INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL-SEMI-STATE

CLASS 1A

Kouts 86 Southwood 70               

Barr-Reeve 72 Indianapolis Tindley 25

CLASS 2A

Fort Wayne Blackhawk 88 Blackford 61

Parke Heritage 40 Southridge 36

CLASS 3A

Leo 61 South Bend St. Joseph 59              

Silver Creek 54 Guerin Catholic 46

CLASS 4A

Carmel 53 Gary West 50 OT

Lawrence North  54 Bloomington South 52         

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS NEXT SATURDAY

Class A State Championship | 10 am ET
Kouts (29-2) vs. Barr-Reeve (28-2) 

Class 2A State Championship | 1:30 pm ET
Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian (27-3) vs. Parke Heritage (27-3) 

Class 3A State Championship | 5 pm ET
Leo (24-4) vs. Silver Creek (24-4)  

Class 4A State Championship | 8:30 pm ET
Carmel (25-2) vs. Lawrence North (28-2)  

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT/STATS

COLORADO 96 GEORGETOWN 73….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525955/stats

FLORIDA STATE 64 UNC GREENSBORO 54….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525953/stats

KANSAS 93 EASTERN WASHINGTON 84…..https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525943/stats

LSU 76 ST. BONAVENTURE 61….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525956/stats

MICHIGAN 82 TEXAS SOUTHERN 66….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/528978/stats

CREIGHTON 63 UC SANTA BARBARA 62….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525942/stats

ALABAMA 68 IONA 55https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525957/stats

USC 72 DRAKE 56….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/528976/stats

IOWA 86 GRAND CANYON 74….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525940/stats

MARYLAND 63 CONNECTICUT 54….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525960/stats

OHIO 62 VIRGINIA 58…..https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525941/stats

OKLAHOMA 72 MISSOURI 68…..https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525939/stats

GONZAGA 98 NORFOLK STATE 55…..https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/528975/stats

UCLA 73 BYU 62….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/528977/stats

ABILENE CHRISTIAN 53 TEXAS 52….https://www.thescore.com/ncaab/events/525958/stats

MEN’S Sunday games (all times ET)

  • 12:10 p.m. – No. 1 Illinois vs. No. 8 Loyola Chicago
  • 2:40 p.m. – No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 9 Wisconsin
  • 5:15 p.m. – No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 11 Syracuse
  • 6:10 p.m. – No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 6 Texas Tech
  • 7:10 p.m. – No. 2 Houston vs. No. 10 Rutgers
  • 7:45 p.m. – No. 7 Florida vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts
  • 8:45 p.m. – No. 5 Villanova vs. No. 13 North Texas
  • 9:40 p.m. – No. 4 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 Oregon State

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT TODAY

Central Michigan – Iowa 12:00

Marquette – Virginia Tech 12:00

Wake Forest – Oklahoma State 1:00

Idaho State – Kentucky 2:00

Middle Tennessee – Tennessee 2:00

Florida Gulf Coast – Michigan 3:00

Jackson State – Baylor 4:00

North Carolina A&T – North Carolina State 4:00

Stephen F Austin – Georgia Tech 4:30

South Dakota State – Syracuse 5:30

Mercer – South Carolina 6:00

Florida State – Oregon State 7:30

Lehigh – West Virginia 8:00

High Point – Connecticut 8:00

Washington State – South Florida 9:30

Utah Valley – Stanford 10:00

NBA SCOREBOARD/STATS

ATLANTA 99 LA LAKERS 94….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522303/stats

PHILADELPHIA 120 SACRAMENTO 105…..https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522305/stats

MEMPHIS 111 GOLDEN STATE 103…..DESMOND BANE 15PTS, 2REB, 2ASST, 2STLS….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522304/stats

MILWAUKEE 120 SAN ANTONIO 113….https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522306/stats

LA CLIPPERS 125 CHARLOTTE 98…..https://www.thescore.com/nba/events/522307/stats

NHL SCOREBOARD

PITTSBURGH 3 NEW JERSEY 1

FLORIDA 2 NASHVILLE 0

COLORADO 6 MINNESOTA 0

TAMPA BAY 4 CHICAGO 1

NY ISLANDERS 6 PHILADELPHIA 1

COLUMBUS 3 CAROLINA 2

DALLAS 3 DETROIT 0

TORONTO 2 CALGARY 0

MONTRÉAL 5 VANCOUVER 4

NY RANGERS 3 WASHINGTON 1

ARIZONA 5 ANAHEIM 1

ST. LOUIS 5 SAN JOSE 2

EDMONTON 4 WINNIPEG 2

MLB SPRING TRAINING

Chicago White Sox 6 Cleveland 2

Chicago Cubs 4 Colorado 2

Oakland 11 LA Angels 2

LA Dodgers 4 San Diego 4

Kansas City 6 Arizona 6

Texas 6 Seattle 5

Milwaukee 4 Cincinnati 1

Detroit 3 Pittsburgh 1

Atlanta 8 Boston 2

Toronto 3 Philadelphia 1

St. Louis 5 Houston 2

Baltimore 2 NY Yankees 1

Minnesota 2 Tampa Bay 1

Washington 7 Miami 4

PGA LEADERBOARD

The Honda Classic
Mar. 18-21, PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
RankNameRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Total Thru 
1Matt Jones617069 -10 (200)F
2tJ.B. Holmes696767 -7 (203)F
2tAaron Wise646475 -7 (203)F
4tC.T. Pan677265 -6 (204)F
4tCameron Tringale676869 -6 (204)F
4tSam Ryder696372 -6 (204)F
7tKeegan Bradley696967 -5 (205)F
7tSungjae Im686869 -5 (205)F
7tRobert Streb696670 -5 (205)F
7tZach Johnson676870 -5 (205)F
7tBrice Garnett716470 -5 (205)F
7tStewart Cink716470 -5 (205)F
13tRoger Sloan716966 -4 (206)F
13tChris Kirk687167 -4 (206)F
13tLucas Glover716669 -4 (206)F
13tCamilo Villegas696572 -4 (206)F
13tRussell Henley646973 -4 (206)F
18tRyan Armour707166 -3 (207)F
18tSepp Straka687069 -3 (207)F
18tAdam Hadwin726570 -3 (207)F
18tSteve Stricker667170 -3 (207)F
18tCameron Davis667170 -3 (207)F
18tHarold Varner III716571 -3 (207)F
18tShane Lowry676674 -3 (207)F
18tDenny McCarthy686574 -3 (207)F
18tBrandon Hagy696276 -3 (207)F
27tVincent Whaley736768 -2 (208)F
27tJhonattan Vegas716869 -2 (208)F
27tPhil Mickelson716869 -2 (208)F
27tAlex Noren716869 -2 (208)F
27tJohn Huh687070 -2 (208)F
27tAdam Scott696772 -2 (208)F
27tWill Gordon676972 -2 (208)F
34tErik van Rooyen707069 -1 (209)F
34tLucas Herbert706970 -1 (209)F
34tTyler McCumber706970 -1 (209)F
34tBrendan Steele736571 -1 (209)F
34tJoaquin Niemann696773 -1 (209)F
34tKevin Streelman696773 -1 (209)F
34tHarry Higgs686774 -1 (209)F
41tChase Seiffert677469 E (210)F
41tMark Hubbard687369 E (210)F
41tJim Herman707169 E (210)F
41tCharl Schwartzel706971 E (210)F
41tWilliam McGirt696972 E (210)F
41tAdam Schenk726672 E (210)F
41tMichael Thompson716673 E (210)F
48tStephen Stallings717070 +1 (211)F
48tMackenzie Hughes687271 +1 (211)F
48tTom Lewis746671 +1 (211)F
48tMatthew NeSmith706873 +1 (211)F
48tBrian Gay716773 +1 (211)F
48tKevin Chappell667075 +1 (211)F
48tJason Dufner686875 +1 (211)F
55tPat Perez726971 +2 (212)F
55tSatoshi Kodaira707171 +2 (212)F
55tChase Koepka696974 +2 (212)F
55tKeith Mitchell696974 +2 (212)F
55tScott Harrington666779 +2 (212)F
60tBeau Hossler717072 +3 (213)F
60tTalor Gooch726972 +3 (213)F
60tNate Lashley687174 +3 (213)F
63Jimmy Walker696877 +4 (214)F
64tTed Potter, Jr.707174 +5 (215)F
64tD.J. Trahan687176 +5 (215)F
66tKiradech Aphibarnrat707175 +6 (216)F
66tRickie Fowler706878 +6 (216)F
68Bronson Burgoon697078 +7 (217)F

TOP HEADLINES:

Texas stunner: No. 14 Abilene Christian ousts ‘Horns 53-52

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Joe Pleasant slowed his breath and calmed himself.

In the most pressure-packed moment of his college career for Abilene Christian, Pleasant’s two free throws were perfect from a spot where he’d struggled in the past.

When he intercepted a final desperation pass from Texas, then Pleasant and the rest of his teammates erupted in a celebration that spilled off the court and nearly into the stands.

Another double-digit seed is moving on in the NCAA Tournament, and this one at the expense of the flagship school in Abilene Christian’s home state.

“We just beat the University of Texas. Little ol’ Abilene Christian out in West Texas built a program that went toe to toe with University of Texas and it’s an incredible story,” Wildcats coach Joe Golding said. “It’s what March is about.”

Abilene Christian and its frantic, havoc-causing defense bounced coach Shaka Smart and Texas out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round yet again, as the 14th-seeded Wildcats stunned the third-seeded Longhorns 53-52 on Saturday night.

Pleasant, a 58.8% foul shooter on the season, made a pair of free throws with 1.2 seconds left, and the Wildcats shocked their in-state rivals in the first meeting between the schools.

Pulling off one final upset in a first round filled with two years’ worth of excitement, Abilene Christian became the fourth team seeded 13th or lower to reach the round of 32 in this NCAA Tournament, joining 15th-seeded Oral Roberts and No. 13 seeds Ohio and North Texas.

“We needed March Madness, man. We needed some type of normalcy to our country,” Golding said. “We needed people to fill out brackets. We needed people to cheer for the underdog.”

There was plenty of cheering for the Wildcats by their fans clad in purple as they caused all kinds of headaches for the bigger, more talented Longhorns and got just enough offense to pull off their first NCAA Tournament victory in their second appearance.

Pleasant finished with 11 points as did Coryon Mason for the Wildcats. Abilene Christian was blown out by Kentucky two years ago when it made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Virginia loses 62-58 to Preston, Ohio, ending title defense

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Virginia spent two years on top of the college basketball world. After one night in Indiana, it was all over for the Cavaliers.

Coming out of quarantine after a positive COVID-19 test, Virginia’s unusual title defense was stopped by another upset loss in the NCAA Tournament, falling 62-58 to Jason Preston and Ohio on Saturday.

“Our guys were again hopeful we’d get this opportunity,” Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett said. “The NCAA allowed us to come in in a unique way. I’m thankful for it, but it just stings right now to not advance in this tournament.”

No. 4 seed Virginia (18-7) won the ACC regular-season title and then had to withdraw from the conference tournament because of its COVID-19 issues. The Cavaliers spent seven days in quarantine, using virtual meetings to prepare for the matchup with Ohio.

Bennett and company just arrived on Friday, and now they are heading out once again.

Some familiar problems showed up again for the Cavaliers, who struggled to score during a key stretch in the second half and shot 35% from the field for the game. Virginia famously lost to No. 16 seed UMBC in the first round in 2018, but it used the setback as motivation in its run to the championship in 2019.

After last year’s NCAA Tournament was canceled because of the pandemic, the Cavaliers (18-7) became the first defending champion to lose in the first round since UConn in 2012.

Preston and Ben Vander Plas, the two stars of Ohio’s surprising Mid-American Conference Tournament run, were back at it.

Vander Plas scored 10 of his game-high 17 points during an 18-4 second-half run that erased a 38-31 deficit and gave the Bobcats a 49-42 lead. Ohio (17-7) never trailed again.

When it was over, Vander Plas raced over to give Bennett a hug. Vander Plas’ father, Dean, played college ball with Bennett.

Preston made big play after big play, finishing with 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Lunden McDay sealed the victory at the free-throw line in the closing seconds..

Ohio (17-7) has now won its last three NCAA first-round games – beating Georgetown in 2010 and Michigan in 2012. And even though the seats inside were mostly empty at Assembly Hall, the Bobcats reveled in the celebration on the court – and the one they heard about on their home campus.

Kispert, Gonzaga roll past Norfolk State 98-55 in NCAAs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Corey Kispert scored 15 of his 23 points by halftime and No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga rolled in its NCAA Tournament opener, beating Norfolk State 98-55 on Saturday night.

Anton Watson had 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting for the Bulldogs (27-0), who shook off a slow few opening minutes and easily handled the 16th-seeded Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions.

Next up for the undefeated Zags is Oklahoma in the second round of the West Region.

Gonzaga led by 22 points before the break and kept stretching the lead after halftime, avoiding even a hint of vulnerability to an improbable upset that has befallen only one No. 1 seed in tournament history. It has won 31 straight dating to last season.

“We just want to win this tournament,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said of the pursuit of finishing unbeaten. “That’s all we want to do is just win this tournament. Obviously if we win the tournament we end up undefeated, but I’ve never heard any of the guys talk about it. The staff doesn’t talk about it. I don’t talk about it. Gosh, man, we just want to win this thing.”

The Bulldogs made 16 of 25 shots (64%) after an 0-for-4 start. Kispert knocked down five 3s in the opening half, while Watson offered some immediate interior production off the bench.

By the end, Kispert had made 8 of 12 shots and 6 of 9 3-pointers to lead an attack that shot 55.7%, including 14 of 27 from behind the arc.

Devante Carter and Kyonze Chavis each scored 12 points for the Spartans (17-8), who had won seven straight. The streak included a blown 19-point lead during a 54-53 victory over Appalachian State in Thursday’s First Four.

The program has a notable tournament upset in its history: a win as a 15 seed against No. 2 seed Missouri in 2012. But the Spartans couldn’t add an even more improbable upset, falling behind by double digits midway through the first half as the Zags – averaging a national-best 92.1 points – started getting their offense to hum.

Norfolk State shot just 30.6%.

“I think that we let the moment get away from us a little bit,” Spartans coach Robert Jones said. “We put the pressure on ourselves instead of the pressure being on them. Because honestly it was no pressure on us, but we played that way.”

Juzang carries No. 11 UCLA past sixth-seeded BYU, 73-62

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) UCLA is suddenly one of the hottest teams in the NCAA Tournament after backing into it with four straight losses.

Johnny Juzang is suddenly one of its hottest players, too.

After helping the No. 11 seed Bruins rally past Michigan State in the First Four, Juzang poured in 27 points against sixth-seeded BYU on Saturday night, carrying his team to a 73-62 victory and the second round of the East Region.

“This is what we live for. This is the height of college basketball,” Juzang said, “and playing for the Bruins – I’m from Los Angeles. Playing with a lot of guys I’ve known, we’re all brothers here. So putting on this jersey with my brothers, coming out, playing for the home team – I’m just trying to make everybody on the team proud.”

Juzang didn’t do it alone.

Jules Bernard scored 16 points, most of them as BYU tried to rally in the second half, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 13 as the Bruins advanced to play No. 14 seed Abilene Christian – which upset third-seeded Texas about 30 minutes after UCLA had wrapped up its own win – on Monday night for a spot in the Sweet 16.

“I owe (assistant coach) Darren Savino lunch. He’s scouting Abilene Christian and he told me they would win,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. “Abilene Christian is really, really good. That’s all I can say.”

Still, the Bruins should be favored in a game for the first time in quite a while.

“Look,” Cronin said, “we had some tough times late in the year, but playing good teams, it can either kill you or it makes you better. You’re finding out that the Pac-12 not being ranked all year was an absolute joke.”

Alex Barcello led the Cougars (20-7) with 20 points. Brandon Averette added 15 points and Matt Haarms finished with 11 points and 10 boards as BYU – which fell to Gonzaga for the third time this season in the Mountain West finals – suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in 60 games.

“The game teaches you all the time how you need to get better. There’s a number of things we can take from this game to get better,” BYU coach Mark Pope said. “But I’m not there right now. It’s a hard locker room right now.”

UCLA’s late-season swoon forced it into an unenviable First Four game against Michigan State, and it looked as if a season that began with promise would end there with a whimper. Instead, the Bruins leaned on Juzang to rally them to a win in overtime, and they carried that confidence and momentum into Saturday night.

Juzang, who had tweaked his ankle late against the Spartans, followed up his 23-point performance in West Lafayette by going 8 of 11 from the floor and scoring 19 first-half points. Bernard and Jaquez also built on their big games from Thursday night, at one point the trio helping UCLA hit field goals on seven consecutive trips down the floor.

That sent UCLA into halftime with a 38-27 lead over the shell-shocked Cougars.

Barcello tried to shake them out of their malaise.

One of the nation’s top 3-point shooters hit one early in the second half. Then, Barcello found space inside the Bruins’ man-to-man defense for a couple easy jumpers. It was all part of a 10-0 run that made it 43-39 with 14 minutes to go.

“They kept fighting. They kept trying to chip away,” Pope said. “That’s this locker room. It’s what they’ve been all year.”

Sharp-shooting Iowa gets 24 from Garza to beat Grand Canyon

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Iowa watched as higher seeds dropped out of the bracket in an opening day of upsets in the NCAA Tournament.

The Hawkeyes avoided joining the list with an impressive shooting night and another dominating performance from their All-American.

Luka Garza scored 24 points and Iowa cruised into the next round with an 86-74 victory over Grand Canyon in the West Region on Saturday night.

“Watching all those games yesterday, I think we learned some lessons from those teams,” Garza said. “We knew what we were facing and that they weren’t just going to back down, so we had to keep fighting.”

Ohio State, Purdue and Tennessee were all bounced from the tournament on a wild opening day of upsets, but the second-seeded Hawkeyes (22-8) used a strong shooting display to advance.

Iowa shot the Antelopes and their boisterous fans back to the desert, hitting 54% from the floor while going 10 of 22 from behind the arc.

Joe Wieskamp added 16 points to help lead the Hawkeyes into the next round Monday against Oregon, which advanced after Virginia Commonwealth became the first team to bow out of the bracket due to a positive COVID-19 test.

“They shot the mess out of it,” GCU coach Bryce Drew said.

GCU chartered two planes from Phoenix for the Havocs, the school’s purple-clad student section, and they spent the game dancing and cheering in one end of Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum – socially distanced, of course.

Grand Canyon (17-7) gave the Havocs reason to remain on their feet early by keeping the Hawkeyes within reach before an Iowa surge before halftime allowed the Hawkeyes to pull away.

“For GCU, the first time in the NCAA Tournament, hopefully this will give the players a taste in their mouths, that they’re going to want to be successful and come back and work even harder,” Drew said.

Grand Canyon won the WAC regular-season title in its first season under Drew and closed out the conference tournament with a blowout win over New Mexico State to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years as a Division I program.

The Lopes arrived in Indy possibly needing a big shot like Drew hit against Ole Miss for Valpo in 1998 if they were going to have a chance against Iowa and Garza.

The multi-talented 6-foot-11 senior was perhaps even more dominating than he was a year ago when he averaged 23.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game to earn first-team Associated Press honors for the second straight year.

Evan Mobley has 17 points to lift Southern Cal past Drake

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Evan Mobley had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 6 seed Southern California used smothering defense to earn a 72-56 victory over Drake on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Mobley, a 7-foot freshman forward and AP second-team All-American expected to be a lottery pick if he declares for the draft, made 7 of 15 field goals and blocked three shots.

Evan’s older brother, sophomore forward Isaiah Mobley, scored 15 points to make it a family affair for the Trojans.

“We both had great games, I feel like,” Evan Mobley said. “Both pretty big numbers. We’re going to cherish this win, but we can’t dwell on it too long because we’ve got other games coming up.”

Drew Peterson added 14 for USC (23-7), which advanced to play No. 3 seed Kansas in the second round on Monday.

Joseph Yesufu scored 26 points for 11th-seeded Drake, but none of his teammates scored more than six. The sophomore guard made 8 of 22 shots in the game while his teammates made just 12 of 46.

Drake (26-5) opened the season with 18 straight wins. The Bulldogs claimed their first tournament win in 50 years in the First Four on Thursday, but that extra game had an effect. Drake shot 29% overall against USC, including a dismal 19% in the second half.

“We certainly got fatigued in that second half a little bit, but I thought the guys continued to fight, and we just didn’t have quite enough to get back into it,” Drake coach Darian DeVries said.

Yesufu struggled like his teammates in the second half – he made just 2 of 10 shots after the break. Evan Mobley was in the middle of USC’s zone for the final 10 minutes of the game.

“We assumed he was going to be their main scorer, but we really didn’t lock in on him the entire possession (in the first half),” Evan Mobley said. “And then second half was when we were pointing and talking, and letting our teammates know where he was at, so he couldn’t score as much.”

The game had plenty of excitement but the enthusiasm in the socially distanced crowd often didn’t match the intensity on the court. Drake had the bigger cheering section, but it was silenced in the second half as the Trojans pulled away. USC’s group of a few hundred fans stood and clapped for the team as it left the floor after the game.

Yesufu scored 14 points in the first nine minutes to help Drake stay even. USC led 40-37 at the break behind 13 points and eight rebounds from Evan Mobley.

The Trojans held Drake to one field goal in the first six minutes of the second half to take control. Evan Mobley scored in close to push USC’s lead to 51-40.

Yesufu tried to keep the Bulldogs in it. His 3-pointer cut USC’s lead to 57-50 and led the Trojans to call a timeout.

Peterson came out of the timeout with a 3-pointer for USC, then Tahj Eddy made a three to push the advantage out to 13.

“I thought our guys showed a lot of defensive toughness, especially in the second half to pull this win out, and we’re happy to go on to the next round,” USC coach Andy Enfield said.

Ayala scores 23 to push No. 10 Maryland past UConn

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Mark Turgeon has seen Maryland stifle its share of opponents this season but nothing like what his team did on a big stage.

Eric Ayala scored 23 points and the 10th-seeded Terrapins clamped down on defense to snag a 63-54 victory over No. 7 UConn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night.

Maryland held UConn to 32% shooting to overcome the Huskies’ strong physical game. Maryland was outrebounded 40-29 – including a whopping 22-4 deficit offensively – but its defense carried the Terps to a second round matchup against No. 2 Alabama.

Asked if this was their best defensive effort this season, Turgeon simply noted the damage they prevented.

“We’ve had a lot of really good defensive efforts,” he said. “I think where we were fortunate tonight was on those 18 offensive rebounds in the first half, they hardly had any second-chance points.”

On their end of the floor, the Terps made good on their chances.

Maryland (17-13) shot 51% for the game and converted 9 of 18 from behind the arc. The Terps built a 14-point cushion that UConn cut to 53-48 with 2:53 remaining. Ayala and Darryl Morsell each made a pair of three throws to push the lead back to nine.

Hakim Hart answered another small UConn (15-8) spurt with a jumper to make it a three-possession game, and a dunk against the press with 30 seconds left ignited a celebration on Maryland’s bench.

Ayala was 8 of 14 shooting, including 3 of 5 from deep, and was among three Terps with five rebounds. Aaron Wiggins had 14 points and Donta Scott 12 for Maryland.

“It’s do or die at this point,” said Ayala, who finished a point shy of his career high. “You’ve got to leave it all out there, empty the tank. I wasn’t ready to go home today.”

James Bouknight had 15 points and Jalen Gaffney 12 for the Huskies, who won five of their last six games to earn their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2016.

The Huskies have been through the firing of a coach, NCAA violations and a series of transfers since winning the 2014 national title. Dan Hurley was hired in 2017 to rebuild the program and UConn posted its first winning season in four years in 2020.

The Huskies head home feeling good about this season, but also knowing there’s work ahead.

“This year was a huge success for us,” Hurley said. “It doesn’t feel like it right now because you’re devastated with the way the evening went.

Oklahoma slips past former Big 12 rival Missouri in NCAAs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Trying to defend a three-point lead with under 6 seconds left, Oklahoma’s Elijah Harkless played it perfectly.

Harkless fouled Missouri’s Drew Buggs as he dribbled, putting him at the line with 2.1 seconds remaining – which wasn’t enough – and the Sooners slipped by the ninth-seeded Tigers to win 72-68 on Saturday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said his strategy is always to foul up three in the final 6 seconds of a game. But that decisive Missouri possession started with 17 seconds left and there was no timeout for the Sooners’ coaches to tell their players what to do.

“It’s one thing to kind of plan on doing it, it’s another thing to make the play that E.J. did, and actually get the foul,” Kruger said. “Elijah made a very good, heads-up play right there.”

Eighth-seeded Oklahoma (16-10) is on to the second round for fourth time in the last six tournaments and will face unbeaten No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Monday in the West Region.

The Sooners pulled out to an eight-point lead with 1:08 left behind Austin Reaves (23 points) and Brady Manek (19 points), but Dru Smith made two 3-pointers in the final minute to keep the pressure on and pull Missouri within 70-67 with 46.7 seconds to go.

Smith led the Tigers (16-10) with 20 points. Jeremiah Tilmon had 16 points and 14 rebounds in his final college game, pulling his jersey over his head as he left the court.

“Everybody out there was going hard and nobody was expecting to lose so it just got really emotional out there walking off the court,” Tilmon said.

Reaves missed a jumper late that gave Missouri a possession to tie. Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin said the Sooners made it tough to get the ball back to Smith and then things broke down.

They fumbled the ball around to waste some precious seconds, and then Harkless smartly fouled Buggs, reaching at his dribbling hand, to prevent the 3-point attempt the Tigers needed.

Buggs made the first and missed the second on purpose. Jalen Hill grabbed the rebound for the Sooners, was fouled and made two more free throws to wrap it up a quintessential 8-9 game between the former Big 12 rivals. The lead changed nine times and never reached double digits for either team.

“You’ve got to be composed,” Reaves said. “Late in the year we dropped some of those (close) games. I feel like it was similar tonight, but we came out on the better end of the stick this time.”

Martin decided to go with Buggs in the backcourt down the stretch over Xavier Pinson, who came in tied for the team lead in scoring.

“I think really we got into a flow with Buggs,” Martin said. “We got a real flow, we got back in the game with Buggs, and it just went from there and I thought Buggs did a great job on both sides of the basketball.”

Both teams limped into the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma ended the season losing five of six – all by seven points or fewer – in the tough Big 12.

Missouri went 3-6 in its final nine in the Southeastern Conference.

McCormack helps No. 3 seed KU survive E Washington, 93-84

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) David McCormack gave third-seeded Kansas a spark when the big man returned from his COVID-19 quarantine in time to practice for its NCAA Tournament opener.

When the first round game against Eastern Washington began, McCormack gave the Jayhawks much more than a boost of energy.

Put on the ropes early by Tanner Groves and the Big Sky champs, McCormack responded by piling up 22 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes of work to help slow-starting Kansas rally from a 10-point second-half deficit and beat the No. 14 seed Eagles 93-84 on Saturday to advance to the second round.

“David brought us energy from the time he arrived yesterday,” said Marcus Garrett, one of his closest friends, who fought through foul trouble to add 20 points. “He was just happy to be with us, happy to be back on the court.”

Ochai Agbaji contributed 21 points, Dajuan Harris Jr. scored 13 and Christian Braun overcame a poor shooting day to score 12 as the Jayhawks (21-8) survived the scare to play sixth-seeded Southern California for a spot in the Sweet 16.

Kansas has now won 14 consecutive first-round games in the NCAA Tournament.

“We told our guys you have to play well so your teammates get a chance to experience this,” said Kansas coach Bill Self, whose team is still missing Jalen Wilson and Tristan Enaruna due to COVID-19.

“We didn’t talk about what we did not have, we talked about what we had, that we had to play well, and what we had was enough.”

Tanner Groves scored a career-high 35 points and younger brother Jacob Groves had 23 for the Eagles (16-8), whose third trip to the NCAA Tournament ended just as quickly as the first two – though not without putting up a fight.

The aptly named “Groves Bros” got Eastern Washington off to a flying start. The pair of All-Big Sky forwards combined to score the first nine points of the game and forced Jayhawks coach Bill Self to burn through early timeouts.

Kansas settled down and put together a 17-5 run and suddenly looked again like the big boys out of the Big 12. But Shantay Legans’ motley crew of underrated and overlooked sharp-shooters finished the half on a 24-10 charge.

The Groves kids were at it again. They combined for 3-pointers on three straight trips down floor, then Tyler Robertson added a fourth from the top of the key to give Eastern Washington a 46-38 lead headed into the locker room.

“I just thought Tanner had the advantage all game long and he came up big for us,” Legans said. “He came up aces.”

Compounding problems for Kansas: Garrett, one of the nation’s best defenders, picked up his third foul before the break.

Self-turned to McCormack to bail the Jayhawks out. Even though he was only expected to play about 10 minutes a half after his bout with COVID-19, the big guy went to work in the paint as if he hadn’t missed a day. He scored their first eight points of the second half, trying to keep Kansas alive until his teammates could find their shots.

They finally did midway through the second half.

No. 5 Creighton beats 12th-seeded UCSB 63-62 with clutch FTs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Christian Bishop made both ends of a one-and-one with 16 seconds left to give fifth-seeded Creighton the lead, and the Bluejays hung on to beat 12th-seeded UC Santa Barbara 63-62 on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Creighton’s turbulent season, which included a one-game suspension for coach Greg McDermott after he made a racially insensitive remark in the locker room, continues Monday in the West Region when the Bluejays (21-8) face either Virginia or Ohio.

Bishop was fouled by Amadou Sow on the floor after grabbing an offensive rebound and went to the line with the Gauchos (22-5) up 62-61.

The junior came into the game making 57% from the line, but dropped in both, barely touching the rim.

The Gauchos (22-5) came right down and put the ball in the hands of their best player, JaQuori McLaughlin. The Big West player of the year split a double-team behind the 3-point line and found Sow in the lane, but the 6-foot-9 junior couldn’t finish at the rim. Shereef Mitchell rebounded the miss for Creighton with 3 seconds left.

Sow scored the last four points for UC Santa Barbara, including two free throws for the lead with 37.9 seconds left, and finished with 12 points. McLaughlin led UCSB with 13 points.

The Big West champions with a beachside campus were making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011 and nearly won in the Big Dance for the first time in 31 years.

Marcus Zegarowski scored 17 to lead Creighton and Bishop had 15 points and 11 rebounds,

The Bluejays won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time since 2014, when they reached the second round for the third straight season behind McDermott’s son, Doug McDermott.

It seemed hardly certain the elder McDermott would lead the team into the tournament this year after he created a firestorm by twice using the term “plantation” as part of an analogy urging team unity.

He was suspended for the final game of the regular season, apologized multiple times and was reinstated for the Big East Tournament. Creighton reached the final before being blown out by Georgetown.

Dressed down; Alabama rolls over Pitino, Iona 68-55

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Everybody knew Rick Pitino would come prepared.

That he won’t get to use any more of the eight designer suits he packed for the NCAA Tournament is only because of an Alabama team that came at Iona in waves Saturday and finally pulled away for a 68-55 win to end Pitino’s dreams as a No. 15 seed.

“To be honest, we thought we could win tonight,” the coach said.

Of course they did. It’s why Pitino packed for the long haul on this trip to Indianapolis, figuring it could be like so many of his other 21 trips to March Madness – maybe like the time he took underdog Providence and Billy Donovan to the Final Four back in 1987 as a 6.

This time, Pitino had his worst seed ever and second-seeded Alabama (25-6) was too much.

Herb Jones led the Crimson Tide with 20 points, including a steal and layup that highlighted an 11-0 run and gave Alabama breathing room at 58-46 with 6:36 left after the teams seesawed the lead through much of the second half.

“I thought their kids came ready to play,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “They’ve got some good players. Obviously, coach Pitino had them well prepared.”

This is the fifth, and maybe most unlikely, program Pitino has brought to the tournament, in large part because the Gaels (12-6) went 50 days without playing a game in midseason due to COVID-19.

But they won their conference tournament as a 9 seed, and felt as if they were rolling coming into Indy.

Pitino, who has led Kentucky and Louisville to national titles, coached like he always does.

Wearing a black suit with a maroon tie that matched his team’s colors, the 68-year-old urged, cajoled, yelped and stomped his black shoes on the hardwood to grab his players’ attention.

Most of the time, he had them in the right position.

Iona forced 14 turnovers, and Alabama had trouble getting an open look for most of the first 30 minutes. The Gaels got lots of open looks themselves. What did them in was an inability to make them. Isaiah Ross scored 19 points on 8-for-18 shooting. The rest of the team went 15 for 41.

“We’ve been offensively challenged all year,” Pitino said. “But they gave me their heart the entire year. I’m really proud of them. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough weapons to beat Alabama.”

Iona also got dominated 42-26 in rebounds, a stat Pitino said surprised him.

Indeed, the deeper, more athletic team finally wore them down.

Alabama is in the tournament with its best seeding in history, on the strength of its first SEC Tournament title in 30 years. As the buzzer sounded, Oats shared a handshake with Pitino and a refrain more commonly heard on the gridiron echoed from the rafters at Hinkle Fieldhouse: “Roll Tide.”

Evan Mobley has 17 points to lift Southern Cal past Drake

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Evan Mobley had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 6 seed Southern California used smothering defense to earn a 72-56 victory over Drake on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Mobley, a 7-foot freshman forward and AP second-team All-American expected to be a lottery pick if he declares for the draft, made 7 of 15 field goals and blocked three shots.

Evan’s older brother, sophomore forward Isaiah Mobley, scored 15 points to make it a family affair for the Trojans.

“We both had great games, I feel like,” Evan Mobley said. “Both pretty big numbers. We’re going to cherish this win, but we can’t dwell on it too long because we’ve got other games coming up.”

Drew Peterson added 14 for USC (23-7), which advanced to play No. 3 seed Kansas in the second round on Monday.

Joseph Yesufu scored 26 points for 11th-seeded Drake, but none of his teammates scored more than six. The sophomore guard made 8 of 22 shots in the game while his teammates made just 12 of 46.

Drake (26-5) opened the season with 18 straight wins. The Bulldogs claimed their first tournament win in 50 years in the First Four on Thursday, but that extra game had an effect. Drake shot 29% overall against USC, including a dismal 19% in the second half.

“We certainly got fatigued in that second half a little bit, but I thought the guys continued to fight, and we just didn’t have quite enough to get back into it,” Drake coach Darian DeVries said.

Yesufu struggled like his teammates in the second half – he made just 2 of 10 shots after the break. Evan Mobley was in the middle of USC’s zone for the final 10 minutes of the game.

“We assumed he was going to be their main scorer, but we really didn’t lock in on him the entire possession (in the first half),” Evan Mobley said. “And then second half was when we were pointing and talking, and letting our teammates know where he was at, so he couldn’t score as much.”

Hoyas history; Colorado uses 3s to dismiss Georgetown 96-73

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Chances are, you can fit Colorado’s entire NCAA Tournament history on the back of an old Patrick Ewing jersey. And now, Ewing is part of that history, too.

The Buffaloes used an early 3-point barrage to parlay their highest seeding ever at March Madness into a first-round win Saturday over one of the biggest names in the game. It was a 96-73 thumping of Georgetown, the program Ewing starred for in the 1980s and now coaches.

Led by Jabari Walker’s 5-for-5 shooting clinic from 3-point range, the fifth-seeded Buffs (23-8) made 16 3-pointers and shot 64% from long range.

“We’re a dangerous team. A lot of teams can’t run with us, because there are so many skill sets we have,” Walker said. “It’s really hard to beat us, I believe.”

Walker missed only one of his 10 shots on his way to a career-best 24 points, and D’Shawn Schwartz (18 points) made four of his five 3s in the first half to put Colorado into cruise control. McKinley Wright IV had 12 points and 13 assists. The Buffs made the round of 32 for only the third time since the brackets expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

Georgetown won four games in four days earlier this month to take the Big East Tournament title and make a surprise trip to the NCAAs. But the Hoyas finished 13-13 on the season, three weeks of which was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they didn’t look like even a .500 team at any point Saturday.

“We didn’t bring our `A’ game,” Ewing said. “Both offensively and defensively, things we were doing great in the Big East Tournament we didn’t do well today.”

The big 7-footer did what he could – stalking the sideline in khakis and light-blue tennis shoes, pulling down his mask and shouting instructions while the game, and the season, slipped away.

But one of college basketball’s most dominating presences in the `80s could not make any shots – Georgetown went 30% from the floor in the first half and big man Qudus Wahab (7 for 12 for 20 points) was the only player with any sort of touch. And Ewing’s team could not defend the perimeter, which is where Colorado went crazy.

“I thought surely after the first few, they’d get a hand up,” Walker said. “But I kept finding myself open.”

The freshman from California made four of his 3s in the first half to help CU open a double-digit lead. At the end of the half, Schwartz made three straight 3s to help the Buffs double up (plus one) on Georgetown – 47-23 – heading into the locker room.

And now, people might starting seeing CU’s pedigree in a different light.

Florida State cold from deep, outlasts UNCG in NCAA tourney

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) RaiQuan Gray scored 17 points and No. 4 seed Florida State began what it hopes will be another deep NCAA Tournament run under coach Leonard Hamilton, holding off 13th-seeded UNC Greensboro 64-54 in the East Region on Saturday.

The Seminoles, who reached the Elite Eight and the Sweet 16 in the previous two tournaments, allowed the Spartans to hang around deep into the second half thanks to an uneven offensive performance. They will play Colorado in the second round on Monday.

Hamilton, who was rewarded earlier this month with a four-year contract extension, worked the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles tendon that he suffered before the tournament began.

“My guys depend on me,” Hamilton said. “If I’m going to ask them to work hard and challenge themselves, I’m going to have to do the same thing to some degree. To be very honest with you, I didn’t even know I had the boot on once the game started. It’s a nuisance. It’s a challenge, but there are more important things than worrying about me having a little pain.”

The Seminoles were impressed with the resilience of their 72-year-old coach.

“He’s a tough guy,” Gray said. “He instills toughness in us. He doesn’t like to complain about anything or let little things bother him. He’s walking around as if he’s healthy 100%. Regardless of how he’s feeling, he’s going to show up every day and be the same coach and be that leader for us. We lean on that a lot. Seeing him walking around in that boot is extra motivation.”

Florida State went 0 for 9 from 3-point range, winning a game without a made 3 for the first time since February 2018. The Seminoles still managed to shoot 52% overall.

“I think we just took what the defense gave us,” Gray said. “We knew that we had a height advantage and strength advantage on those guys. We didn’t want to settle for jump shots.”

The Spartans closed within 51-50 with 4:52 remaining, but Florida State held them scoreless for nearly four minutes after that. Socially distanced Florida State fans saluted players with the tomahawk chop as they left the court.

Balsa Koprivica had 13 points and nine rebounds and Anthony Polite added 12 points for the Seminoles.

Isaiah Miller scored 17 points and Keyshaun Langley added 16 for Greensboro (21-9), which was seeking its first tournament win. Greensboro shot 32% overall as Florida State allowed a season-low point total.

“They are really difficult to prepare for,” Greensboro coach Wes Miller said. “They play a style of play that we haven’t seen all year with some length and athleticism and depth that we haven’t seen all year.”

Florida State rolled out to a 13-2 lead as Greensboro missed nine of its first 10 shots.

Koprivica went up high for a two-handed alley-oop jam on an assist from M.J. Walker that put the Seminoles up 15-4.

Greensboro started to settle down later in the first half. The 6-foot Miller dunked off an inbounds lob from the baseline to cut Florida State’s advantage to 25-18.

Langley was fouled on a deep made 3-pointer from straight away, and his free throw with 36 seconds left in the half trimmed Florida State’s edge to 29-26.

Langley’s 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the second half tied the game at 29, but Florida State responded with a 12-0 run.

Greensboro surged again. A pair of free throws by Miller cut Florida State’s lead to one point, but two quick baskets by Gray got the Seminoles back on track.

LSU overcomes slow start to outmuscle St. Bonaventure 76-61

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Freshman Cameron Thomas scored 27 points in another impressive performance and his LSU teammates provided the rebounding muscle, leading the eighth-seeded Tigers past ninth-seeded St. Bonaventure 76-61 on Saturday and into the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

LSU (19-9) can reach its second straight Sweet 16 if it beats Michigan, the top seed in the Midwest Region.

“We can certainly play better, but I think we’ve played a lot more physical since the Vanderbilt home game,” coach Will Wade said. “For us, it’s about getting stops and rebounding, which we did a great job of.”

Darius Days and Aundre Hyatt each had 13 points and Trendon Watford had 11. Days and Watford also had 11 rebounds each while Hyatt grabbed 10. The Tigers have won five of six.

LSU took control in the second half thanks to Thomas and his ability to get to the basket. He scored 25 or more points for the 15th time this season, which LSU says is a freshman Southeastern Conference record in the one-and-done era.

Jaren Holmes scored 18 points and Osun Osunniyi had 15 points and nine rebounds for St. Bonaventure (16-5). Jalen Adaway had 11 points in his home state.

The Bonnies still had a good time, hearing their contingent of fans chanting in the stands.

“We just played LSU in March Madness at Indiana University. This is a historical arena,” Holmes said. “While in the middle of a pandemic. This is something that I’ll be able to tell my children, talk about forever, honestly. This is a magical experience.”

Once the Tigers warmed up, the Bonnies never had a chance.

LSU started pulling away with a 9-2 spurt that gave it a 21-12 lead late in the first half, and when the Tigers opened the second half on a 12-2 spurt to make it 40-24, the Bonnies never got closer than nine.

Howard, Michigan roll past Texas Southern in NCAA tourney

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Juwan Howard loved playing in the NCAA Tournament. Sharing that experience with his players was pretty sweet, too.

Howard got the win in his first NCAA tourney game since taking over at Michigan, guiding Mike Smith and the top-seeded Wolverines to an 82-66 victory over Texas Southern on Saturday.

Smith scored 18 points and Hunter Dickinson added 16 as Michigan rolled into the second round without Isaiah Livers, who is out with a foot injury. Eli Brooks and Brandon Johns Jr. had 11 points apiece.

Howard is back in the tournament for the first time since his stellar playing career with Michigan, including back-to-back Final Four appearances in 1992 and 1993. It’s his second season in charge, but the NCAA Tournament was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

The Wolverines also had to deal with a long layoff this season because of COVID-19 issues in their athletic department.

All the adversity made the March moment even more enjoyable for Howard.

“It means a lot because of what this group has dealt with since last year when we had a pause,” he said. “No one can control the virus but we’ve done a really good job of now having this opportunity to play, being disciplined throughout the process and sacrificing a lot. I’m so proud of these kids and what they’ve dealt with this year.”

Howard and the Wolverines (21-4) had little trouble with the No. 16 seed Texas Southern, but the absence of Livers could lead to adversity down the road. Next up is No. 8 seed LSU on Monday.

“I like how we came out aggressive, played defense,” Smith said. “We played really hard. What I didn’t like was we kind of let up, we kind of played the score and they came back. Obviously, there were some calls that didn’t go our way. We can’t let that hinder us, affect us in a way where we play to their pace.”

Livers, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, is sidelined indefinitely with a right foot stress reaction injury, and he ambled down from his seat to timeout huddles while wearing a protective boot. He also wore a black T-shirt with the slogan (hash)NotNCAAProperty, part of a social media effort to raise awareness about inequities in college sports.

The Wolverines used their depth to replace his 13.1 points per game and floor leadership against the Tigers (17-9).

Virus bounces VCU from NCAA Tournament; Oregon advances

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) VCU has been pulled from the NCAA Tournament because of COVID-19 protocols.

The NCAA says the 10th-seeded Rams’ first-round game Saturday against Oregon has been declared a no-contest.

The seventh-seeded Ducks will advance to the second round without playing.

The announcement came a little more than three hours before the teams were set to play in the West Region. The NCAA didn’t offer specific details, citing privacy concerns, and said that the decision came after consultation with the Marion County Public Health Department.

“The NCAA and the committee regret that VCU’s student-athletes and coaching staff will not be able to play in a tournament in which they earned the right to participate,” the statement read.

Report: Ohio State contacted police after Liddell received threats

Ohio State has reached out to police after forward E.J. Liddell received threatening messages following the Buckeyes’ stunning opening-round loss to Oral Roberts on Friday during the NCAA Tournament, sources told ESPN’s Myron Medcalf.

Liddell shared screenshots of the messages on Twitter.

“What did I do to deserve this? I’m human,” he asked.

One person wrote: “You are such a f—— disgrace. Don’t ever show your face at Ohio State. We hate you. I hope you die I really do.”

Liddell posted 23 points and 14 rebounds, but the No. 2-seeded Buckeyes fell 75-72 in overtime, leading to the first upset of this year’s tournament.

Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann provided a statement condemning the vitriol.

“These comments, while not from or representative of Ohio State fans, are vile, dangerous, and reflect the worst of humanity,” he said. “EJ is an outstanding young man who had a tremendous sophomore season and he was instrumental in our team’s success. We will take the necessary actions here at the university to address this immediately.”

The Buckeyes entered Friday’s loss as 16-point favorites. Oral Roberts will now face Florida in the second round.

Following criticism, NCAA upgrades weight room for women’s basketball players

Following criticism over the disparity between men’s and women’s training facilities during March Madness, the NCAA revealed an upgraded weight room Saturday for female basketball players competing in the Division I tournament.

“The weight room has arrived!” the NCAA Women’s Basketball account tweeted Saturday afternoon. “Let’s gooooo.”

NCAA officials apologized Friday after images and video surfaced on social media this week showing the stark differences between the women’s and men’s weight room facilities in Texas and Indiana, respectively.

The women’s tournament weight room appeared to consist of a single set of dumbbells and some yoga mats, while the men’s more-lavish tournament weight room was stocked with rows of weights and training equipment.

Lynn Holzman, the NCAA’s vice president of women’s basketball, promised to have improvements in place by Saturday morning.

“We fell short this year,” Holzman said during a press briefing Friday.

“I’ve experienced when you don’t have something that’s the same,” said Holzman, a former college basketball player. “This is also why it hit such a nerve with me. … There’s an accountability aspect as the conversation moves forward that is front of mind.”

The new weight room, located inside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, features more weights, as well as socially distanced squat racks, resistance bands and exercise balls. Areas near the center’s practice courts also have exercise bikes, treadmills, rowing machines and other equipment.

University of Oregon forward Sedona Prince, who helped spotlight the disparity in the weight rooms in a viral social media video, posted an update from the new facility Saturday afternoon.

“Guess what guys? We got a weight room, yeah!” Prince said in a TikTok video that included several of her teammates cheering. “Thank you NCAA for listening to us.”

Some of the new equipment was already ordered or was going to be assembled just for the Sweet 16 teams, according to ESPN. NCAA officials also accepted equipment offers from companies made over social media, ESPN reported.

LeBron hurt, Hawks beat Lakers 99-94 for 8th straight win

LOS ANGELES (AP) John Collins had 27 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks rallied for a 99-94 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday after LeBron James left in the second quarter with an injured right ankle.

Trae Young had 14 points and 11 assists for the Hawks, who opened an eight-game trip with their eighth straight victory under new coach Nate McMillan – but only after their defending champion opponents lost their 17-time All-Star to an injury that could shake the NBA’s balance of power if it turns out to be serious.

James was hurt when he rolled his ankle under Solomon Hill, who was called for a foul as he reached awkwardly for a steal. The 36-year-old superstar screamed and fell to the court clutching at his ankle, yet he got up and briefly stayed in the game.

James even hit a corner 3-pointer that extended his NBA-record streak of games with at least 10 points to 1,036, but he called a timeout and left the court shortly afterward. James knocked over a chair in frustration as he went to the locker room.

“I haven’t necessarily seen him scream and squall like that, probably ever, not even with that groin,” said Kyle Kuzma, who was with the Lakers when James missed 17 games with a groin injury two seasons ago. “It had to hurt a little bit, for sure.”

The Lakers provided no information about James’ condition afterward while they prepared to leave for their game at Phoenix on Sunday.

“The mood of the team is we’re disappointed we lost, and we’ve got to come back and get one tomorrow,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “I won’t disclose what LeBron was like (in the locker room). It’s in-house.”

The remaining Lakers rallied and actually took a one-point lead to halftime, but missed their first 11 shots of the second half. Danilo Gallinari scored 14 of his 18 points after halftime for the Hawks, who are on their longest winning streak since January 2015.

“That was the first thing I told the guys: We can’t relax because LeBron is out of the game,” McMillan said. “We have to keep up the pressure, and I thought our guys did that.”

James’ absence left the Lakers without three starters in the second half, and the Hawks capitalized for their first road victory over Los Angeles since March 2016. All-NBA big man Anthony Davis missed his 14th consecutive game with a right calf injury, and Marc Gasol missed his seventh straight game since February after sitting out under the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

“It’s different without (James), without AD,” Gallinari said. “Of course they’re a different team. But at the same time, all of the players that stepped up are all NBA veterans with experience, guys that won championships. I would say it’s anyway a very good win.”

Montrezl Harrell had 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Dennis Schroder had 16 points and seven assists against his former team for the Lakers, whose four-game winning streak ended amid much bigger concerns.

AP sources: Cowboys, safety Neal agree on $5M, 1-year deal

The Cowboys and free agent safety Keanu Neal agreed on a $5 million, one-year deal that will reunite the former Atlanta player with new Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Neal spent his first five seasons with the Falcons after getting drafted in the first round in 2016 when Quinn was coach. Quinn was fired last season and joined the Cowboys this offseason.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal, first reported by NFL Network, hasn’t been announced by the team.

Neal missed most of 2018 with a torn ACL in his left knee and then was out almost all of 2019 after tearing his left Achilles tendon. The 25-year-old played 15 games last season.

The best season for Neal was 2017, when he made the Pro Bowl after 83 solo tackles and four tackles for loss, along with the first of his two career interceptions.

It’s the third straight year the Cowboys have tried to get lower-cost help at safety in free agency. The past two – George Iloka in 2019 and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix last year – were released before the start of the season.

The addition of Neal comes after Dallas added three veteran defensive linemen earlier in the week. Two of them are former fourth-round picks in Carlos Watkins, who was with Houston, and Brent Urban, most recently with Chicago. Edge rusher Tarell Basham is headed to the Cowboys from the New York Jets.

Report: Kyle Fuller agrees to 1-year, $9.5M deal with Broncos

It didn’t take long for Kyle Fuller to find a new team.

The former Chicago Bears’ star cornerback has agreed to a one-year, $9.5-million deal with the Denver Broncos, a source told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

The Chicago Bears reportedly decided to part ways with Fuller after seven seasons earlier this week. The move, which stems from Chicago’s salary cap situation, became official Saturday just hours before the Broncos reportedly agreed to a deal with the 29-year-old.

Fuller earned a first-team All-Pro nod in 2018 after leading the NFL with seven interceptions and 21 pass breakups. He also made two straight Pro Bowls in 2018 and 2019.

The 2014 first-round pick out of Virginia Tech has racked up 390 tackles, 82 pass breakups, and 19 interceptions through 96 career appearances. He’s made 64 straight starts since missing the entire 2016 campaign due to a knee injury.

Fuller will reunite with head coach Vic Fangio, who was the Bears defensive coordinator from 2015-18.

The Broncos cut A.J. Bouye in February, which made the cornerback position arguably their biggest defensive need. In addition to Fuller, Denver has also signed veteran corner Ronald Darby this offseason.

Fuller and Darby will join a group that also features Bryce Callahan, giving the unit depth and versatility.

Dolphins waive Wilson after OT reportedly refused help to get life on track

The Miami Dolphins waived offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson less than two weeks after agreeing to acquire him from the Tennessee Titans, the team announced Saturday.

Wilson refused the Dolphins’ efforts to help him get his life back on track while continuing the behavior that caused Tennessee to give up on the 29th overall pick in 2020, a league source told Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.

The towering lineman endured a tumultuous rookie campaign in which he was suspended for violating team rules, was arrested for DUI, and played just three snaps.

After being traded, Wilson showed up late for his physical with Miami and skipped two optional workouts he had previously committed to attend, a source told Beasley.

A series of videos were briefly posted on the 22-year-old’s Instagram account Friday, including what appeared to be him smoking and dancing shirtless on a car.

Releasing Wilson won’t cost the Dolphins anything in 2021, as all of his salary guarantees were already voided. But draft compensation as part of the trade won’t be returned.

Bears sign CB Trufant to 1-year contract to replace Fuller

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bears released former All-Pro cornerback Kyle Fuller and signed Desmond Trufant to a one-year contract Saturday to replace him.

Fuller, drafted with the No. 14 overall pick in 2014, was an All-Pro in 2018 when he tied for the NFL lead with seven interceptions. He also made the Pro Bowl the following year when he picked off three passes. Fuller had one interception last season.

Trufant played his first seven seasons in Atlanta after being drafted out of Washington with the No. 22 overall pick in 2013. He made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and signed a two-year, $21 million deal with Detroit last year that included $14 million guaranteed.

Trufant ended up joining a long list of free-agent additions by former Lions general manager Bob Quinn that didn’t pan out. Injuries limited the 30-year-old cornerback to six games and one interception last season after he started 97 games for Atlanta.

Trufant was released by Detroit on Wednesday.

Jets safety Marcus Maye signs franchise tag tender

NEW YORK (AP) New York Jets safety Marcus Maye signed his franchise tag tender from the team on Saturday, and the sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal.

Agent Erik Burkhardt confirmed that Maye had accepted the tag, which is worth $10.6 million.

The 28-year-old Maye has been a steady playmaker and leader for the Jets, who drafted him in the second round out of Florida in 2017. General manager Joe Douglas said in January that Maye’s contract situation would be a top priority for the team this offseason.

NFL Network first reported that Maye had accepted his franchise tag tender. By placing the tag on Maye last week, the Jets prevented him from becoming an unrestricted free agent when the NFL’s new league year began Wednesday.

If the sides can’t agree on a long-term deal by the mid-July deadline, Maye would play this season under the tag amount and be scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Maye was the first Jets player to be tagged since Muhammad Wilkerson in 2016. Wilkerson was signed to a long-term contract later that summer.

Maye has played in every game the past two seasons, erasing any doubts about his health after a shoulder injury limited him to six games in 2018. He also showed how versatile he is while playing in coverage and close to the line of scrimmage – taking over the role previously held by Jamal Adams.

He was selected a team captain and then voted the team MVP by his teammates last season after he finished with 78 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a team-leading 11 passes defensed. Maye has six career interceptions, 22 passes defensed and 257 total tackles.

Burkhardt recently criticized the Jets before they used the franchise tag when he replied to a Twitter post about the team having plenty of money to spend in free agency, saying the Jets “refuse to take care of their best player, Captain, & team-voted MVP in his prime who had several All-Pro votes.” He also noted that Maye played out his rookie deal and changed positions during a contract year.

Douglas downplayed those comments, saying he didn’t think they would affect getting a deal done. The sides moved a step closer in that direction by Maye accepting the tag.

AP source: Giants, star receiver Kenny Golladay reach deal

(AP) — The New York Giants have their playmaker receiver.

They reached an agreement with former Detroit Lions star Kenny Golladay, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because the agreement with the 27-year-old free agent has not been announced. The team posted a message on its Twitter account saying several reports say a deal has been reached.

Golladay played in only five games last season because of a hip injury. He visited with the Giants on Friday and stayed overnight while the talks continued Saturday.

A third-round draft choice in 2017, Golladay played his first four seasons with the Lions. He appeared in 47 games with 39 starts. He caught 183 passes for 3,068 yards and 21 touchdowns, including a league-high 11 scoring catches in 2019.

The Giants’ top three receivers last season combined for only seven touchdown catches. Darius Slayton had 50 catches for a team-high 751 yards and three touchdowns. Sterling Shepard had a team-high 66 catches for 656 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Evan Engram had 66 catches for 654 yards and one touchdown.

Golladay had 20 catches for 338 yards and two TDs last season. The previous two seasons in Detroit, he had more than 1,000 yards receiving in each campaign and 16 touchdown catches overall.

Jones survives a challenging day, takes 3-shot lead at Honda

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Aaron Wise had a six-shot lead during the third round of The Honda Classic, looking poised to turn the tournament into a rout.

Everything went wrong from there, and Matt Jones took full advantage.

The 40-year-old Australian handled the wind at PGA National to shoot a 1-under 69 on Saturday, going to 10 under for the tournament and moving three shots clear of Wise and J.B. Holmes.

“I’m happy to go low with the ball flight and I’m probably a little more conservative when the wind is up,” Jones said. “I’ll probably play a little safer than normal. I’m naturally a very aggressive player. But I think in the wind, I have a tendency to manage the golf course differently.”

Wise played his final 13 holes in 7 over, capped by hitting his tee shot into a quagmire of weeds and muck on the 18th for what became another bogey to cap a round of 75. Holmes (67) broke par for his third consecutive round.

“There really wasn’t anything I really struggled with today,” Holmes said. “I hit everything pretty solid. So, it was just a really good day for me.”

C.T. Pan had a bogey-free 65 – the low round of the day – to get to 6 under, along with Cameron Tringale (69) and Sam Ryder (72). Defending champion Sungjae Im (69) was 5 under, tied with Keegan Bradley (67), Robert Streb (70), Zach Johnson (70), Brice Garnett (70) and Stewart Cink (70).

History says they’re all still in the mix. Only two of the last seven 54-hole leaders at the Honda – Adam Scott in 2016 and Rickie Fowler in 2017 – have gone on to win. Im trailed by three last year entering the final round, Keith Mitchell by one in 2019, Justin Thomas by one in 2018, Padraig Harrington by three in 2015, and Russell Henley by two in 2014.

Scott was tied for the lead after 54 holes on his way to the 2016 win, and Fowler had a four-shot cushion going into Sunday four years ago.

“You mainly just try to focus on what you’re doing,” Holmes said. “There’s enough scoreboards out there; you’re going to glance at it every now and then. But when the wind’s this difficult, anything can happen.”

Wise was 2 under for his round and 14 under for the tournament after the fifth hole, six shots clear of the field.

That’s when his woes started, and what became a nine-shot turnaround between he and Jones began.

Wise sailed the cart path at the par-4 sixth, beginning a stretch where he would miss five fairways in a six-hole stretch. He three-putted for double bogey – his first of the week – at the sixth, then dropped shots at two of his next four holes.

Jones grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie at the par-4 14th. Wise made bogey at the par-3 15th, falling out of the lead.

“I was playing from out of position a lot, so it added up to a big number,” Wise said. “But luckily with how I played those first two days I’m still in it and still have a chance.”

The 15th starts the three-hole stretch called “The Bear Trap,” a nod to Jack Nicklaus, and those holes tend to decide matters at PGA National. They were wrought with trouble Saturday; the 15th was the easiest, relatively speaking, surrendering eight birdies to 68 players.

The 16th and 17th, combined, saw one birdie Saturday.

Allgaier holds off Truex to win Atlanta Xfinity race

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) Justin Allgaier snatched the lead after Martin Truex Jr. made a mistake on pit road, and then held off his furious charge at the end to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday.

Allgaier’s celebration was marred by a scuffle on pit road between Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric, whose cars had gotten into each other on pit road during the race.

Hemric came over to confront Gragson while he was doing an interview. Gragson took several swings, but appeared to miss before crew members and officials stepped in to separate the drivers. Neither was hurt.

Truex, racing in the second-tier series for the first time since 2010, dominated the first two stages and seemed headed for an easy victory until he got caught speeding on pit road.

The 2017 Cup champion had to drop to the back of the field as a penalty, but he quickly snaked his way through the field. Truex got within a half-second of the lead in the closing laps, but Allgaier pulled away for a 1.449-second victory in his JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

The victory was a big relief for Allgaier, who struggled mightily through the first four races before finishing eighth last week at Phoenix.

He used that momentum to take the checkered flag for the 15th Xfinity victory of his career ahead of Truex. Harrison Burton was third.

“We didn’t start off the day like we wanted to, but the guys persevered,” Allgaier said. “They made some great adjustments on pit road.”

Truex started from the 18th position in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota but needed only seven laps to claim the lead in his his first Xfinity Series race since the final event of the 2010 season at Homestead.

Truex had 13 victories in the NASCAR feeder series, the most recent coming on April 29, 2006, at Talladega.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Truex, who won series championships in 2004 and ’05 to propel his move to the Cup series. “Obviously, we were really strong in the first two stages. Then I screwed up and sped on pit road. I probably gave away any chance for the win.”

Gragson, who bounced back from an early wreck to take a fourth-place finish, was caught off guard by Hemric’s confrontation.

“I don’t know why he’s mad,” Gragson said. “I was behind him coming into pit road and he’s in our pit box, so I had to come around him. I’m not really sure why he was there.”

Gragson took a verbal shot at Hemric, who has yet to win in any of NASCAR’s top three series.

“I would feel bad if I was in his shoes, too, based on what he’s done in his career,” Gragson said. “I’ll just move on, keep on fighting. Man, what a day.”

Hemric blamed Gragson for the pit-road incident.

“There’s a hole in the nose of my car and he got popped in the eye,” said Hemric, who finished ninth. “From where I stand, we’re in good shape.”

Josh Berry’s day ended with a spectacular spin. He lost it coming out of turn four and plowed into the grass at the head of pit road, his splitter digging into the ground to send turf flying.

Berry was able to climb from his car, which sustained heavy damage.

Minor league Cubs player arrested over drugs in Colorado

VAIL, Colo. (AP) — A minor league baseball player is facing drug charges after police in Colorado found 21 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.2 pounds of oxycodone pills in his Chicago Cubs duffel bag.

The Vail Daily reports Jesus Camargo-Corrales, 25, of Tempe, Arizona, appeared in Eagle County Court on Thursday on charges including unlawful distribution of methamphetamine and oxycodone, both class 1 drug felonies, as well as charges of unlawful possession of each drug, both class 4 drug felonies.

The Major League Baseball website says he was first signed to a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs in 2014.

“We are aware of the arrest of one our Minor League players,” said Julian Green, senior vice president of communications at Chicago Cubs. “We are investigating this matter and cannot provide additional comment until we have further details.”

He was ordered held on $75,000 bond by Judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez.

The Eagle County jail confirmed he was still in custody as of Saturday. It’s unclear if Camargo-Corrales has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

Camargo-Corrales was stopped on Interstate 70 in a silver BMW Wednesday morning near the ritzy ski area of Vail, Colorado after an Eagle County sheriff’s deputy saw the car speeding and drifting lanes, according to the arrest affidavit.

Camargo-Corrales was driving with two other passengers, who were also interviewed but police said were not aware of the drugs. They said they were driving to Denver from Phoenix but gave different accounts of the trip.

Camargo-Corrales told police he was going to Denver to teach a kids baseball clinic and claimed there were no drugs because he said he followed the Chicago Cubs’ anti-doping policy.

But police said a K-9 named Zane alerted authorities to the car’s rear wheel well and the back seat and Camargo-Corrales gave permission to a police search of the vehicle.

Officers then found a white bag with cologne and $1,000 held by a rubber band. In the trunk, a Chicago Cubs duffel bag that Camargo-Corrales said was his held baseball gloves and cleats, as well as several packages wrapped in white plastic marked “CO” and two packages wrapped in green plastic, according to the affidavit.

Police said Camargo-Corrales agreed to be interviewed and claimed a friend in Sinaloa, Mexico — where the notorious Sinaloa Cartel is based — offered him $500 to deliver the duffel bag to Denver. Camargo-Corrales, who is also from Sinaloa, said that he thought the bag had contained shoes or clothing, but also indicated he knew there were drugs inside.

He’s expected back in court on March 30.

Spectators from abroad to be barred from Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO (AP) At last it’s official after countless unsourced news reports and rumors: spectators from abroad will be barred from the postponed Tokyo Olympics when they open in four months.

The decision was announced Saturday after an online meeting of the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo government, the International Paralympic Committee, and local organizers.

Officials said the risk was too great to admit ticket holders from overseas during a pandemic. The Japanese public has also opposed fans from abroad. Several surveys have shown that up to 80% oppose holding the Olympics, and a similar percentage opposed fans from overseas attending.

Japan has attributed about 8,800 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than most countries.

“In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” the Tokyo organizing committee said in a statement.

Organizers said 600,000 tickets were sold to fans from outside Japan. They have promised refunds, but this will be determined by so-called Authorized Ticket Resellers that handle sales outside Japan. These dealers charge fees of up to 20% above the ticket price. It is not clear if the fees will be refunded.

Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee, said organizers were not responsible for money lost on flights or hotel reservations. He said these did not involve any “contract arrangement with Tokyo.”

Organizing committee President Seiko Hashimoto, who appeared in seven Olympics as an athlete – she won bronze in speedskating in 1992 – said there was pressure to wait longer to make a decision. But she said fans could now plan. She also lamented the move.

“So the fact that spectators are not able to attend the games from abroad – that is very disappointing and it’s regrettable,” she said. “It was an unavoidable decision.”

IOC President Thomas Bach called it a “difficult decision.”

“We have to take decisions that may need sacrifice from everybody,” he said.

Muto seemed to rule out fans entering who may have received tickets from deep-pocketed sponsors.

“If they are part of the operation of the games, if they are somewhat involved in the operation then there is still a possibility they may be able to enter into Japan,” Muto said. “But solely as spectators for watching games – no, they will not be allowed to make an entry.”

The financial burden of lost ticket sales falls on Japan. The local organizing committee budget called for $800 million income from ticket sales, the third largest income source in the privately financed budget. Any shortfall in the budget will have to be made up by Japanese government entities.

“The ticketing revenue will be in the decline,” Muto said. “That is very clear at this point.”

Muto also hinted at more cuts for people on the periphery of the Olympics. He also said volunteers from overseas would “be dealt with in the same manner” but said details would be forthcoming later.

“But as far as other people related to the games or whether we should maintain the same number – perhaps we will have to reduce the number. That is the consensus. That is the premise,” he said.

Iowa Wins 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championship

ST. LOUIS  – Iowa won the 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships on Saturday at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, capturing the 24th NCAA wrestling title in school history and first since 2010. The Hawkeyes’ title marked the 14th straight year that a Big Ten school has claimed the NCAA Championship.

Iowa amassed 129.0 points, while fellow Big Ten member Penn State came in second with 113.5 points. Four other Big Ten schools also finished among the top 10 — Michigan in fifth place (69.0 points), Minnesota in seventh (64.0), Ohio State in ninth (46.5) and Northwestern in 10th (45.0).


Six Big Ten wrestlers claimed individual titles at the NCAA Championships. Iowa’s Spencer Lee secured his third straight 125-pound championship title. Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young (133), Nick Lee (141), Carter Starocci (174) and Aaron Brooks (184) each won, marking the third time Cael Sanderson coached the Nittany Lions to four or more championships in one year. Minnesota’s Gable Steveson rounded out the list of Big Ten Champions, claiming the national championship at 285 pounds.


Thirty-five Big Ten wrestlers earned All-America honors. The full list of Big Ten All-Americans, along with their weight class, can be found below.

2020-21 All-Americans

Lucas Byrd, Illinois, 133

Dylan Duncan, Illinois, 141

Tony Cassioppi, Iowa, 285

Austin DeSanto, Iowa, 133

Jaydin Eierman, Iowa, 141

Michael Kemerer, Iowa, 174

Spencer Lee, Iowa, 125

Jacob Warner, Iowa, 197

Kaleb Young, Iowa, 157

Cameron Amine, Michigan, 165

Myles Amine, Michigan, 197

Logan Massa, Michigan, 174

Mason Parris, Michigan, 285

Brayton Lee, Minnesota, 157

Patrick McKee, Minnesota, 125

Gable Steveson, Minnesota, 285

Mikey Labriola, Nebraska, 174

Chad Red, Nebraska, 141

Chris Cannon, Northwestern, 133

Ryan Deakin, Northwestern, 157

Yahya Thomas, Northwestern, 149

Tate Orndorff, Ohio State, 285

Sammy Sasso, Ohio State, 149

Ethan Smith, Ohio State, 165

Michael Beard, Penn State, 197

Roman Bravo-Young, Penn State, 133

Aaron Brooks, Penn State, 184

Greg Kerkvliet, Penn State, 285

Nick Lee, Penn State, 141

Carter Starocci, Penn State, 174

John Poznanski, Rutgers, 184

Sebastian Rivera, Rutgers, 141

Jackson Turley, Rutgers, 174

Eric Barnett, Wisconsin, 125

Trent Hillger, Wisconsin, 285

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Draft prospect Jack Leiter throws no-hitter, Ks 16 for Vandy

Top draft prospect Jack Leiter pitched a nine-inning no-hitter with 16 strikeouts for Vanderbilt on Saturday, retiring his final 27 batters.

Leiter, the son of 19-year big league pitcher Al Leiter, walked Braylen Wimmer to lead off the game but was perfect the rest of the way in a 5-0 victory over South Carolina. He struck out Wimmer swinging at a 96 mph fastball to end the game, his 124th pitch.

The 20-year-old sophomore was swarmed by teammates after the final pitch. The right-hander improved to 5-0 with a 0.31 ERA in five starts.

“I felt pretty good in the first inning, but walking the first guy, obviously not what you want to do,” Leiter said. “I would say honestly not really until the sixth, seventh inning, it felt like it was a little bit different than other games.”

Leiter’s no-hitter was the first for Vanderbilt since teammate Kumar Rocker dominated Duke as a freshman in the 2019 Super Regionals. Rocker and Leiter are considered the top pitching prospects for Major League Baseball’s 2021 draft. Rocker struck out 14 Gamecocks in a 3-2 win Friday night and has an 0.58 ERA.

EARLHAM BASEBALL: Baseball splits doubleheader with Anderson

(EC RELEASE)

SCORES: G1 – Earlham 4, Anderson 3 / G2 – Anderson 6, Earlham 3

LOCATION: Richmond, Indiana – Sadler Stadium

RECORDS: Earlham 6-2 / Anderson 3-5

RICHMOND, Indiana – Earlham College took a split out of its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader with Anderson University on Saturday, winning game one of the twinbill, 4-3, before falling the nightcap, 6-3.

GAME 1

Anderson manufactured two runs in the top of the second inning on two hits, a passed ball, and a sacrifice fly, but Earlham answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the frame to take a 3-2 lead. Connor Drews drove in two of the Quaker runs with a two-run home run to left field, while Maxwell Fries scored on a wild pitch earlier in the frame.

The Quakers tacked on what would prove to be the game-winning run in the fifth. Nathan Lancianese got aboard with a two-out walk, stole second, and came home on Marc Gendreau’s base hit to left field, extending Earlham’s lead to 4-2.

The Ravens got one run back in the eighth on Tyler Smitherman’s RBI single, and were looking for more runs with bases loaded with one out. Anderson’s rally effort was cut short on Branton Sanders’ fly ball to left field for out number two, and Earlham left fielder Connor Drews completed the double play with a throw to home to get Jason Hall-Manley out at the plate for the final out of the inning.

Earlham starter Joey Gerbus improved to 2-0 with the victory, after fanning four Raven batters and spreading around seven hits over seven innings of work. Reliever Domanick Michael pitched the eighth and ninth innings and struck out three while allowing three hits.

Drews finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Gendreau went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Graham Reedy led Anderson at the plate with a 4-for-4 performance with two runs scored.

The win over Anderson was the Quakers’ first victory over the Ravens since the 2017 season, and the first at home since 2016.

GAME 2

An RBI single from Isaiah Shake gave Earlham a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Anderson took the lead with a two-run second inning.

The Ravens put up three runs in the fourth inning on four walks and a two-run base hit off the bat of Jonathan Willoughby, extending their lead to 5-1, and added a sixth run in the sixth inning.

Earlham got two runs back in the seventh by taking advantage of Andrew Bradley’s leadoff single to left field, and a fielding error that allowed Michael Medley to get aboard on a grounder to third. Bradley eventually crossed on a second Anderson error in the frame, with Medley coming home on a base hit by Drews.

Justin Dillhoff started for Earlham and was charged with the loss in his three innings of work. Anderson’s Kasey Henderson went seven-and-a-third on the mound and finished with eight strikeouts.

Robby Shondel went 2-for-4 to lead the Quakers at the plate while five other Earlham players had one hit apiece. Both Earlham and Anderson finished the game with 10 runners left on base.

NEXT UP:

Earlham returns to action on Sunday, March 21, when it travels to Terre Haute, Indiana, to face Rose-Hulman in a doubleheader. First game of the twinbill will start at 1:00 p.m.

INDIANA BASEBALL: Hoosiers’ Win Streak Snapped by Purdue, 8-5

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University baseball team fell to Purdue, 8-5, on Saturday afternoon at Bart Kaufman Field in Bloomington, Ind.

With the loss, Indiana’s eight-game win-streak is snapped, moving the team’s record to 8-2 on the season and in Big Ten play. Purdue improved to 2-8 on the year and in league action.

KEY MOMENTS

• With runners on first and second and one out in the bottom of the first inning, freshman INF Paul Toetz lined an 0-2 offering down the left-field line, scoring OF Drew Ashley from second.

• Purdue scored once in the top of the second inning and four times in the top of the third to take a 5-1 lead.

• INF Grant Macciocchi cut into the PU advantage with a RBI single through the left side in the fourth, scoring OF Morgan Colopy who doubled earlier in the frame.

• One inning later, Toetz stayed hot, plating INF Cole Barr with an RBI single to left field.

• In his first career at-bat, freshman Kip Fougerousse hit a pinch-hit double off to right-center field, scoring a scampering Toetz all the way from first base to make the Purdue advantage, 5-4, after five innings.

• Purdue responded with one run in sixth, eighth and ninth innings to take an 8-4 lead.

• In the bottom of the ninth, Barr singled home a run to cut the lead to just three.

• The Hoosiers were able to load the bases with two outs, but the team’s rally ended with a strikeout.

NOTABLES

• Ashley extended his on-base streak to 35-games dating back to the 2019 season.

• Ashley and Toetz have at least one hit in all 10 games this season for the Hoosiers.

• RHP McCade Brown (2-1) pitched five innings, allowing five runs, four earned, while striking out eight.

UP NEXT

• The Hoosiers will conclude their series with Purdue on Saturday, Mar. 20 at 1:00 p.m. ET at Bart Kaufman Field in Bloomington, Ind.

ND BASEBALL: Bertrand’s Complete Game Clinches Series Win for No. 15 Irish

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 15th-ranked Notre Dame baseball team kept its winning ways going with a 6-2 victory over the Duke Blue Devils Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium. With the win, Notre Dame (9-2, 9-2 ACC) has won its seventh-game in a row and its fourth-straight series to start the season.

“Bertrand has been awesome at every phase of his game,” said head coach Link Jarrett. “From his plays in the field to the pickoff to end the game, he is so prideful in how hard he works and it shows.”

John Michael Bertrand was stellar on the mound for the Irish. He had pitched seven innings in his previous two starts and he one-upped himself with his first complete game against Duke (7-8, 3-5 ACC). He allowed just two runs and five hits while striking out six batters to collect his third win of the season.

“It was a great response in the sixth with Putz’s triple, Miller getting on and Niko staying back on one and taking it the other way.” said Jarrett. “Then we had Cole with his inside the park home run, it was just an exciting inning.”

At the plate, home runs were the recipe for the Irish once again. After falling behind in the top of the sixth, the Irish jumped on the Blue Devils for five runs in the sixth. Niko Kavadas regained the lead with a three-run home run to left for his third homer in as many games. The day after hitting a walk-off home run, Ryan Cole rounded the bases for a two-run inside-the-park home run to put the game out of reach.

“I am proud of the fight and the variety of things we have done well so far,” stated Jarrett. “It has been really impressive.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

The bats were quiet early on as both pitchers had good control of the game. Each pitcher allowed just one hit through the first three innings of play.

In the bottom half of the fourth, the Irish broke through. A heady play by Jared Miller got him in scoring position after stretching a single into a double with one out. Miller got to third on a balk and Kavadas was at the plate. He hit a high fly ball to the warning track in left that was caught but plenty deep for Miller to score the first run of the game.

Duke responded with a two-run blast by RJ Schrek in the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead. The lead was not held for long as the Irish immediately bounced back in the bottom half of the inning.

Carter Putz led the inning off with a triple and after Miller got hit by a pitch, Kavadas had runners on the corners and no outs. The runners came home after Kavadas took a pitch the other way over the wall in left for his seventh home run of the season and the Irish regained the lead. Two batters later, Cole laced a liner to center field that was misjudged and made it all the way to the wall. Cole was on his horse and slid under the tag at the plate for an inside-the-park home run. His second home run in as many games put the Irish lead at 6-2.

After the big inning, Bertrand shut the Blue Devils down the rest of the way. He allowed just two hits over the final three innings to secure his first career complete game.

STATS OF THE GAME

  • Ryan Cole hit the first Irish inside-the-park home run since Cole Daly against Florida State on March 17, 2018.
  • John Michael Bertrand tossed his first career complete game in the win. It is the first complete game by an Irish pitcher since Tommy Sheehan on April 5, 2019 in the 5-2 win over Virginia.
  • Niko Kavadas hit a home run in his third straight game and has seven home runs in 11 games this season.
  • The Irish have won seven games in a row for the second straight season.

UP NEXT

The Irish will go for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon when the two teams meet for the final game of the series. The game will be aired nationally on ACC Network and is set for a 2 p.m ET start. The Irish have not named a starter for Sunday’s matchup yet.

BUTLER BASEBALL: Butler Baseball Wins Saturday Meeting at Evansville 12-8

EVANSVILLE – The Bulldogs posted a 12-8 win at Evansville on Saturday to tie the weekend series at one game each. BU scored five runs over the first three innings and held off a late charge from the Purple Aces to come up with their third win of the regular season.

How it Happened

Robbie McCargar played a huge role in the outcome with a home run and a triple that helped him record two RBI. Seven different Bulldogs drove in a run and eight scored at least one run.

Freddie Matos and Nick Ortega each hit a double in the first inning to give BU a quick 2-0 lead. Bulldog bats stayed hot in the second as McCargar led off the inning with a homer to centerfield. Four batters later, James Gargano would single through the left side to score Zach Orn.

Ortega doubled again in the third to send Aaron Steinhart into scoring position. The BU catcher made the game 5-0 on a groundout from Bennett.

Butler added single runs in the fifth and seventh to move the scoreboard to 7-3. The game was far from over however, as the two teams combined for 10 runs over the final two innings.

Butler looked to be in command by scoring five runs in the top of the eighth. Gargano doubled to send Margroff around to third and the speedy centerfielder would score off an at-bat from Matos. Steinhart would send a sac fly into left to score Gargano and a double down the right field line from Bennett would give BU an 11-3 advantage. Bennett would cap off the inning by scoring off a single from Poynter.

The Purple Aces would not go away in the late stages of the game they scored three runs off two hits in the eighth and added two more in the ninth. The comeback chance would come to a halt however once Jack Pilcher touched the rubber. He got the final out of the contest which would secure the win for starter Jack Myers.

Myers struck out eight batters over seven full innings and only walked one Purple Ace. Derek Drees and Jon Vore would provide relief out of the pen to help BU come out on top.

Stat of the Game

Andy Bennett went 2-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.

Inside the Box Score

– Robbie McCargar finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored

– Freddie Matos went 1-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored

– James Gargano went 2-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored

– Jacob Margroff led off for Butler and scored two runs

– Nick Ortega went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run

Up Next

These two teams will meet again tomorrow at 1 PM to see who can win the series.

BALL STATE BASEBALL: Cardinals Walk off to Sweep Doubleheader from Western Michigan

MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball State baseball team won both ends of a Saturday doubleheader from Western Michigan in decidedly different ways.

One by mercy rule. One in the last at bat.

Pitching was a constant with Chayce McDermott and Lukas Jaksich combining to strike out 23 and largely shut down the Western Michigan hitters in what was scheduled as two seven-inning games. The BSU bats had a breakout performance in a 13-1 victory in game one and came alive again late in a 3-2 win in game two.

Adam Tellier went 4-for-5 with four RBIs in game one, coming up just a double shy of the cycle in only six innings and hitting the Cardinals’ first home run of the season. Trenton Quartermaine drove in three runs over the two games and had the walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh inning in game two.

“You’ve got to win them all different ways,” BSU head coach Rich Maloney said. “The kids battled and our pitching was outstanding, so I’m really happy for our guys. Our offense really got going late (in game one) which was good to see because runs have been really hard to come by for us. We finally broke out of it.”

Ball State (9-7, 3-0 MAC) secured the series victory over Western Michigan (0-9, 0-3 MAC) in this opening weekend of league play. The Cardinals will go for the sweep Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at First Merchants Ballpark Complex.

Based on guidance surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, general public attendance is not permitted at First Merchants Ballpark Complex this season.

Game 1 | BSU 12, WMU 1 (6 innings)

McDermott struck out 11 batters in five innings before turning it over to Tyler Schweitzer out of the bullpen for a scoreless sixth.

The Cardinals scored five runs off WMU starter Brady Miller to lead 5-1 through five innings and then got after the Broncos’ bullpen with eight runs in the sixth.

Tellier, who had homered one inning earlier, came to the plate twice in the sixth. He drove in Noah Navarro with a triple to start the scoring that innings and capped it later with a two-RBI single that ended the game by mercy rule (MAC play this season features mercy rules of 12 runs after five for seven-inning games and 10 runs after seven for nine-inning games).

Game 2 | BSU 3, WMU 2

Jaksich went the distance for a seven-inning complete game, striking out 12. He allowed two runs in the second, as Western Michigan grabbed an early lead, but no more.

Ball State scored one run in each of the final three innings to come from behind for the win. Navarro singled home Justin Conant in the fifth and then Chase Sebby hit a solo home run in the sixth to tie it up.

Mack Murphy led off the bottom of the seventh with a pinch-hit single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and then came home to score when Quartermaine went the opposite way, lacing a ball to deep left field for the game-winning hit.

NOTRE DAME BASEBALL: COLE’S WALK OFF LIFTS NO. 15 IRISH OVER DUKE, 6-4

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — It had been 677 days since the Irish last took the field at Frank Eck Stadium for a game and they had a flair for the dramatics in Friday’s home opener. Senior Ryan Cole launched his first career home run in the 13th inning to give the 15th-ranked Irish a 6-4 series-opening win in the 13th inning over the Duke Blue Devils (7-7, 3-4 ACC).

“Just a great win,” said head coach Link Jarrett. “I thought our guys competed very well. (Joe) Sheridan did his thing again and chewed up over six innings. Tanner (Kohlhepp) continues to develop for us. Then the offensive outburst in the 13th inning sealed it for us. Kavadas led us off with the double, LaManna had his signature at-bat to move the runner over and Cole had his moment to win it.”

With the Irish (8-2, 8-2 ACC) trailing 4-2 in the sixth inning, the long ball got the game tied up and it was Notre Dame’s premier slugger at the plate. Niko Kavadas got a ball on the inner half of the plate and he roped over the wall in right for a two-run homer to tie the game.

Kavadas started the 13th off with a double that set the table for Cole with a runner on third and just one out. Cole did not waste any time, sending the first-pitch breaking ball over the wall in left as the Irish piled out of the dugout to mob him at the plate.

One the mound, Joe Sheridan and Tanner Kohlhepp were dominant out of the pen for the Irish with the pair pitching the final 9.1 innings of the game. The duo did not walk a batter during their appearances and allowed just one extra base hit. The Irish won their sixth game in a row and Coach Jarrett’s secured his first home win after his first game at Frank Eck Stadium.

“It was almost surreal,” said Jarrett. “To stand there and watch the ball going into the bushes and our guys flood out of the dugout with the coolers and all the stuff. You could tell how big that moment was for them and it was obviously a moment I will never forget.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

Notre Dame got out in front in the third inning after taking advantage of a couple of Duke errors. Jack Brannigan scored the first run after coming home on a throwing error by the pitcher. Spencer Myers scored the second run of the inning on Jared Miller’s ground to second.

In the top of the fourth, the Irish had issues with walks and the Blue Devils took advantage. Duke put up four runs in the inning to take a 4-2 lead.

In the sixth, the Irish just had one hit coming into the inning but Miller worked a leadoff walk to bring up Kavadas. Niko was all over the inside pitch and turned on it right down the right field line. The liner cleared the fence to tie the game at 4-4 and for Kavadas, it was his sixth home run in just 10 games.

Sheridan came on in the fourth inning and was the calming presence the Irish needed on the mound. One week after tossing five innings of shutout relief, Sheridan one-upped it with 6.1 innings of scoreless ball against Duke.

Kohlhepp was brought on in the 11th and continued to keep the Blue Devils at bay at the plate. He allowed two hits in three innings of work and tied a career high with four strikeouts.

In the bottom of the 13th, Kavadas lined a double down the right field line, slid into second and immediately fired up the dugout to lead the inning off. After TJ Williams came in to pinch run, he got to third with just one out for Cole. Cole sent the first pitch over the wall in left for his first career home run and sealed the win for the Irish.

STATS OF THE GAME

It was the first walk-off home run for the Irish since 2018 when David LaManna hit a two-run homer in the win over Purdue.

The Irish have had walk-offs in three of their last four home games.

This was the longest game for the Irish since they went 13 innings against Florida State back in 2017.

UP NEXT

The two teams will be back on the diamond Saturday afternoon for the second game of the series. Saturday’s game is set for a 2 p.m. ET start and will be aired on the ACC Network Extra. LHP John Michael Bertrand will be on the hill in hopes of clinching the series for the Irish.

NOTRE DAME BASEBALL: BERTRAND’S COMPLETE GAME CLINCHES SERIES WIN FOR NO. 15 IRISH

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 15th-ranked Notre Dame baseball team kept its winning ways going with a 6-2 victory over the Duke Blue Devils Saturday afternoon at Frank Eck Stadium. With the win, Notre Dame (9-2, 9-2 ACC) has won its seventh-game in a row and its fourth-straight series to start the season.

“Bertrand has been awesome at every phase of his game,” said head coach Link Jarrett. “From his plays in the field to the pickoff to end the game, he is so prideful in how hard he works and it shows.”

John Michael Bertrand was stellar on the mound for the Irish. He had pitched seven innings in his previous two starts and he one-upped himself with his first complete game against Duke (7-8, 3-5 ACC). He allowed just two runs and five hits while striking out six batters to collect his third win of the season.

“It was a great response in the sixth with Putz’s triple, Miller getting on and Niko staying back on one and taking it the other way.” said Jarrett. “Then we had Cole with his inside the park home run, it was just an exciting inning.”

At the plate, home runs were the recipe for the Irish once again. After falling behind in the top of the sixth, the Irish jumped on the Blue Devils for five runs in the sixth. Niko Kavadas regained the lead with a three-run home run to left for his third homer in as many games. The day after hitting a walk-off home run, Ryan Cole rounded the bases for a two-run inside-the-park home run to put the game out of reach.

“I am proud of the fight and the variety of things we have done well so far,” stated Jarrett. “It has been really impressive.”

HOW IT HAPPENED

The bats were quiet early on as both pitchers had good control of the game. Each pitcher allowed just one hit through the first three innings of play.

In the bottom half of the fourth, the Irish broke through. A heady play by Jared Miller got him in scoring position after stretching a single into a double with one out. Miller got to third on a balk and Kavadas was at the plate. He hit a high fly ball to the warning track in left that was caught but plenty deep for Miller to score the first run of the game.

Duke responded with a two-run blast by RJ Schrek in the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead. The lead was not held for long as the Irish immediately bounced back in the bottom half of the inning.

Carter Putz led the inning off with a triple and after Miller got hit by a pitch, Kavadas had runners on the corners and no outs. The runners came home after Kavadas took a pitch the other way over the wall in left for his seventh home run of the season and the Irish regained the lead. Two batters later, Cole laced a liner to center field that was misjudged and made it all the way to the wall. Cole was on his horse and slid under the tag at the plate for an inside-the-park home run. His second home run in as many games put the Irish lead at 6-2.

After the big inning, Bertrand shut the Blue Devils down the rest of the way. He allowed just two hits over the final three innings to secure his first career complete game.

STATS OF THE GAME

Ryan Cole hit the first Irish inside-the-park home run since Cole Daly against Florida State on March 17, 2018.

John Michael Bertrand tossed his first career complete game in the win. It is the first complete game by an Irish pitcher since Tommy Sheehan on April 5, 2019 in the 5-2 win over Virginia.

Niko Kavadas hit a home run in his third straight game and has seven home runs in 11 games this season.

The Irish have won seven games in a row for the second straight season.

UP NEXT

The Irish will go for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon when the two teams meet for the final game of the series. The game will be aired nationally on ACC Network and is set for a 2 p.m ET start. The Irish have not named a starter for Sunday’s matchup yet.

INDIANA STATE BASEBALL: Sycamores Rally for Three Runs in Ninth to Secure Series Win Over UAB

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Indiana State baseball picked up a series victory over the University of Alabama at Birmingham Saturday afternoon after rallying from a two-run deficit in the eighth to win, 10-8, at Young Memorial Field. With the win, the Sycamores moved to 11-5 on the season while UAB fell to 6-10.

In total, Indiana State scored six runs in the final three innings of action. Trailing the Blazers 6-5 entering the eighth, Brian Fuentes kicked off the rally with the first of three hits in the inning as he doubled down the line in left. Dominic Cusumano walked and Diego Gines singled to right to load the bases with one out. Mike Sears delivered his second RBI of the day with a single to right to tie the game before the Sycamores were gifted a run when UAB right fielder Zack Davis dropped a fly ball allowing Cusumano to score from third.

UAB wasted no time making up for the error as Ian Lander sent his first home run of the season out to left to begin the bottom half of the eighth to tie the game.

The offense once again came to life for the Sycamores in the ninth as ISU put three runners on base by way of a walk and a pair of hits. After Max Wright reached on a fielder’s choice and Brian Fuentes followed with a one-out single, Cusumano came to the plate and delivered his second hit of the day – an RBI double to the gap – to score Wright and give the Sycamores a lead. ISU would get two insurance runs as Gines recorded a deep sacrifice fly to center before Cusumano came home to score on a passed ball.

Lefty Tyler Grauer (1-0) would close out the game for the Sycamores to pick up the win. Grauer induced a popup in the eighth to end a UAB threat and would allow one run on a hit over 1.1 innings.

It was a back-and-forth contest early between the two squads as runs were scored in each of the first five innings. Wright and Sears each tallied home runs in the game, both now with four on the season to lead the team.

ISU outhit UAB in the game 12-11 led by Wright with a 2-for-5 day with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Cusumano scored three runs for the Sycamores while tallying two hits and driving in a run. Urdaneta, Fuentes and Sears also added two hits each for Indiana State.

Battling a groin injury for much of the season, Tristan Weaver went three innings in his start, allowing five hits and four runs. The southpaw retired four Blazers on strikeouts and issued two walks. Cam Edmonson went and 1.1 innings allowing three hits and a pair of runs. Right-hander Connor Cline pitched 3.1 innings and struck out three in relief. Cline retired seven-straight Blazers from the fifth to the eighth.

Tanner Rusk took the loss for UAB, falling to 0-1 on the season. The right-hander allowed four hits and two runs in relief. Tyler O’Clair went seven complete in his start and gave up five runs and seven hits. Lander led UAB at the plate with a two-hit day, including a solo home run.

The Sycamores will look for their second series sweep of the season on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.

EVANSVILLE BASEBALL: Aces fall to Butler’s hot offense on Saturday

EVANSVILLE – Done in by a hot Butler offense, the University of Evansville baseball team attempted to battle back late, but dropped its Saturday matchup with the Bulldogs, 12-8, at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.

“We were able to get the game tying run to the plate which is all you can ask as a coach when you give up 12 runs,” said Aces head baseball coach Wes Carroll. “However we didn’t play well enough to win in any aspect of the game. Butler’s starter did an outstanding job. Tomorrow is an important day at the Braun.”

Evansville found itself in an early hole on Saturday as the Bulldogs got their offense going early. Butler tallied five runs in the first three innings with two runs in each of the first and second innings and another run in the third to take a 5-0 lead.

The Aces scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth as designated hitter Eric Roberts hit a sacrifice fly to score left fielder Mark Shallenberger.

Butler would answer with a run in the top half of the fifth, but Evansville again was there to chip away at the Bulldogs lead. The Aces pushed across a pair of runs in the fifth, cutting the deficit to three runs at 6-3.

The seventh inning saw Butler push its lead back to four at 7-3 and made it difficult for the Aces in the top of the eighth. The Bulldogs put five runs on the board in the eighth, giving them a 12-3 lead.

As has been true all season, Evansville did not go quietly on the day, popping for three runs in the bottom half of the eighth, fueled by three free bases in the inning.

Trailing 12-6 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Aces again gave themselves a chance. With the bases loaded, catcher Max Malley drove a base hit through the left side, scoring Brinkley and Roberts. After Troy Beilsmith walked in the next plate appearance, Evansville brought the tying run to the plate, but Butler’s Jack Pilcher closed the door with a strikeout to earn the 12-8 win for the Bulldogs.

Evansville and Butler close their series with a rubber match on Sunday at 1 PM at German American Bank Field in Evansville.

OHIO STATE BASEBALL: Buckeyes Drop the Opener at Rutgers 6-5 in Extras

(OSU RELEASE)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – In a good back-and-forth battle, Rutgers got the final punch with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th to take game one of the three-game series, 6-5 in 11 innings.

Ohio State (5-4) scored twice in the top of the 9th to take a 5-4 lead, but Rutgers answered in the bottom of the inning with a run to send the game to extras. After escaping a bases loaded, one-out jam in the 10th, Bayden Root gave up a leadoff double to Cameron Love and he later scored on a sac fly to give Rutgers (5-4) the win.

Sam Wilson and Nick Erwin each had two hits and a double in the game. Connor Pohl hit his third home run of the season, tying the game in the eighth.

Garrett Burhenn made his third start and threw well, going 5.0 innings and allowing just two runs on six hits and striking eight with not walking anyone.

Ohio State got on the board first in the second inning as Nate Karaffa and Mitchell Okuley perfectly executed a double steal to score Okuley from third. Erwin followed with a single to right to score Karaffa and the Buckeyes were in front 2-0. Rutgers got a home run from first baseman Jordan Sweeney in the bottom of the second to cut the lead in half at 2-1.

Ohio State loaded the bases with two outs in the top of third but Colton Bauer struck out to end the threat. Rutgers also loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning for Sweeney. Burhenn was able to get him swinging on a nasty slider to keep the Buckeyes in front.

Rutgers tied the game in the fifth inning as Richie Schiekofer hit a one-out double to score a runner all the way from first. Then in the seventh, Chris Brito, the Big Ten leader in home runs, added to his total with a line shot to left. The solo shot broke the tie and gave Rutgers its first lead of the game.

Pohl’s homer in the eighth was a no-doubter to right. Rutgers took the lead right back with two hits in the bottom of the inning and the Scarlet Knights headed to the ninth with a 4-3 lead.

Bauer led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Karaffa. Erwin then doubled down the left field line to score Bauer and tie the game. Wilson followed with an RBI single and the Buckeyes took a 5-4 lead.

TJ Brock, who came on to get the final out in the eighth, remained on looking for his third save of the season. After a leadoff single, he got the next two guys out but then his 3-0 pitch hit Sweeney in the head. Sweeney was down for quite some time and ultimately left the game. Victor Valderama then hit a chopper up the middle that found its way through. The runner scored from second to tie the game at 5-5.

After a 1-2-3 tenth for the Buckeyes, Rutgers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the tenth, but Bayden Root got two groundouts to end the threat.

In the 11th, Love led off the Scarlet Knight half of the inning with a bloop double to center. Kade Kern made a nice diving attempt but couldn’t quite come up with the ball. Love advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly to center to give Rutgers the 6-5 victory.

Game two of the series is set for 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Seth Lonsway will toe the rubber for the Buckeyes and Rutgers will counter with Ben Wereski.

DAYTON BASEBALL: Baseball Drops Two On Saturday Against Central Michigan

DAYTON – The University of Dayton baseball team fell in two games against Central Michigan on Saturday afternoon. The Flyers fell in a close 5-4 contest in game one before dropping the seven-inning game two 13-3.

Junior Benjamin Blackwell had multiple hits in both games against the Chippewas, raising his season batting average to .339. Graduate student Alex Brickman and senior Mariano Ricciardi each picked up two RBIs over the day offensively for Dayton.

GAME ONE

ON THE MOUND

Junior Dylan Keller drew the start for the Flyers, lasting 2.1 innings on the mound allowing four runs on seven hits, while striking out three. Senior R.J. Wagner entered in relief allowing just one hit in his 1.2 innings of work, with all five of his recorded outs coming via the strikeout.

Sophomore Anthony Hattrup followed going three innings giving up just two hits and also striking out five before being spelled by senior Jonathan Brus, who walked the only batter he faced. Junior Bryce Hellgeth finished the game for the Flyers going two innings, giving up one run on two hits while striking out four.

SCORING PLAYS

Top 1: (2-0 Chippewas)

The Chippewas led off the game with three straight singles, which netted one run. After a wild pitch from Keller put a runner in scoring position, another single to center field made the game 2-0 Central Michigan.

Top 3: (4-0 Chippewas)

CMU led off the third with a single and a stolen base. A ground out to Keller advanced the runner to third and a single up the middle made it 3-0. Another stolen base put a runner in scoring position again and the only hit that Wagner would give up scored the runner from second and gave Central Michigan the fourth run of the game.

Bottom 4: (4-1 Chippewas)

Brickman’s third home run of the season put Dayton on the board and made the game 4-1 CMU.

Bottom 6: (4-2 Chippewas)

Blackwell hit a double to left center field with one out and stole third before Brickman brought home his second RBI of the game with a single through the right side of the infield to cut the lead to two.

Top 9: (5-2 Chippewas)

Central Michigan got a leadoff hit by pitch before a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second. A single to right field brought home CMU’s final run of the game to make it 5-2.

Bottom 9: (5-4 Chippewas)

Senior Riley Tirotta singled to lead off the inning and senior Mitchell Garrity doubled to left field to put two runners in scoring position. A walk by senior Michael Cleary loaded the bases and two batters later Ricciardi hit a single up the middle scoring two runs. Blackwell lined into a double play on the next play to end the game.

GAME TWO

ON THE MOUND

Graduate student Ben Olson got the ball in game two, lasting three innings allowing four runs, one earned, on three hits striking out two. He was relieved by junior Jake Silverstein who went the next two-thirds of an inning allowing two runs, one earned, on one hit and a walk. Graduate student Tyler Jones entered next getting the final out of the inning allowing just one hit and picking up a strikeout.

Junior Thomas Braybrooks and freshman Austin Brush entered next facing four batters before freshman Parker Bard entered. Bard went two innings giving up two runs on three hits while picking up five strikeouts. Redshirt sophomore Nick Maue finished the game on the mound, pitching the seventh, allowing one unearned run on one hit while striking out one.

SCORING PLAYS

Top 2: (2-0 Chippewas)

Central Michigan led off the inning with a single up the middle before a walk put the runner on second. Another base hit followed by an error brought the first run home and put runners on second and third with one out. A groundout to Blackwell brought home the second run of the inning.

Bottom 3: (2-1 Chippewas)

Ricciardi hit a two-out double to left center field and was followed by a base hit by Blackwell to make it a 2-1 game.

Top 4: (6-1 Chippewas)

An error followed by a base hit put two on when Silverstein entered. A walk followed by a single brought the first run home making it 3-1. A strikeout was followed by a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1 when Jones was brought in. A walk was followed by a single to left field, bringing home two more runs and making it a five-run deficit for Dayton.

Bottom 4: (6-2 Chippewas)

Brickman reached on an error with one out and after Tirotta replaced him on a fielder’s choice, graduate student Eddie Pursinger hit one off the left field fence, scoring Tirotta and making it a four-run game.

Top 5: (12-2 Chippewas)

Braybrooks and Brush walked two and hit two batters to allow the first run of the inning to score. Bard entered and gave up a single to left field bringing two more runs home and a double made it 10-2 CMU. After a strikeout, another two-run single made it 12-2 Chippewas.

Bottom 6: (12-3 Chippewas)

Blackwell led off the inning with a double before junior Marcos Pujols brought him home with a double of his own for the third UD run of the game.

Top 7: (13-3 Chippewas)

A leadoff walk was followed by a groundout to Tirotta at third to put the runner in scoring position. A wild pitch moved the runner to third and an error brought the final run home and gave the game it’s final score.

UP NEXT

Dayton will finish the series with Central Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Woerner Field.

CINCINNATI BASEBALL: Baseball Erupts For 22 Runs In Crosstown Road Win

CINCINNATI – A day after it mustered only three hits, the University of Cincinnati baseball team responded by pelting Xavier for 22 runs on 20 hits in a 22-7 win at Hayden Field.

The Bearcats (7-8) belted a season-high five home runs while drawing a season high 11 walks. Cole Harting (2), Tanner Holen (1), Paul Komistek (1) and Jace Mercer (1) all hit round trippers on the day.

Harting had the best day of his young career as the freshman went 6-for-6 with two home runs, five RBIs and a double. He tied the school record for hits in a game, the sixth player in program history to accomplish the feat and the first since Logan Parker had six against West Virginia on May 13, 2006.

Xavier fell to 4-7 on the year as UC evened the four-game series at one win apiece.

Cincinnati broke open a 3-3 game with four runs in the fourth, two in the fifth, six in the sixth, five in the seventh and two in the eighth. It was UC’s first 20-run game since scoring 22 against UConn on May 26, 2019 in the American Athletic Conference Championship and first game with 20 or more hits since 21 against Northwestern on March 21, 2016.

NOTABLE

• Komistek went 4-for-4 with seven runs batted in, a walk and three runs scored.

• Holen was 3-for-5 with four runs scored, 3 RBIs and a walk.

• Mercer had four runs batted in.

• Aiden Bradbury (2-0) picked up the win in relief. He came in with two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the fourth and induced a strikeout to end the threat. He pitched 1.1 innings with two strikeouts.

• Starter Dean McCarthy threw 96 pitches in 4.2 innings, striking out eight, giving up four runs on four hits with five walks.

• Connor Linn and Alex Shea made their collegiate debuts out of the bullpen.

UP NEXT

Sunday’s game will also be played at Hayden Field. The 1 p.m. first pitch features UC LHP Garrett Schoenle (1-0, 6.75) against XU RHP Ethan Bosacker (1-1, 6.10).

PURDUE WOMEN’S SOCCER: Purdue Soccer Hosts Spartans on Sunday

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue soccer team concludes a season-long three-match homestand against Michigan State on Sunday, March 21.

Kickoff at Folk Field is set for 1 p.m. ET.

Fans can watch live on BTN+, and live stats will be available at Purdue.Statbroadcast.com. Updates also can be found by following Purdue Soccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, while direct links to BTN+ and live stats are available at PurdueSports.com/Soccer.

The Boilermakers (3-3-1) are unbeaten in their last three matches after a 1-1 draw at home to Ohio State on Thursday. The Spartans (1-4-1) are coming off an eight-day break from competition after a 7-3 loss at Michigan on March 12.

Purdue is fourth in the Big Ten in shots per match, with 11.43, and fifth in total assists (9) and assists per match (1.29). The Boilermakers have scored eight goals and have 25 points with 80 shots, 33 on goal.

Individually, freshman forward Nicole Kevdzija is second in the conference with two match-winning goals, and redshirt junior forward Sarah Griffith also is No. 2 in the Big Ten with four goals. Griffith is third in the league with 3.43 shots per match, fifth with 0.57 goals per contest and sixth with nine total points.

Along with her team-best four goals and nine points, Griffith paces the squad with 24 shots and 10 shots on goal. Kevdzija is second with three goals, seven points and seven shots on goal, while freshman midfielder Emily Mathews has a team-best two assists and is third in shots (7) and shots on goal (2). In goal, junior Marisa Bova has played all 662 minutes and has allowed seven goals with 22 saves for a 0.95 goals-against average and a .759 save percentage. She has two shutouts and also has an assist.

Griffith has scored in back-to-back matches and in three of Purdue’s last four contests. She enters Sunday’s match with a four-match point streak.

SERIES HISTORY VS. MICHIGAN STATE

Purdue is 9-10-2 all-time against Michigan State after a 2-0 road loss in 2019. The series is knotted at 4-4-2 in West Lafayette.

In last season’s defeat, Julia Ware led the team with two shots and Aly Mielke and Grace Walsh each had shots on goal. Purdue had eight shots, two on goal, and MSU had 12 shots and six shots on goal. Bova made four saves.

SCOUTING THE SPARTANS

Michigan State comes to West Lafayette with a 1-4-1 record and a 0-3-1 mark on the road after a 7-3 defeat at Michigan on March 12. The Spartans have lost four in a row after they opened the year with a draw at Maryland and a win over Nebraska. The team’s match vs. Indiana on Wednesday, March 17, was postponed.

MSU leads the Big Ten with 5.33 saves per match and is No. 6 in total goals (8), goals per match (1.33) and fouls per contest (9.17). The Spartans have five total assists and 21 points.

LAST TIME OUT: GRIFFITH SCORES AGAIN AS BOILERS TIE BUCKEYES

Purdue extended its unbeaten streak to three consecutive matches with a 1-1 draw against Ohio State on March 18 at the Mollenkopf Athletic Center. Griffith scored less than four minutes into the match for the Boilermakers, but the Buckeyes found the equalizer in the 81st minute to avoid being shut out for the first time this season.

Purdue had a 15-13 advantage in shots and Ohio State, which is receiving votes in several national polls, held a 6-5 edge in shots on goal. Through the opening 66 minutes of play, the Boilermakers had 11 shots and the defense limited the Buckeyes to one, while OSU then had a 12-4 shot advantage in the final 55 minutes of action. Bova made several big saves and stopped five of the six shots she faced, all in the final 40 minutes.

Griffith, Kevdzija and Mathews all had three shots and Kevdzija had a team-high two shots on goal.

A complete recap is available at PurdueSports.com/Soccer.

UP NEXT: AT MINNESOTA

Purdue begins its final road trip of the regular season with a matchup at Minnesota on Thursday, March 25. Kickoff in Minneapolis is set for 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT.

INDIANA WOMEN’S SOCCER: Indiana Women’s Soccer Hosts Wisconsin

Indiana Women’s Soccer will take on the Wisconsin Badgers for the first time since 2018 at Bill Armstrong Stadium on Sunday, March 21. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET and will be streamed on Big Ten Network+.

CREDENTIALS

If you are planning on requesting a credential, please let me know by 5 p.m. today, Saturday, March 20.

SCOUTING THE BADGERS

The Badgers improved to 4-2-1 to start the season after defeating Northwestern, 1-0, on Thursday evening. Freshman Ali Fine scored her first career goal off a cross in the 76th minute for the gamewinner. Goalkeeper Jordyn Bloomer recorded the only two saves in victory over the Wildcats and leads the Big Ten in shutouts (5).  Bloomer now has 14 saves on the season.

Sophomores’ Emma Jaskaniec and Claire Odmark leads the offense each scoring a pair. Jaskaniec scored back-to-back gamewinners against Michigan and Illinois this season.

Wisconsin holds a 15-10-3 advantage over Indiana. This is the first match-up between the Hoosiers and the Badgers since October 5, 2018. Indiana is looking for its first win against Wisconsin since September 25, 2016.

LAST TIME OUT

Indiana women’s soccer was scheduled to face the Michigan State Spartans on Wednesday, March 17, but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 related issues in the Spartans’ program. The home game was rescheduled to March 31, for 12 p.m. at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

The Indiana Hoosiers fell to Illinois on Saturday, March 13 at Bill Armstrong Stadium, 1-0. Sophomore Avery Lockwood had the first look on the afternoon on target in the second minute, but the Illinois’ goalkeeper Sami Sample was able to step in for the save. To start the second half, freshman Jen Blitchok looked to put the Hoosiers ahead with an on-target attempt in the 46th minute, but the ball was saved by Sample once again. A foul by the Hoosiers in the 55th minute led to a free kick where the Fighting Illini capitalized from it. Illinois’ Eileen Murphy headed it deep into the far post off a cross from Aleah Treiterer for the lead. Indiana saw its best opportunity inside the box in the 69th and 70th minute from Lockwood and senior Melanie Forbes, but Sample’s hands were too quick. The Hoosiers looked for the equalizer as they outshot the Fighting Illini 8-4 in the second half but couldn’t take advantage as the pressure from the Illini defense was overbearing.

NEW HOOSIERS HAVE IMMEDIATE IMPACT

Indiana women’s soccer welcomed six new freshmen to Hoosier Nation. Four freshmen have earned starts in the first five games of the season – Anna Aehling, Anna Bennett, Gabi Rennie and Jen Blitchok. Sofia Black and Zoe Tiger have also provided great minutes off the bench for the Hoosiers. Bennett and Aehling are the only two freshmen who have started in all five of IU’s games this season. Bennett, Aehling earned their first career point after dishing out assists.

Freshman forward Jen Blitchok recorded her first points after netting a brace in Indiana’s 3-2 victory over Maryland on March 7. She is the second Hoosier to earn a brace this season. Senior Melanie Forbes also scored a pair of goals against Iowa on Feb. 28.

PURDUE WOMEN’S SOCCER: Soccer Hosts Spartans on Sunday

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue soccer team concludes a season-long three-match homestand against Michigan State on Sunday, March 21.

Kickoff at Folk Field is set for 1 p.m. ET.

Fans can watch live on BTN+, and live stats will be available at Purdue.Statbroadcast.com. Updates also can be found by following Purdue Soccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, while direct links to BTN+ and live stats are available at PurdueSports.com/Soccer.

The Boilermakers (3-3-1) are unbeaten in their last three matches after a 1-1 draw at home to Ohio State on Thursday. The Spartans (1-4-1) are coming off an eight-day break from competition after a 7-3 loss at Michigan on March 12.

Purdue is fourth in the Big Ten in shots per match, with 11.43, and fifth in total assists (9) and assists per match (1.29). The Boilermakers have scored eight goals and have 25 points with 80 shots, 33 on goal.

Individually, freshman forward Nicole Kevdzija is second in the conference with two match-winning goals, and redshirt junior forward Sarah Griffith also is No. 2 in the Big Ten with four goals. Griffith is third in the league with 3.43 shots per match, fifth with 0.57 goals per contest and sixth with nine total points.

Along with her team-best four goals and nine points, Griffith paces the squad with 24 shots and 10 shots on goal. Kevdzija is second with three goals, seven points and seven shots on goal, while freshman midfielder Emily Mathews has a team-best two assists and is third in shots (7) and shots on goal (2). In goal, junior Marisa Bova has played all 662 minutes and has allowed seven goals with 22 saves for a 0.95 goals-against average and a .759 save percentage. She has two shutouts and also has an assist.

Griffith has scored in back-to-back matches and in three of Purdue’s last four contests. She enters Sunday’s match with a four-match point streak.

SERIES HISTORY VS. MICHIGAN STATE

Purdue is 9-10-2 all-time against Michigan State after a 2-0 road loss in 2019. The series is knotted at 4-4-2 in West Lafayette.

In last season’s defeat, Julia Ware led the team with two shots and Aly Mielke and Grace Walsh each had shots on goal. Purdue had eight shots, two on goal, and MSU had 12 shots and six shots on goal. Bova made four saves.

SCOUTING THE SPARTANS

Michigan State comes to West Lafayette with a 1-4-1 record and an 0-3-1 mark on the road after a 7-3 defeat at Michigan on March 12. The Spartans have lost four in a row after they opened the year with a draw at Maryland and a win over Nebraska. The team’s match vs. Indiana on Wednesday, March 17, was postponed.

MSU leads the Big Ten with 5.33 saves per match and is No. 6 in total goals (8), goals per match (1.33) and fouls per contest (9.17). The Spartans have five total assists and 21 points.

LAST TIME OUT: GRIFFITH SCORES AGAIN AS BOILERS TIE BUCKEYES

Purdue extended its unbeaten streak to three consecutive matches with a 1-1 draw against Ohio State on March 18 at the Mollenkopf Athletic Center. Griffith scored less than four minutes into the match for the Boilermakers, but the Buckeyes found the equalizer in the 81st minute to avoid being shut out for the first time this season.

Purdue had a 15-13 advantage in shots and Ohio State, which is receiving votes in several national polls, held a 6-5 edge in shots on goal. Through the opening 66 minutes of play, the Boilermakers had 11 shots and the defense limited the Buckeyes to one, while OSU then had a 12-4 shot advantage in the final 55 minutes of action. Bova made several big saves and stopped five of the six shots she faced, all in the final 40 minutes.

Griffith, Kevdzija and Mathews all had three shots and Kevdzija had a team-high two shots on goal.

PURDUE VOLLEYBALL:  14 Blocks Seals Sweep at Rutgers

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – With three Boilermakers registering four or more blocks, Purdue volleyball (11-5) secured a three-set victory at Rutgers (2-14) with scores of 25-15, 25-21, 25-12 to stay undefeated (14-0) against the Scarlet Knights.

With Purdue’s sixth sweep of the season, the Boilermakers improve to 9-1 in its last 10 matches.

Sophomore Emma Ellis recorded a team-leading 10 kills for her second double-digit output of the season. Meanwhile Jael Johnson recorded a season-high .727 hitting mark with her nine kills, one error, on 11 swings. The performance was her second-most efficient match as a Boilermaker (when recording 7 or more kills) and ties as the 8th-best by a Big Ten player this season. Moreover, Johnson produced three solo stuffs, a career-high, on her way to tying fellow middle blocker Taylor Trammell with seven total blocks on the day.

Hayley Bush tallied 30 assists on the day to go with two kills on four attempts, moving up to No. 8 all-time in Purdue’s annals with 3,324 career assists.

Set One | Score: 25-15

The Boilermakers secured five team blocks in the set, led by Cleveland with four. After checking in the match with the score 8-4 in favor of Purdue, Emma Ellis went on to take two of the next three points on her way to a .500 hitting clip in the set (five kills and one error on eight swings).

Set Two | Score: 25-21

Purdue recorded seven blocks in the set to lead the Boilermakers to victory. Johnson went errorless, recording five kills on six attempts for a .833 attack %, in addition to two solo stuffs in the stretch.

Set Three | Score: 25-12

The Boilermakers pulled away from a 3-4 deficit by scoring 14 consecutive points to bring the score 17-4. Ellis secured a .727 hitting clip after going errorless with five kills on seven attempts.

Up Next

Purdue will look to serve No. 9 Ohio State its first home losses of the season with the two-match series scheduled for March 26 and 27 in Columbus, Ohio.

BUTLER VOLLEYBALL: Butler VB drops 3-1 Match at Xavier

CINCINNATI – The Bulldogs ended the regular season with a 3-1 loss at Xavier on Saturday night (18-25, 21-25, 25-17, 23-25). BU went 4-10 during the spring season with a 1-7 mark against conference opponents.

How it Happened

Xavier won the first two sets at the Cintas Center to take control of the action. BU battled back to win the third and avoid the sweep, but the action would end after four with Xavier edging BU 25-23.

Xavier doubled Butler up in the opener at 10-5. Butler got back within three at 17-14, but would not get any closer giving the Musketeers the 1-0 advantage. Butler led the way for a majority of set two, but the home team would come back to knot the score at 19-19. Xavier broke a 21-21 tie to score the final four points and take the 2-0 lead.

Butler got back at it in the third to earn a win. They led 7-3 early and would move along to take a 17-10 lead after a kill from Amina Shackelford. BU took a timeout with a 20-16 lead and would score two-straight out of the stoppage. Davidson and Shackelford would get kills down the stretch and BU would win 25-17.

The fourth looked promising for BU as the ‘Dawgs scored the first three points to build their lead. A 6-1 advantage would quickly disappear and Xavier would get momentum on their side with an 8-6 lead. The two teams came together at 10-10, but Xavier scored three-straight soon after. Butler called timeout and got a point off a service error, but the match would be decided on a four-point run moving the score to 17-11. Butler fought hard to the final serve and would get back within one point at 23-24, but the Musketeers called timeout and got a match-winning kill from Kelly Franxman.

Stat of the Match

Jaymeson Kinley led the BU defense with 23 digs.

Inside the Box Score

– Maria Schorr posted a double-double with 29 assists and 12 digs

– Brittany Robinson also reached a double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs

– Caroline Cleveland stepped up with 18 digs

– Melody Davidson impacted the action with 11 kills

– Elana Brueggemann had four kills and four blocks

– Marisa Guisti led the team with five blocks

BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL: WVB Hangs Banner, Celebrates Senior Kia Holder

MUNCIE, Ind. — Despite the outcome of Saturday’s match, it was a festive day inside Worthen Arena for the Ball State women’s volleyball team which hung a new banner and celebrated the program’s lone senior, Kia Holder.

“Kia is someone that gives it her all every day,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “She is such a hard worker, not just when it comes to playing volleyball, but off the court and in the weight room too. She is someone who enjoys working hard. She is one of those people who leads and is a real role model for our younger players on how to work hard. It has been a pleasure coaching someone like that.”

The day started with Ball State Athletics recognizing the accomplishments of the 2019 team which captured the 2019 Mid-American Conference Tournament championship to earn a berth into the NCAA Tournament.

That was done with the unveiling of the program’s newest championship banner, which completed a section in the Worthen Arena rafters which now features nine such hangings.

After the match, the Cardinals (8-10, 8-10 Mid-American Conference) honored Holder with a touching tribute video including some of her closest teammates before the traditional on-court ceremony.

It was a fine COVID-era tribute to Holder who was the MVP of the 2019 MAC Tournament and has been the glue of the program both on and off the court this season.

“Kia’s been a leader for our team since they arrived on campus,” Phillips said. “It is hard being the only senior on a super young team, but she is just so genuine to them and has taken them under her wing. She hasn’t separated herself as a senior, she has shown them that she is one of them. That has meant a lot to the entire group. They feel included and feel like a part of her journey.”

Including tonight’s 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 22-25, 20-25) loss to the Chippewas (10-9, 10-9 MAC) in which she led the Ball State offense with 11 kills, Holder has been Ball State’s main offensive threat over the last 28 matches, smashing double digit kills in 21 of those matches.

“I’m very blessed to be in the position I am in,” Holder said. “But it’s not over. I still have a couple more matches and we are going to do what we can to get where we can, if we have the opportunity to get into the tournament.”

She has also made strides in other aspects of her game this season, evolving into a well-rounded player. To go along with her team-leading 11 kills Saturday, Holder tied her career-high with six total blocks and added four digs.

“I have definitely been very, very blessed to be able to play this game, and at this level and on this team.” Holder added. “All the girls that I have played with in the past, and the girls that are on the team now are just an absolute blessing to me.”

In addition to Holder’s strong play Saturday, sophomore middle Marie Plitt did her best to send Holder out with a win in her final match inside Worthen Arena, tallying a career-high 11 total blocks. Plitt is the first Ball State player to log double-digit blocks in a match since Meg Starling collected 10 versus Idaho State on Oct. 28. 2017.

Plitt also connected for nine kills and tallied five digs. Overall, Ball State finished the contest with a season-high 18 total blocks.

In the backcourt, sophomore libero Natalie Risi was credited with a career-high 26 digs, pacing four players in double figures. Freshman defensive specialist Kate Vinson also collected a career-high 16 digs, while redshirt sophomore Esther Grussing earned her fourth double-double of the season with 31 assists and a career-high tying 15 digs.

Savannah Thompson once again led the Central Michigan attack with 21 kills, while Chippewas libero Kendall Braate tallied a match-high 28 digs.

The Ball State women’s volleyball team closes the 2020-21 regular season next week with three matches. The first, a 7 p.m. first serve Tuesday at Miami.

MIAMI VOLLEYBALL: Miami Sweeps Weekend Series with 3-1 Saturday Win Against EMU

OXFORD, Ohio—For the first time since the opening weekend of the season, the Miami University volleyball team (10-8 overall/Mid-American Conference) completed a two-match weekend sweep, defeating Eastern Michigan University (7-10 overall/MAC) on Saturday night at Millett Hall in four sets, 21-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-22.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

The first set was a back-and-forth battle with neither team leading by more than two until Eastern Michigan rattled off three-straight points to turn a 22-21 edge into a 25-21 win in the opening set. Junior Sophie Riemersma accounted for eight of the RedHawks’ 15 kills in the opening set, while senior Avarie Powell notched five kills.

After a 7-7 tie in the second set, Miami used a 7-0 run, fueled by four kills from senior Sarah Wojick, to push ahead to a 14-7 advantage. The RedHawks extended their lead to nine three times, the last coming at 22-13. Back-to-back kills by sophomore Allyson Severance iced the set for the Red and White, 25-17.

The RedHawks used an 8-2 run, highlighted by service aces from senior Abigail Huser and Severance to push ahead to a 14-7 lead and cruised to the 25-15 win in the third set. Powell had four kills to account for four of Miami’s last five points, while junior Gaby Harper clinched the set for MU with a kill. The RedHawks connected on 16 of 32 attacks with just one error to hit an impressive .469 in the set.

Neither team led by more than two in the fourth set until the Eagles took a 15-12 lead. Miami battled back to take an 18-17 lead off a block by Powell and Severance. The teams continued to trade blows. Kills from Harper and freshman Abby Stratford, followed by a Powell service ace handed Miami a 23-21 advantage. Another kill from Harper and an EMU attack error handed Miami the match with a 25-22 win in the second set.

NOTES:

Powell led Miami with 16 kills, hitting an impressive .438 for the night, while adding five blocks.

Severance tallied 14 kills, also hitting an impressive .438, and making no attack errors. She also tied a career high in service aces with four and set a career high with 14 digs.

Wojick tallied 10 kills, 14 digs and four blocks.

Huser notched 21 digs, while Harper added 13.

Senior Morgan Seaman amassed 55 assists.

UP NEXT:

The RedHawks round out a three-match home stretch, hosting Ball State at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23 in the final regular-season home match for Miami.

BUTLER FOOTBALL: San Diego Drops Butler Football 27-13

SAN DIEGO – San Diego recorded a 27-13 home win over Butler on Saturday afternoon to improve to 2-0 on the season. With the setback, but moves to 0-2 on the year.

How it Happened

San Diego led 10-3 after the first quarter and would add one final TD in the fourth to secure their 27-13 victory. JJ Wadas hit a field goal from 38-yards out in the first quarter to post the first Bulldog points of the afternoon. BU would find the end zone for the first time in the second quarter when Sam Brown hit Kavon Samuels for a gain of 12. That TD took the two teams into the half with SD leading 17-10.

The two teams exchanged field goals in the third. Eickert hit from 25 yards for San Diego and Wadas came back out on the field to give BU three with a 27-yard make. The final points on Saturday went to the home team in the fourth quarter as Mason Randall hit Derek Kline with a two-yard pass for pay dirt.

Stat of the Game

Isaac Kolosik had eight tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.

Inside the Box Score

– Sam Brown passed for 209 yards; completing 13 of his 27 pass attempts

– Kavon Samuels rushed for 35 yards on 14 carries

– Yogi Flager led Butler with 88 receiving yards

– Johnny O’Shea impacted the game with six grabs for 86 yards

– Gabe Hicks led Butler with 10 tackles

– Jordan Casselberry and Bradley Magee were each credited for half a sack

What’s Next

Butler will play at Valparaiso next Saturday. The Hoosier Helmet will be on the line for a 2 PM kick-off.

BUTLER MEN’S SOCCER: Nasser’s Golden Goal Helps Butler MSoccer Complete the Season Sweep Over DePaul

A golden goal in the 93rd minute from Hemi Nasser lifted the Bulldogs to a 1-0 win over DePaul in Chicago, Ill. on Saturday afternoon. The win moves Butler to 2-5-2, 2-1-2 in the BIG EAST as the Blue Demons shifts to 2-3-2, 2-3-0 in conference.

Butler and DePaul vied for possession throughout most of the first 45 minutes of play. The Blue Demons tightened up their defense from the first match-up of the season, limiting the Bulldogs to just one shot the entire first period.

Things got physical after halftime, as all four yellow cards (three on the Bulldogs) were handed out in the last 23 minutes of regulation. Butler came up with four shots in the second half, forcing DePaul’s goalkeeper to make two saves.

All five of Butler’s corner kick opportunities came in the second period, including three within in the 77th minute, but the Bulldogs could not convert. For the fourth time this season, Butler found itself heading to extra time.

Ultimately, the Bulldogs only needed three overtime minutes for Tommy Visser to send cross from the left wing that allowed Nasser to head in the game-winner.

The golden goal from Nasser was his first goal since scoring in Butler’s season-opener on Feb. 5 against SIU-Edwardsville. He had an assist against Creighton earlier this week. Nasser is one of five Bulldogs to score a goal this season.

Gabriel Gjergji earned his fourth shutout of the year and picked up a save in the first period. Gjergji has played every minute between the pipes for Butler, which includes a total 53 overtime minutes this season.

Butler earns the 2-0 sweep over DePaul for the year as a result of the BIG EAST divisional home-and-home schedule for the 2021 spring season. 

The Bulldogs will have a mid-week bye before heading to Milwaukee, Wis. for a match-up with Marquette on Saturday, March 27.

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY- 1999

Dr. Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss psychiatrist, and Brian Jones, his British copilot, became the first balloonists to circle the world nonstop on this date when they completed their 19-day odyssey over an invisible finish line in Mauritania. The following article appeared in The Times two days later.

GENEVA-As Dr. Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones stepped from a plane in Cairo today, a trumpeter played the “Triumphal March” from “Aida” and a thunderous cheer rose from the dignitaries and well-wishers who had gathered at Geneva International Airport. In their dark blue flight suits, the champion pilots raised their arms in a victory salute and beamed at the crowd under a cold drizzle and overcast sky that included children who had the day off from school.

In a brief welcoming speech, Vice President Adolphe Ogi referred to Antoine de Saint-ŠxupÈry’s famous children’s book, saying, “Our little prince came down from the sky and landed in the desert among us.” On Saturday, Dr. Piccard, 41, and Mr. Jones, who will be 52 next Saturday, completed a historic 19-day trip around the world in their Brietling Orbiter 3 balloon when they flew over an invisible finish line at 9 degrees 27 minutes west longitude in Mauritania. More than a score of pilots had tried to go around the world in a balloon before. All failed.

Among the crowd that met the two pilots here was Richard Branson, the billionaire balloonist who was one of Dr. Piccards’s main rivals in round-the-world attempts. The most recent of those ended on Dec. 25 with a ditching in the ocean near Hawaii.

Dr. Piccard and Mr. Jones spoke of a “mysterious invisible hand” that had seemingly opened their way. After the craft had passed Puerto Rico, he related, calculations suggested that their slow speed would leave them out of fuel well short of their destination. “And then,” Mr. Jones said, “suddenly the speed started to increase very rapidly, up to 150 miles an hour, and I just threw all my calculations away.”

Bertrand Piccard comes from a family famous for daring, inventiveness and breaking altitude records in the air and depth records at sea. His grandfather, Dr. Auguste Piccard, also a medical doctor, invented the pressurized balloon crew gondola, allowing flights to very high altitudes. He became the first human to ascend into the stratosphere, at more than 50,000 feet, and also invented a deep-diving immersible called the Bathyscaphe. Auguste’s son, Jacques Piccard, Bertrand’s father, used the Bathyscaphe to descend to the deepest place on earth-the Marianas Trench, 35,815 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

The British millionaire Richard Branson has made four unsuccessful attempts to circle the globe. In July 2002 Steve Fossett of Chicago became the first balloonist to do it alone.

1964: Coach John Wooden won the first of his 10 N.C.A.A. titles at U.C.L.A. as the Bruins defeated Duke University, coached by Vic Bubas, 98‚83. U.C.L.A.’s Gail Goodrich scored 27 points and Kenny Washington had 26 points and 12 rebounds.

1946: One year before Jackie Robinson reached the major leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers, halfback Kenny Washington signed with the Los Angeles Rams, becoming the first black player in the N.F.L. He played until 1948.

1970: Vinko Bogataj, a little-known ski jumper from Yugoslavia, tumbled down a ramp at the International Ski Flying Championship in Oberstdorf, West Germany. His fall became perhaps the most frequently viewed scene in sports history when ABC-TV’s “Wide World of Sports” for many years made it part of its videotaped opener to illustrate the “agony of defeat.”

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1908       Detroit outfielder Ty Cobb signs for $4000, with an $800 bonus if he hits over .300. The 21 year-old ‘Georgia Peach’ will finish the season with a league-leading .324 batting average for the first-place Tigers.

1936       The Reds trade first baseman Jim Bottomley for the Browns’ utility player Johnny Burnett, who will never appear in a game for his new team. The former Cincinnati infielder will play two seasons with St. Louis, finishing his 16-year Hall of Fame career with a lifetime .310 batting average.

1943       The A’s trade Bob Johnson to the Senators for Jimmy Pofahl and Bobby Estalella. The former Philadelphia’s fan-favorite outfielder will make the All-Star squad for Washington and will receive consideration for the Most Valuable Player award.

1957       The owners will receive 9.3 million dollars in revenue for the 1957 TV-Radio rights. The breakdown includes $3.2 million for the World Series/All-Star rights, $1.26 million for two Saturday games of the week, and the remaining $4.84 million for local right fees.

1959       The Indians trade Larry Doby to the Tigers for Tito Francona. The deal turns out to be a great swap for the Tribe when their new outfielder hits .363, while Doby will play in just 16 games for Detroit.

1962       In a ceremony before the spring training game against New York in Clearwater, the Phillies honor the visiting Robin Roberts, who was sold to the Yankees in the off-season, by retiring his uniform number 36, the familiar numerals he wore for 14 seasons with Philadelphia. The future Hall of Fame right-hander starts the exhibition game by giving up four runs in three innings but gets credit for the win in the Bronx Bombers’ 13-10 victory over his former team.

1965       In an exhibition game, Gary Kroll and Gordie Richardson combine to keep Pittsburgh hitless for nine innings in the Mets’ 6-0 win in St. Petersburg. The first no-hitter thrown during the regular season in franchise history won’t occur until 2012 when Johan Santana accomplishes the feat against St. Louis.

1966       In a spring training game in Houston’s Astrodome, the Dodgers and Astros become the first major league teams to play on artificial grass. The material, which will become known as AstroTurf, was developed by Monsanto to overcome the team’s inability to grow grass indoors.

1968       The new American League team in Kansas City announces its nickname. The expansion club, which will join the circuit in 1969, will now be known as the “Royals,” paying tribute to the Negro League Monarchs that played in the City of Fountains from 1920 through 1965.

1973       In an exhibition game against the Mets, Fritz Peterson appears in his first game since going public about swapping families with Yankee teammate Mike Kekich. Many of the 4,320 fans at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg roundly boo the 31 year-old southpaw, but he goes the first five innings, picking up the win in the Bronx Bombers’ 6-2 victory over their crosstown rivals.

1975       Georgia Tech blanks Earlham (IN), 41-0, setting the NCAA mark for the largest margin of victory. In 1999, Nebraska will break the record, which had been equaled by West Chester (PA), with a 50-3 win over Chicago State at Buck Beltzer Stadium.

1978       In a surprise move, Padres manager Alvin Dark becomes the second manager ever fired during spring training after being told that he was having difficulties communicating with his players. San Diego names Roger Craig, the club’s pitching coach, as the interim skipper.

2002       The Phillies make public the one-day regular-season suspension of Larry Bowa handed down by Major League Baseball vice president for on-field operations Bob Watson. The action comes as a result of the Philadelphia’s manager’s “inappropriate conduct toward the umpire” when he became enraged with the home plate umpire over two close calls on checked swings during an exhibition game against the Indians on March 9.

2011       Citing a lack of velocity and command, Mets GM Sandy Alderson announces the release of 29 year-old southpaw Oliver Perez, who is still owed $12 million on his deal. The roster move marks the second time in four days that the team has cut a player having a considerable contract, with second baseman Luis Castillo asked to leave despite his $6 million price tag.

2013       David Wright is named the captain of the Mets, joining John Franco, Keith Hernandez, and Gary Carter as the fourth player to be honored by the franchise. The 30 year-old third baseman, who signed an eight-year, $138 million contract in November, will be one of the current three major leaguers, along with Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, to have the title with their club.

2018       The Cleburne Railroaders’ first baseman Rafael Palmeiro becomes the oldest player in professional baseball history to homer in a game when he goes deep against Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks starter Trey McNutt in the American Association independent team’s 4-3 home loss at the Depot. The 53 year-old former major league All-Star batted sixth in the lineup, behind his 28-year-old son Patrick, who plays the corner infield spots for the second-year club.

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Philadelphia2913.69019-410-97-221-78-21 W
Brooklyn2814.6671.016-612-85-215-108-21 L
Milwaukee2714.6591.516-511-98-016-79-16 W
Miami2220.5247.012-910-115-413-137-32 L
Atlanta2220.5247.011-911-113-313-128-28 W
New York2121.5008.012-79-141-514-136-41 W
Charlotte2021.4888.512-88-135-111-95-53 L
Boston2021.4888.512-78-143-514-125-53 L
Indiana1822.45010.07-1211-104-211-123-71 W
10 Chicago1822.45010.09-149-82-28-104-62 L
11 Toronto1724.41511.58-109-143-512-151-97 L
12 Washington1525.37513.08-147-111-65-173-71 W
13 Cleveland1526.36613.510-115-152-511-125-51 L
14 Orlando1427.34114.59-135-144-410-161-91 W
15 Detroit1229.29316.57-115-180-78-173-72 W
 
Western Conference
 WLPctConf GBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Utah3011.73216-214-93-213-65-51 W
Phoenix2713.6752.514-813-54-218-87-31 W
LA Lakers2814.6672.514-914-52-419-86-41 L
LA Clippers2716.6284.014-613-106-216-94-61 W
Denver2516.6105.012-813-87-114-108-23 W
Portland2516.6105.014-711-93-415-117-33 W
San Antonio2217.5647.010-1012-74-612-145-51 L
Dallas2119.5258.511-910-105-112-136-41 L
Golden State2221.5129.013-79-143-612-134-61 L
10 Memphis1920.48710.010-139-73-59-145-51 W
11 Oklahoma City1724.41513.08-129-122-69-165-52 L
12 New Orleans1724.41513.012-105-144-39-163-72 L
13 Sacramento1725.40513.59-128-133-48-115-51 L
14 Houston1129.27518.55-146-154-58-140-1019 L
15 Minnesota1032.23820.55-145-183-57-183-71 L

NHL STANDINGS

East
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Washington Capitals31207444181069210-4-210-3-28-2-0
New York Islanders3220844418967213-1-27-7-28-2-0
Pittsburgh Penguins31191113916998612-3-07-8-17-3-0
Boston Bruins281684361477667-3-19-5-35-3-2
Philadelphia Flyers29151133314931057-5-28-6-14-6-0
New York Rangers3013134301289796-6-37-7-15-4-1
New Jersey Devils2810144241069894-11-26-3-23-5-2
Buffalo Sabres296194164611012-11-24-8-20-9-1
 
West
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Vegas Golden Knights2821614321946312-2-19-4-08-2-0
Colorado Avalanche2919824019976512-4-17-4-18-1-1
Minnesota Wild29181013718877510-3-08-7-16-4-0
St. Louis Blues3116105371496994-7-312-3-25-2-3
Arizona Coyotes3113135311177927-7-36-6-24-4-2
Los Angeles Kings2912116301185835-4-47-7-23-4-3
San Jose Sharks2911144267831033-6-28-8-23-5-2
Anaheim Ducks329176248711105-11-34-6-33-6-1
 
North
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Toronto Maple Leafs322010242201078311-6-19-4-14-6-0
Edmonton Oilers342113042211169712-8-09-5-07-3-0
Winnipeg Jets311811238181009110-5-18-6-15-4-1
Montreal Canadiens3114893713100876-5-28-3-74-2-4
Vancouver Canucks35161633513991119-7-27-9-17-2-1
Calgary Flames3215143331487978-5-17-9-25-4-1
Ottawa Senators3310203238871306-6-34-14-03-5-2
 
Central
 GPWLOTLPtsROWGFGAHomeRoadL10
Tampa Bay Lightning30226246211107012-2-010-4-27-2-1
Florida Panthers30206444191028310-4-310-2-17-2-1
Carolina Hurricanes30207343161017810-1-310-6-07-1-2
Columbus Blue Jackets32131273311861037-5-56-7-25-3-2
Chicago Blackhawks32141353312951067-4-27-9-33-6-1
Dallas Stars271010727977716-4-54-6-24-3-3
Nashville Predators31131712711731007-7-06-10-13-6-1
Detroit Red Wings32101842410711047-8-33-10-14-5-1