight loss, 128-112

Bradley Beal scored 34 points, Russell Westbrook added 19 as part of his NBA-leading 10th triple-double, and the Washington Wizards used a 44-point third quarter to pull away for a 128-112 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

Westbrook added 14 rebounds and 12 assists for the Wizards, who have won seven of eight to move back into playoff contention following a 6-17 start.

“It’s big for everybody, confidence-wise,” Beal said of the recent surge. “But at the same time, we still know we haven’t done much. We haven’t done anything. That’s what I keep telling our guys.”

Davis Bertans scored 12 of his 19 points in the third quarter, including four of his five 3-pointers. Garrison Mathews scored 18 points in Washington’s first home game following a four-game West Coast trip.

“I thought he had some great looks in the first half, but shooters have to keep shooting,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of Bertans. “He made some shots that kind of broke it open for us.”

Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who dropped their seventh straight, matching their longest slide of the season.

Anthony Edwards added 21 points for NBA-worst Minnesota, as starting guard Malik Beasley served the first of a 12-game suspension.

The Timberwolves were in it until Washington’s third-quarter outburst, which included an extended 35-12 run.

The Wizards scored nine straight to start it, with Westbrook’s running dunk and Beal’s 3-pointer from the top of the key giving them a 72-67 lead and coaxing newly installed Minnesota coach Chris Finch into a timeout.

“When teams make a run on you, you’ve got to fight back,” said Finch, following his third game in charge. “That’s what we have to be. We need to learn how to be a little more resilient right now.”

It was a five-point game before the Wizards made six 3-pointers over a 4:20 stretch. Bertans’ last 3 of the quarter, off Westbrook’s 11th assist of the game, made it 98-79 with just under a minute left.

“I feel like we’re kind of bringing together everything we’ve been talking about at the beginning of the season,” Bertans said.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: S. Illinois ends North Dakota State’s 39-game winning streak

Javon Williams Jr. and Romeir Elliott each had a pair of touchdown runs, and Southern Illinois beat top-ranked North Dakota State 38-14 on Saturday that ended the Bison’s 39-game winning streak.

North Dakota State (2-1, 1-1 Missouri Valley), which has won three straight FCS championships, last lost on Nov. 4, 2017 to then-No. 8 South Dakota State.

“We didn’t show up and play very well,” Bison coach Matt Entz said. “There was not any position group that played well.”

It was the Bison’s worst defeat since a 37-6 loss at Cal Poly during the 2005 season.

Williams ran for a 3-yard score and Elliott broke loose for a 20-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Both scores followed a North Dakota State turnover. Elliott finished with 91 yards rushing and Williams had 41, and the pair also had touchdown runs in the second quarter.

The Salukis (2-1, 1-1) snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Bison, who were 16.5-point favorites.

“This game will be recognized for a long time, maybe the biggest win in that stadium,” Southern Illinois coach Nick Hill said of ending North Dakota State’s FCS-record winning streak.

Avante Cox had seven receptions for 138 yards for Southern Illinois. His 65-yard catch set up Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down to give the Salukis a 17-0 lead with about a minute left in the second quarter.

Salukis quarterback Nic Baker, making his first career start and filling in for senior Kare Lyles, who left with a rib injury during last week’s game against North Dakota, was 17-of-23 passing for 254 yards. His 6-yard touchdown pass to Landon Lenoir stretched the Salukis’ lead to 24-7 early in the fourth quarter.

“It’s what I hope for, it’s what I’ve dreamed of,” Baker said. “I kind of want those moments.”

Zeb Noland threw a 37-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass that was tipped to Jake Lippe that pulled the Bison to 17-7 at the break. Jalen Bussey’s 63-yard run set up Noland’s 5-yard touchdown run with 2:16 remaining.

Noland was 13 of 24 for 159 yards. Bussey finished with 72 yards on three carries. The Bison were held to 268 yards of offense and their time of possession was just 18:34.

It was Southern Illinois’ first win against the Bison since a 24-14 home victory on Sept. 26, 2009.

PGA NEWS: Morikawa’s late stumble gives Workday contenders a chance

PGA champion Collin Morikawa went from feeling he could do no wrong to wondering if he could do anything right, and that was just over the final hour Saturday in the Workday Championship.

What mattered at the end of the third round was he had a two-shot lead as he goes for his first World Golf Championship title, even knowing it could have been a lot bigger.

Morikawa walked off the 12th hole with his seventh birdie in eight holes, stretching his lead to five shots with two par 5s still to play. He made bogey on both, shot a 5-under 67 and suddenly had four-time major champion Brooks Koepka and Billy Horschel on his tail.

“I didn’t play great the last six, but a lot to learn from heading into tomorrow,” Morikawa said. “Just to kind of clear my head to get ready for the 18-hole grind tomorrow.”

Koepka, who says his neck has been stiff for the last month, got his mistakes out of the way early by opening with a pair of bogeys and rallied late for a 70. Horschel also had a late rally with an eagle on the par-5 17th hole and shot 69.

Another shot back was Webb Simpson (69).

Rory McIlroy, who made a double bogey for the second straight day, was hopeful of getting to 10 under to at least give himself a chance. He did one better with a 66, including an eagle on the par-5 13th that gave so many players fits, and wound up just four shots behind.

“It seems like it’s one of these courses where it can give up a lot of birdies and some eagles and stuff, but it can bite you very quickly without really doing much wrong,” McIlroy said. “Yeah, it’s one of these places where you just have to stay patient and know that you’re going to have chances.”

Morikawa was at 15-under 201.

His troubles began on the par-13th, and it looked harmless enough when he put his approach from the rough into the bunker and blasted out to just under 25 feet for look at yet another birdie. Except that he left his putt 6 feet short, and missed the next one to take bogey.

“I never got it going again,” Morikawa said.

He also made bogey on the par-5 17th, the easiest hole at Concession on Saturday, by finding a bunker off the tee, having to lay up short of the water, and then hitting into another bunker.

Morikawa found plenty of positives. He still had a two-shot lead. His putting stroke feels better than ever, and a chipping tip from Concession member Paul Azinger has left him confident on the short-game shots off the Bermuda grass.

Koepka is thankful he still has a chance.

Staked to a one-shot lead at the start of the third round, he opened with two straight bogeys, answered with a two-putt birdie on the third but then followed with eight straight pars and found himself seven shots behind. He had three birdies over the last seven holes.

Webb Simpson had a 69 and was three shots behind, followed by McIlroy and Patrick Reed (69).

PGA NEWS: Weir leads by 2 at Cologuard Classic, Mickelson 9 back

Mike Weir went on a back-nine birdie binge to take control of the Cologuard Classic.

Phil Mickelson waded into the mud for the second straight day and will have to dig out of a deep hole if he’s going to make history.

Weir shot a 5-under 67 to build a two-shot lead in the Cologuard Classic on Saturday, leaving Mickelson with a lot of ground to make up to win his third straight PGA Tour Champions start.

“I can’t recall a time where I’ve hit so many shots close to the hole,” Weir said. “I’ve hit really a lot of shots that have been almost tap-in to just outside of tap-in. My wedges have been very good, even mid iron game’s been very good, and I’m driving it good.”

Weir shot 66 in the opening round and had eight birdies in breezy conditions at tricky Tucson National. The Canadian left-hander was at 13 under, with Kevin Sutherland second heading into the final round.

Tim Petrovic became the second player in PGA Tour Champions history to have a hole-in-one in consecutive rounds with an ace on No. 14. He was 8 under after a 67.

Mickelson is bidding to become the first player to win his first three career starts on a PGA Tour-sanctioned tour. The five-time major champion was nine shots back after a 72 that included a second straight day of hitting out of the mud on No. 15.

Mickelson was the last amateur to win a PGA Tour event as 20-year-old in Tucson 30 years ago, but has burned the edges of holes through two days in his return.

“I really don’t know what to say other than it just was fractionally off the whole time,” he said. “I thought I hit a lot of good shots that just weren’t ending up close and I just wasn’t able to score. I scored terribly today, obviously, and relative to how I play.”

Lefty hit into the large wash dissecting the course for the second straight day, pulling a drive on the par-5 second after doing the same on No. 13 Friday. He had a stretch of three birdies in four holes after the double bogey on No. 2 and another on the par-5 12th when he got up and down from a greenside bunker.

Mickelson hit out of the mud on the par-5 15th in Friday’s opening round after a 5-iron rolled farther than he expected and trickled into the pond on the dogleg right. He hit driver in the second round and ended up with the same result when his ball landed on the fairway and caromed hard right.

Mickelson left his shoes on for his mud shot in Friday’s round and made a 4-foot birdie putt after slopping it out. He opted to take his shoes off for his second muddy go-round and had another birdie chance despite spraying himself with mud, only to watch the putt slide by the hole.

“I’m doing something wrong, so I’ve got to fix that,” he said. “I don’t know what to say. I hit two really good shots that have both ended up in the water. I can easily play more left, but then I can’t get there. Then I can’t get that second shot there and I’m trying to make a 4.”

Weir shot 1-under 35 on the front nine before going on a birdie binge. The 2003 Masters champion ran off a string of seven birdies in eight holes to start the back nine, but a pulled approach shot on the par-4 18th led to a bogey.

Petrovic had an ace on No. 16 in the opening round and pulled off rare consecutive-day aces on the 186-yard 14th Saturday. Petrovic raised his hands in the air as the handful of fans cheered, then curled up into a fetal position on the tee box after watching another improbable ace.

The only other PGA Tour Champions player with aces in consecutive rounds was Graham Marsh at the 2004 Senior British Open.

LPGA NEWS: Nelly Korda leads LPGA as Sorenstam falls to bottom of pack

Nelly Korda surged into the lead Saturday in the Gainbridge LPGA with a 4-under 68 that left her in position to make it consecutive wins for the Korda family to start the season.

Annika Sorenstam sank to the bottom.

Korda, whose older sister Jessica won the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions last month to start the new LPGA Tour season, dropped only one shot on a breezy day at Lake Nona to lead by one over Patty Tavatanakit.

Sorenstam, playing for the first time in more than 12 years after retiring, had no expectations and no excuses. She kept leaving herself in bad spots around the green and finished with a 79. That put her in last place by four shots, 22 shots behind Korda.

The 50-year-old Swede was making a one-time appearance because the tournament was brought to her home course, and she was happy enough to make the cut on the number.

“We put every effort into every single shot,” she said. “Just wasn’t meant to be today. Another day tomorrow. I got two bonus days this week, so that’s a good thing.”

Korda was at 13-under 203, one shot ahead of Tavatanakit, the blossoming Thai star who needed only a half-dozen starts on the Symetra Tour to earn her LPGA card when she left UCLA.

Tavatanakit closed with four birdies over her last five holes, including the last three, for a 66. She will be in the final group Sunday with Korda and Angel Yin, who had a 65 and was three shots behind.

Lydia Ko, the 36-hole leader trying to win for the first time in nearly three years, also was three shots behind. Ko fell back with a double bogey on the 12th hole, and then a bogey on the 18th.

Also at 10-under 203 was Jin Young Ko, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, who shot a 66 to get in position.

All of them will be chasing Korda.

“Any time you can get ahead of the pack going into Sunday is a positive,” Korda said. “There are some good players there, so it’ll take good golf to win.”

Tavatanakit said she didn’t spend a lot of time looking at the leaderboard. When she did, she wasn’t sure where she stood because she kept missing the front page of leaders.

“I was like, `Oh, I’m probably still up there.’ So I didn’t think too much about it until 15. I saw that I am two back,” Tavatanakit said. “I was like, `OK, let’s see what I can do here.’ Not going to lie, coming down the stretch, those putts were a little shaky.”

But she made them, and she’s in great position going for her first LPGA Tour victory.

NHL NEWS: Dumba scores in last second of OT, Wild beat Kings 4-3

Matt Dumba scored in the final second of overtime to give the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

With time running out, Minnesota’s Mats Zuccarello dug the puck out of a scrum on the side boards and slipped a pass to Dumba in the slot. The Wild defenseman made a move and flipped a wrist shot past Calvin Peterson with 0.3 seconds left.

“Eyes in the back of his head,” Dumba said of Zuccarello’s unexpected pass. “I don’t know how he saw me through all those guys.”

Joel Eriksson Ek, Nico Sturm and Kirill Kaprizov also scored for the Wild. Kaapo Kahkonen made 25 saves as the Wild won their sixth straight.

Drew Doughty, Austin Wagner and Adrian Kempe scored for the Kings, who overcame a three-goal deficit to force overtime. Peterson stopped 38 of 42 shots for Los Angeles.

After giving up three early goals in a 3-1 loss to Minnesota on Friday night, the Kings came out with much more energy and dominated the pace of play early, outshooting Minnesota 9-3 at the start.

But, just as they did on Friday, the Wild struck quickly and jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

“We were disappointed we got into that hole again, but the team stuck with it and clawed their way back in right to the last second,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “It’s a good sign for our group. It’s not a good sign that we’re falling behind right now. … In any case, we probably earned a point tonight and lost two, so got what we likely deserve.”

Eriksson Ek took advantage of a bit of luck to put the Wild on the board first at 14:17 of the first period. After entering the zone on a give-and-go, Kevin Fiala took a one-handed whack at the puck and tapped it toward the slot.

The puck bounced to Eriksson Ek, who chipped it puck over Peterson’s shoulder for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.

Three minutes later, the Wild doubled their lead on an impressive individual effort by center Nick Bjugstad. While holding off defenseman Tobias Bjornfot, Bjugstad controlled the puck as he circled behind the net.

Bjugstad then fired a backhand pass across the face of the goal, finding Sturm alone at the far post for an easy tap-in.

Kaprizov made it 3-0 early in the second period when he took advantage of another fortunate bounce for the Wild. Victor Rask broke his stick on a slap shot, but the puck trickled right to Kaprizov in the slot, and he fired it home for his sixth of the year.

Doughty began the Los Angeles comeback less than two minutes later with a power-play goal. Kempe took a blast from the left point that Kahkonen kicked out to his right, but Doughty flicked the rebound into the open net for his fifth of the year.

Wagner drew the Kings closer with an unassisted goal midway through the second. He blocked a shot near the blue line and had a clean breakaway, which he converted with a wrist shot off Kahkonen’s blocker, cutting Minnesota’s lead to 3-2.

Kempe tied the game when he scored from the point with 2:45 to play in the third. It came on the Kings’ third consecutive power play of the third period.

In overtime, Peterson stopped Kaprizov on a breakaway and the Kings killed off a two-minute power play just before Dumba’s last-second heroics.

“We felt we had good enough chances to win the game,” Kempe said. “I think we took over in the second and the third period and they had some bounces going their way.”

NASCAR NEWS: Snider wins at Homestead after Gragson slams into lapped car

 Noah Gragson had close to a 9-second lead, the outside lane wide open and the white flag waiting for him ahead.

The JR Motorsports driver was on the verge of an elusive victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway. And then the unthinkable happened. A lapped car blew a tire and turned right in front of him. A fraction of a second earlier or later and Gragson would have cruised by and ended up in victory lane.

Instead, Gragson had nowhere to go and no time to stop. He slammed into David Starr and ended his day in disappointing fashion.

Myatt Snider was the beneficiary. Snider won the Xfinity Series race Saturday, taking the checkered flag in overtime after Gragson’s untimely wreck with two laps to go in regulation.

“What are you going to do?” Gragson said. “You’ve got (idiots) in the way every single week.”

The 26-year-old Snider celebrated his first victory in 36 starts with a reverse lap around the 1 1/2-mile track.

The Richard Childress Racing driver spun his tires on the first of two restarts in overtime, but got a second chance thanks to a late caution after AJ Allmendinger spun. Snider didn’t make the same mistake twice, driving by RCR teammate Tyler Reddick and turning the final two laps without much of a test.

“It’s just amazing to finally be in this position,” Snider said.

The biggest challenge for the first-time winner – the second in as many weeks in NASCAR’s second-tier series – was finding victory lane. Snider missed the turn before having to back up and try again.

Reddick was second, followed by Brandon Jones, Daniel Hemric, Jeb Burton and pole-sitter Austin Cindric. The race provided some proof that Cindric might have more competition than some expected after he finished first and second in the first two races.

Gragson was as much the story as Snider. He was cruising toward his first win since last June when Starr blew a right-front tire and turned into the outside wall – and right in front of Gragson.

Gragson climbed out of his crumpled car, shook his head and fists in disgust. He took off his helmet and gloves and waved to the crowd before stepping into a waiting ambulance for a mandatory ride to the infield care center.

It was his third straight disappointing finish at Homestead. Gragson had the dominant car in both races at Homestead last year, but failed to win either.

“Definitely a bummer,” Gragson said. “They know who won this race based on speed the last three times we’ve been here. … There’s only one thing we know how to do and that’s rebound.”

Snider, the son of NASCAR broadcaster Marty Snider, took advantage and put Richard Childress Racing in victory lane for the first time in 2021. He had no friends and family members around to celebrate, which might not have been a bad thing.

“If you look at the bright side since everyone’s not here, I get to save it and (spread the party) over a longer period,” he said.

BOXING NEWS: Canelo Alvarez dominates Avni Yildirim by third-round TKO as corner throws in towel

From the opening bell, Canelo Alvarez appeared destined for a knockout victory against mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim. Alvarez didn’t have to wait long for it.

Yildirim’s corner threw in the towel at the end of the third round, and Alvarez picked up a TKO victory to retain his WBC and WBA super middleweight belts Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

After the fight, Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn confirmed that Alvarez will face WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders in a unification bout on May 8 at a location to be determined.

“I wanted to have a great fight here,” Alvarez, speaking through an interpreter, told the crowd, which was capped at 15,000 because of COVID-19 restrictions. “I needed to knock [him] out, and that’s what I did. That’s what I had to do.”

Alvarez (55-1-2) was the lone fighter in the ring pressing the action in the first three rounds. Early in the fight, Alvarez threw looping hooks around Yildirim’s high guard and pelted the Turkish fighter’s body.

And even in a fight against someone of Yildirim’s caliber, Alvarez displayed the ring acumen that has cemented his status as one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters. Instead of a hook, Alvarez floored Yildirim with a straight right hand with more than two minutes to go in the third round.

Yildirim (21-3, 12 KOs) survived the round, and even while he sat in his corner before the fourth round, he appeared to be game for at least three more minutes.

Trainer Joel Diaz pleaded with Yildirim to show more after a lackluster three rounds.

“I’m going to give you one more f—ing round,” Diaz told Yildirim in the corner during the DAZN telecast.

However, even that was too much to ask. Another member of Yildirim’s corner went up to the apron and asked for the fight to be stopped, a request that was obliged.

Alvarez entered the fight as a -6000 favorite, according to Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.

UFC NEWS: Saying he ‘just wanted to manage,’ Ciryl Gane controls Jairzinho Rozenstruik in ho-hum fashion in main event of UFC Fight Night

Ciryl Gane, the UFC heavyweight contender, picked up a critical notch in his belt. Ciryl Gane the budding UFC star? Maybe not so much.

Gane completely controlled Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a one-sided, unanimous decision win (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas. But a lack of aggression and his conservative strategy could work against Gane when it comes to future UFC matchmaking.

“I don’t make a real big show for the fans,” Gane said in his postfight interview. “I got a big win, so I’m really happy for that. The guy was really tough. I just wanted to manage, and I did it.”

No, Gane didn’t get the highlight-reel knockout that will go viral on social media. Nor did he engage in the kind of back-and-forth war that might make him a box-office favorite. But he did stay undefeated in the UFC against one of the top heavyweights in the world, showing his continued trajectory as a legitimate prospect.

“[My coach] said, ‘You did very well,” Gane said. “You won five rounds of five.’ So, yes I’m happy. I think I proved something. I can do five rounds, I can manage five rounds. I’m very comfortable with five rounds.”

He added: “We’re gonna go after the belt now.”

With the win, Gane became the seventh fighter in the UFC heavyweight division to start 5-0, per ESPN Stats & Information data. Four of the first six fighters who did so went on to become UFC heavyweight champion. Gane has the longest active winning streak in the UFC heavyweight division (five).

Going in, ESPN had Rozenstruik ranked No. 4 in the world at heavyweight, with Gane ranked No. 8. Gane will certainly make a large leap in the rankings, but it’s unclear what that will mean in a crowded top of the division. The French fighter himself put some of the blame on Rozenstruik for the lack of action.

“I expected a little bit more from him — more attack,” Gane said. “I was a little bit surprised for that.”

It might not have been edge-of-your-seat excitement, but Gane’s performance was impressive in its own right. He showed poise and calm, staying on the outside and picking Rozenstruik apart with long kicks to the legs and body. A few times, Gane waded in with big combinations and quickly retreated, staying away from Rozenstruik’s big power. But those blitzes inside were few and far between for Gane, who clearly wanted to exercise caution.

Rozenstruik was largely nullified. He landed a big combination in the third and some hard left hooks here and there, but nothing was of significance. Gane’s excellent kicking and management of spacing was the reason. It was extremely effective, even if it won’t necessarily excite fans to tune in to watch him next time.

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Philadelphia2212.64714-38-96-217-65-51 L
Brooklyn2213.6290.513-69-73-211-98-21 L
Toronto1717.5005.08-79-103-412-96-41 W
New York1717.5005.010-77-101-311-106-42 W
Boston1617.4855.59-57-122-412-104-61 W
 
Central Divison
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Milwaukee2013.60613-47-98-012-75-54 W
Chicago1517.4694.57-108-72-27-86-41 L
Indiana1517.4694.57-108-73-29-103-73 L
Cleveland1321.3827.59-94-122-410-93-73 W
Detroit924.27311.06-93-150-76-134-62 L
 
Southeast Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Miami1617.4859-77-102-38-117-35 W
Charlotte1517.4690.59-86-95-19-95-51 L
Atlanta1419.4242.08-96-101-29-113-71 L
Washington1318.4192.06-97-91-65-137-32 W
Orlando1321.3823.58-105-114-19-124-63 L
 
Western Conference
Northwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Utah277.79415-212-53-212-48-21 W
Portland1814.5638.08-610-82-39-96-44 L
Denver1815.5458.59-79-87-113-96-41 W
Oklahoma City1420.41213.06-118-92-66-154-61 L
Minnesota727.20620.04-113-162-44-141-97 L
 
Pacific Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
LA Clippers2411.68612-612-55-214-77-31 W
LA Lakers2311.6760.510-713-40-216-65-51 W
Phoenix2111.6561.511-610-52-212-78-21 W
Golden State1915.5594.512-67-93-29-77-33 W
Sacramento1320.39410.07-116-92-46-101-91 W
 
Southwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
San Antonio1712.5868-89-44-512-126-41 W
Dallas1616.5002.58-88-84-18-107-31 W
Memphis1415.4833.07-107-52-57-105-51 L
New Orleans1419.4245.09-75-124-37-133-72 L
Houston1120.3557.05-76-134-48-100-1010 L
 

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

NHL STANDINGS

East
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Washington Capitals201154261070677-3-24-2-25-4-1
Boston Bruins18115224955495-1-06-4-26-4-0
New York Islanders201064241054496-0-24-6-26-2-2
Philadelphia Flyers171043231058546-2-24-2-16-2-2
Pittsburgh Penguins19117123860637-1-04-6-16-4-0
New York Rangers1878317649484-5-23-3-15-4-1
New Jersey Devils1677216743492-5-15-2-14-5-1
Buffalo Sabres1869315444542-6-24-3-13-6-1
 
West
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights171241251251368-2-14-2-07-3-0
Minnesota Wild181260241257445-3-07-3-07-3-0
St. Louis Blues211182241067674-6-27-2-04-5-1
Colorado Avalanche181161231155425-3-06-3-16-3-1
Los Angeles Kings2097422860563-2-36-5-16-2-2
Arizona Coyotes2199321756646-6-33-3-04-4-2
Anaheim Ducks21610517542613-5-33-5-22-5-3
San Jose Sharks1879216353711-3-06-6-24-4-2
 
North
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Toronto Maple Leafs221642341678559-3-17-1-17-2-1
Edmonton Oilers231490281479696-6-08-3-08-2-0
Winnipeg Jets201361271369538-3-15-3-07-3-0
Montreal Canadiens2096523965603-5-06-1-52-5-3
Calgary Flames221010222958654-4-06-6-24-5-1
Vancouver Canucks24814218768855-6-23-8-02-6-2
Ottawa Senators23715115661914-6-13-9-05-5-0
 
Central
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Tampa Bay Lightning191441291469399-1-05-3-17-3-0
Florida Panthers201343291265577-3-26-1-16-3-1
Carolina Hurricanes20136127969566-1-17-5-06-3-1
Chicago Blackhawks221174261066665-3-16-4-37-3-0
Columbus Blue Jackets2289521761745-4-33-5-23-5-2
Nashville Predators20911018846636-4-03-7-04-6-0
Detroit Red Wings23713317749714-6-23-7-14-5-1
Dallas Stars1666416646454-1-32-5-12-5-3
 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot