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MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#2 ARIZONA 82 COLORADO 72

TEXAS A&M 67 #4 AUBURN 62

#5 KENTUCKY 77 VANDERBILT 71

#6 KANSAS 75 TCU 62

#7 DUKE 80 MIAMI, FLORIDA 76

#8 VILLANOVA 63 #20 UCONN 60

#9 TENNESSEE 72 MISSISSIPPI STATE 59

#9 PURDUE 69 PENN STATE 61

CREIGHTON 85 #11 PROVIDENCE 58

#13 UCLA 69 #21 USC 59

#14 TEXAS TECH 56 OKLAHOMA 55

#15 ARKANSAS 79 LSU 67

INDIANA 65 #16 ILLINOIS 63

#18 HOUSTON 69 CINCINNATI 56

SAN DIEGO STATE 63 #23 COLORADO STATE 58

#24 IOWA 84 RUTGERS 74

WEST VIRGINIA 72 #25 NORTH CAROLINA 59

DAVIDSON 74 FORDHAM 56

LOUISIANA TECH 42 N. TEXAS 36

ST. LOUIS 57 ST. BONAVENTURE 56

TEXAS SOUTHERN 73 GRAMBLING 54

ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM 102 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 98 3OT

TULANE 69 TEMPLE 60

AKRON 70 TOLEDO 62

MONMOUTH 72 RIDER 68

DAYTON 75 UMASS 72

TEXAS A&M – CC 71 NICHOLLS 64

KENT STATE 67 OHIO 61

MONTANA STATE 69 WEBER STATE 66

SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA 74 NEW ORLEANS 65

RICHMOND 75 TCU 64

ST. PETER’S 64 QUINNIPIAC 52

COPPIN STATE 79 NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 73

NEW MEXICO STATE 75 GRAND CANYON 70

LONG BEACH STATE 67 HOW SANTA BARBARA 64

BOISE STATE 68 WYOMING 61

ALCORN STATE 69 ALABAMA A&M 64

MEMPHIS 85 CENTRAL FLORIDA 69

NORTHERN COLORADO 86 PORTLAND STATE 79

CAL STATE FULLERTON 58 HAWAII 46

ABILENE CHRISTIAN 78 SEATTLE 76

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#4 BAYLOR 76 OKLAHOMA STATE 36

#7 TEXAS 72 KANSAS STATE 65

#10 IOWA STATE 66 WEST VIRGINIA 60

#21 OKLAHOMA 80 KANSAS 68

#24 PRINCETON 72 HARVARD 67

BALL STATE 71 TOLEDO 66

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 77 INDIANA STATE 61

NORTHERN IOWA 63 VALPARAISO 39

LOUISIANA TECH 80 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 72

MANHATTAN 72 QUINNIPIAC 59

NORFOLK STATE 53 MORGAN STATE 51

CHARLESTON 70 ELON 59

SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA 80 NEW ORLEANS 66

HAWAII 69 UC RIVERSIDE 55

MONTANA STATE 75 NORTHERN ARIZONA 64

FAIRFIELD 75 NIAGARA 38

ALABAMA STATE 74 GRAMBLING 59

DREXEL 60 HOFSTRA 39

INCARNATE WORD 90 MCNEESE STATE 63

BUFFALO 82 AKRON 43

HOWARD 68 MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE 54

ILLINOIS STATE 68 LOYOLA CHICAGO 52

STEPHEN F AUSTIN 68 UTAH VALLEY 42

DELAWARE 61 WILLIAM AND MARY 35

ALBANY 56 MAINE 47

UC IRVINE 84 UC DAVIS 75 OT

GRAND CANYON 64 CALIFORNIA BAPTIST 60

CHARLOTTE 66 N. TEXAS 63

JACKSON STATE 59 SOUTHERN 46

COLUMBIA 67 YALE 38

MISSOURI STATE 63 DRAKE 49

TOWSON 58 NORTHEASTERN 49

NBA SCOREBOARD

ORLANDO 118 MINNESOTA 110

ATLANTA 112 LA CLIPPERS 106

BOSTON 114 DETROIT 103

CHARLOTTE 142 NEW ORLEANS 120

DALLAS 113 HOUSTON 100

MIAMI 117 CLEVELAND 105

MEMPHIS 118 NEW YORK 114

SAN ANTONIO 104 UTAH 102

TORONTO 117 PHOENIX 112

LA LAKERS 122 WASHINGTON 109

NHL SCOREBOARD

PITTSBURGH 5 VEGAS 2

COLUMBUS 3 MINNESOTA 2

NY ISLANDERS 5 WINNIPEG 2

WASHINGTON 4 VANCOUVER 3

TOP NATIONAL SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES

SURGING TEXAS A&M STUNS NO. 4 AUBURN 67-62 IN SEC TOURNEY

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Tyrece Radford scored 19 points and Quenton Jackson made five throws in the final minute Friday as Texas A&M beat fourth-ranked Auburn 67-62 in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, a loss that could wind up costing the Tigers a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Jackson also had a dunk and a key block late, finishing with 17 points to help Texas A&M (22-11) follow up an 83-80 overtime victory over Florida with another strong outing that enhanced the surging Aggies’ chances of landing at least an at-large berth in the NCAA field.

Jabari Smith led Auburn (27-5) with 17 points. Walker Kessler had 16 points, while Wendell Green Jr. made four long 3-pointers to fuel a late comeback that fell short when Jackson delivered a dunk coming out of a timeout and went 5 of 6 from the foul line down the stretch.

Auburn, ranked No. 1 much of the winter and the SEC regular-season champion, fell to 3-3 over its last six games.

Texas A&M, meanwhile, has recovered from a stretch in which it lost eight straight games following a 4-0 start to SEC play. The final loss in the skid was a 17-point setback at Auburn, and the Aggies have been on a mission to rescue their season ever since.

Friday’s win was the team’s sixth straight and its seventh in eight games since pulling out of the tailspin.

For the second straight day, the Aggies started strongly in building a double-digit halftime lead. But unlike Thursday, when Florida rallied to force overtime, Auburn was unable to fully overcome 16% shooting that left the Tigers trailing 37-21 at halftime.

Green made four long 3s from the same spot on the court to help Auburn get back in the game after missing seven of his first eight shots.

Henry Coleman had 16 points, helping Radford carry Texas A&M much of the afternoon while Jackson was riding the bench with three fouls.

BIG PICTURE

Texas A&M: Many felt the Aggies were likely to make the NCAA Tournament after Thursday’s win over Florida. Sending Auburn home early figures to lock up a berth.

Auburn: Entering the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers are going to have to get more consistent guard play. K.D. Johnson missed all 14 of his shots against Texas A&M. Green finished 5 of 12, but the Tigers trailed by 20 before he finally got going.

UP NEXT

Texas A&M: Faces either 15th-ranked Arkansas or LSU in Saturday’s semifinals.

Auburn: Awaits Sunday’s announcement on seedings for the NCAA Tournament.

COACH K REACHES ACC CHAMPIONSHIP IN HIS FINAL TOURNAMENT

NEW YORK (AP) Mike Krzyzewski’s last Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament will end in the final game.

Paolo Banchero had 18 points and 11 rebounds and No. 7 Duke held off Miami with free throws in the final minute as the Blue Devils and their retiring Hall of Fame coach advanced to the ACC championship with an 80-76 victory Friday night.

Top-seeded Duke (28-5) will face seventh-seeded Virginia Tech in Saturday night’s championship at Barclays Center after the Hokies beat No. 25 North Carolina in the late semifinal.

Banchero was asked during a postgame interview with ESPN who he wanted to face in the final and responded, simply: “UNC.”

Krzyzewski put an end to that in his postgame news conference.

“We’ll be honored to play either team,” he said before his players could answer the question again.

Less than a week ago, the Tar Heels upset Duke in Krzyzewski’s home finale to spoil the retirement party. The Blue Devils won’t get a rubber match with their rivals, but they will get a chance to give Krzyzewski a 16th ACC title. No coach has more.

AJ Griffin, who went to high school just north of New York City in White Plains, made three free throws in the final 15 seconds to finish a 21-point performance and seal Coach K’s 22nd appearance in the ACC title game.

Krzyzewski is growing weary of all the send-off talk and wants to move the focus from the farewell tour to his players.

“I’m trying to get away from all that, it’s really too much,” he said. “It’s their season. It’s all about them. I don’t want to be a distraction to them. They only get it once. I’ve had it numerous times.”

Kameron McGusty scored 24 points to lead the Hurricanes (23-10), who beat the Blue Devils on the road earlier this season and appear to be in solid shape for an NCAA Tournament bid.

The size and strength of the Blue Devils in the paint was hard to handle for the Hurricanes. Banchero, coming off a poor shooting game in a win against Syracuse that also went down to the wire, was 8 for 10 from the field with almost all the damage coming inside.

“I was just out there playing, but doing it aggressively,” the star freshman said.

Krzyzewski has been complaining about Duke’s defensive play recently and this was another soft performance on that end – until the last five minutes.

McGusty and Jordan Miller (17 points, 11 rebounds) got plenty of good looks on mid-range jumpers and near the rim. The two combined to shoot 19 for 35 as the Hurricanes shot 47 percent from the floor.

Sam Waardenburg made a corner 3 for Miami with 5 minutes left that tied the score at 65 with 5:00 left. The ‘Canes then went more than four minutes without another field goal.

Wendell Moore Jr. made two free throws for Duke with 58.6 seconds left to put the Blue Devils up 72-69.

Duke nudged the lead to 77-71 with more free throws before another corner 3 by Waardenburg cut it to 3 with 16.7 seconds left, but the Hurricanes never got another chance to tie or take the lead.

The Hurricanes led by as many as 11 in the first half, but Griffin scored 12 straight points late and Jeremy Roach closed the half with a full-court dash and layup to tie it at 36.

“He can really play,” McGusty said of Griffin. “He’s a great shooter. He has a nice body, frame. Strong, gets to the basket. He’s an all-around player. He had a heck of a game.”

Duke last won the ACC Tournament in 2019 with Zion Williamson. The Blue Devils also won the first ACC Tournament played in Brooklyn in 2017.

BIG PICTURE

Miami: The Hurricanes played a solid offensive game, but shot 6 for 12 from the line.

“We normally are a 70-75% free-throw shooting team and we missed some early. That obviously made a difference,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “But our guys played as hard as they possibly can.”

Duke: Larranaga said the difference between Duke now and when Miami beat the Blue Devils is the improved play of Roach and the return to full health of Griffin, who was slowed by a knee injury early in the season.

“Now they are clearly in rhythm,” Larranaga said. “They’ve added two really good weapons.”

UP NEXT

Miami: The Hurricanes await their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2018.

Duke: The Blue Devils opened the ACC season in December by beating Virginia Tech at home.

NO. 8 VILLANOVA TOPPLES NO. 20 UCONN TO MAKE BIG EAST FINAL

NEW YORK (AP) Jermaine Samuels tossed up off-balance shots that fluttered through the net and 3s that had Villanova rocking. Brandon Slater may as well had his name in lights on the marquee with a block that will live in Big East lore.

Just the way UConn drew it up?

“We dared them to beat us,” coach Danny Hurley said.

Sure enough, the Huskies minimized the damage from Villanova stars Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore, knocking the door open for Samuels and Slater to get the Wildcats to another conference championship game.

Samuels had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Slater had 15 points and a highlight-reel block to help No. 8 Villanova beat No. 20 Connecticut 63-60 on Friday night.

The second-seeded Wildcats (25-7) play fourth-seeded Creighton in Saturday night’s title game at Madison Square Garden, where the Wildcats are at home in March at MSG under coach Jay Wright. They won the tournament in 2015 and 2017-2019.

Gillespie and Moore are 1-2 on the season-scoring list but were held to a combined 11 points.

“You’ve got to have other players, great players make plays,” Wright said. “And that’s what makes us a good team.”

The Huskies (23-9) went 4:44 without a basket late in the second half until Adama Sanogo scored with 54.5 seconds left to pull them to 60-57. The scoring drought crushed third-seeded UConn.

Samuels, playing with a bad back, made two free throws and that seemed like it would be enough for Villanova. But UConn’s Andre Jackson fired a moonshot of a 3 to make it 62-60. The Wildcats held on from the line.

Tyrese Martin led the Huskies with 19 points. Sanogo scored 15.

“We can’t let his break us right here,” Martin said.

One of Villanova’s game-saving plays came with 5 minutes left: The Huskies snagged a loose ball and Martin appeared to have an open, easy bucket when Slater bounded out of nowhere and used his outstretched left hand to knock the ball off the glass. The crowd erupted and the Wildcats kept their seven-point lead.

“It was just a play, try to go make a play for my teammates and my coaches,” Slater said. “And I saw him go up, and I felt like I could contest it. When I got up, it just so happened that I got lucky and I got the block. “

Villanova’s first five baskets of the game were 3s and the team made eight overall in the half. Samuels, though, went inside to send Villanova into the half with a 33-32 lead by drawing an and-1 on a shot that kissed the backboard. He also made the free throw – expected from a Villanova team shooting 83% on the season.

“We never felt like we had them under control, you know,” Wright said.

CLOSE CALL

Hurley fed the Huskies’ faithful throughout the game. When Isaiah Whaley blocked Samuels’ shot and got in his face early in the first half, Hurley stomped on the court, waving his arms toward the crowd for more noise. When Tyler Polley hit a 3, he pointed at his head as he ran back on defense — and Hurley thumped his pointer finger against his forehead in unison.

UConn’s goals go beyond a run to the Big East semis.

“Villanova is the type of team that you’d be facing in a Sweet 16 game, potentially,” Hurley said. “That’s their quality. We had a bunch of opportunities in and around the basket.”

CALHOUN’S ROOTS

Jim Calhoun, who coached UConn to three national championships, has been at the Big East Tournament this week – as a spectator, not a coach. He said he likes where the program is headed under Hurley.

“I don’t know if they’re back, per se. They have certainly have good players,” he said. “Danny’s done a terrific job recruiting. I think it’s great for UConn. I think it’s great for the Northeast. I know one thing, I’m not in New Haven right now, but those trains are coming in.”

The 79-year-old Calhoun won 625 games in 26 years at UConn, where his teams won NCAA times in 1999, 2004 and 2011. He left before the Huskies went, briefly, to the American Athletic Conference.

“I would have been very upset if I was coaching, because I love the Big East,” he said of that AAC move.

UP NEXT

Villanova: Plays Creighton, which crushed Providence 85-58 in the first semifinal. The teams split two games with early in the regular season, with the home team winning each time.

UConn: Awaits NCAA Tournament seeding.

VIRGINIA TECH BEATS NO. 25 UNC TO REACH ACC CHAMPIONSHIP

NEW YORK (AP) Virginia Tech came to Brooklyn a desperate team, in need of a run in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament to have a chance to make the NCAAs.

Now the Hokies have the opportunity to eliminate any doubt.

Darius Maddox, Keve Aluma and Virginia Tech dominated No. 25 North Carolina 72-59 on Friday night to advance to the ACC championship game for the first time – and prevent another matchup between the Tar Heels and rival Duke.

The seventh-seeded Hokies (22-12) will face the top-seeded Blue Devils on Saturday night at Barclays Center, trying to deny retiring coach Mike Krzyzewski his 16th ACC championship in his final conference tournament.

“Just because we’re desperate doesn’t mean we’re not confident,” Aluma said. “We just know we’ve got to win.”

Maddox scored 20 points and was 4 for 5 from 3-point range and Aluma had 18 points.

The Hokies will try to become the second team to win the ACC Tournament with four victories in four days. The other was Duke in 2017, the first time the tournament was played at Barclays.

Virginia Tech is a relative newcomer to the conference, having joined in 2004. The Hokies have won four football ACC championships, but have been unable to break through the Blue Bloods in basketball.

Until now.

“I didn’t even know it’s the first time in (program) history,” Maddox said. “It’s crazy. It’s a blessing.”

Third-year coach Mike Young’s team has been rolling since losing five games in January. The Hokies have won 12 of 14 to put themselves in position to win an ACC championship and maybe earn an NCAA at-large bid no matter what happens against Duke.

“We’ll win tomorrow if we can defend and if we can rebound,” Young said. “Will be a tall order.”

On Friday night, Virginia Tech snapped a four-game losing streak to North Carolina with ease.

The Hokies opened the second half with a 9-0 run on a three-point play by Aluma and back-to-back 3s by Hunter Cattoor and Justyn Mutts that upped the lead to 41-26.

The Tar Heels (24-9), looking to return to the ACC title game for the first time since 2018 and set up a rubber match with Tobacco Road rival Duke for the championship, never mounted a real threat.

Maddox, who made a 3 at the buzzer to stave off elimination against Clemson on Wednesday night, dropped an open 3 and held the follow-through to give the Hokies a 20-point lead with 12:47 left against North Carolina.

The Tar Heels made a mini-run to cut the lead to 11 with a 9:25 left. About a minute later Maddox converted a four-point play that pushed the margin back to 17 and quashed any lingering Tar Heels hopes.

Armando Bacot had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia Tech: Hokies fans were clearly outnumbered by Duke and North Carolina supporters at Barclays Center on Friday night, but as the arena emptied in the final minutes they took over the place.

They gave Young a huge cheer as he left the court and he pumped his fist to the band as he headed to the tunnel.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels’ inconsistent season continued. First-season coach Hubert Davis had stressed to his team that good performances needed to be validated the next time out with similar effort.

North Carolina seemed to be hitting its stride, following up a victory against Duke to end the regular-season with an efficient effort against Virginia on Thursday night.

Against the Hokies, aside from Bacot, it was another dud from the Heels.

Davis said he stressed to his team that they should still be encouraged with the way they ended the season winning 12 of 15.

“That’s a team of perseverance, of fight,” he said.

Bacot added: “We’ve done a good job all year responding to the adversity.”

