SECTIONAL BOYS BASKETBALL-WEDNESDAY
|Lake Central||69||East Chicago Central||36|
|South Bend Adams||65||Plymouth||38|
|Mount Vernon (Fortville)||40||Richmond||34|
|Lawrence North||75||Indianapolis Cathedral||63|
|Warren Central||74||Lawrence Central||64|
|Twin Lakes||61||Benton Central||55|
|Fort Wayne Luers||78||Garrett||50|
|Brownstown Central||64||Owen Valley||62|
|Illiana Christian||73||Lake Station||53|
|Fort Wayne Canterbury||70||South Adams||63|
|Northeastern C. Lumpkin 16 Vanlandingham 15 Hunt 14||65||Centerville||25|
|Shenandoah||57||Cambridge City Lincoln||23|
|North Putnam||61||South Putnam||48|
|North Central (Farmersburg)||71||Eminence||50|
|Providence Cristo Rey||63||Victory College Prep||56|
|Indianapolis Lutheran||77||Christel House Academy||40|
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#10 Villanova 72 #14 Creighton 60
#11 Florida State 93 Boston College 64
#19 San Diego State 71 UNLV 62
St. Joseph’s 72 LaSalle 66
George Washington 53 Fordham 49
Syracuse 64 Clemson 54
Missouri 72 Florida 70
Wichita State 78 Tulane 70
Boston University 69 Lehigh 58
Connecticut 69 Seton Hall 58
North Carolina State 80 Notre Dame 69
St. John’s 81 Providence 67
Penn State 84 Minnesota 65
Oregon State 75 Utah 70
Florida A&M 65 North Carolina Central 58
Sam Houston 84 Texas A&M-CC 61
Colorado State 87 New Mexico 73
Belmont 78 Southern Illinois Edwardsville 61
Houston Baptist 72 Incarnate Word 67
New Orleans 92 Northwestern State 83
Central Arkansas 88 SE. Louisiana 71
Mississippi State 63 Texas A&M 57
Oregon 82 UCLA 74
Northwestern 60 Maryland 55
Idaho State 68 Eastern Washington 63
Abilene Christian 63 Stephen F Austin 61
USC 70 Stanford 42
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#11 Indiana 89 Iowa 80
#18 West Virginia 72 Kansas State 64
Toledo 82 Western Michigan 73
Oregon State 71 California 63
Boston College 67 Pittsburgh 56
Tennessee Martin 65 Eastern Illinois 56
Florida 69 Auburn 62
Nevada 59 Air Force 56
Buffalo 75 Miami Ohio 70
USC 71 Arizona state 65
Akron 71 Ohio 67
Bowling Green 82 Kent State 65
Central Michigan 87, Ball State 81 2OT
Northern Illinois 75 Eastern Michigan 66
Iowa State 83 Kansas 53
Washington State 57 Utah 48
Washington 68 Colorado 54
Washington 2 Boston 1
Toronto 6 Edmonton 1
St. Louis 3 Anaheim 2
Vegas 5 Minnesota 1
Arizona 3 Los Angeles 2
Colorado 4 San Jose 0
MLB SPRING TRAINING
Arizona 9 Cleveland 4
Kansas City 6 Chicago White Sox 5
Seattle 8 Chicago Cubs 8
LA Angels 6 Texas 2
Milwaukee 8 San Diego 5
Colorado 10 Oakland 7
Cincinnati 4 LA Dodgers 4
Philadelphia 4 Detroit 2
Boston 14 Minnesota 6
Baltimore 8 Atlanta 1
Miami 8 Washington 5
St. Louis 14 NY Mets 9
Tampa Bay 3 Pittsburgh 1
NY Yankees 4 Toronto 1
INDIANA WBB: No. 10 Hoosiers Sweep Iowa For First Time Since 1994 In 89-80 Win
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 10 Indiana scored 51 points in the second half as it surged past Iowa, 89-80, to win its eight-straight game on Wednesday afternoon inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Redshirt junior guard Nicole Cardaño Hillary scored on the first possession of the game on the first possession as Indiana and Iowa would exchange points for most of the first quarter. The Hoosiers were able to pull ahead of the Hawkeyes 15-13 after two made baskets by senior guard Ali Patberg and junior guard Grace Berger. A bucket by the Hawkeyes tied the game up at 15 but Berger banked a floater as the buzzer rang to give the Hoosiers the two-point advantage at the quarter break.
Iowa took a 23-17 lead off a 6-0 run to open the second frame which forced an Indiana timeout. Out of the break, sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes got the scoring going for Indiana with a second chance layup. Trying to cut into Iowa’s lead, Patberg hit the jumper before Berger would score the next six points for Indiana making the score 32-29.
An and-1 from Patberg gave the Hoosiers the momentum late in the quarter but the Hawkeyes offense would stay hot with a 6-0 run to take a 43-38 lead into halftime.
Berger and Holmes hit double-figures in the second quarter. Berger had a team-high 12 while Holmes added 10 on 5-for-7 shooting
Holmes got the first basket to open up the third quarter, but it would be another back-and-forth battle. Inching towards the lead with baskets by junior guard Aleksa Gulbe, Berger and Patberg, Cardaño-Hillary gave Indiana the lead 52-51 which forced the Hawkeyes to call a timeout. Iowa scored coming out of the break to regain control, but the Hoosiers would answer back with a pair of free throws by Patberg and a layup by Holmes. A made 3-pointer by Cardaño-Hillary flipped the lead back to Indiana but a jumper at the other end would tie the ball game.
Scoring six unanswered points, Indiana turned the contest on its head and pulled ahead 65-59 to end the third quarter of the contest and take the lead for the remainder of the contest.
Patberg made a splash to begin the final frame with a shot from the behind arc extending the Hoosiers lead to nine.
Holmes gave Indiana their largest lead, 74-64, of the contest with one made free throw at the line. Despite being out to a 10-point lead, Iowa wouldn’t go away as they made back-to-back 3-pointers to stay alive and cut the lead to four.
A pair of free throws by Patberg and a layup by Holmes cushioned the advantage down the stretch.
With the win the Hoosiers have now won eight straight games.
Indiana sweeps the season series with Iowa for the first time since the 1993-94 season.
The Hoosiers won their 15th Big Ten game of the season, which ties the school record from the 1982-83 season.
Indiana had four players scored in double figures and three with 20 or more points. Patberg, Berger and Holmes combined for 66 points, each scoring 22 on the afternoon.
Tied 59-59 in the third quarter, the Hoosiers closed the period on a 6-0 run and took a 65-59 lead into the fourth quarter. Patberg extended it to a 9-0 run when she opened the fourth period with a three-point basket to put the Hoosiers up, 68-59.
Berger scored 22 points, her 10th career game and sixth this season scoring 20 or more points.
Holmes scored 22 points, her 10th career game of eighth this season scoring 20 or more points. Holmes added 11 rebounds for her seventh career double-double.
Patberg scored 22 points, her 21st career game and fifth of this season scoring 20 or more points.
There were 12 lead changes in the game and eight ties.
Indiana scored 56 points in the paint and held a 56-38 advantage in that category over Iowa.
The Hoosiers shot 57.6 percent from the field, their eighth game this season shooting over 50 percent.
After allowing Iowa to shoot 60.7 percent in the first half, Indiana limited the Hawkeyes to 43.8 percent in the second half.
Indiana grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, which they converted to 21 second chance points.
Indiana head coach Teri Moren
“What a great afternoon for us. What a great team Iowa is. The level of respect we have for Coach Bluder and her staff and those players. What a great talent Caitlin Clark is going to be in this league. She is difficult to guard. The things that I am pleased with are having four kids in double digits in scoring today. We outrebounded them and took it to the free-throw line. But probably the stat and the number that jumps off the page for me is our second chance points that we had, 21, from getting those 13 offensive rebounds. A few of those came in timely possessions. Nikki (Nicole Cardaño-Hilary) had a big one, and I thought the last one Leks (Aleksa Gulbe) got was a difficult rebound to go get, but it also took Caitlin Clark out of the game with her fifth foul. I am really happy for our game. We always remind them at halftime that it is a 40-minute game. Even though, we were down in there, we challenged them. I thought Iowa’s energy was better in the first half. They just seemed to want the ball and the game a little bit more. Once we fixed that, I thought we came out in the second half and did some really good things to get the lead, build the lead, and hold onto the lead. I thought Mack (Mackenzie Holmes) was much better in the second half. (Monika) Czinano really struggled guarding her. I am really happy and pleased that we continue to keep our head down and keep showing up and finding ways to win games. Today, was a big one. That was a really good Iowa team that we beat.”
Indiana closes out the regular season on Saturday when it hosts Purdue in the annual Barn Burner game. Tip is set for 1 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network Plus.
INDIANA BASEBALL: Indiana Baseball Ready for Start of Season
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – It has been nearly a year since the Indiana baseball team last played a competitive game.
Friday afternoon, IU gets the chance to go at it again with the first of a four-game weekend in Minneapolis, Minn. to begin a 44-game conference-only season.
This weekend will see the Hoosiers play two games with Rutgers and two games with the host school Minnesota inside U.S. Bank Field.
The long layoff combined with a shortened 2020 season provides an added sense of excitement to an IU club that won the Big Ten outright in 2019 and was the No. 2 seed in the Louisville Regional.
“We can go fight and compete against someone else and have fun with it hopefully,” IU head coach Jeff Mercer said.
One unique aspect of this season will be the added amount of depth that IU has to utilize. With the cancellation of last season, players were eligible to return for an extra season.
That means players such as senior shortstop Jeremy Houston and catcher Collin Hopkins return to Bloomington to provide stability and veteran presence to the lineup.
“If we can stop the musical chairs at some point, it allows everyone to settle in and do their job,” Mercer said. “That’s normally how we’re going to operate.”
IU returns plenty of talent in the field and the plate. Sophomore outfielder Grant Richardson has earned a number of preseason All-American looks after his strong start to last year. Junior infielder Cole Barr also returns to the middle of the Hoosier lineup that had a lot of early success.
Even with all the offensive prowess on the IU roster, the rotation has the potential to be just as strong.
Sophomores Gabe Bierman and McCade Brown, junior Tommy Sommer and redshirt freshman Ty Bothwell will all be featured in this weekend’s rotation.
Just like last season, Bierman will get the ball in the season opener against Rutgers with the chance to give IU some immediate success.
“We want to be the best version of ourselves in the last month but now we need to be the best version of ourselves today and still plan on being our best at the end of the season,” Mercer said.
While the rest of college baseball started two weeks ago, the Big Ten conference delayed the normal baseball start date by a handful of weeks. As IU works back into the flow of a season, Mercer believes it is much health wise than it normally is.
“The blessing and the curse of this is that we are more physically prepared than we were two weeks ago,” Mercer said. “I’m glad we had that time.”
IU will open with two games on Friday against Rutgers at 4:00 p.m. EST and Minnesota following that at 8:00 p.m. EST. All games this weekend will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network Plus.
INDIANA WSOCCER: No. 24 Indiana Travels East to No. 13 Penn State for Top-25 Showdown
No. 24 Indiana Women’s Soccer will travel east for a Top-25 showdown with the No. 13 Penn State Nittany Lions at 4:30 p.m. ET in University Park, Pa. The match will be streamed on Big Ten Network+.
SCOUTING THE NITTANY LIONS
Penn State is coming off a three-game road trip where they went 2-1 to start the season after dropping its first game versus Rutgers. On Sunday, the Nittany Lions defeated Illinois, 2-0, with a pair of goals scored by seniors Sam Coffey and Frankie Tagliaferri. Goalkeeper Katherine Asman earned her first shutout of the year with four saves against the Fighting Illini in 90 minutes. The Nittany Lions are led by Erica Dambach who enters her 14th season as head coach for Penn State. Through 13 seasons, she has led Penn State to a 219-73-20 mark. In 2019, the Nittany Lions won 11 straight games en route to winning the Big Ten Championship. Dambach also led Penn State to its seventh appearance in the NCAA Round of 16 or better. Penn State leads the series 25-1-2 and won the last meeting 1-0 in Bloomington, Ind. on October 10, 2019.
LAST TIME OUT
On Sunday, Indiana defeated Iowa, 2-0, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The Hoosiers scored early in the match. Off a breakaway by sophomore Avery Lockwood, she was able to find the right foot of senior Melanie Forbes on the right flank to send it into the far post. Another goal by Forbes, after a failed clearing attempt by the Hawkeyes, in the 30th minute would put Indiana up, 2-0, at the half. The Hawkeyes came out of the locker room and fired four shots, but Indiana’s backline held strong to secure the shutout.
HOOSIERS RANKED #24 IN UNITED COACHES POLL
The Indiana women’s soccer team is ranked #24 after the United Coaches Soccer Poll was released on Tuesday afternoon after opening the season with a 2-1 record. This is the first time since Oct. 27, 2009 that the Hoosiers have been ranked in this poll. Indiana was last ranked #24 on Oct. 20, 2009. The highest ranking achieved by Indiana is #22 twice in 2009 on Sept. 15 and Oct. 13.
FORBES AND KOPEL EARN BIG TEN WEEKLY AWARDS
Indiana women’s soccer senior Melanie Forbes was named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week, in addition to earning TopDrawerSoccer’s player of the week. These accolades come off of Forbes’ gamewinning goals in back-to-back games for the Hoosiers. In overtime, Forbes scored the gamewinner in the 94th minute against Rutgers on Thursday Feb. 25. She gave the Hoosiers their first win of the season at Bill Armstrong Stadium. On Sunday Feb. 28, Indiana defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes, 2-0, as Forbes netted a brace to put the Hoosiers ahead. Her first goal was assisted by sophomore Avery Lockwood in the eighth minute for her second gamewinner of the season. Forbes netted a goal in the 30th minute unassisted to secure the Hoosier win which ties her single season career high.
Senior goalkeeper Bethany Kopel was named Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week award on Tuesday afternoon. This is the first time in her career that Kopel has earned this award. In three matches, she has had 11 saves and two consecutive shutouts. Kopel continues to add to the Indiana women’s soccer program record in shutouts as she leads with 20.
ENTERING VAN BENNEKOM’S SECOND YEAR
In the first season with head coach Erwin van Bennekom at the helm, Indiana went 8-9-2 on the year and advanced to the program’s 14th appearance in the Big Ten Tournament. He named the fourth coach in Indiana Women’s Soccer history on Dec. 4, 2018 after spending the last four seasons at Duke as associate head coach. His time at Duke was the most successful stretch in the Blue Devils’ history, earning a 68-17-11 record and advancing to a pair of Women’s College Cups. During the offseason, he added associate head coach Sergio Gonzalez and promoted assistant coach Emily Basten.
THREE EARN CONFERENCE PRESEASON HONORS
The Big Ten announced its Women’s Soccer Preseason Players to Watch List on Wednesday with sophomore Avery Lockwood and freshmen Anna Aehling and Jen Blitchok representing Indiana. In addition, the preseason poll was unveiled with the Hoosiers coming in in eighth place. Both were voted on by the conference coaches.
Lockwood, a midfielder from Grand Rapids, Mich., started every game last year and led the team in points (13), goals (5) and game-winners (3). She was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, as well as Top Drawer Soccer’s Top 100 Freshmen list. Aehling, a defender from Coesfeld, Germany, has competed for her country multiple times, including in the U17 UEFA European Championship, U17 FIFA World Cup and U19 UEFA European Championship. Fellow freshman Blitchok joins the Hoosiers as a forward from Grandville, Mich. She saw great success at the club level, leading Midwest United FC to a U18/19 U.S. Soccer DA Championship. She was also an All-State and All-Conference selection from Grandville High School.
RETURNING THIS SEASON
Along with Lockwood, the Hoosiers return several starters from last year including Melanie Forbes, Allison Jorden, Hanna Nemeth, Oliwia Wos, Madeline Carlson and Alaina Kalin. Between the pipes, senior goalkeeper Bethany Kopel has the most shutouts in program history with 16 and was the anchor behind setting a new record in shutouts (9) and tying the record for Big Ten shutouts (6) last season.
PURDUE WSOCCER: Purdue Faces Nebraska Thursday on BTN
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue soccer team faces Nebraska in a road matchup televised live on the Big Ten Network on Thursday, March 4, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT at Hibner Soccer Stadium.
The Big Ten Network will broadcast the match, with Larry Punteney and Jaylyn Armstrong on the call. Fans can watch live on BTN and the Fox Sports Go app, and live stats will be available at Huskers.com. Updates also can be found by following Purdue Soccer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
The Boilermakers (1-2-0, 1-2-0 Big Ten) play their first true road match of the season, while the Huskers (0-1-1, 0-1-1 Big Ten) host their first match of the 2020-21 campaign.
Purdue is second in the Big Ten in shots per match, with 14.33, third in shots on goal per match (5.67) and total assists (3) and fourth in points per match (3.00).
Individually, redshirt junior forward Sarah Griffith is second in the league and No. 14 nationally with 5.00 shots per match, and she is third in the Big Ten with 2.00 shots on goal per contest.
Griffith, freshman forward Nicole Kevdzija and sophomore defender Chloe Woodbeck all have scored one goal, while Kevdzija, junior goalkeeper Marisa Bova and freshman midfielder Emily Mathews each have an assist. Kevdzija paces the squad with three points. Griffith has a team-best 15 shots and six shots on goal and Kevdzija is second with five shots, two on goal. Bova has played all 282 minutes and has made nine saves.
SERIES HISTORY VS. NEBRASKA
Following a 1-0 home win in 2019, Purdue is 4-7 all-time against Nebraska, including 3-5 as Big Ten foes and 1-4 in Lincoln. The two teams have gone to overtime twice, with a 2-1 road win in 2012 and a 3-2 home loss in 2017. Six of the 11 contests have been shutouts.
Last season in the Big Ten opener, Purdue shut out Nebraska 1-0 at Folk Field. Now-sophomore Leanna Rebimbas scored the match-winning goal, becoming the fourth freshman since 2007 to score in the conference opener and just the second to net the winning goal. Then-sophomore goalkeeper Marisa Bova earned the shutout, her fifth of the season, and the Boilermaker defense held the Huskers to two shots in the match, one on goal.
SCOUTING THE HUSKERS
Nebraska is 0-1-1 on the season after a 2-0 loss to Michigan State on Feb. 25. The Huskers had a 15-6 advantage in shots and a 6-2 edge in shots on goal, but the Spartan goalkeeper stopped all six shots she faced. Nebraska’s Feb. 28 matchup at Ohio State was postponed.
Eleanor Dale paces the squad with four shots and three shots on goal in 2020-21. Makinzie Short has started both matches in goal and has two saves, both in a shutout performance to open the season.
The Huskers are fourth in the Big Ten with 10.50 shots per match, while they rank No. 5 in the league in shots on goal per match (5.00).
UP NEXT: AT WISCONSIN
Purdue faces Wisconsin, the reigning Big Ten regular-season champions, on Monday, March 8, at 2 p.m. The UW home match will be played at Mercyhealth Sportscore Two in Loves Park, Illinois.
LAST TIME OUT: VS. RUTGERS
The Boilermakers suffered a 1-0 loss to Rutgers on Feb. 28 at Folk Field. After allowing the lone goal at 42:00, Purdue had several good chances and outshot the Scarlet Knights 5-2 in the second half, but the home side could not find the equalizer.
Purdue had seven shots, two in the first half and five in the second, while Rutgers had six, four in the opening 45 minutes. Both teams had three shots on goal, one in the first half and two in the second. The Boilermakers had four corner kicks, all after intermission, and the Scarlet Knights had two, both in the first half. Griffith led the team with three shots, two on goal, and Bova made two saves.
KEVDZIJA NAMED BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
After a three-point match, including scoring the match-winning goal in overtime, Kevdzija was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on March 2. Kevdzija scored the winning goal at 1:54 in the second overtime and assisted on Purdue’s opening goal, 30 seconds into the match, to propel the Boilermakers to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Maryland on Feb. 25. The goal and assist were both the first of Kevdzija’s collegiate career as she played in her second match.
The match-winning goal came at 101:54. On the run, she received a long ball from Bova. The forward beat the Maryland defense and touched it past the keeper, who was out of her net. With her left foot, Kevdzija buried her first as a Boilermaker.
Thirty seconds into the match, she assisted on the second-earliest goal in program history, when she sent a ball in to Griffith, who scored her first of the year.
In three matches in 2020-21, Kevdzija leads the team with three points and is second with five shots and two shots on goal. She is one of three Boilermakers with a goal and one of three with an assist.
A LOOK BACK AT A TWO-OT THRILLER
Purdue took a 1-0 lead 30 seconds into the match and tied it at 2-2 at 89:59 to force overtime before scoring the match-winning goal in the second overtime in an exciting 3-2 victory over Maryland on Feb. 25.
Griffith scored the second-earliest goal in team history at 0:30, but Maryland evened the match at 1-1 in the 19th minute and took a 2-1 lead in the 81st. However, Woodbeck headed in the match-tying goal with one second left in regulation to send it to overtime. In the 102nd minute, Kevdzija scored her first collegiate goal to win it for the Boilermakers.
PURDUE TRACK AND FIELD: Five Qualify for NCAA Track & Field Championships
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Five Purdue track & field student-athletes have qualified for the 2021 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held from March 11-13 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Seniors Brian Faust, Tamar Greene and Alexis Zatta, junior Isaiah Martin and sophomore Marcellus Moore will represent the Boilermakers as one of the top 16 competitors in the country in their respective events. Faust and Martin both earned their second NCAA Indoor Championships berths after both qualified in 2020. Faust, Greene and Martin also competed at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
“I’m really happy, I’m really thrilled for Brian, Tamar, Isaiah, Marcellus and Alexis,” Purdue coach Norbert Elliott said. “It shows Purdue’s consistency in all event areas. This is pretty similar to the group that we had at last year’s championships, the same numbers, almost the same event areas. It shows that we’re a well-rounded program with good coaching.”
Purdue has five NCAA indoor qualifiers in five events for the second consecutive year.
Greene will compete in the triple jump, where he is seeded No. 10. He earned a qualifying jump of 16.14 meters, the third-best triple jump mark in program history, as he won a bronze medal at the Big Ten Championships on Feb. 26.
Martin is seeded No. 12 in the heptathlon after he claimed silver with 5,610 points at the Big Ten meet on Feb. 26. Martin also qualified for last year’s NCAA Championships in the heptathlon after he set the school record in the event.
Faust will race in the 400-meter and is seeded No. 13 overall. His time of 45.87, set on Feb. 27 at the conference championships, broke his own school record in the event. Faust also qualified in the 400 a year ago.
The 2021 Big Ten high jump champion, Zatta earned the No. 15 seed in the event. Her conference-title-winning jump of 1.81 meters on Feb. 27 is tied for No. 6 in the Purdue record books.
Moore makes is NCAA debut in the 60-meter dash. He ran a qualifying time of 6.66 seconds on Feb. 27, which is tied for No. 4 in program history. Moore is seeded No. 15.
NOTRE DAME WBB: ACC TOURNAMENT PREVIEW – NO. 6 IRISH
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The calendar turned to March and that can only mean one thing, it’s championship week for ACC women’s basketball. The University of Notre Dame (10-9) earned a No. 6 seed this time around, an improvement of four spots a season ago. Keep in mind, the Irish could have finished as high as No. 4 if they had been victorious this past Sunday against top-10 ranked Louisville.
Notre Dame’s journey inside the Greensboro Coliseum starts on Thursday, March 4, against 11th-seeded Clemson (10-12). That matchup will tip off at 8:30 p.m. EST on RSN (Regional Sports Affiliates). Please check the table above to find the game on T.V. in your area. For those in the South Bend market, the game will air on the Marquee Network.
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Historically, Notre Dame has enjoyed much success inside the Greensboro Coliseum. The Irish are 17-2 all-time at the ACC Tournament, with a loss to Louisville in the 2018 title game and a 2nd round opening loss to Pitt just a year ago.
The Irish boast 11 total conference tournament crowns in its program history. ACC-wise, they won four straight tournament titles after joining the league for the 2013-14 season, then tacked on a fifth in 2019.
Interesting to note that Notre Dame and Clemson have never met in the conference tournament, along with Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. Plus, if there’s a potential semifinal bout between ND and NC State, it’ll mark the first time two conference opponents meet in a tournament, without facing off once in the regular season.
LAST TIME VS CLEMSON
Clemson got the best of Notre Dame right before the Christmas break. The Tigers jumped on the Irish and never looked back, cruising to a 78-55 victory at Clemson. Notre Dame shot just 36.8 percent for the game, coughed the ball up 17 times and was out-rebounded 50-36.
Destinee Walker led the Irish with 14 points off the bench on 6-of-10 shooting. Abby Prohaska also poured in a career-high 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Freshman Maddy Westbeld tallied a stat-stuffer game with six points, five assists and 11 rebounds.
RUBBER MATCH WITH GEORGIA TECH?
If the Irish were to get past their ‘Revenge’ match with Clemson, up next on the ‘Road’ to the ACC crown would be a ‘Rubber-match’ with Georgia Tech.
The Irish hosted the Yellow Jackets twice inside Purcell Pavilion, earlier on in the ACC season. Georgia Tech had the first laugh with an 82-67 victory on Dec. 13. Georgia Tech’s Lotta-Maj Lahtinen led with 19 points while Lorela Cubaj collected a 16-point, 13-rebound, double-double. On the ND side, Maddy Westbeld led with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Dara Mabrey joined her in double figures with 11 points. The Yellow Jackets scored 21 points off of 17 ND turnovers.
However, the Irish got ‘Retribution’ on Jan. 3, kicking off the new year with a 69-67 nail-biting victory. Destinee Walker played hero with 21 seconds left, hitting the game-winner near the right-side baseline, just outside the paint. Walker finished with 15 points while Mabrey led with 16 points. Westbeld and Vaughn each added 11 points. Defensively, the Irish kept Cubaj in check this time around, holding her to six points and eight rebounds. Lahtinen had 11 points and seven boards while Kierra Fletcher led with 19 points.
ACC ROOKIE OF THE YEAR, MADDY WESTBELD
The ACC Head Coaches voted Maddy Westbeld as their Rookie of the Year winner. Westbeld enters an elite Notre Dame club, becoming just the sixth player in program history to win a conference’s Rookie of the Year award. She also is the second to do so in the ACC, joining Briana Turner who accomplished the feat in 2015.
Westbeld’s awards haul didn’t stop there. Notre Dame’s leading scorer and rebounder also collected First Team All-ACC honors as voted upon by the Blue-Ribbon media panel and a Second-Team nod from the Head Coaches Panel. Westbeld also naturally landed on the ACC All-Freshman list.
THE MOST COMPLETE FRESHMAN IN THE ACC
One could make the argument that Maddy deserved the Blue-Ribbon media nod as well. She’s not only the most complete freshman in the ACC this season, but also one of the most complete in the entire country.
Here’s the stats to back it up:
• ACC Freshmen-only stat rankings: 1st in Scoring, 2nd in Rebounding, 2nd in Steals, 4th in Assists & 4th in Blocks. She is the only freshman in the league to rank in the top-four in all above-mentioned categories.
• Maddy is the only freshman in the country averaging at least 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists & 1.4 steals. Overall, she’s just 1-of-9 Division-I players, and the only one from a Power-Five school.
• Ranks 5th in the country among freshmen in the Points+Rebounds+Assists/Game category with 25.3. Tops ACC freshmen.
• Her 14.9 ppg leads all ACC rookies and ranks 10th overall in the league. Nationally, her scoring average ranks 12th among all Division I freshmen.
WHO’S HOT — OLIVIA
How about Notre Dame’s first-ever early enrollee Olivia Miles. The freshman has fired off four straight games in double figures, totaling 42 points (10.5 ppg). She’s brought an efficient shooting approach, converting 20-of-35 (.571) from the field over those four games. She’s shooting 53.7 percent from the field overall.
If you are just looking at ND stats since their return from the Covid pause – Olivia boasts the second-highest scoring average with her 10.7 ppg. She’s also averaging 3.7 apg in that stretch.
WHO’S HOT CONTINUED — MADDY
Joining Miles in the hot-hand department is the team’s scoring and rebounding leader Maddy Westbeld. Since returning from the team’s Covid pause — two double-doubles, 46 points and 29 rebounds over three games. Nearly averaging a double-double in that span with 15.3 ppg and 9.7 rpg.
WHO’S HOT CONTINUED — SAM
Before the team Covid pause, Sam Brunelle fired off three straight games in double figures, totaling 39 points, 13 assists and 21 rebounds. She also had dished a career-high five assists in back-to-back games. She almost made it four straight games but came up just shy with eight points vs. Florida State.
Then Brunelle went off in the third quarter vs. Louisville on Feb. 28, shooting 5-of-6 to score 11 of her 13 points.
Thus, over her last five games, the sophomore has averaged 12.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 3.0 assists.
In addition, her 24 rebounds over the last four games, are more than the previous nine games combined.
Destinee Walker has been absolutely dominant at the free-throw line this season. She ranks 2nd in the ACC and 12th in the country, converting 90.2 percent of her attempts, aka 55-of-61. She recently had a streak of 27 straight made free throws break at the Florida State game on Feb. 25.
Walker has a solid chance at becoming the new top Notre Dame single-season free-throw shooter. The record is currently held by Kayla McBride, who shot 90.0 percent (90-of-100) in the 2012-13 season (minimum of 2.0 made per game).
Meanwhile, Westbeld is honing in on a top-three finish amongst ND freshmen all-time. Right now, her scoring average would rank third behind Shari Matvey (17.6 in 1979-80) and Beth Morgan (17.9 in 1993-94). Furthermore, her 7.8 rpg would rank fifth.
HERE COME THE IRISH — OLIVIA MILES
Miles has brought a new look and swagger to the Irish offense. The freshman will be riding a four-game double-digit scoring streak heading into Greensboro. The New Jersey native is coming off a Louisville game in which she accomplished highs in both points (11) and assists (6). The game prior vs Florida State, she produced highs in points (11) and rebounds (8).
More impressive is the fact that the 18-year old has been thrown into the fire, with four out of her five games being against top-5 seeds in the ACC tournament.
Miles made up one-half of Coach Ivey’s top-five nationally ranked recruiting class that also featured guard Sonia Citron. Miles was ranked the No. 8 prospect overall by ESPN and the No. 2 point guard.
“Great moments are born from great opportunity.”
After a big 2-1 week with wins over Pitt and Florida State, Notre Dame hits do-or-die time at the ACC Tournament. ESPN’s Charlie Creme has the Irish as the ‘Last Team In’.
This is the most ‘bubbly’ the ACC has been in years, so this week will be critical come Selection Monday. Creme has Notre Dame, Wake Forest and Miami all on the bubble and needing wins in Greensboro. Certainly, wins over Clemson and three-seeded Georgia Tech would bolster Notre Dame’s tournament resume.
Currently, the Irish boast a NET ranking of 52. Notre Dame is 4-6 this season against Top-50 NET opponents.
APPROACHING MILESTONE: 700
When it comes to the Mabrey family, that’s a whole lot of buckets. Queens of the three some might say. Marina graduated in 2019 as the program’s all-time career made three-pointer leader, draining a total of 274. Michaela converted a career total of 228, while Dara now boasts 193. All-in-all, the Mabreys have totaled a whopping 695 splash-downs.
NOTRE DAME MEN’S HOCKEY: IRISH HOST PENN STATE TO CLOSE REGULAR SEASON
WHO: Notre Dame (12-12-2, 10-10-2-2-1-2 B1G) vs. Penn State (9-9-0, 7-9-0-2-1-0 B1G)
WHEN: Friday, March 5 – 7:45 p.m. ET | Saturday, March 6 – 5:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Compton Family Ice Arena
WATCH: Friday – NBCSN & NBCSports.com | Saturday – RSNs & NBCSports.com
LISTEN: 94.3 FM | UND.com
Notre Dame closes out the regular season at home this weekend with a two-game series against Penn State (March 5-6).
Last weekend, Notre Dame posted a pair of 2-0 wins at Michigan State (Feb. 26-27).
Penn State will be coming off a pause, with their last games coming against the Irish in the teams’ weekend split on Jan. 28-29.
Winning percentage in conference play will now determine the seedings heading into next week’s Big Ten Tournament (due to the unbalanced schedule).
Senior goaltender Dylan St. Cyr was named the Big Ten’s Second Star of the Week following the back-to-back shutouts of the Spartans.
St. Cyr led Notre Dame to a pair of 2-0 victories, stopping all 27 shots he faced in game one and then turning around and totaling 29 saves in game two for his second and third shutouts of the season and the fourth and fifth shutouts of his Irish career.
Dating back to game two at Wisconsin (Feb. 20), St. Cyr has a shutout streak of 125:27.
St. Cyr has started 12 of Notre Dame’s last 13 games dating back to the 2-1 win at Minnesota on Jan. 16 while posting a 2.07 goals against average and a .934 save percentage during that span.
Matt Hellickson was named one of 10 Senior CLASS award finalists (March 3).
Landon Slaggert was named the HCA’s NCAA Rookie of the Month for February following his 11 points (3-8-11) in eight games (March 3).
Alex Steeves leads the Irish with 14 goals and 28 points and has at least one point in 19 games this season.
Steeves’ 14 goals rank tied for sixth nationally, while his 13 goals in Big Ten play rank second to Cole Caufield (21).
THE NOTRE DAME-PENN STATE SERIES
Notre Dame has a 11-5-4 all-time record/series lead against Penn State in games played while both teams were at the NCAA DI level (ND leads 14-6-4 including games against Penn State from 1983-85).
Earlier this season, the teams each won an overtime game at the Pegula Ice Arena (Jan. 28-29), with Penn State taking game one 2-1 and the Irish winning game two 3-2.
Spencer Stasney had the overtime winner in game two for Notre Dame.
Last season, the Fighting Irish went 3-1-0 against Penn State as the teams split a series at the Compton Family Ice Arena as Penn State won game one 4-2 (Dec. 13) and a 4-2 Notre Dame win on Dec. 13.
Then at Penn State, the teams skated to a 3-3 tie in game one (Jan. 31), with Cam Burke’s shootout winner securing the extra point, and Notre Dame posted a 4-2 win in game two (Feb. 1).
In 2018-19, the teams met five times, culminating in Notre Dame’s 3-2 win in the Big Ten Championship game on March 24, 2019.
Spencer Stastney, Cal Burke and Cam Morrison (game winner) scored for the Irish in the championship game, while Cale Morris made 46 saves en route to earning Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors for the second consecutive season.
That championship game win over Penn State marked the 500th career victory for head coach Jeff Jackson.
In 2017-18, Notre Dame was undefeated in five contests against Penn State (4-0-1) including a Big Ten Tournament semifinal victory.
In the 2018 Big Ten Tournament semifinals at the Compton Family Ice Arena, Jack Jenkins netted the game winner with 31 seconds left in regulation for a 3-2 win, propelling the Irish to the championship and sparking their “cardiac kids” run where they won five straight games by scoring the game-winner in the final minute of regulation or in overtime.
Notre Dame’s career offensive leaders against Penn State include Matt Hellickson (16 GP, 3-9-12), Colin Theisen (16 GP, 1-5-6), Graham Slaggert (11 GP, 2-3-5), Alex Steeves (11 GP, 4-1-5), Spencer Stastney (11 GP, 2-2-4) and Michael Graham (11 GP, 1-3-4).
In net, Dylan St. Cyr has played in three games against the Nittany Lions including both starts earlier this season and he is 1-1-0 with a 3.11 goals against average and a .915 save percentage.
NOTRE DAME VOLLEYBALL: #14 IRISH SET TO HOST WOLFPACK & HURRICANES
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — No. 14 Notre Dame returns to ACC play with a pair of home matches this weekend against NC State & Miami. The Irish will meet NC State on Friday (March 5) at 7 p.m. ET before taking on the Hurricanes on Sunday (March 7) at 1:30 p.m. ET. Both matches are set to be streamed live via ACC Network Extra.
#14 NOTRE DAME vs. NC STATE & MIAMI
Location: Notre Dame, Ind.
Live Stream: ACC Network Extra
Live Stats (NC State) // Live Stats (Miami)
Twitter Updates: @NDVolleyball
The Irish returned to action this spring with a five-set comeback victory over Valparaiso on February 18 to move to 7-1 overall.
Notre Dame is currently ranked 14th in the AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll for the third consecutive week.
The AVCA Poll has returned to its traditional top-25 format after the fall featured a Coaches Top-15 Poll.
Zoe Nunez currently ranks eighth in the country and leads the ACC with a mark of 11.55 assists per set.
Nunez has racked up 358 assists this season, which stands third in the ACC.
Lindsey Miller led all active freshmen in the fall in hitting percentage, and currently ranks third in the ACC with a mark of .427.
Hattie Monson enters the weekend with a team-high 155 digs and ranks second in the ACC with a mark of 5.00 digs per set.
The Irish went 6-1 in the fall portion of the schedule which consisted entirely of ACC opponents.
Notre Dame’s fall triumphs included four wins over teams that were ranked in the AVCA Fall Top-15 Poll.
HISTORY VS. NC STATE
The Irish & Wolfpack will be meeting for the 12th time on Friday with NC State holding a 6-5 edge in the all-time series.
The teams last met on September 29, 2019 inside Purcell Pavilion with the Irish earning a straight-set victory.
Charley Niego notched 10 kills in that Irish sweep and Zoe Nunez added 29 assists and eight digs in the three sets of play.
HISTORY VS. MIAMI
Notre Dame & Miami will be squaring off for the 16th time on Sunday and the Irish hold an 8-7 edge in the all-time series.
The Irish have won two of the past three meetings with Miami and will be looking to avenge a five-set defeat in Coral Gables last season (Nov. 10, 2019).
Caroline Meuth (20K, 11D) and Charley Niego (19K, 11D) each earned double-doubles in that five-set match at Miami a season ago.
EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL: Men’s basketball opens Arch Madness on Friday
ST. LOUIS – With the regular season complete, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team enters Arch Madness as the #5 seed and will face the #4 seed Indiana State on Friday afternoon at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. Set for a 2:08 p.m. CT tip, the game will be carried on the MVC TV Network and the Purple Aces Radio Network. Fans in the Evansville area will be able to watch UE’s contest as well as all four of Friday’s league tournament games.
Setting the Scene
– Only a year removed from an 0-18 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team won seven games…UE is just the second team in MVC history to follow a winless conference season with seven victories
– Southern Illinois was 0-16 in 1980-81 but rebounded to go 7-9 a year later
– The 7-game improvement for UE is the best that the conference has seen since Loyola went from eight league wins in 2016-17 to 15 a season later
– Evansville is the first team to jump from 10th in the MVC standings to a top five seed since Drake went from 10th in 2017 to 4th place in 2018
– The Aces face the 4th-seeded Sycamores, who finished the season with a 14-9 record and won 11 Valley games
Last Time Out
– With a top five seed on the line, the Purple Aces ended a 7-game skid with an impressive 72-63 win over Missouri State on Saturday night
– Evansville’s defense played a crucial role in the win – over the losing streak, every opponent shot at least 53.2% from the field, including the Bears shooting 69.4% in game one…on Saturday, UE held MSU to 46.3% shooting and a 1-for-7 finish from long range
– Shamar Givance tied his career mark with 22 points in the win while Jawaun Newton added 20
A Brief History Lesson
– This year marks the fifth time the Aces have entered the MVC Tournament as the fifth seed…UE is 0-4 in its first four seasons in that position including 2015 where the Aces fell by a 71-67 final to Illinois State
– UE has won three of its five Arch Madness match-ups against Indiana State including the last two by an average of 18.5 points per game…the Aces picked up an 83-72 win in 2017 and a 68-42 win in 2016 on the way to a berth in the championship game
Nice Start to the Week
– Junior Shamar Givance has had a nice start to the week, earning MVC Player of the Week accolades on Monday before being named to the All-MVC Second Team on Tuesday
– Recognition continued to flow in on Wednesday when he earned a spot on the MVC Most Improved Team
– Givance recorded 21.5 PPG in the Missouri State series including a career-tying 22-point game on Saturday
– Over the course of the season, he has averaged 13.5 points per game while averaging 4.0 assists (2nd in MVC) and 1.5 steals (#1 in MVC)
First Time for Everything
– Through its 18-game MVC slate, the Purple Aces averaged 10.0 3-point makes per game…no other team in league history has done so in conference games only…Bradley came close with a 9.8 per contest in 2007-08
– Overall, the Aces have recorded 9.8 3-point makes per game…just one team in MVC history has averaged 10 or more triples per game over the entirety of the season – Bradley in 2006-07 (10.0/game)
– The 3-point line was enacted prior to the 1986-87 season
Reaching New Heights
– In the series opener against Missouri State, Jawaun Newton reset his career scoring mark once again with 26 points…he was 8-of-16 from the field and hit 7 free throws…he added 20 in Saturday’s win marking the first time he has posted back-to-back 20-point games in his time at UE
– He continues to shoot at an impressive clip and has converted 62.0% of his 2-point attempts since January 2… during that span, he is shooting 53.8% (92-171) overall
– Newton hit 5 of his 10 3-point tries in the MSU series…in the nine games prior, he was just four for his last 21 from outside
– His rebounding has excelled as of late – he has posted an average of 5.5 rebounds in the last four games
Scouting the Opponent
– – Indiana State clinched the #4 seed in the 2021 MVC Tournament with an overall mark of 14-9 and a league record of 11-7
– The Sycamores split the final weekend of the regular season at Valparaiso…ISU took a 58-43 win in the opener before Valpo struck back in the series finale, winning by a final of 70-58
– Tyreke Key, who averaged 31.5 points per game against UE this season, paces Indiana State with a season average of 17.4 PPG
– Jake LaRavia is next with 12.5 points and 6.1 rebounds, which is tied with Tre Williams for the team lead
– Cooper Neese stands at 10.0 points
MIAMI VOLLEYBALL: RedHawks Travel to Kent State for Thursday/Friday Matches
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY’S MATCHES: The Miami University volleyball team hits the road for a pair of matches at Kent State this week, playing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 4 and 5 p.m. on Friday, Mar. 5.
ABOUT KENT STATE: The Golden Flashes enter this week’s matches with an 8-3 record and are coming off a pair of five-set losses to Bowling Green. Kent State leads the MAC in hitting percentage (.244) and assists (13.43). Savannah Matthews paces the team, averaging 4.62 kps. Alex Haffner leads the MAC at 11.45 aps, while Erin Gardner averages a team-leading 4.76 dps and Lana Strejcek averages 1.12 bps.
THE SERIES WITH THE GOLDEN FLASHES: Thursday marks the 85th meeting between Miami and Kent State with Miami holding a 65-19 lead in the all-time series. The RedHawks have won the last six, including a 3-0 win on Nov. 2, 2019 in Oxford. When playing in Kent, Miami is 28-8 against the Golden Flashes. The RedHawks’ last win at KSU was in three sets on Nov. 27, 2019. Kent State’s last win in the series also was its last win against MU on its home court, 3-2, on Nov. 5, 2016.
TELEVISION: Both matches at Kent State will be streamed on KentStateSports.com.
UP NEXT: Miami returns home for three matches next week, hosting Toledo at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 9, a rescheduled match from a previously postponed set of matches. Miami then hosts Ohio on Friday, Mar. 12 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Mar. 13 at 5 p.m.
CAREER WATCH: Senior Morgan Seaman moved into 10th on Miami’s career assist chart and has 2,413 entering Miami’s Thursday match. She also has played in 103 career matches. She played in her 100th career match on Feb. 18 against Western Michigan. Senior Abigail Huser has 987 career digs and needs just 13 more to become the 17th member of Miami’s 1,000 dig club.
ODDS ‘N ENDS:
Senior Morgan Seaman ranks among MAC leaders in assists (6.82 per set; 9th).
Senior Morgan Seaman has recorded four assist/dig double-doubles this season, the last coming on Feb. 18 against Western Michigan.
Senior Sarah Wojick has been in double figures for kills in six of Miami’s last seven matches. She tallied a career-high 18 kills at Akron on Jan. 29.
Senior Abigail Huser has been in double figures for digs in eight of MU’s 10 matches this season and has surpassed the 20-dig mark three times. Huser notched a season-best 27 digs at Northern Illinois on Feb. 25.
Junior Sophie Riemersma had her top two hitting outputs of the season at Northern Illinois with 15 kills in a five-set match and 14 kills in a three set win.
Three times this season, a Miami player has served up four aces in a match. Sophomore Allyson Severance has recorded four service aces twice, versus Buffalo on Jan. 23 and at Northern Illinois on Feb. 25. Senior Morgan Seaman also served up four aces at Akron on Jan. 29.
TAKING AIM: Miami ranks third in the MAC in hitting percentage (.237) with two RedHawks ranking among MAC leaders. Senior Sarah Wojick ranks fifth with a .340 hitting percentage, while junior Sophie Riemersma ranks ninth with a .316 hitting percentage.
ECLIPSING 750 CAREER WINS: With a 3-0 win versus Buffalo on Jan. 22, Miami head coach Carolyn Condit posted her 750th career win. Condit owns a 754-561 career record in her 41st season as a head coach. Condit’s 754 total victories are tied for eighth among active NCAA Division I coaches, and tied for 24th all-time. Owning more victories than any coach in the history of the Miami Athletic Department, Condit holds a 655-484 record in her 37th season in charge of the Red and White. Condit is the only volleyball coach in the history of the Mid-American Conference to win over 300 league matches, holding a conference mark of 358-213.
DAYTON MEN’S BASKETBALL: Men’s Basketball Opens The Atlantic 10 Championship Against Rhode Island On Thursday
DAYTON – The University of Dayton Flyers travel to Richmond, Va. for the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championships. The Flyers, the tournament’s seventh seed, will play their first game against 10 seed Rhode Island on Thursday, March 4. Game time is 3:30 p.m. ET.
Dayton is 13-8, and finished 9-7 in the Atlantic 10 after Monday’s 55-52 win at A-10 regular season champion St. Bonaventure. Ibi Watson led UD with 14 points (5-7 FG, 2-3 3-pt.).
The game will carried by WHIO Radio, televised on the NBC Sports Network and streamed on the NBC Sports App. Streaming audio, video and stats will be available at DaytonFlyers.com.
• Moving into a bigger role this year, Jalen Crutcher got the kind of attention during the preseason that he is getting from opponents during the season. He was on the Naismith, Wooden, NABC and Bob Cousy Award Watch Lists, as well as the Lute Olson mid-season list.
• Crutcher, a four-year starter, was ranked the 12th-best player in the country by ESPN, 16th in CBSSports.com’s top college basketball players. The Athletic rated him sixth among its top 20 guards in the country. He was also named Second Team Preseason All-America by Stadium.
• Keep in mind that Crutcher was UD’s co-MVP last season, with consensus national PoY Obi Toppin. Crutcher is the first Flyer with 1,200 career points, 500 assists and 200 three-pointers.
• Crutcher lived up to his nickname of “Clutcher” in Dayton’s first six wins, scoring UD’s final points in the last seconds of regulation or overtime at the line. At Saint Louis, he scored 13 in the first half, was shut out for the first 15:59 of the second half, and then after Saint Louis tied the game, he scored 14 points in the final 4:01 to pave the way to a five-point road win.
• Ibi Watson is second on the team in scoring (15.6) and minutes (37.5), and percentage-wise, is nearly a 50-40-80 guy. He shoots 47% FG, 42% from 3-pt. and 75% from the line.
• Rodney Chatman returned to action at Rhode Island, after missing 11 games with a torn tendon in his right hand. He started in the SLU win, getting nine points and five assists.
• Zimi Nwokeji’s 29-point outburst at Rhode Island was the second-most in UD history, and the most in more than 25 years. (Shawn Haughn had 30 vs. SLU on 2/13/94).
•If a “true freshman” is a player who signed the previous year and is playing without redshirting, can you call a player who signed in November and scores 22 points in December start a “truer freshman?” We call him Mustapha Amzil, and the 22 points he scored in first college game were the most at UD in 14 years. He then had 15 vs. GMU (with 6 reb & 4 asst).
• Amzil was A-10 Rookie of the Week exactly 50 days after he signed with UD on Nov. 16.
• He was named A-10 Rookie for the third time (the first multiple RotW this year) on Feb. 8.
• Jordy Tshimanga pulled down 16 rebounds at Fordham, the most by a Flyer in three years. He is averaging 8.9 rebounds a game in his last 12 contests.
• R.J. Blakney has scored 24 points (9-11 FG) and grabbed 11 rebounds in his last two games.
• The Flyers are 9-3 against teams with winning records, and 4-5 vs. foes with losing records.
• Thursday’s winner will play 2-seed VCU on Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET in the A-10 quarterfinals.
• The A-10 championship finals will be played at UD Arena on Sunday, March 14. A limited number of upper Arena tickets are on sale now.
OHIO STATE MEN’S HOCKEY: MHKY: Buckeyes Close Regular Season vs. Sun Devils
Ohio State senior class to be recognized pregame Friday
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State men’s hockey team closes out the regular season this week with two nonconference games against Arizona State. The Buckeyes (6-17-1, 6-16-0-0-2-0 B1G) and Sun Devils (6-15-3) will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday in Value City Arena. The games will be streamed through BTN Plus and on Ohio State Radio, with Herb Howenstine and John Mowat calling the action.
Buckeye Notes to Know
· Pregame Friday the six members of the Buckeye senior class – Eugene Fadyeyev, Grant Gabriele, Evan Moyse, Tommy Nappier, Collin Peters and Austin Pooley – will be recognized.
· The Buckeyes are coming off two losses at No. 5 Wisconsin, with a 2-1 OT defeat Friday and 7-0 loss Saturday. The Sun Devils played at No. 7 Michigan last weekend, with a 4-1 loss and 1-1 OT tie.
· This is the fourth series between Ohio State and Arizona State overall and the second this season. The Buckeyes are 3-1-2 all-time vs. the Sun Devils, with the series in Columbus tied 1-1-2.
· The dates of the Big Ten Tournament have been moved, with the single elimination tournament held on Notre Dame’s campus. The quarterfinals will be March 14, with the semifinals March 15 and final March 16. BTN will televise all of the tournament games.
· Goalie Tommy Nappier, one of six seniors being recognized this week, is tied for ninth in Ohio State history with 39 career wins. He is in the Top 5 in school history in career goals-against average (2.29) and save percentage (.925) and is just outside the Top 10 with 2,161 career saves.
Thank You Seniors
· The six members of the Buckeye senior class – goalies Evan Moyse and Tommy Nappier, defenseman Grant Gabriele and forwards Eugene Fadyeyev, Collin Peters and Austin Poole – will be recognized Friday pregame.
· The group was part of NCAA Tournament appearances in 2018 and ’19 and what was expected to be a third straight trip in 2020 before the remainder of the season was canceled. The 2018 squad reached the NCAA Frozen Four, the Buckeyes’ first trip in 20 years. In 2019 Ohio State won the Big Ten regular season championship.
· They have combined for 315 games played, 23 goals, 45 assists, 68 points and 232 shot blocks, along with 39 goalie wins.
· All six are slated to graduate this year.
· The Buckeyes are scoring 1.88 goals a night and allowing 3.71 per outing. The squad has been outshot on average, 34.8-26.8.
· Ohio State’s power play is 14-for-77 (.182) and the penalty kill is 71-for-93 (.763).
· Freshman Travis Treloar is first on the team with 16 points, followed by sophomore Mark Cheremeta with 15, junior Quinn Preston and senior defenseman Grant Gabriele with 12 and sophomore Tate Singleton with 10.
· Treloar, Preston and Singleton are tied for first with six goals each.
· Cheremeta has a team-best 11 assists, followed by Treloar with 10.
· In goal, Tommy Nappier has started 22 games and has a 3.30 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. Evan Moyse has four appearances and one start, with a 3.80 goals-against average and .860 save percentage. Ryan Snowden has played in five games, starting one, with a 6.14 goals-against and .866 save percentage.
· Dakota Joshua, a 2019 senior and graduate, made his NHL debut Monday for the St. Louis Blues and scored his first NHL goal in the win. (More on Joshua’s debut)
· Carson Meyer, a 2020 senior and graduate who made his pro debut last week and had two goals in his first pro outing, followed that with a three-assist game.
· Matt Miller, a 2020 senior, scored his first pro goal for ECHL Wheeling over the weekend.
· Matt Tomkins, a 2017 senior and graduate, was recalled to the Chicago Blackhawks taxi squad.
· Darik Angeli, who finished his Buckeye career in 2015, was named ECHL Player of the Week Tuesday after posting eight assists and nine points in four games for the Kansas City Mavericks.
INDYCAR: 2021 SCHEDULE
April 18, Sunday: Barber Motorsports Park; NBC; 3 p.m.
April 25, Sunday: Streets of St. Petersburg; NBC; 12 p.m.
May 1, Saturday: Texas Motor Speedway Race 1; NBCSN; 7 p.m.
May 2, Sunday: Texas Motor Speedway, Race 2; NBCSN; 5 p.m.
May 15, Saturday: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course); NBC; 2:30 p.m.
May 30, Sunday: 105th Indianapolis 500, NBC; 11 a.m.
June 12, Saturday: Raceway at Belle Isle Park/Detroit Race 1; NBC; 2 p.m.
June 13, Sunday: Raceway at Belle Isle Park/Detroit Race 2; NBC; 12 p.m.
June 20, Sunday: Road America; NBCSN; 12 p.m.
July 4, Sunday: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course; NBC; 12 p.m.
July 11, Sunday: Streets of Toronto; NBCSN; 12 p.m.
Aug. 8, Sunday: Streets of Nashville; NBCSN; 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 14, Saturday: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course); NBCSN; 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 21, Saturday: World Wide Technology Raceway; NBCSN; 8 p.m.
Sept. 12, Sunday: Portland International Raceway; NBC; 3 p.m.
Sept. 19, Sunday: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca; NBC; 3 p.m.
Sept. 26, Sunday: Streets of Long Beach; NBCSN; 3 p.m.
NOTRE DAME MBB: IRISH FALL TO WOLFPACK, 80-69
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame dropped an 80-69 decision on Wednesday evening inside Purcell Pavilion to NC State.
The Irish had three players finish in double figures in the scoring column with Prentiss Hubb leading the team with 14 points. Nate Wertz added 12 and Juwan Durham chipped in 10.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish trailed the Wolfpack by eight at the half, 40-32. Notre Dame trailed by just one at 22-21 with just over seven minutes left in the half but the hosts managed to extend the lead to eight by the halftime intermission.
NC State carried its momentum into the second stanza, and increased its advantage to as many as 19 points (76-57) with 3:39 to play. The Irish then answered with a 12-0 run to cut the lead to seven at 76-69 with just over a minute remaining but the Wolfpack scored the final four points to come away with the 80-69 victory.
Notre Dame wraps up the regular season at noon ET on Saturday, March 6 in Purcell Pavilion against Florida State. The game will air on ESPN2.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Villanova wins Big East title; McDermott coaches under fire
(AP) Creighton coach Greg McDermott said he made an “awful mistake” for using language that caused pain for the players “that look to me as a mentor and as a leader.” He was on the bench for the Bluejays for the first time since he apologized on social media for urging his players over the weekend to “stay on the plantation.”
“We need to get back to Omaha and regroup a little and have some more conversations which we need to have so that I can help them and they can help me,” McDermott said.
McDermott’s use of a phrase evoking slavery overshadowed what was expected to be fantastic showdown between the top two teams in the Big East.
Justin Moore scored 24 points and helped No. 10 Villanova capture the Big East title with a 72-60 win over 14th-ranked Creighton.
“The pain I saw in their eyes was immense,” McDermott said after the game. “That’s a cross that I’m going to have to bear for a while. I’m going to come out of this on the other end a better person because of it. But it’s going to be a process.”
McDermott did not answer any questions about his remarks and stood by an apology he issued on social media.
McDermott said on Creighton’s pregame radio show that he offered to resign. The coach said he had a long meeting with players on Sunday night and said he saw “pain in their face(s)” and hoped “one mistake doesn’t define you.”
McDermott said he wanted to make sure the Bluejays (17-7, 13-6 Big East) wanted him to remain as coach and apologized for the “distraction that I brought to this team for the choice that I made.”
McDermott said the Bluejays – whose players wear “equality” on the back of their jerseys – did not ask for him to resign.
“Our guys wanted me to coach and that’s my job,” McDermott said on the radio.
McDermott has been Creighton’s coach since 2010. McDermott, who is white, acknowledged saying: “Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation.”
The coach added that he apologized directly to Creighton’s president, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, and athletic director Bruce Rasmussen.
Creighton assistant coach Terrence Rencher, who is Black, tweeted that he was “deeply hurt” by McDermott’s words.
The school said any disciplinary action would remain confidential.
McDermott was on the sideline and received a fist bump from seemingly all but one player as they ran off the court from pregame warmups.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Wildcats (16-4, 11-3), who raced to a 19-point lead and clinched their seventh regular-season title under coach Jay Wright in the last eight seasons.
The Wildcats lost Collin Gillespie, their star senior guard averaging 14.4 points, to a left knee injury in the first half. He writhed in pain on the court and immediately needed help to the locker room. Gillespie will have an MRI on Thursday.
“It’s serious. We don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s serious,” Wright said.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: No. 19 San Diego State beats UNLV 71-62 for 2nd MWC title
(AP) Winning their 11th straight game and the Mountain West Conference regular-season title was just another step for the No. 19 San Diego State Aztecs.
“The most meaningful basketball is still ahead of us,” coach Brian Dutcher said after SDSU beat UNLV 71-62 Wednesday behind 19 points from Matt Mitchell and 16 from Jordan Schakel.
Nathan Mensah scored 14 points for the Aztecs (20-4, 14-3 MWC), who used a 14-0 run spanning halftime to take control. They get a week of rest before returning to Las Vegas as the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
With its NCAA Net Ranking at a season-high No. 17, SDSU appears to have done enough to get an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament if it doesn’t win the conference tourney and secure the MWC’s automatic bid.
“What this team accomplished this season was really special because of the circumstances we had to do it in,” Dutcher said. “We started back in September with one coach in gloves and a mask, one basketball, one player, and we couldn’t rebound the ball for the player. And to think a few months later we’re celebrating a conference championship. It’s a credit to everybody in our program.”
The Aztecs gave Dutcher an ice shower afterward. “I’m still picking ice out of my ear,” the coach said.
The Aztecs controlled their own destiny during the last week after the MWC awarded them a pair of forfeit victories over New Mexico for a series that wasn’t played because the Lobos had injuries but no COVID-19 cases. Those forfeit victories don’t count in SDSU’s overall or formal conference record, but will count for seeding and conference championship implications. SDSU swept two home games against Boise State during the weekend.
David Jenkins Jr. scored 32 points for UNLV (11-13, 8-9), while leading scorer Bryce Hamilton was held to nine points, nine under his average, and fouled out with 1:41 to go.
SDSU opened a 16-point lead in the second half before UNLV cut it to eight points. The Aztecs responded with a 9-0 burst for a 62-45 lead, with Mensah getting a slam dunk and making four free throws and Schakel hitting a 3. Schakel finished with a career-high nine rebounds, just missing his first career double-double.
SDSU scored the final seven points of the first half as part of a 14-5 run and led at halftime for the 12th straight game, 35-28.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim derides reporter over height, credibility following win over Clemson
Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim questioned a reporter’s credibility based on his height and perceived lack of basketball experience following a 64-54 home win over Clemson on Wednesday night.
On Monday, Matthew Gutierrez, who covers Syracuse basketball for The Athletic, tweeted that the Orange would be “somewhere around 17-5 overall” and in the field of 68 if reserves Jesse Edwards and Kadary Richmond had logged more minutes. The duo combined to score 12 points in a 72-70 win over North Carolina that day.
Gutierrez tweeted on Tuesday that he and Boeheim were “all good on this” after they had a conversation about his observations. On Wednesday, however, Boeheim seemed to respond to Gutierrez’s original tweet when asked a question postgame.
“But if I’d played Jesse and Kadary, we’d probably be 22-2 now,” Boeheim said after Wednesday’s win. “I just didn’t see that. Couldn’t figure it out by myself after 45 years. I need a reporter to figure that out … who has never played basketball and is 5-foot-2.”
Edwards (1.9 points per game) and Richmond (6.9 PPG) combined to score five points Wednesday.
Syracuse is a bubble team that is listed in ESPN insider Joe Lunardi’s “Next Four Out.”
Wednesday night wasn’t the first time Boeheim’s remarks drew attention this season. Last month on his radio show, following Duke freshman Jalen Johnson’s decision to opt out to prepare for the NBA draft, Boeheim said the projected lottery pick was “hurting” the Blue Devils, who had become a better team in its subsequent games without him.
After facing criticism, including from ESPN commentator Jay Bilas, Boeheim tried to walk back his comments.
“This is no dispersion, casting dispersion on Jalen Johnson,” Boeheim said at a postgame news conference last month. “I haven’t even seen Jalen Johnson play this year, to be honest. He’s a tremendous player. Probably be a great pro. I just made the observation, my opinion, that I thought they played better without him in those two games. Jay Bilas said I said they’re a better team without him, permanently. I didn’t say that. I didn’t mean to say that.”
NBA NEWS: McConnell sets steals mark, Pacers rally past Cavs 114-111
(AP) T.J. McConnell set an NBA record with nine steals in the first half and posted his second career triple-double with 16 points, 13 assists and a franchise-best 10 steals, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 114-111 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
McConnell also went 8 of 8 from the field in 36 minutes off the bench as Indiana rallied from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter to end its four-game losing streak. Malcolm Brogdon scored 29 points and Domantas Sabonis had 18 points for the Pacers.
“That’s as good of an all-around game from T.J. as you’re going to see in the NBA with the multiple ways he affected it,” Brogdon said. “He’s the ultimate teammate, as well, so we were all very happy for him.”
The NBA record of 11 steals in a game is shared by New Jersey’s Kendall Gill on April 3, 1999, against Miami, and San Antonio’s Larry Kenon on Dec. 26, 1976, at Kansas City.
McConnell’s previous career best was six steals on two occasions, the last on Feb. 12, 2018, against New York, when he had his first triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. The sixth-year pro leads the league in steals with 2.0 per game.
“The guys showered me with water after the game, but I don’t remember much about it because it was so cold,” McConnell said, laughing. “It was not enjoyable, but it was enjoyable at the same time, if that makes any sense.”
Collin Sexton had 32 points, 10 assists and three steals, and Jarrett Allen had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who committed 26 turnovers and had their four-game winning streak snapped. They held an 81-62 lead midway through the third.
Indiana went up for good at 108-106 on a 3-pointer by Justin Holiday with 1:18 left. After a Dylan Windler layup pulled Cleveland within 112-111, Brogdon made two free throws with one second left and the Cavaliers were unable to get off a potential game-tying shot.
“This was very, very big for us and a really impressive game by T.J.,” Indiana coach Nate Bjorkgren said. “You’re always going to get the effort from him at both ends. He’s got that look in his eye every night.”
Indiana stole the ball on six straight Cleveland possessions in the first period — five by McConnell — and rattled off 11 consecutive points. The Pacers scored 35 points off turnovers, more than offsetting their first half total of five rebounds.
“McConnell earned it, he earned it tonight,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “He’s a pest all the time. He’s super competitive all the time.”
Cleveland point guard Darius Garland scored 16 points in 19 minutes before exiting with a strained left groin.
Sexton had 14 points and 10 assists at halftime and became the first Cavaliers player to have double-digit assists in the opening half since LeBron James on Feb. 6, 2017, at Washington.
(AP) NBA NEWS: James Harden has triple-double in Houston return, Nets roll
The No. 13 on his jersey, James Harden won so many games for the Houston Rockets.
On Wednesday night in the first meeting with his former team, No. 13 had a triple-double for the Brooklyn Nets to send the reeling Rockets to their 13th straight loss.
“A lot of mixed emotions from the fans but I knew that was going to happen,” Harden said. “I just wanted to come out here and give them a show.”
He did that with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in the 132-114 victory. The Nets set a franchise record with their seventh straight road victory. They’ve won 10 of their last 11 overall.
Harden has meshed well with his new team and the Nets are 17-7 since the trade.
“So far, so good,” he said. “It’s everything that I signed up for. Top to bottom it’s been great.”
It’s the longest skid for the Rockets, who had just eight players available because of injuries, since they dropped 15 in a row in 2001. They’ve had a tough time since Harden was traded Jan. 14 and haven’t won since Feb. 4.
The Rockets used a 10-0 run, with five points from John Wall, to cut the lead to eight with about eight minutes left in the fourth. But the Nets scored the next eight points, with two 3s from Harden, to extend it to 113-97 midway through the quarter.
It’s the eighth triple-double for Harden this season and his second straight after he had 30 points, 14 rebounds and 15 assists without a turnover in an overtime victory at San Antonio on Monday night. He didn’t play as clean of a game Wednesday when he had eight turnovers.
Harden got a mixed reception from the crowd. Many of the 3,615 fans booed when he was introduced before the game and more boos came the first few times he touched the ball.
He said it was a “little weird” being on the visitor’s side but denied having any extra emotions.
“Once I get on that court I’m just trying to win,” he said. “So that was kind of my feeling. I wasn’t trying to show off. I wasn’t trying to do anything out of the ordinary that I haven’t been doing. Just playing my brand of basketball.”
NBA NEWS: Embiid, Harris lead 76ers to OT victory over Jazz
(AP) Joel Embiid isn’t content with being one of the NBA’s best players. He wants more for himself and the 76ers – and it showed.
Embiid had 40 points and 19 rebounds and hit a tying 3-pointer late in regulation, Tobias Harris scored 11 of his 22 points in overtime, and Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia beat the West-leading Utah Jazz 131-123 on Wednesday night.
Ben Simmons added 17 points for the 76ers, who improved to 24-12.
The game included four players who will be participating in Sunday’s All-Star game in Embiid and Simmons, and Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the Jazz.
Embiid rose above the rest.
“Those are the matchups you want to dominate and prove we have a great team,” Embiid said.
The four-time All-Star is eager to add the NBA’s top defensive award to his mantel.
“I want to dominate on the offensive end but mainly on the defensive end,” he said.
Once again, he did both to help Philadelphia avenge last month’s loss to the Jazz.
The Jazz beat Philadelphia 134-123 on Feb. 15 in Utah when Embiid sat with a back injury. Simmons had 42 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in that game, but Jordan Clarkson hit eight 3-pointers and scored 40 points for Utah.
All the stars were available for this one, and they put on a show.
Philadelphia tied it early in the fourth, and the teams went back and forth down the stretch with neither leading by more than five.
Mike Conley’s two free throws put Utah ahead 118-115 with 21.5 seconds left in regulation. The 76ers couldn’t free their shooters for a tying 3, so Embiid stepped back and drained one himself with 5.9 seconds remaining. Conley quickly drove the length of the court and had a chance to win it, but his runner from the foul line rimmed out.
“Very comfortable shot and one I’ve made a thousand times,” Conley said. “It’s just unfortunate it didn’t go in.”
Harris took over offensively for Philadelphia in the extra session, scoring the 76ers’ first eight points and giving them a 126-123 advantage on a turnaround jumper with 1:37 left.
“That’s why I’ve been preaching for him to be an All-Star,” Embiid said. “He dominated in overtime.”
NBA NEWS: Lillard’s late 3 gives Blazers 108-106 win over Warriors
(AP) Played tough by the Warriors all game, Damian Lillard needed to make something happen.
And that’s exactly what he did.
Lillard hit a deep 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds left to give the Portland Trail Blazers a hard-fought 108-106 victory over Golden State on Wednesday night.
“Now is the time where I’ve got to force it, I’ve got to create the opportunity, even if it’s a tough one,” Lillard said about his thinking as the clock ticked down. “Whatever happens I’ve got to put my foot on the gas a little bit more, and try to make something happen.”
Lillard and Carmelo Anthony each had 22 points for the Blazers, who kept it close most of the way after the Warriors jumped out to an early lead.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 35 points. His 3-pointer gave Golden State a 101-96 lead with 3:57 remaining.
Lillard, stifled by the Warriors through the first three quarters, made a 3 that tied it 103-all before Draymond Green’s 3 put Golden State in front with 1:43 to go.
Lillard made free throws to get Portland within a point, then hit a 29-footer to give the Blazers a 108-106 lead with 13.7 seconds left. He took a charge from Green, which prompted an unsuccessful challenge by Golden State, and Portland won its second straight after a four-game losing streak.
“He hit a huge shot, a deep shot,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “That’s what he does. That’s the kind of player he is. Even on a bad night he can get going at any time, so that’s why you have to stay alert the entire 48 (minutes).”
The Warriors were without Kelly Oubre Jr. because of a sprained wrist. Oubre, averaging 15.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, was injured in practice Tuesday. Kent Bazemore made his first start of the season in Oubre’s place.
All eyes were on the matchup between Lillard and Curry, who are among the NBA’s top scorers. Lillard went into the game ranked third in the league with 29.6 points per game, just ahead of Curry at 29.5. Washington guard Bradley Beal tops the list with 32.9.
“He’s a super competitor and never thinks he’s out of a game, and he’s always willing to put himself on the line to make the play, at either end,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said about Lillard. “I think those last two plays speaks volumes for the type of player that he is.”
The Warriors took a 15-2 lead on Green’s layup. Portland chipped away, tying the game at 26 before the end of the opening quarter on Rodney Hood’s 3-pointer. Curry had 16 points in the period and 23 for the half.
Hood’s floater gave Portland a 30-29 lead early in the second quarter, but the Blazers were unable to pull away and Golden State led 56-55 at halftime.
The teams battled for the lead the rest of the way. Anfernee Simons gave Portland an 87-84 lead with a 3-pointer early in the final quarter. The game got heated at times down the stretch, with Portland’s Gary Trent Jr. and Juan Toscano-Anderson exchanging words.
NBA NEWS: Porzingis helps Doncic-less Mavs to 87-78 win over Thunder
(AP) Kristaps Porzingis had 19 points and 13 rebounds with European sidekick Luka Doncic sidelined by a back issue going into his second All-Star appearance, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 87-78 on Wednesday night.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points, Josh Richardson added 16 and Dallas cruised most of the second half without the NBA’s sixth-leading scorer. Doncic had averaged 31.6 points in the previous nine games, with Dallas winning seven to get above .500 for the first time since Jan. 22.
The Mavericks kept that roll going, winning for the 10th time in 13 games going into the All-Star break. Dallas lost six in a row before that.
Coach Rick Carlisle said he expected Doncic, who was in a white Air Jordan hoodie in his usual spot in one corner of the spaced-out bench, to play in Atlanta on Sunday. The Slovenian sensation was voted a starter for the second straight year.
Porzingis, who averaged 27.2 points and 11.8 rebounds in 10 games without Doncic in their first season together in 2019-20, started quietly but finished 7 of 15 from the floor, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range.
“I didn’t want to force anything,” Porzingis said after this third game since returning from his own back problem. “I knew the ball was going to come back to me. At the end, some easy shots, easy ones came to me. For us, it’s important that we’re moving the ball.”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 15 points for Oklahoma City, which was held to a season low in points on its worst shooting night so far at 33%. The previous lows were 80 points and 37%.
“I think the thing we can take away from this game is we’ve just got to keep playing,” said Kenrich Williams, who scored all eight of his points in the first half playing not far from his college home at TCU. “They’re going to hit tough shots and offensively the ball’s not always going to go in. You’ve just got to stay together defensively.”
For the first 2 1/2 quarters, the Mavericks also missed Doncic’s 46.1% shooting from 3-point range during those nine games before he finally had to sit with a back issue that’s been bothering him for a couple of weeks.
Dallas had missed 22 of its first 23 from long range when Hardaway hit one for Dallas’ first 10-point lead at 62-52 in the third quarter. At that point, Hardaway was 2 of 5 from beyond the arc while his teammates had missed all 18 attempts.
That second basket from long range by Hardaway got other Dallas players going, though.
Trey Burke, Porzingis and Richardson hit three in a row in the third quarter, and Porzingis drained a pair on back-to-back possessions for Dallas’ first 20-point lead at 84-64 in the fourth quarter. The Mavericks ended up at 20% from beyond the arc (8 of 40).
“I liked the looks,” Carlisle said. “Some nights you’ve just to keep firing them up there. We’ve been shooting the 3 well, particularly the last three, three and a half weeks. I just liked the way we stuck to the process in the second half.
NBA NEWS: LaVine’s 36 points lift Bulls past Pelicans 128-124
(AP) Zach LaVine capped a 36-point performance with a driving layup and four free throws during the final minute, and the Chicago Bulls held off a late rally to beat the mercurial New Orleans Pelicans 128-124 on Wednesday night.
“I’ve got to stay aggressive,” LaVine said, noting that he might have been too eager to pass when the Pelicans tightened the game up in the final five minutes. “It makes the play a little bit easier, because if they don’t stop me, then obviously I’m at the rim or have an open shot.
“I feel comfortable taking those free throws at the end of the game,” LaVine added.
Coby White scored 25 for the Bulls, who led by as many as 19 and were still up 18 in the fourth quarter before the Pelicans’ late surge pulled them as close as 117-113 on Jaxson Hayes alley-oop dunk as he was fouled with 1:49 left.
Hayes missed the free throw, however, and Zion Williamson, who scored 28 points, missed two free throws with a chance to cut it to two with 1:23 left.
“I really feel like I let my team down, man,” said Williamson, who missed eight of 16 free throws in the game and returned to the empty court afterward to work on his foul shots. “I’ve got to be better in that situation. If I want to be one of those great players and I take a lot of responsibility, I’ve got to be ready for those moments.”
The Bulls, pulled out of a three-minute dry spell that included five missed shots and three turnovers when Wendell Carter Jr.’s putback made it 119-113 with 1:05 to go.
“Obviously, we wish it were a little bit easier than that because we worked so hard throughout the game and we had them down,” LaVine said. “But I think we responded well.”
It was the middling Bulls’ second victory this season over the mystifying Pelicans, who came out flat after knocking off the NBA-leading Utah Jazz on Monday night.
New Orleans missed 16 of 22 3-point shots and 12 of 38 free throws.
“We got absolutely destroyed on the boards,” said Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy, whose team was outrebounded 45-35 and allowed the Bulls to turn 13 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance. … It’s all right there on the stat sheet.”
Brandon Ingram scored 21 points in 25 minutes, but sat out much of the fourth quarter while the Pelicans rallied back into the game, helped by Hayes’ 10 points and three blocks.
NBA NEWS: Young scores 32 as Hawks rally from 19 down to beat Magic
Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks haven’t had much to smile about this season – until now.
The star guard scored 32 points and hit the go-ahead free throws with eight seconds remaining as Atlanta rallied from 19 down in the second half to beat the Orlando Magic 115-112 on Wednesday night.
Coupled with Tuesday’s win in Miami, the Hawks improved to 2-0 under interim coach Nate McMillan and won consecutive games for the first time in 5 1/2 weeks. McMillan took over Monday when Atlanta fired Lloyd Pierce following a 14-20 start.
“It feels good and I think this is my first win going into the All-Star break, and for us it’s good momentum,” said Young, who had 20 points after halftime to lead the Hawks back from a 61-42 deficit. “We were talking, wanting to finish out strong and saying, `Don’t start the break too early.’ For us, you could tell how much it meant to us to win that game.”
All-Star center Nikola Vucevic, who had 29 points and nine rebounds, briefly put Orlando ahead 112-111 with a follow-up layup with 18 seconds to play.
Seconds later, Atlanta put the ball in Young’s hands and he was fouled by Michael Carter-Williams on a drive to the rim. All night long, it was Young who had trouble with hard drives by Carter-Williams (20 points). This time, Young got the last laugh.
Terrence Ross, who made his second start in three seasons and scored 28 points, missed a runner in the lane in the closing seconds. The Magic lost their fifth straight after Atlanta outscored them 73-51 in the second half.
“We talk all the time about playing 48 minutes and it took all 48 minutes of playing this game to get it,” McMillan said after the Hawks improved to 2-5 on the second night of a back-to-back. “Our guys did not give up and it’s a testament of our character. It took all 48 minutes, but we got it.”
Atlanta shot 9 of 13 on 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and made 21 of 45 from beyond the arc overall. Danilo Gallinari hit five 3s and scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half.
John Collins had 15 points and Kevin Huerter added 13. All five Hawks starters made at least three 3s. Young was 4 of 7 on 3s and sank 10 of 11 free throws.
NBA NEWS: Slumping Kings beat short-handed Lakers 123-120
Buddy Hield shook off a sore ankle to score 29 points and the Sacramento Kings beat the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers 123-120 on Wednesday night.
Hield’s status for the game was in doubt because of a sprained right ankle, but he decided to play through it and helped the Kings win for just the second time in the past 12 games.
“We’ve been in a bad funk,” Hield said. “If I’m hurt, I can play through that. I don’t like taking games off and I hate losing.”
They took advantage of a banged-up Lakers team missing LeBron James and Anthony Davis to bounce back from Sunday’s late-game collapse against Charlotte when they missed five foul shots in the final 69 seconds to blow an eight-point lead.
“We needed that win,” guard Cory Joseph said. “After last game with the mental collapse we had at the end of the game, I felt like we did a good job of the whole 48 minutes staying mentally locked in.”
Sacramento held on at the end to win this one with Harrison Barnes’ layup giving the Kings a 121-120 lead with 30.1 seconds remaining after De’Aaron Fox had just fouled out.
Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell then both missed short shots at the other end and Sacramento got the ball back with 3.0 seconds to play.
Barnes made two free throws and Kyle Kuzma’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer was off target to seal the win for the Kings.
“Guys are hurt. They’re hurting,” coach Frank Vogel said. “They competed their tails off and fought hard enough to get the win. … Our guys wanted to win this game very badly and are disappointed.”
Fox finished with 23 points and Barnes had 20 for Sacramento.
Schroder scored 28 to lead Los Angeles, Harrell added 26 and Kuzma scored 25. But it wasn’t enough for the Lakers, who lost for the sixth time in eight games to fall into a tie for third place in the Western Conference.
“The offense wasn’t really the issue,” Kuzma said. “It was the defense. Throughout the game we had a few mental lapses. … We just didn’t stop them. Offensively, it wasn’t an issue.”
NBA NEWS: Los Angeles Lakers’ Montrezl Harrell critical of technical foul for yelling ‘and-1’
Montrezl Harrell offered a sharp rebuff to the technical foul he received in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 123-120 loss at the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, calling the whistle a “soft” decision by the official.
“I think some of the referees — and this is not bashing any referee in general — but there cannot be any instances of calling the game that soft, man,” Harrell said after putting up 26 points and 11 rebounds but still seeing his Lakers head into the All-Star break with a seventh loss in their past 10 games.
Harrell scored a sweeping layup in the paint on Kings center Richaun Holmes with 10 minutes, 51 seconds remaining in the second quarter, putting L.A. up 33-26.
After absorbing contact from Holmes on the shot, Harrell said he simply yelled “and-1” as he ran back on defense, which prompted referee Jenna Schroeder to call him for the technical foul.
“And-1” is a common term in the basketball vernacular, used when a player believes he or she deserves a free throw for being fouled on a successful shot attempt.
“What I said was, ‘and-1,'” Harrell said. “No cursing, no profanity, none of that. And she turned around and gave me a tech because she was in her feelings, because she felt like I was too loud with her or I belittled her when we were talking [earlier in the game]. Like, you can’t bring that into the game. I don’t care who it is; I don’t care what the situation is.”
Harrell said he believes a prior interaction with Schroeder influenced how she perceived his outburst after the score on Holmes.
“Whether me and you or me and whatever ref got into it, in a verbal conversation the play before, just because you’re still holding onto a grudge from that, you cannot come back and give me a tech,” he said. “The tech that I got definitely was a big one for me and definitely shouldn’t have been called, because at the instance of [the call], I’m not looking at her. I was nowhere near her vicinity. I’m running back on defense.”
NHL NEWS: Caps edge Bruins 2-1 in SO in Chara’s return to Boston
(AP) Jakub Vrana had the only goal in the shootout and the Washington Capitals beat the Bruins 2-1 Wednesday night in Zdeno Chara’s return to Boston.
Lars Eller scored in regulation for the Capitals, who improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games. Vitek Vanecek made 18 saves.
The 43-year-old Chara, the Bruins’ captain for his 14 seasons with the club, signed a one-year contract as a free agent with the Capitals in the offseason. He helped Boston win the 2011 Stanley Cup, and was a key part of its runner-up teams in 2013 and 2019.
“Guys played hard and it was important coming back to Boston for Z,” said Capitals coach Peter Laviolette, who earned his 650th career victory. “I’m very happy that we were able to come Boston and get a win for him.”
David Pastrnak scored for Boston. Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots and was denied in his bid for the 300th victory of his career. The Bruins have dropped five of seven.
Vrana, the Capitals’ second shooter, shifted around Rask and tucked the puck inside the left post.
“To be honest with you, I thought this was playoff-game intensity,” Washington center Evgeny Kuznetsov said.
Vanecek robbed Jake DeBrusk in the final minute of OT, after Rask made a pair of nice stops on redirect chances by Dmitry Orlov and Nicklas Backstrom.
Boston took a 1-0 edge early in the third when Brad Marchand broke down the left wing and sent a cross-ice pass to Pastrnak, who redirected it past Vanecek 1:19 into period.
Washington tied it when Eller scored from the edge of the crease just under five minutes later.
The Bruins played a video tribute for Chara on the Jumbotron during the first TV stoppage. With fans unable to be in the building due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were messages thanking him.
“It really didn’t seem like it was a good enough tribute and that’s because of the situation,” Marchand said. “It’s always good to see him and play against him. I’m sure he’ll be able to enjoy it the next time the fans are here.”
NHL NEWS: NHL-leading Maple Leafs beat Oilers 6-1 for 3-game sweep
(AP) Jimmy Vesey scored twice, Frederik Andersen made 26 saves in his return from an injury and the NHL-leading Toronto Maple Leafs completed a three-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers with a 6-1 victory Wednesday night.
John Tavares and Zach Hyman each had a goal and an assist, and William Nylander and Ilya Mikheyhev also scored to help Toronto improve to 18-4-2.
“Edmonton was red-hot coming into it and chasing us in the standings,” Vesey said. “To win three games like that so decisively, I think it’s a real step.”
Andersen returned after missing four games with a lower-body injury. Auston Matthews, the NHL goals leader with 18, also was back after missing the last two games with a sore wrist/hand.
“It’s a full team effort,” Matthews said. “Our goaltending’s been unbelievable these last three games. Three different goalies, three phenomenal games. We’ve got to put this one behind us and move onto the next.”
The Maple Leafs outscored the Oilers 13-1 in the three games, winning 4-0 on Saturday night and 3-0 on Monday night. NHL scoring leader Connor McDavid was held without a point for the Oilers in three straight games for just the third time in his career.
“We came out strong,” McDavid said. “But I thought we came out strong in all three games, and they find a way to get up a couple goals and it’s the same old story. For whatever reason, we couldn’t figure those guys out.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Edmonton. The Oilers dropped to 14-11-0.
“It’s very concerning,” Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said. “It’s very concerning that we don’t want to grab the competitive level in a series like this.”
INDY FUEL HOCKEY: SECOND PERIOD EXPLOSION PROPELS INDY OVER WHEELING
INDIANAPOLIS – In their first game of a two-game week, the Indy Fuel hosted the Wheeling Nailers on Wednesday night at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Fuel would explode in the second period, seeing goals from Willie Raskob, Matt Marcinew, Spencer Watson and Nic Pierog to eventually give them a 6-0 win on Wednesday.
Outshooting the Nailers 4-2 through the first 10 minutes of the period, Indy spent the majority of the time in the Wheeling zone. With both teams killing off a penalty, the Fuel would eventually take the 1-0 lead when Mike Lee received a pass from Michael Pelech and fired the puck over the shoulder of Francois Brassard.
Doubling their lead four minutes into the second period, Willie Raskob threw a puck on net from the point that beat a screened Francois Brassard. Just over two minutes later, the Fuel took a 3-0 lead when Michael Pelech fed an open Matt Marcinew who beat Brassard through the five-hole with a wrist shot.
Giving Indy a 4-0 lead halfway through the middle stanza, Spencer Watson beat a Wheeling defenseman and fired a wrist shot past Brassard. Scoring his 16th goal of the season, Nic Pierog beat goaltender Alex D’Orio with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle. Scoring four goals in the second period, the Fuel would go into the locker room leading 5-0.
Holding on to a 5-0 lead in the final period, the Indy Fuel would have to weather the Wheeling storm. Indy’s Michael Pelech would score with .1 seconds remaining in the game to give the Fuel a 6-0 lead and Dan Bakala would stop 20 of 20 shots to earn his second shutout of the season and the eventual 6-0 win on Wednesday night.
Various ticket options are now on sale for the Fuel’s 7th season at Indiana Farmers Coliseum! Lock up your seat for every second of the action at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with a Fuel Ticket Plan – grab yours by heading to IndyFuelHockey.com or by calling the Fuel front office at 317-925-FUEL. Don’t forget to follow the Fuel on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (IndyFuel) for news, updates, contests and much more throughout the 2020-21 season.
NFL NEWS: Jets’ Douglas praises Darnold, but open to trading QB
(AP) Sam Darnold’s time as the face of the New York Jets franchise might be nearing a disappointing end.
The 23-year-old quarterback was considered an untouchable player on the roster only a year ago. General manager Joe Douglas has backed off that stance, though, and it could signal a major change at the position as free agency and the NFL draft approach.
“I will answer the call if it’s made,” Douglas said Wednesday when asked if he’d listen to offers for Darnold. “As it pertains to Sam, Sam’s, we think, a dynamic player in this league with unbelievable talent and who really, really has a chance to really hit his outstanding potential moving forward.
“But, you know, like I said earlier, if calls are made, I will answer.”
Douglas’ comments during a video call that included new coach Robert Saleh marked the first time the GM directly acknowledged being willing to trade Darnold. And that has the quarterback’s future with the Jets murky – just three years after being hailed as a potential long-term solution at a position that has long lacked consistent production.
“Our stance on Sam hasn’t changed,” Douglas insisted. “He’s an extremely talented player and he’s very smart, very tough. And we have no doubt that Sam is going to achieve his outstanding potential. Obviously, we’re in the process of getting as much information as we can leading up through free agency and the draft.”
Then-GM Mike Maccagnan traded up in the draft to select Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in 2018, but the quarterback has not lived up to those lofty expectations because of inconsistency and injuries. Former coach Adam Gase acknowledged he didn’t help Darnold enough to thrive, and the Jets lacked playmaking talent to help him take the next step in his development.
While Darnold has shown flashes during his three NFL seasons, there remain serious doubts as to whether he can lift the franchise. His contract also makes his status uncertain.
Darnold is entering the fourth year of his rookie deal and is scheduled to count $9.8 million against the Jets’ salary cap. While that’s a manageable cost, New York has until May 3 to decide whether to exercise Darnold’s fifth-year option – which would cost the Jets between $15 million and $20 million, fully guaranteed.
New York currently holds the No. 2 overall pick in the draft next month, and BYU’s Zach Wilson and Ohio State’s Justin Fields are among the names being mentioned as options for the Jets.
NFL NEWS: Detroit Lions, ex-Las Vegas Raiders WR Tyrell Williams reach deal, source says
Former Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Tyrell Williams reached agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $6.2 million with the Detroit Lions, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Lions might have a revamped wide receiver corps in 2021, as Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola are set to become free agents later this month. Golladay could be a candidate for the team’s franchise tag.
On Tuesday, Lions general manager Brad Holmes said he didn’t believe it would take long to remake the team’s receiver room. The Lions might also end up without returner/receiver Jamal Agnew and have just Quintez Cephus and Geronimo Allison, who opted out of the 2020 season, as receivers with significant NFL experience.
Williams, who missed the entire 2020 season because of a torn labrum in his shoulder that required surgery, was released by the Raiders last month.
He signed a four-year, $44.4 million contract that included $22 million guaranteed with the Raiders as a free agent in 2019. All the guaranteed money has been paid out in his contract, and the Raiders saved $11.6 million against their cap by releasing him.
Williams, who turned 29 in February, had 42 catches for 651 yards and six touchdowns for the Raiders in 2019. But plantar fasciitis in both feet slowed him and he missed two games.
He spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chargers and had 155 receptions for 2,530 yards and 17 touchdowns in 55 games. His best season came in 2016, when he had 69 receptions for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns.
The move to Detroit reunites Williams with Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, who was the Chargers’ head coach when Williams was on the roster in 2017 and 2018.
GOLF NEWS: Detectives look at SUV’s ‘black box’ from Tiger Woods crash
(AP) Detectives are looking at data from the “black box” of Tiger Woods’ SUV to get a clearer picture of what occurred during the Southern California rollover crash that seriously injured the golf star, authorities said Wednesday.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said traffic investigators executed a search warrant Monday to retrieve data from the device from the Genesis SUV that Woods was driving.
There was no immediate information regarding what was found in the black box, Deputy Trina Schrader said in a statement.
The 2021 GV80, made by the Hyundai luxury brand, is likely to have a newer version of event data recorders nicknamed “black boxes” after more sophisticated recorders in airplanes. The devices store a treasure trove of data for authorities to review.
Woods suffered a serious leg injury when the SUV he was driving went off a Los Angeles County road and rolled over on a downhill stretch known for crashes. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods was not drunk and was driving alone in good weather when the SUV hit a raised median, went across oncoming lanes and rolled several times. The crash injured his right leg, requiring surgery.
Deputies will review data from the black box to “see if they can find out what was the performance of the vehicle, what was happening at the time of impact,” said Villanueva, who previously faced criticism for almost immediately calling the crash “purely an accident.”
During a live social media event on Wednesday. the sheriff said the new data could provide more information on the cause of the accident.
“And that’s all it is, and we’ll leave it at that,” he said.
California law allows law enforcement to seek search warrants for data recorders that were involved in motor vehicle crashes that result in death or serious bodily injury. Law enforcement must show that the recorders could have evidence of a felony or misdemeanor in the crash, and detectives must limit their review of the data to information directly related to the offense.
A black box is a computer that stores data from a vehicle’s sensors, which can be downloaded. The boxes usually are below the center of the dashboard or beneath seats to be protected from damage.
There aren’t any federal regulations requiring the boxes, but the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says nearly all vehicles have them now. The government does require the recorders to store 15 data points including speed before impact and whether brake and gas pedals were pressed.
USA Today first reported the search warrant, noting that deputies did not seek one for samples of Woods’ blood. The blood samples could show if Woods had any drugs or alcohol in his system. Villanueva has repeatedly said the athlete did not show any evidence of impairment at the scene.
Woods had a fifth back surgery on Dec. 23. In 2017, he checked into a clinic for help dealing with prescription medication following a DUI arrest in Florida.
MLB NEWS: Yankees manager Aaron Boone takes leave to get pacemaker
(AP) Yankees manager Aaron Boone took a leave of absence from the team to get a pacemaker and intends to return to work in a few days.
New York said the procedure was likely to be performed later Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida.
“It sounds like it’s going to be a short-term thing,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “I do applaud him for being very open and honest.”
Bench coach Carlos Mendoza took over as acting manager for Wednesday night’s exhibition against Toronto in Tampa.
Boone said in a statement the medical team is “confident that today’s surgery will allow me to resume all of my usual professional and personal activities and afford me a positive long-term health prognosis without having to change anything about my way of life. I look forward to getting back to work in the next several days.”
The 47-year-old is entering his fourth season as Yankees manager, and Cashman said Boone told him a few days ago he intended to have the pacemaker inserted whenever the surgery could be scheduled.
New York started the exhibition season Sunday, and Boone informed the Yankees staff from the hospital during a Zoom call Wednesday that he would have the procedure later in the day. Boone recorded a video that was given to players during a second Zoom.
“As many of you know, I underwent open-heart surgery in 2009, and I wanted everyone to understand where I’m at regarding the procedure that’s taking place today,” Boone said. “Over the last six to eight weeks I’ve had mild symptoms of lightheadedness, low energy and shortness of breath. As a result, I underwent a series of tests and examinations in New York prior to the beginning of spring training, including multiple visits with a team of heart specialists. While the heart checkup came back normal, there were indications of a low heart rate which, after further consultations with doctors in Tampa, necessitates a pacemaker.”
Boone said “my faith is strong, and my spirits are high. I’m in a great frame of mind.”
“During my short-term absence, I have complete trust that our coaches, staff and players will continue their training and preparation at the same level as we’ve had and without any interruption,” he said.
Boone played in the major leagues from 1997-2009 and was an All-Star for the Yankees in 2003, the year his 11th-inning home run off Boston’s Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series won the pennant for New York. He is a third generation major leaguer, whose grandfather Gus, father Bob and brother Bret also played in the big leagues and whose nephew Jake is a minor leaguer in the Washington organization.
A broadcaster for ESPN, Boone succeeded Joe Girardi as New York manager after the 2017 season. He has led the Yankees to a 236-148 record.
MLB NEWS: Former Baltimore Orioles manager Joe Altobelli dies at 88
Former major league manager Joe Altobelli, who guided the 1983 Baltimore Orioles to a World Series title, has died, the team announced Wednesday. He was 88.
“The Orioles are saddened to learn of the passing of former manager Joe Altobelli, who led Baltimore to a World Championship in 1983, his first season at the helm,” the team said in a statement posted to Twitter. “A tremendous leader, Altobelli’s compassion, skill, and baseball expertise contributed to the Hall of Fame careers of Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, and Cal Ripken, Jr. We send our sympathies to Altobelli’s family and many friends throughout the game.”
Altobelli managed the Orioles three seasons, then was fired after a 29-26 start in 1985. He also managed the San Francisco Giants (1977-79) and was the interim manager of the Chicago Cubs for one game during the 1991 season.
He had a career record of 437-407.
Altobelli also had a successful stretch as the Orioles’ Triple-A manager from 1971-76, when the Rochester Red Wings won two International League championships.
He played in three big-league seasons during a span from 1955-61, spending two seasons with the Cleveland Indians and one with the Minnesota Twins.
MLB NEWS: Nationals say lefty Jon Lester to have thyroid gland removed
(AP) Washington Nationals left-hander Jon Lester is leaving spring training camp to have surgery for the removal of his thyroid gland, manager Dave Martinez said Wednesday.
The 37-year-old Lester was to travel from West Palm Beach, Florida, to New York on Wednesday; the Nationals said the operation is planned for Friday.
“Hopefully he can pitch again in about a week,” Martinez said in a video conference with reporters before Washington’s exhibition game against the Miami Marlins. “We want him to get it taken care of now, so it’s not an issue.”
Martinez said the Nationals “still have plans, as of right now, that he will start the season with us on his scheduled day, but we’ll have to see – after this procedure’s done – how he’s feeling.”
In 2006, Lester’s rookie season with the Boston Red Sox ended early because he was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma.
He underwent chemotherapy treatments and returned to the Red Sox at spring training before the following season.
Lester is entering his 16th year in the majors and first with Washington. He was a free agent and joined the Nationals on a $5 million, one-year contract after playing the past six seasons with the Chicago Cubs.
The starting pitcher originally was scheduled to make his first appearance for Washington in a Grapefruit League game Thursday.
But Martinez said that after additional test results came in, a decision was made Tuesday for Lester to have the surgery.
He said Lester had been feeling tired.
“That’s the big issue. I feel like once they get this out, he’ll have a lot more energy throughout the day,” the manager said. “I hope it works out for him. I really do. He’s a big part of what we do here and we love having him. He’s been working his tail off, day in and day out, and I know he’s going to help us.”
Washington added Lester to a star-studded rotation that already included three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg and lefty Patrick Corbin.
MLB NEWS: Astros pitcher Framber Valdéz breaks finger in spring debut
(AP) Houston Astros left-hander Framber Valdez has a fractured left ring finger, an injury that could deal another blow to the team’s banged-up starting rotation.
The 27-year-old was hurt on the fifth pitch of his spring training debut Tuesday at Port St. Lucie, on a one-hopper off the bat of the New York Mets’ Francisco Lindor for the second out of the first inning. The ball hit the finger as he grabbed the ball, and after throwing to first for the out, Valdez flexed the finger several times.
He took a few warmups and stayed in the game. Valdez finished two innings, throwing 24 pitches.
“Following his outing, we decided to have Framber examined,” Astros general manager James Click said Wednesday. “The X-ray revealed the injury. At this point, the medical staff needs to do additional tests and imaging before deciding on the next steps. We will know more in the upcoming days.”
Valdez was 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearance last year, striking out 76 and walking 16 in a team-high 70 2/3 innings.
Houston already was missing ace Justin Verlander, who probably will miss the entire season following Tommy John surgery on Sept. 30. Valdez had been projected to be part of a rotation that includes Zack Greinke, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jose Urquidy.
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|Oklahoma City||14||21||.400||12.5||6-11||8-10||2-6||6-16||4-6||2 L|
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|LA Lakers||24||13||.649||0.5||11-8||13-5||1-4||17-8||3-7||2 L|
|Golden State||19||17||.528||5.0||12-6||7-11||3-3||9-9||5-5||2 L|
|San Antonio||18||13||.581||—||9-9||9-4||4-5||12-12||7-3||1 W|
|New Orleans||15||20||.429||5.0||10-8||5-12||4-3||8-13||4-6||1 L|
|New York Islanders||22||12||6||4||28||12||58||50||7-0-2||5-6-2||7-2-1|
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