INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL STATE FINALS (SATURDAY)
CLASS A: LUTHERAN VS. SOUTHWOOD, 10:30 A.M.
CLASS 2A: FW BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN VS. LINTON-STOCKTON, 12:45 P.M.
CLASS 3A: GUERIN CATHOLIC VS. NORTHWOOD, 6 P.M.
CLASS 4A: BEN DAVIS VS. KOKOMO, 8:15 P.M.
FINALS PREVIEW: https://www.ihsaa.org/sites/default/files/documents/2022-23%20Boys%20Basketball%20Preview.pdf
IBCA INDIANA ALL-STATE TEAMS
2023 IBCA/FRANCISCAN HEALTH SENIOR ALL-STATE
XAVIER BOOKER, CATHEDRAL
MARKUS BURTON, PENN
MYLES COLVIN, HERITAGE CHRISTIAN
ZANE DOUGHTY, BEN DAVIS
JOEY HART, LINTON-STOCKTON
LOGAN IMES, ZIONSVILLE
MASON JONES, VALPARAISO
A.J. LUX, CROWN POINT
SAM ORME, CARMEL
IAN RAASCH, NORTHWOOD
JAQUALON ROBERTS, BLOOMINGTON NORTH
SHERIDAN SHARP, BEN DAVIS
JARON TIBBS, CATHEDRAL
BRANDON TRILLI, MUNSTER
ASHTON WILLIAMSON, GARY 21ST CENTURY
LARGE SCHOOL ALL-STATE
LUKE ALMODOVAR, NOBLESVILLE
MARKUS ANKNEY, CENTER GROVE
CADE BRENNER, NORTHWOOD
AHMERE CARSON, ANDERSON
COOPER FARRALL, CULVER MILITARY ACADEMY
JAMIE HODGES JR., MICHIGAN CITY
KEEGAN MANOWITZ, JENNINGS COUNTY
LUKE MCBRIDE, NORWELL
JAYLEN MULLEN, NORTH DAVIESS
NICK RICHART, ZIONSVILLE
ALEX ROMACK, WESTFIELD
IAN STEPHENS, NEW PALESTINE
DEAGLAN SULLIVAN, MISHAWAKA MARIAN
DEVON WOODS, PIKE
JORDAN WOODS, HAMMOND CENTRAL
SMALL SCHOOL ALL-STATE
LUKAS BALLING, MARQUETTE CATHOLIC
PEYTON BLEDSOE, LOOGOOTEE
JACOB CHERRY, EASTERN (PEKIN)
JERMAINE COLEMAN, PARK TUDOR
PETER COMBS, BLOOMFIELD
OWEN DUFF, CARROLL (FLORA)
AIDAN FRANKS, WAPAHANI
JOSH FURST, FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN
ISAIAH MALONE, PRAIRIE HEIGHTS
GAGE SEFTON, FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN
JACOB SPAULDING, EASTERN HANCOCK
SILAS SPAULDING, EASTERN HANCOCK
WYATT THORNBURGH, BLUE RIVER VALLEY
LOGAN WEBB, LINTON-STOCKTON
BRADY YODER, WESTVIEW
LUKE ADAMS, SULLIVAN
WES AIGNER, CASTLE
JEREMIAH ALEXANDER, BEECH GROVE
CEDRIC ANDERSON, LIBERTY CHRISTIAN
JOSEPH ANNAN, PIKE
SHAUN ARNOLD, BEN DAVIS
MATTHEW ARTHUR, NEW WASHINGTON
CHASE BACHELOR, PRAIRIE HEIGHTS
ANTHONY BALL, DECATUR CENTRAL
LANDON BIEGEL, OAK HILL
DARRION BROOKS, NEW HAVEN
JOSEPH BURKE, RANDOLPH SOUTHERN
DAKOTA CANDLER, SOUTH KNOX
LUKE CHAMBERS, LEWIS CASS
COLBY CHAPMAN, RENSSELAER CENTRAL
DREW COOK, NORTHVIEW
DAJOHN CRAIG, LAWRENCE CENTRAL
AUSTIN CRIPE, WEST NOBLE
NOLAN CUMBERLAND, TIPPECANOE VALLEY
A.J. DANCLER, SOUTHPORT
DAWAN DANIELS, BLOOMINGTON NORTH
ROBERT DAVIDSON, BISHOP CHATARD
DANIEL DAVIS, TRI
JAKE DAVIS, CATHEDRAL
MITCHELL DEAN, WESTERN
CALEB DEWEY, EDINBURGH
IBRAHIM DIAKITE, METROPOLITAN
ELHADJ DIALLO, BROWNSBURG
CALE DONOHO, SOUTH SPENCER
A.J. DUNN, YORKTOWN
DREW DUPONT, TECUMSEH
KI DYER, GREENSBURG
QUINTIN FLOYD, GARY 21ST CENTURY
JOEY GARWOOD, PENN
ARMONI GONZALEZ, LAKE STATION EDISON
LEON GRIMES, BOWMAN ACADEMY
PEYTON GWIN, SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)
ARLONDO HALL, INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY
BRYCEN HANNAH, JOHN GLENN
AMEER HARRIS, SOUTH BEND CLAY
DANIEL HARRIS, MUNCIE CENTRAL
ANDREW HEDRICK, COLUMBIA CITY
BEN HENDERSON, HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE)
ISAAC HIGGS, EVANSVILLE REITZ
DAYTON HOOVER, FRONTIER
COOPER HORN, COLUMBUS NORTH
JASE HOWELL, MADISON-GRANT
JASON “B.J.” JOHNSON JR., PROVIDENCE CRISTO REY
CASEY KAELIN, PROVIDENCE
KYRON KAOPUIKI, HOMESTEAD
BEN KEIL, LAKELAND
WILL KIRKLAND, EVANSVILLE REITZ
TAYDE KISER, TIPPECANOE VALLEY
JASON KOBE, MARQUETTE CATHOLIC
MASON LARKIN, FOUNTAIN CENTRAL
OWEN LAW, JENNINGS COUNTY
COLTEN LEACH, BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE
BAUER MAPLE, MACONAQUAH
ANTHONY MARTIN, CORYDON CENTRAL
NATE MATELIC, SPEEDWAY
MIKIAL MILLER, CARDINAL RITTER
WILLIE MILLER, LAKE STATION EDISON
LUCAS MITCHELL, WALDRON
DYLAN MOLES, GREENFIELD-CENTRAL
D.J. MOSS, GARY 21ST CENTURY
TYLER MYERS, EVANSVILLE DAY
BRYCEN NEIDIGH, WASHINGTON
LANCE NOBBE, NORTH DECATUR
MARCUS NORTHERN, SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON
BLAINE NUNNALLY, NEW PALESTINE
NICK PATTERSON, MOORESVILLE
ETHAN POLING, ADAMS CENTRAL
COLE PRIDE, BATESVILLE
PRESTON ROSS, FORT WAYNE BISHOP DWENGER
LUKE SAYLOR, HERITAGE
JAKE SKINNER, CARROLL (FLORA)
JOE SMITH, PENN
CODA SNYDER, BLOOMINGTON LIGHTHOUSE CHRISTIAN
SHAYNE SPEAR, KOKOMO
JEREMIAH TATE, BEECH GROVE
KEATON THIBO, SCECINA
DAREON THORNTON, MISHAWAKA MARIAN
LUKE VAN ESSEN, ILLIANA CHRISTIAN
CALEB WASHINGTON, FLOYD CENTRAL
JOSH WILLIAMS, CONNERSVILLE
RYAN WILLOUGHBY, SOUTH DEARBORN
LANCE WILSON, NORTH DAVIESS
LOGAN WILSON, NORTH DAVIESS
GAVIN WISLEY, BLOOMINGTON SOUTH
TYLER WYLES, CAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLN
ISAAC ANDREWS, WAPAHANI
JACK BENTER, BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL
FLORY BIDUNGA, KOKOMO
DEZMON BRISCOE, INDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS
SABIEN CAIN, UNIVERSITY
KANON CATCHINGS, BROWNSBURG
JALEN HARALSON, FISHERS
BRAUNTAE JOHNSON, FORT WAYNE NORTH
CARTER KENT, JENNINGS COUNTY
CHASE KONIECZNY, SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH
TYLER PARRISH, CHESTERTON
KELLEN PICKETT, FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN
AZAVIER ROBINSON, LAWRENCE NORTH
JUSTIN SIMS, CHESTERTON
TRENT SISLEY, HERITAGE HILLS
LARGE SCHOOL ALL-STATE
TREY BUCHANAN, WESTFIELD
KODY CLANCY, SCOTTSBURG
DAVID CUNDIFF, MUNSTER
MICAH DAVIS, FRANKLIN COMMUNITY
AARON FINE, NOBLESVILLE
TARAY HOWELL, EVANSVILLE BOSSE
JEVON LEWIS JR., FORT WAYNE WAYNE
LUKE LINDEMAN, BLOOMINGTON NORTH
BRAYLON MULLINS, GREENFIELD-CENTRAL
DOMINIQUE MURPHY, EAST CHICAGO CENTRAL
TYLER RAASCH, NORTHWOOD
RON RUTLAND, INDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS
TRE SINGLETON, JEFFERSONVILLE
ROBERT SORENSEN, GUERIN CATHOLIC
JAYMEN TOWNSEND, MARION
SMALL SCHOOL ALL-STATE
GAVIN BETTEN, MANCHESTER
GRADY CARPENTER, TIPTON
FLETCHER COLE, PAOLI
JOSIAH DUNHAM, EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN
WILL HARMON, FOUNTAIN CENTRAL
KEAGEN HOLDER, MORGAN TOWNSHIP
KYLER KRULL, WHITKO
NOAH LOVAN, PROVIDENCE
JAKE MCGRAW, CLINTON PRAIRIE
KASYM NASH, BORDEN
JOSHUA RENFRO, CHRISTIAN ACADEMY OF INDIANA
ISAAC SCHULTZ, ADAMS CENTRAL
NOLAN SWAN, TIPTON
LONTE WARD JR., INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN
IZAAK WRIGHT, WABASH
MASON ARTHUR, NEW WASHINGTON
ZAYVION BAKER, TERRE HAUTE SOUTH
JOSIAH BALL, MACONAQUAH
BRADYN BARTH, WEST NOBLE
KOBI BOWLES, LAWRENCE NORTH
TY BROWN, SOUTH SPENCER
ALLEN BRIGGS, MICHIGAN CITY
NICOT BURNETT, MT. VERNON (POSEY)
CAM CASKY, PIKE
TYSON CHUPP, BETHANY CHRISTIAN
GARRETT CLARK, PORTAGE
JACKSON CLOWERS, MT. VERNON (POSEY)
CAM CRAIG, SWITZERLAND COUNTY
P.J. DOUGLAS, JEFFERSONVILLE
ELI ELLIS, PLAINFIELD
LUKE ELLSPERMANN, EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL
LUKE ERTEL, MT. VERNON (FORTVILLE)
EVAN GAGNON, NORTH NEWTON
JULIAN GISH, PIKE CENTRAL
JACKSON GRAFF, NORTH POSEY
JOSIAH GUSTIN, PENDLETON HEIGHTS
LANDEN HALE, HEBRON
COLBY HALL, BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL
IAN HALL, ORLEANS
MASON HARVEY, SETON CATHOLIC
EVAN HAYWOOD, BREBEUF JESUIT
AYDAN HEAD, HENRYVILLE
PARKER HEHMAN, BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL
COLE HENRY, SOUTH RIPLEY
AIDEN HIBBARD, ELKHART CHRISTIAN
D’AMARE HOOD, DELTA
CEDRIC HORTON, RICHMOND
CANNEN HOUSER, CARROLL (FORT WAYNE)
REID HOWARD, FOREST PARK
BRAYDEN HUEBNER, EVANSVILLE NORTH
WILLIAM JAMISON, HOMESTEAD
CADE KAISER, BATESVILLE
MATTHEW KING, HAMMOND CENTRAL
EVAN LAWRENCE, DANVILLE
CALEB LEHRMAN, FORT WAYNE BISHOP DWENGER
JAMISON LEWIS, SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)
JORDAN LOMAX, AVON
J.T. MAY, SHAKAMAK
MICAH MCCLURE, ADAMS CENTRAL
JACKSON MCGEE, LEO
WIATT MCLAUGHLIN, WHITELAND
MALACHI MCNAIR, EVANSVILLE HARRISON
JACK MILLER, SCOTTSBURG
SAM MLAGAN, BETHESDA CHRISTIAN
QUADE MORTON, PIKE CENTRAL
KADEN MUCKERHEIDE, NORTH DECATUR
BLAKE NEILL, BLOOMFIELD
JAXON PARDON, CARROLL (FORT WAYNE)
DEVION PENNY, LAFAYETTE JEFF
GRANT PORATH, BROWNSBURG
STEVEN REYNOLDS, SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON
MAX ROBERTSON, TRI-WEST
MATTHEW ROETTGER, PERU
BRAD ROHDE, HANOVER CENTRAL
TREY ROMINGER, PAOLI
ETHAN ROSEMAN, INDIANAPOLIS BISHOP CHATARD
ALEX ROSS, PERU
TREIGH SCHELSKY, PARKE HERITAGE
JOEY SCHMITZ, CENTER GROVE
ALBERT SCHWARTZ, LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC
ELI SEGO, TRITON CENTRAL
LANDON SICHTING, INDIAN CREEK
SHANE SIMS, EVANSVILLE HARRISON
HUNTER SISSON, BENTON CENTRAL
BEN SLAGLEY, NEW PALESTINE
JACK SMILEY, VALPARAISO
JACOB SMITH, LAKE CENTRAL
JULIEN SMITH, MT. VERNON (FORTVILLE)
ZEKE TANOOS, WEST VIGO
KADEN TEMPLE, EASTERN (PEKIN)
KIERAN TEWARI, YORKTOWN
COLE THOMAS, SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH)
TUCKER TORNATTA, EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL
ELIJAH WAGNER, EVANSVILLE BOSSE
HUNTER WALSTON, NOBLESVILLE
BRADEN WALTERS, LINTON-STOCKTON
AJANI WASHINGTON, FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA
CAMDEN WEBSTER, KANKAKEE VALLEY
MICHAEL WELLMAN, PORTAGE
LEMETRIUS WILLIAMS, GARY 21ST CENTURY
ETHAN WOLFE, NORTHWOOD
JACKSON WORS, DELTA
TREY YODER, WOODLAN
MARK ZACHERY IV, BEN DAVIS
WYATT ZELLERS, SCOTTSBURG
INDIANA SOFTBALL SCORES
BREBEUF 14 CHATARD 13
FRANKTON 4 HAMILTON HEIGHTS 2
UNION COUNTY 8 NEW CASTLE 4
WESTERN 10 MADISON GRANT 5
MT. VERNON 10 SOUTH SPENCER 0
WESTFIELD 13 CARMEL 9
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL- NCAA TOURNAMENT
THURSDAY, MARCH 23 (SWEET 16)
NO. 3 KANSAS STATE VS. NO. 7 MICHIGAN STATE | 6:30 P.M. | TBS
NO. 4 UCONN VS. NO. 8 ARKANSAS | 7:15 P.M. | CBS
NO. 4 TENNESSEE VS. NO. 9 FLORIDA ATLANTIC | 9 P.M. | TBS
NO. 2 UCLA VS. NO. 3 GONZAGA | 9:45 P.M. | CBS
FRIDAY, MARCH 24 (SWEET 16)
NO. 1 ALABAMA VS. NO. 5 SAN DIEGO STATE | 6:30 P.M. | TBS
NO. 1 HOUSTON VS. NO. 4 MIAMI | 7:15 P.M. | CBS
NO. 6 CREIGHTON VS. NO. 15 PRINCETON | 9 P.M. | TBS
NO. 2 TEXAS VS. NO. 3 XAVIER | 9:45 P.M. | CBS
INDIANA 118 TORONTO 114
DENVER 118 WASHINGTON 104
GOLDEN STATE 127 DALLAS 125
MIAMI 127 NEW YORK 120
PHILADELPHIA 116 CHICAGO 91
MILWAUKEE 130 SAN ANTONIO 90
MINNESOTA 125 ATLANTA 124
MEMPHIS 130 HOUSTON 125
PORTLAND 127 UTAH 115
LA LAKERS 122 PHOENIX 111
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NBA/SCOREBOARD.ASP
PITTSBURGH 5 COLORADO 2
EDMONTON 4 ARIZONA 3
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NHL/SCOREBOARD.ASP
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD
KANSAS CITY 4 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 3
CHICAGO CUBS 4 OAKLAND 2
TEXAS 2 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 0
SAN FRANCISCO 4 TEXAS 0
LA ANGELS 10 COLORADO 9
CINCINNATI 4 SAN DIEGO 1
SEATTLE 5 LA DODGERS 1
ATLANTA 5 DETROIT 3
WASHINGTON 5 NY YANKEES 2
TAMPA BAY 6 PHILADELPHIA 2
TORONTO 2 BALTIMORE 1
HOUSTON 5 NY METS 2
ST. LOUIS 0 MIAMI 0
MINNESOTA 11 BOSTON 0
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/MLB/SCOREBOARD.ASP
TOP INDIANA (RELEASES)
GAME REWIND: PACERS 118, RAPTORS 114
As a boy, Andrew Nembhard used to sit in the rafters of the Air Canada Centre, watching his hometown Raptors play while dreaming of one day playing in the NBA himself.
On Wednesday night, the Pacers rookie guard lived out that dream. Playing his first NBA game in his home country, Nembhard put on a show in the building now called Scotiabank Arena, tallying 25 points and 10 assists to lead Indiana (33-40) to a 118-114 victory over Toronto (35-38). He even sealed the game in style, draining a stepback three in the final minute to seal the win.
It was a special night for Nembhard, who was a part of history alongside fellow rookie Bennedict Mathurin and Oshae Brissett, who became the first three Canadian teammates to start an NBA game together.
“To do it tonight in essentially his hometown, the first time he’s back here…The kid used to come to the game (in Toronto) and sit in the third level and all that,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said about Nembhard’s performance. “To be in the starting lineup and to have this kind of a game…just an amazing night for him and his family.”
Montreal native Mathurin also showed out in his first trip to Canada, tallying 15 points, going 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
The win snapped a 15-game regular-season losing streak for Indiana in Toronto and moved the Pacers to within a game and a half of the 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings and the final spot in the Play-In Tournament with nine games remaining in the regular season.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More >>
Indiana’s Canadian trio got the Blue & Gold off to a strong start. Brissett hit a 3-pointer on the Pacers’ first possession of the night, Nembhard added a layup at the 10:22 mark, and Mathurin knocked down a trey 20 seconds later to help the visitors out to an early 10-5 start.
Nembhard in particular had it going in the opening quarter. The rookie from the Toronto suburb of Aurora put on a show in his first NBA minutes back in his hometown. Nembhard played the entire fourth quarter and racked up 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting (2-of-3 from 3-point range) and three assists.
“We knew we wanted to get to the paint, be aggressive and just attack the rim against these guys,” Nembhard said of his early focus.
The Pacers led by as many as 13 in the frame and took a 36-26 lead into the second quarter.
They continued their strong play in the second quarter, maintaining a double-digit advantage for the majority of the frame.
Indiana led 56-43 following Buddy Hield’s layup with 1:58 remaining in the first half, but Toronto closed the half with a 9-2 surge. Jakob Poeltl scored the first seven of those points before All-Star forward Pascal Siakam hit a floater in the final seconds to make it a six-point game entering the intermission.
The Pacers had pushed the margin back to double digits at 71-61 following Myles Turner’s layup with 6:41 remaining in the third quarter before the Raptors mounted another charge.
Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam alternated baskets on four straight possessions before Malachi Flynn drilled a 3-pointer at 4:09 to cap a 13-0 run that gave Toronto its first lead since midway through the first quarter.
Four straight points from Turner put Indiana back in front. Then after Flynn hit one of two free throws, T.J. McConnell knocked down back-to-back jumpers to provide the Blue & Gold with a little cushion. The Pacers held on to the lead for the remainder of the quarter, taking an 83-78 lead into the fourth.
Jordan Nwora’s three on Indiana’s first possession of the final frame pushed Indiana’s lead to 86-80, but once again the Raptors responded, this time reeling off 10 unanswered points to move back in front.
The Pacers retook the lead minutes later thanks to a massive dunk by Brissett over Poeltl off a baseline out of bounds play.
Toronto tied the game on two occasions before Mathurin knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer that gave Indiana a 98-95 lead with 6:29 remaining. From there, the Pacers made numerous plays to preserve the lead.
After Siakam’s layup cut it to 100-99, Nembhard answered with a jumper on the other end.
When another Siakam bucket pulled Toronto within two at 104-102, Turner converted a three-point play the next trip down the floor to pad the cushion.
After a Nesmith three that would have given Indiana a seven-point lead went all the way around the rim before popping out, Siakam converted a putback on the other end to make it 107-105 with 2:25 remaining. This time it was Mathurin who stepped up, attacking the paint and drawing contact, then calmly sinking both free throws with 2:05 to play.
VanVleet drew a foul of his own and made both foul shots with 1:47 left, but Turner converted a turnaround jumper over O.G. Anunoby 14 seconds later.
Nembhard provided the dagger in the final minute, drilling a deep stepback trey with 32.5 seconds left to seal the victory.
“Just trying to stay locked in,” Nembhard told Bally Sports Indiana’s Jeremiah Johnson of his play down the stretch. “I knew I had to play-make down the stretch for myself and for others. I was just trying to stay aggressive.”
Six Pacers reached double figures in the win. Turner tallied 16 points and seven rebounds, McConnell registered 14 points and seven assists off the bench, Hield scored 13 points, and Nwora added 10.
Siakam led all scorers with 31 points to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists, going 11-for-17 from the field and 9-for-11 from the free throw line. VanVleet also recorded a double-double with 28 points and 10 assists, while Poeltl finished with 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and eight rebounds.
The Pacers will wrap up a four-game road trip with their final back-to-back of the season, playing in Boston on Friday and Atlanta on Saturday. Five of their final seven games to close out the regular season will be played in Indiana.
Inside the Numbers
Nembhard topped 20 points for the fourth time in his career. He also dished out double-digit assists for the fourth time and recorded his third double-double.
The Pacers started hot and stayed hot for most of the night, shooting 55.8 percent from the field to Toronto’s 43.8 percent. It was the sixth time this season that Indiana shot 55 percent or better.
Indiana went 11-for-21 from 3-point range (52.4 percent) on Wednesday. The Pacers have now made 1,006 3-pointers on the season, the first time in franchise history they have surpassed 1,000. Their third three on Wednesday broke the franchise record of 997, which was set last season.
Starting for the second time this season, Brissett tallied nine points and six rebounds. He has now been in the rotation for the past six games after not playing in seven of the previous nine contests and has averaged 8 points and 4.3 rebounds over that span.
Hield reached double figures for a team-leading 61st time this season. Mathurin (57 games) and Turner (53) are the next closest on the team.
The Pacers won despite surrendering 21 points on 18 turnovers. The Raptors committed just 10 turnovers which Indiana converted into just eight points.
You Can Quote Me On That
“Historic night for Canada basketball…For it to happen in Toronto is pretty cool. All three of those guys played well. Nembhard had a great game, Mathurin was terrific. I thought Brissett did what he does — he gave us energy, he rebounded.” -Carlisle on the three Canadians starting together
“Guys like Oshae need to be rewarded for professionalism and commitment to the team and being a constant energy-giver. That’s what this was. He’s a guy the whole team roots for and loves.” -Carlisle on giving Brissett the start in Toronto
“I talked to Aaron this morning about the fact that I was thinking of doing this because Oshae’s back in town and Benn and Drew are. And he said, ‘Oh, hey, that’s great. That’s awesome. I’ll play off the bench.'” -Carlisle on Aaron Nesmith’s willingness to give up his starting spot for Brissett
“Our team needed to have a very aggressive mindset to attack. If you get passive at all against Toronto, the way they swarm and attack and come at you in transition, it can be a very long night. From that standpoint, Andrew set the tone for the game (and) McConnell played terrific. Those two guys attacking the rim all night was a difference-maker for us.” -Carlisle on Indiana’s point guard play
Stat of the Night
Wednesday’s win was the Pacers’ first regular-season victory in Toronto in over a decade. Indiana had dropped 15 straight regular-season games at Scotiabank Arena since its last win on March 1, 2013.
The Pacers did win a road game against the Raptors during that span in Tampa, where the Raptors relocated for the 2020-21 season, and also beat the Raptors in Toronto in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series in 2016.
The Pacers also took both games this season against Toronto at Gainbridge Fieldhouse (on Nov. 12 and Jan. 2). It is the first time Indiana swept the season series with the Raptors since 2011-12.
Indiana was without All-Star point guard (sprained right ankle) for the sixth straight game. Second-year guard Chris Duarte missed his fourth consecutive contest with a sore right ankle.
The Raptors did not have three key rotation players. Starting guard and 2022-23 Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes missed the game due to a sore left wrist, third-leading scorer Gary Trent Jr. sat out because of right elbow stiffness, and backup big man Precious Achiuwa was unavailable due to tightness in his right hamstring.
The Pacers travel to Boston to take on Jayson Tatum and the Celtics on Friday, March 24 at 7:00 PM ET.
NO. 6 INDIANA OPENS NCAA MEET WITH TWO TOP-FIVE RELAYS
MINNEAPOLIS – Indiana men’s swimming and diving placed top five in both opening night relays on Wednesday (March 22) at the 2023 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships inside the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.
IU placed fifth in the 200-yard medley relay to kick off the meet, then finished the night with a fourth-place finish in the 800 freestyle relay. Both relays improved time and beat their seeds coming in.
The No. 6-ranked Hoosiers sit fifth in the team standings with 58 points after two events, and Arizona State leads the pack with 68 points.
Indiana earned its best finish and first podium in the 200 medley relay since placing fourth at the 2018 meet, held in the same facility. IU broke its previous program record (1:22.51) by 99-tenths of a second.
It was a wire-to-wire win of the second of three heats as Indiana posted the time to beat going into the final heat. Junior Brendan Burns kicked things off with a 20.60 backstroke split followed by senior Mathias’ 22.53 in the breaststroke. Junior Tomer Frankel posted the third-fastest butterfly leg in 19.56 and junior Gavin Wight closed things out in 18.83.
“It was just a really good first night for the Hoosiers,” IU head swimming coach Ray Looze said. “The medley was a mystery to us because we did not do well at Big Tens, took third in the conference. We knew we had a better one, but we weren’t sure what we had. Brendan just did a phenomenal job putting us in a good position, and then everybody after did their job. When you can win that second-to-last heat, sometimes it gives you a chance to get your relay into the top eight, where, obviously, the points can be very valuable. But, they won it going away, which was great, and destroyed the school record in the process.”
Three Hoosiers returned 45 minutes later for the 800 freestyle relay. The lone new face, sophomore Rafael Miroslaw went 1:32.51 in the opening leg. Frankel followed with a 1:32.06. Seventh at the halfway mark, Brendan Burns blasted a 1:31.78 split to put Indiana in third going into the final 200 yard. Mathias anchored the relay, going 1:31.62 as IU placed fourth in 6:07.97 – the third-fastest time in program history and the best since 2019.
“In the 800 free relay, our intention was to go fastest to slowest, but we went the opposite,” Looze said. “Brendan and Van at Big Tens really did a good job, and that was the strength of the relay. Credit to everybody. (Rafael Miroslaw) wasn’t real happy with that, but he still kept us in the game. Tomer kept us in the game too, we were within striking range, and then Brendan, 1:31.7, and Van, 1:31.6, were fantastic splits and allowed us to go from seventh and work ourselves back into that one. And it’s a longer relay, so stuff like that can happen.
“Good start and we have a lot more in front of us. Tomorrow, from a swimming standpoint, is our weakest day by far, so we’re going to have to scrap and hang tough. That will be our plan.”
200 MEDLEY RELAY
5. Brendan Burns, Van Mathias, Tomer Frankel, Gavin Wight – 1:21.52 (Program Record, All-America)
800 FREESTYLE RELAY
4. Rafael Miroslaw, Tomer Frankel, Brendan Burns, Van Mathias – 6:07.97 (All-America)
Brendan Burns (200 Medley Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay)
Tomer Frankel (200 Medley Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay)
Van Mathias (200 Medley Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay)
Rafael Miroslaw (800 Freestyle Relay)
Gavin Wight (200 Medley Relay)
* – Denotes Honorable Mention
The 2023 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships resume Thursday for day two, the first full day of action. IU athletes will compete in the 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 1-meter dive and 400 medley relay, with preliminaries beginning at 11 a.m. ET. Finals are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET.
INDIANA WOMEN’S BB
HOLMES AND BERGER EARN WBCA ALL REGION FINALIST HONORS
ATLANTA – Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger have been named region finalist for the 2023 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America, announced by the organization on Wednesday.
Berger earns her fourth distinction on the region 5 list and has earned All-American honorable mention honors twice in her career. Holmes is now a two-time honoree from the committee and was an honorable All-American mention selection last season. The duo will advance to All-American voting, which will be announced later this month.
The Gorham, Maine native averaged a team-high 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and is one of the nation’s most accurate shooters by going 68.0 percent from the floor. She is second in the nation and leading the Big Ten in field goal percentage, fifth in field goals made (281), sixth in points scored (692), and seventh in points per game (22.3). Holmes led the Hoosiers in scoring on 25 occasions this season while posting double figures in 31 games, scoring 20 points 19 times and three 30-point scoring efforts. Her nine double-doubles led the team, as six of her double-doubles occurred in conference play which ranks eighth all-time in a single season. She led the league in blocks (58) and blocks per game (1.9) and averages 1.1 steals (35) per game. She set a season-high five blocks against Nebraska and Michigan while recording multiple blocks in 14 games. Holmes is now in the top five in scoring in school history (1,897) and second in all-time blocks (208). Other awards from Holmes this season included the program’s first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and is now a three-time All-Big Ten selection in her career. She has also been named a 2023 Lisa Leslie Award finalist and the first Hoosier to appear on the 2023 Wooden Award national ballot. She is also a candidate for a variety of other national player of the year awards including, 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy, 2023 Wade Trophy and 2023 USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale Player of the Year.
Berger finished her IU career as a four-time All-Big Ten first team. In 24 games this season, the Louisville, Ky. native averaged 12.9 points, 5.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 75.7 percent at the free throw line. She scored in double figures 18 times including a season-high 26 points in the win over Iowa. A player who does a little bit of everything, Berger has dished out multiple assists in 21 games and averages 1.0 steals per outing while holding a +2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. She collected three double-doubles this year including two on the road at then No. 11/4 Tennessee and in a win at Ohio State while also having the first point/assist double-double for the program since 2017.
BUTLER SOFTBALL TAKES DOWN IUPUI
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Butler softball team trailed briefly against cross-town foe IUPUI but came back to earn a 6-3 win. The Jaguars (3-15) led 2-0 after three innings, but the Bulldogs (9-18) scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings and held on for the three-run victory.
How It Happened
IUPUI hit a bases loaded single in the top of the third to take a 2-0 lead that held through three full innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, Ella White and Cate Lehner reached on singles, and a Monique Hoosen double to left center brought White home. Olivia Moxley (2-3, 2 RBI, 2B) followed with a single to right, sending both Lehner and Hoosen across. Butler led, 3-2, going into the fifth.
To start the bottom of the fifth, the Jaguars made a pitching change. Kaylee Gross led off with a double down the right field line and then stole third. Paige Dorsett hit a hard single to the shortstop, allowing Gross to tag home. Dorsett advanced to second on a passed ball and was replaced on the bases by Emily Todor. White reached first after being hit by a pitch, and Kieli Ryan doubled into the gap in right center and pushed both Todor and White home. The Dawgs were now up, 6-2.
In the top of the seventh, Butler made a pitching change. With one out, IUPUI began to rally. With runners on second and third and two outs, a Jaguars single cut the lead to 6-3. A hard-hit ball in the right-center gap was snagged in the air by Gross, ending the game.
Mackenzie Griman (4-7) started for Butler in the circle and earned her fourth win of the season. In 6.0 innings she allowed two runs on eight hits. She allowed no walks and struck out four. Sydney Cammon (1.0 IP, 2 H, R, BB) entered at the top of the seventh and finished the game.
Kaylee Gross’s double was her fourth of the season and the fifth of her career. Her stolen base was her seventh of the season and the ninth of her career.
Monique Hoosen’s double was her fifth of the season and the 11th of her career.
Cate Lehner’s stolen base was the second in as many games and the second of her career.
Butler travels to Providence for a three-game BIG EAST series from Mar. 24-26.
BALL STATE TOPS BUTLER IN MIDWEEK ACTION
MUNCIE – Ball State scored seven runs over the first two innings to open up a lead that would turn into a 19-2 victory. The Cardinals improved to 14-6 on the season while BU moved to 4-16.
BSU generated 19 runs off 13 hits while the Bulldogs came up with two in the sixth inning off five total hits. Kollyn All broke up the shutout with a single back up the middle of the diamond to score Lukas Galdoni and BU would add a second run when Evan Parks doubled to center, sending All around to score.
All played third base and went 2-for-3 from the dish with the RBI and run scored. Cade Vota matched All with a pair of hits vs. the Cardinals in three at-bats.
Butler used a bullpen day on the mound with six student-athletes coming together to finish the game. Gabe Pancratz led Butler in innings pitched (2.2) and strikeouts (3). The loss went to Shane Kilfoyle (0-1). Both Kilfoyle and Colin Davis had two strikeouts on the day.
Butler will return to action this weekend with a three game series at Cincinnati. All three games will stream on ESPN+.
BUTLER WOMEN’S LAX
BUTLER WOMEN’S LACROSSE FALLS AT CINCINNATI WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON
Cincinnati topped Butler, 17-3, Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference contest between the two programs. The Bearcats hosted the game at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
With the result, Butler is now 2-4 on the season. Cincinnati improves to 8-3.
The Bearcats had an 11-0 halftime lead and scored the first 13 goals of the game.
Cincinnati had a 38-10 advantage in shots, with 27 of those coming on goal.
Kate Kaptrosky had two goals for Butler, giving her five on the season.
The Bulldogs’ other goal came from Patricia Lynn.
Lauren Dunne had a team-high six draw controls for Butler.
Caroline Smith got the start in goal for the Bulldogs and played the first half (eight saves). Lauren Buckley came on for the second half, making the first appearance of her Butler career. She made two saves in her 30 minutes of action.
Cincinnati had a slight 12-10 edge in draw controls.
Butler committed 24 turnovers.
Camryn Callaghan led Cincinnati with five goals.
Ashley Lapp got the win in goal for the Bearcats, making two saves in her 60 minutes.
UP NEXT: The Bulldogs will host a pair of contests at Varsity Field this weekend, welcoming Detroit Mercy Saturday (3 p.m.) and Eastern Michigan Sunday (Noon). Butler has only played one home game so far this season, but this weekend begins a stretch that has six of the Bulldogs’ next eight games played at Varsity Field. Butler and Detroit Mercy met once already this season, a 12-10 Butler win Feb. 26 in Detroit.
SOFTBALL FALLS IN MIDWEEK MATCHUP AT BUTLER, 6-3
INDIANAPOLIS – The IUPUI softball team fell to Butler on Wednesday night, 6-3. The Jags offense outhit the Bulldogs with ten hits to Butler’s nine in the loss.
IUPUI (4-16 overall, 1-1 HL) took the early lead in the top of the third inning with two runs on three hits. With two outs and bases loaded, Kasie Keyes singled up the middle to score Kendal Calvert and Rachel Gregory, giving the Jags the 2-0 lead.
The Bulldogs jumped on the score board and took the lead with three runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth inning. They doubled their lead in the fifth frame with three runs on three hits.
Down four heading into the final inning, IUPUI scored one run but stranded two runners to end the game at 6-3. Kennedy Cowan doubled with one out then stole third to put her 60 feet from home. With two runners on and two outs, Victoria Sivert singled to third base to score Cowan. With the tying run at the plate, Butler’s defense secured the last out to finish the game.
Isabelle Waggner took the loss (L, 1-1) giving up three runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout in four innings of work. Cowan, Sivert and Keyes all recorded two hits each while Calvert, Gregory, Maicey Bedrick and Jaida Speth each recorded one hit for the Jags.
IUPU will continue Horizon League play this weekend when they travel to Cleveland State for a three-game series on Friday and Saturday.
BALL STATE BASEBALL
BALL STATE TAKES DOWN BUTLER IN MIDWEEK MATCHUP
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team returned to action for a midweek matchup with Butler on Wednesday. Casey Turturici and Dylan Grego both belt home runs as the Cardinals produced a 19-2 victory.
The Cardinals moved to 14-6 overall and the Bulldogs fell to 4-16 on the year.
Adam Tellier drew a six-pitch walk to lead off the first inning for the Cardinals. Ryan Peltier was hit by a pitch. Turturici blasted the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for a no doubter. The three-run homer put the Cardinals on top 3-0 after the first inning.
Zach Lane drew a six-pitch walk to start the second inning. Dylan Grego followed with a four-pitch walk. Nick Gregory doubled off the center field wall and drove in Lane. Grego scored on a wild pitch and Gregory advanced to third. Tellier drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Peltier notched a sac fly to center as Gregory tagged up to score. Decker Scheffler singled to right field to give Ball State runners on the corners. Tellier scored as Scheffler was in a rundown. BSU took a 7-0 into the top of the third.
Peltier led off the home half of the fourth with a single through the left side and then stole second. Logan Flood record an RBI single with a hit up the middle as Peltier scored. After back-to-back walks by CJ Horn and Zach Lane, Grego cleared the bases with a grand slam to center field. Ball State took a 12-0 lead into the fifth inning.
Peltier was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Clay Jacobs and Turturici both drew walks to load the bases. Flood picked up an RBI as he was hit by a pitch. Horn followed with a single through the left side that plated Jacobs and Turturici. The Cardinals extended their lead to 15-0.
Butler got on the board in the top of the sixth with two runs, only one was earned.
Jalen Martinez was hit by a pitch to start the home half of the sixth. Aiden Hinds followed with a single through the left side and moved Martinez to second. Justin Conant reached safely on a fielder’s choice as Hinds was out at second. Jacobs recorded a sac fly to the second baseman, who ran out to shallow center to make the catch. Martinez tagged up on the play. BSU took a 16-2 lead into the seventh.
Flood reached safely on an error by the third baseman to start the bottom of the seventh. Horn followed with a single to left field and moved Flood to second. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Grego singled up the middle and drove in both Flood and Horn. Martinez followed with an RBI double to right center. The Cardinals went on to win the game 19-2
Owen Quinn picked up the win, the first of his career, in the start. He went a predetermined two innings, and he struck out two batters and allowed no hits. Brady Owens tossed two innings of scoreless baseball with three strikeouts. Blake Bevis added a scoreless inning in relief. Casey Bargo went one inning with two strikeouts, but surrendered two runs, one earned. Will Jacobson recorded one strikeout in his lone inning of work. Graham Kelham threw a perfect inning with two strikeouts. Logan Schulfer added a perfect inning with three strikeouts.
Grego finished the day with a 2-for-4 day at the plate with a game-high six RBIs. He also scored three runs. Horn and Turturici each produced two hits as well. Peltier finished tied with the team lead in runs scored with three.
Shane Kilfoyle got the start for Butler and picked up the loss. He went one inning with two strikeouts but gave up seven earned runs on just two hits. Gabe Pancratz added 2 2/3 innings in relief and tallied a team-high three strikeouts. He surrendered five earned runs on six hits. Cooper Robins went 1 1/3 inning with one strikeout and gave up three earned runs. Luke Zmilik gave up four runs, three earned, in 1 2/2 innings of relief. Colin Davis struck out two batters in 2/3 of an inning. Ben Whiteside added a scoreless 2/3 of an inning with one strikeout.
Kollyn All and Cade Vota led the Bulldogs with two hits each.
Ball State takes to the road for the first time in Mid-American Conference play as the Cardinals make the trip to Ypsilanti for a contest with the Eastern Michigan Eagles. First pitch on Friday is slated for a 3 p.m. start.
SOUTHERN INDIANA BASEBALL
EAGLES OPEN OVC ACTION WITH MOREHEAD STATE
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — University of Southern Indiana Baseball opens its first Ohio Valley Conference schedule this week at the USI Baseball Field when it hosts Morehead State University for a three-game series. The series starts Friday at 6 p.m. before continuing Saturday at 2 p.m. and concluding Sunday at noon.
The Screaming Eagles (7-14) are coming off a tough four-game road swing and will be welcoming Morehead State (10-10) the USI Baseball Field for the first time in the history of the two programs. Links to follow USI and Morehead State this weekend can be found on the Eagles’ baseball schedule at USIScreamingEagles.com.
Weekend Schedule Note: With the forecast of heavy rains around USI this weekend, fans can track any schedule changes on Twitter (@USIAthletics), Facebook (USI Athletics), and USIScreamingEagles.com.
USI Baseball Notes:
USI falls at Belmont to start week: The USI Screaming Eagles allowed three runs in the bottom of the eighth and lost a 6-3 decision to Belmont University to start the week. USI was led by freshman infielder Caleb Niehaus, who had three hits, and senior outfielder Evan Kahre, who had two hits and a run scored.
Morris had a strong start at Belmont: In a staff day at Belmont, USI had a strong start by sophomore right-hander Gavin Morris, who picked up the no decision. Morris struck out two in three scoreless frames, allowing a walk and a hit.
USI swept by Murray State: The Eagles were swept by former OVC-member Murray State over the weekend, losing the rough three games by a combined 39-8.
Infield on the IL: USI’s infield is basically on the injured list. Junior third baseman Lane Crowden is out for the season with a broken collarbone; sophomore shortstop Ricardo Van Grieken is out with a pulled hamstring; and junior first baseman Tucker Ebest is out with a hip injury.
Leading active hitters: Freshman infielder Caleb Niehaus leads the active USI hitters with a .360 (27-75) average and is followed by junior outfielder Drew Taylor with a .324 average (11-34). Sophomore shortstop Ricardo Van Grieken (12-32) was the leading Eagles hitter with a .375 batting average before being injured.
Niehaus has the hottest bat: Freshman infielder Caleb Niehaus has the hottest bat for the Eagles over the last five and 10 games. Niehaus is hitting .529 over the last five games (9-17) with a double and two RBIs, while batting .425 over the last 10 games (17-40) with two doubles and seven RBIs.
Playing all of the positions: Senior catcher/infielder Lucas McNew and freshman infielder Caleb Niehaus are trying to play all of the positions. McNew has played catcher, first base, and second base, while Niehaus has played second base, third base, and shortstop.
McNew climbing the USI All-Time charts: Senior catcher Lucas McNew is sixth all-time at USI in home runs (21); tied for ninth in RBIs (141) and tied for 10th in doubles (44).
USI vs. Morehead State: USI opens OVC play by hosting its first meeting with Morehead State University in baseball.
Morehead State in 2023: Morehead is 10-10 after defeating Ohio University, 19-14, today at home. The Morehead Eagles snapped a seven-game losing streak with the win, but have lost 10 of the last 12 since starting the season 8-0.
BASEBALL TO OPEN CONFERENCE PLAY AT INDIANA STATE
Valparaiso (7-7, 0-0 MVC)
at Indiana State (8-11, 0-0 MVC)
Bob Warn Field (2,000) | Terre Haute, Ind.
Friday, March 24, 2 p.m. CT – RHP Jacob Rosenkranz
Saturday, March 25, 1 p.m. CT – RHP Connor Lockwood
Sunday, March 26, Noon CT – RHP Griffin McCluskey
Next Up in Valpo Baseball: After posting a .500 record while playing strong competition in nonconference play, the Valparaiso University baseball team will turn the page to the league slate this weekend with a trip south to Terre Haute for an instate battle with Indiana State. The three-game weekend series presents an opportunity for a statement as Indiana State ranks in the top 30 in the latest RPI, the best in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Last Time Out: Valpo took an early lead and battled back to tie the game late, but host Notre Dame came away with an 8-4 victory in Tuesday’s midweek matchup. The Beacons outhit the Fighting Irish 9-7 and continued to be competitive against quality competition, as Notre Dame won 41 games and went to the College World Series last season.
Following the Beacons: All three games this weekend will have live video streaming coverage on The Valley on ESPN. The Friday and Sunday games are slated for ESPN+, while Saturday’s middle contest will air on ESPN3. Links to live video and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Brian Schmack: Brian Schmack (175-274) is in his 10th season in charge of the program. He ranks third in program history in seasons coached and games coached as he enters 2023 having skippered 435 Valpo games. He enters the season with 168 victories, one of four coaches in program history with over 150. The former big-league pitcher led Valpo to 25 wins in his inaugural campaign in 2014, a school record for victories by a first-year skipper. Schmack, a member of the 2003 Detroit Tigers, served as pitching coach/associate head coach at Valpo for seven seasons prior to his promotion.
Series Notes: Valpo holds a 30-54-1 all-time record against Indiana State. The Beacons are 0-14 against the Sycamores since joining the Missouri Valley Conference. Valpo is attempting to squash an 18-game head-to-head losing streak that dates all the way back to March 31, 2007, an 11-2 win in Terre Haute.
In the Other Dugout – Indiana State
Coming off a 15-5 midweek loss at Indiana.
Put together a six-game winning streak with wins over SEMO, Memphis and Illinois.
Picked fourth in the MVC preseason poll.
Notes Wrapping Up March 21: Notre Dame 8, Valpo 4
Valpo outhit the opposition for the ninth time this season. This was just the second time the Beacons dropped a game in which they outhit the opponent.
Valpo has consistently been competitive in matchups with Notre Dame over the years, but has struggled to get over the hump and win the game. Seven of the last eight matchups have been decided by four runs or fewer, but Notre Dame owns a 14-game head-to-head winning streak.
Nolan Tucker had three hits, his sixth multi-hit game in the team’s 14 contests this season. This marked his third game with three or more hits.
Also boasting two hits was Ryan Maka, his fourth multi-hit contest.
Kyle Schmack and Brady Renfro drove in two runs apiece. Schmack upped his team-leading RBI total to 17, while Renfro beefed up his total to 13.
Bobby Nowak pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth.
Nathan Chasey allowed one run on two hits and no walks in three innings. He made his first career start in his 41st appearance with the Brown & Gold.
On the Board Early
Valpo has struck first in 10 of the team’s 14 games this season and owns a 7-3 record in those contests.
The first frame has been a prosperous one for the Beacons, who have jumped on the board in the opening inning in seven of their 14 contests. Valpo is 6-1 in those seven.
Prior to its recent midweek loss at Notre Dame, Valpo stood at 7-6 through 13 games. That marked the program’s best record at this juncture of the season since Paul Twenge’s group won eight of its first 13 in 1997.
Through nine games, the Valpo baseball program was off to its best start since Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and way before Nirvana as the team’s 6-3 record was its best at this point in the season since 1985. Head coach Rick Ferchen’s team began 1985 with a 7-2 mark through nine games.
The highlight of the sizzling start was a five-game winning streak that was snapped in Sunday’s series finale at Little Rock. That marked the team’s longest winning streak since recording six straight from May 15-25, 2016. That stretch featured wins over Oakland, Youngstown State and Northern Kentucky.
Valpo was recognized by D1Baseball as one of three “Upsets of the Night” on March 10 after beating No. 22 Southern Miss 6-1 in the series opener.
The victory snapped the team’s skid of 15 straight losses against nationally-ranked opponents and marked the team’s first victory over a top-25 foe since beating No. 25 Illinois on April 17, 2018.
At No. 22, Southern Miss was the highest ranked team that Valpo has defeated since a win over No. 9 Arizona State on April 21, 2013.
Southern Miss entered the game ranked No. 22 by Baseball America, the NCBWA and D1Baseball, while ranking No. 24 in the coaches’ poll and No. 30 according to Collegiate Baseball.
The Golden Eagles were the preseason favorites to win the Sun Belt Conference and won an NCAA Regional last season before falling to Ole Miss in the Super Regional. They own a streak of six straight 40-win seasons, the longest such streak in Division-I Baseball.
Southern Miss swept former Missouri Valley Conference member (and powerhouse) Dallas Baptist the weekend prior to dropping the game to the Beacons.
SOFTBALL SET FOR HOME-OPENING SERIES THIS WEEKEND
Valparaiso (3-18, 0-3 MVC)
March 24 – Illinois State (11-15, 1-1 MVC) – 3 p.m.
March 25 – Illinois State – 2 p.m.
March 26 – Illinois State – noon
Next Up in Valpo Softball: After playing the first month-plus of the season away from home, the Valpo softball team hosts games at the Valpo Softball Complex for the first time this weekend as the Beacons welcome Illinois State to town for a three-game series March 24-26.
Previously: Valpo opened the MVC slate last weekend at Southern Illinois, dropping three games to a Saluki squad which entered the week with the conference’s best record. The Beacons began their road trip last week with a setback at Illinois.
Looking Ahead: Valpo is scheduled for a midweek nonconference game at Purdue Fort Wayne next Wednesday, March 29, before returning home for a three-game set against Missouri State March 31-April 2.
Following Valpo Softball: All three games this weekend are slated for broadcast on The Valley on ESPN, with Friday and Sunday’s games on ESPN+ and Saturday on ESPN3. Live stats will be available for all three games as well.
Head Coach Meaggan Pettipiece: Meaggan Pettipiece was hired in September 2022 as head coach of the Valpo softball program. Pettipiece brings over a decade of experience as a collegiate head coach, most recently the last three seasons at the Division I level at Akron. Prior to her time at Akron, Pettipiece spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Kent State and was head coach at Northwood for 10 years. Pettipiece, who owns 253 career coaching victories, was an All-American on the diamond and helped California University of Pennsylvania to a D-II national title in 1998 collegiately before playing internationally for Team Canada, including at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Series Notes: Valpo is just 2-13 all-time against Illinois State, with 13 of those 15 matchups coming since Valpo joined the MVC prior to the 2018 season. Last season, the Redbirds earned a series sweep in Normal, winning by final scores of 6-2, 17-0 and 7-4.
Scouting the Opposition: Illinois State comes into this weekend’s series with an 11-15 overall record this year. The Redbirds split two games with Belmont to open MVC play last weekend, losing 4-1 and winning 4-2, and most recently took down DePaul by a 10-3 final on Tuesday. Under first-year head coach Tina Kramos – who succeeded Melinda Fischer after Fischer’s 37 years at the helm – Delainey Bryant boasts the team’s top OPS (.889) and has a team-best 16 runs scored as well. In the circle, Hannah Ross tops five pitchers who have seen action with a 2.73 ERA in a team-high 64 innings of work.
What’s Back: Valpo returns 10 of 18 letterwinners from last season’s squad for the 2023 campaign. In all, 40.4% of Valpo’s plate appearances are back for this season and 63.6% of last season’s inning pitched return as well.
Who’s New: This year’s 16-player roster includes six newcomers donning the Brown and Gold for the first time. A quintet of freshmen – Kaia Garnica, Kimberli Rodas, Lexi Szostak, Lyna Vasquez and Cadence Augustine – are joined by Kent State transfer Autumn Acord. While Garnica has been sidelined due to injury, the other five all made their Valpo debuts at the DePaul Dome Tournament opening weekend.
Road Comes to an End: The Valpo Softball Complex will be a sight for sore eyes for the Beacons this weekend as they open their home schedule, bringing to an end the long and winding road to start this season. In all, Valpo played its first 21 games of the season away from home, covering six locations in three different states.
Still an Early Opener: While it was a lengthy stretch away from home to start the season, this Friday’s home opener is still one of the earliest in program history. Only four times since the opening of the Valpo Softball Complex in 2003 has the program’s home opener come earlier than Friday’s date of March 24. The last time Valpo opened the home slate this early was back in 2015, when it hosted Green Bay on March 20.
Big Weekend for Rodas: Freshman Kim Rodas looked right at home last weekend against an SIU pitching staff which entered the weekend with the Valley’s best ERA. Rodas reached base successfully in in five of her six plate appearances on the weekend, as she walked twice with a stolen base in the series opener, went 1-for-2 in the middle game and went 2-for-2 with a run scored in the finale. Rodas’ weekend performance raised her season batting average 41 points and her on-base percentage 59 points.
Walk This Way: Led by Rodas’ pair of walks, the Beacons drew six walks in the series opener at SIU on Friday – a season high for a single game this season and matching their highest number of walks in a game over the past three years. Valpo has now drawn five or more walks in seven games this season after recording no more than four walks in any game last season. The Beacons are averaging 2.81 walks/game this season after averaging just 1.68 walks/game last year.
Hecker Continues to Hit: Junior outfielder Regi Hecker has settled into the leadoff spot in the Beacons’ batting order this year and has acquitted herself well in the role. The March 7 MVC Player of the Week, Hecker leads the team with a .275 batting average, six runs scored, 10 walks and a .413 on-base percentage. That on-base percentage is over 150 points better than her career on-base percentage entering the season.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
TOP NATIONAL NEWS
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
AP SOURCES: NOTRE DAME CLOSING DEAL WITH PSU’S SHREWSBERRY
(AP) — Notre Dame is finalizing a deal to make Penn State’s Micah Shrewsberry its new men’s basketball coach, two people with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because contract details were still being completed and needed school approval.
Shrewsberry, in his second season at Penn State (23-14), led the Nittany Lions to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 and a tournament victory for the first time since 2001.
The Nittany Lions beat Texas A&M and were eliminated by Texas in the second round.
Notre Dame has been searching for a replacement for Mike Brey, who spent the last 23 season as coach of the Fighting Irish. He announced in January that this would be his last season with Notre Dame
The Irish finished 11-21.
Shrewsberry grew up in Indianapolis and went to school at Division III Hanover College in Indiana.
He was the head coach at Indiana University South Bend, an NAIA school located in the same city as Notre Dame, from 2005-07.
He later worked as an assistant coach at Butler and Purdue, with a stint as an assistant with the Boston Celtics in between.
ESPN first reported Notre Dame was close to a deal with Shrewsberry.
NBA ROUNDUP: JA MORANT CONTRIBUTES OFF BENCH IN GRIZZLIES’ WIN
Jaren Jackson Jr. scored a season-high 37 points while Ja Morant added 17 off the bench in his return from an eight-game suspension as the Memphis Grizzlies secured the Southwest Division title with a 130-125 victory over the visiting Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Jackson gave the Grizzlies a 120-116 lead by making three free throws and Memphis won a critical replay reversal when a foul against Morant was overturned and given to Rockets center Alperen Sengun, who fouled out with 1:26 left after pairing 25 points with eight rebounds. Desmond Bane (20 points, seven assists) scored on the ensuing Memphis possession.
Jackson made 14 of 20 shots from the field in the win. Morant played as a reserve for the first time in his career as Memphis extended its winning streak to four games. Jackson added 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Jalen Green scored 32 points while Kenyon Martin Jr. added a career-high 31 for the Rockets. Kevin Porter Jr. (14 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) posted his second career triple-double for Houston, which received 16 points and four 3-pointers from rookie Jabari Smith Jr.
WARRIORS 127, MAVERICKS 125
Jonathan Kuminga had a team-high 22 points off the bench, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry hit key hoops down the stretch, and Golden State scored a big win over host Dallas.
The result had major short-term ramifications in the Western Conference playoff race, with Golden State not only moving 1 1/2 games up on Dallas but also gaining a tiebreaker advantage by claiming the season series 2-1. The game also featured a controversial play late in the third quarter, with the Mavericks vowing to file a formal protest to the NBA, alleging a mistake by referees led to two uncontested points by the Warriors.
Curry finished with 20 points and a team-high 13 assists for the Warriors, and Kevon Looney added 12 points and 12 rebounds. In his return from a five-game absence due to a strained thigh, Luka Doncic paced the Mavericks with 30 points, 17 assists and seven rebounds.
76ERS 116, BULLS 91
De’Anthony Melton scored 25 points and Tyrese Maxey chipped in 21 as visiting Philadelphia routed Chicago for its ninth victory in 10 games.
Tobias Harris had 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Philadelphia. Joel Embiid added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in 16-plus minutes for Philadelphia. Embiid did not return to the team bench for the second half (mild calf tightness).
Chicago leading scorer DeMar DeRozan sustained a right quad strain and did not return after leaving the game in the third quarter. He scored four points, all on free throws. Coby White paced the Bulls with 19 points, while Zach LaVine followed with 16. Andre Drummond notched a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
NUGGETS 118, WIZARDS 104
Nikola Jokic scored 31 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and passed for seven assists, and Denver held off a fourth-quarter rally to hand host Washington its fourth consecutive loss.
Denver concluded its five-game road trip at 3-2 and maintained its pace atop the Western Conference. Jamal Murray finished with 17 points, a game-high eight assists, and six rebounds. Michael Porter Jr. added 21 points — 18 of which came on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range — and grabbed seven rebounds.
Kristaps Porzingis led Washington with 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the floor. Deni Avdija added 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
LAKERS 122, SUNS 111
Anthony Davis recorded 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists to help Los Angeles notch a solid victory over visiting Phoenix.
D’Angelo Russell added 26 points and six assists and Austin Reaves had 25 points and a career-high 11 assists as the Lakers won their second straight game.
Devin Booker scored 33 points and Chris Paul added 18 for the Suns, who have dropped five of their past six games. Landry Shamet added 15 points and Torrey Craig had 14 for the Suns.
PACERS 118, RAPTORS 114
Andrew Nembhard scored 25 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute, and had 10 assists as visiting Indiana defeated Toronto.
Myles Turner added 16 points before fouling out in the final minutes for the Pacers. Bennedict Mathurin scored 15 points for Indiana, Buddy Hield scored 13 points, T.J. McConnell 14 and Jordan Nwora 10.
Pascal Siakam had 31 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors. Fred VanVleet scored 28 points to go along with 11 assists, Jakob Poeltl had 23 points and Chris Boucher scored 11.
HEAT 127, KNICKS 120
Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 35 points and dished nine assists, leading host Miami to a win over New York.
Miami was trailing by two early in the fourth quarter before the Heat responded with a crucial 16-2 run. New York never recovered, and Miami beat the Knicks for the first time in three tries this season.
Miami, which won its fourth straight home game, also got 22 points from Tyler Herro and 19 from Gabe Vincent. New York was led by RJ Barrett (26 points), Jalen Brunson (25) and Quentin Grimes (22). Knicks All-Star Julius Randle was held to 15 points on a frustrating night that included a technical foul.
BUCKS 130, SPURS 94
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 14 rebounds before resting for the entire fourth quarter as host Milwaukee never trailed in blowing out San Antonio.
Khris Middleton added 19 points and 10 assists for Milwaukee, which improved to an NBA-best 52-20 after winning for the 23rd time in its last 26 games. Bobby Portis added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Devin Vassell led San Antonio with 16 points, and Keita Bates-Diop added 14 points. San Antonio trailed by double digits for the entire second half and lost for the fourth time in its last five games.
TRAIL BLAZERS 127, JAZZ 115
Damian Lillard scored 30 points to lead a quartet of Portland players with at least 20 in beating Utah in Salt Lake City.
Lillard struggled from 3-point range, hitting just 2 of 10, but made 6 of 9 inside the arc and nailed 12 of 14 free throws while adding 12 assists to help the Blazers snap their six-game losing streak. Shaedon Sharpe contributed 24 points and nine rebounds, Trenton Watford scored 21 with nine boards, and Jusuf Turkic had 20 points.
Utah’s Lauri Markkanen, who missed Monday’s game with back soreness, topped all scorers with 40 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds.
TIMBERWOLVES 125, HAWKS 124
Karl-Anthony Towns returned from a lengthy absence to score 22 points, including the two game-winning free throws with 3.6 seconds left, to lead Minnesota past Atlanta in Minneapolis.
Towns had not played since Nov. 28, missing 51 games with a Grade 3 calf strain. Minnesota got 26 points off the bench from Naz Reid on 11-for-15 shooting, and 25 points and six rebounds from Jaden McDaniels. The Timberwolves were without leading scorer Anthony Edwards for the third straight game because of a sprained right ankle.
Atlanta was led by Trae Young, who went 14-for-16 from the line and scored 29 points with eight assists. De’Andre Hunter, John Collins and Saddiq Bey each scored 16 points.
MAVS OWNER CUBAN PLANS PROTEST OVER FREE BUCKET FOR WARRIORS
DALLAS (AP) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he plans to protest a two-point loss to Golden State after a confusing sequence led to an uncontested basket for the Warriors on Wednesday night.
Kevon Looney had an easy dunk on an inbounds play with the Mavericks lined up on their offensive end after a timeout late in the third quarter of Golden State’s 127-125 victory.
The Mavericks thought they had the ball after official Andy Nagy pointed in Golden State’s direction for possession but then quickly pointed to the Dallas bench to indicate a timeout.
Looney protested when Nagy pointed toward the Dallas bench, but Nagy appeared to explain that he was signaling the timeout. The public address announcer also indicated Dallas was awarded possession.
After the break, the Mavericks lined up on their offensive end, giving Looney the easy dunk with no defenders around as the Warriors took a 90-87 lead with 1:56 left in the third.
Cuban said he planned to protest after posting on Twitter that he thought the sequence was the “Worst officiating non call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA.”
According to NBA rules, a written protest must be filed within 48 hours of the end of the game, and the Warriors would then have five days to respond and submit their own evidence. Commissioner Adam Silver then has another five days to issue a ruling.
Protests are rarely upheld in the NBA – or most major professional sports.
Dallas coach Jason Kidd’s contention was that official Michael Smith must have thought the Mavericks had possession because he was on the same end of the floor as the Mavs.
“There was quite a few people out of position,” Kidd said. “It’s correctable, but you first have to admit there was a mistake.”
Crew chief Sean Wright said officials never indicated Dallas had the ball, and Nagy can be seen telling the Mavericks the second signal was for the timeout.
“Initially on the floor the original signal was in fact Golden State ball as this can be seen on video,” Wright told a pool reporter. “There is a second signal but that signal is for a mandatory timeout that was due to the Mavs.”
Dallas star Luka Doncic subbed out of the game during that timeout, while Looney had come in for Stephen Curry about two minutes earlier. Jordan Poole threw the inbounds pass.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” said Looney, who had 12 points and 12 rebounds. “I’m just glad JP passed to me because all of us were open and I needed that to get to my double-double.”
Doncic said he thought officials should have huddled to straighten things out when they saw the teams on opposite ends of the court, including Smith among the Mavs.
“I was surprised,” Doncic said about Looney’s free dunk. “I was like, ‘What is that?’ I’ve never seen that happen in my life.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said his first reaction was to question whether his team was shooting on the end where they lined up. But that reaction didn’t last long.
“When they were down at the other end, I had to stop and think, ‘Is this right?’” Kerr said. “I thought it was pretty clear that it was our ball, and that’s why I was drawing up a play out of bounds on the baseline.”
CLIPPERS’ GEORGE HAS KNEE SPRAIN, REEVALUATED IN 2-3 WEEKS
LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Clippers may be without All-Star Paul George to start the postseason.
The team said Wednesday that George has a sprained right knee and he will be reevaluated in two to three weeks.
The Clippers began the day in fifth place in the Western Conference with a 38-35 record. They end the regular season on April 9 at Phoenix, a team they could meet in the first round of the playoffs, which begin six days later.
Even if George recovers before the playoff opener, he’ll need time to get back in the swing after not seeing game action for a couple of weeks.
George got hurt after going down hard late in a 101-100 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. His knee made contact with the Thunder’s Luguentz Dort, who was going for a rebound with 4:38 remaining.
George needed help to leave the court, appearing unable to put any weight on his right leg, and once inside the tunnel he was carried to the locker room. He later left the arena on a cart with his right leg extended.
“Appreciate y’all,” George tweeted Wednesday.
Losing George for any length of time would be a major blow to the Clippers. He is averaging 23.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists for a team that has championship aspirations.
The Clippers did not practice Wednesday.
Asked Tuesday night how the team would adjust without George, Kawhi Leonard said: “Next man up. We’ve got a group of guys that still want to win and like to play basketball, so we’ll see what happens.”
The 32-year-old George has been out for extended periods of time in his career because of major injuries.
He sprained his right elbow in December 2021. A couple of weeks later, the Clippers said he suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He was out for three months and returned to play the final few weeks of the season.
George had twin surgeries in his right and left shoulders in spring 2019 while with Oklahoma City. A few months later, he was traded to the Clippers and missed the first 11 games of the 2019-20 season while recovering.
Leonard suffered a partial ACL tear in his right knee during the 2021 Western Conference semifinals and didn’t return. The Clippers recovered and advanced to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history before losing to Phoenix in six games.
Leonard missed all of the 2022 season while recovering from the ACL injury. Without him, the Clippers went 42-40 and lost in the play-in tournament.
He has been mostly healthy this season, although the team regularly gives Leonard games off to rest as part of his load management.
The Clippers already are without reserve Norman Powell, whose shoulder injury could keep him out at least until next week.
MICHAEL JORDAN CONSIDERING SALE OF HORNETS; NO DEAL IMMINENT
(AP) — Michael Jordan is considering selling the Charlotte Hornets.
The six-time NBA champion is in negotiations to sell at least a portion of the franchise to a group that includes Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin.
“Four years ago, Michael Jordan sold a stake in the Charlotte Hornets to a Gabe Plotkin-led group,” Jump Management, which is Michael Jordan’s family office, said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday. “As a natural step in a process due to that transaction, Michael and Gabe are in discussions about his group potentially buying an additional stake.”
No deal is imminent.
“At this time, it is unclear whether an additional sale will take place,” the statement read.
Jordan declined interview requests to discuss the potential sale of the team through his spokesperson, Estee Portnoy.
In 2019, Jordan sold a portion of the Hornets to Plotkin, a founder of Melvin Capital, and Daniel Sundheim of DI Capital, but Jordan still controlled the majority of the team’s equity.
It’s unclear at this point if Jordan is looking to sell his entire majority stake in the team, or just a portion of it.
Jordan is the NBA’s only Black owner. He purchased the expansion team from Bob Johnson for $180 million in 2010. The team had a net worth of $1.7 billion after the 2021-22 season, according to Forbes.
Jordan experienced plenty of success as an NBA player, leading the Chicago Bulls to three-peat championships twice while being named an NBA All-Star 14 times. He also has had success with his Jordan Brand line of merchandise and has a current net worth of $2 billion, per Forbes.
But the 60-year-old Jordan hasn’t had much success as an NBA owner.
Since 2010, the Hornets are 419-595 and they will miss the playoffs this season for the seventh straight year. The Hornets have reached the playoffs only twice in 13 seasons under Jordan and have never advanced to the second round.
The Hornets are listed as the 27th-most valuable NBA franchise in the 30-team league.
But franchises are a hot commodity.
Mat Ishbia, a mortgage executive, agreed to purchase the majority stake of the Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury from embattled owner Robert Sarver for $4 billion in December. The league approved the sale last month.
And Joe Tsai, the co-founder of Alibaba, agreed in 2019 to buy the remaining 51% of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center for about $3.4 billion. Tsai had previously purchased 49% of the team from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov in 2018, with the option to become controlling owner in 2021.
CROSBY REACHES 30-GOAL MARK, PENGUINS KNOCK OFF AVS 5-2
DENVER (AP) Sidney Crosby wasn’t even aware of reaching yet another milestone. He’s simply locked in on helping the Pittsburgh Penguins make a 17th straight postseason appearance.
Jeff Carter had a pair of goals, Crosby scored on a nifty backhand shot in the second period to reach the 30-goal mark for an 11th season and the Penguins beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Crosby moved into a tie with Hall-of-Fame center Mario Lemieux for the most 30-goal seasons in Penguins history. Another milestone reached – it came as news to him.
“I think the most important thing for me is just try to be consistent and if that reflects that great,” said Crosby, who turns 36 in August.
Even more, Crosby’s the first player in league history to post a 30-goal campaign at 18 years old and again when he was 35-plus, according to NHL Stats.
“It means I’ve been in the league for a while,” Crosby cracked. “That’s been the thing that’s driven me since since I got into the league – in your first year, you want to prove that you belong. Even at 35, I still think you want to prove you belong, because it is a younger league.”
Jake Guentzel also scored and Bryan Rust added an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who snapped a four-game slide and moved back into a wild-card spot in the East.
“It’s definitely a big one for us, for sure,” Guentzel said. “Defending champs, coming to their building, you know how good they are. Top to bottom, we defended hard and that’s what we have to do at this time of the year.”
Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped 28 shots in improving to 11-4 this season against teams from the Western Conference.
J.T. Compher and Devon Toews had goals for the Avalanche, whose six-game winning streak was halted. Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his home points streak to 18 games.
It was a missed opportunity for Colorado, which could’ve pulled into a three-way tie with Dallas and Minnesota in the Central Division with a victory.
“We knew they were going to play with urgency,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “But I didn’t feel like there was any reason why we couldn’t, either. … We didn’t get it done. Hopefully we get another one.”
Alexandar Georgiev made 40 saves, including several critical ones in a second period controlled by the Penguins, who outshot the Avalanche by a 21-9 margin. It could’ve been more than a 3-1 deficit heading into the third period.
Toews’ power-play goal made it 3-2 with 9:32 remaining. But Carter wrapped up the win with his first multigoal game in the regular season since Jan. 11, 2022.
“I’m thrilled for him. We’re all thrilled,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Carter. “He cares about the Penguins. He wants to win, and he wants to contribute in helping us win so we couldn’t be happier for him.”
Bednar was appreciative of the three-year extension he signed Tuesday that goes through the 2026-27 season. In his seventh season, he’s the third-longest tenured coach in the NHL behind Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper (March 2013) and Sullivan (December 2015).
“It’s not a forgiving league or sport, for the most part, but obviously that’s part of the reason why I’m so grateful and thankful,” Bednar said. “Because there were times over my tenure that got a little hairy and management could have made another decision. But obviously they didn’t.”
AROUND THE RINK
Avalanche D Cale Makar missed a second straight game with a lower body injury. “I still have him as day-to-day,” Bednar said. … F Darren Helm returned after missing 64 of 69 games this season with a lower-body injury. … Penguins D Jeff Petry (upper body) skated in the morning but sat out his third straight game. … The Penguins are 11-1 against the Central Division this season. … Penguins standout Evgeni Malkin assisted on Guentzel’s goal to reach the 50-assist mark for a seventh time in his career.
Penguins: At Dallas on Thursday night.
Avalanche: Host Arizona on Friday night.
MCDAVID SCORES 60TH, LEADS OILERS PAST COYOTES 4-3 IN OT
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Connor McDavid scored his 60th goal of the season with his second of the game 1:31 into overtime to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night.
Moments after hitting the post, McDavid went high on Connor Ingram, giving him 60 goals in 72 games and making him the fastest player to reach the mark since Mario Lemieux accomplished the feat in 62 games in the 1995-96 season.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also had a pair of goals, and Leon Draisaitl assisted on all four of the Oilers’ scores. Stuart Skinner made 14 saves for Edmonton, which has won five straight games and nine of its last 11.
Clayton Keller scored twice and J.J. Moser also scored for the Coyotes, who have lost two in a row following a four-game winning streak. Ingram stopped 27 shots.
McDavid extended his points streak at home to 16 games with his first goal of the game on the power play 5:47 into the opening period. McDavid took it behind the goal line and banked it in off Ingram’s head.
Moser tied it with a power-play goal with 4:13 left in the first.
Keller gave the Coyotes the lead 3:37 into the second period after a giveaway behind the Oilers’ net allowed Nick Schmaltz to send it in front, and Keller extended his points streak to 10 games with his 33rd goal.
With just 10 seconds to play in the second, Nugent-Hopkins tied it on the power play.
Arizona regained the lead 8:54 into the third when Barrett Hayton made a nice pass through traffic to get Keller a wide-open net and his second of the game.
Just over three minutes later, Draisaitl made a long stretch pass to send Nugent-Hopkins in on a breakaway and he beat Ingram stick-side for his second of the game.
NOTES: Out with injuries for the Coyotes were Josh Brown (lower body) and Zack Kassian (upper body). … Out for the Oilers were Ryan Murray (back), Ryan McLeod (upper body) and Devin Shore (undisclosed). Edmonton played the game with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
Coyotes: At Colorado on Friday in the finale of a three-game trip.
Oilers: Host Vegas on Friday in the final game of a three-game homestand.
SPRING TRAINING ROUNDUP: ANGELS’ MICKEY MONIAK HOMERS TWICE
Mickey Moniak slammed two homers and drove in six runs as the Los Angeles Angels won a slugfest with the Colorado Rockies 10-9 on Wednesday in a spring training game in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Left fielder Moniak, who also doubled in going 3-for-3, hit a 421-foot shot in the second inning and a 384-foot homer in the sixth.
Jared Walsh (2-for-2, two RBIs, two runs) and Luis Rengifo hit one homer apiece for the Angels, while Anthony Rendon went 2-for-3 with two runs and a double.
The Rockies had more hits, 12-11, including home runs from Elias Diaz and Ezequiel Tovar (2-for-3, three RBIs, two runs).
NATIONALS 5, YANKEES 2
Dominic Smith went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBIs as Washington topped New York in Palm Beach, Fla.
Nationals left-hander MacKenzie Gore went six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.
Oswaldo Cabrera (2-for-3) was the only Yankees batter with multiple hits as the team totaled six.
RAYS 6, PHILLIES 2
Left-hander Jeffrey Springs fanned eight batters while allowing two hits in 4 1/3 scoreless innings and Tampa Bay pitchers totaled 14 strikeouts in a win over Philadelphia in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Grant Witherspoon had a two-run single in the fifth inning for the Rays, and teammate Brandon Lowe went 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run.
The Phillies’ Kody Clements went 2-for-3 with a two-run double.
BRAVES 5, TIGERS 3
Leadoff hitter Orlando Arcia went 2-for-3 with a 426-foot, three-run homer and four RBIs as Atlanta downed Detroit in Lakeland, Fla.
Sam Hilliard went 3-for-3 with an RBI double, and Forrest Wall, Magneuris Sierra and Joe Hudson had two hits apiece for the Braves.
The Tigers’ Ryan Kreidler was 2-for-3 with one RBI, and starting pitcher Matt Manning scattered six hits with one unearned run and two walks and six strikeouts over four innings.
BLUE JAYS 2, ORIOLES 1
Bo Bichette and Daulton Varsho homered to power Toronto over Baltimore in Dunedin, Fla.
Leadoff hitter Terrin Vavra went 2-for-4 with a homer for the Orioles’ lone run of the game as they outhit the Blue Jays 8-4. Teammates Kyle Stowers and Nomar Mazara had two hits apiece.
ASTROS 5, METS 2
Corey Julks hit a two-out, bases-loaded double to drive in three runs as Houston beat New York in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
The four-run fifth inning for the Astros featured David Hensley drawing a bases-loaded walk to score Justin Dirden and bring Julks to the plate.
Luis Guillorme (2-for-3), Omar Narvaez (2-for-2) and Tomas Nido (2-for-2) each had two hits for the Mets.
CARDINALS 0, MARLINS 0
Five St. Louis pitchers and four Miami counterparts each combined for shutouts in Sarasota, Fla.
Cardinals starter Jordan Montgomery allowed six hits and no walks with one strikeout in five innings. The left-hander was followed by Ryan Helsley, Jordan Hicks, Andre Pallante and Drew VerHagen, who worked one inning apiece and yielded a total of one hit.
Trevor Rogers started for the Marlins and in five innings gave up three of the Cardinals’ five hits. Matt Barnes (one inning), Robert Garcia (1 2/3) and Dylan Floro (1 1/3) completed the shutout.
RANGERS (SS) 2, WHITE SOX (SS) 0
Jackson Frazier homered as Texas shut out Chicago in a split-squad game at Surprise, Ariz.
The White Sox scored their second run when Ezequiel Duran tripled and pinch runner Jax Biggers came home on Jose Ruiz’s balk.
Chicago’s Oscar Colas was 2-for-3 with a double.
CUBS 4, ATHLETICS 2
Cody Bellinger, Edwin Rios and Christopher Morel homered to power Chicago past Oakland in Mesa, Ariz.
Rios and Morel now each have four home runs this spring, and Bellinger two.
The Athletics’ Jesus Aguilar went 3-for-3 with a double and home run, and Esteury Ruiz went 2-for-2 with his 14th RBI of the spring.
ROYALS 4, WHITE SOX (SS) 3
Dairon Blanco and Tyler Gentry hit solo home runs and Kansas City edged a Chicago split squad in Glendale, Ariz.
Yolbert Sanchez drove in runs for the White Sox on a sacrifice fly in the fifth and an RBI single in the seventh.
GIANTS 4, RANGERS (SS) 0
Four San Francisco pitchers scattered 10 hits over nine scoreless innings to defeat a Texas split squad in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Starter Ross Stripling went 4 2/3 innings for the Giants and allowed six hits and no walks with four strikeouts. Scott Alexander (one inning), Jakob Junis (2 1/3) and Taylor Rogers (one) completed the shutout.
Bryce Johnson hit an RBI double and Blake Sabol went 2-for-3 for San Francisco. Marcus Semien, Corey Seager and Jonah Heim each went 2-for-4 for Texas.
TWINS 11, RED SOX 0
Trevor Larnach homered and doubled among his four hits, Kyle Farmer and Jose Miranda also went deep as Minnesota defeated host Boston in Fort Myers, Fla.
Twins starter Joe Ryan struck five in five scoreless innings. Emilio Pagan and Cole Sands followed with two scoreless innings apiece, with Sands striking out three.
Red Sox starter Tanner Houck surrendered eight runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.
REDS 4, PADRES 1
Right-hander Graham Ashcraft struck out 10 in six shutout innings, allowing only one hit, as host Cincinnati defeated San Diego in Goodyear, Ariz.
TJ Friedl had two hits and Tyler Stephenson and Curt Casali each drove in a run for the Reds.
Brett Sullivan had one of the Padres’ three hits and knocked in their only run.
MARINERS 5, DODGERS 1
Julio Rodriguez, last season’s American League Rookie of the Year, hit two doubles and drove in three runs as host Seattle knocked off Los Angeles in Peoria, Ariz.
Former Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock had a double among two hits and scored twice. Mariners right-hander George Kirby struck out nine and walked one in five no-hit, scoreless innings.
Miguel Vargas drove in the only run for the Dodgers, who managed just two hits.
SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER GRABS FIRST-ROUND WIN AT WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler finished 1 up on Davis Riley on Wednesday to claim a first-round win at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas.
Scheffler was 3 up after carding an eagle on the par-4 fifth hole, but Riley clawed back, pulling to within 1 up thanks to a birdie on the par-5 12th. However, Scheffler responded immediately, adding another eagle on No. 13 before holding on down the stretch to begin his championship defense.
“I got off to a really good start. Outside of that I didn’t really play great and Davis didn’t have his best stuff today, either,” Scheffler said. “Fortunately I saw a putt go in on 18 to finish out the match, and I did my best to try and stay patient.”
South Korean Tom Kim was the victor in the other Group 1 pairing, finishing 2 up on Alex Noren of Sweden with one hole to play. Kim found himself 1 down after the first hole but followed with three straight pars to take the lead. Noren had things tied after a birdie on No. 12, but Kim carded birdies on three of his final five holes to prevent the loss.
“Alex definitely is a fighter and I knew that and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Kim said. “I just kind of kept my head down, but very fortunate to walk off with a win today.”
Rickie Fowler pulled off the upset of the day, closing the first round 2 up on World No. 2 Jon Rahm of Spain. The pairing played 17 holes, with Fowler holding a lead for the final six.
“In golf, just about anyone can beat anyone, especially this week with the guys that are out here,” Fowler said. “I know Jon will be tough for the boys next couple matches. I’ve got to take care of business on my end.”
Other notable Wednesday winners included Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, who finished 3 up on Scott Stallings with one hole left, Max Homa, who was 3 up on Justin Suh with two holes remaining and Xander Schauffelle, who closed 4 up against Australia’s Cam Davis through 15 holes.
Groups with individual standings through one round:
Scottie Scheffler, 1-0-0
Tom Kim, 1-0-0
Davis Riley, 0-1-0
Alex Noren, 0-1-0
Rickie Fowler, 1-0-0
Billy Horschel, 0-0-1
Keith Mitchell, 0-0-1
Jon Rahm, 0-1-0
Rory McIlroy, 1-0-0
Keegan Bradley, 0-0-1
Denny McCarthy, 0-0-1
Scott Stallings, 0-1-0
Patrick Cantlay, 1-0-0
Brian Harman, 1-0-0
Nick Taylor, 0-1-0
K.H. Lee, 0-1-0
Max Homa, 1-0-0
Hideki Matsuyama, 1-0-0
Justin Suh, 0-1-0
Kevin Kisner, 0-1-0
Xander Schauffele, 1-0-0
Aaron Wise, 1-0-0
Cam Davis, 0-1-0
Tom Hoge, 0-1-0
Andrew Putnam, 1-0-0
Ryan Fox, 1-0-0
Will Zalatoris, 0-1-0
Harris English, 0-1-0
Matt Kuchar, 1-0-0
Si Woo Kim, 1-0-0
Viktor Hovland, 0-1-0
Chris Kirk, 0-1-0
Collin Morikawa, 1-0-0
Jason Day, 1-0-0
Victor Perez, 0-1-0
Adam Svensson, 0-1-0
Tony Finau, 1-0-0
Adrian Meronk, 1-0-0
Christiaan Bezuidenhout, 0-1-0
Kurt Kitiyama, 0-1-0
J.J. Spaun, 1-0-0
Min Woo Lee, 1-0-0
Matt Fitzpatrick, 0-1-0
Sahith Theegala, 0-1-0
Jordan Spieth, 1-0-0
Taylor Montgomery, 1-0-0
Mackenzie Hughes, 0-1-0
Shane Lowry, 0-1-0
Sam Burns, 1-0-0
Adam Scott, 1-0-0
Adam Hadwin, 0-1-0
Seamus Power, 0-1-0
Ben Griffin, 1-0-0
Lucas Herbert, 1-0-0
Tyrrell Hatton, 0-1-0
Russell Henley, 0-1-0
Cameron Young, 1-0-0
Corey Connors, 1-0-0
Davis Thompson, 0-1-0
Sepp Straka, 0-1-0
Sungjae Im, 1-0-0
J.T. Poston, 1-0-0
Maverick McNealy, 0-1-0
Tommy Fleetwood, 0-1-0
TE FOSTER MOREAU REVEALS CANCER BATTLE UPCOMING
Free agent tight end Foster Moreau will be stepping away from football after announcing Wednesday that he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects part of the immune system.
Moreau recently visited with the New Orleans Saints, whose medical team discovered the disease.
“Through somewhat of a miraculous process, this Free Agency period has been life changing for me,” Moreau said in a tweet. “During a routine physical conducted by the Saint’s medical team down in New Orleans, I’ve come to learn that I have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and will be stepping away from football at this time to fight a new opponent: Cancer.
“I’m grateful for the support and thankful for people who have stood firm with me. There hasn’t been a single step I’ve taken without hundreds of people lighting the path before me, and I will continue to seek their guidance.”
Moreau, 25, spent his first four NFL seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders, who extended their support in the wake of the news.
“Your Raider family is with you, Foster,” the team said in response to Moreau’s tweet about his diagnosis.
Moreau recorded 33 receptions for 420 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games (14 starts) with Las Vegas last season. In 61 career games (34 starts), Moreau has 91 catches for 1,107 yards and 12 TDs.
The Raiders drafted Moreau in the fourth round (137th overall) of the 2019 draft out of LSU.
BROWNS GET SPEED, LAND WR MOORE FROM JETS, SWAP DRAFT PICKS
CLEVELAND (AP) Elijah Moore wanted out of New York. The Browns wanted speed.
Both got their wish.
Cleveland added another offensive playmaker and target for quarterback Deshaun Watson on Wednesday, acquiring Moore in a trade with the Jets, who have overhauled their receiving group this offseason – perhaps in advance of quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ arrival.
The Browns have agreed to send the No. 42 pick in this year’s draft to the Jets for Moore and the No. 74 selection. The deal’s completion is pending a physical.
The Jets are parting ways with Moore, a second-round pick in 2021, shortly after agreeing to terms with former Kansas City wide receiver Mecole Hardman on a one-year deal, according to a person with knowledge of the contract.
New York will have picks No. 42 and 43 – as well as No. 13 overall. Earlier in free agency, the Jets signed former Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard and have been working toward a possible deal for Rodgers.
Cleveland made its major quarterback move last year, sending three first-round picks to Houston for Watson in a controversial trade. Now they’re adding a downfield threat for Watson in Moore, who can play in the slot, backfield or line up outside. He’ll complement receivers Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
The Browns lacked a player capable of stretching defenses after Anthony Schwartz, a third-round pick in 2021, struggled with drops and his confidence.
Cleveland explored the free agent market and other trades, including one for Denver wide receiver Jerry Jeudy before striking the deal with the Jets.
While Moore, who will turn 23 next week, hasn’t put up big numbers, he’s quick and versatile and gives Cleveland’s offense another wrinkle to support Watson and its strong running game.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Moore had 37 catches for 446 yards and one touchdown last season, but was unhappy with his role and asked for a trade. He became disgruntled due to a lack of pass-catching opportunities and asked to be dealt in October.
After the Jets’ 27-10 victory at Green Bay in Week 6, Moore quote-tweeted a reporter’s Twitter post that pointed out he had no official receiving targets. In a series of since-deleted tweets, Moore posted if he said what he really wanted to, he’d be viewed as selfish, but added: “Just know I don’t understand either.”
Things took a turn when he reportedly had a disagreement with then-offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur the following week and was held out from practice for two days to clear his head – but then requested to be dealt by the Jets.
Moore didn’t travel with the team to Denver for its victory in Week 7. He returned to practice the following week, but had no catches the next two games and was targeted just once.
Coach Robert Saleh insisted Moore wouldn’t be traded and was a big part of what the Jets wanted to do on offense last season and in the future. But Moore’s production the rest of the season was minimal, catching more than two passes just twice in the next eight games.
Five months after asking to be dealt, Moore gets a fresh start in Cleveland.
Moore played college ball at Mississippi. He had 43 catches for 538 yards and five TDs as a rookie, but his production dipped in 2022 in part because the Jets didn’t have good quarterback play along with the arrival of wide receiver Garrett Wilson, the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 x-Milwaukee||52||20||.722||—||30-7||22-13||8-5||30-15||7-3||2 W|
|2 x-Boston||50||23||.685||2.5||26-9||24-14||9-4||29-16||5-5||1 W|
|3 x-Philadelphia||49||23||.681||3.0||26-11||23-12||7-6||30-16||9-1||1 W|
|4 Cleveland||46||28||.622||7.0||29-8||17-20||12-3||30-15||7-3||2 W|
|5 New York||42||32||.568||11.0||20-17||22-15||8-8||28-18||5-5||2 L|
|6 Brooklyn||39||33||.542||13.0||19-15||20-18||7-8||26-19||5-5||4 L|
|7 Miami||40||34||.541||13.0||25-13||15-21||9-5||21-24||7-3||2 W|
|8 Atlanta||36||37||.493||16.5||20-15||16-22||7-8||22-23||4-6||1 L|
|9 Toronto||35||38||.479||17.5||23-14||12-24||4-9||20-23||4-6||2 L|
|10 Chicago||34||38||.472||18.0||20-17||14-21||6-8||25-23||6-4||1 L|
|11 Indiana||33||40||.452||19.5||19-17||14-23||7-6||23-22||5-5||1 W|
|12 Washington||32||41||.438||20.5||16-19||16-22||7-6||19-26||2-8||4 L|
|13 Orlando||30||43||.411||22.5||17-19||13-24||6-8||16-28||4-6||1 W|
|14 Charlotte||23||50||.315||29.5||12-24||11-26||7-9||14-34||3-7||1 W|
|15 Detroit||16||57||.219||36.5||9-29||7-28||1-12||7-38||1-9||4 L|
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 xy-Denver||49||24||.671||—||30-6||19-18||10-5||32-13||5-5||2 W|
|2 xy-Memphis||45||27||.625||3.5||31-5||14-22||12-2||27-19||7-3||4 W|
|3 Sacramento||43||29||.597||5.5||21-15||22-14||8-6||27-15||6-4||2 L|
|4 Phoenix||38||34||.528||10.5||23-12||15-22||9-4||24-19||5-5||2 L|
|5 LA Clippers||38||35||.521||11.0||19-17||19-18||7-7||22-22||5-5||1 L|
|6 Golden State||38||36||.514||11.5||29-7||9-29||6-9||25-20||4-6||2 W|
|7 Minnesota||37||37||.500||12.5||21-17||16-20||8-7||25-20||5-5||2 W|
|8 Oklahoma City||36||36||.500||12.5||22-15||14-21||7-7||22-23||8-2||2 W|
|9 Dallas||36||37||.493||13.0||22-15||14-22||9-6||27-23||4-6||2 L|
|10 LA Lakers||36||37||.493||13.0||20-17||16-20||5-9||21-24||6-4||2 W|
|11 Utah||35||37||.486||13.5||22-14||13-23||5-9||22-23||4-6||1 L|
|12 New Orleans||35||37||.486||13.5||23-13||12-24||10-5||24-20||5-5||2 W|
|13 Portland||32||40||.444||16.5||17-18||15-22||6-8||22-21||3-7||1 W|
|14 San Antonio||19||54||.260||30.0||13-25||6-29||2-13||7-38||3-7||2 L|
|15 Houston||18||55||.247||31.0||12-26||6-29||4-11||11-38||4-6||3 L|
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.
X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference
|1 x-Boston Bruins||70||54||11||5||113||52||265||151||28-3-3||26-8-2||7-3-0|
|2 Carolina Hurricanes||69||46||15||8||100||42||232||179||24-8-2||22-7-6||7-3-0|
|3 New Jersey Devils||71||45||18||8||98||43||247||193||19-13-4||26-5-4||5-3-2|
|4 Toronto Maple Leafs||70||42||19||9||93||41||239||194||25-7-5||17-12-4||5-4-1|
|5 New York Rangers||71||41||20||10||92||37||241||194||21-12-4||20-8-6||6-3-1|
|6 Tampa Bay Lightning||72||42||24||6||90||39||250||221||25-7-5||17-17-1||5-4-1|
|7 New York Islanders||72||37||27||8||82||37||215||198||21-12-3||16-15-5||7-2-1|
|8 Pittsburgh Penguins||71||35||26||10||80||34||229||230||19-11-5||16-15-5||4-5-1|
|9 Florida Panthers||71||36||28||7||79||34||250||241||21-10-4||15-18-3||7-2-1|
|10 Washington Capitals||72||33||31||8||74||31||227||226||16-14-5||17-17-3||4-4-2|
|11 Ottawa Senators||71||34||32||5||73||32||221||231||19-13-3||15-19-2||3-6-1|
|12 Buffalo Sabres||70||33||31||6||72||32||251||263||13-20-3||20-11-3||2-6-2|
|13 Detroit Red Wings||70||31||30||9||71||28||206||231||17-14-4||14-16-5||3-6-1|
|14 Philadelphia Flyers||70||26||32||12||64||25||187||232||14-16-5||12-16-7||3-5-2|
|15 Montreal Canadiens||71||28||37||6||62||24||201||264||15-17-3||13-20-3||2-6-2|
|16 Columbus Blue Jackets||70||22||41||7||51||21||189||273||13-20-2||9-21-5||3-6-1|
|1 Vegas Golden Knights||71||44||21||6||94||40||235||200||22-14-1||22-7-5||8-2-0|
|2 Dallas Stars||71||38||19||14||90||35||247||199||17-9-9||21-10-5||6-3-1|
|3 Los Angeles Kings||71||41||20||10||92||35||247||229||23-9-4||18-11-6||8-0-2|
|4 Minnesota Wild||71||41||22||8||90||34||212||192||22-11-3||19-11-5||7-1-2|
|5 Edmonton Oilers||72||41||23||8||90||41||283||242||20-12-5||21-11-3||8-2-0|
|6 Colorado Avalanche||70||41||23||6||88||36||233||196||19-12-5||22-11-1||7-2-1|
|7 Seattle Kraken||70||39||24||7||85||39||245||227||16-15-4||23-9-3||6-3-1|
|8 Winnipeg Jets||72||40||29||3||83||39||217||203||22-12-2||18-17-1||5-4-1|
|9 Calgary Flames||72||32||25||15||79||30||228||225||16-14-4||16-11-11||5-3-2|
|10 Nashville Predators||69||35||26||8||78||31||198||205||17-12-4||18-14-4||5-3-2|
|11 St. Louis Blues||70||31||33||6||68||28||220||255||15-16-5||16-17-1||5-4-1|
|12 Vancouver Canucks||70||31||34||5||67||26||236||262||16-18-1||15-16-4||7-3-0|
|13 Arizona Coyotes||72||27||33||12||66||24||203||250||20-11-3||7-22-9||6-1-3|
|14 Anaheim Ducks||71||23||38||10||56||20||184||288||12-19-3||11-19-7||3-4-3|
|15 Chicago Blackhawks||70||24||40||6||54||22||175||249||14-18-3||10-22-3||3-6-1|
|16 San Jose Sharks||71||19||37||15||53||18||204||274||6-20-10||13-17-5||1-6-3|
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
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1934 Babe Didrikson, a recent House of David baseball team member, throws the opening frame for the Cardinals, giving up three runs in a spring exhibition contest against the Red Sox in Bradenton (FL). Redbirds’ ace Dizzy Dean teaches the 32-year-old female Olympian, a winner of two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 summer games, how to wind up on the mound and throw a curveball.
1938 Commissioner Landis releases seventy-four Cardinal minor leaguers from six teams, with their owners fined $2,176 for their non-compliance to the rules. The Redbirds controlled the players in two clubs in the three Class D leagues in 1936 and four Class D leagues in 1937.
1951 Brooklyn signs a 21-year lease with the City of Vero Beach to use an abandoned naval base as their spring training facility, which will become known as Dodgertown. The site will be the team’s Grapefruit League home through the 2008 season, with exhibition games played at the 6,000-seat Holiman Stadium.
1959 The Cardinals trade Sam Jones to the Giants for first baseman/outfielder Bill White and third baseman Ray Jablonski. The right-hander, called Toothpick Sam by his teammates, will be the runner-up for the Cy Young Award this season, posting a 21-15 record and an ERA of 2.83 for San Francisco.
1962 The Phillies trade third baseman Andy Carey and second baseman Lou Vassie to the White Sox for right-hander Cal McLish, a 36-year-old Oklahoman who will post an 11-5 record for the seventh-place club. Chicago then trades Carey, who will retire at the end of the season after appearing in 53 games, to the Dodgers for infielders Ramon Conde and Jim Koranda, who play in 14 major league games. (Ed. Note: The Philadelphia new hurler’s father named his newborn Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish, but his teammates call him Buster. -LP)
1963 On the day he is fitted for his big-league Orioles uniform, 23-year-old Steve Dalkowski, pitching in an exhibition against the Yankees, feels something pop in his left elbow, losing feeling in his hand while facing Bobby Richardson. The fireballer from New Britain, Connecticut, who once struck out 24 batters in a minor league game, will never appear in the major leagues.
1973 The Cardinals play three Cruz brothers, Cirilo, Hector, and Jose, all nine innings in the outfield during the team’s 9-2 spring training victory over New York at Al Lang Field. The trio of Puerto Rican siblings personally outscore the Mets, bat first, second, and third in the Redbird’s lineup, making all three outs in the first and eighth frames.
1978 The Mets deal an unhappy 33-year-old Bud Harrelson, who lost his starting job when the team obtained Tim Foli from the Giants to Philadelphia for approximately $50,000, and minor-league call-up Freddie Andrews, an infielder who will never play another game in the major leagues. As an 11-year veteran, the fan-favorite shortstop could have vetoed the trade but chooses to go to Philadelphia to play for a contending team, where he will back up Larry Bowa.
1990 The FBI arrest Howard Spira, once an unpaid publicist with the Winfield Foundation who approached George Steinbrenner and received $40,000 to dig up dirt on the outfielder, is arrested after trying to extort money from the Yankees owner. In July, Commissioner Fay Vincent will ban the Boss from playing any role in the team’s day-to-day operations for thirty months upon learning about the arrangement with the Bronx professional gambler.
2009 Ichiro Suzuki’s two-out, two-run single in the top of the 10th, Japan defeats South Korea, 5-3, winning its second consecutive World Baseball Classic title. South Korea, the reigning Olympic champs, tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth on Lee Bum-ho’s two-out RBI single off Japanese closer Yu Darvish in front of a Dodger Stadium enthusiastic crowd.
2009 The Miami-Dade County commissioners approve the final documents necessary to move forward on the Marlins’ new 37,000-seat home, located on the present grounds of Miami’s Orange Bowl. The long-anticipated retractable-roof ballpark will become a reality in 2012, with the team breaking ground this July.
2015 Deciding to have lunch in the air-conditioned clubhouse, Noah Syndergaard, not scheduled to pitch in the Mets’ intrasquad scrimmage, is quietly but firmly reprimanded by team captain David Wright who demands he join his teammates in the dugout immediately. When the stunned 22-year-old rookie right-hander hesitates, fellow moundsman Bobby Parnell tosses the former first-rounder’s nearly full plate of food into a nearby trash can.
2019 After acquiring Paul Goldschmidt in an offseason trade with the Diamondbacks, the Cardinals sign him to a five-year (2020-24) contract extension. The National League All-Star first baseman’s contract, reportedly worth $130 million, is the largest in club history, surpassing the seven-year, $120 million deal for left fielder Matt Holliday before the 2010 season.
Yogi Berra is a cultural icon whose fame transcended the baseball diamond. “Yogi-isms” such as “it ain’t over till its over” and “a nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore” have found their way into the vernacular.
People think of Yogi as funny, but as his manager Casey Stengel once put it: “They say he’s funny. Well, he has a lovely wife and family, a beautiful home, money in the bank, and he plays golf with millionaires. What’s funny about that?”
Lawrence Peter Berra got the nickname Yogi during his teenage years, when he was playing American Legion Baseball. One afternoon, after attending a movie that had a short piece on India, a friend Jack Maguire noticed a resemblance between him and the “yogi”, or person who practiced yoga, on the screen. Maguire said “I’m going to call you Yogi” and from that moment on, the name stuck.
One thing is clear, as colorful as Yogi’s stories were and as popular as his star shined off of the field, he was also quite the character behind home plate. He had a reputation as a talker, attempting to take opposing batters off their game. In the 1958 World Series, Yogi kept telling Hank Aaron to “hit with the label up on the bat”. Finally, Aaron turned and said “Yogi, I came up here to hit, not to read.”
In addition to his colorful persona, what made Yogi so great was that he was one of the most feared hitters the game had ever seen. Teammate Hector Lopez said: “Yogi had the fastest bat I ever saw. He could hit a ball late, that was already past him, and take it out of the park. The pitchers were afraid of him because he’d hit anything, so they didn’t know what to throw. Yogi had them psyched out and he wasn’t even trying to psych them out.”
What was even more amazing was that when he donned the “tools of ignorance,” he had a reputation as being one of the best in the business behind the plate.
“Why has our pitching been so great?,” Stengel once asked. “Our catcher, that’s why. He looks cumbersome but he’s quick as a cat”.
Yogi hung up the spikes for good after the 1965 season, a 15-time All-Star, a three time American League MVP Award winner and a 10-time World Series champion as a player.
Berra was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972. He passed away on Sept. 22, 2015.
Craig Biggio starred at Kings Park High School on Long Island in football, and seemed destined to become one of the top recruited running backs in the nation. But his grades did not measure up to his achievements on the gridiron.
“Truly, what I wanted to do was football,” Biggio told the Houston Chronicle. “When it was taken away from me, being able to go to a big-time school, I just said: ‘Get your act together.’”
Biggio settled on a partial baseball scholarship to Seton Hall University, and quickly established himself as a pro prospect. In 1987, he was taken in the first round (22nd overall pick) by the Houston Astros in the MLB Draft.
After just 141 minor league games over parts of two seasons – during which he compiled a .344 batting average – Biggio was called up to the Astros in June of 1988. He played in 50 games that summer, then took over as Houston’s regular catcher in 1989 – hitting 13 homers and adding 60 RBI while winning the National League’s Silver Slugger Award for catchers.
By 1991, Biggio was a .295 hitter who had made his first All-Star team. And quickly, there was talk about moving him from behind the plate in order to lengthen his career.
In 1992, he became Houston’s second baseman – appearing in all 162 games and making his second All-Star team.
“Moving from catcher to second, I can’t explain to you how hard that was,” Biggio said in 2003. “That’s like giving you a bat and telling you to go get a hit off Randy Johnson. Not just stand in there, but get a hit off him.
“Now that it’s over, I can tell you that it was pretty hard.”
Biggio, however, made it look incredibly easy. From 1993-99, Biggio grew into more power at the plate without sacrificing his speed. He averaged better than 17 homers and 33 steals a year while averaging more than 116 runs scored per season as Houston’s leadoff hitter. He also continued to thump doubles at a record pace en route to 668 for his career – good for fifth on the all-time list.
Then in 2003, Biggio again changed positions – this time heading to center field when Jeff Kent came to Houston as a free agent. Biggio spent two years in the outfield before moving back to second base for the final three years of his career.
“Any time you make a change, it’s a big deal,” Biggio said. “You start off as a catcher, then go to second base and then go to center field… those are three pretty important positions in baseball. But I’m proud of that.”
Biggio joined the 3,000-hit club in 2007, his last year in the big leagues. In all, he spent 20 seasons with the Astros, hitting .281 with 1,844 runs scored (15th all-time), 291 home runs and 414 stolen bases. He was hit by a pitch 285 times – second most all-time – won five Silver Slugger Awards (one at catcher and four at second base) and four Gold Glove Awards at second base (1994-97).
He is the only player in baseball history with at least 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases and 250 home runs.
Biggio was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2015.
BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW
1920 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Off the field…
After several decades, the Nineteenth Amendment was finally added to the Constitution granting nation-wide suffrage to women. Initiated in 1890 by the merger of the rival women’s rights organizations into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), the feminist movement’s priority was to push for the ratification of enough state suffrage amendments to force Congress to approve a federal amendment declaring women’s rights. Despite some radical factions that continued to address corollary issues, NAWSA’s new approach focused the group’s energies exclusively on recruiting new members and winning the vote for women.
In the American League…
On January 5th, the New York Yankees officially announced the purchase of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox. The disgruntled pitcher had been unable to reach a contract agreement and was eventually sold to Colonel Jacob Ruppert for $100,000 (plus a loan collateralized by Fenway Park). Later, his .376 batting average, fifty-four home runs and one-hundred thirty-seven runs batted in would generate an attendance of 1,289,422 fans in his first year and lead to the construction of Yankee Stadium.
The Detroit Tigers lost their first thirteen games tying the Major League mark for consecutive losses (at the start of a season) set by the 1904 Washington Senators.
Tragedy struck the Cleveland Indians organization after twenty-nine year-old shortstop Ray Chapman was beaned in the head on August 16, 1920, by a Carl Mays pitch and died the following day from a fractured skull.
In the National League…
A plan originally developed by Brooklyn Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets many years ago was finally adopted with the annual drafting of players from the Minor Leagues taking place in reverse order of each teams’ final standings.
Several hours before the start of Game 4, Brooklyn Robins standout Rube Marquard (a Cleveland native), was arrested after attempting to sell a World Series ticket to an undercover police officer for $350. Marquard was later found guilty and ordered to pay a fine and court costs totaling $3.80. Adding insult to injury, his hometown opponents went on to win the game 5-1.
On December 15th, the National League revealed a startling statistic by reporting the use of 27,924 baseballs during the season, which represented an increase of 10,248 over 1919.
Around the League…
The Joint Rules Committee voted to ban the use of all foreign substances (saliva, resin, talcum powder, paraffin) as well as any other alterations (shine or emery) to balls by pitchers. As a result, the American League opted to allow two pitchers from each club the option to use a spitball for one more season. The Nationals set no limitations as long as all “practicing” pitchers were identified and any other pitcher who was caught cheating would be suspended for a minimum of ten days.
Lou Gehrig (a junior at New York City’s School of Commerce) was introduced to the nation after hitting a grand slam out of Wrigley Field during a high school championship game against Lane Tech on June 26th.
The 1919 World Series sparked a major controversy amid rumors of a gambling fix. Eight members of the participating Chicago White Sox were all charged with conspiring to throw the Fall Classic against the Cincinnati Reds. After a lengthy investigation and highly publicized trial (lasting until 1921), the “Black Sox” were acquitted despite their own confessions. Throughout the 1920 season, the league offices were constantly denying accusations from the press that professional baseball itself was in on the take and made every effort to assure the fans that the 1919 scandal was an isolated incident.
MARCUS ALLEN, the tenth player selected in the 1982 National Football League Draft, played 16 seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. During that time he gained 12,243 yards rushing, 5,411 yards receiving, and scored 145 touchdowns.
Considered one of the game’s best goal line and short-yardage runners, Marcus began his pro career as the NFL Rookie of the Year and ended as the game’s all-time rushing touchdown leader.
At the time of his retirement following the 1997 season, he held the single-season record for most rushing and receiving yards combined (2,314), second in consecutive 100-yard games, and was third in career-combined yardage. During his 11 seasons with the Raiders, the former University of Southern California standout, was named to the Pro Bowl five times. He added a sixth appearance in 1994, as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
He was the Raiders leading ground gainer seven consecutive years and the Chiefs four consecutive times. He even led the Raiders in receptions with 51 in 1987. Allen’s big-game performance in Super Bowl XVIII when the Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9 earned the then-second-year player game MVP honors. In that game he rushed for 191 yards and scored two touchdowns, one a Super Bowl record 74-yard gallop.
Allen’s finest season came in 1985, as he led the league with 1,759 rushing yards on 380 carries for a 4.6 yards per carry average and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 67 passes for 555 yards and scored an additional three touchdowns. For his performance he was rewarded with league MVP honors.
In 1995, Marcus made NFL history when he became the first player in league history to rush for over 10,000 yards and catch passes for 5,000 more. As further evidence of his versatility, Allen completed 12 of 27 passes for 282 yards and six touchdowns during his career.
In 15 career playoff games, he carried the ball 267 times for 1,347 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging an impressive 5.0 yards per carry average. He also added 52 catches for 522 yards and two receiving touchdowns.
March 23, 1991 – 1st World League of American Football games commenced with three opening day games. The London Monarchs, who eventually were champs in the League’s inaugural season, ruled the Frankfurt Galaxy team coached by John Elway’s father Jack 24-11. The Sacramento Surge overcame the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks coached by Roman Gabriel 9-3. And according to the Stats Crew website finally the Montreal Machine extinguished the Birmingham Fire team coached by Chan Gailey 20-5.
HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAYS FOR MARCH 23
March 23, 1886 – Hales Mill, Virginia – Nathan Dougherty the great University of Tennessee guard from 1906 till 1909’s season arrived into the world. Nathan was a man of considerable size in that era as he stood 6′-2″ tall and weighed in at 185 pounds according to his bio posted on the FootballFoundation.org site therefore his peers referred to him as “Big’n.” Dougherty was a pretty smart players tow as he graduated Tennessee with honors and even earned a couple of additional degrees when he later educated others at both Cornell and George Washington Universities. The College Football Hall of Fame gathered the data and stats of Nathan Dougherty to set in a place of honor in their museum in 1967.
March 23, 1923 – Rhein, Saskatchewan – The speedy giant of pro football, Defensive Tackle, Arnie Weinmeister was born. The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s bio on Arnie starts off by saying that Weinmeister captivated the crowds of the All American Football Conference and National Football League by his dominating performances in the Big Apple playing for the AAFC’s New York Yankees and later the New York Giants of the NFL. He was quick off of the snap and would give fits for opposing blockers assigned to nullify him during plays. Arnie won second-team All-AAFC as a rookie followed by first-team All-AAFC honors in 1949 and then was a unanimous All-NFL choice all four years with the Giants. He also was selected to play in the NFL’s Pro Bowl each of the first four years in the NFL. Arnie Weinmeister in 1984 was enshrined by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
8 – 13 – 22 – 90
March 23, 1946 – At the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Oklahoma State upends the University of North Carolina, 43-40. It marked the Aggies (OSU’s nickname back then) back-to-back titles as their big man, Bob Kurland, Number 90 won the Most Outstanding Player Award for the tourney in the second straight year.
March 23, 1952 – Bill Mosienko, Number 8 of the Black Hawks, scored fastest hat trick in NHL history, 21 seconds. New York Rangers blew a 6-2 lead, as the Chicago Black Hawks won the contest 7-6.
March 23, 1957 – North Carolina beats Kansas, 54-53 in 3 Overtime sessions at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Wilt Chamberlain, Number 13 of Kansas 4th player to be named tournament MOP despite not playing for the championship teamMarch 23, 1958 – Elgin Baylor, Number 22 of Seattle University is named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament as his school loses to Kentucky in the final 84-72. Baylor scored 25 points in the losing effort against Kentucky and for the tourney his total was 135 points.