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: The Hokies lost to Duke to open the ACC season in December.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels will await an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.

SPURS’ GREGG POPOVICH BECOMES NBA REGULAR-SEASON WINS LEADER

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Gregg Popovich’s name is on top of the NBA regular-season victory list. He thinks of it more as a group accomplishment.

“All of us share in this record,” Popovich said Friday night after getting his record-breaking 1,336th victory when the San Antonio Spurs rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 104-102. “It’s not mine. It’s ours, here in the city.”

Popovich broke a tie with Don Nelson, the friend and mentor he served as an assistant under while with Golden State for two seasons. The milestone came in Popovich’s 2,030th game and 26th season with the Spurs, the only franchise he has served as head coach for.

“It’s just a testament to a whole lot of people,” Popovich said. “Something like this does not belong to one individual. Basketball’s a team sport. You preach to your players that they have to do it together and that’s certainly been the case in my life with all the wonderful players and coaches, the staff that I’ve been blessed with, the support of this wonderful city. The fans support us no matter what.”

Unsurprisingly, the evening was met with zero fanfare. That is, until the end – players mobbed the 73-year-old Popovich when the game was over, jumping around and hugging him until he could break free and headed to the locker room. Popovich was doused with a cooler of water as huge roars could be heard from the locker room as the Spurs celebrated along with Hall of Famer David Robinson.

“Tonight, he had to enjoy it,” Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray said. “He had no option.”

Praise or celebration of any achievement is typically brusquely deflected or simply ignored by Popovich. To hear Popovich explain it, he simply shows up to work and rolls the ball oto the court.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

He’s the fourth coach, going back to the end of the NBA’s first season, to stand atop the wins list. Red Auerbach held the mark for about a half-century, followed by Lenny Wilkens, followed by Nelson – and now, Popovich.

“The ironic thing about this is Nellie gave me a job when I didn’t have one back in ’92,” Popovich said. “He took me on. To be in this position, as the same breath as him, is in my opinion undeserving and quite awkward because he was so wonderful in saving my family’s ass. So, it’s ironic that I’m sitting here in this situation.”

Popovich’s first stint in San Antonio ended in 1992, working for Larry Brown – until the whole coaching staff got fired. That’s when Popovich got a job as an assistant in Golden State, working for Nelson for two seasons. He returned to the Spurs in 1994, and took over as coach in 1996.

The Spurs released a video from Nelson after the game, congratulating Popovich – who he called one of his best friends – and telling him how proud he is of his former assistant’s accomplishments “and all the wonderful things you’ve done for basketball, worldwide.”

“I’m so proud of you for doing it,” Nelson said. “I couldn’t wait for this day to happen.”

Popovich has won five NBA championships, 13 division titles and was recently named one of the 15 greatest coaches in league history. He has coached NBA 75th Anniversary Team members David Robinson and Tim Duncan, future Hall of Fame members Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker as well as journeymen who found careers in San Antonio such as Danny Green and current NBA coaches Steve Kerr, Monty Williams, Ime Udoka and Doc Rivers.

“Gregg Popovich’s success with the Spurs is unprecedented in our league so it’s only fitting that he now holds the record for most career wins,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

“His leadership and unwavering commitment to the game are widely admired by generations of players and coaches alike. Congratulations to Coach Pop on this latest achievement in his legendary career.”

San Antonio won 50 games for a league-record 18 straight seasons from 2000-2017 under Popovich. The Spurs matched a league record with 22 straight playoff appearances but have missed two straight postseasons since their streak ended in 2017.

While the glory days seem distant, Popovich continues plugging along.

Popovich joked that coaching Duncan, Parker and Ginobili had grown “boring” because they knew everything. The current roster is the antithesis of that.

“For what he’s meant to the profession to so many people and to myself,” said Utah coach Quinn Snyder, who coached the Spurs’ G League team from 2007-2010. “This is kind of the natural evolution of what it should be based on the integrity with which this program has won for so many years and him being the leader and personifying it.”

This year’s team is the youngest of Popovich’s career. The Spurs have fully embraced a rebuild expedited by Kawhi Leonard’s forced departure from San Antonio along with the retirement of the Big Three.

Murray, who has emerged as the team’s newest star, had 27 points and nine rebounds to lead the Spurs past the Jazz. Murray made two free throws with 4.8 seconds and 1 of 2 with a second remaining to seal the victory.

“We did it for Pop,” Murray said. “(We wanted Popovich to) really take this in and be grateful for it. This doesn’t happen. It’s rare. He deserves it. He’s a great man. A great coach.”

Murray’s 17-footer tied it at 84 with 5:28 remaining to close an 18-3 run by the Spurs. Lonnie Walker IV made two of three free throws to put San Antonio up 96-95 for its first lead since Josh Richardson’s 15-footer put them ahead 5-3 1:31 into the game.

Donovan Mitchell had 24 points for Utah, and and Rudy Gobert added 13 points and 16 rebounds.

Former Spurs forward Rudy Gay pulled Utah to 103-102 on a 3-pointer with 1.0 seconds left.

“None of us coach for records,” Popovich said. “We do it for wins like tonight.”

UP NEXT

Jazz: Host Sacramento on Saturday night.

Spurs: Host Indiana on Saturday night.

James scores 50, rallies Lakers past Wizards for 122-109 win

LOS ANGELES (AP) LeBron James scored 50 points for the 15th time in his career and helped rally the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half to a 122-109 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.

The 37-year old superstar became the oldest player to have multiple 50-point games in a season. Bernard King was the previous oldest to do it at 34 in 1990-91 with Washington.

“He’s really good at basketball, that LeBron James,” coach Frank Vogel said. “Just an incredible, unbelievable, epic performance. When he gets on a tear, try to leave him in as long as possible and make sure he has enough gas in the tank to finish.”

It is the second straight home game during which James has scored at least 50 and the third time he has done it with the Lakers. He had a season-high 56 in a win over Golden State last Saturday.

James is the first Lakers player since the late Kobe Bryant in 2008 to have back-to-back, 50-point home games.

“We just needed to pick our energy up and get more detailed about how we wanted to attack the Wizards. We did that, especially in the third quarter,” said James, who was 18 of 25 from the field and made six 3-pointers in 36 minutes. “I was able to hit a hot streak at one point. I just tried to stay in that zone as long as possible and hit a couple.”

James also had six rebounds and moved past Dikembe Mutombo into 12th place on the NBA’s career defensive rebounds list with 8,553.

James rallied the Lakers back with 12 straight points during a 22-8 run when they took an 82-75 lead with 2:25 remaining. James’ flurry included a thunderous dunk midway through the quarter to put Los Angeles up 73-70.

He then had 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers steadily pulled away. Los Angeles, which had dropped six of their last seven coming into the game, led by as many as 18 midway through the fourth.

Malik Monk scored 21 points and Talen Horton-Tucker added 15 for the Lakers.

Kyle Kuzma, who played for the Lakers for four seasons, led Washington with 23 points and rookie Corey Kispert scored a career-high 21 points, including five 3-pointers.

WELCOME BACK

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kuzma, who were part of the Lakers’ 2020 NBA championship team, were given a video salute during the first timeout. Both players were traded to Washington during the offseason to acquire Russell Westbrook.

Caldwell-Pope struggled in his return to LA. He was 1 of 6 from the floor and had only four points. He also received a technical foul late in the first quarter.

TIP INS

Wizards: Washington had a 62-53 lead early in the third quarter before the Lakers made their run. … Rui Hachimura had 13 of his 15 points in the first half. … Kristap Porzingis had a season-high 14 rebounds along with 14 points. … Tomas Satoransky had 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Lakers: Westbrook had nine assists and passed Andre Miller for 11th on the career assists list. Westbrook has 8,529 in his 13-year career. … Austin Reaves had 12 points.

UP NEXT

Wizards: Continue their four-game road trip at Portland on Sunday.

Lakers: Travel to Phoenix on Sunday.

CUBS MANAGER DAVID ROSS GETS EXTENSION THROUGH 2024

MESA, Ariz. (AP) Chicago Cubs manager David Ross and the team agreed Friday to a contract extension through the 2024 season that includes a club option for 2025.

In the two years since he was hired to replace Joe Maddon, Ross is 105-117 with one playoff appearance.

He helped the team wade through the challenges brought on by the pandemic in 2020, leading Chicago to a 34-26 record and the NL Central championship in a shortened season before getting swept in two games by Miami in the wild-card series. Last season, the Cubs were in first place before going into a slump that led to the dismantling of their core and a 71-91 record.

Chicago went from leading the division at 42-33 after Zach Davies and the bullpen combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24 to dropping the next 11 games. That convinced president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer to break up the group that helped lead Chicago to a World Series championship in 2016 and its first title in 108 years.

Kris Bryant was traded to San Francisco, Anthony Rizzo was sent to the New York Yankees and Javier Baez was dealt to the New York Mets prior to the July 30 deadline rather than risk losing them as free agents. And Chicago finished with its worst record since winning 66 games in 2013.

Ross, who turns 45 next week, was entering the final guaranteed season of a three-year deal that included a club option for 2023.

A catcher, Ross played 15 seasons in the majors. He was on championship teams with the Boston Red Sox in 2013 and the Cubs three years later.

MORE DELAYS AT PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP AS MONDAY FINISH LOOMS

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) The Players Championship was halted again Friday after only four hours as puddles began to form on the putting surfaces and the TPC Sawgrass couldn’t hold any more rain.

A Monday finish was looking inevitable, which would be the eighth since The Players Championship began in 1974, all of them in March.

Only 96 players from the 144-man field had finished the first round when play was stopped.

“We may be in a situation where, if we don’t get back out there today, we’re assured of a Monday finish,” said Gary Young, the chief referee of The Players.

The TPC Sawgrass received about 2 1/2 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, and the Stadium Course held up remarkably well to get in four hours of play.

Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge finished on Thursday and each posted a 6-under 66. Brice Garnett holed out for eagle from the fourth fairway and was at 6 under with five holes to play.

Daniel Berger was among those at 5 under, and he was the first sign the conclusion of the opening round might have to wait. He was just short of the par-5 11th green when he called for an official because of water in the area where he wanted to land his pitch.

Out came the squeegees, and a delay waiting for them to move away the water. Jordan Spieth’s second shot into the 12th was in the middle of a puddle, and he stood over his mark as the squeegee crew cleared away the water.

“I don’t want to be high-maintenance,” Spieth said to the crew before asking to make another pass in the area in front of his ball.

Dustin Johnson had three birdies in his opening four holes and went out in 32 before the wet greens twice fooled him and led to three-putt bogeys – a 40-foot putt he left well short on the 10th, a downhill putt from 30 feet that ran 6 feet by on the 13th.

Berger figured them out. He holed a 40-foot birdie putt from the fringe on No. 12 and, just as important, hit a beautiful lag putt from 50 feet on the 13th. He followed with birdie putts from 18 feet and 15 feet to reach 5 under.

Johnson was at 4 under when he walked off the green at the par-5 16th with the rain falling harder than it had all morning. Johnson is among the fastest players in golf (until he gets to the green), but not on this occasion. He took his time as he stared at the island green of the par-3 17th in a driving rain. He fiddled with his glove. He slowly reached into his bag for a rain jacket.

A horn to stop play was coming, just not fast enough. He finally hit wedge near the hole and was happy it spun back only 20 feet.

And then play was stopped before he putted. Standing in a tunnel beneath the bleachers, Johnson talked about his timing with having to hit the tee shot, but had no complaints.

“I will take that shot just where it is,” he said with a big grin.

Spieth illustrated why the island green is not really an island. His tee shot was a little long and a little left, and it caught the walkway and rolled down the slope as it hugged the edge. Because players can lift, clean and place golf balls in closely mown areas, he didn’t have to stand on the wooden frame to attempt his pitch.

He barely got it on the green, and chose to mark his ball until play resumes.

That wasn’t the only good break for Spieth, who was at 2 under.

He hit his drive on the 12th into the base of a palmetto bush, leaving no shot except sideways if he could even get a club on the ball. But it was embedded, so Spieth called for an official who checked the ball and determined the dirt had been broken. With one length of the club for a drop, he managed to reach the green.

Then on the 15th, Spieth went right and hit a tree, the ball plunking down in a small flower bush. An official was called in and determined it was embedded. Berger asked to make sure it wasn’t a sandy area because it was so near a bunker – in such case, relief is denied – and the official determined the area was dirt.

Spieth salvaged another par.

If the rain ever clears out, the worst of the weather was still to come. Young said wind up to 60 mph was expected as the front moved through, and the morning temperatures were expected to be in the low 40s at best.

NO INDICTMENT FOR TEXANS QB WATSON OVER SEX ASSAULT CLAIMS

HOUSTON (AP) A grand jury on Friday declined to indict Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson following a police investigation sparked by lawsuits filed by 22 women who have accused him of harassment and sexual assault.

The grand jury’s decision came about a year after the women first filed their suits, accusing Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them against their will during massage appointments. One woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex.

Eight of the women who sued Watson filed criminal complaints against him with Houston police and appeared before the grand jury. Two other women who didn’t sue Watson also filed police complaints. The FBI also had been reviewing the allegations.

Watson and his lawyers have denied the accusations. His lawyers have said “some sexual activity” happened during some of the massage appointments but that he never coerced anyone. They have sought to balance their defense of the NFL star while simultaneously condemning sexual violence against women.

Watson’s attorneys have called the lawsuits against him a “money grab” and claimed that all 22 women who filed suit are lying – a strategy some experts and advocates say relies on long-used tropes designed to minimize such accusations. The 22 women are being represented by Tony Buzbee, who has said some of his clients have faced criticism and even death threats.

Even before the lawsuits were filed in March 2021, Watson had asked to be traded. The trade request and the lawsuits kept Watson out all last season. The Texans were expected to try and trade Watson this offseason.

The civil case against Watson will continue as attorneys for the 22 women have begun questioning him during depositions that are part of the lawsuits. Most of the women have already been deposed by Watson’s attorneys. No trial date has been set for the lawsuits.

The lead attorneys in the case are two of the best-known lawyers in Texas. Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lead lawyer, is a civil and criminal defense attorney who represented ex-pitcher Roger Clemens when he was acquitted in 2012 of charges that he lied to Congress by denying he used performance-enhancing drugs. Buzbee has handled various high-profile cases, including representing former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in an abuse-of-power case and settling lawsuits for 10 teenagers who had accused eccentric Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 of paying them for sexual acts.

RAIDERS SIGN CROSBY TO 4-YEAR, $95M EXTENSION

The Las Vegas Raiders signed defensive end Maxx Crosby to a multi-year extension, the team announced Friday.

The contract is for four years and worth $95 million including $53 million guaranteed, Crosby’s representatives told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“Maxx Crosby exemplifies the characteristics of a Raider,” head coach Josh McDaniels said in a statement. “His work ethic and leadership are unmatched and we’re thrilled that he will continue to be an important part of this organization for years to come.”

The 24-year-old pass-rusher racked up 56 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and eight sacks in 2021, earning the first Pro Bowl nod of his career.

The Raiders selected the Texas native in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He will play his first year under new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham this upcoming season.

REPORT: EAGLES SIGNING KELCE TO 1-YEAR, $14M DEAL

The Philadelphia Eagles are making Jason Kelce the NFL’s highest-paid center with a one-year deal worth $14 million, a source told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Kelce announced Thursday that he’d be returning for the 2022 season.

His contract will surpass Frank Ragnow’s. The Detroit Lions lineman averages $13.5 million per year, per Spotrac.

Kelce, 34, has been an ironman for the Eagles’ offensive line, playing in every game over the past seven seasons.

He’s earned five Pro Bowl nods, four All-Pro selections, and one Super Bowl ring since Philadelphia drafted him in the sixth round in 2011.

AP EXCLUSIVE: HR DERBY COULD DECIDE ALL-STAR GAME WINNER

NEW YORK (AP) If the next All-Star Game in Major League Baseball goes deep into the night, a slugger may get a chance to decide it by going deep – in a Home Run Derby.

That’s right, say going, going, goodbye to extra innings in the Midsummer Classic. Instead, bring on Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr., Bryce Harper and the big boppers for a winner-take-all blast-off.

Because buried deep in the 182-page memorandum of understanding signed Thursday by MLB and the players’ association is a radical new method of potentially deciding the All-Star Game.

“If the All-Star Game remains tied after nine innings, the game will be decided by a Home Run Derby between the teams, subject to the parties’ agreement on details and format,” reads exhibit 13, titled “Tentative Agreement – All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.”

Dated March 1 and obtained by The Associated Press, the page was signed by MLB senior counsel Kasey Sanossian and players’ association deputy general counsel Matt Nussbaum. It is part of a 182-page agreement that led to the end of MLB’s 99-day lockout and the opening of training camps.

This year’s All-Star Game is scheduled for Dodger Stadium on July 19, awarded to Los Angeles after the scheduled 2020 was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The All-Star Game has gone to extra innings 13 times since it began in 1933, the last two times 10 innings in both 2017 at Miami and 2018 at Washington. Teams running short on pitchers has become an issue as managers try to get most pitchers in the game by the ninth inning.

The annual Home Run Derby on the night before the All-Star Game has become one of MLB’s popular events and is not mentioned in the document as changing.

REPORT: GIANTS, CARLOS RODON AGREE TO 2-YEAR, $44M DEAL

The San Francisco Giants and left-handed starter Carlos Rodon agreed to a two-year, $44-million deal that includes an opt-out after the first season, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Rodon, 29, is coming off a tremendous breakout campaign after being non-tendered by the Chicago White Sox last winter. Despite hitting free agency, Rodon re-signed with the White Sox to a one-year, $3-million contract and authored a sterling 2.37 ERA and 2.65 FIP. He also earned his first All-Star appearance and finished fifth in AL Cy Young voting.

Although posting terrific rate statistics, Rodon was held to 132 2/3 innings over 24 starts. He landed on the injured list for left shoulder fatigue in August and missed the remainder of the season.

The Giants are coming off a franchise-record 107-win campaign and have attempted to maintain a dominant rotation by re-signing Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood. With up-and-coming stud Logan Webb leading the rotation, Rodon will likely slot in at No. 2 and fill in for the departed Kevin Gausman, who signed with the Toronto Blue Jays before the lockout.

REPORT: DODGERS, KERSHAW AGREE TO 1-YEAR DEAL

One of the most decorated pitchers in Los Angeles Dodgers history is back.

The Dodgers and left-hander Clayton Kershaw are in agreement on a one-year deal, sources told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The deal is pending a physical.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES

AYANNA PATTERSON IS INDIANA MISS BASKETBALL

Homestead Senior Ayanna Patterson is a McDonald’s All-American and now is the latest Indiana Miss Basketball.

The 6-3 guard/forward guided Homestead to a 23-2 record and its fourth-straight sectional championship this season, averaging 25.8 points (60.4% shooter), 11.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, with 19 double-doubles and seven 30-point performances. A Naismith All-American, she ranks second on the Spartans’ all-time scoring list (1,912) and holds seven school records, including career rebounds (1,006) and blocks.

Patterson received 115 Miss Basketball votes, outpacing Crown Point’s Jessica Carrothers (42), South Bend Washington’s Mila Reynolds (15) and Westfield’s Alyssa Crockett (10), among the 16 who received votes.

JACKSON-DAVIS LEADS INDIANA PAST NO. 16 ILLINOIS 65-63

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Trayce Jackson-Davis had something to prove at the Big Ten Tournament.

He wanted to show the critics he could excel against the conference’s top big men and that Indiana deserved an NCAA Tournament bid. So far, no complaints.

Jackson-Davis made the go-ahead free throws with 26.1 seconds left Friday, then added another foul shot with 1.7 seconds left to seal a 65-63 victory over No. 16 Illinois, sending the ninth-seeded Hoosiers to their first semifinal appearance since 2013 and likely their first NCAA Tournament since 2016.

“It’s big for us, but like I told you yesterday, we didn’t pack for two days or three days,” said Jackson-Davis, who finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists. “We packed to win the Big Ten. I’m glad we got this win today to solidify our (NCAA) spot but we want to play two more games.”

Without him, Indiana (20-12) likely wouldn’t have made it this far.

Jackson-Davis helped rally the Hoosiers from a 17-point, second-half deficit on Thursday against Michigan, then made a key jumper and all the right plays down the stretch against the top-seeded Fighting Illini, who hoped to win consecutive tourney crowns for the first time in school history.

Even missing the game’s final free throw worked out as Jackson-Davis watched the clock run out with players scrambling for the rebound.

“I went back and watched the tape of him going against the big fella, Kofi Cockburn, and you’re right, he didn’t fare well,” coach Mike Woodson said, referring to previous matchups. “Trayce got in foul trouble in our place early and just was never a factor. I challenged him again today. I said, ‘You’ve got to go out and compete against this guy and make him respect you.'”

Jackson-Davis didn’t disappoint.

Cockburn finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for Illinois (22-9) and Coleman Hawkins had a career-high 18 points as the Illini had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Illinois had two chances to take the lead in the final 15 seconds. But Trent Frazier threw the ball away with 11.5 seconds left and Andre Curbelo missed a layup with 4 seconds remaining.

“I thought Coleman would be open in the corner for a 3,” Frazier said. “But we had some confusion down there. I made a bad decision. I’m disappointed in myself. I’ve got to make a better decision.”

The Hoosiers took full advantage in a drastically different game from the teams’ meeting last month, a 74-57 Illinois victory.

This time, Indiana’s defense kept the Illini under control for long stretches and when Illinois went more than four minutes without scoring in the second half, Indiana responded with nine straight points to take a 47-42 lead with 12:28 to play.

Illinois finally tied the score at 54 when Hawkins made one of two free throws with 5:27 left and took the lead when Hawkins made a 3 on the Illini’s next possession.

It didn’t last.

Jackson-Davis’ second straight basket, a 15-footer, gave Indiana a 58-57 lead with 4:12 to go. Hawkins made two free throws to put the Illini back ahead, but all they could muster after that were four free throws from Cockburn.

BIG PICTURE

Indiana: Woodson’s team started this weekend uncertain if it would make the 68-team NCAA tourney field. Thursday’s comeback and Friday’s surprise win should be enough.

Illinois: This loss will likely damage the Illini’s seeding in the NCAA Tournament, but they won’t know until Sunday.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Illinois needed a strong showing this weekend to continue its ascension in the AP Top 25. This loss will be a setback.

STAT PACK

Indiana: Xavier Johnson had 13 points and six assists while Race Thompson finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. … The Hoosiers outscored Illinois 36-24 in the paint. … Woodson is the first Indiana coach to win 20 games in his first season since Kelvin Sampson in 2006-07.

Illinois: Frazier had 11 points, six assists and three turnovers in his 136th career start, which ties Dee Brown for the school record. … Curbelo had five points and 10 rebounds. … Coach Brad Underwood acknowledged last year’s tourney title run left his team “exhausted” and may have contributed to Illinois’ subsequent second-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.

UP NEXT

Indiana: Faces either fourth-seeded Rutgers or No. 24 Iowa in Saturday’s first semifinal.

Illinois: Waits for Selection Sunday.

PURDUE FACES SPARTANS WITH TRIP TO BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME ON THE LINE

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

[3] Purdue (26-6) vs. [7] Michigan State (22-11)

Saturday, March 12 | 3:30 p.m. ET | Gainbridge Fieldhouse

CBS (Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, Tracy Wolfson)

THE NOTES TO KNOW

• Purdue moved into the Big Ten Tournament semifinals with a 69-61 win over Penn State in Friday night’s quarterfinals. The Boilermakers are in the semifinals for the first time since the 2018 tournament, when it finished as the runner-up in New York City.

• Purdue is now 8-3 all-time as the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Purdue was the No. 3 seed when it won the tournament in 2009 and the No. 3 seed when placing as the runner-up in both 1998 and 2018.

• Purdue owns a 4-3 record all-time in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. Purdue has won two straight semifinal games (2016, 2018).

• The Boilermakers are 0-4 against Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament, but have never met in the semifinals (0-1 first round, 0-2 quarterfinals, 0-1 finals).

• Purdue leads the all-time series with Michigan State by a 72-56 margin. Michigan State ended a four-game Purdue winning streak in the series with a 68-65 decision on Feb. 26.

• The loss to Michigan State was one of four Purdue losses this season on last-second shots when Tyson Walker connected on a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left.

• In the win over Penn State, Purdue rallied from a 10-point deficit for the victory. It marked the fourth time this season (Villanova, North Carolina State, Maryland, Penn State) in which Purdue rallied from a double-digit deficit for the victory.

• Purdue is now 15-6 this season against the KenPom Top-100.

• After struggling earlier in the season on defense, Purdue has now held five of its last seven opponents under 70 points.

• Purdue is second in the country in offensive efficiency and third in effective field goal percentage.

• The Boilermakers are third in the country in field goal percentage (.497) and 3-point percentage (.397).

• Purdue’s 26 wins are the eighth most in school history.

• Purdue has now shot at least 50.0 percent in 18 of its 32 games, the fourth-highest total nationally (South Dakota State – 23, Gonzaga – 20, Arizona – 19).

• In its 32 games, Purdue has had 28 runs of 10 points or longer. Opponents have had 11 runs of 10-0 or longer.

• Purdue is 1-of-2 teams to rank in the KenPom Top-25 in each of the last seven seasons (Gonzaga).

• Purdue has outscored its opponents by 172 points at the free throw line, the sixth-best margin in the country (468 to 296).

• Purdue’s sophomore class scored 50 points in the win over Penn State, the ninth time this season the class has reached 50 points. Purdue is 9-0 when the class scores 50 or more points.

• The big three of Jaden Ivey, Zach Edey and Trevion Williams had 41 points against Penn State and is averaging 42.9 points per game between them. The trip is accounting for 53.4 percent of Purdue’s scoring. In the previous game with Michigan State, the trio had 52 of Purdue’s 65 points (Edey – career-high 25 points).

• Trevion Williams moved into fifth place on Purdue’s career rebounds list (862) against Penn State. He is 27th on Purdue’s career scoring list (1,336 points).

• Jaden Ivey and Duke’s Paolo Banchero are only underclassmen nationally with 530 points, 140 rebounds, 90 assists, 30 steals and 15 blocks.

• Purdue has finished in the top three of the Big Ten standings in 10 of the last 15 seasons under Matt Painter.

• The Boilermakers are likely going to be one-of-two schools with a top-five NCAA Tournament seed in each of the last six NCAA Tournaments (Kansas and Purdue) since 2016.

• Purdue is 5-0 this season in neutral-site games, including two wins at Gainbridge Fieldhouse (Butler, Penn State).

• Purdue has won 28 straight games when leading at halftime, including 23-0 this season.

• When Purdue shoots 48.0 percent or better from the field, the Boilermakers are 20-1 this season. When Purdue shoots a better field goal percentage than its opponent, Purdue is 24-3 this season.

• Purdue is 23-0 when scoring 70 or more points. When held under 70 points, Purdue is 3-6.

• Purdue is 20-1 in games decided by seven or more points. In games decided by 1-6 points, Purdue is 6-5.

• Matt Painter will coach in his 14th NCAA Tournament this season, the most for an active coach under the age of 55.

• Brandon Newman scored 12 points vs. Penn State, seeing his first action since Feb. 10 vs. Michigan (4 minutes). He scored a total of 17 points in Big Ten action this season.

SOFTBALL BLASTS 16 RUNS IN OPENING DAY OF THE SPRING GAMES

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — The Purdue softball team (10-13) went 2-0 in its first day of The Spring Games, after taking down Lafayette College 8-0 (6 IN) and Toledo 8-1.

The wins included 16 hits vs. Lafayette, while Purdue scored eight runs on eight hits to close the day vs. Toledo. Defensively, Purdue remained perfect with no errors, while forcing two in each of the matchups.

The Boilermakers were led by pitcher/designated player Alex Echazarreta (4-1), who pitched a complete game shutout with a career-high 12 strikeouts and just one it allowed vs. Lafayette. Meanwhile, she followed the performance with a stellar offensive effort vs. Toledo, which saw a three-run homer to right field in the third and a sac fly in the sixth for an additional insurance run.

Meanwhile, pitcher Alexa Pinarski (1-6) secured her first win of the season following 3.1 innings of work, which she allowed just one run, one hit and a trio of walks in the win.

Rachel Becker led the day with five total runs (two vs. Lafayette, three vs. Toledo). Meanwhile, freshman Tyrina Jones made her collegiate debut at R.O.C. Park, scoring a run in both outings. Additionally, the first baseman tied Becker for the most hits vs. Toledo (2).

Purdue will be back with another doubleheader tomorrow at R.O.C. Park. The Boilermakers will take on Western Michigan at 11 a.m. followed by Niagara at 1:30 p.m. ET. Both games will be available on FloSoftball ($) for streaming.


PIVONKA EARNS DEREK HINES AWARD FINALIST HONORS

SOUTH BENDInd.  – University of Notre Dame senior forward Jake Pivonka has been named one of six finalists for the 2021-22 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award, the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) announced on Friday (March 11). 

Pivonka has overcome a torn achilles injury sustained at the end of summer training in Europe, remarkably returning to the ice to play Notre Dame’s final series of the first semester in mid-December. 

Though it was known he would be unavailable for an extended period of time, Pivonka was still voted a team captain by his teammates and found ways to stay involved as a leader throughout his rehabilitation process. 

Among the NCAA’s top centermen at the face-off dot over the last four seasons and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Pivonka scored his first goal of the season last weekend when he netted what proved to be the game-winning goal in Notre Dame’s deciding Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game three win over Wisconsin (March 6). 

Pivonka has played in 126 career games, scoring nine goals and adding 29 assists for 38 points. Four of his nine goals have been game winners. He was selected in the fourth round, 103rd overall, by the New York Islanders in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

One of the team’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council Representatives, the Naperville, Illinois native will graduate in May with a degree in finance.

2022 Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award Finalists

Atlantic Hockey: Ethan Roswell, SR D, Bentley

Big Ten: Jake Pivonka, SR F, Notre Dame

CCHA: Wyatt Aamodt, SR D, Minnesota State

ECAC Hockey: Linden Marshall, SR G, RPI

Hockey East: Jordan Seyfert, SR F, Merrimack

NCHC: Mark Senden, SR F, North Dakota

About The Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award

  • The award was established by the HCA in honor of former Army player Derek Hines, who was a “consummate team player and team builder.” 
  • Hines played at Army from 1999-2003 and was a four-year letter-winner as well as a co-captain his senior season. He was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 1, 2005 in Afghanistan.
  • The HCA coordinates the award, with nominations from each of the six Division I men’s hockey conferences. 
  • The selection committee, made up of the six conference media contacts, Lt. Steve Hines, Derek’s father, and Army West Point head coach Brian Riley, votes on the winner “who displays exemplary sportsmanship, is supremely competitive, intelligent and extraordinarily conditioned with an unmatched work ethic.”
  • The award will be presented on Friday, April 8, during the “Friday Night at the Frozen Four” festivities in Boston, Massachusetts.

Next Up

  • Notre Dame has advanced to Saturday’s single elimination Big Ten Tournament semifinals and, as the No. 3 seed, the Irish will play at No. 2-seeded Michigan.. 
  • Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m. at Yost Ice Arena and the game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TAKES ON BUFFALO IN MAC TOURNEY CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SATURDAY

Game 32 | No. 5 Ball State vs. No. 2 Buffalo

March 12 | Cleveland, Ohio | Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse  | 2022 MAC Tourney Championship Game | 11 a.m. ET

Watch: CBS Sports Network | Listen: Muncie Sports Station (92.5FM/1340 AM) | Live Stats

2022 MAC Tournament Bracket (PDF)| 2022 MAC Tournament Website

Opening Tip:

– A Ball State win will give the Cardinals their first Mid-American Conference Tournament championship title since 2009.

– The No. 5 seed has never won the MAC Tournament since the tournaments induction in 1982.

– The last time Buffalo and Ball State met in the Mid-American Conference Tournament was in 2017 in the quarterfinal round. That year, the Bulls defeated the Cardinals 65-69.

– Ball State and Buffalo have never met in the MAC championship game.

– Ball State and Buffalo have met a total of five times in the Mid-American Conference Tournament with the Cardinals leading that series, 3-2.

– This is the third time Ball State and Buffalo have played one another this season. The Bulls and the Cardinals split the two-game series this year. Ball State defeated Buffalo on their home court on Jan. 26, 72-70 and then UB returned the favor in Worthen Arena on Feb. 16 by defeating BSU, 67-62.

– This marks the 32nd appearance for the Cardinals in the Mid-American Conference Tournament in program history.  Ball State has advanced to Cleveland 20 out of the past 22 seasons.  The Cardinals are 20-30 all-time in MAC Tournament play and have advanced to the MAC Tournament finals on five occasions.  Ball State defeated Bowling Green in 2009 in the MAC Tournament Championship game.  This is the eighth time in current head coach Brady Sallee’s tenure the Cardinals have punched their ticket to the MAC Tournament in Cleveland.

Lowest Seed To Win The MAC Tournament:

The lowest seed to ever win the Mid-American Conference Tournament was No. 8 Buffalo in 2016. That year the Bulls knocked off No. 2 Central Michigan 73-71 in overtime.

Backs, Crashers & Keys:

This year, the Cardinals are forgoing “traditional” positions and using their own such as backs, crashers, and keys, to bring a sense of team unity. That system proved to be the lift Ball State needed, especially with so many new faces on the court. BSU started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2017.

When BSU Scores 80+ We Win:

When the Cardinals score 80+ points this season it results in a victory for Ball State. The Cardinals are 6-0 when the reach the 80 point plateau with wins over Milwaukee (84-75 OT), Purdue Fort Wayne (86-58), Utah State (81-55), Bellarmine (84-63), Northern Illinois (83-82 OT) and Eastern Michigan (83-73)Ohio (84-74), Bowling Green (91-80) and Eastern Michigan (92-58).

So Close To Victory:

In seven of the Cardinals eight losses in Mid-American Conference play they were by very slim margins so slim that those seven losses were lost by seven or less points. Ball State barely lost to Kent State (51-54), Akron (76-83), Toledo (55-58), Kent State (61-64), Buffalo (62-67), Toledo (66-69) and Northern Illinois (72-77).

Last Time They Met:

No. 7 Buffalo 69, No. 2 Ball State 65 (2017 MAC Quarterfinals)

Lucky No. 5:

The last time the Cardinals were the No. 5 seed was in 2014 when Ball State became postseason eligible by winning seven of their final eight games en route to advancing to the MAC Tournament championship game for the first time since winning it all in 2009. In the semifinals of the MAC Tournament, Ball State scored a thrilling 73-55 win over 25th-ranked Bowling Green. The Cardinals then lost to No. 3 seed Akron 79-68 in the title game. That year Ball State also played in the postseason WNIT.

Ball State OT In MAC Tourney:

Ball State has gone to overtime twice in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The first time was in 1997 where the Cardinals lost in overtime by a score of 81-76 to Bowling Green. It also happened in 2001 when Ball State lost  91-88 in OT to Miami.

Seeding Facts:

In the 30 years of the tournament, the top seed has won the title 21 times. In 2016, the Buffalo Bulls became the highest seed (#8) to ever advance to the tournament championship game and the highest seed to ever win the title. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have met 15 times in the championship game, with the top seed winning 13 times.

Watch Party:

Ball State is hosting a Watch Party at Roots Burger Bar in the Village beginning at 11 a.m. Enjoy Ball State Cardinals giveaways and raffles while watching the title tilt with fellow Cardinals fans.

JACHEC, ROSS LEAD SYCAMORES PAST WRIGHT STATE TO EVEN THE SERIES

DAYTON, Ohio – Matt Jachec went seven strong innings and Sean Ross connected on a three-run home run in the top of the first as Indiana State took the 6-2 win over Wright State in the second game of the weekend series at Nischwitz Stadium.

Jachec (3-1) surrendered a pair of solo home runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the redshirt sophomore right-hander was rarely in trouble as the Sycamores (7-5) defense kept the Warriors (3-9) off the scoreboard in the contest. Josue Urdaneta came through with a pair of flashy plays in the infield, while Isaiah Thompson added a diving catch in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the series up on Friday.

Indiana State’s first three batters of the game reached with Josue Urdaneta bringing home Jordan Schaffer with a RBI single to give the Sycamores a lead they would not relinquish. Sean Ross added a three-run blast over the left field fence later in the inning to give ISU the 4-0 lead. Isaiah Thompson added a RBI single in the top of the fifth to cap the ISU scoring in the game.

Schaffer, Urdaneta, Ross, and Thopmson all posted multi-hit games for the Sycamores in the win with Ross’ home run and Urdaneta’s fourth-inning triple providing power in the ISU lineup. Six different Sycamores touched home in the contest, while Ross’ three-run home run giving him the team-high with three RBI.

Jachec went 7.0 innings in his fourth start of the 2022 season. The redshirt sophomore was efficient throughout the contest utilizing just 30 pitches to get through the first three innings, while surrendering just six hits and two runs while striking out two.

Joey Hurth (S, 1) picked up his first save of the year after surrendering one hit while striking out a pair over the final two innings.

Alec Sayre and Gehrig Anglin both went deep in the bottom of the fourth inning to power Wright State’s offense on the day. Sammy Sass added a two-hit game to highlight the Raiders offense.

Jake Shirk (0-3) took the loss allowing four runs and seven hits over four innings in the start. Bradley Deboutte, Chris Gallagher, Josh Laisure and Alex Theis combined to go the rest of the way for the WSU bullpen.

How They Scored

Josue Urdaneta started the scoring on the day with a RBI single to centerfield scoring Jordan Schaffer, while Sean Ross connected on a three-run home run over the left field fence to give the Sycamores the early 4-0 lead.

Wright State took two back in the bottom of the fourth as Alec Sayre and Gehrig Anglin both connected on solo home runs to cut the Sycamores lead down to 4-2.

Parker Stinson’s slide into the plate dislodged the ball from the Wright State catcher as the Sycamores added to their lead in the top of the fifth. Isaiah Thompson’s RBI single brought Stinson home to put the score at 5-2.

Thompson kept the bats rolling in the top of the ninth inning as the freshman connected on the two-out RBI single scoring Diego Gines to put the score at 6-2.

News & Notes

Jordan Schaffer’s on-base streak hit 24 consecutive games as the redshirt senior infielder drew a leadoff walk to open the game.

Josue Urdaneta continued his team-leading 12-game hitting streak on Friday morning with a RBI single back up the middle scoring Schaffer in the top of the first inning.

Sean Ross connected on his second home run of the season and the Sycamores ninth of the year in the top of the first inning. Ross joins Mike Sears (2) as the lone Sycamores with multiple home runs on the season.

Ross finished 3-for-4 from the plate for his fourth multi-hit game of the year and first three-hit game of the season.

Urdaneta recorded his team-leading eighth multi-hit game and fourth three-hit game of the season as the redshirt sophomore finished 3-of-5 from the plate for the game with a pair of singles and a triple.

Urdaneta also became the third Sycamore to record a triple on the season joining Sean Ross and Luis Hernandez in the category on the year.

Matt Jachec tied his season-high with 7.0 innings against Wright State as the redshirt sophomore picked up his second quality start of the year. The Sycamores improved to 3-1 in games started by the right-hander.

Diego Gines also extended his on-base streak to 16 consecutive games with his one-out single in the top of the ninth.

Isaiah Thompson added his second multi-hit game of the weekend with his pair of RBI singles in the contest, while the freshman also recorded his second multi-RBI game of the year.

Indiana State’s 15 hits in the contest marked the third consecutive double-digit hitting effort by the Sycamores, seventh in the last eight, and eighth in the last 10 contests.

Joey Hurth picked up his first save in an Indiana State uniform after going scoreless eighth and ninth frames.

Indiana State improves to 9-2 in the all-time series against the Raiders with the win.

Friday’s win also marks ISU’s first true road win of the 2022 season after the Sycamores spent the first three weekends competing at the Snowbird Baseball Classic, a neutral site series against Minnesota, and last weekend’s LeClair Classic at East Carolina.

Up Next

The Sycamores and Raiders are scheduled to be back on the field on Sunday afternoon at Nischwitz Stadium. Saturday’s competition was moved earlier this week due to expected inclement weather in the Dayton area on Friday afternoon/Saturday morning. First pitch in the series finale on Sunday is set for 1 p.m.

SYCAMORES’ SEASON ENDS IN MVC QUARTERFINALS

MOLINE, Ill. – Marie Hunter, Natalia Lalic and Tonysha Curry all scored in double-figures Friday afternoon, but a 26-point second quarter helped send top-seeded Southern Illinois past eighth-seeded Indiana State in the quarterfinals of Hoops in the Heartland, 77-61, at the TaxSlayer Center.

Hunter led the Sycamores with 15, while Lalic and Curry had 10 points apiece. Del’Janae Williams added eight points, four rebounds and four assists.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, Southern Illinois broke a 19-all deadlock with a 13-0 run and never looked back. Indiana State got within 11 on multiple occasions in the second half, but could never cut the deficit to single-digits, as the Salukis attacked the paint and the free throw line to advance past the Sycamores.

First Half

Mya Glanton picked up where she left off in Thursday’s opening round game, scoring Indiana State’s first basket in an evenly-matched opening quarter. The Salukis never led by more than two scores in the first 10 minutes, with consecutive baskets by Glanton and Hunter late in the quarter making it an 11-10 ballgame. Hunter also scored the final basket in the quarter, using a spin move down low to score a layup an make it a 17-14 Sycamore deficit after the opening period.

Indiana State used an early 5-0 run in the second quarter to tie the score at 19-apiece, as Anna McKendree hit a 3-pointer from NBA range and Marie Hunter scored on a midrange jumper. From there, though, Southern Illinois seized control, as the Sycamores went nearly four minutes without a point to find themselves in a double-digit deficit. Lalic and Hunter scored on back-to-back possessions to close the quarter, but Indiana State entered the halftime break in a 43-32 hole.

Second Half

Southern Illinois’ lead continued to swell early in the third quarter, as the Sycamores couldn’t get in an offensive rhythm. The Salukis’ first 14 points in the quarter all came either in the paint or at the free throw line, as Indiana State couldn’t stop SIU’s post presence. Indiana State closed the quarter on a 6-2 run, with McKendree scoring half of the Sycamore points during the span, but still found itself down 59-48 heading into the fourth quarter.

Williams hit a 3-pointer to start the Sycamore scoring in the fourth quarter, but SIU continued to tack onto its lead by going down low. Hunter scored five straight Indiana State points midway through the final period on a 3-pointer from the wing and a layup, but Southern Illinois had an answer for every Sycamore run. Despite Curry scoring two of the last three baskets in the game, Indiana State’s season came to a close Friday as Southern Illinois advanced past the Sycamores, 77-61.

Inside the Statistics

Indiana State shot better than 50 percent from the floor in both conference tournament games. The Sycamores were 26-for-50 (52.0 percent) from the field and 6-for-12 (50 percent) from beyond the arc Friday.

Indiana State’s 19 bench points were its most in a game since also scoring 19 against Valparaiso (Feb. 20).

News & Notes

Indiana State ends the 2021-22 season, Chad Killinger’s first at the helm, at 11-20 overall.

Friday’s game marked the last in a Sycamore uniform for Marie Hunter, Tonysha Curry and Essy Latu.

ARNY DAGSDOTTIR FIRES CAREER-BEST IN OPENING ROUND OF SHU INVITATIONAL

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Arny Dagsdottir of the Purdue Fort Wayne women’s golf team fired a career-best 75 on Friday (March 11) in the opening round of the Sacred Heart Invitational.

Dagsdottir started her day with five-straight bogey-free holes, including a birdie on two. After making the turn, she dropped another birdie on 10 to go with five back-nine pars. Her 75 was good to tie for 10th place.

With 11 pars in the opening round, Anna Olafsdottir shot a 78 for 22nd place. She also had a birdie fall on 10. Kennedy Brooker tied with Olafsdottir with her own 78, coming on 10 pars and two birdies on 10 and 15.

Laura Caetano turned in a scorecard of 79 for 29th place with three birdies on seven, 12 and 18. Her sister Luiza Caetano rounded out those competing for the team score with an 84 behind eight pars for 55th place.

Casey Bunner competed as an individual, turning in an 80 for 36th place.

As a team, Purdue Fort Wayne shot a 310, tying Lehigh for fourth. Host Sacred Heart is leading the field through one round with a 291, led by first-place Maya Robillio with a 69.

The final round of the Sacred Heart Invitational will kick off on Saturday morning (March 12).

PAT DENECKE NAMED VALPO OFFENSIVE LINE COACH

The Valparaiso University football program and head coach Landon Fox have announced the hiring of Pat Denecke as the program’s offensive line coach.

Denecke comes to Valpo after a stint at the University of Maine, where he was on staff from January 2016 to January 2022 and most recently served as the assistant head coach and run game coordinator. During his tenure at Maine, Denecke also spent time as the offensive line coach and tight ends coach.

“When talking with Coach Fox, it was impossible not to get excited about Valpo Football,” Denecke said. “During our initial conversation, he laid out his vision for the program. I realized early in those talks that Valpo was a place I wanted to be. His enthusiasm for Valpo Football is contagious and I could not be more excited to join his staff. I am fully committed to supporting and encouraging this outstanding group of young men both on and off the field.”

Denecke helped Maine become the first FCS program to have two first-round picks in the Canadian Football League Draft in 2021. His team earned a pair of FBS wins and produced an All-American. He was on staff in 2018 when the Black Bears won the Colonial Athletic Association championship and reached the FCS Semifinals.

“One of the most exciting things about adding Pat to our staff is his experience at Maine and the success they were able to have in the CAA,” Fox said. “They were able to reach the FCS playoffs, which is a goal of ours each and every year. His knowledge of what it takes to achieve that goal and have success on that stage will benefit our program and our players greatly.”

Prior to his tenure at Maine, Denecke was a member of the University of Nevada staff from 2013-2016. He started as a defensive graduate assistant before moving to the offensive side of the ball, where he was a graduate assistant who worked as an assistant offensive line coach. He also spent the 2015 spring season as the interim tight ends coach. In 2015, Nevada was one of two teams in FBS with two 1,000-yard rushers.

Denecke started his coaching career as the offensive line coach at Bethany College in Bethany, W.V. from 2010-2013. After graduating from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa. with a degree in business administration in May 2010, he earned his master’s in teaching from Bethany in May 2013. Denecke added a master’s in educational leadership from Nevada in December 2015.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT COACH DENECKE

Chris Smith, Holy Cross Offensive Coordinator: “Pat is a great coach who cares a lot about his players. He’s a teacher who is also always willing to learn. We’ve gone to clinics together many times, and I’ve always learned more by being with Pat. He wants to win and he will do whatever is necessary in terms of workload to be successful. He is a thorough and innovative recruiter and developer.”

Nick Charlton, UConn Offensive Coordinator: “Coach Denecke is an outstanding mentor and one of the top offensive line coaches in the country. Pat is a creative coach who sees the big picture while being an excellent teacher for student-athletes. One of our top recruiters at Maine, Pat helped lead our program to a championship level and will certainly grow that standard at Valparaiso.”

Brian Polian, LSU Special Teams Coordinator: “Pat Denecke is a terrific football coach and a better human being. He is one of the hardest working and most detailed-oriented people I have ever worked with. More importantly, he believes in building relationships with and serving the student-athletes with whom he works. Valpo got a great coach.” 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON COMES TO END AT HOOPS IN THE HEARTLAND QUARTERFINAL

The 2021-22 season came to a close for the Valpo women’s basketball team on Friday night in Moline, Ill., as the sixth-seeded Beacons dropped their quarterfinal matchup at Hoops in the Heartland to third-seeded UNI, 63-39.

How It Happened

Caitlin Morrison (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) connected on a 3-pointer 3:46 into the game to bring Valpo within 6-3.

The Beacons were limited to one basket over the final six minutes of the opening quarter as UNI scored eight of the final 10 points of the period to lead 14-5 at the end of the first.

Carie Weinman (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South [Denver]) knocked down a pair of field goals in the first five minutes of the second quarter, the second of which made the score 21-11.

UNI scored the final 10 points of the half to lead 31-11 at intermission.

The Panthers led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter and were up 45-21 with 10 minutes to play.

Ava Interrante (McHenry, Ill./McHenry) scored four quick points early in the fourth quarter, while Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) had seven points late in the period as Valpo played UNI even over the final 10 minutes.

Inside the Game

This marks the fourth time in as many appearances at Hoops in the Heartland that Valpo has advanced to the quarterfinals before falling.

Valpo shot just 28.6% from the floor Friday, its worst percentage from the field since hitting at a 25% clip in its regular season road loss to the Panthers.

Weinman led Valpo on Friday with nine points and matched a season best with four steals.

Shay Frederick (Greenville, Wis./Hortonville) added eight points and a team-best three assists, as she closed the season with 144 assists — sixth-most in a single season in program history.

Earnest finished with seven points and a team-high six rebounds.

Interrante matched her career bests for scoring, rebounds and assists, finishing with four, two and two respectively in nine minutes of fourth-quarter action.

Jayda Johnston (Roseville, Minn./Roseville Area) connected on her first career field goal in the fourth quarter, finishing with three points in the final period.

Inside the Careers

Morrison closed out a career during which she donned the Valpo uniform 141 times and started on 137 occasions, both program records.

Morrison finished up with 850 points and 485 rebounds, and ranks fourth in program history with 136 career blocked shots.

Weinman appeared in 78 games for Valpo and finished her career with 1,116 points, 927 of which came for Valpo.

With her four steals Friday, Weinman finished with 177 steals in her three seasons at Valpo, eighth-most in program history.

White saw action in 75 games for Valpo and scored 747 points in the Brown and Gold, part of a collegiate career in which she totaled 1,024 points.

White also tallied 405 rebounds, dished out 161 assists and registered 137 steals in her time at Valpo. Her .787 career free throw percentage at Valpo ranks seventh in program history.

MARK SPENCER STEPS DOWN AS UE DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Evansville Director of Athletics Mark D. Spencer announced on Friday that he is stepping down to pursue other opportunities after eight years of leading the Purple Aces. Spencer has served as athletic director at UE since September 2014.

“I am very proud of what I was able to accomplish during my tenure at the University of Evansville,” Spencer said. “The commitment, dedication and collaboration of the entire athletic department led to incredible growth and numerous memorable accomplishments during my tenure. With that said, it is time for a new voice to lead UE Athletics, and time for a new opportunity for my family and me. I look forward to being a fan and supporting Purple Aces Athletics as they are poised for great success.”

While at the University of Evansville, Spencer’s accomplishments included:

The women’s golf team winning its’ first ever Missouri Valley Conference championship and advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time, the women’s volleyball program advancing to the 2021 NIVC Quarterfinals, marking the programs first post-season appearance ever, the men’s basketball team winning at Rupp Arena against #1 UK and the 2015 Collegeinsider.com post-season tournament, which is the first men’s basketball post-season tournament championship since the 1971 NCAA College Division National Championship, and adding the men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field programs.

An unwavering commitment for Purple Aces student-athletes to fulfill the University’s academic mission. During the 2020-21 academic year, 55% of all student athletes made the Dean’s List and all seventeen of UE’s Division I sports teams earning a GPA over 3.0. UE was recognized for having the highest Graduation Success Rate of any school in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Facility and rebranding of athletic and University marks, transforming the Meek’s Family Fieldhouse for women’s basketball and volleyball, including an Olympic grade TaraFlex volleyball competition floor. The installation of new scoreboards and sound systems for the baseball, softball and soccer facilities as well as a state-of-the-art Field Turf on German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun stadium.

Negotiating the University’s beverage provider agreement with Pepsi, as well as the multi-year Learfield IMG College and Nike/BSN Sports athletic department contracts generating significant revenues and cost savings across the University and athletic department.

“I greatly appreciate Mark’s contributions to the University of Evansville and UE Athletics, especially as colleges navigate all of the changes to higher education and collegiate athletics,” UE President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz said. “The department has seen a tremendous transformation during his tenure, and we are enormously grateful for his dedication, hard work, and teamwork. I wish Mark well in his future endeavors and am eager to watch his success.”

A national search for the next director of athletics will begin immediately.

KNIGHTS WIN NAIL-BITER OVER FREED-HARDEMAN; ADVANCE TO CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Omaha, Neb. – In a back and forth battle between a strong Freed-Hardeman squad, the Marian men’s basketball team gutted a 66-64 win in the NAIA Opening Round Friday night in game one of the Omaha Bracket. Marian will advance to the championship final with a 26-5 record.

The opening minutes of the game laid out the path for a back and forth contest Friday night, as the Knights and Lions traded buckets throughout the first few minutes of the game. A layup from Tyrie Johnson gave Marian a three-point edge five minutes in, but Freed-Hardeman roared back on a 7-2 run to go on top 12-10. Jacob Wiley got involved with the offense after the run and brought the game level for a moment, before a Wanya King three gave the Lions a 17-16 edge.

Marian called for timeout with 8:09 to go in the half to settle in, but the Lions had other plans jumping in front 20-16 after a missed layup coming back from the break. Freed-Hardeman led by as many as nine in the final five minutes of the half, but a pair of foul shots from Christian Harvey helped erase the 27-18 hole. Harvey and Christian Stewart helped bring the gmae to a 27-27 tie with 2:29 to go as par of an 9-0 surge, however the Lions stayed in control, ending the half on a 7-2 run of their own. Going into halftime, Marian trailed 34-29 shooting 10-25 from the field and 2-12 from deep.

The Knights flipped the switch early in the second half, opening up the period on a 7-2 run to tie the game, as Wiley continued to be a problem. A three from Luke Gohmann as the clock ticked under 17 minutes gave Marian their first lead in over 12 minutes, as Wiley, Harvey, and Johnson helped push the difference to six. Marian’s 46-40 lead didn’t stick long as the Lions went on a run that spanned two minutes to re-take the lead 47-46.

After a series of traded possessions Marian found themselves back in front 52-50, and would trail just once in the rest of the game as a Stewart trifecta put the home team in front 57-54. Freed-Hardeman would tie the game twice, but the Knights got clutch jumpers from Johnson in the final 2:31 to hold control of the game. Wiley added a layup with 71 seconds left to put Marian ahead 65-62 as the Knights seemed to wrap up the win, but Freed-Hardeman had one last push getting a stop with 26 seconds to go.

The Lions had a pair of looks from three to tie the game, but were unable to get a shot from deep. Settling for a putback to make it a one-point game, Marian inbounded to Stewart after a series of timeouts, who after getting fouled split a pair of free throws. The Lions gave it one last chance with a full court pass play, but Stewart intercepted the inbounds, throwing the ball in the air to drain the clock and give Marian the 66-64 win.

Wiley led the Knights in scoring with a game-high 18 points while adding nine rebounds and two blocks, seeing his fellow senior Stewart score 16. Johnson delivered 15 points and two steals, while Harvey scored 12 points.

“We didn’t shoot well but battled on the defensive end the entire game and that kept us in the game and gave us a chance late,” said head coach Scott Heady after the win. “We got the lead and made the plays in the final 5 minutes to win the game. (I’m) really proud of the fight we had in the second half. Great team effort as we had several players make key plays. We need to get some rest and get ready for tomorrow.”

Marian will take on the No. 5 seed Concordia tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. ET in the championship game. The winner will advance to the NAIA Tournament final site in Kansas City to compete in the Round of 16.

MARIAN ADVANCES TO NAIA OPENING ROUND FINAL WITH 97-66 WIN OVER OLIVET NAZARENE

INDIANAPOLIS – The Marian women’s basketball team advanced to the NAIA Opening Round Championship game with a commanding 97-66 win over 15-seed Olivet Nazarene, winning the opening game of the Indianapolis Bracket. Marian is now 28-4 as they advance to the championship game.

Playing against the Tiger style of up and down basketball, Marian fell behind early as Olivet Nazarene made a pair of three’s in the first two minutes of the game. Back to back three’s from Ella Collier and Jayla Wehner began the net burning for the Knights, as Marian charged back in front with an 8-0 run. The Knights stayed in control for the remainder of the quarter after the run, out-scoring the Tigers 16-7 over the final five minutes of the quarter, leading 29-19 going into the second.

A three from Collier kick-started Marian’s offense in the second quarter, as the Knights took a 5-2 advantage in the quarter’s first minute. The game went scoreless for the next three minutes as the tempo caught up and led to a series of misses, but a layup from Aliyah Evans ended the drought as Marian scored the next five. Evans and Shanyce Makuei carried the Marian offense going into halftime, as a flurry of scores from the two and Abby Downard allowed Marian to lead 50-32 at the intermission.

Marian continued to be effecient in the third quarter, making 11 field goals as their lead swelled. Collier and Imani Guy picked up early offense, with buckets from Allison Bosse and Downard pushing the lead to 20. The scoring poured in the final four minutes, as the sophomores took over with Collier, Evans, and Wehner doing the scoring. A pair of scores from Makuei and strong defense helped Marian close the third on a 10-0 run, leading 75-47.

In the fourth Marian out-scored the Tigers 22-19, pushing their lead to 30 points in the first minute. With the large lead at hand Marian was able to pull their starters, giving the reserves a long run over the final seven minutes as they put away the game 97-66.

Marian was a strong 8-18 from three and shot 55 percent from the floor, grabbing 47 rebounds in the win. Downard led the Knights in scoring dropping 21 points to go with nine assists, while Collier scored 19 points making five three-pointers. Guy grabbed nine rebounds in limited minutes, while Kinnidy Garrard collected eight rebounds. Makuei finished with 16 to lead Marian’s bench, and Evans scored 12.

Marian will play Rio Grande Saturday night at 6 PM in the NAIA Opening Round Championship. The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the NAIA Tournament final site in Sioux City, Iowa.

NO. 2 MEN’S BASKETBALL ADVANCES TO ROUND OF 32 IN WIN OVER MONTREAT

MARION, Ind. – No. 2 Indiana Wesleyan men’s basketball survived inside Luckey arena Friday, downing No.15 Montreat in a close 80-65 win. The back and forth game was close until the final 10 minutes, when IWU exploded offensively for a 27-9 run to finish the game.

JaJa Davis was fantastic in the first half, pouring in 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor. He was nearly perfect from deep, shooting 3-of-4. As a squad, they shot 7-of-12 from long range, while IWU was 5-of-12.

The Wildcats led by just two at the break despite leading by as much as 11 at one point. There were three lead changes and four tie scores in the first 20.

Indiana Wesleyan was ice cold from deep in the second half, shooting 2-of-7. They finished the game shooting 36% from three.

Montreat kept IWU off the glass, holding them to just six offensive boards, their fewest in 14 games.

IWU will play Indiana Tech for the third time this season tomorrow at 6pm, for a trip to Kansas City and a date with the NAIA Sweet 16.

WILDCATS SNEAK OUT 65-64 WIN OVER IU-SOUTH BEND, ADVANCE TO ROUND OF 32

MARION, Ind. – No. 12 Indiana Wesleyan women’s basketball defeated IU-South Bend 65-64 to advance in the first game of the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round.  Wildcats continue the postseason run to the Round of 32 hosting Midway University tomorrow afternoon at 4pm.

IUSB jumped out to an early lead before a Jordan Reid layup tied the game 14-14. Titans responded with a 7-0 run to lead 21-14 at the end of the first quarter.

Titans continued to click stretching the lead to as much as 13 on a Rachael Robards three pointer.  Going into the locker room, Titans led 39-32.

Wildcats came out of halftime hot pulling within one after a good Kelli Damman three pointer followed by two Damman free throws on the next possession.  After exchanging baskets over a five minute span, Klair Merrell hit a three to give Wildcats their largest IWU lead of the entire ballgame with a three point lead.

Titans had the lead the entire fourth quarter until a Reid steal complemented by a layup and a good jumper again by Reid brought Wildcats within-one with 43 seconds remaining. Titans went 1-2 from the free throw line to go up 64-62 with 26 seconds left. A huge and-one play by Maddie Lawrence with 16 seconds remaining gave Wildcats the final basket of the game as Wildcats won 65-64.

Wildcats move on to the Round of 32 hosting Midway University tomorrow afternoon in Luckey Arena at 4pm.  The winner advances to the Sweet 16 at the Tyson Event Center on March 18.

RHIT WOMEN’S T&F PICKED 2ND IN HCAC

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women’s outdoor track and field team has been picked to finish second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship this season, in results released by the league office on Thursday.

Manchester received 9 first-place votes and 99 poll points.  Rose-Hulman received the remaining 1 first-place vote and 89 poll points.

Hanover, Anderson and Franklin round out the top half of the 10-team poll.

The Fightin’ Engineers won both the 2018 and 2021 HCAC women’s outdoor championships under the direction of head coach Larry Cole.  Rose-Hulman finish 2nd in the HCAC indoor championships in February.

This year’s indoor conference champions for Rose-Hulman included Rofiat Adeyemi (long jump and triple jump); Madison Lindfelt (800); Christina Rogers (400); Evelyn Utley (shot put); and the 4-x-400 relay team of Emily Peterson, Sarah Shoemaker, Liv Aspholm and Christina Rogers.

The 2021-22 outdoor track and field season begins with the Rose-Hulman Early Bird Invitational on March 19.

DAVIDSON NAMED JOSTENS TROPHY FINALIST

Wabash College senior guard Jack Davidson is one of 11 finalists for the Jostens Trophy.

The Jostens Trophy honors – one for men’s basketball and one for women’s basketball – are national awards created by the Rotary Club of Salem and sponsored by Jostens, Inc., to recognize the most outstanding men’s and women’s Division III basketball players of the year. The awards focus on three major criteria: basketball ability, academic prowess, and service to one’s surrounding communities. The Jostens Trophy models the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of a well-rounded Division III student-athlete. The 2022 season marks the 24th time the Jostens Trophy honors will be awarded.

Davidson joins an impressive list of NCAA Division III men’s players including two players from teams competing in this weekend’s Men’s Basketball Tournament games being played at Illinois Wesleyan. Joining Davidson on the finalists’ list are Nyameye Adom from Wheaton College, Buzz Anthony from Randolph-Macon College, Nick Bowman from Trine University, Conner Delaney from Johns Hopkins University, Robert Hawkinson from New York University, Jordan Johnson from Concordia University-Wisconsin, Matthew Leritz from Illinois Wesleyan University, Luke Rogers from Tufts University, Dempsey Roggenbuck from Linfield University, and Matthew Schner from Emory University.

Davidson, an economics major and CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 selection with a 3.68 cumulative grade point average, ranks third in the nation in scoring by averaging 26.1 points per game. He was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the second time in his career and has earned the U.S. Basketball Writers Association DIII Men’s Basketball Player on two different occasions this season. Davidson earned the honor the second time by scoring 97 points in three North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament games to lead the Little Giants to the title for the first time in school history and also secure the school’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 1998. He helped Wabash win its first NCAC regular-season title since the Little Giants joined the league in 1999.

Davidson leads the nation in three-point field goal shooting percentage by hitting 49.8 of his shots behind the arc. His 116 made three-point baskets is the most by an NCAA DIII player this season. Davidson ranks first in free throws made (188), second in total points this season (756) among DIII players, and seventh in free throw shooting percentage (90.8 percent).

Davidson is an active member of Wabash College’s Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship. He has led teams of students working with local businesses and non-profit programs to analyze market conditions, business performance, and economic factors, using that research to develop new business models and marketing strategies. He and his Wabash teammates participate regularly with a local elementary school in a program called “Books, Basketball, and Beyond.” He and his Little Giant teammates regularly meet with kindergarten and first-grade students to help develop and strengthen reading skills while also serving as positive male role models for the students.

Davidson and the rest of the Wabash team continue to play in the 2022 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Little Giants play Williams College Friday, March 11 at 4:30 p.m. CST at Illinois Wesleyan. Davidson helped Wabash advance to the round of 16 sectional contest by scoring a season-high 42 points in the Little Giants’ 87-86 win at Emory last Saturday. Wabash opened the NCAA Tournament with a 91-79 victory over Berry College. Davidson finished with a game-high 34 points.

WABASH MOVES ON TO NCAA QUARTERFINALS WITH 73-59 WIN OVER WILLIAMS

Wabash rode a 20-0 scoring run to blow past Williams College 73-59 to advance to the quarterfinal round of the 2022 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Wabash (27-3) trailed William (18-5) 43-42 with 13:39 left to play in the second half. The Little Giants regained the lead on a three-point basket by Ahmoni Jones as part of his 17-point effort in the second half. The junior scored 10 of Wabash’s 20 points during the run. Tyler Watson added eight points and Kellen Schreiber scored two to put the Little Giants in front 62-43.

Williams never recovered from the offensive explosion, only getting as close as 14 on its final shot of the game.

Jones led Wabash with 20 points and grabbed five rebounds. Schreiber scored 19 points with 12 points coming in the opening 20 minutes. Watson tossed in  14 points and nearly picked up a triple-double with nine rebounds and nine assists.

“What a great D3 game,” Wabash head coach Kyle Brumett said. “That’s probably the best defensive game we’ve played all year. I thought our guys really paid attention to what we were asking them to do defensively in a short turnaround time.

“It was a different offensive game for us. Jack Davidson didn’t have his usual offensive explosion but we’re a team. Jack knows that. He leads that. Jack is in the huddles telling Ahmoni to be ready and then is loving on him when he’s knocking shots down. That’s about as joyful as you can be as a coach to see the players lifting each other up and then get the win because of it.”

Williams did everything possible to keep Wabash leading scorer and Player-of-the-Year candidate Jack Davidson from scoring. The Ephs limited Davidson to 11 points but the senior guard took advantage of the defensive focus by finding other Wabash players to carry the scoring load. He matched his season-high by handing out eight assists. He also grabbed six rebounds and created two steals.

The Little Giants forced 17 Williams turnovers that led to 20 total points for Wabash. The Little Giants committed 15 turnovers but only allowed Williams to score eight points off the miscues.

Wabash trailed by as many as eight points in the first 12 minutes of the game. Williams used its taller lineup to score inside and take a 23-15 lead with 8:27 left in the first half. Watson cut the lead to five points with a driving basket and free throw. Davidson added two free throws after a technical foul was called on Williams to cut the lead to 23-20.

Wabash continued to battle back and eventually took a 26-25 lead on a layup by Schreiber with 3:30 remaining in the opening half. The teams traded leads until the final seconds of the half when Vinny Buccilla drained a three-pointer to put Wabash in front 32-29 at the break.

The teams continued to trade leads and baskets in the opening minutes of the second half. The game featured 13 lead changes and eight ties with the final change occurring when Williams’ Brandon Roughley scored on a fastbreak layup to give the Ephs the 43-42 lead. Jones responded with the three-pointer to start the 20-0 run, sending the Little Giants to their 23 consecutive victory and a place in Saturday’s quarterfinal game.

Roughley finished with 16 points to lead Williams in scoring. Declan Porter added 12 points. Nate Karren tallied 10 points for the Ephs.

Wabash shot 45 percent from the field (27-of-60) and was 8-of-23 from three-point range (34.8 percent). Williams finished 21-of-55 from the field (38.2 percent) but hit just two of its 16 three-point attempts (12.5 percent). Wabash outrebounded the taller Ephs squad. The Little Giants won the rebounding battle 37-32.

Wabash plays the host illinois Wesleyan University Titans in the quarterfinal game Saturday evening. The Titans defeated Wheaton College in Friday’s second game 77-73. Saturday’s quarterfinal contest is scheduled to tip-off at 7:30 p.m. CST / 8:30 p.m. EST. Tickets will be sold at the door beginning at 5:30 p.m. CST / 6:30 p.m. EST and doors to the Shirk Center Arena will open 90 minutes prior to the opening tip. No advanced tickets will be sold and only cash will be accepted at the door.

FIVE LITTLE GIANTS STILL ALIVE AFTER FIRST DAY OF NCAA DIVISION III WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA. Five of Wabash’s program-record-tying seven NCAA qualifiers advanced on the first day of the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Friday.

Three Little Giants moved into the semifinals after the day’s two sessions and two more are still alive in the consolation bracket.

Wabash ended the first day of the championships in third place in the team standings with 40.5 points — one point behind second-place Augsburg University and 17.5 back of leading Wartburg College.

During the morning session of the tournament, Wabash senior 149-pounder Alex Barr lost his first match via fall to University of Chicago’s Ryan Fleck. But Barr bounced back in his first consolation match, getting an 8-0 major decision over No.7 Chandler Merwin of the State University of New York at Cortland.

In his win, Barr scored all of his points in the third period. He earned an escape, takedown, four near fall points, and the riding time point.

Senior 125-pounder and seventh-seeded Carlos Champagne defeated Joey Manginellli of Springfield College, 5-2, to move on to the quarterfinals in his second appearance at the national tournament.

Senior 165-pounder third-seeded Kyle Hatch earned the first of two Little Giant falls in session one. After a scoreless first period, Hatch took down Fox Maxwell of Bridgeport State 50 seconds into the second period and ultimately put Maxwell on his back.

The pin marked Hatch’s 17th fall victory of the year, putting him in the team-lead in that category. But he didn’t hold the top spot on his own for long. Junior Jack Heldt got the second fall of the session at 197 pounds.

Heldt, seeded second, tied Hatch with his 17th win by fall of the season and was the third Wabash wrestler to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals. Heldt came back from a 4-2 first-period deficit and ended the match with 39 seconds left in the second period.

“I try to stay confident the whole time,” Heldt said. “My coaches instill confidence in us from day one. If we get down in matches, we got to keep our heads up and stay focused.”

In Friday’s evening session, Champagne continued his success, advancing to the semifinals with a 7-0 win over second-seeded Samuel Braswell of Averett University.

“He was a freshman All-American for us in 2019,” Wabash head coach Brian Anderson said of Champagne, “and we know he has all the capability of winning the whole thing. He really put it together during the back half of the season. He’s just kept getting better and better.”

Barr wrestled two more matches during the evening session. He beat Jake Burford of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 4-1, and eighth-seed Chase Sumner of Ohio Northern, 6-0, respectively.

Hatch earned his second fall of the day against six-seed Philip Rodgers of the U.S Coast Guard Academy to advance to the semifinals.

Heldt followed Hatch’s lead, earning his second bonus-point victory of the day soon after. His 12-0 win over Bentley Schwanebeck-Ostermann of Augsburg moved him to the semifinals along with Champagne and Hatch.

“It’s all about the team in my eyes,” Heldt said. “I’m doing my part to try to help the guys out and to bring home a trophy for us.”

Chase Baczek ended the night for the Wabash advancing athletes. He picked up a 6-3 victory over Antonio McCloud of Mount St. Joseph to earn his place in the top eight.

With five of the seven Wartburg NCAA qualifiers locked into All-American status, Anderson’s message to his team for the two podium sessions tomorrow is simple.

“More points,” Anderson said. “Score more points. Tomorrow’s crucial. To get five through, you got to keep pushing. We’ve got three opportunities to punch guys through to the finals, and that’s huge. We have to keep those guys on the backside climbing up as high as they can.”

Sophomore 141-pounder Daniel Uribe and senior heavyweight Maxwell Bishop also competed for the Little Giants, but dropped their first two matches.

Tomorrow’s events begin with session III at 10 a.m. and the finals are set for 7 p.m. CST.

RECAP | GRIZZLIES FIGHT THROUGH COLD, SWEEP ALMA ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On a frigid and windy Friday (Mar. 11), the Franklin College baseball team opened a four-game set with the Alma Scots, playing a double-header at Bishop Chatard HS.

The Grizzlies (6-3) opened the series strong, winning game one by a 6-2 score and taking the second contest from the Scots (3-8), 15-7.

Game One: Franklin 6 – Alma 2

Alma claimed the day’s first lead with a run in the top of the first and held onto it until the bottom of the third inning. With runners on the corners and no one out, Garrett Ramsey and Adam Taylor pulled off a double steal with Taylor crossing home to even things up.

But the Grizzlies couldn’t keep the momentum and the Scots jumped back in front with a fifth inning run. With just nine outs left to play with, Franklin’s offense finally came to life with two outs in the seventh.

Taylor launched his first career home run to tie the game and start a stretch where eight straight Grizzlies reached base as part of a five-run frame. AJ Sanders, Tysen Lipscomb and Noah Wood all knocked in runs to give FC a four-run lead.

Chris Foote (2-0) picked up the win in relief, walking one and striking out four over three no-hit innings. Nick McClanahan got the start, scattering seven hits and striking out seven over six innings.

Taylor was the lone Grizzly to record multiple hits and multiple runs scored in his first career start in the outfield.

Game Two: Franklin 15 – Alma 7

The Scots took a 1-0 lead in the second but the Grizzlies would respond in the bottom of the third inning with a six-run frame. Lipscomb, Logan Demkovich, Matthew Earley and Andrew Wallace rattled off RBI hits to put FC in front for good.

The Grizzlies tacked on three in the fourth, one in the fifth, two in the sixth and three in the eighth to run in a walk. Earley and Wallace both had three hits and knocked in four runs to pace the offense with Sanders scoring three runs from the leadoff spot.

Junior Jackson Young (3-0) went a career-long seven innings, allowing four earned runs and striking out three. Freshman Jobe Luebbehusen closed things out with two innings of two-hit ball in relief of Young.

Up Next

The two teams will be back at it on Sunday (Mar. 13) for a pair of games at Bishop Chatard HS. First pitch is set for noon.

STULL TOSSES GEM IN SPLIT WITH OWLS

Anderson University baseball junior Walker Stull tossed a gem as Anderson split with Westfield State University during Friday’s doubleheader in Davenport, Fla.

Westfield State (4-1) took a 10-5 win in Game 1. Anderson (5-5) cruised to a 12-0 victory in seven innings in Game 2. Stull (1-1) threw seven scoreless innings and allowed just one hit and two walks, while striking out nine.

GAME 1: WESTFIELD STATE 10, ANDERSON 5

Justin Reed – 2-for-4, Home Run, 2 RBIs, 2 runs

Jed Downham – 2-run Home Run

Brady Reed – RBI Single

Tyler Smitherman – Single

Jake Stank – Single

T.J. Price – Single

Zach Wagner – 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K

GAME 2: ANDERSON 12, WESTFIELD STATE 0 (F/7)

Walker Stull – (1-1), 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 9 K

Tyler Smitherman – 2-for-4, 3-run Home Run

Justin Reed – 1-for-2, 2-run Double, Walk

Connor Gordon – 2-run Double

Charlie Jones – 2-for-2, Walk, 3 Run

Rene Casas Jr. – 1-for-2, 2-run Single, 2 Walks

Rylan Metz – 2-for-3, 2-run Single, Walk

T.J. Price – 1-for-2, Single, 2 Walks

Grahm Reedy – Single

UP NEXT

Anderson takes on Rutgers University Newark (5-2) at 12 p.m. on Saturday at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex Field #3 in Auburndale, Fla.

ANDERSON SECURES WIN AGAINST BEREA IN SEASON OPENER

The Anderson University softball team opened up their 2022 season with their yearly Florida trip on Friday in Leesburg, Fla. The Ravens (1-1) came out swinging in their first game of the day as they defeated the Berea College Mountaineers (3-5) by a score of 9-2. Game two on the other hand did not go in favor of the Ravens as they fell to the D’Youville College Saints (6-0) by a score of 9-1.

GAME 1: ANDERSON 9, BEREA 2

The Ravens kicked off their spring break trip with a multi-run game against Berea College. Both sides struggled to get any offense going in the first two innings before the Ravens came out swinging.

In the top of the third inning, Anderson found their stride on the offensive side of the ball. The Ravens had found themselves with a runner on first and second with one out when Ashley Wheeler stepped up to bat. Wheeler sent the ball up the middle for a single, and ultimately reach second on the throw. Jayden Brown scored to put the Ravens up on the board. Molly Buck followed in the next at bat with a single through the left side to bring in Kayla Dillinger. Buck then stole second to give the Ravens two runners in scoring position. A throwing error then followed to allow Brianna Bell to reach first and send Buck to third and Wheeler home to put the Ravens up 3-0 over Berea. The runs weren’t done yet for Anderson though as Buck scored off a Kyleigh Lowry sacrifice fly. The final run of the inning then came after an Alysa Marcin single down right field brought in Bell.

In the bottom of the third, the Mountaineers were able to bring in one run after a single by Madison McIntosh. At the end of the third inning, the Ravens held a 5-1 lead over the Mountaineers.

Berea’s final run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth when Madison Yates singled up the middle to bring in Savannah Fallis.

A scoreless fifth inning followed before the Ravens put up a four-run sixth inning to improve their score. After going to the count early with one out, the Ravens loaded the bases with their next three batters. Then, with a single into center field by Dillinger, the Ravens were able to score two runners. The third run followed in the next at bat off another single into center field, this time by Wheeler. The final run of the inning and the game then came after a fielder’s choice that allowed Dillinger to reach home.

Anderson’s nine-run game gave the Ravens their first win of the 2022 season. Picking up the win in the pitcher’s circle for the Ravens was Alexis Kern (1-0), who pitched the whole game. Kern pitched seven innings and allowed two runs off of five hits, allowed two walks, and struck out two. Dillinger ended the game 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI’s.

GAME 2: D’YOUVILLE 9, ANDERSON 1

D’Youville came out hot, putting up a four-run top of the first against the Ravens. The Saints got the runs started when Mikaela Milleville singled up the middle to bring in one. Lauren Booth then followed with a single of her own to bring in another runner for the Saints. Then, Carly Milleville hit a triple into left field to bring in Mikaela Milleville and Booth. Anderson was unable to get any action going as the Saints held a 4-0 lead at the end of the first.

The Ravens only run of the game came in the bottom of the third when Marcin scored after a fielder’s choice from Brown.

Anderson was unable to get any more offensive action going as D’Youville packed on more runs in the fourth and sixth innings.

In the fourth, the Saints scored two. The first came off a wild pitch, while the second was a result of a throwing error by the Ravens.

Three more runs were scored in the sixth by the Saints to close out the game. After a Carly Milleville triple, the Saints scored two runs. Then a sacrifice fly by Hannah Bardeen brought in the final runner of the game as the Saints took a 9-1 victory.

Anderson shuffled through three pitchers during the contest, allowing nine runs off of 12 hits. The Ravens gave up four walks while striking out six.

UP NEXT

After ending their first day on their Florida trip with a split, the Ravens look to turn things around as they get a couple days rest before returning back to action on Tuesday for two games. In Game 1, the Ravens will face off against Ramapo College (0-0) at 11AM on field five, followed by Game 2 against the University of New England (0-0) at 3:15PM on field four. Both games are set to take place in Leesburg, Fla. at Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex.

BIENIEWICZ NOTCHES TWO SCHOOL RECORDS IN SECTIONAL SEMIFINAL WIN

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tara Bieniewicz [Chesterfield, Mich. / Dakota] was already one of, if not the best, shooter in Trine University women’s basketball history, but after today’s performance in the NCAA Sectional Semifinal, she owns two more school records as she led Trine to a 58-49 win over Springfield College on Friday evening.

Bieniewicz finished with 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc. That ties the record for most three-point field goal makes in a game by an individual in program history. She also secured the mark for most made three’s in a single season with 81 heading into their Sectional Championship game tomorrow.

Bieniewicz had the first make of the game for either team with a corner three in transition at the 8:15 mark in quarter number one. The Pride attempted to utilize a 2-3 zone to start the game, but the Thunder were able to shoot over it and beat Springfield down the floor. Kayla Wildman [Rockford, Mich. / Rockford] and Bieniewicz again were left open in the corners to give Trine an early 9-4 edge.

Bieniewicz found Katie Sloneker [Monroe, Ohio / Monroe] in the middle of the zone for an open jumper and she knocked down her third three-point shot of the night at go up 14-4 at the under-five media timeout.

The defense settled in for both teams near the end of the period. Kaylee Argyle [Freeland, Mich. / Freeland] was true from the free throw line and Rachel Stewart [Pekin, Ind. / Eastern] drove the lane for a lay-up to make it 17-10 at the break.

Katie Sloneker ended a dry spell of nearly five minutes for the Thunder with a make under seven minutes to go in the first half. An Alyssa Argyle [Freeland, Mich. / Freeland] three-point make and a pair of free throws from Makayla Ardis [Lake City, Mich. / Lake City] wrapped up a 7-0 run.

Springfield worked to cut the lead down to 10, but back-to-back three-point field goals just before the halftime buzzer gave Trine a 35-19 lead. Kaylee Argyle was left open on the first and Bieniewicz nailed her fourth three of the half with two seconds on the game clock.

Overall in the first half, the Thunder were 8-of-15 (53.3%) from deep and held the Pride to just 1-of-10 (10.0%) from long range.

Coming out of recess, Springfield made it a point of emphasis to start shooting the three to get back into it, but Bieniewicz was right there to respond with two trifectas in the first three minutes.

A Sam Underhill [Grand Rapids, Mich. / Northview] lay-up gave Trine their largest lead of the game at 46-29. Springfield worked to get a pair of scores just before the end of the third, but the Thunder led 48-36 going into the final 10 minutes.

Ardis connected on a mid-range jump shot to start the fourth, but the Pride made it a single-digit ballgame with five straight points, leading to a timeout called by head coach Andy Rang. Halfway through the period, Ardis found Bieniewicz for three, her seventh, to go up 53-41.

Just as they did in their Second Round game, Springfield used a late scoring spree to make their opposition sweat. Eight in a row, including two makes from beyond the arc, made it 53-47 with less than one minute left.

Who else would it be besides Bieniewicz making a key shot from long range, her record-tying eighth, with 36 seconds remaining to regain control of the game. Ardis buried a pair of free throws to give her six points on the night and the Thunder held off the Springfield Pride by a final score of 58-49.

As a team, Trine kept Springfield in check from deep at 5-of-27 (18.5%) and 17-of-63 (27.0%) from the field overall. The Pride crashed the offensive glass hard with 17 boards on their own end of the floor.

Bieniewicz’s 24 points is also a career-high for the senior. Ardis and Wildman each had a team-best seven rebounds while Kelsy Taylor [Louisville, Ky. / New Albany] brought in six and Bieniewicz five. Ardis distributed six assists to tie her season-high.

Trine and Transylvania University, who disposed of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in the semifinals, will square off in the Sectional Championship game for a chance to appear in the Final 4 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tip-off from Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, March 12 is slated for 6 pm.

BASEBALL EARNS SWEEP OF BEREA ON FRIDAY

BEREA, Ky. – The Manchester University baseball team earned a road doubleheader sweep of Berea College on Friday March 11.

The Black & Gold broke into the win column for the first time this season after topping the Mountaineers by final scores of 16-5 and 14-7.

Stats:

Manchester’s offense was tough to slow on Friday afternoon as the Spartans combined to score 30 runs in the doubleheader.

In the first game of the day, the Black & Gold plated 16 runs on the strength of 19 hits.

Manchester’s offense poured in runs late in the contest, scoring three runs in the top of the 7th and 8th innings and scoring four runs in the top of the 9th inning. Manchester scored at least one run in each frame except for the top of the 1st inning.

Zach White, Griffin Garwood, and Harrison Pittsford led Manchester in the opening game of Friday’s twin bill with three hits apiece. Both White and Garwood drove in three runs while Pittsford drove in a pair.

Aidan Stevens (Rensselaer, Ind./Rensselaer Central) had three RBI in the opener while Cole Filson (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) connected on a two-run home run for Manchester.

Carter Hooks (Rochester, Ind./Rochester) struck out six batters over five innings of work to earn his first win of the season. Hooks allowed just three runs and four hits.

Manchester’s bats stayed hot in the second game of the day as the Spartans once again reached double figures in runs and hits with 14 in both categories.

Six different Spartans collected multiple hits in the second game of the afternoon. Austin Knowles (Nassau, Bahamas/Athens Christian (Ga.)) and Griffin Garwood both drove home three runs.

Aidan Steves and Brady Perez (Rochester, Ind./Rochester both drove home a pair of runs in the winning effort to close out the day. Stevens scored four runs.

Brett Wathen (Ossian, Ind./Norwell) threw 5.1 innings, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs. He earned his first collegiate victory on the mound on Friday night.

Up Next:

Manchester (2-7) will host Trine in a single, nine-inning contest on Wednesday March 16 at Gratz Field beginning at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday’s contest will mark the home opener for the Black & Gold.

#12 FORESTERS PICK OFF #5 GEORGETOWN IN OPENING ROUND OF NAIA TOURNEY

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The field of 64 teams for the 84th annual NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship has been cut in half with the 12th-seeded Foresters moving on by way of an 80-69 win over 5th-seeded Georgetown (25-8) Friday night as part of the Montgomery bracket in opening round action at Faulkner’s Tine W. Davis Gymnasium. 

With this win, the biggest upset of the NAIA tournament, the Foresters improve to 23-10 and advance to the championship game of the four-team pod. HU will face No. 4 Faulkner tomorrow night at 5:00 p.m. (CST) with the winner advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in Kansas City next week.

Georgetown entered the night leading the 64-team field with 41 tournament appearances which includes three national championships.  

Senior Caleb Middlesworth made sure his team got off to a hot start by scoring the game’s first five points on the way to a 9-0 HU lead right out of the gate. Just over five minutes into the contest, the 6-8 forward already had ten points.

Huntington held onto the lead the majority of the half until a Cam Brooks three at the 2:42 mark gave Georgetown their first advantage of 36-35. Another GC bucket upped the lead to three before Ben Humrichous closed out the period with five unanswered points which included a buzzer-beating three for a 40-40 deadlock at the midway point.

The Tigers’ three-point tilt in the first half proved their largest advantage of the day but it wasn’t the last time they fought HU for the lead. The first five minutes of the second period featured four lead changes. Aside from two ties after that, the last a 59-59 draw with ten minutes to go, Huntington stayed in front.

HU’s lead never ventured beyond four points in the final 20 minutes until Humrichous and Lane Sparks drilled threes within 30 seconds of each other to give their team a little breathing room at 70-62 with just over six minutes remaining. Things fell into place for the Foresters after that as the 11-point victory was the game’s largest disparity.

Humrichous finished with 14 points, four rebounds, four blocks and two assists. All four of his blocks came in the final nine minutes of play.

Hank Pulver also filled the stat sheet for HU with his 13 points, nine from deep, four rebounds and two blocks. Sparks came off bench to add ten points, six boards and two steals.

Middlesworth was a picture of consistency and efficiency for Alford’s crew, dropping in a team-best 24 points on 9-for-11 shooting which included hitting all four of his three point attempts. Additionally he pulled down a team-leading seven rebounds.

Zach Goodline was also a handful for Georgetown. After a quiet first half of scoring only two points, the 6-1 floor general finished with 18 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals.

As a team, the Foresters shot 51.7 percent from the floor (30-for-58) which included draining 11 of their 18 three-pointers. They connected on 81.8 percent of their free throws by going 9-for-11 and committed just eight turnovers.

At the other end of the floor, HU held the Tigers 13 points below their season average and limited them to 41.2 percent shooting (28-for-68) which included going 4-for-21 (19.0 percent) from long range.

Kyran Jones finished with 29 points and nine rebounds to pace Georgetown. Derrin Boyd and Brooks chipped in 13 and ten points respectively.

The last time Huntington made a trip to NAIA Nationals was 2014. The program’s last win on the big stage dates back to the 2005-06 season when the Foresters made it to the championship game under the direction of legendary coach Steve Platt.

STRONG OFFENSE & TIMELY DEFENSE PROPELS NO. 16 COUGARS PAST NORTHWESTERN RED RAIDERS

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – On Friday evening, the No. 16 University of Saint Francis Cougars (24-8) traveled to Wichita, Kansas to face the Northwestern Red Raiders (21-11) in the Opening Round of the 2022 NAIA National Tournament presented by Ballogy and fended off a late surge to win 91-85.

The game started as a back-and-forth battle between both teams with the offenses starting hot. Through the game’s first five minutes both teams found themselves tied at 12, and then Saint Francis led 24-19 10 minutes in.

Then through the next several minutes, the Cougars found the momentum and began riding it as they built up a 35-23 lead with junior guard Jalan Mull leading the charge with 14 points. Meanwhile, junior forward David Ejah got a couple key blocks on defense as Saint Francis looked to take a commanding lead at halftime.

During the frame’s final minutes, they did just that. Capped by a couple made free throws by junior guard Antwaan Cushingberry Saint Francis took a 47-30 lead going into the half.

Throughout the first half, the Cougars shot 41 percent from beyond the three-point line while holding the Red Raiders to a three-point shooting percentage of just 16.

Heading into the second half, the Red Raiders came out strong though and began chipping away at the lead for the Cougars. Northwestern managed to close the deficit to within eight points eight minutes into the frame as they had taken control of the momentum.

Midway through the second half the Cougars still led by nine.

The game continued as a back-and-forth battle in the latter minutes of the game, and with under five minutes remaining, the lead for Saint Francis was only six.

But as soon as it looked like the Red Raiders would get to within striking distance, David Ejah got a clutch steal and turned it into a dunk to put Saint Francis back ahead by eight, and they kept their distance down to the final minute.

Despite a final surge by the Red Raiders, the Cougars knocked down key free throws when they needed to and managed their six-point lead to advance to the Round of 32.

“Our guys made big plays down the stretch tonight,” Head Coach Chad LaCross said. “We hit our free throws and had huge efforts from our bench. We are excited to earn another day!”

Throughout the game, the Cougars shot 53 percent from the floor, 37 percent from beyond the three-point line, and 75 percent from the free throw line. Antwaan Cushingberry led the team in scoring with 21 points and also had six rebounds and four assists. Jalan Mull chipped in with 19 points, six rebounds, and a team-leading eight assists of his own, while David Ejah led the team in rebounds with 11 and had 14 points for a double-double.

The Cougars will now face the winner of the preceding Briar Cliff vs Bethel game in the Opening Round Final in Wichita beginning at 7:00 pm.

LADY COUGARS BATTLE HARD BUT FALL IN THE END TO DAKOTA WESLEYAN IN NAIA OPENING ROUND

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – On Friday afternoon, the 13 seeded University of Saint Francis Lady Cougars (17-10) traveled to Omaha, Nebraska for the Opening Round of the 2022 NAIA Tournament presented by Ballogy when they faced the 4 seeded Dakota Wesleyan University Tigers (27-7) but could not overcome the relentless attack in the fourth quarter as they fell 69-58.

As the game got underway, the Lady Cougars came out strong in all aspects. Sophomore guard Reganne Pate got the offense started with a three-pointer and then a back-and-forth battle ensued for the next couple minutes before the Lady Cougars defense stepped up.

With the game tied at eight, Saint Francis scored six unanswered points to pull ahead 14-8 while forcing consecutive stops on defense. The Lady Cougars defense was strong during the first quarter and their offense outscored the Tigers 18-12 in the frame as they led 18-12 going into the second quarter.

However, the Tigers turned the tide in the second as they scored six unanswered points themselves to tie the game back up, and both teams went back-and-forth for the next several minutes.

Then in the last minute of the first half, a long three-pointer by freshman guard Chloe McKnight tied the game at 30, and then Pate got the ball and put it up and nailed another three as the buzzer sounded to give the Lady Cougars the lead in dramatic fashion as they led the Tigers 33-30 at halftime.

During the first half, the Lady Cougars held the Tigers to just 33 percent from the floor while getting three steals and three blocks.

Heading into the third quarter, scoring became scarcer from both sides. Despite constant pressure from the Tigers defense, the Lady Cougars managed to keep their lead and battled Dakota Wesleyan possession for possession.

The Tigers outscored the Lady Cougars 17-15 in the frame, but Saint Francis still held the lead going into the fourth quarter, ahead 48-47.

In the early minutes of the fourth quarter, the Tigers surged back and tied the game at 50 with a long three-pointer of their own, and then went ahead with a couple free throws and another three to extend their lead by five over the Lady Cougars before Saint Francis called a timeout.

Unfortunately for the Lady Cougars, the Tigers caught the momentum and never gave it back as they extended their lead to nine points with three minutes remaining and dealt the Lady Cougars the tough loss after being outscored 22-10 in the fourth quarter.

Throughout the game, the Lady Cougars shot 39 percent from the floor, 28 percent from beyond the three-point line, and 75 percent from the free throw line. Junior forward Meleah Kunkel led the team in scoring with 15 points and in rebounds with nine.

Cougar fans, follow all action and updates with USF athletics by visiting Saintfranciscougars.com or by downloading the Saint Francis Cougars app.

NO. 18 GRENADIERS ROUT BEARCATS TO SWEEP RSC SERIES

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — The IU Southeast bats stayed hot to take down Brescia 15-2 Friday afternoon to sweep the River States Conference series.

Things got going in the second inning as Ben Berenda and Brandon Boxer hit back to back singles. Freshman Blake Cook  drove them both in with a home run to deep right-center. That was Cook’s first collegiate home run as he also made his first start in a Grenadier uniform. The grenadiers would score three runs on three hits in the inning.

The Bearcats would waste no time as Cameron Dean and Jacob Upshaw drove in a run a piece to cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the third. However, that would be the end of the offense for Brescia.

The Grenadiers would score in the next three innings starting with a single from Trevor Campbell. Brody Tanksley would draw a walk and Derek Wagner would be hit by a pitch to load the bases for IU Southeast. Wyatt Griskey would walk both Berenda and Boxer to give the Grenadiers two more runs. Blake Cook was not finished for the afternoon as he promptly unloaded the bases with a double in the right-center gap. That would give him six RBIs for the day.

Tanksley would add a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to give IU Southeast a 9-2 lead.

Things would break wide open in the fifth. Boxer led off the inning with a walk. Cook singled for his third hit in as many at bats. Trevor MacDonald doubled down the left field line to score Boxer, but the bearcats defense would get sloppy with the baseball and throw it away twice for both Cook and MacDonald to score on the play. Clay Woeste was hit by the pitch before Brayden Hazelwood would single to left and advance to second on the throw in. Tanksley would drive both runners in with a single to left. He advanced to third on error and then a single by Wagner before Berenda would drive him in. The score after five inning was the eventual final 15-2 Grenadiers.

Hunter Kloke got the win with a strong five innings allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits, one walk, and struck out six. Tyler Yotkewich and Cade Reynolds each threw a scoreless frame to finish this one off for the Grenadiers.

IU Southeast moves to 3-0 in RSC play. The Grenadiers will host Indiana Tech on Tuesday for a double-header scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

MEN’S BASKETBALL ADVANCES TO ROUND OF 32 WITH WIN OVER DORDT

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Indiana University Kokomo men’s basketball team survived a comeback attempts from Dordt University on Friday to win their NAIA Men’s Basketball Championship opening round game. The Cougars held on to defeat the Defenders 82-80 to advance to Saturday’s pod final.

IU Kokomo lead by 18 with just under 13:00 to play in the game but the Defenders came storming back, having an opportunity to win or tie the game with eight seconds left. Despite the comeback effort, the Cougars led from wire-to-wire.

Desean Hampton led the Cougars, scoring a game-high 22 points while grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the year.

Trequan Spivey netted 17 points, 10 of them coming in the second half while Hunter White added 14 points in the win. Allante Harper dished out a game-high seven assists to go along with nine points.

The Cougars got off to a quick start, scoring the first eight points of the game, forcing Dordt to take its first timeout. Darian Porch started the scoring before Spivey and Harper each knocked down a triple.

With the Cougars leading 10-4, Hampton scored eight straight points to extend the IUK lead to 12 points.

IU Kokomo held a 16-point lead with just under 11 minutes to go in the opening half but over the next 4:47, the Defenders used a 14-2, cutting their deficit four points but the veteran-led Cougars answered with a 12-2 run of their own, building their lead back to 14 with just over two minutes to go in the half.

Dordt was able to cut the Cougar lead to single digits heading into the locker room.

IU Kokomo shot 56 percent from the field in the opening frame.

For the first seven minutes of the second half, the Cougars remained in control and built their lead to 18 points, their largest lead of the game with 12:55 left to play.

It appeared as if IU Kokomo was going to cruise to an opening round victory but just as they did in the opening half, the Defenders went on a huge run, this time a 22-6 spurt that made it a two-point game with 5:08 remaining. White scored five straight for the Cougars to push their lead back to seven points. A 6-1 run by Dordt made it a one possession game with just over a minute to go.

After missing the front-end of a one-and-one, the Cougars found themselves on the defensive end with eight seconds to play and their season on the line. IU Kokomo got the most important stop of their season, securing the opening round victory.

The Cougars will take now take on the host, William Penn University tomorrow with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. Tipoff is set for 5:00 p.m. eastern time at Penn Gymnasium.

MEN’S BASKETBALL SEASON COMES TO END AGAINST (23) CONCORDIA IN NAIA MEN’S BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OPENING ROUND FRIDAY

OMAHA, Neb. — The Indiana University Northwest men’s basketball team saw their season come to a close as the RedHawks finished their best year to date as the RedHawks lost to Concordia (Neb.), 96-78, at DJ Sokol Arena Friday.

TEAM RECORDS

No. 5 seed Concordia (26-6) | No. 12 seed IU Northwest (23-8)

QUARTER BREAKDOWN

1st Half: No. 5 seed Concordia 54, No. 12 seed IU Northwest 41

2nd Half: No. 5 seed Concordia 42, No. 12 seed IU Northwest 37

Final Score: No. 5 seed Concordia 96, No. 12 seed IU Northwest 78

IU NORTHWEST LEADERS

Points: Marshaud Watkins (17), Jared Johnson (13), Jerron Tatum (12), Brian Hernandez (11)

Rebounds: Jared Johnson (12)

Assists: VaShawn Sims (4)

Blocks: Jared Johnson (3), Marshaud Watkins (2)

Steals: Brian Hernandez (2)

GAME RECAP

Concordia started the game with a three-pointer then Marshaud Watkins responded with a jumper. The Bulldogs responded with three straight baskets to go pull ahead 9-2.

Brian Hernandez responded with a layup to make it 9-4. After the Bulldogs responded with a three-pointer, Watkins knocked down a basket and a three-pointer to 12-9 CUNE.

CUNE responded with a layup then Damond Crosby had the response with a basket of his own. Jared Johnson made a three-pointer to make it 16-14 Bulldogs with 13:27 left.

Crosby made back-to-back baskets to cut it back down to one (21-20). Both teams went back-and-forth with the next few baskets before Concordia made it 33-25 with 6:13 left in the first half

IU Northwest fought back and scored seven unanswered points after a three-pointer by Watkins, a layup by Jerron Tatum and a jumper by Watkins which made it 33-32 CUNE. The Bulldogs responded with eight straight points to extend their lead out to 41-32.

Hernandez and Tatum bounced back with back-to-back baskets to try to get back in the game with CUNE leading 41-36. The Bulldogs got back-to-back three pointers to make it 47-36 with under two minutes left in the half.

Jason Peace got a three-pointer and Tromon Weston made a basket to cut it back down to nine (49-41) with under a minute left. CUNE closed out the half with a three-pointer and a layup of their own to go up 54-41 at the break.

Johnson started the second half with a layup looking to put the RedHawks back in the game. Concordia built up a 64-50 lead with 16:15 left in the game. Johnson responded with a pair of baskets to make it 64-54 with 14:26 in the game.

Both teams scored a pair of buckets to keep it a 10-point game. CUNE made a little bit of a run before Tatum knocked down a three-pointer.

The Bulldogs extended their lead to 81-64 with 5:32 remaining in the game. Tyler Houston made a layup to cut it back to 15 points.

CUNE extended their lead out to 21 (87-66) under around four minutes left. Hernandez and Ryan LaFollette made back-to-back threes which made it 94-76.

Concordia ended up winning the game 96-78 after Watkins knocked down a three at the buzzer.

SEASON ENDS

IU Northwest Men’s Basketball ends their season 23-8 with their first trip to the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship Opening Round.

#19 TITANS COME UP SHORT IN NAIA OPENING ROUND

PARK CITY, Kan. – A tough shooting night from long range proved too much to overcome, as 8th-seeded IU South Bend fell behind early and were unable to complete the comeback in an 85-76 loss to 9th-seeded Kansas Wesleyan in the Opening Round of the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Championship on Friday night.

Donyell Meredith led the way for the Titans (25-7), scoring a game-high 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting along with seven rebounds. Dylan Allen finished with 17 points with a 9-for-10 performance from the free throw line, and Miles Tracy tallied 12 points with eight rebounds on the night.

Kansas Wesleyan (23-10) took an early lead, jumping out to a 9-2 lead just two and a half minutes into play. Buckets from Meredith and Micah Poole fueled a run of six straight points in response, but the Coyotes quickly pulled away again, scoring 13 of the next 14 points to build a 22-9 advantage by the 8:42 mark of the first half.

The Titans would head to the locker room at the half trailing 36-23 after a pair of free throws from Meredith.

Coming out to start the second half, Kansas Wesleyan took control, hitting four three-pointers within three and a half minutes, going on to take their largest lead of the night at the 12:53 mark, 55-34.

IU South Bend rallied midway through the second half, scoring 12 straight behind five points from Allen and four from Kenny Washington, cutting the deficit to nine at 61-52 with 8:30 remaining. Spencer Pettit’s bucket at the 6:44 mark closed the gap to seven, but Kansas Wesleyan would respond with the next five points to end the push and go back up by double-digits down the stretch.

The Titans close the season with a 25-7 overall record, matching 2019-20 as the highest single-season win total in program history.

TITANS COME UP JUST SHORT IN NAIA TOURNAMENT DEBUT

MARION, Ind. – IU South Bend had the NAIA on upset alert all night, but a late put-back bucket and free throw was just enough for 3rd-seeded Indiana Wesleyan to take a 65-64 win over the Titans, on their home court in the NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship Opening Round on Friday night.

The Titans (25-8) led throughout most of the game, going up by as much as 13 points in the second quarter on Rachael Robards’ three-pointer midway through the period. IUSB held a 39-32 advantage at the halftime break, and after the Wildcats (25-6) briefly took the lead late in the third, a buzzer beater from Amaya Rufus put the Titans back in front 53-52 going into the fourth quarter.

Maddie and Katie Gard led IU South Bend with 13 points apiece, including a combined 13-for-14 from the free throw line. Emma Fisher nearly recorded a double-double, with a career-high 12 rebounds along with eight points. Robards tallied 11 points with a pair of second-half three-pointers and a 4-for-7 night from the floor.

Courtney Haynes opened the game with a three-pointer, before Indiana Wesleyan hit a three of their own in response, and took a 5-3 lead with a pair of free throws at the 8:08 mark. Sara Doi’s three started an 11-3 run for the Titans, taking a 14-8 lead on Taitlyn Trenshaw’s bucket with 3:54 in the first quarter.

The Titans would lead until the mid-point of the third quarter, as Indiana Wesleyan opened the second half on a 12-4 run. Maddie and Katie Gard each recorded a field goal and a pair of points from the free throw line late in the third quarter, setting up Rufus’ go-ahead shot as time expired.

Katie Gard hit a three to open the fourth quarter, giving IUSB a 56-52 advantage, but the Wildcats would hold IUSB to just two more field goals the rest of the way. The Titans still held on to the lead until an offensive rebound and put-back bucket with 16 seconds remaining tied the game. A foul call on the score gave IWU the go-ahead point at the free throw line, and the Titans’ last-second attempt came up empty.

IU South Bend wraps up the season with a 25-8 overall record; the program’s second straight full season with 25 victories.

WARRIORS FALL SHORT TO PIKEVILLE IN NAIA OPENING ROUND

DAYTON, Tenn. ­– The No. 17 – ranked Indiana Tech women’s basketball team fell short Saturday in a battle with the University of Pikeville, 51-44. The loss knocks the Warriors out of the NAIA Tournament and ends their season 30-3, WHAC 19-1.

Taya Andrews led the way for the Warriors with a game high 15 points on 6-14 shooting to go along with five assists, four rebounds, and a block. Erika Foy was the only other double-digit scorer with 13 and adding in four rebounds. Emma Tuominen chipped in eight points and four rebounds while Kyra Whitaker had five points, a team high six rebounds, and two assists.

Both teams seemed to struggle offensively as it was a low scoring game. Both teams shot under 40% from the field and under 10% from three. Tech shot a game high 37% from the floor and 7.1% from three, yet it did not matter as the free throws favored the Bears, making 17 of their 20 and Tech only making 9 of their 17.

Tech got off to a pretty good start with Foy getting the first basket of game on a good layup in the paint before Pikeville came back with a good jumper to make things even. The two teams traded points back and forth the remainder of the quarter until a basket by the Bears with 40 seconds left gave them the 12-10 advantage. The second quarter was scoreless until the 8:46 mark when Pikeville scored on a three-point play to take the five-point lead, 15-10. The Bears went on a 4-0 run late into the period before Whitaker would knock down a pair of freebies and Andrews got a nice fastbreak layup to give the Warriors some momentum. However, Pikeville would go into the locker room at the break with a nine-point advantage, 27-18.

The Warriors seemed to have things going in their favor, outscoring their opponents 14-8 in the third quarter. Andrews and Tuominen got things rolling for their team combining for 12 of their team’s 14 points. After a strong showing in the third quarter, the Warriors were within three. The Warriors carried the momentum over into the final period with an old fashion three-point play by Foy and an Andrews layup to make things even at 37. Tech struggled to find the inside of the basket until Tuominen knocked down one of two free throws at the 3:41 mark to make the score 38-41. The teams traded points yet again, but Pikeville outlasted the Warriors by knocking down their free throws down the stretch.

LANCERS VICTORIOUS IN NAIA OPENER

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Grace’s men’s basketball team continued its strong postseason play to begin the 2022 NAIA National Championships.

The seventh-seeded Lancers took down No. 10 Cumberlands 73-71 on Friday in the NAIA Opening Round, presented by Ballogy.

Grace advances to play the host school No. 2 Olivet Nazarene on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Round of 32. The winner of that game will advance to the NAIA final site in Kansas City.

The Lancers have now won four straight games — all in postseason play. Grace won three straight road games to win the 2022 Crossroads League Tournament prior to Friday’s game.

Grace led by 15 with 4:45 remaining in the contest, but the Lancers had to survive a late rally from Cumberlands to secure the victory.

Grace led for nearly the entire game, but the Lancers were unable to pull away completely.

Grace scored on four straight possessions in the opening minutes, all of which came from low post touches.

The Lancers excelled in the paint in the early portions. Elijah Malone did not miss a shot, making all five of his field goals in the half. He and Jake Wadding threw down emphatic dunks at the onset of the game.

A strong dunk by Cade Gibbs lifted Grace to a 20-12 lead at the midway point of the first half. A minute later, he sank a 3-pointer to give the Lancers an 11-point lead, the largest of the half.

Grace still led by 11 with six minutes on the clock, but the Patriots charged to life. Cumberlands ripped off eight points in just over a minute, slicing Grace’s lead to three. The Patriots pulled to within two with 3:26 remaining.

But Grace found a jolt just before halftime. A triple from Carter Stoltzfus was followed up by an and-1 layup by Ian Scott.

The Lancers went into halftime with a 40-34 lead. Grace shot 53 percent from the floor compared to 35 percent for the Patriots. Malone led Grace with 12 first-half points.

The Lancers turned the ball over eight times and shot six fewer free throws than Cumberlands.

The second half followed a similar trajectory. A triple from Frankie Davidson was followed by a Wadding dunk, pushing Grace’s cushion to 11 before four minutes had expired in the half.

Scott was a central figure for the Lancers during the middle of the second half. His cutting and finishing at the rim gave the Patriots fits.

His and-1 with 8:52 remaining gave Grace its largest lead of the game at 65-49. His dunk a minute later maintained Grace’s 16-point lead.

But the Lancers’ offense dried up over the final several minutes. Grace scored just six points over the last 7:45 of action and just three points over the final 4:46.

As a result, Cumberlands was able to chip away at Grace’s lead. The Patriots scored four quick points with 1:30 left to pull within three, and Grace missed two free throws in response.

The Lancers earned a defensive stop on the next possession, and Davidson sank two free throws to extend the lead to five.

Cumberlands raced down and drilled a 3-pointer to make the score 73-71, and Grace turned the ball over in the backcourt to keep Cumberlands’ hopes alive.

But the Lancers survived two desperation shots in the waning seconds, holding on for the narrow two-point win.

Davidson finished with 18 points and eight rebounds while shooting 5 of 11. Malone shot 6 of 6 for his 17 points, adding six boards and two blocks before fouling out.

Scott had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks, Jakob Gibbs had eight points and three boards, and Cade Gibbs tallied 7 points, 3 boards and 2 assists.

Eddie Gill IV notched four assists and two points, Jake Wadding had four points and three assists, Carter Stoltzfus tallied three points and seven boards, and Brycen Graber dished out six assists.

The Lancers shot 53 percent from the floor and 46 percent on 3-pointers while holding Cumberlands to 37 percent overall and 22 percent on triples. Grace also had 18 assists on 26 made field goals as well as a plus-7 edge in rebounds.

Cumberlands kept the game close thanks to Grace’s 19 turnovers. The Patriots, who had just seven turnovers, outscored Grace 18-7 in points off turnovers.

Grace will take on the host Olivet Nazarene tomorrow. ONU is also coming off a narrow win, escaping No. 15 seed Lourdes thanks to a buzzer-beating game winner.

USI WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO WALSH IN NCAA-OPENER

ASHLAND, Ohio—Two first-half runs by the opposition proved to be too much for University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball to overcome as the No. 25 Screaming Eagles suffered a 75-63 setback to No. 15/18 Walsh University in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Tournament Friday night.

Walsh (27-4), the No. 4 seed in the regional, used a 9-0 first-quarter run that lasted a little more than two minutes and an 8-0 second-quarter run that lasted less than 90 seconds to build a lead it would not relinquish.

The fifth-seeded Eagles (23-6) held a 9-8 lead with less than four minutes to play in the opening quarter when the Cavaliers strung together nine straight points to build an eight-point cushion.

USI kept within striking distance of the Cavaliers in the second period as it trailed 25-20 midway through the quarter. Walsh, the nation’s leader in field goal percentage, wrapped a pair of three-pointers around a layup as it made three straight shots to extend their lead to 33-20 with just under four minutes to play in the half.

The Eagles cut the deficit to eight later in the half before going into the intermission in a 41-31 hole. USI came out of the break with a quick basket, but Walsh responded with a 10-2 run that pushed its advantage to 16 points (51-35) with 16 minutes left to play in the game.

USI saw its deficit grow to as much as 19 late in the fourth quarter before finishing the game on a 9-2 run.

Senior forward Ashlynn Brown (Perrysburg, Ohio) paced the Eagles with a game-high 19 points and seven rebounds, while fifth-year senior guard Emma DeHart (Indianapolis, Indiana) added 15 points and five rebounds in her final game in a USI uniform. Junior forward Hannah Haithcock (Washington Courthouse, Ohio) rounded out the Eagles double-figure scorers with 11 points and six rebounds.

Walsh was led by the D2CCA Midwest Region Player of the Year in senior guard/forward Sha Carter, who had a 18 and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Morgan McMillen added 16 points.

In addition to DeHart, USI says good bye to fifth-year senior guard Ashley Hunter (Flossmoor, Illinois)—Brown is expected to return for her NCAA-granted COVID year in 2022-23. DeHart and Hunter helped lead the Eagles to the GLVC regular-season title and the top seed in the GLVC Tournament. They helped USI qualify for the NCAA II Tournament for the 12th time in program history.

DeHart finishes her career ranked first all-time at USI with 126 games played, second in three-point field goals attempted (433), eighth in made three-pointers (127) and 12th in scoring (1,189) and assists (230). She missed out on the USI record books for rebounds by just five after finishing her career with 361, while her 144 steals were two shy of cracking USI’s top 15 all-time.

The Eagles now turn their attention to the NCAA Division I ranks and the Ohio Valley Conference, where it will begin competing in starting in 2022-23.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | DAY TWO OF HUNTINGTON SERIES SET FOR MONDAY MARCH 14

UPLAND, Ind. – Due to the wintery weather moving through Upland this weekend, day two of Taylor’s series with Huntington is now set for Monday, March 14th.

On Thursday, Taylor and Huntington split the day-one doubleheader, with the Trojans taking game one 6-0 before the Foresters held on for an 8-7 victory in game two.

Monday’s action will determine the winner of the season-series, as game one is set to begin at 3:00 pm ET at Winterholter Field. For those unable to gather in-person for the doubleheader, feel free to follow the action from home via the free coverage links provided on TaylorTrojans.com.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1903       After the club ceases operations in the Charm City, Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchase the original American League team in Baltimore, receiving approval from 15 of 16 major league owners to move the team to New York to play as the Highlanders. Giants owner John T. Brush cast the dissenting vote, believing the new club, known as the Yankees starting in 1913, will compete for fans in the Big Apple.

1971       The Cubs catcher Randy Hundley suffers a badly sprained knee and will play only nine games this season. In 1968, the venerable backstop caught 160 games for Chicago, starting 156 of those contests, playing every inning in 146 games.

1980       The BBWAA elects National League outfielder Chuck Klein, who compiled a .320 batting average during his 17-year career, and former Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey to the Hall of Fame. Yawkey becomes the first person selected who was not a player, manager, or general manager.

1982       Ballantine Books publishes the first of seven annual Bill James Abstracts, bringing the author into the national spotlight for his statistical insight into the game. The sabermetrician’s initial self-published efforts, written on the night shift as a security guard at the Stokely-Van Camp’s pork and beans cannery, introduce baseball fans to new ways of measuring a player’s ability with stats such as such Runs Created.

1991       Jim Palmer’s attempted comeback at 45 ends when the newly elected Hall of Famer tears his hamstring warming up before an exhibition appearance against Boston. The Orioles right-hander, who hadn’t thrown a major league pitch in seven seasons, keeps his 268-152 and 2.86 ERA intact, which he accomplished during a 19-year career on the mound.

2001       Richard Hidalgo signs the third-richest contract in Astro history with a four-year $32-million deal with the club. The outfielder’s pact is less than teammates Jeff Bagwell’s $85 million (5 years) and Craig Biggio’s $33 million (4 years).

2003       The second exhibition season bench-clearing brawl this week occurs when a raging Mike Piazza charges the mound after being hit by a pitch thrown by Guillermo Mota, who makes it to the dugout without being caught. The incident may be a follow-up to a similar event last spring when a shoving match between the two players resulted when the Mets’ All-Star catcher waited for Mota and grabbed the Dodger reliever’s jersey as he was coming off the field in the eighth inning of the game.

2006       Over 15,000 Twins fans attend a memorial service at the Metrodome to pay their final respects to Kirby Puckett, who died unexpectedly, at 45, after suffering a stroke last week. During the emotional ceremony, former teammates and fellow Hall of Famer Cal Ripken lighten the mood by sharing humorous anecdotes about the beloved Minnesota outfielder with the crowd.

2008       The benches clear in a rare spring training brawl when Shelley Duncan slides into second base, with his spikes aimed at Rays infielder Akinori Iwamura after being thrown out by a wide margin. The incident was precipitated by Tampa Bay’s aggressive play four days ago, which resulted in a home-plate collision that injured Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli.

2010       In the opener of a scheduled three-game exhibition series in Taiwan, the Dodgers are defeated by an All-Star squad from the Chinese Professional League (CPBL) at Taipei’s Tienmu Baseball Stadium, 5-3. The road trip is the team’s second journey to the Chinese island, having finished with one win and two losses during a trio of spring training games in 1993.

2015       Will Ferrell, hoping to raise awareness of organizations trying to cure cancer, plays nine positions while appearing for ten teams in five Cactus League exhibition games. The comedian’s effort in Arizona, detailed in an upcoming HBO documentary, is severely criticized by former NFL coach and broadcasting legend John Madden, who calls the stunt disrespectful and insulting to the game of baseball.

TV SATURDAY

COLLEGE BASKETBALL – MENTIME ETTV
AMERICA EAST CHAMPIONSHIP11:00AMESPN2
IVY LEAGUE SEMIFINAL: PRINCETON VS. CORNELL12:00PMESPNU
BIG TEN SEMIFINAL1:00PMCBS
ATLANTIC 10 SEMIFINAL1:00PMCBSSN
SEC SEMIFINAL1:00PMESPN
MEAC CHAMPIONSHIP1:00PMESPN2
IVY LEAGUE SEMIFINAL: YALE VS. PENN2:00PMESPNU
AMERICAN SEMIFINAL3:00PMESPN2
BIG TEN SEMIFINAL3:30PMCBS
SEC SEMIFINAL3:30PMESPN
ATLANTIC 10 SEMIFINAL3:30PMCBSSN
MAAC CHAMPIONSHIP4:00PMESPNU
AMERICAN SEMIFINAL5:00PMESPN2
MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP6:00PMCBS
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP6:00PMESPN
SWAC CHAMPIONSHIP6:00PMESPNU
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP6:30PMFOX
MAC CHAMPIONSHIP7:30PMESPN2
BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIP8:00PMESPNU
ACC CHAMPIONSHIP8:30PMESPN
CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP8:30PMCBSSN
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP9:00PMFOX
SOUTHLAND CHAMPIONSHIP9:30PMESPN2
WAC CHAMPIONSHIP10:00PMESPNU
BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIP11:30PMESPN2
COLLEGE BASEBALLTIME ETTV
BOSTON COLLEGE AT MIAMI7:00PMACCN
COLLEGE SOFTBALLTIME ETTV
SYRACUSE AT VIRGINIA TECH12:00PMACCN
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT FLORIDA12:00PMSECN
GEORGIA TECH AT FLORIDA STATE12:00PMACCN
TENNESSEE AT MISSOURI2:00PMSECN
TEXAS A&M AT AUBURN7:00PMSECN
GOLFTIME ETTV
PGA TOUR: PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP1:00PMNBC
MOTORSPORTSTIME ETTV
XFINITY: UNITED RENTALS 2004:30PMFS1
AMA SUPERCROSS: MONSTER ENERGY SERIES7:00PMCNBC
NBATIME ETTV
CLEVELAND AT CHICAGO8:00PMNBCS-CHI
BALLY SPORTS
MINNESOTA AT MIAMI8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
INDIANA AT SAN ANTONIO8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
MILWUAKEE AT GOLDEN STATE8:30PMABC
TORONTO AT DENVER9:00PMSPORTSNET
ALT
SACRAMENTO AT UTAH9:00PMATTSN-RM
NBCS-CA
WASHINGTON AT PORTLAND10:00PMNBCS-WSH
ROOT SPORTS
NHLTIME ETTV
ST. LOUIS AT NASHVILLE12:30PMNHLN
BALLY SPORTS
PHILADELPHIA AT CAROLINA3:00PMABC
ESPN+
DETROIT AT CALGARY7:00PMSPORTSNET
BALLY SPORTS
ARIZONA AT BOSTON7:00PMNESN
BALLY SPORTS
ANAHEIM AT NEW JERSEY7:00PMMSG+
BALLY SPORTS
SEATTLE AT MONTREAL7:00PMNHLN
ROOT SPORTS
SPORTSNET
CHICAGO AT OTTAWA7:00PMNBCS-CHI
SPORTSNET
NY RANGERS AT DALLAS8:00PMMSG
BALLY SPORTS
LOS ANGELES AT SAN JOSE9:30PMNBCS-CA
BALLY SPORTS
TAMPA BAY AT EDMONTON10:00PMSPORTSNET
BALLY SPORTS

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI4523.66224-821-1511-229-138-21 W
MILWAUKEE4225.6272.524-1218-139-326-187-36 W
PHILADELPHIA4025.6153.519-1421-116-824-167-31 L
CHICAGO4026.6064.024-1016-168-425-175-51 W
BOSTON4127.6034.024-1117-169-630-168-25 W
CLEVELAND3828.5766.020-1118-178-423-173-71 L
TORONTO3630.5458.017-1519-157-523-195-52 W
BROOKLYN3433.50710.513-1821-158-624-184-62 W
CHARLOTTE3335.48512.016-1717-185-721-224-61 W
10 ATLANTA3234.48512.020-1312-218-520-226-41 W
11 WASHINGTON2936.44614.517-1712-196-722-214-62 L
12 NEW YORK2839.41816.513-1915-204-914-253-71 L
13 INDIANA2245.32822.515-197-262-1311-333-73 L
14 DETROIT1849.26926.511-227-275-814-276-42 L
15 ORLANDO1850.26527.08-2310-272-1110-325-52 W
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
1 X-PHOENIX5314.79128-825-66-430-96-41 L
MEMPHIS4622.6767.524-1022-128-530-146-42 W
GOLDEN STATE4522.6728.027-718-1510-328-163-72 W
UTAH4125.62111.523-1018-1513-127-156-41 L
DALLAS4126.61212.023-1218-1412-230-158-21 W
DENVER4027.59713.020-1220-155-925-198-21 L
MINNESOTA3830.55915.522-1216-1811-426-187-31 L
LA CLIPPERS3534.50719.020-1415-207-721-246-41 L
LA LAKERS2937.43923.520-169-213-1016-253-71 W
10 NEW ORLEANS2740.40326.015-1912-214-818-224-64 L
11 SAN ANTONIO2641.38827.013-2013-214-716-224-61 W
12 PORTLAND2540.38527.016-189-221-1211-304-66 L
13 SACRAMENTO2444.35329.515-209-245-717-272-83 L
14 OKLAHOMA CITY2046.30332.59-2411-224-814-293-74 L
15 HOUSTON1750.25436.010-227-283-99-332-81 L
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS. 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
CAROLINA HURRICANES5740125853919313422-4-218-8-38-1-1
FLORIDA PANTHERS5840135853824317026-6-014-7-57-3-0
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING5737146803519716619-5-418-9-27-3-0
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS5837165793521717620-7-217-9-35-3-2
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS5935159793319315816-9-519-6-45-4-1
NEW YORK RANGERS5836175773217315019-5-317-12-25-4-1
BOSTON BRUINS5835185753317715817-10-218-8-38-1-1
WASHINGTON CAPITALS60321810743019716914-11-518-7-56-3-1
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS5929273612519321816-12-313-15-04-4-2
10 DETROIT RED WINGS5824277552117021816-12-48-15-33-6-1
11 NEW YORK ISLANDERS5523248542214815413-12-410-12-45-4-1
12 OTTAWA SENATORS5721315472015118311-16-210-15-33-6-1
13 NEW JERSEY DEVILS5821325472017720713-14-38-18-24-6-0
14 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS57182910461814419911-15-57-14-53-5-2
15 BUFFALO SABRES5919328461715721010-16-49-16-43-7-0
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS571535737131402178-17-17-18-67-3-0
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
COLORADO AVALANCHE5941135873823017023-3-318-10-25-4-1
CALGARY FLAMES5735157773320114017-5-518-10-27-2-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES5733177733120115720-7-213-10-55-3-2
MINNESOTA WILD5734194722921618717-6-117-13-33-6-1
LOS ANGELES KINGS5932198723017516614-12-318-7-57-2-1
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS6032244682818817716-13-316-11-14-6-0
NASHVILLE PREDATORS5733204703118015717-10-016-10-45-5-0
DALLAS STARS5632213672916616220-7-112-14-27-2-1
EDMONTON OILERS5831234662818918615-12-016-11-44-5-1
10 VANCOUVER CANUCKS5929237652617217213-10-416-13-37-2-1
11 ANAHEIM DUCKS6027249632317619116-11-411-13-54-6-0
12 WINNIPEG JETS59262310622517818415-11-211-12-84-4-2
13 SAN JOSE SHARKS5725257572314918213-13-312-12-43-4-3
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS5921308501815520511-15-410-15-43-6-1
15 ARIZONA COYOTES571835440171462079-20-19-15-36-4-0
16 SEATTLE KRAKEN6017376401615521710-17-37-20-31-7-2
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE