NBA SCOREBOARD

CLEVELAND 120 LA CLIPPERS 111 OT

ATLANTA 122 PORTLAND 113

DENVER 114 PHILADELPHIA 110

CHARLOTTE 134 OKLAHOMA CITY 160

MINNESOTA 149 SAN ANTONIO 139

GOLDEN STATE 126 WASHINGTON 112

SACRAMENTO 112 CHICAGO 103

MILWAUKEE 117 UTAH 111

TORONTO 114 LA LAKERS 103

NHL SCOREBOARD

ARIZONA 5 OTTAWA 3

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLLS

AP

RANKSCHOOLVOTESPREV
1GONZAGA 26-31518 (54)1
2ARIZONA 31-31470 (7)2
3KANSAS 28-613886
4BAYLOR 26-612863
5TENNESSEE 26-712359
6VILLANOVA 26-712118
7KENTUCKY 26-711785
8AUBURN 27-511444
9DUKE 28-69867
10PURDUE 27-79589
11UCLA 25-782313
12TEXAS TECH 25-981914
13PROVIDENCE 25-572311
14WISCONSIN 24-768512
15HOUSTON 29-566518
16IOWA 26-966124
17ARKANSAS 25-857815
18SAINT MARY’S 25-750817
19ILLINOIS 22-945716
20MURRAY STATE 30-242519
21UCONN 23-935320
22USC 26-717021
23BOISE STATE 27-7165NR
24COLORADO STATE 25-58223
25TEXAS 21-117222

MEN’S COACHES POLL

RANKSCHOOLVOTESPREV
1GONZAGA 26-3799 (31)1
2ARIZONA 31-3765 (1)2
3KANSAS 28-67016
4BAYLOR 26-66493
5VILLANOVA 26-76288
6KENTUCKY 26-76125
7AUBURN 27-56074
8TENNESSEE 26-759711
9PURDUE 27-75889
10DUKE 28-65527
11TEXAS TECH 25-942914
12UCLA 25-742513
13PROVIDENCE 25-538510
14WISCONSIN 24-737612
15HOUSTON 29-528618
16ILLINOIS 22-928015
16SAINT MARY’S 25-728017
18ARKANSAS 25-827216
19IOWA 26-925823
20MURRAY STATE 30-223019
21UCONN 23-919520
22USC 26-714121
23BOISE STATE 27-781NR
24VIRGINIA TECH 23-1259NR
25TEXAS 21-114922

RPI RANKINGS

RANKSCHOOLRPIPREV
1KANSAS 28-60.66071
2ARIZONA 31-30.64912
3TENNESSEE 26-70.64704
4VILLANOVA 26-70.64553
5GONZAGA 26-30.64015
6SAINT MARY’S 25-70.63986
7AUBURN 27-50.63627
8HOUSTON 29-50.63359
9KENTUCKY 26-70.63308
10UCLA 25-70.629610
11BAYLOR 26-60.627012
12PURDUE 27-70.624911
13PROVIDENCE 25-50.623313
14COLORADO STATE 25-50.622714
15SAN DIEGO STATE 23-80.616215
16DUKE 28-60.614717
17WISCONSIN 24-70.614216
18BOISE STATE 27-70.612918
19ALABAMA 19-130.610519
20TEXAS TECH 25-90.609520
21MURRAY STATE 30-20.603221
22ARKANSAS 25-80.601422
23NEW MEXICO STATE 26-60.600123
24SAN FRANCISCO 24-90.599724
25WYOMING 25-80.599625

NET RANKINGS

RANKSCHOOLVOTESPREV
1GONZAGA 26-3()1
2ARIZONA 31-3()2
3HOUSTON 29-5()3
4BAYLOR 26-6()4
5KENTUCKY 26-7()5
6KANSAS 28-6()6
7TENNESSEE 26-7()8
8VILLANOVA 26-7()7
9TEXAS TECH 25-9()9
10UCLA 25-7()10
11AUBURN 27-5()12
12DUKE 28-6()13
13PURDUE 27-7()11
14IOWA 26-9()14
15ILLINOIS 22-9()15
16TEXAS 21-11()17
17UCONN 23-9()16
18LSU 22-11()18
19SAINT MARY’S 25-7()19
20ARKANSAS 25-8()20
21MURRAY STATE 30-2()21
22SAN FRANCISCO 24-9()22
23LOYOLA CHICAGO 25-7()23
24WISCONSIN 24-7()24
25SAN DIEGO STATE 23-8()25

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POLLS/RANKINGS

AP

RankSchoolVotesPrev
1South Carolina 29-2739 (20)1
2Stanford 28-3728 (9)2
3North Carolina State 29-3693 (1)3
4Louisville 25-46245
5UConn 25-56056
6Texas 26-65997
7Baylor 27-65974
8Iowa 23-75418
9LSU 25-55059
10Iowa State 26-647310
11Indiana 22-845511
12Michigan 22-641312
13Maryland 21-838313
14Ohio State 23-633814
15Kentucky 19-1130116
16Virginia Tech 23-925417
17North Carolina 23-623618
18Tennessee 23-821819
19Arizona 20-721320
20BYU 26-320115
21Notre Dame 22-815922
22Oklahoma 24-815621
23FGCU 29-213223
24UCF 25-35825
25Princeton 24-44624

COACHES POLL

RANKSCHOOLVOTESPREV
1SOUTH CAROLINA 29-2770 (27)1
2STANFORD 28-3744 (4)2
3NORTH CAROLINA STATE 29-37183
4LOUISVILLE 25-46665
5BAYLOR 27-66134
6UCONN 25-56006
7TEXAS 26-65749
8IOWA STATE 26-65377
9LSU 25-55238
10IOWA 23-749111
11INDIANA 22-848510
12MICHIGAN 22-643912
13MARYLAND 21-839514
14BYU 26-333713
15OHIO STATE 23-632815
16ARIZONA 20-729716
17TENNESSEE 23-829617
18NORTH CAROLINA 23-622818
19OKLAHOMA 24-819519
20FGCU 29-216920
21NOTRE DAME 22-814921
22KENTUCKY 19-1113522
23VIRGINIA TECH 23-913023
24UCF 25-312524
25GEORGIA 20-95125

RPI RANKING

RANKSCHOOLRPIPREV
1SOUTH CAROLINA 29-20.71911
2STANFORD 28-30.70252
3NORTH CAROLINA STATE 29-30.68383
4UCF 25-30.66154
5LOUISVILLE 25-40.64825
6UCONN 25-50.64637
7MICHIGAN 22-60.64616
8IOWA STATE 26-60.64428
9TENNESSEE 23-80.64349
10TEXAS 26-60.640313
11INDIANA 22-80.640110
12PRINCETON 24-40.638311
13MARYLAND 21-80.637512
14SOUTH FLORIDA 24-80.632215
15BAYLOR 27-60.631814
16IOWA 23-70.631416
17LSU 25-50.628817
18GONZAGA 26-60.628718
19FGCU 29-20.625719
20BYU 26-30.624020
21OKLAHOMA 24-80.620921
22NOTRE DAME 22-80.619522
23NORTH CAROLINA 23-60.619123
24VIRGINIA TECH 23-90.615424
25MASSACHUSETTS 26-60.612825

NET RANKINGS

RANKSCHOOLVOTESPREV
1SOUTH CAROLINA 29-2()1
2NORTH CAROLINA STATE 29-3()2
3STANFORD 28-3()3
4UCONN 25-5()4
5LOUISVILLE 25-4()5
6BAYLOR 27-6()6
7NORTH CAROLINA 23-6()7
8TEXAS 26-6()8
9IOWA STATE 26-6()9
10VIRGINIA TECH 23-9()10
11BYU 26-3()11
12OREGON 20-11()12
13IOWA 23-7()13
14MARYLAND 21-8()14
15UCF 25-3()15
16INDIANA 22-8()16
17MICHIGAN 22-6()17
18TENNESSEE 23-8()18
19ARIZONA 20-7()19
20NOTRE DAME 22-8()20
21LSU 25-5()21
22PRINCETON 24-4()22
23NEBRASKA 24-8()23
24OLE MISS 23-8()24
25GONZAGA 26-6()25

Gonzaga lands at No. 1, top seeds are 1-4 in final AP poll

(AP) — Gonzaga will head into the NCAA Tournament exactly where it ended up in the final AP Top 25 – right on top

AP Photo transref:NVJL148, transref:NVJL155, transref:MOCR121, transref:MOCR319, transref:TPA137

Eds: UPDATES: With AP Photos.

By DAVE SKRETTA=

AP Basketball Writer=

Gonzaga will head into the NCAA Tournament exactly where it ended up in the final AP Top 25: right on top.

In fact, that’s where the Bulldogs began the season, too.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for coach Mark Few’s team, which dropped as low as fifth after a couple of early losses. But the Bulldogs wound up with 54 of the 61 first-place votes from a national media panel Monday after romping through the West Coast Conference Tournament to land at No. 1 in the final AP Top 25 for the second straight year.

Now, it’s a matter of finishing things off. The Bulldogs, who earned the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, lost to Baylor in last year’s national championship game.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment,” Few said. “It’s a reward for being good for four months, 4 1/2 months, and this (NCAA) tournament is a reward for being good for three weeks. So I think it’s an amazing accomplishment by this group and last year’s group, and these No. 1 seeds we’ve been able to earn is also simply another amazing accomplishment.”

The Bulldogs begin their quest for that elusive national tile on Thursday against Georgia State in Portland, Oregon, where they should have a hefty fan advantage. They would face Boise State or Memphis in the West Region’s second round.

“It’s a fool’s errand to look down the road. There’s so many good teams,” Few said. “We just finished a two-game tournament and that’s what this is: a two-game tournament. You don’t win the first one, you don’t get the second one.”

The top four teams in the final AP Top 25 landed on the top four seed lines of the NCAA Tournament.

Arizona, which got the other seven first-place votes to finish second, will open against the play-in winner between Wright State and Bryant in the South Region. The Wildcats were followed by at No. 3 by Kansas, the top team in the Midwest, and Big 12 rival Baylor, which landed on the top seed line in the East Region.

The Jayhawks play the Texas Southern-Texas A&M Corpus Christi winner while the Bears open against Norfolk State.

The biggest departure between the bracket and the final poll came with SEC Tournament champ Tennessee, which landed at fifth in the AP Top 25. The Vols didn’t get the same kind of support from the selection committee, earning the third seed in the South Region and a tough potential road through Arizona and No. 2 seed Villanova to reach the Final Four.

“Wherever they put us, we’ll go. Got to be ready to play, and again,” Volunteers coach Rick Barnes said. “Just I’m happy for our guys, and we’ll see what happens going forward. We have a new season starting again. We have to be ready.”

BEST OF THE REST

Villanova was sixth in the final Top 25, followed by Kentucky, Auburn and Duke – all of them No. 2 seeds in the NCAA tourney – with Purdue rounding out the top 10. The Boilermakers earned the No. 3 seed in the East Region.

UCLA was 11th and Texas Tech was No. 12. They were followed by Providence and Wisconsin, each of which was left off one of the Top 25 ballots, with Houston coming in at No. 15. Big Ten Tournament champion Iowa was 16th with Arkansas, Saint Mary’s, Illinois and Murray State rounding out the top 20. UConn, Southern California, Boise State, Colorado State and Texas finished out the final Top 25 of the college basketball season.

POLE-RIZING PREDICTIONS

No team has been No. 1 in the final Top 25 and gone on to win the national championship since Kentucky in 2012, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good barometer for who to watch in the NCAA Tournament. Each of the last six national champions finished among the top six in the final poll, including Baylor, which was third last season.

In fact, the lowest ranked team to win the title in at least 20 years was UConn, which was 18th in the 2014 final poll.

UP AND DOWN, IN AND OUT

Iowa was the biggest mover, climbing eight spots to No. 16, while Auburn slid four spots to No. 8. The only newcomer was Boise State at No. 23 while North Carolina fell out after losing to Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament semifinals.

CONFERENCE WATCH

The Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 tied for the most teams in the final Top 25 with four apiece, while the Pac 12 and Big East each had three. The West Coast and Mountain West conferences each had two teams while the once-mighty ACC had only Duke – the same number of teams as the Ohio Valley (Murray State) and American (Houston) conferences.

Mariners land All-Star Winker, Suárez in trade with Reds

(AP) — The Seattle Mariners acquired All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker and third baseman Eugenio Suarez from the Cincinnati Reds on Monday in exchange for a package of players.

The trade gives the Mariners what they coveted for their batting order. They’re getting a left-handed hitter who can play in the outfield and a corner infielder with major power just three seasons removed from hitting 49 home runs.

Seattle is sending pitcher Justin Dunn, outfielder Jake Fraley and top pitching prospect Brandon Williamson and a player to be named to the Reds.

“We’re incredibly excited at the chance to acquire two All-Star caliber players,” Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “Jesse has been one of the premier offensive players in the league over the past two seasons, while Suarez brings a long track record as a power hitter. Our goal is to reach the postseason this year, and we feel that these additions give us the depth and impact in our lineup necessary to compete for one of those spots.”

Winker is coming off the best season of his career after hitting .305 with 24 home runs and 71 RBIs. He’s precisely the type of player that Dipoto had said last week he was hoping to add to the lineup.

Winker seems likely to be in a rotation in left field and will get plenty of at-bats as a designated hitter.

Adding Suarez to the deal helps solidify the Mariners’ lineup. Suarez hit just .198 last season but still added 31 home runs. He closed the season on a surge, hitting .370 with an .808 slugging percentage in the final month of the season.

Suarez hit 83 home runs and had 207 RBIs during the 2018 and 2019 seasons combined.

Suarez also answers the question of who is going step in at third base after the retirement of Kyle Seager. Abraham Toro was acquired from Houston last season but played mostly at second base. Seattle traded for Adam Frazier prior to the baseball lockout with the idea he would play second base primarily with a little bit of outfield as well.

Toro will likely be in a utility infielder role now for Seattle.

With Freeman a free agent, Braves get star 1B Olson from A’s

VENICE, Fla. (AP) Freddie Freeman’s tenure with the Atlanta Braves appears to be over after the World Series champions acquired All-Star first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland Athletics on Monday.

Oakland is getting a prize package of four players from Atlanta, including young outfielder Cristian Pache.

Freeman was the 2020 NL MVP and a five-time All-Star over 12 seasons with Atlanta, including as a veteran leader on last year’s championship team.

Atlanta manager Brian Snitker was speaking to reporters when ESPN broke the news. He said it was the first he was hearing of the trade

“He’s been our guy for a number of years,” Snitker said of Freeman. “Personally, he’s meant a lot to me.”

The 66-year-old Snitker said he already knows Olson, who grew up about 40 minutes east of Atlanta’s Truist Park in Lilburn, Georgia. Snitker said they have worked several youth baseball camps together.

Olson is a two-time Gold Glove winner with a .252 career average, 142 homers and an .859 OPS over six seasons. The 27-year-old slugged 39 homers and drove in 111 runs last season, finishing eighth in AL MVP voting. He’s also under team control through 2024.

Freeman has been revered by fans and teammates in Georgia. On Sunday, Braves pitcher Charlie Morton said that if Freeman returned, he expected the left-handed slugger would one day have his number retired and his photo plastered across the team’s spring training complex, just like franchise heroes Chipper Jones and Hank Aaron.

A career .295 hitter, Freeman surpassed 20 homers eight times with a career-high 38 in 2019. Freeman has a pair of 100-RBI seasons on his resume, and three other years where he drove in more than 90 runs. He won the NL MVP award in 2020, finished in the top 10 of the balloting five other times, in addition to claiming three Silver Slugger awards and a Gold Glove for his defensive work.

But Freeman’s importance to the organization goes beyond his impressive stats. He was the unquestioned leader in the clubhouse and the face of the franchise to Braves fans, who implored him to stay with the team even as negotiations were put on hold by Major League Baseball’s 99-day lockout.

When the labor dispute was settled and teams scrambled to begin spring training, Freeman became one of the hottest free agents on the market. He is reportedly a prime target of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees, two of baseball’s biggest-spending teams.

The National League is adopting the designated hitter beginning in 2022, so there’s a chance Freeman might still come back to Atlanta, but it’s unlikely given the investment in Olson and the pride Freeman takes in his glovework.

Pache has become a close friend of Atlanta star Ronald Acuna Jr., another loss likely to shake the Braves’ clubhouse. A stellar defensive center fielder, the 23-year-old Pache has struggled to hit in the majors, batting .111 in 22 games last season. He and Acuna pulled into Braves camp Sunday in matching, glitzy-gold SUVs.

Oakland also receives minor league catcher Shea Langeliers and right-handers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes.

Mets’ Alonso: No injury after car flipped over on Sunday

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso said he was unhurt when his car flipped over in an accident in Tampa on Sunday.

The All-Star slugger said his wife, Haley, was in the car behind his and notified authorities.

“To me this is just really special to be here,” Alonso said Monday. “This is a really special spring training because yesterday was a really close experience to death. My car flipped over probably about three times and a guy ran a red light, T-boned me, and to me I’m just really thankful to be alive. I’m really thankful that I’m healthy. I’m very thankful to be here.

“It’s just anything can happen at any given moment, and I’m just super, super blessed to be here,” he added. “Hit, took some groundballs, threw, feel normal, feel fine. I’m going to be ready to go for full activity tomorrow. It’s just taking today to do some personal work, like some one-on-one drills. But today I just feel really blessed to be here, not just alive but health as well.”

Alonso was on his way to the Mets’ camp when the accident occurred.

“One thing I was coming here to work, coming to spring training, and the next thing I know I’m kicking my windshield and trying to get out of a flipped-over car. So just really blessed to be here. Thankful nothing’s wrong. Also, thank you, Ford, for having great engineering,” he said.

Also, Mets ace Jacob deGrom said he intends to exercise his right to opt out of his contract to become a free agent after the season. He would give up a $33.5 million salary for 2023, part of a deal that carries a $32.5 million club option for 2024.

The 33-year-old right-hander, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, said he wants to remain with the Mets.

“For me, I don’t want that to be any distraction,” he said. “I’m excited about this team, and I’ve said it before, I love being a Met, think it would be really cool to be one for my entire career. But the plan is to exercise that option and be in constant contact in the offseason with the Mets and Steve Cohen and the front office.”

Padres star Tatis has broken wrist, could be out 3 months

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) All-Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres likely will need surgery for a broken left wrist and could miss up to three months, general manager A.J. Preller said on Monday.

Tatis apparently suffered the injury early in the offseason and felt it when he began preparing for spring training, Preller said.

Reports surfaced in December that Tatis suffered scrapes on his hand and knee in a motorcycle accident in his native Dominican Republic.

The injury is a blow to a team that was looking for a fresh start following a brutal late-season collapse that left them with yet another losing record.

Tatis, 23, had a series of injuries to his left shoulder last year, when he still led the NL with 42 home runs in 130 games and finished third in balloting for the NL MVP.

The electrifying Tatis batted .282 with 97 RBIs and 25 stolen bases last year. His season also included two trips to the injured list with left shoulder issues and a trip to the COVID-19 injury list.

He signed a $330 million, 14-year contract with the Padres during spring training last year.

AP sources: Chargers, J.C. Jackson agree to 5-year contract

(AP) — Cornerback J.C. Jackson agreed to a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers Monday, continuing the franchise’s aggressive makeover of the defense.

Jackson’s contract will be worth $82.5 million, including $40 million guaranteed, two people familiar with the negotiations confirmed to The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal can’t become official until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

Jackson became one of the top available free agents after the New England Patriots did not apply the franchise tag to him last week. The 26-year old cornerback earned his first Pro Bowl selection last season, leading the league with 23 passes defensed, and was second with eight interceptions. He has 25 picks over the past four seasons, most in the league.

The Chargers had already made a splash last Thursday when they agreed to acquire edge rusher Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears for two draft picks. Coach Brandon Staley is hoping that Jackson can have the same type of impact that Jalen Ramsey did when Staley was Rams defensive coordinator in 2020 and had the league’s top-ranked defense.

Jackson joins safety Derwin James in the secondary and upgrades a cornerback position that struggled last season. Michael Davis was inconsistent in coverage and Asante Samuel Jr., a rookie, dealt with injuries late in the year.

Jackson also comes to the AFC West, which figures to have the league’s deepest collection of quarterbacks. The Chargers have Justin Herbert, but they will have to go against Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, Denver’s Russell Wilson and Las Vegas’ Derrick Carr.

“You’re in five defensive backs 65% or more, so corner is definitely going to be something that we’re looking at,” Staley said during the recent NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. “We’re always going to be looking at it as long as I’m the head coach. You’re aware of these receivers that we have to defend.”

Los Angeles, 9-8 last season, got off to a 4-1 start but missed the playoffs for the third straight season, winning back-to-back games only once after Week 5, and losing three of the final four games.

The Chargers were 23rd in total defense and even worse in key areas. They allowed 269 points in the second half and overtime, tied with the 2015 New Orleans Saints for most since 1991. Offenses converted 49.5% of their third-down opportunities, the third-highest rate since 1991.

Report: Jaguars adding Scherff, Kirk as part of huge Day 1 splash

The Jacksonville Jaguars kept their wallets open on the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period.

The Jaguars expect to sign former Washington Commanders Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Scherff, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The agreement’s terms remain unreported.

The Jaguars weren’t done upgrading their offense, as former Arizona Cardinals wideout Christian Kirk also joined the team on a mammoth four-year, $72-million deal that can reach $84 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Kirk’s maximum value of $21 million per year would make him the third-highest-paid receiver in the NFL, per ESPN’s Field Yates.

Jacksonville is bolstering its defense with the addition of former Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun on a three-year, $45-million contract, Rapoport adds.

Former New York Jets defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi will also join the Jaguars on a three-year, $30-million pact, his agents told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Scherff is the latest investment in an offensive line tasked with protecting rising quarterback Trevor Lawrence after Jacksonville franchise-tagged left tackle Cam Robinson earlier this month.

A top-five pick in 2015, Washington tagged Scherff in back-to-back years before 2021. He has built a reputation as one of the league’s best guards, receiving an invite to the Pro Bowl in three straight years and five of the last six.

Kirk put up personal bests in receptions (77) and receiving yards (982) while adding five touchdowns last season.

Meanwhile, Oluokun is coming off a career year with the Falcons after recording an NFL-high 192 tackles last season. Fatukasi should be the solid run-stopping defensive tackle the Jaguars need to fortify their front seven.

Jacksonville is headed into its first campaign under head coach Doug Pederson.

Dolphins bring Bridgewater home, keeping DE Emmanuel Ogbah

(AP) — Monday marked the start of this year’s legal tampering period in the NFL, when teams can contact players who are about to become unrestricted free agents and negotiate possible deals.

The Miami Dolphins’ sales pitch was clearly working.

Not only did the Dolphins keep one of their own free-agents-to-be in pass rusher Emmanuel Ogbah, but they struck deals at three other positions of need – including quarterback, where Miami native Teddy Bridgewater agreed to come home presumably to be Tua Tagovailoa’s backup.

Also coming to the Dolphins, on deals that are pending and could be finalized as soon as Wednesday afternoon: running back Chase Edmonds, formerly of Arizona, and wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr., formerly of Dallas. Edmonds and Wilson are both coming off career-best seasons.

Bridgewater agreed to a one-year deal, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the contract has not been finalized.

The Dolphins will become Bridgewater’s fifth NFL team and his fourth in the past four years. He went 7-7 in 14 starts for Denver this past season, plus has played for Carolina, New Orleans and Minnesota.

Ogbah has agreed to a four-year contract that could be worth $65 million, and Edmonds has agreed to a two-year, $12.6 million deal. Both moves were confirmed by agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents both players.

Wilson agreed to a three-year contract worth $22.8 million, with nearly $13 million guaranteed, said a person with knowledge of those negotiations, also speaking to AP on condition of anonymity because the new acquisition cannot be finalized yet.

Ogbah, who receives $32 million guaranteed, can sign at any time since he’s returning to the Dolphins, who started the day with plenty of cap room – and then committed to use quite a bit of it before day’s end. Edmonds gets about $6 million in guaranteed money.

In each of his first two seasons with Miami, Ogbah had nine sacks. Dolphins general manager Chris Grier revealed earlier this month that he had multiple conversations with Rosenhaus about a new deal, indicating Miami wasn’t going to let Ogbah get away easily.

“Those were going on all throughout the course of the season,” Grier said earlier this month. “We talked to him at multiple points in the season. We know what he is, he’s a good guy, good player, good person, and fits all of the criteria we’re looking for and has done a nice job for us for the last two years.”

The upgrade at running back was crucial after the Dolphins ranked 30th in the 32-team NFL in rushing yards this past season. Miami was the only team in the league that didn’t have a rush go for longer than 30 yards.

Edmonds appeared in 57 games over his first four NFL seasons, all with Arizona – which agreed to bring back Pro Bowl RB James Conner on a three-year deal earlier Monday, rewarding him for his franchise-record 18 total touchdowns this past season.

Edmonds had career bests in 2021 with 116 carries for 592 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per rush.

Wilson also established career bests this past season of 45 catches, 602 yards, 13.4 yards per catch and six touchdown receptions.

AP Source: Steelers sign QB Trubisky to 2-year deal

PITTSBURGH (AP) Mitch Trubisky will get a chance to kickstart his career in Pittsburgh, and attempt to replace a likely Hall of Famer in the process.

A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the veteran quarterback and the Pittsburgh Steelers have agreed to terms on a two-year contract that will give Trubisky a chance to compete for the open starting job following Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement in January.

The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet official.

The agreement was first reported by NFL Network.

Trubisky, 27, joins the Steelers after spending 2021 backing up Josh Allen in Buffalo following a flame out in Chicago. The second overall pick in the 2017 draft spent four uneven seasons with the Bears, going 29-21 as a starter while passing for 10,652 yards with 64 touchdowns against 38 interceptions.

Trubisky joins a quarterbacks room that includes longtime Pittsburgh backup Mason Rudolph. The team is also expected to bring back Dwayne Haskins, who served as Pittsburgh’s third quarterback last season.

The move is among the first of what will likely be a busy free-agent market for Pittsburgh, which is looking to fill holes at several positions following a 9-7-1 season that ended with a blowout loss to Kansas City in the first round of the playoffs.

The Steelers entered free agency with nearly $29 million in cap room, a significant chunk for a franchise that typically has little to spend on the open market. That figure could grow before the start of the new league year on Wednesday if Pittsburgh parts with linebacker Joe Schobert, among others.

Landing Trubisky provides some competition at the sport’s most vital position before the Steelers go searching for help along the offensive and defensive lines, and potentially in the secondary. Trubisky’s arrival also could impact the team’s interest in using its first-round draft pick on a quarterback, especially with a talent deficit in the trenches.

Trubisky spent four turbulent seasons in Chicago, which traded with San Francisco to move up one spot in the first round of the 2017 draft. He failed to live up to the considerable hype. Though there were flashes early – he was a Pro Bowler in 2018 after throwing for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns while leading the Bears to the playoffs – he was unable to sustain it.

Chicago declined to pick up Trubisky’s fifth-year option before the 2020 season and he was released last March, though the Bills acted quickly to bring him in to work behind Allen.

While Rudolph will likely be atop the depth chart, Trubisky offers the kind of mobility Rudolph largely lacks. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talked repeatedly during the season about the need to have a quarterback who can move around in offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s attack, something nonexistent in Pittsburgh in general for the second half of Roethlisberger’s career.

Browns release Jarvis Landry after 4 seasons, now free agent

CLEVELAND (AP) Jarvis Landry helped the Browns rebuild from the NFL’s bottom floor. They’ll now try to stay relevant without him.

Cleveland released the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Monday in a tough but necessary cost-cutting move after the invaluable Landry became too expensive to keep.

One of the league’s steadiest pass catchers, the 29-year-old Landry was instrumental in the Browns’ turnaround after the team went just 1-31 in the two seasons before he arrived via trade from the Miami Dolphins in 2018.

Landry provided leadership and was one team’s top offensive players as the Browns ended a nearly 20-year playoff drought in 2020.

“The trade for Jarvis Landry in 2018 was a key moment for our organization,” Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a release. “Jarvis’ on-field production and fiery competitiveness speaks for itself, but his leadership and team-oriented attitude impacted our culture in a way that will last in time even beyond his release.

“These decisions are always difficult, but we wish Jarvis well and we look forward to the day when he returns as a storied Browns alumnus.”

During four seasons with the Browns, Landry had 288 receptions for 3,560 yards and 15 touchdowns. He added four rushing TDs and threw for a score. Landry’s the only player in league history to record at least 70 receptions in each of his first seven seasons.

The Browns were hoping to restructure Landry’s contract, but couldn’t strike a compromise. The team will save nearly $15 million in cash and salary-cap space, allowing the Browns to address other needs.

Landry’s departure comes two days after the Browns agreed to acquire wide receiver Amari Cooper in a trade with Dallas. Cooper will be Cleveland’s No. 1 wide receiver, a spot that opened when Odell Beckham Jr. forced his way out last season.

Shortly after getting Cooper from the Cowboys for a fifth- and sixth-round pick, the Browns gave Landry permission to seek a trade.

Now, as a free agent, he’ll have his choice where to go and there will likely be numerous teams interested in signing a proven, dependable veteran with 688 career catches.

Several of Landry’s Cleveland teammates posted messages on social media thanking him for his contributions.

Tight end David Njoku expressed his gratitude on Instagram, writing: “Thank for your creating the standard & culture that was needed to be established here in Cleveland. Thank you for showing what true leadership is.”

As the Browns fell way short of expectations in 2021, Landry had his worst season, with career lows in receptions (53), yards (570) and touchdowns (two) while being slowed by a knee injury. He had caught at least 72 passes in each of his previous seven seasons.

Landry suffered the knee injury on Sept. 19 against Houston. The 29-year-old missed five games – he had missed just one in his previous seven seasons combined – and wasn’t the same when he came back.

Also, Landry was upset by his good friend Beckham’s release in November and didn’t speak to the media for the remainder of the season.

Cardinals bring back Pro Bowl RB Conner on 3-year deal

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals are bringing back James Conner on a three-year deal, rewarding the running back for a stellar 2021 season that included a franchise-record 18 total touchdowns.

Conner was a huge part of the Cardinals’ offense last season with 752 yards rushing and 375 yards receiving. The 26-year-old clearly had a feel for the end zone, scoring 15 times on the ground and three times after catching passes.

The bruising 233-pound back gives the Cardinals a hard-nosed running threat to complement young quarterback Kyler Murray, who can also run but became more of a pocket passer last season. Conner earned his second Pro Bowl selection in 2021 and ran for at least one touchdown in five consecutive games at one point last season, which tied a franchise record.

Arizona’s offense dropped off considerably during the season’s final few weeks, at least partly because Conner was at less than full strength with various injuries to his ankle and ribs.

The Cardinals have been busy over the past few days trying to make sure Murray has playmaking options around him. The team brought back tight end Zach Ertz on a three-year deal Sunday. The 31-year-old Ertz had 56 catches for 574 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games with the Cardinals following an October trade with Philadelphia.

AP Source: Eagles, edge rusher Haason Reddick agree to deal

(AP) — Haason Reddick is going home to boost the Philadelphia Eagles’ pass rush.

A person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press that Reddick and the Eagles have agreed to terms on a $45 million, three-year contract that includes $30 million guaranteed with a maximum value of $49.5 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract can’t be made official until Wednesday.

Reddick, who played at Temple and grew up in Camden, New Jersey, had 11 sacks for Carolina last year. A first-round pick by Arizona in 2017, Reddick had 12 1/2 sacks for the Cardinals in 2020. Listed as a linebacker, Reddick should be used as an edge rusher.

The Eagles finished 31st in sacks in 2021. The team has always prioritized the defensive line, signing tackle Javon Hargrave to a $39 million, three-year deal in free agency in 2020, and giving tackle Fletcher Cox a $103 million deal in 2016 that’s been restructured a few times.

South Carolina fires Martin after 10 seasons as men’s coach

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina has fired coach Frank Martin after 10 seasons with just one appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Athletic director Ray Tanner announced the move Monday, saying the change came after a “thorough evaluation of our men’s basketball program.”

Martin completed his 10th season with an opening game loss to Mississippi State in the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The Gamecocks finished the year at 18-13, the seventh .500 or better season in the past eight for Martin’s clubs.

Tanner said in a statement the expectation is for the Gamecocks is “to compete for Southeastern Conference and national championships.”

He said he plans to hire a coach with a winning history and the “energy, passion and commitment to excellence.”

Martin had the third-longest men’s basketball coaching tenure in South Carolina history with only Frank McGuire’s 16 seasons (1964-80) and Frank Johnson’s 14 seasons (1940-43, 1946-58) in the position longer.

Martin did not immediately reply to messages from The Associated Press.

Martin leaves with a 171-147 mark at South Carolina, including a 79-99 record in the regular season.

His greatest season came in 2017 when he led the Gamecocks to the Final Four. It looked as if the team was poised to continue that rise, but has not been back to the NCAA Tournament since.

Martin’s future with the team was in doubt last spring after a 6-14 season. However, he and the school agreed to a two-year contract extension in 2021 where he did not receive a raise.

Martin has been criticized by some for his sideline shouting and fiery, scowling demeanor. In his second season at South Carolina, he was suspended a game for shouting profanities at one of his players.

Towns scores NBA-high 60 points, Wolves top Spurs 149-139

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Karl-Anthony Towns delivered one of the most prolific performances by an NBA player in more than two decades.

And he finished with a nice round number, too.

Towns had a team-record 60 points – the most scored in the NBA this season – and the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the San Antonio Spurs 149-139 on Monday night.

“I told Coach before the game, `Hey listen, we need this win. I’ll do whatever it takes,'” Towns said. ‘”If I need to play 44, 48 minutes, I’ll get it done.’ That was kind of the mindset I came in (with). I had to dominate. I had to be my best.”

He certainly was.

Towns shot 19 for 31 and grabbed 17 rebounds in surpassing his previous career best of 56 points against Atlanta on March 28, 2018 – which had been the franchise mark. Lakers star LeBron James and Hawks guard Trae Young previously shared league-high honors this season with 56 points.

Minnesota’s 7-foot All-Star capped his dazzling outburst by draining a 3-pointer with 1:39 remaining, shortly after making one of two free throws to reach 57 points.

He became the first NBA player with 60 points and 17 rebounds in a game since Shaquille O’Neal had 61 and 23 for the Los Angeles Lakers on March 6, 2000.

“The whole team was happy,” said Timberwolves point guard D’Angelo Russell, who had 19 points. “Everybody was being selfless about it. I think that was more of what I appreciated. The performance was amazing, but everybody wanted to see it, too.”

Minnesota is 1 1/2 games behind Denver for sixth place in the Western Conference playoff chase.

San Antonio has lost two straight since Gregg Popovich earned his 1,336th career victory to become the winningest coach in NBA history. The Spurs have dropped seven of nine and are 2-3 during a seven-game homestand, their longest of the season.

Keldon Johnson had 34 points for San Antonio. Dejounte Murray added 30 points and 12 assists, and Lonnie Walker IV scored 22.

The teams combined for 148 points in the first half, shooting 58 of 100 while playing at a frenzied pace.

San Antonio opened the game 4 for 5 on 3-pointers, but Minnesota shot 75% from the field during the first seven minutes.

Towns had 14 points and five rebounds while playing the entire first quarter against Jakob Poeltl and Zach Collins.

“Karl was fantastic,” Popovich said. “He drove it, he shot it – he always plays hard. He’s a hell of a player. It’s not like it was a surprise, but tonight he was special.”

Towns had 32 points in the third quarter. He finished 7 for 11 on 3s.

“They were selling out to protect the rim with everything else we were trying to do,” Minnesota coach Chris Finch said. “He had the matchup, and they didn’t have an answer for him. We definitely needed it and he stepped up.”

The game got chippy in the third, as Minnesota guard Patrick Beverley got tangled up with Murray and Collins on separate possessions. The skirmishes fueled a 16-7 run for the Wolves that gave them a 112-99 lead with 2:30 remaining in the quarter.

Towns had 56 points through the first three periods. He sat down with 6:34 remaining shortly after picking up his fourth and fifth fouls within 45 seconds, but returned to the floor with three minutes left to set his career high.

Towns said he asked Finch what he wanted to do and the coach told him to ‘”go get 60.'”

“So I just went out there, tried to be really aggressive,” Towns explained.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards had five points in 30 minutes after being listed as probable due to a tendinopathy. . Towns’ foul on Poeltl in the third quarter was upgraded to a flagrant 1 after video review. . Towns also inadvertently elbowed teammate Taurean Prince on the bridge of the nose late in the first quarter after both attempted to rebound a missed 3-pointer by Josh Primo. Prince sat on the court for a minute clutching at his nose but remained in the game following a timeout. . Beverley started the game and had 20 points in 30 minutes after being questionable due to an ear injury.

Spurs: Murray is the first player in franchise history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season. . Johnson joined Kawhi Leonard as the only players in franchise history with 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 125 3-pointers in a single season. . Doug McDermott missed the game after spraining his right ankle Saturday in the first half of San Antonio’s 11-point loss to Indiana. Popovich is unsure how long McDermott will be sidelined, but said he is out “for a while.” . Keita Bates-Diop sat out with back soreness after playing eight minutes against the Pacers. He has missed four of five games. . Romeo Langford did not play due to a strained right hamstring.

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

Spurs: Host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

Mobley scores season-high 30 as Cavs beat Clippers in OT

CLEVELAND (AP) Evan Mobley doesn’t look like he’s in his first NBA playoff race.

The 20-year-old rookie scored a season-high 30 points and Darius Garland had 24 points and 13 assists, sending the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 120-111 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.

Isaac Okoro added 20 points, including two free throws to open the extra period. Cleveland held the Clippers scoreless for the first 2:33 in OT and never trailed.

The Cavaliers hold a 1 1/2-game lead over Toronto for the sixth playoff spot in the East, but are 4-8 since Feb. 12 and remain without All-Star center Jarrett Allen, who has a broken finger on his left hand.

Mobley is averaging 21.6 points and 10.8 rebounds in five games at center.

“I’m just going out there and being aggressive,” he said. “I feel like my teammates have put me in good spots to score and defend, so I’m really just trying to get better.”

Ivica Zubac had 24 points, 14 rebounds and four assists, and Amir Coffey scored 19 for the Clippers, who had only nine players in uniform. Los Angeles shot 1 of 10 from the field in OT, with Nicolas Batum making a 3-pointer to pull his team within one.

Cleveland scored the final seven points on Okoro’s dunk, Lauri Markkanen’s 3-pointer and two free throws by Markkanen.

“Everyone in the East is trying to fight for a playoff spot, so it’s great to have that playoff atmosphere every night,” Okoro said. “Evan has impressed me all season. He keeps on improving as the games are going on, so to see him do that is special.”

The Cavaliers welcomed back Caris LeVert, who had 11 points in his return from a sprained right foot that sidelined him for a month. Markkanen finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, and Kevin Love had 13 points and nine boards off the bench.

All-Star point guard Garland buried a 3 with 1:20 left in regulation to give Cleveland a 106-103 lead, but Zubac answered with a layup and Coffey made 1 of 2 free throws to force OT. Coffey missed a 23-footer at the buzzer.

“We had our chances, but I think we ran out of gas,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “Only having nine guys and going into overtime made it tough, but everyone gave it all they had.”

Cleveland began a five-game homestand, its longest of the season, over an eight-day span. Ten of its final 15 regular-season games are at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, where Mobley – the third overall pick in last year’s draft – is already a fan favorite.

“I like Mobley’s game a lot, and he’s gotten a lot more aggressive than he was early in the season,” Zubac said. “Now, he’s settled in and you can see the improvement in his game.”

The Clippers, who have played an NBA-high 71 games, completed a stretch of five in seven days. Starting point guard Reggie Jackson and starting power forward Marcus Morris were given the night off.

Kawhi Leonard (right knee surgery) has not played this season for Los Angeles, while Paul George (right elbow ligament tear) has been sidelined since Dec. 26 and does not have a projected return date.

“We know we’ve got to push through it to get some wins and get ready for the play-in tournament,” Zubac said.

Lue, who coached Cleveland to its only NBA championship in 2016, was embraced by Love during a first-quarter timeout. Love is the only remaining player from that team.

“The tribute video they played for me, it felt great,” Lue said. “Just reflecting on the great memories I had here is always special.”

EIGHT IS ENOUGH

The Clippers are solidly in eighth place in the West, placing them in the play-in tournament. Lue said being “cemented” in the spot allowed him to rest Jackson and Morris. “If we were close to being out of the playoffs, these guys would all play,” Lue said. “Reggie didn’t want to sit, but playing him wasn’t the smart thing to do. It was fair to give them the night off, especially after (winning 106-102 in Detroit on Sunday).”

TIP-INS

Clippers: F Robert Covington (personal reasons) missed his fifth straight game, but will rejoin the team in Los Angeles and is expected to play Wednesday. . G Norman Powell (left foot fracture), two-way G Jay Scrubb (right foot recovery) and rookie G Jason Preston (right foot recovery) were inactive. . The Clippers wore their San Diego-era, light blue, orange and white throwback jerseys.

Cavaliers: F Dean Wade (right knee soreness) and G Rajon Rondo (right ankle sprain) were inactive. Rondo has missed 12 games with various right leg injuries since being acquired from the Lakers in a Jan. 3 trade. . G Collin Sexton (left knee surgery) is out for the season. . G Dylan Windler and two-way G RJ Nembhard were recalled from their G League assignments with the Cleveland Charge.

UP NEXT

Clippers: Host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Cavaliers: Host the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

No Bones about it: Denver’s Hyland, Jokic beat Embiid, 76ers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Bones Hyland received a special gift from the Delaware firefighters and first responders who saved his life from a house fire in 2018 – a custom Wilmington Fire Department jacket – and Hyland took it and jumped with a wide smile into the stands to share the moment with some of his friends and family.

How many of Hyland’s fans made the 30-mile trip north? He said maybe 600 or 700, and they could be heard cheering among the 21,000 mostly 76ers fans that packed the place Monday night.

“I’m the kind of kid who wants to show the next kid in the city that you can be in this position,” he said. “I want to be the guy that’s for the younger youth.”

Upstaging a pair of MVP candidates was quite the homecoming.

Hyland made four decisive 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 21 points to lead the Denver Nuggets past the Philadelphia 76ers 114-110 on Monday night.

Nikola Jokic had 22 points and 13 rebounds for Denver and Joel Embiid finished with 34 points in a battle of MVP frontrunners.

Hyland, who suffered a torn patellar tendon when he jumped from the second-floor of the house, and his brother survived the fire. Hyland’s cousin and grandmother died in the fire.

Hyland burst into tears after the game when asked about his relationship with the first responders, and could not continue with his answer. But the rookie guard, a first-round pick in the 2021 draft, composed himself and said he dedicated his life and career to ones who got him through the tragedy and the family he lost along the way.

“I just kind of go out there and play with joy and play with swag and just go out there and just be me at all times,” he said.

The Jokic-Embiid showdown had more to offer, too.

Jeff Green clobbered Embiid on a drive to the basket with 3:13 left and the All-Star center landed smack on his tailbone. Embiid immediately grabbed at his back, but walked off the court on his own power as the play was reviewed. Green received a flagrant foul and Embiid went 1 of 2 from the free-throw line to cut Denver’s lead to 107-106.

But Hyland stole the show from the All-Star big men, burying his fourth 3 of the fourth quarter for a 110-108 lead that the Nuggets held on to.

Jokic won the MVP last season and Embiid was runner-up, and the franchise stars are again considered the leading contenders to win it this season. Embiid entered the game leading the league in scoring at 29.8 points and Jokic was second at 26.1. He also averages 13.8 rebounds and 8.1 assists.

“He’s a great player, great competition, I love playing against the best,” Embiid said of Jokic. “He’s a monster. I love watching him. But he’s also easy to study.”

One big dent in Embiid’s MVP case last season came in games played. Jokic was a deserving winner, and played in 72 games and logged 2,488 minutes to Embiid’s 51 games and 1,585 minutes.

“I think Joel wants to play more. He said that at the end of last year,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “He said, `I want to come in in better shape. I feel like I need to play more games to help our team.’ It could be some of that. I’m just happy he’s playing more.”

76ers fans loudly bellowed “MVP! MVP!” and saved their jeers for Jokic.

The Nuggets tried to downplay the matchup.

“I understand the excitement. You have two MVP candidates, and rightfully so,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “But I don’t go to bed at night, saying I can’t wait for Nikola and Joel to go at it. I’m just trying to figure out a way to help our group get back to winning.”

Turns out, he needed Hyland as much as Jokic.

Hyland buried three straight 3s, the last two for leads of 100-97 and 103-97 with 6:08 left in the game.

Drafted out of VCU, Hyland played in the Rising Stars game during All-Star weekend and has worked his way into the rotation for the Nuggets as they chase playoff seeding. Hyland still has plenty of fans in the area, due in part to the annual streetball tournament he holds in Wilmington.

The 76ers had eked out an overtime win a night earlier at 18-win Orlando, and Embiid looked fatigued down the stretch Monday. He played the final minutes with five fouls and was a helpless bystander as the Sixers outside shooters missed open looks. The worst sequence came when Georges Niang clanged one of the side of the backboard and missed the follow-up with Denver up 113-110.

TIP-INS:

Nuggets: Snapped a two-game losing streak.

76ers: G Danny Green played after he missed the last two games with a laceration on one of his fingers. … James Harden had 24 points and 11 assists.

CENTER OF ATTENTION

Jason Kelce can sing almost as well as he can snap.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ four-time All-Pro center crushed his rendition of the national anthem before Monday’s game. Kelce made a promise to former Eagles teammate Connor Barwin: If Barwin could raise $100,000 for his Make The World Better foundation, Kelce would sing the anthem.

Kelce said it had been years since he was “nervous-nervous,” then added, “I’m nervous-nervous right now. My knees are shaking out there doing the soundcheck.”

The 34-year-old, known almost as much for his fiery Super Bowl parade speech while dressed as a Mummer, said he was glad he took his time to decide if he would play again or retire.

“The more I stepped back from the game,” he said, “the more it was really evident I wanted to keep playing.”

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Continue a three-game trip with games Wednesday at Washington and Friday at Cleveland.

Sixers: Play Wednesday at Cleveland before they return for a three-game homestand that opens Friday against Dallas.

Terry Rozier shines as Hornets beat Thunder 134-116

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Terry Rozier scored 30 points, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 134-116 on Monday night.

Charlotte closed out a perfect two-game trip, rallying after falling behind by as many as 18 points in the second quarter. Miles Bridges had 27 points and six assists, and LaMelo Ball finished with 21 points and seven assists.

“We were just preaching that we had to move the ball,” Bridges said. “Anytime we move the ball, we get any shot we want. … We were getting a lot of open 3s and knocking them down.”

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 32 points and eight rebounds, and Darius Bazley scored 25 points.

Oklahoma City lost its sixth consecutive game.

“We’re the youngest team in the league and banged up on top of that,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “We’re trying to win games. Our guys are competing hard.”

The Thunder opened a 47-29 lead on Aleksej Pokusevski’s 3-pointer with 10:26 left in the first half. But Isaiah Thomas rallied the Hornets, going 4 for 4 from 3 in the second quarter to help his team to a 65-64 lead at the break.

“(Thomas) gives us great poise and confidence out there on the floor,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said. “(Thomas) was fantastic tonight. He was a big part in turning this game.”

Ball made four 3s of his own in the third, including a deep shot from the top of the arc with 6:53 remaining. He scored 14 points to send Charlotte into the fourth quarter with a 102-91 lead.

The Hornets led by as much as 20 points down the stretch.

TIP-INS

Hornets: Thomas finished with 12 points in 16 1/2 minutes. … The Hornets went 20 for 35 from 3-point range as a team.

Thunder: Surpassed 40 points in the first quarter for the first time this season. … Gilgeous-Alexander has scored at least 30 points in eight of the Thunder’s last 10 games. … Vit Krejci scored a career-high 12 points in 15 minutes off the bench.

UP NEXT

Hornets: Host Atlanta on Wednesday night.

Thunder: At San Antonio on Wednesday night.

Curry dazzles for 47 points on 34th birthday, Warriors win

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Draymond Green had been on the court all of 11 seconds when he dished off to Stephen Curry for a 3-pointer.

With Green back beside him and leading the defense again following a 29-game absence, Curry dazzled all night on the way to 47 points on his 34th birthday, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Washington Wizards 126-112 on Monday.

“I think for me it was great, I get a rhythm through passing,” Green said. “I’ve always found my rhythm through passing.”

Reigning scoring champion Curry shot 16 for 25 with seven 3-pointers, dribbling past defenders and shaking coverage to make off-balanced shots. The Warriors wound up shooting 53.6% from the floor in snapping a three-game losing streak to Washington. Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole scored 20 apiece.

“That was magical,” Thompson said of the on-court reunion.

Green, who had been sidelined with a disk injury in his lower back and played for the first time since Jan. 9, finished with six points, seven rebounds and six assists in 20 minutes. It marked the first time he, Curry and Thompson were on the court together since Thompson went down with a left knee injury in the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, won by Toronto. Thompson had surgery then missed last season recovering from a repaired right Achilles tendon.

They shared a hug afterward.

To have Green deliver on both ends immediately meant so much.

“I think what it did for him is what it did for all of us. You could tell the energy picked up,” Curry said. “It’s not anything more than what’s built on 10 years of experience and chemistry and winning and an understanding of how we do things. No matter how much time we have off, we can get right back to it.

“It is crazy to think first time me, Klay and Draymond had been on the court in a very, very long time. We want to keep building on that. We know each other like the back of our hand, we complement each other very well.”

Green entered at the 4:50 mark of the opening quarter to a warm ovation, then knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:42 left in the period, yelling “Yeah!” in delight. Coach Steve Kerr opted to bring Green off the bench at least for a game or two – “This is very temporary,” Kerr said – since Green is on a minutes restriction initially.

“You heard the crowd when he checked in. Draymond has been our heart and soul for a long time,” Kerr said. “He’s beloved here in the Bay.”

Green said he teased Thompson about coming off the bench at first to feel that love from the crowd.

“It was beautiful,” Green said.

Kristaps Porzingis scored 25 points and Kenatavious Caldwell-Pope 19 in the Wizards’ fourth straight loss, fifth of six and sixth in a row on the road.

Rui Hachimura’s basket with 5:25 to play got the Wizards within single digits at 110-101 before Curry connected moments later.

JAPAN TOUR

The Warriors and Wizards will play a pair of preseason games Sept. 30 and Oct. 2 in Saitama, Japan, outside Tokyo.

“Participating in the upcoming NBA Japan Games gives us great optimism about the continued growth of basketball around the world and the opportunity to unite through a shared love of the game,” Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Brandon Schneider said.

The games at Saitama Super Arena will be the Wizards’ first trip to Japan and the 15th and 16th games in the country for the NBA.

FAMILIAR FACE

First-year Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. was a Warriors assistant in 2011-12 during Thompson’s rookie season and the third year for Curry.

“This place was a lot of fun,” he said. “Not only the city but the arena, the energy.”

WISEMAN PLAN

Second-year center James Wiseman will play another game – his third – with the G League Santa Cruz Warriors on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, then the Warriors will decide on the next step.

He hasn’t played this season while recovering from right knee surgery and not in an NBA game since April 10.

TIP-INS

Wizards: Washington shot 6 for 20 from deep in the first half to trail 73-57 at the break and committed seven turnovers that led to 15 Golden State points. … The Wizards shot 51.2% but were outrebounded 44-35.

Warriors: Golden State missed starting forward Andrew Wiggins because of an illness. … G Gary Payton II sat out a sixth straight game with soreness in his left knee. … The Warriors are 12-2 at home against the Eastern Conference. … Andre Iguodala missed a 15th straight game and 23rd in 24 with lower back tightness but Kerr said “we want to do everything possible to have him healthy” for the stretch run and playoffs.

UP NEXT

Wizards: Host Denver on Wednesday night, a respite in the middle of tough stretch with eight of 10 on the road.

Warriors: Host Celtics on Wednesday night, having lost the last three and five of six to Boston at home.

Fox scores 34, Kings beat scuffling Bulls 112-103

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) De’Aaron Fox had 34 points, six assists and six rebounds as the Sacramento Kings beat the stumbling Chicago Bulls 112-103 on Monday night.

Domantas Sabonis added 22 points and seven rebounds after missing two games, and Sacramento ended a four-game skid with its third victory in 10 tries. Davion Mitchell scored 16 and Donte DiVincenzo had 15.

“Down the stretch we competed extremely hard and found a way to win the game against a real quality team,” Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry said. “De’Aron is playing so well right now and he’s doing an extremely good job of controlling the game. Night in and night out what he is doing for us is amazing. He’s playing as well as anybody in the league if you go back over the last month or so.”

Zach LaVine had 27 points and six assists for Chicago. Nikola Vucevic added 23 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan scored 21. The Bulls, who entered the night fourth in the East, have lost six of eight.

“That two-man game with Sabonis and Fox, we did not do a good enough job handling that,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “It wasn’t like they were doing a lot of movement. They were just throwing it to them and letting those two guys play.”

With 14 games remaining, Chicago’s postseason hopes are uncertain. There are three games separating the Bulls from the seventh-place Raptors in the Eastern Conference.

“We need to have those conversations and get on point going into this last stretch because it’s not going to get any easier,” LaVine said. “We have to play the right way and have a certain identity. Obviously we didn’t do that tonight. We have to learn from this. If not, then that’s on us.”

Chicago trailed by 20 at halftime but DeRozan scored seven points in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to cut Sacramento’s lead to 90-89.

After Coby White missed a 3-pointer that would have given the Bulls the lead, Fox scored on a driving layup, Trey Lyles made one of two free throws and DiVincenzo added a 3.

The Bulls got within 108-103 but Fox and DiVincenzo each sank two free throws over the final 37 seconds.

Fox shot 13 of 25 while registering his third consecutive game and 12th of the season with 30 or more points.

“He’s scoring the ball crazy. Tough ones, easy ones,” Sabonis said. “It’s awesome to have someone on your team like that, that if you need a bucket he can go get it and take the pressure off everyone.”

The Bulls haven’t won in Sacramento since Dec. 2, 2019.

TURNING POINT

Sabonis scored eight points as part of a 20-9 run by the Kings over the final five minutes of the second quarter. The Bulls missed five of eight shots and committed three turnovers during that stretch.

“The last five minutes kind of hurt us,” Donovan said. “That’s one of those games where OK, we’re not shooting it well, let’s just get to the half. Hopefully we can learn from that.”

BULLS FANS IN TOWN

A very large contingent of Bulls fans were in attendance, nearly turning Golden 1 Center into a Western version of the United Center. The Chicago fans cheered loudly throughout the game, twice serenading DeRozan with chants of “MVP! MVP!”

TIP-INS

Bulls: LaVine’s 3-pointer in the first quarter was the 1,000th of his career and 700th with Chicago.

Kings: Sabonis missed one game because of an NBA suspension and another to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. . Justin Holiday (non-COVID-19 illness), Jeremy Lamb (personal reasons) and Alex Len (back soreness) did not play. … Sacramento forward Richaun Holmes was fined $25,000 by the NBA for “forcefully throwing the game ball” into the stands Saturday at the end of the third quarter in a loss at Utah. Holmes was given a technical foul and ejected.

UP NEXT

Bulls: Stay on the road to face the Jazz on Wednesday. Chicago beat Utah at home earlier this season but has lost three straight in Salt Lake City.

Kings: Host the Bucks on Wednesday. Milwaukee hasn’t lost in Sacramento since 2016.

Antetokounmpo, Bucks rally past Jazz for 117-111 victory

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points and had 14 rebounds to help the Milwaukee Bucks rally and then fend off the Utah Jazz in the final seconds for a 117-111 victory on Monday night.

Jrue Holiday had 29 points and seven assists, and Khris Middleton scored 23 for Milwaukee, who saw Brook Lopez and George Hill both return to the lineup. Lopez had been sidelined with a back injury since the season opener and missed 67 games. Hill sat out 16 games with neck soreness.

Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 29 points and eight assists, while Mike Conley added 29 points and seven assists and Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 14 rebounds.

The Jazz shaved a seven-point deficit to two on Gobert’s putback layup that made it 113-111 with 22 seconds left. But the Bucks’ Jevon Carter made a pair of free throws with 12.9 seconds remaining to seal it.

Utah made 10 3-pointers in the first quarter to offset 60% field-goal shooting from Milwaukee, including four 3s in a row – three from Mitchell – to take a 34-27 lead late in the quarter.

The Bucks led the entire second quarter after Middleton opened with a 3-pointer in the midst of a 22-6 run that put Milwaukee up 51-43. Holiday ignited the spurt late in the first quarter with back-to-back baskets.

Utah fell behind after it didn’t score for five minutes, and Milwaukee led by as many as 12 points before halftime, going up 65-53 after Holiday made one 3-pointer and assisted another to finish off a 14-5 run.

The Jazz countered with a pair of big runs to surge back ahead in the third quarter, including 3s Mitchell and Conley to cap a 16-3 run. The Jazz used a 14-1 run, punctuated by a driving floater from Jordan Clarkson, to extend their lead to 91-80.

Milwaukee rallied and surged ahead 107-100 midway through the fourth quarter following back-to-back baskets from Antetokounmpo.

TIP INS

Bucks: Milwaukee snapped a 19-game losing streak to Utah in Salt Lake City dating back to the 2002-03 season. . Holiday finished with a season-high five steals.

Jazz: Bojan Bogdanovic (left calf strain), Trent Forrest (right wrist sprain), and Udoka Azubuike (right ankle sprain) were inactive for Utah . Danuel House Jr. exited with a knee injury in the first quarter and did not return. House finished with three points and a rebound in seven minutes.

UP NEXT

Bucks: At Sacramento on Wednesday.

Jazz: Host Chicago on Wednesday.

Barnes, Raptors all over Lakers early in 114-103 win

LOS ANGELES (AP) Scottie Barnes scored 15 of his 21 points in the first quarter and the Toronto Raptors held off a late rally by the Los Angeles Lakers for a 114-103 victory Monday night.

The Raptors led by 24 in the first as the Lakers were soundly defeated for the second consecutive night.

Gary Trent Jr. had 28 points and Pascal Siakam scored 27 for Toronto, which has won four straight – all on the road. Fred VanVleet returned after being held out Saturday at Denver to rest his right knee and had 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

LeBron James had 30 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles, which has lost four of five – including 140-111 at Phoenix on Sunday. James had been a game-time decision because of soreness in his left knee but ended up playing 40 minutes.

The Raptors piled on early against the floundering Lakers, scoring the first nine points on the way to a 33-12 lead after one. Los Angeles was 3 for 25 from the field and missed all 13 of its 3-pointers in the opening quarter. Avery Bradley had four points and was the only Lakers player with more than two in the period.

Foul trouble was the only thing that slowed Barnes during an impressive first half. He scored 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting in 18 minutes before sitting down with his third foul.

Los Angeles mounted a late charge in the fourth quarter, pulling within 109-97 with 2:19 remaining on a 3-pointer by James. Talen Horton-Tucker missed a 3 that would have made the deficit six points, and Siakam and Trent hit free throws to push Toronto’s lead back to 12.

Horton-Tucker finished with 20 points and Russell Westbrook added 14.

TIP-INS

Raptors: Chris Boucher had 13 points off the bench.

Lakers: Carmelo Anthony scored 14 points. . Los Angeles F Wenyen Gabriel grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, offering good energy off the bench. . The Lakers have allowed 100 points in 16 straight games. They are 4-12 in that span.

UP NEXT

Raptors: At the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Lakers: At the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

Nets fined $50K for letting Kyrie Irving enter locker room

NEW YORK (AP) The NBA fined the Brooklyn Nets $50,000 on Monday for letting Kyrie Irving into their locker room during a game in which he was unable to play because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Irving was a spectator at Barclays Center on Sunday, sitting across from the Nets bench for Brooklyn’s 110-107 victory over the New York Knicks. There is no longer a mandate that fans be vaccinated to enter the arena, but there is still one requiring it for someone who works there.

So the star guard had a seat in the stands, just as he did a night earlier to watch the ACC Tournament championship game. After the Nets game ended, he walked off arm-in-arm with Durant, who had scored a season-high 53 points, toward the locker room.

The league said in a statement Monday that the Nets violated New York City law and league health and safety protocols by permitting Irving to come into the locker room. Unlike the stands, the locker room is considered part of the team’s workplace environment.

Durant spent a good chunk of his postgame interview calling on New York City Mayor Eric Adams to change the mandate, calling it “ridiculous” that unvaccinated people could be in the arena but not play in it. Coach Steve Nash acknowledged during his postgame availability that Irving had been in the locker room at halftime.

The Nets released a statement from Durant on Monday in which he explained the criticism he directed a day earlier at Adams, who took office in January.

“The last two years have been a difficult and painful time for New Yorkers, as well as a very confusing time with the changing landscape of the rules and mandates,” Durant said. “I do appreciate the task the Mayor has in front of him with all the city has been through. My frustration with the situation doesn’t change the fact that I will always be committed to helping the communities and cities I live in, and play in.”

Until this week, proof of vaccination was required for fans. Though that mandate has been lifted, there is still one in place for those working at the arena. The Nets were already aggravated because that didn’t apply to visitors, allowing an unvaccinated opponent to play when Irving couldn’t. They seemed even more frustrated on Sunday, when Irving’s arrival created a scene at a nationally televised game.

Crouse scores 3 times in Coyotes’ 5-3 win over Senators

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Lawson Crouse had a hat trick, Nick Schmaltz extended his point streak with a goal, and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Ottawa Senators 5-3 on Monday night.

Schmaltz has 15 points in his last six games (six goals, nine assists) and Crouse’s goals came three different ways: one at even strength, one on the power play and shorthanded.

“It’s a special feeling,” Crouse said. “I’ve said it in a few interviews now: You always want to be out there and try to make the biggest difference you can make. And to get my first hat trick tonight in front of some friends and family, it’s a really good feeling. To cap it off with a win makes it that much more special.”

Barrett Hayton added an empty-net goal for the Coyotes and Scott Wedgewood made 40 saves to pick up his 10th win of the season.

The Coyotes take the season series, having beaten Ottawa 8-5 in Arizona.

“I think there was a stretch over 20-some minutes that they didn’t have a shot and we’ve got to find ways to score and our power play can’t give up a shorthanded goal,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “We tie it in the third after having the puck the whole time and we make a real careless play and you lose the game.”

Josh Norris had two goals for the Senators, Connor Brown also scored and Filip Gustavsson stopped 12 shots in his first NHL start since Feb. 20.

“I thought we deserved a lot better,” Norris said. “We did a lot of really good things and we’ve just got to take care of the puck, not give up a shorty and probably win the game so it’s frustrating.”

Ottawa trailed 3-2 to start the third, but tied things up at the seven-minute mark when Brown buried a Brady Tkachuk rebound. The Coyotes regained the lead 16 seconds later as Schmaltz took a pass in front and beat a sprawled Gustavsson.

An eventful first period ended with the teams tied at 2. In the opening minutes, Tkachuk went hard to the net and Norris was there to jam home the rebound.

“In that kind of a game, you can look at it two ways,” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said. “You can look at our performance, and really, it was not very good. Let’s not kid ourselves. But you can look at it as … even though it was not as good as we wanted, we found a way to stay with it. We knew we could win the game even if we did not play the way we wanted to.”

Crouse then scored back-to-back goals for the Coyotes. The first was a great shot high glove side and the second was on the power play as he tipped a Shayne Gostisbehere point shot.

Norris tied the game on the power play with his second of the night.

Crouse’s hat trick was completed late in the second period, beating Gustavsson shorthanded after taking advantage of a Senators giveaway and winning a foot race for a loose puck to break in alone.

NOTES

Senators: A healthy scratch the last five games, Tyler Ennis returned to the lineup in place of Adam Gaudette.

Arizona: Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun suffered a lower-body injury on Saturday night versus the Boston Bruins and will be out of the lineup two to four weeks.

UP NEXT

Coyotes: At Montreal on Tuesday night.

Senators: Host Columbus on Wednesday night.

Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin Earn Big Ten Weekly Softball Awards

Co-Player of the Week
Jaycee Ruberti, Ohio State
Sr. – OF – Virginia Beach, Va. – Greenbrier Christian Academy – Major: Criminology
• Batted .667 with a .750 slugging percentage and .714 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot last week, helping the Buckeyes sweep four games in Tampa, Fla.
• Tallied eight hits, seven runs and four RBI on the weekend
• Had at least one hit, one run and one RBI in three of the four games and had three-hit outings against Stony Brook (March 11) and Army West Point (March 12)
• Captures her first career Player of the Week honor
• Last Ohio State Player of the Week: Sam Hackenbracht (April 27, 2021)
 
Co-Player of the Week
Rachel Becker, Purdue
Sr. – SS – Lindenhurst, Ill. – Lakes Community – Major: Chemical Engineering
• Posted a .476 batting average, .667 slugging percentage and .522 on-base percentage with 10 hits (four for extra bases), 11 runs and five RBI as Purdue swept all six of its contests at The Spring Games in Leesburg, Fla.
• Had at least one hit and one run in all six games, including four multi-hit and three multi-run outings
• A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection (2020, 2021) and was named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar last season
• Receives her first career Player of the Week award
• Last Purdue Player of the Week: Jenny Behan (March 4, 2019)
 
Pitcher of the Week
Lexie Handley, Ohio State
Grad. – LHP – Mogadore, Ohio – St. Vincent-St. Mary – Graduate Field of Study: Sports Coaching
• Went 2-0 in the circle with two complete games, a 1.50 ERA, 16 strikeouts and only four walks, retiring 33 of her final 37 batters across her 14.0 innings to help Ohio State sweep four games in Tampa, Fla., last weekend
• Tossed a complete-game one-hitter on Sunday against host South Florida, striking out 13 batters to snap the Bulls’ 14-game winning streak
• Also went the distance to gain the win over Stony Brook on March 11
• Collects her first career Pitcher of the Week plaudit
• Last Ohio State Pitcher of the Week: Shelby McCombs (Feb. 12, 2018)
 
Freshman of the Week
Molly Schlosser, Wisconsin
OF – Oconomowoc, Wis. – Oconomowoc – Major: Undeclared
• Batted .438 with a .563 slugging percentage and .471 on-base percentage last week, helping the Badgers take four of five games at the Dixie State Classic in St. George, Utah
• Collected seven hits and scored three runs during the weekend tournament
• Registered three multi-hit games and also scored twice in March 11 win over Maine
• Earns her first career Freshman of the Week honor
• Last Wisconsin Freshman of the Week: Fiona Girardot (March 2, 2020)

Michigan State, Nebraska and Penn State Earn Baseball Weekly Honors

Player of the Week
Kyle Hannon, Penn State
INF – So. – Harrisburg, Pa. – Red Land

  • Hit .874 (7-8) on the weekend against No. 5 Virginia, with two runs, one RBI and a stolen base
  • Reached base in 10-of-11 plate appearances with seven hits, a walk and two HBP
  • Had a 1.250 slugging percentage and a .909 on-base percentage on the weekend
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Player of the Week award
  • Last Penn State Big Ten Player of the Week: Matt Wood (March 2, 2022)

 
Pitcher of the Week
Shay Schanaman, Nebraska
P – Sr. – Grand Island, Neb. – Grand Island

  • Pitched a complete-game shutout in Nebraska’s 6-0 win against Northwestern State
  • Faced 31 batters, while striking out eight and allowing three hits and a walk
  • Became the first Husker pitcher with a nine-inning complete-game shutout since Jake Meyers vs. Western Carolina on March 12, 2017
  • Wins his first career Big Ten Pitcher of the Week award
  • Last Nebraska Big Ten Pitcher of the Week: Nate Fisher (March 11, 2019)


Freshman of the Week
Ryan Szczepaniak, Michigan State
P – Woodhaven, Mich. – Woodhaven

  • Went 5.0 IP with four strikeouts, yielding three hits and one earned run to improve to 2-0, leading the Spartans to a 9-3 win over nationally ranked West Virginia
  • After a leadoff single and later a HBP in the first inning, settled in and retired seven Mountaineers in a row
  • Becomes the first Big Ten freshman pitcher to earn two wins this season
  • Wins his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
  • Last Michigan State Big Ten Freshman of the Week: Mason Erla (March 12, 2018)

HCAC 2022 Softball Notebook, Week 4

Athletes of the Week:
Hitting Athlete of the Week:
Macy Cornelius (Whiteland, Ind.) Mount St. Joseph University | Shortstop | First-Year – Cornelius led the Mount St. Joseph University softball team to a 7-0 record on the teams trip to Florida. On the week Cornelius was 13 for 22 (.590 avg) with five doubles and four RBI, she also scored 11 runs to pace the Lions offense.
Pitching Athlete of the Week:
Kamryn McCool (Brookville, Ind.) Mount St. Joseph University | Pitcher | Senior – McCool continued her dominant run for the Lions in Florida last week. For the week McCool started three games and three complete games including a shut out of Eastern Nazarene and a victory over No. 20 Millikin in which she allowed only a single run. For the week she threw 20 innings, allowing only two earned runs, and 11 hits. She did so while striking out 23 and going 3-0.
 
Notable Performances:

  • Taylor Johnson (Danville, Ind.) Anderson University | Outfield | Senior – Johnson went 4-for-5 as Anderson split its games for the week.
  • Alexis Kern (Elkhart, Ind.) Anderson University | Pitcher | Junior – Kern recorded the win as Anderson topped Berea 9-2. Kern struck out two batters, issued two walks and allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings.
  • Lily Tate (Mount Gilead, Ohio) Bluffton University | Short Stop | Junior – Tate led the Beavers to a 3-4 mark last week at the Spring Games in Florida. She hit .500 with 12 hits, six runs and seven RBI. Tate walked three times, smacked two doubles, and finished with a .556 OBP.
  • Madison Jones (West Milton, Ohio) Bluffton University | Pitcher | First-Year – Jones went 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA in 18.1 innings of work last week. She fanned 14 and limited the opposition to a .264 opponent batting average. Jones saw action in six games.
  • Marissa Roberts (Warren, Ohio) Defiance College | Outfield | Junior – Roberts helped lead the Yellow Jackets to 1-1 start in Florida that included six hits and two RBI.
  • Taylor Biggs (Cincinnati, Ohio) Defiance College | Pitcher | Senior – Biggs got off to a great start in Florida Spring Games pitching her first career no-hitter for the Defiance softball team. She helped lead the team to a 7-0 win and struck out seven batters during the game.

HCAC 2022 Baseball Notebook, Week 5

Athletes of the Week:
Hitting Athlete of the Week:
Logan Demkovich (Hammond, Ind.) Franklin College | Catcher | Senior – Demkovich went 10-for-19 at the plate with two home runs and eight RBI for Franklin during a 4-1 week. He homered in back-to-back games as part of a double-header sweep on Sunday and was not retired in eight plate appearances at Franklin toppled Alma twice. Demkovich extended his hitting streak to nine games.
Pitching Athlete of the Week:
Walker Stull (Pendleton, Ind.) Anderson University | Pitcher | Junior – Stull captured the win by throwing a seven-inning shutout during Anderson’s 12-0 mercy rule against Westfield State. Stull allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out nine batters.
 
Notable Performances:

  • Charlie Jones (Portage, Ind.) Anderson University | Middle Infield | First-Year – Jones went 7-for-11 as the Ravens went 1-3 for the week. Jones finished with a .636 batting average, a .692 on-base percentage and a .636 slugging percentage.
  • Jake Baumgartner (Toledo, Ohio) Bluffton University | Catcher | Junior – Baumgartner led the Beavers to a 3-4 mark last week, hitting .455 with two doubles, a triple and a home run. He slugged .773 and had a .606 on-base percentage thanks to nine walks. Baumgartner had a team-high 7 RBI and 9 runs scored.
  • Carson Curnutte (Hilliard, Ohio) Bluffton University | Pitcher | Pitcher – Curnutte tossed 6.0 inning of scoreless ball in Bluffton’s 1-0 shutout of Alvernia on Friday. He struck out three and allowed seven hits with just one walk.
  • Andrew Sale (Leawood, Kan.) Earlham College | Outfield | First-Year – Sale led the Quakers in both games of a doubleheader with Principia this week. The first-year combined for three hits and five RBI off of seven trips to the plate. He also hit an inside-the-park home run to center field in the second game of the series.
  • Nick McClanahan (Union, Ky.) Franklin College | Pitcher | Senior – McClanahan tossed six strong innings for the Grizzlies on Friday afternoon in the bitter cold against Alma, scattering seven hits and striking out seven. He took a no-decision in a game Franklin rallied to win, 6-2.
  • Zach White (Logan, Ind.) Manchester University | Second Base | Senior – White went 5-8 with six runs scored, four RBI, and three doubles in Manchester’s doubleheader sweep of Berea on Friday. White helped power the Spartans to wins by final scores of 16-5 and 14-7.
  • Austin Kresl (Fort Wayne, Ind.) Manchester University | Pitcher | Senior – Kresl threw 4.0 innings of relief in Manchester’s 16-5 win over Berea on Friday afternoon. Allowed just two runs on four hits while striking out six.
  • Ryan Murray (Cincinnati, Ohio) Mount St. Joseph University | Centerfield | Senior – Murray helped the Mount St. Joseph Lions to a 4-2 record during the teams trip to Florida last week. For the week Murray was 10-for-20 (.500 avg) with two doubles, one homerun, seven RBI, 10 runs scored, two stolen bases and a .643 OBP. Making his OBPS an astronomical 1.393 for the week.
  • Derek Richter (Lawrenceburg, Ind.) Mount St. Joseph University | Pitcher | First-Year – Richter went 1-0 in his lone start during the Lions trip to Florida this week. Helping the Lions beat a tough Fontbonne team 10-0. During the game he threw 5.0 innings, did not allow a single run, allowed a pair of hits while striking out seven. 

NCAC Weekly Newsletter & Athletes of the Week – 3/14

Baseball – Player of the Week – Kamden Earley, Wabash

Wabash sophomore Kamden Earley (Pendleton, IN/Pendleton Heights) hit for a .444 average while driving in 10 runs to help the Little Giants go 4-1 on the week. Earley collected 12 hits, including two doubles and three triples for a slugging percentage of .741. He tied the Wabash single-game record with two triples in a victory over Northland. The sophomore also drove in the winning run after an extra-innings walk-off single in a 7-6 victory against Wheaton (IL).


Baseball – Pitcher of the Week – Mitchell Reardon, Wooster

Wooster senior Mitchell Reardon (Liberty Township, OH/Lakota East) picked up a pitching victory in a start against Sewanee on Saturday. The senior pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, walking one and striking out 10 batters. Reardon carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning.


Softball – Player of the Week – Elise Freeland, Wittenberg

Wittenberg senior Elise Freeland (Marysville, OH/Marysville) collected a hit in each of the Tigers’ six games last week, including multi-hit efforts in three contests. On the week, Freeland went 11-for-21 (.524) from the plate, including two doubles and three triples, drove in four runners and scored 11 times herself.


Softball – Pitcher of the Week – Nicole Bishay, Kenyon

Kenyon senior Nicole Bishay (Los Angeles, CA/Rolling Hills Prep) recorded five wins in 33 innings of work for the Ladies. Bishay went the distance in all five games, giving up just nine runs, six earned (1.27 ERA), while walking four and striking out 12 batters. Her best outing came against New Jersey City where she pitched five scoreless innings, allowed just two hits and struck out two batters.


Men’s Lacrosse Athlete of the Week – Ambrose Colliluori, Hiram

Hiram freshman Ambrose Colliluori (Gilbertsville, PA/Pope John Paul II) tallied four goals and five assists in a win against St. Joseph. The first-year added five ground balls and caused one turnover in the win.


Women’s Lacrosse Athlete of the Week – Nicole Klabus, Ohio Wesleyan

Ohio Wesleyan sophomore Nicole Klabus (Delaware, OH/Hayes) helped the Battling Bishops improve to 5-0 after three victories last week, the team’s longest season-opening winning streak since 2006. Klabus tallied 11 goals across the three games, while picking up four ground balls, winning three draw controls and causing two turnovers.


Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week – Wyatt Metzger, DePauw

DePauw senior Wyatt Metzger (Westfield, IN/Guerin Catholic) picked up a pair of victories in the Tigers’ win over Wittenberg on Sunday. At No. 2 singles, Metzger collected a 6-3, 6-2, victory, after teaming up with Thomas Partridge (North York, Ontario/Royal St. Georges College) for an 8-5 victory at No. 1 doubles.


Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week – Ale Coronel-Zegarra, Ohio Wesleyan

Ohio Wesleyan senior Ale Coronel-Zegarra (Hollywood, FL/St. Thomas Aquinas) went 5-1 last week for the Battling Bishops, including a perfect 3-0 record in singles play. The senior picked up victories at No. 1 singles against Immaculata, Ursinus, and King’s, before combining with teammate Katie Lee (Chardon, OH/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) for an 8-1 No. 1 doubles victory against the Mighty Macs, and another 8-1 win with senior Ruthie Silberman (Deerfield, IL/Deerfield) against the Monarchs at the top flight.


NCAC Milestones & Records (Mar. 7 – Mar. 13)

DePauw, Women’s Lacrosse  Senior Emma Kennedy (Indianapolis, IN/Bishop Chatard) became DePauw’s leader in career goals on Saturday when she scored two goals to move her career total to 105 and break the mark of 104 held by Emma Flynn ’17.

DePauw, Track and Field – Senior Erin Pasch (Indianapolis, IN/Lutheran) broke her own school record with 3,640 points in the pentathlon after earning All-America honors at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Hiram, Men’s Lacrosse – The Terriers tallied a program-record 22 goals in a win over Mt. St. Joseph, breaking the previous game record of 21 which was set on multiple occasions.

Oberlin, Track & Field – Senior Sarah Voit (Cincinnati, OH/McAuley) broke the school record in the pole vault at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships, posting a mark of 3.95 meters … Junior Iyanna Lewis (Washington, D.C./Sidwell School) posted a program record of 18.49 meters in the women’s weight throw at the Division III Championships … Senior Clare Tiedemann (New York, NY/Grace Church School) tallied a new school record of 3,183 points in the pentathlon at the Division III Championships.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/HEADLINES

COLTS NEWS

The Colts have signed Mo Alie-Cox to a three-year deal worth up to $18 million. Alie-Cox has 55 catches, 710 yards and six touchdowns over the past two seasons.

The Colts also hired Six-time Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne as the new wide receivers coach. Wayne will join the coaching staff with two other former Colts in Cato June, as assistant linebackers coach; and Mike Mitchell, who will coach safeties.

2022 INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL ALL-STARS

Ayanna Patterson, Homestead: 25.7 points (60.4% from the field), 11.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.

Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point: 20.7 points, 3.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 steals.

Olivia Smith, Fort Wayne South: 19 points per game.

Ashlyn Traylor, Franklin: 17 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists.

Tanyuel Welch, North Central: 17.3, field-goal shooting (46%), 3-point shooting (36%), rebounds (6.4) and steals (3).

Kynidi Mason Striverson, Silver Creek: 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists a game.

Kate Clarke, Carmel: 12 points pg on 50% shooting

Zoe Stewart, Terre Haute North: 24.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.9 steals per game.

Hope Fox, East Central: 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.8 steals

Alyssa Crockett, Westfield: 18.5, rebounds 8.5, steals 2 and blocks 1.5.

Lilly Stoddard, Crown Point: 11.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.

Mila Reynolds, South Bend Washington: 21.5 pts. 8.1 rebounds.

ALL-MIC BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM

ZANE DOUGHTY. BEN DAVIS

SHERIDAN SHARP, BEN DAVIS

PETE SUDER, CARMEL

SAM ORME, CARMEL

MARCUS ANKNEY, CENTER GROVE

JOSH MICKENS, LAWRENCE CENTRAL

CJ GUNN, LAWRENCE NORTH

OMAR COOPER, LAWRENCE NORTH

JOEY BROWN, NORTH CENTRAL

RYAN CONWELL, PIKE

TAE DAVIS, WARREN CENTRAL

CHANDLER JACKSON, WARREN CENTRAL

ALL-MIC GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM

CRISTEN CARTER, BEN DAVIS

TAYLOR GUESS, BEN DAVIS

KATE CLARKE, CARMEL

EMILY ROPER, CARMEL

SAVANNA BISCHOFF, CENTER GROVE

JAYLAH LAMPLEY, LAWRENCE CENTRAL

ARIEL HELM, LAWRENCE NORTH

JAELYNNE MURRAY, PIKE

GIAVONNIE BELTON, PIKE

TANYUEL WELCH, NORTH CENTRAL

DESTINEE HOOKS, NORTH CENTRAL

ASIAH BAXTER, WARREN CENTRAL

NOTES: Indiana Heads to March Madness for First Time Since 2016

OPENING TIP

Indiana University is in its 122nd season of competition in men’s basketball and will play in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament against Wyoming. It marks the 40th NCAA Tournament appearance for the Hoosiers and first since 2016. The Hoosiers hold a 3-0 record against the Cowboys with the last meeting coming in 1999 in Bloomington, a 99-80 IU win. The Cream and Crimson is 12-2 all-time against Mountain West foe with the last meeting coming on Nov. 25, 2015 in a 72-69 loss to UNLV at the Maui Invitational. Both teams are 12 seeds in the West Region with the winner facing the fifth-seeded Saint Mary’s in Portland Thursday at 7:20 p.m. ET.

GAME INFORMATION

2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament First Four

Tuesday, March 15 • Approximately 9:10 p.m.

UD Arena (13,409) • Dayton, Ohio

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith) | TuneIn App

Series History: Indiana leads 3-0

Last Meeting: IU 99, WYO 80 (Dec. 18, 1999 in Bloomington)

FIRST NCAA TOURNAMENT GAME FOR ALL

On its roster, IU has 641 combined starts among the group, but not one player has ever played in an NCAA Tournament Game. However, Sr./R-Jr. Race Thompson, Jr./So. Trayce Jackson-Davis, Sr./Jr. Rob Phinisee, Jr./So. Nathan Childress, and Jr./So. Michael Shipp would have been a part of a 2020 squad that likely would have earned an NCAA berth had it not been for the Pandemic.

DEFENSE LEADS THE HOOSIERS AGAINST ILLINOIS

The Hoosiers are the top-rated defense in the Big Ten according to KenPom (21st, nationally). IU is first in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (39.1%) and first in conference games only (41.3%). They are second in blocked shots (4.97). In the Big Ten Tournament, the Hoosiers held Illinois to 35.7% shooting and won its first game in nine tries when it trailed with 5:00 minutes to go (57-54). The Illini did not make a field goal in the final five minutes. Against Michigan, from the 12:52 mark until 1:42 remaining, the Wolverines did not make a field goal. In that time, Indiana went on a 28-6 run.

COACH MIKE WOODSON

IU Hall of Famer, All-American, Big Ten MVP and Indiana native Mike Woodson is the first Hoosier graduate to lead the program at the start of the season since Lou Watson in 1965. Woodson brings nine years of NBA head coaching experience (Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks) back to his alma mater and worked for seven franchises as an assistant coach and won an NBA title in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons. He played 11 seasons in the NBA as a player and is the fifth all-time leading scorer in program history with 2,061 points.

Wyoming Coach Jim Linder is in his second year in Laramie.

MIKE WOODSON AND ONE OF HIS MENTORS

IU Coach Mike Woodson and his mentor, Larry Brown, are the only head coaches in NCAA history to begin their head coaching career in the NBA and earn an NCAA berth in their first year as a collegiate head coach. Brown did so at Kansas in 1983. Woodson was on Brown’s staff in Philadelphia and was his defensive coordinator with the Pistons when they won the NBA title.

HOOSIERS IN THE NCAA’S IN DAYTON AND PORTLAND

This will be the fourth trip for the Hoosiers to Dayton in an NCAA Tournament event. In 1975, the greatest team in IU history to some beat Oregon State, 81-71, and lost to Kentucky, 92-90, in the Mideast Regional. In 1981, IU defeated Maryland, 99-64 in the second round of the Mideast Regional. In 2013, IU defeated James Madison, 83-62, and Temple, 58-52, in the first two rounds of the East Regional. IU won In Portland in 2012 in the first two rounds of the South Regional defeating New Mexico State, 79-66, and VCU, 63-61.

WYOMING NOTES

LARAMIE, Wyo. (March 13, 2022) – The No. 12-seeded Wyoming Cowboys were awarded their first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament since 2002. The Pokes will battle fellow No. 12-seeded Indiana in the First Four on Tuesday inside UD Arena. The game is set for 7:10 pm. MT start and will be broadcast on TruTV.

Fans can listen to the contest, as well as follow stats on GoWyo.com. The game will be broadcast live on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, as Reece Monaco will have the call with Kevin McKinney on color.

About The Teams

The Cowboys, as the No. 4 seed, advanced to the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament, falling to regular-season and tournament champion, Boise State. Wyoming averages 73 points per game, on 45.8 percent shooting, and allows foes to score 65.5 points per contest on 41.1 percent accuracy. The Cowboys hit 34.3 percent of their shots from 3-point land and only allow foes to make 30.5 percent of their shots from deep.

Indiana finished in the middle of the pack of a competitive Big Ten Conference. The Hoosiers, as a No. 9 seed, won a pair of games at the conference tournament to receive their first NCAA tournament bid since 2016. They average 71.5 points per game, on 45.9 percent shooting, and allow foes to score 65.9 points per contest on 39.1 percent accuracy. Indiana hits 33.9 percent of shots from 3-point land, while it allows opponents to connect on 32.6 percent of their shots from deep.

About The Players

Wyoming is led in scoring by Graham Ike who pours in 19.6 points per game while also collecting 9.6 rebounds per contest. He’s one of only four players in the nation averaging at least 19 points and nine rebounds per game. Hunter Maldonado isn’t far behind Ike, averaging 18.4 points per game. He adds 5.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists per contest. He’s the only player in the country averaging at least 18 points, five rebounds and six assists per game. Drake Jeffries scores 10.5 points per game, while Jeremiah Oden and Xavier DuSell record 7.9 and 7.8 points per contest, respectively.

The Hoosiers are led by Trayce Jackson-Davis. He pours in 18.1 points per game while also corralling a team-best 8.2 rebounds per contest. Davis adds a team-high 2.4 blocks per game, as well. Xavier Johnson scores 12.3 points per game and leads the squad with five assists per contest. Race Thompson is the other player averaging in double figures in points, chipping in 11.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

About The Series

Indiana leads the all-time series, 3-0, with the first game played between the two ocurring in 1951. The most recent matchup happened in 1999 where the Hoosiers won 99-80 in Bloomington.

Up Next

If Wyoming wins, the Cowboys would advance to play No. 5-seeded St. Mary’s on Thursday in Portland, Oregon.

Baseball Gameday: host Kentucky

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – It will be home sweet home for the Indiana baseball program for the next three weeks and it begins with a matchup against Kentucky at 5 p.m. on Tuesday (March 15) at Bart Kaufman Field.

Indiana (6-9) has won all three home games in 2022 and Kentucky (14-3) will play its first road game since the opening weekend of the season. The Hoosiers enter after being swept in a three-game series at Troy, while Kentucky swept its weekend series with High Point.

Gameday Info

Tuesday, March 15 (5 p.m.)

Probable Starters

IU: Luke Hayden, RHP, Fr.

UK: Seth Logue, RHP, So.

Live Video: bit.ly/3I4CUBq

Live Audio: bit.ly/IUAudio

Live Stats: bit.ly/IUStatbroadcast

Quick Hitters

After a rough opening weekend, the Indiana pitching staff has started to find its groove and it showed in a shutout of Cincinnati on Tuesday.

MORE ON PAGE 7

Redshirt-junior Matt Ellis has been seeing the ball well and is tied for the Big Ten lead in home runs. The left-handed hitter has also hit some mammoth home runs so far in 2022.

MORE ON PAGE 3 & 8

Redshirt-junior Jack Perkins is off to a solid start to the 2022 season on the mound in his first season in the cream and crimson.

MORE ON PAGE 7

Head coach Jeff Mercer owns 78 victories as the Indiana frontman and is poised to become the eighth IU skipper to reach 100 victories in the cream and crimson.

FULL BIO ON PAGE 4

Freshman Josh Pyne is off to a hot start to his college career and enjoyed a productive week at the plate last week, as he led the team in average, hits and RBIs.

MORE ON PAGE 7

Freshman Brock Tibbitts took a pair of pitches out of the park in the IU’s season opener versus Miami (Ohio), but you don’t have to look far in the record books for the last rookie to hit multiple home runs in a game.

MORE ON PAGE 3 & 7

Graduate student Tyler Doanes has been a table setter for IU and ranks among the national leaders in walks through four weeks of the season.

MORE ON PAGE 7

Indiana matched a school standard with four student-athletes selected in the first 10 rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft in 2021.

MORE ON PAGE 7

Scouting the Opponent

Kentucky enters with a 14-3 overall record and is 7-2 over its last nine games with a series win over TCU and a series sweep of High Point.

Two of the Wildcats three losses have come in the midweek, with Western Kentucky and Ohio defeating the Wildcats.

After starting the season with a three-game road series, UK has played its last 14 games at home. The Wildcats will play four straight on the road starting on Tuesday at Bart Kaufman Field.

Chase Estep enters the week hitting .476 with 25 runs, 30 hits and 21 RBIs on the season. He has walked 14 times to just eight strikeouts and owns a team-best seven home runs and six stolen bases.

As a team, Kentucky is tied for the national lead in hits (164) and is No. 24 nationally in runs scored (9.3).

The pitching staff is No. 20 in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine inning (11.2).

Series Notes

The midweek contest with the Wildcats will mark the 44th all-time meeting between Indiana and Kentucky.

It’s a series that dates back to the 1903 season, when the two programs split a pair of meetings. They met seven times between 1903 and 1920 and didn’t play again until 1974.

The longest winning streak in the series belongs to Kentucky at six games from April 19, 1977-April 22, 1981. Indiana preceded those six wins with five straight victories in the series from May 11, 1920-April 1, 1975.

Of the 44 all-time meetings, 10 of them have been played at neutral sites.

Purdue to Host Southern Illinois in WNIT First Round on Wednesday

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Postseason basketball is returning to Mackey Arena this week as the Purdue women’s basketball team will host Southern Illinois in the first round of the 2022 WNIT, the tournament announced Monday. The Boilermakers will square off with the Salukis on March 16 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are officially on sale by clicking here or calling the Hayes Family Athletics Ticket Office at 765.494.3194. Season-ticket holders will receive an email from Purdue Athletics with an offer to purchase their usual seats through 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. After that time, they will be released to the general public for purchase.

Tim Newton will call the game on 95.3 BOB FM for the Purdue Radio Network, while the video stream will be provided through Big Ten Network+.

Purdue is 5-5 all-time against Southern Illinois and 1-1 in two games played after 1989. The most recent matchup was a 64-61 loss on Nov. 20, 2016.

The Boilermakers head into the postseason for the 30th time in program history and first since 2018 with a 16-14 mark under first year head coach Katie Gearlds. The Boilermakers made a nine-win improvement in 2021-22, marking the best turnaround by a Purdue coach in her first year and tying for fourth in program history.

Purdue set a new single-season record for 3-point makes and attempts, going 230-of-709 this season. Cassidy Hardin notched the fourth most triples in a campaign with 76, 12 away from the single-season record held by Katie Gearlds (2006-07) and Karissa McLaughlin (2018-19). Purdue is one of 28 teams national to feature a quartet of players with 30 triples or more (Hardin – 76, Madison Layden – 63, Brooke Moore – 35, Abbey Ellis – 31).

Layden, Ellis and Jeanae Terry garnered All-Big Ten honorable mention laurels at the end of the regular season. Terry ranks 12th and 13th nationally in assists and assists per game this season, respectively. Ellis is shooting 46% from the field and 87.4% at the line during her first campaign in West Lafayette. Layden is one of just six players nationally to have accumulated 130 rebounds (134), 80 assists (80), 60 three-pointers (63) and 45 steals (49).

Butler Baseball Ends WIU Series with 6-3 Victory

INDIANAPOLIS – Butler scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull out a 6-3 win over Western Illinois on Monday afternoon. Travis Holt tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with his first home run of the season and BU would score three more runs in the eighth off two hits.

Cole McDaniel and Lukas Galdoni were the only Bulldogs needed on the mound Monday at Bulldog Park. McDaniel threw the first six innings and struck out four Leathernecks. He only walked one and limited the visitors to just two runs off five hits. Galdoni took the ball and got Butler to the finish line by tossing the final three frames. He struck out three and walked two, resulting in his first win on the mound.

WIU led 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. Holt got Butler going with an RBI single to left centerfield to score Kollyn All, then Butler would tie the game at 2-2 in the sixth with a RBI single from Nick Ortega.

Holt and Ortega were huge in the outcome today, combining for five hits, four RBI and two runs scored. Holt homered to right in the seventh and Ortega gave BU a 4-3 lead in the eighth with a single to left. A hard groundout by Ryan O’Halloran would score Ortega and increase the BU lead to 5-3. The final run came home on a wild pitch.

Butler will return to action tomorrow with a game at Illinois. First pitch is set for 5 PM.

Cardinals, Eagles Split Two Games on Monday

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team opened Mid-American Conference play with a 3-1 series win over Eastern Michigan. The Cardinals and Eagles split a doubleheader from the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex on Monday. Amir Wright has reached base safely in all 16 games this season.

Ball State improved to 8-8 overall and are 3-1 in MAC play after the first weekend of conference play. Eastern Michigan fell to 3-10 overall and 1-3 in conference action.

Game One – EMU 4, BSU 2

The Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in game one via the long ball. Matt Kirk hit a home run in the first inning and Brady Huebbe followed with a homer in the second. Kirk added another home run, this time a two-run shot to center in the fifth inning.

Amir Wright broke up the no-hit bid as well as the shutout with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 4-1. Zach Cole added a run in the bottom of the seventh as he scored on an error by the shortstop.

Trennor O’Donnell got the loss with four innings pitched. He struck out three and surrendered three earned runs on five hits. Ryan Brown threw three innings in relief with two strikeouts and one earned run on two hits.

Adam Falinski threw a complete game with five strikeouts. He gave up two runs, one earned, on just three hits.

Game Two – Ball State 11, Eastern Michigan 8

In the top of the second, the Eagles had runners on second and third with just one out. Cole tracked down a ball hit towards the left field line and made the catch. The runner from third tried to tag up and score, but Cole came up with a strong throw home to get the runner out to keep the game scoreless.

Justin Conant led off the bottom of the third with a four-pitch walk. Trenton Quartermaine notched a two-out double down the right field line to score Conant from first. BSU held a 1-0 lead after three innings.

The Eagles tied the game in the top of the fifth on a sac fly to center field. EMU took the lead on an RBI double to left field.

Matthew Rivera tied the game with an RBI single to center and scored Nick Powell in the bottom of the sixth.

The seventh inning turned out to be one of the wildest innings baseball fans have seen in a long time. Eastern Michigan started the top of the seventh with a five-run inning to take a 7-2 lead.

The Cardinals were unfazed and resilient in the home half of the inning. BSU scored its first run of the inning on a wild pitch. Quartermaine pulled Ball State within two, with a double that scored two runs. Powell followed with a single to center and advanced to third after the center fielder made a fielding error, which scored Quartermaine from second. Ryan Peltier tied the game with a single through the left side. The Cardinals took an 8-7 lead after Peltier scored on an error by the pitcher. Conant gave BSU an 11-7 lead with a three-run homer to left center.

Ball State and Eastern Michigan combined for a 14-run seventh inning.

In the top of the ninth, Gabe Denton hit a solo home run for EMU to make the score 11-8. BSU held on to win game two, 11-8.

Casey Bargo picked up his first win of the season in 1 2/3 innings of relief. He surrendered one earned run on three hits. Sam Klein recorded his fifth save of the season as he went 1/3 of an inning in relief.

Zach Gillig got the loss in 1/3 of inning as he gave up five runs, two earned, on four hits to go along with one strikeout.

Ball State and Eastern Michigan threw a combined 15 pitchers.

The Cardinals return to the friendly confines of the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex on Friday, March 18. Game one of the four-game series between Ball State and Bowling Green is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start time.

Ball State announces search for new men’s basketball head coach; Whitford will not return

MUNCIE, Ind. – Ball State University men’s basketball head coach James Whitford will not return for a 10th season and a strategic search for the next leader of the program will begin immediately, it was announced Monday.

“James restored respect into the program, made the state of Indiana a recruiting priority and represented the Cardinals with integrity,” Director of Athletics Beth Goetz said. “I am grateful to James for his contributions to our athletes, department and University, and wish him the best moving forward.”

Under Whitford, the Cardinals were 131-148 overall and 69-93 in Mid-American Conference play. This season finished with a 14-17 overall mark, including a 9-10 record in conference play. Payton Sparks was named MAC Freshman of the Year and earned a spot on the All-MAC Third Team. Fellow freshman Jaylin Sellers joined Sparks on the All-Freshman Team.

IRISH FOCUSED ON FIRST FOUR CHALLENGE VS. RUTGERS

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team returns to the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament for the first time since 2016-17 and the 13th time of the Mike Brey era on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, as an 11 seed against No. 11 Rutgers in the First Four at Dayton Arena at 9:10 p.m. ET. The Irish and Scarlet Knights will battle each other for a spot in the First Round against No. 6 Alabama on Friday, March 18, in San Diego at 4:15 p.m. ET.  

NOTRE DAME – NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Overall Appearances: 37, 10th all-time

Overall Record: 39-40

Appearances in Mike Brey era: 13

Record in Mike Brey era: 13-12

NOTRE DAME – RUTGERS SERIES HISTORY

Overall: ND leads 20-13

Mike Brey Era (2000-01-current): ND leads 14-6

As BIG EAST Members: ND leads 15-10

Streak: 3, ND, including last meeting March 13, 2013, in BIG EAST Tournament, 69-61 Notre Dame victory

Mike Brey vs. Steve Pikiell: 3-0, all while Pikiell at Stony Brook

IRISH ITEMS – BY THE NUMBERS

1

Freshman Blake Wesley is the first rookie in the country this season to reach 450 points, 100 rebounds, 75 assists, 50 3FGM, and 30 steals.  See page 5 for more details.

3

Irish players received postseason honors from the ACC – Blake Wesley (All-ACC 2nd Team, All-Rookie Team), Dane Goodwin (All-ACC 3rd Team) and Paul Atkinson Jr. (All-ACC Honorable Mention).

4.40

Prentiss Hubb’s assist/turnover ratio throughout his career in ACC competition. It is second among all active major conference players (Iowa’s Connor McCaffery is 1st at 4.46).

7

Notre Dame will confer an NCAA men’s basketball best seven degrees in May, as seniors Robby Carmody, Dane Goodwin, Prentiss Hubb, Nate Laszewski, Cormac Ryan and Trey Wertz all will earn their undergraduate degree while graduate student Paul Atkinson Jr. has finished his work on a Master’s degree.

9

Associate head coach Anthony Solomon returned to the staff this season for his third stint with Mike Brey. In his 11 full seasons on the Irish coaching staff, Solomon has helped Brey’s team make the NCAA tournament nine times.

11.9

Points-per-game average for senior Cormac Ryan since joining the starting lineup on Feb. 9, 2022 (nine games). During that nine-game run, he is shooting .538 from the field. .500 from 3FG range and pulling down 5.6 rebounds per game.

15

The Irish have connected on 10-or-more 3FGs 15 times this season (and are 14-1 in those contests). The 2016-17 team had 16 such games, while the 2019-20 quad owns the program record at 17.

19

Minutes played by Paul Atkinson Jr. in the 2019 NCAA Tournament as a sophomore at Yale. The only NCAA tourney experience on the Irish roster.

33

Notre Dame and Rutgers will be meeting for the 33rd time and the first time since they both left the BIG EAST Conference at the end of the 2012-13 season.

470

Wins at Notre Dame for Mike Brey – the most for any men’s basketball coach in school history and the ninth-most for any NCAA DI coach at his current institution.

TOP-RANKED IRISH OPEN HOME SLATE WITH VALPARAISO

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The top-ranked Notre Dame baseball team is back on campus and set to open its home slate with a midweek contest against regional foe Valparaiso. It will be the first of two trips for the Beacons to Frank Eck Stadium this season and Tuesday’s contest is set for a 4 p.m. ET first pitch and it will be aired on ACC Network Extra. Admission is free for all fans on Tuesday and all regular season home games this season.

The Irish vaulted to No. 1 in the Baseball America and Perfect Game polls this week, the first time the program has been ranked No. 1 since the 2001 season. The Irish reached as high as No. 2 last season and also reached No. 2 earlier this season in the Baseball America poll.

                BY THE NUMBERS

.778        The Irish are 56-16 (.778) since the start of the 2020 season. That winning percentage ranks second in the NCAA over the past three seasons and trails only Tennessee (.792).

.917        The Irish are 11-1 (.917) to begin the 2022 season. It is the best start to a season for the Irish since 2015 when they also went 11-1 (.917) to begin the year.

0.92        Notre Dame leads the nation with a 0.92 WHIP this season. They have surrendered 69 hits and 33 walks in 110.1 innings pitched.

.991        Notre Dame leads the NCAA in fielding percentage with a .991 mark this season. The Irish have committed only four errors in 331 putout opportunities this season.

1              The Irish allowed only one hit in the 3-1 win over Minnesota on March 6. It is the fewest hits allowed in a game since April 18, 2007, when the Irish surrendered one hit in a 1-0 win over Purdue in 10-innings.

1.71        The Irish rank second in the NCAA in team ERA with a 1.71 through 12 games. The Irish pitching staff has allowed four runs or less in 11 of the 12 games this season.

5.63        The Irish also lead the NCAA with 5.63 hits allowed per nine innings. They have given up 69 hits in 110.1 innings pitched this season.

7              With the 11-4 win over #17 NC State on Mar. 13, the Irish have won seven-consecutive ACC road games dating back to Apr. 23, 2021.

8              The Irish scored eight unanswered runs in the 8-4 comeback win over #17 NC State on March 11. It was the most unanswered runs in a game since Game 2 of the Super Regional when the Irish scored nine unanswered runs to beat #7 Mississippi State.

8              The Irish have won their last eight ACC road series dating back to the 2020 season. It sets the program record for most consecutive conference road series wins.

9              The Irish have won nine games in a row dating back to Feb. 20. It is the longest win streak under head coach Link Jarrett and the longest win streak for the Irish since 2015 when they won 10 in a row from Feb. 14 to Mar. 6.

10           The Irish are 10-0 in road series under head coach Link Jarrett’s tenure. The Irish have won all eight ACC series in Jarrett’s three seasons and two non-conference road series against UAB and Presbyterian back in 2020.

15           In the 20-2 win over Marist, 15 different Irish players recorded a hit. It is the most players with a hit in a game for the Irish over the past 16 years. The previous record was 13 against Georgetown in 2008.

56           Outfielder Spencer Myers has 56 steals in his Irish career and ranks eighth all-time in program history for most career steals. He trails AJ Pollock by four for seventh place in program history.

72           Head coach Link Jarrett has coached 72 games with the Irish since the start of the 2020 season and has not lost back-to-back games during that span.

Irish Open Home Slate With Valparaiso

Notre Dame opens the 2022 home slate with a midweek matchup with regional foe Valparaiso.

This will be one of two times the Irish square off with the Beacons at Frank Eck Stadium after facing them three times in 2021.

Last season, the Irish won all three matchups against Valparaiso by the scores of 6-3, 8-7 and 7-4 with the last matchup coming on the road at Emory G. Bauer Field.

The Irish were 16-6 at Frank Eck Stadium in 2021 and it was the most wins at home since the 2017 season.

In the all-time series between the two schools, Notre Dame holds an 83-21 advantage and are 56-10 in games play at home.

The Irish have won 11 straight against the Beacons and 21 of the last 22 dating back to the 2001 season.

This season, Valparaiso enters the game with a 5-6 record with all their games being played on the road this season. The Beacons are coming off a weekend where they were swept by Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau.

In 2021, Valparaiso finished 16-35 overall and 9-19 in conference play.

The Irish are 11-1 this season and have won their last nine games in a row. They are off to the best start to a season since 2015, when they also went 11-1 to begin the year.

Irish Sweep #17 NC State with 11-4 Win

The Irish brought the brooms out when they took down #17 NC State 11-4 on Mar. 13 to sweep the weekend series (two games).

Notre Dame took advantage of a number of Wolfpack miscues as six of the 11 runs for the Irish were scored on errors or wild pitches.

The Irish plated 11 runs in the game, the fifth time this season they have scored 10 or more runs.

Carter Putz led the Irish at the plate with a season-high three hits and Jared Miller added a season-high three runs.

The Irish used big innings in the opening and closing sets of innings against the Wolfpack. They scored three runs in the first inning and scored seven runs over the final two innings.

On the mound, the duo of John Michael Bertrand and Austin Temple never allowed the Wolfpack to take the lead on the afternoon.

Bertrand tossed 5.0 innings as he earned his fourth win in as many starts this season.

Temple pitched 4.0 of relief and tallied his first save with the Irish.

The Irish allowed only four runs and they have allowed four runs or less in 11 of the 12 games this season.

Irish Score Eight-Unanswered in 8-4 Comeback Win Over #17 NC State

The Irish faced their biggest deficit of the season when they opened ACC play against No. 17 NC State but battled back to win, 8-4, in 12 innings.

The Irish trailed 4-0 heading into the seventh but scored three runs in the seventh and tied the game with a run in the eighth.

Carter Putz got the scoring started with a solo home run, Jack Brannigan scored on a wild pitch and Zack Prajzner drove in Brooks Coetzee III to bring the Irish within one.

In the eighth, Brannigan tied the game with a two-out RBI single that scored Jared Miller after his lead-off double.

The bullpen kept the Irish in it as Alex Rao, Radek Birkholz, Ryan McLinskey and Brannigan tossed eight innings of scoreless relief as the Irish built the comeback.

In the 12th, Zack Prajzner launched a solo home run to left to give the Irish their first lead of the game. They added three more runs in the inning to build out the lead.

Brannigan came on for the final two outs in the 11th and shut the door in the 12th as he picked up his first win of the season. Four of his five outs that he recorded came via the strikeout.

Among the Nation’s Best

Since the start of the 2020 season, the Irish have been one of the most consistent teams over the past three seasons.

Notre Dame is 56-16, good for a .778 winning percentage over that period.

That ranks second overall in the NCAA, trailing only Tennessee.

IRISH OPEN HOME SCHEDULE WITH DETROIT MERCY AND WESTERN MICHIGAN

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team opens its home schedule this week as the Fighting Irish will host the Detroit Mercy Titans and the Western Michigan Broncos, Tuesday and Wednesday evening, respectively. The Irish are coming off of a weekend in Virginia, going 1-2 against the Cavaliers to open Atlantic Coast Conference action.

Midweek Specials

These games against Detroit Mercy and Western Michigan are the first two midweek games of the season. Last season, the Irish were 3-0 in midweek games, and in 2019, the last full season with midweek competition, Notre Dame finished 4-2.

Melissa Home Cooking

In the last three seasons, Notre Dame has gone a combined 27-2 at Melissa Cook Stadium, including a perfect 15-0 at home last season. In the Gumpf-era, the Irish are 286-63 when defending home turf.

Scouting the Competition

Detroit Mercy enters the midweek contest with the Irish with an 0-12 record. The team opened Horizon League play this past weekend, narrowly falling in all three games to Youngstown State.

The Titans are hitting for a .188 average in the 12 games this season. Renee Trotman. Trotman is hitting for a .250 average with one of two Titan home runs and has driven in two. Leena Mortensen is another leading the offense, hitting for a .242 average. She has driven in three runs and her one extra base hit was a double.

In the circle, The Titans use three pitchers. Liz Murphy has started seven games, throwing five complete games and earning a 6.52 ERA in a team-best 38.2 innings. Olivia Warrington has started five games with a 6.82 ERA. In 25.2 innings, she’s struck out 25 hitters and opponents are hitting .339 against her.

The Broncos enter the weekend with an 8-13 mark, finishing a spring break trip with a record of 4-4 at the Madeira Spring Games.

Cassidy Brendtke and Reily Galloway lead the Bronco offense as they will enter the weekend each hitting .333 with at least 57 at bats. Brendtke is tied for the team-lead with 10 runs scored and leads the team with seven doubles. She’s driven in eight runs on the season and owns a .408 on-base percentage. Galloway has hit two home runs and three doubles this season, scoring seven times. She’s second on the team with 10 RBI. Alyssa Kramer leads the team with four home runs and has driven in 14.

In the circle, the Broncos are led by Galloway who owns a 1.82 ERA. She started 11 games, throwing nine complete in 65.1 innings of work. She’s held opponents to a .163 average against and has struck out 87 hitters. Jordan Kavanagh is the primary reliever, making six appearances, five out of the bullpen. Mikayla Barnard has four relief appearances. The two have combined for 26.2 innings with 13 strikeouts.

Starting Hot

The Irish were 16-4 through the first 20 games this season. It was the best start for Notre Dame Softball since the 2016 season where the team was 17-3 through the first 20 games. The Irish went on to earn a 43-13 record and a third-place finish in the ACC during the regular season.

Getting Out of the Blocks

Notre Dame has scored 30 runs in the first inning of games this season, and 70 runs in the first three innings this season. When scoring in the first inning, the Irish are 9-2 this season and when scoring the first run of the game Notre Dame is 13-2 on the season.

Top 25 wins

After falling in the first three games of the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational, the Irish went on to take down a pair of Top 25 teams.

Against LSU, Notre Dame rallied from down two to tie it up in the fifth with a home run from Payton Tidd. Miranda Johnson drove in the game-winning runs with a single to right field. Tidd shut the door in the seventh with a strikeout to end the contest and earn the 8-6 win.

The next outing saw the Irish take down #9 Texas. Notre Dame used a 7-run fifth inning to take the lead 9-2 and eventually the game. The win was the first over a top 10-nationally ranked opponent since defeating No. 3 Florida State in Tallahassee March 16th, 2019.

It’s the first weekend with wins over different top 25 teams since sweeping No. 13 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg in 2021.

Any Means Necessary

Lead-off hitter Abby Sweet picked up right where she left off after a record-setting on-base percentage in 2021 (.537). She leads the Irish with a .517 on-base percentage this season. She owns a .400 batting average, drawn seven walks and has been hit by 10 pitches. The 10 hit by pitches in 23 games ranks 4th-nationally in HBP per game. Her .750 slugging percentage is highest among the Notre Dame regulars.

Lost Luggage

The Liberty Softball Invitational got off to a tough start for the Irish as they arrived in Roanoke, Virginia without their equipment Thursday evening. 17 bags were pulled off of the flight to Roanoke and Notre Dame was left with four helmets, five gloves and a limited amount of cleats for the weekend. The teams at the Liberty Softball Invitational shuffled the schedule around and all five teams played their originally scheduled teams, but on different times and days than planned originally.

Mighty Mitchell

Joley Mitchell returned to the diamond after an injury kept her out of the lineup in 2021. She has played in 16 of 20 games this year, hitting for a .265 clip with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI. Her second home run of the season was the go-ahead run to lead off the sixth inning in a 2-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast. She also drove in the game-winning run in the top of the ninth against Rutgers.

Sister Sister

Notre Dame softball has a pair of sisters on its roster this season. Shelby and Cassidy Grimm are playing their second collegiate season together in 2022. Alexis and Anna Holloway are playing their first year of softball together this season. The extra year of eligibility for Alexis allowed for her to stay at Notre Dame long enough to play with her younger sister.

Fast First Weekend

The Irish offense scored 49 runs in the first five games of the 2022 season. Its the most runs on the first weekend of the year in Notre Dame softball history, and the most in a five-game stretch since the Irish scored 51 April 20 through April 28, 2019.

All Gas(kins)

Karina Gaskins has come on strong over the last 10 games, hitting at a .360 average. Not only has her averaged jumped up, but the power stroke has come along as well as she’s hit three home runs and sports a team-best .840 slugging percentage in the last 10 games.

Hot Hanks

Leea Hanks moved up to the lead-off spot in the lineup on the Sunday of the Liberty Invitational, Since taking the top spot in the lineup, Hanks is hitting for a .444 average with three doubles, two triples and a stolen base.

Sycamores open homestand with midweek series against SEMO

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State makes its long-awaited appearance at Bob Warn Field as the Sycamores welcome the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks to Terre Haute for a two-game set on March 15-16. Both games are scheduled for 3 p.m. first pitches.

The two-game set is scheduled to be streamed live via ESPN+ as the Sycamores make their first home appearance of the 2022 season after 13 games on the road. ISU enters the contest with a 7-6 overall record following the weekend series at Wright State. Live stats for both games will also be provided on GoSycamores.com

Weekend Recap

Indiana State went 1-2 this past weekend at Nischwitz Stadium on the campus of Wright State University as the Sycamores fell in both the first and third games, while taking the middle contest against the Raiders. The series was played over a four-day stretch with games on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday due to inclement weather in the Dayton area.

Wright State utilized a three-run fifth inning in Thursday’s opener as the Sycamores fell to the host Raiders, 6-3. Indiana State out-hit Wright State 11-9 in the loss with Jordan Schaffer going 3-for-5 from the plate, while Randall Diaz and Isaiah Thompson both had multi-hit games in the loss.

Matt Jachec righted the ship for Indiana State in Friday’s contest as the redshirt sophomore posted his second quality start of the season in ISU’s 6-2 win. Jachec surrendered a pair of solo home runs over his 7.0 innings on the mound, while Sean Ross connected on a three-run home run to power the Sycamores at the plate in evening the series.

Sunday’s finale had it all as Indiana State utilized a nine-run sixth inning to turn a 4-0 deficit into a 9-4 lead. Aaron Beck started the stretch with a RBI double, while Randall Diaz and Josue Urdaneta had two-RBI hits in the 13-batter inning to swing the advantage to Indiana State. However, Wright State battled back scoring eight runs over the final two innings with Julian Greenwell’s walk-off RBI double the difference in ISU’s 11-10 loss.

Scouting SEMO

Southeast Missouri State has been one of the most impressive teams in the nation over the early part of the 2022 season as the Redhawks opened the year with a 13-1 overall mark and an 11-game winning streak dating back to February 26 against Bellarmine. The Redhawks have played three extra-inning games in the 2022 season winning each of the contests, while SEMO is currently 8-1 against current members of the Missouri Valley Conference this season.

Among the Redhawks wins on the season include a pair of extra-inning victories on the road over then-No. 22 Dallas Baptist, while SEMO swept Bellarmine, Bradley, and Valparaiso. SEMO also took midweek matchups over Saint Louis and Arkansas State during their 11-game winning streak.

The long ball has powered the Redhawks through the 2022 season with eight different players recording multiple home runs on the year. Tyler Wilber leads the way with seven home runs and 27 RBI while hitting .333 from the plate, while Andrew Keck’s .400 batting average includes four home runs and 23 RBI on the year. Jevon Mason and Peyton Leeper added five home runs apiece as SEMO has homered in 12 consecutive games entering the midweek series.

The Redhawks strong offense has helped offset a pitching staff that has posted a 5.67 ERA so far in the 2022 season. Seven different SEMO pitchers have reached double-digit innings on the mound with Noah Niznik and Bryce Grossius starting four games apiece. Austin Williams, Jason Rackers, and Tommy Windt have also earned multiple starts for Head Coach Andy Sawyers’ team.

Two SEMO athletes earned preseason All-Conference recognition heading into the season with Tyler Wilber earning Preseason Player of the Year honors, while Jevon Mason was also on the squad. The Redhawks were picked to win the OVC Tournament crown for the second consecutive season receiving eight of a possible 18 first-place votes in the poll.

SEMO Top Player

Tyler Wilber is the player to watch heading into the weekend as the senior infielder has reprised his role among the SEMO leaders on the year. The OVC Preseason Player of the Year started all 52 games at shortstop last season and was SEMO’s top hitter with a .378 batting average. He was ranked 17th among D1Baseball’s Top 100 shortstops last season and will climb higher this year. He currently paces SEMO with seven home runs and 27 RBI, while adding three doubles.

Opponent History

Indiana State is 5-0 all-time against Southeast Missouri State in the short history between the two teams dating back to the inaugural contest in 2006. The Sycamores swept a home weekend series against SEMO on May 8-10, 2015, while taking two wins at the Redhawks early in the 2006 season. The two teams have played one extra-inning game between them with ISU taking the 10-6 win in 11 innings back on March 4, 2006.

Leading the Valley

Indiana State’s offense continues to fire on all cylinders through the first 13 games of the season as the Sycamores entered the week as the Missouri Valley Conference’s top offense in regards to batting average. ISU (.320) is one of two MVC team to hit at an above .300 clip on the year joining Southern Illinois (.306), while Indiana State’s 154 hits put them just behind Southern Illinois’ 173 set over 16 games. The Sycamores are 21st overall in the NCAA rankings in batting average on the year, while leading the MVC in on-base percentage (.414). The Sycamores have posted double-digit hits in eight of their last nine games, including a season-best 22 hits on February 26 against Minnesota. The Sycamores also have two games with at least nine hits, while posting an extra-base hit in all 13 contests on the year.

Dodging Baseballs

The Sycamores have been one of the worst teams in the NCAA to dodge a baseball in the 2022 season, but it has worked out to Indiana State’s credit this year in providing 26 extra runners to the base paths. The Sycamores rank 29th in the NCAA in hit-by-pitches, while Jordan Schaffer (8) entered the week sitting in the top-10 in the NCAA individually in the category. The Sycamores have had multiple batters get hit by a pitch in nine of the 13 games this season, including a season-best five on February 25 against Merrimack. Schaffer was plunked a career-high three times against Ohio State on February 19, while Mike Sears (3), Josue Urdaneta (2), Randall Diaz (2), and Parker Stinson (2) have also been hit by multiple pitches this season.

We Don’t Give Up Free Bases

The Indiana State pitching staff has been one of the nation’s best at not hurting themselves this year entering the week sitting second in the Missouri Valley in both strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.48) and walks allowed per nine innings (3.64) through the first 10 games of the season. Right-hander Matt Jachec is individually ranked in both categories to pace the Sycamores on the season after surrendering his first walk of 2022 in the fourth inning against ECU. He currently leads the Sycamores in both categories with a 9.50 K:BB ratio (39th in NCAA) and a 0.69 walks allowed per nine innings (19th in NCAA) stretch. Overall, the Sycamores pitching staff has allowed three or fewer walks in seven different games, while posting double-digit strikeouts on four separate occasions.

Can’t Be Caught

Indiana State’s stolen base game saw its perfect stretch come to an end this past weekend, but the Sycamores remain one of the more elusive teams on the base paths this year. ISU is 10-for-11 in stolen base attempts on the season paced by Tyler Nelson’s 3-for-3 effort on the year. Josue Urdaneta and Jordan Schaffer both have multiple steals on the season, while Diego Gines, Sean Ross, and Jackson Taylor also have thefts to their name. Overall, the Sycamores boast the fifth-most steals in the Missouri Valley on the season.

Double-Digit Hitting Streak

13 games into the season and Josue Urdaneta has showed few signs of slowing down as the redshirt sophomore switch-hitter leads the Missouri Valley hitters in the 2022 season. Urdaneta’s .435 batting average makes him one of five MVC to hit above .400 on the season, while his eight multi-hit contests also put him among the league leaders. The Maracaibo, Venezuela native is third in the conference with 25 hits coming into the week, while his .484 on-base percentage puts him firmly in the MVC top-10 on the year. Urdaneta kept his streak alive this past weekend with five hits against Wright State, including a 3-for-5 effort with a double in Friday’s 6-2 win over the Raiders. He also doubled his season RBI output with three runs batted in against Wright State, including two on a run-scoring single in the nine-run sixth inning in the series finale.

On-Base Streak Hits 25

Indiana State’s Jordan Schaffer has put together one of the longest on-base streaks in his collegiate career as the redshirt senior saw his streak reach 25 games through the weekend series against Wright State. Schaffer hit safely in his first seven games in the 2022 season to set a new personal-best with hits in 19 consecutive games, before seeing the hitting streak come to an end on at the LeClair Classic against East Carolina. However, a walk drawn in the seventh inning extended his on-base stretch to keep ISU’s longest active streak alive. Schaffer continued his on-base streak this past weekend against Wright State as the redshirt senior shortstop posted a three-hit game in the opener and added two more hits in Friday’s win. He was hit by his eighth pitch of the 2022 season in the series finale against the Raiders to keep the streak alive. Schaffer has hit safely in 40 of his last 43 games and enters the weekend sitting third on the Sycamores with a .345 batting average at the top of the Sycamore lineup.

Thompson Finding a Spot

Freshman outfielder Isaiah Thompson made the most of his starting opportunities this past weekend as the Springfield, Ill. native went on a tear with multi-hit games in each of the three contests against Wright State. Thompson hit a team-best .500 from the plate while starting as the designated hitter and in left field over the weekend at the Raiders. All three multi-hit games were the first three of his collegiate career as Thompson singled twice in Thursday’s opener, added two more base hits and a pair of RBI on Friday, before going 2-for-5 in Sunday’s finale. The left-hander continues to impress early in the season and is expected to be in the mix for more playing time as the season progresses heading into Missouri Valley play.

Ross Powering Up

Indiana State has found its power bat in the middle of the lineup as Sean Ross has started to heat up. The redshirt senior from San Diego, Calif. paces the Sycamores with a team-high seven extra-base hits, including tying for the team lead in both doubles (4) and home runs (2) over the past weekend against the Raiders. Ross enters the week on a six-game hitting streak and is currently top-five in the Missouri Valley with a .425 batting average on the year. Ross has hit safely in nine of the 11 games he’s played on the season, including a four-hit contest with a triple back on February 26 against Minnesota. He has doubled in four of the last five games and posted back-to-back multi-hit contests over the final two games against the Raiders. Ross also boasts four games with multiple RBI and leads the Sycamores with 14 runs batted in on the year.

Hitting the Triple

The Sycamores are looking to add to their triple totals heading into the week as Indiana State picked up their third triple of the 2022 season this past weekend against Wright State. Josue Urdaneta joined Sean Ross and Luis Hernandez with three-baggers on the season with his triple in Friday’s win over the Raiders. Overall, the Sycamores are tied for third in the Missouri Valley with three triples on the season trailing just Valparaiso (5) and Missouri State (4) on the year.

Leaving the Park as a Group

The Sycamores power numbers have been small in the 2022 season as Indiana State enters the weekend with just nine home runs through their first 13 games. However, every player in the Sycamore lineup possesses the ability to drive the ball out of the park with seven different players leaving the yard in the 2022 season. Only Sean Ross (2) and Mike Sears (2) have multiple home runs, while Luis Hernandez, Jordan Schaffer, Randall Diaz, Parker Stinson, and Miguel Rivera also driving the ball over the wall in 2022. The Sycamores boasted a season-high seven game stretch with at least one home run from February 20 – March 5.

Doubling It Up

The balanced offensive approach has continued when it comes to doubles in the 2022 season with 11 different players recording at least one two-bagger, while six players have multiple doubles through the first 10 games. Diego Gines and Sean Ross lead the way with four doubles on the year, Gines doubling in four of the first five games, while Ross has doubled in four of the last five. Randall Diaz (3), Jordan Schaffer (2), Parker Stinson (2), and Aaron Beck (2) also have multiple doubles on the year with Indiana State posting at least one double in 11 of the 13 games on the year and multiple doubles in seven contests.

Jachec Leading the Way

Indiana State’s rotation has found another ace as redshirt sophomore Matt Jachec currently sits among the Missouri Valley leaders through his first four starts of the 2022 season. The Hampshire, Ill. native is currently in the top-10 in multiple individual categories on the season including innings pitched (26.0), ERA (2.77), opponent batting average (.248), strikeouts looking (6), wins (3), and walks allowed (2). He went the first 16.2 innings before surrendering his first walk in the 2022 season, while going at least five innings in each of his four starts. Jachec has picked up wins over BYU, Minnesota, and Wright State on the year, while taking his lone loss against East Carolina.

The Strikeout King

Graduate transfer Jack Parisi possesses one of the most dangerous arsenals in the NCAA this season as he enters the weekend the active career NCAA Division I strikeout leader by 21 over Georgetown’s Nolan McCarthy. Parisi has posted 298 career strikeouts, including 29 with the Sycamores over his four starts in the 2022 season. The Fort Wayne, Ind. native posted a season-best 13 whiffs against Merrimack on February 25, while 22 of his 29 strikeouts on the year have been in the swing-and-miss category. His 29 strikeouts leads the Sycamores pitching staff on the season and puts him second overall in the MVC trailing just Valparaiso’s Colin Fields (33) through his first four starts.

Saving the Game

Redshirt junior Connor Fenlong remains one of the top relievers in the Missouri Valley this season as the Gouverneur, N.Y. native has made seven appearances, while posting three saves on the year. Named one of the top D1Baseball MLB Draft Prospects in the 2022 season, Fenlong has posted three saves on the year over his 10.2 innings and will be expected to lead the bullpen this weekend against the Redhawks.

Mallory announces addition of Mike Bath to football coaching staff

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State head football coach Curt Mallory announced the addition of Mike Bath to the Sycamores coaching staff on Monday afternoon.

Bath joins the Sycamores by way of Western Michigan University where he served as the running backs coach for the Broncos since 2019. Bath will take over the rein as Indiana State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“I’m excited to welcome Mike Bath to the Sycamore coaching staff this year,” Mallory said. “We’ve said it in the past, but we look for high character guys knowing they will be mentors for our players. I’ve known Mike in the past during our time together at Wyoming and I look forward to working with him again on the Sycamores sidelines.”

Bath served as the running backs coach for three seasons and helped paced the Broncos offense to new levels in the running game. Three Broncos earned All-Conference accolades during his tenure including LeVante Bellamy taking 2019 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year accolades and finishing among the 2019 Doak Walker semifinalists that season.

This past year, the Broncos running game featured a 1,000-yard rusher as Sean Tyler utilized 178 carries for 1,150 yards and nine touchdowns as Western Michigan’s offense averaged 215.92 yards per game on the ground on their way to an 8-5 record.

The unprecedented 2020 campaign saw the Broncos play just six MAC games due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Bath’s running backs still proved an integral part of a WMU offense that ranked ninth nationally in scoring. La’Darius Jefferson paced the stable of running backs by earning second-team All-MAC honors after his 624 rushing yards (104.0 per game) ranked fourth in the league. Altogether, the WMU rushing attack ranked in the top four in the MAC in both total rushing yards (1,159) and touchdowns (14).

His first year in Kalamazoo was an undeniable success with senior LeVante Bellamy being named the Mid-American Conference Vern Smith Leadership Award as the league’s MVP, as well as the MAC Offensive Player of the Year. Bellamy was one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation’s top running back.

Bath helped Bellamy finish an outstanding 2019 season leading the country in rushing touchdowns with 23. Bellamy also finished the year ranked third nationally in points per game (10.6), fourth in total touchdowns scored (23), fifth in total points scored (138), ninth in rushing yards per game (113.2) and 10th in total rushing yards (1,472). At the conclusion of the 2019 campaign, Bellamy represented Western Michigan in the East-West Shrine Bowl and at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis from February 23 – March 2, 2020.

Bath arrived in Kalamazoo after five seasons at Wyoming (2014-18) and stints at Miami University (2004-09, 2011-13) and Ashland University (2009-10). Bath coached the Cowboy running backs, fullbacks and tight ends and was a co-special teams coordinator during his time in Laramie.

Over his time at Wyoming, Bath coached the 2017 National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy semifinalist Drew Van Maanen, while helping the Cowboys score on 33-of-34 red zone opportunities. The Cowboys special teams were also among the nation’s best topping the country in kickoff returns and finishing in the top-30 in punt returns.

Over his time at Wyoming, Bath had two players earn Doak Walker Award Watch List and postseason semifinalist recognition, including Cowboy career rushing leader Brian Hill. Hill earned Third Team All-American honors after recording 1,860 yards in the 2016 season and racked up 4,287 career rushing yards over his time with the Cowboys.

Prior to joining Wyoming, Bath served as the interim head coach at Miami (Ohio) in 2013.  He was named interim head coach on October 6, 2013, and assumed offensive coordinator duties at that time after beginning the season coaching the quarterbacks and wide receivers.

Bath had returned to Miami (Ohio) in 2011 to coach the wide receivers and tight ends. In 2012, he moved into the role of quarterbacks coach, and worked with Zac Dysert, who set program records for career total offense (12,678) and career passing yards (12,013).

Bath began his college coaching career in 2004 as a graduate assistant coach for his alma mater. After serving as a graduate assistant in 2004 and 2005, he was named a full-time assistant in 2006 and coached the RedHawk tight ends for three seasons, from 2006-08.  During his time as an assistant coach at Miami, the RedHawks captured three MAC East Division Championships (2004, 2005 & 2007) and made an Independence Bowl appearance in 2004.

In 2009 and 2010, Bath served as the offensive coordinator at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.

A three-year starter at quarterback for Miami from 1998-2000, Bath compiled a record of 23-10 as a starter and led the RedHawks to the MAC East Division co-championship as a sophomore in 1998. That team posted a 10-1 overall record and a 7-1 conference mark. Among those 10 wins in 1998 was a 13-10 upset victory over No. 12 North Carolina and a 14-13 victory over Army. During Bath’s junior season, Miami upset Northwestern 28-3 in Evanston. As a senior, Bath helped the RedHawks win 33-30 at Vanderbilt. Bath was named his team’s co-MVP his senior season.

At the conclusion of his college playing career, Bath held program career records of 6,524 yards passing and 49 passing touchdowns.

He graduated from Miami with a double major in marketing and organizational behavior in 2001.

Bath and his wife, Tara, have four children, Colton, Savannah, Case and Cannon.

Aces rebound with two wins on Monday

MURRAY, Ky. – Day two of the Racer Classic saw the University of Evansville softball team rebound with a pair of victories over St. Thomas and Western Illinois to complete their final non-conference tournament.  UE now has its sights set on Missouri Valley Conference play, which begins this weekend at Cooper Stadium against Drake.

Game One – UE 6, St. Thomas 0

Sydney Weatherford did it all in Monday’s opener, throwing a complete game shutout while helping her own cause with four RBI and a home run.  With one out in the first, Weatherford hit a solo homer, the second of her career, to put the Aces on the board.

UE wasted little time in adding to its lead, scoring four times in the second.  Haley Woolf led off with a walk before Hannah Hood reached on a bunt single.  Mackenzie McFeron and Jessica Fehr each walked, the latter coming with the bases loaded.  That sequence brought Weatherford back to the plate where she hit a bases-clearing triple to make it a 5-0 game.

Hood reached base once again in the fifth with a leadoff walk.  After stealing second, she advanced to third on a McFeron sacrifice.  Fehr walked for the second time in the game and combined with Hood for a double steal that accounted for the sixth and final run of the game.  Weatherford recorded her third win of the season and second complete game.  She gave up eight hits while fanning five batters.

Game Two – UE 7, Western Illinois 2

Another strong all-around effort saw the Purple Aces earn win #2 of the day, taking down Western Illinois by a 7-2 final in the second game of the day.

Back-to-back doubles saw the Purple Aces open the scoring in the top half of the third.  Mackenzie McFeron hit a 1-out single before crossing the plate on a double from Jessica Fehr.  Sydney Weatherford followed with a double down the left field line to make it a 2-0 game.

Two more runs crossed the plate in the fourth with Haley Woolf leading off with a single.  Alexa Davis was hit by a pitch before Hannah Hood singled to lead the bases for Jenna Lis, who hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Woolf.  Walks by Zoe Frossard and Fehr produced another run.  Marah Wood added a home run in the fifth to make it a 5-0 lead for the Aces.  Two more runs crossed the plate in the sixth to cap off Evansville’s scoring.

Western Illinois got on the board when Georgia Rea hit a 2-run homer to make it a 7-2 game in the sixth.  Izzy Vetter took care of business from there, keeping the Leathernecks off the board in the seventh to clinch her 11th win of the season.  She allowed two runs on three hits while striking out seven.  Fehr had two of the Aces’ seven hits.

There has been a schedule change for UE.  The Aces were originally scheduled to face Tennessee Tech on Wednesday, March 16.  With both teams playing on Monday of this week, the doubleheader has been moved to Tuesday, March 22.  Two games will be played with the opener set for a 2 p.m. first pitch.

Nick Smith garners MVC Pitcher of the Week honors after impressive weekend

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – For the first time in his career, University of Evansville baseball sophomore pitcher Nick Smith has been named the Missouri Valley Conference’s Pitcher of the Week, it was announced in a release from the conference office on Monday afternoon.

Putting on a show against the 18th-ranked team in the nation, Smith showed the potential he has flashed all of his career. In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader with #18 Tulane, Smith threw 6.1 innings, allowing six hits and just one run, while striking-out seven as Evansville captured a 5-1 win to sweep the doubleheader en route to a series sweep. On the season, Smith is fifth on the team with a 3.68 ERA, which is best amongst Evansville’s starters. In his two outings against ranked opponents, Smith has pitched 10.2 innings allowing just three runs and striking-out nine.

The pitcher of the week honor is the second straight for the Aces after Shane Gray captured the award a week ago.

Evansville is back in action on Wednesday with a midweek matchup with Austin Peay at 6 PM in Clarksville, Tenn.

Baseball to Play First Midweek Game of 2022 at Nationally-Ranked Notre Dame

Valparaiso (5-6, 0-0 MVC)

at No. 6 Notre Dame (11-1, 2-0 ACC)

Frank Eck Stadium (2,500) | Notre Dame, Ind.

Tuesday, March 15, 3 p.m. CT – RHP Zach Fricke

Next Up in Valpo Baseball: For the first time this season, the Valparaiso University baseball team will compete in a midweek game on Tuesday as the Beacons make their way to Notre Dame, Ind. to battle the nationally-ranked Fighting Irish. This marks the first of two matchups this season between these two teams, both at Frank Eck Stadium. Notre Dame won all three meetings last season, but Valpo played all competitive games against the top-25 Irish.

Last Time Out: SEMO slugged 10 home runs in this past weekend’s three-game series in Cape Girardeau, Mo., taking advantage of a wind that was carrying balls to right. The Beacons took an early lead by scoring in the top of the first in every game of the series, but the host Redhawks, the defending Ohio Valley Conference champions and this year’s preseason favorites, rallied to win each contest. Valpo dropped the first two games 9-1 and 16-6 before SEMO prevailed 10-8 in a seesaw series finale. The game was tied as late as the eighth, but SEMO’s fifth long ball of the contest propelled the hosts to the series sweep.

Following the Beacons: Tuesday’s game will air on ACC Network Extra. Links to live video and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com. For in-game updates, follow @ValpoBaseball on Twitter.

Head Coach Brian Schmack: Brian Schmack (157-241), the 17th head baseball coach in Valparaiso University history, is in his ninth season in charge of the program. Entering the 2022 campaign, he has served as the head coach for 387 games at Valpo, the fourth-most in program history with Tracy Woodson third at 397. This year, he moves into sole possession of third in program history for number of seasons coached with nine, surpassing Donald Warnke (1946-1953). Entering the season, Schmack’s win total of 152 ranks fourth in program history after he surpassed Rick Ferchen (1982-1987, 147) during the 2021 campaign. Also in 2021, Schmack joined Paul Twenge (1988-2006), Emory G. Bauer (1954-1981) and Tracy Woodson (2007-2013) as the only head coaches to reach the 150-win threshold. 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.

Talking Schmack: Head coach Brian Schmack moved into third in program history in career games coached on Sunday at SEMO. He enters Tuesday at Notre Dame having skippered 398 Valpo games. Schmack’s predecessor, Tracy Woodson, was at the helm for 397 contests. This coming weekend at Murray State, Schmack will become the third head coach in program history to work 400 games, joining Paul Twenge (1988-2006, 1011) and Emory G. Bauer (1954-1981, 606).

Series Notes: Notre Dame leads the all-time series 79-21 as the two teams have faced off exactly 100 times in a set that dates all the way back to 1958. Each of the last five matchups have been decided by three runs or fewer, but Valpo has dropped 11 straight head-to-head meetings since a 7-4 triumph on May 2, 2012. Valpo had then No. 8 Notre Dame on the ropes on May 11 of last season at Emory G. Bauer Field as the Beacons led 3-0 through seven, but the Fighting Irish rallied for a seven-run eighth to win 7-4. The two teams faced off three times a year ago with Notre Dame winning the other two matchups 6-3 and 8-7 at Frank Eck Stadium.

Valpo vs. Ranked Foes: Valpo will take on a nationally-ranked opponent for the first time this season after seven matchups with nationally-ranked competition last season. Valpo went 0-7 in those games, three of which came against Notre Dame and four against Indiana State. In the last decade, the program has Top-25 wins over No. 25 Illinois (April 17, 2018), No. 25 DBU (March 11, 2016), No. 9 Arizona State (April 21, 2013) and No. 4 Arkansas (Feb. 26, 2012).

Pitching Probable: RHP #8 Zach Fricke, Jr. (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Buffalo Grove)

Valpo prevailed in each of his final three starts of the season in 2021 before he missed the end of the season with an injury.

Led the team in victories as a freshman in 2019 (3).

During a three-game stretch late in the 2019 season, he made starts against Evansville, Bradley and Southern Illinois and posted a combined 3-0 record with a 2.14 ERA and opponents hitting .214 against him.

Will make his second start of the season after taking the defeat in Game 2 of a doubleheader on March 4 at Omaha. He was charged with five runs on four hits and one walk while striking out two in 2 1/3 innings.

Favorite food is fettuccine, movie is 21 Jump Street, pro baseball team is the Chicago White Sox, MLB player is Dansby Swanson, musical group is Logic and TV show is Hawaii Five-O.

Hannahs Stays Hot: After collecting three hits in each game of the March 13 doubleheader at SEMO, Hannahs has produced multiple hits in seven of his first 11 games this season. In addition, he has already racked up four three-hit contests. The sophomore third baseman leads the Missouri Valley Conference in batting average at .463 and on-base percentage at .549 while ranking second in slugging percentage at .829. He has drilled four home runs in 11 games this season, surpassing his season total of three from his entire rookie campaign (51 games). Entering Tuesday at Notre Dame, Hannahs has reached base safely in 10 consecutive games.

Sophomore Jump: Hannahs isn’t the only Beacon who has avoided the sophomore slump, as Alex Thurston is off to a stellar start to his sophomore season. Thurston’s year has featured a jump rather than a slump as he has boosted a .158 batting average from last season to .378 in 2022 (currently eighth in the MVC). Thurston is reaching base at a .439 clip after he finished his freshman season with a .284 OBP. Entering Tuesday at Notre Dame, Thurston possesses a nine-game hitting streak, trying to become the first Valpo player with a double-figure hitting streak this season after two did so a year ago (Kyle Schmack and Kaleb Hannahs).

Strikeout Success: Colin Fields struck out eight in just 3 1/3 innings in the second game of the March 13 doubleheader at SEMO, lifting his season total to 33 and his career total to 183. He has struck out seven or more in all four of his starts this season. Fields leads the MVC in strikeouts this year. He is just 17 away from becoming the 12th pitcher in program history to reach 200.

Close Calls Continuing: Last season, Valpo competed in 15 one-run games, posting a 7-8 mark in such contests. The team had 10 affairs decided by the slimmest of margins in Missouri Valley Conference play alone. This year, the trend of close games has continued. Six of Valpo’s first 11 games have been decided by two runs or fewer, with the Beacons holding a 4-2 mark in those outings.

Strong Start: The start of the season is never easy for Valpo, a cold-weather team that begins the calendar each year with a lengthy string of road games, mostly against warm-weather competition. This year, Valpo withstood those early-season challenges to put together the program’s best record through eight games since 1999. That season, Valpo also started 5-3, but had the benefit of starting the season with five neutral-site games in Florida. This year, the Beacons have played exclusively true road games. Prior to dropping all three March 12-13 at Ohio Valley Conference preseason favorite SEMO, Valpo had won five of its previous six games, a stretch that included the program’s first four-game winning streak since late in the 2019 season against Southern Illinois and Chicago State. This year’s four-game winning streak was the program’s longest that came in all true road games since March 2014 (two at Texas A&M CC, one at Chicago State, one at UIC).

In the Other Dugout: Notre Dame

Ranked No. 6 by D1Baseball.com as of Monday, March 14 and also ranked in the Top 10 in the latest Baseball Newspaper, USA Today Coaches’ and Baseball America polls.

Won both games this past weekend on the road against No. 17 NC State in an abbreviated two-game series to open ACC play.

Hold a nine-game winning streak after a Feb. 20 5-4 loss to Delaware in DeLand, Fla.

Will play their home opener on Tuesday.

Finished the 2021 season at 34-13 including a 25-10 mark in ACC play. Won the South Bend Regional before falling to Mississippi State in three games in the Starkville Super Regional.

Led in hitting by Carter Putz, who holds a .372 average to go along with a team-high 13 RBIs.

UIndy Moves to #4 in USILA/Dynamic Coaches Poll

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis men’s lacrosse team dropped one spot to No. 4 in this weeks United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA)/Dynamic Men’s Coaches Poll.  The Hounds also stayed put at No. 3 in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Magazine Top 20.

UIndy had a 2-0 week with a pair of home wins over Walsh and Colorado State Pueblo.  The Hounds are averaging 13 goals per game this season while holding their opponents to 7.29 goals per game, a mark good for fifth in the nation.

The only other Great Lakes Valley Conference school to appear in the USILA Top 20 was Lindenwood in the 12th spot.  The Hounds and Lions will battle on Saturday at Lindenwood in the first conference game of the season for both squads.  Three other GLVC members received votes in Lewis, Maryville and Rockhurst.

This marks the 40th consecutive week that UIndy has appeared in the Top 20 and the ninth straight week in the Top 10.

Hounds Named No. 1 In Nation

The University of Indianapolis women’s lacrosse team has claimed the No. 1 spot in the nation as announced by IWLCA officials on Monday. After extending its win streak to five and downing previously ranked No. 1 and now No. 2 Le Moyne on Sunday afternoon inside of Syracuse’s Carrier Dome.

The Hounds were honored for the third straight week in the Great Lakes Valley Conference with Abigail Lago’s receiving her sixth career GLVC Offensive Player of the Week award.

The Greyhounds stay on the road against No. 8 Adelphi on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET and then face off against No. 13 Tampa on Monday, March 21 at McKendree at 12 p.m. ET.

O’Connor Collects GLVC Weekly Accolades

INDIANAPOLIS – UIndy junior Emily O’Connor was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Player of the Week in softball, it was announced by the league office Monday.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Emily O’Connor, Indianapolis

Jr., IF, New Palestine, Ind.

Major: Exercise Science

Team Results: 21-4 W vs. McKendree (3/10) | 6-2 W vs. McKendree (3/10)

Went 3-for-6 (.500) on the weekend, scoring seven runs and driving in five as well

Homered twice and tripled for a slugging percentage of 1.833

Helped the Hounds to 21-4 win in game 1, good for the team’s highest scoring output in a decade

Earns second career Player of the Week award

Last Greyhounds’ Player of the Week: Gianni Iannantone (5/3/21)

Men’s Basketball: Knight Selected to NABC-Reese’s Division III All-Star Game

Anderson University men’s basketball senior Maurice Knight has been selected to the 2022 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC)-Reese’s Division III All-Star Game, which was announced by the NABC on Monday.

“I am thrilled for Maurice to receive this invitation; he is immensely deserving,” Coach Owen Handy said. “He’s been a terrific basketball player for us, able to dominate games at both ends of the floor.”

The Division III All-Star Game is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne. It includes the top senior talent in Division III. Rosters include representation from each region.

Knight scored 20.0 points per game, which ranks second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC). Among conference leaders, Knight also ranks third in blocking (1.04) and fourth in rebounding (7.8). The 6-foot-4 senior wing from Frankton put together 2.4 assists per game and 1.2 steals per game.

Knight was tabbed as the HCAC Player of the Year and the HCAC Defensive Player of the Year. He was selected as HCAC Athlete of the Week five times this season, which is tied for the most single-season selections by a men’s basketball player in conference history. Knight was also named to the D3hoops.com Team of the Week this season.

Baseball: Anderson Earns Victory against (RV) Washington-St. Louis

The Anderson University baseball team earned a 10-5 victory against the University of Washington-St. Louis on Monday in Winter Haven, Fla., in the fifth game of its spring break trip.

Justin Reed led the Ravens (6-7) with five RBI’s on a 3-4 batting line. Landon Southern (1-0) earned the win pitching six innings and Evan Doan picked up the three-inning save, his first save of the season. The Bears (1-7) are receiving votes in the latest D3baseball.com poll.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Anderson was down early after Washington-St. Louis scored in the bottom of the first. Grahm Reedy reached first after being hit by a pitch. With two outs in the top half of the second, Jed Downham doubled driving in Reedy to tie the game.

The top of the third started with back-to-back hits from Charlie Jones and Jake Stank and was immediately followed by an RBI single from Justin Reed to give the Ravens the lead early.

The Ravens lost the lead in the fourth but answered back in the top of the fifth with three runs off of fielding errors from the Bears. A leadoff Jones single which saw him make it to third due to errors was followed by a Stank RBI groundout. Reed was hit by a pitch the next at bat before Tyler Smitherman also reached base by way of an error. The same throwing error brought around Reed to score. Grahm Reedy drove in Smitherman with a single to left field to end the scoring in the inning.

Reed led off the seventh inning with a solo homerun, his second home run of the year.

Downham started the eighth inning with a double, T.J. Price and Jones were walked in the inning and Reed knocked them all in with a three-run double.

The Ravens started another inning with a hit in the ninth. Reedy added another hit to his total. Two batters later, Downham drove in Reedy with an RBI single, his second RBI of the game.

Southern earned his first win of the season, he went six innings and had six strikeouts while only allowing four hits, three walks and three earned runs.

Doan earned the save, going three innings, giving up only four hits and two earned runs.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

Justin Reed: 3-4, 5 RBI, 1 HR, Double

Charlie Jones: 3-3, 3 Runs, Double

Grahm Reedy: 2-4, 2 Runs, 1 RBI

UP NEXT FOR AU

Anderson is slated for two games on Tuesday at Northeast Regional Park Field #4 in Davenport, Fla. The Ravens battle Illinois Wesleyan University (4-5) at 10 a.m. and Ramapo College (2-3) at 2 p.m.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | Shively Garners Third-Career Player-of-the-Week Nod

JACKSON, Mich. – The Crossroads League announced its latest collection of weekly awards, in which Trojan pitcher, Luke Shively, was honored as the league’s Pitcher of the Week.

Shively’s award came in the wake of a near-perfect performance in Taylor’s 6-0 win against Huntington on Thursday, an outing in which Shively navigated nine innings of work while facing 28 batters, a mere one above the minimum.

Meanwhile, the senior right-handed hurler retired 12 Foresters via the strikeout, a career-high for the Mishawaka, Indiana, native, while surrendering just one hit and one walk in his second-career complete-game shutout.

After allowing his sole walk in the first inning, Shively subsequently sat down 17-consecutive Huntington batters, holding the Forester offense at bay as the game remained locked at zero.

The Trojans eventually unloaded for six runs in the eighth, uplifting Shively toward his league-leading fifth win of the 2022 campaign, a season so far in which he also leads the league with 46 strikeouts in 35.0 innings of work.

With his first award of the 2022 season, Shively now owns three Crossroads League Pitcher-of-the-Week awards in his career. The honor also marks Taylor baseball’s third award of the season, as Shively joins Kaleb Kolpien and TJ Bass as weekly award-winners.

Taylor athletes now boast a total of 28 CL or MSFA Player-of-the-Week awards during the 2021-2022 year.

Shively and the Trojans (14-8, 4-2) return to action on Monday afternoon, March 14th, when they host Huntington (5-9, 3-3) at 3:00 pm for a day-two doubleheader with the Foresters.

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | Vander Molen Posts Big Day as Trojans Split with Huntington

UPLAND, Ind. – In a day of extremes, the Taylor baseball team split its day-two doubleheader with Huntington (6-10, 4-4), losing game one and allowing 20 Forester runs before shutting the visitors out in game two by a score of 5-0.

First baseman, Kade Vander Molen, led the offensive charge for the Trojans, going 4-7 at the plate throughout the day while smacking two doubles and two home runs en route to six total runs-batted-in.

The game-two victory was solidified, however, by the strong right arm of sophomore pitcher, Matt Dutkowski (3-0), who recorded eight strikeouts through six shutout-innings in which he surrendered just two hits.

The shutout was then completed when Kaleb Kolpien made the move from DH to the mound, retiring the Foresters one-two-three in the seventh while sitting two batters down via the strikeout.

The five Taylor runs came in the first and third innings, thanks in large part to two Vander Molen doubles while also capitalizing on four Forester errors, three of which came in a troublesome first inning for the Foresters.

In tandem with Vander Molen’s two game-two RBI, Jacob Morris drove in a pair of runs of his own with a two-out single to left field to make it a 5-0 game in the third.

The five-run cushion was more than enough for Dutkowski and Kolpien, as the Trojan-duo combined for the team’s third shutout of the season.

Taylor’s shutout win in game two was especially significant for the team after a disheartening game-one loss, in which the Huntington offense posted 20 runs on 19 hits.

While the Forester offense proved nearly unstoppable in game one, the Taylor bats put up 10 runs of their own, fueled along the way by three home runs.

Vander Molen blasted two, one to right-center and the other to left, while the freshman, Kolpien, made it a trio of Trojan home runs with his second-career home run. Furthermore, Kolpien and Vander Molen went back-to-back on consecutive pitches in the third innings to make it a 7-6 ballgame at the time.

Taylor went on to tie the game at eight in the fourth inning, thanks to a series of passed balls and wild pitches. However, from that point on, Huntington outscored the Trojans 12-2 to take game one by a final score of 20-10.

Taylor (15-9, 5-3) is set to return to the diamond on Thursday, March 17th, when the Trojans host conference-foe Bethel (9-15, 3-5) at 3:00 pm at Winterholter Field.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1869       The Cincinnati Red Stockings become the sport’s first professional team when the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) permits compensated players to participate this season. English-born Harry Wright puts together a ten-man team, all on salary through November, that posts a 57–0 record, marking the only perfect season in professional baseball history.

1945       Former minor leaguer Bert Shepard, who had his right leg amputated after the Germans gunned down his fighter plane east of Hamburg on his 34th mission as a WW II P-38 fighter pilot, begins a successful tryout with the Senators. Although the southpaw will pitch in only one game for Washington, the retired Army Air Force pilot will hurl an impressive five and one-third innings of one-run ball against the Red Sox in August, striking out the first batter he faces and giving up just three hits.

1960       The floundering Southern Association announces the New Orleans Pelicans, for the first time since 1901, will not be part of the Double-A circuit. After a two-year absence, the Little Rock Travelers rejoins the league, replacing the Crescent City club, playing two seasons before the loop disbands after completing the 1961 campaign.

1971       Bernice Gera files a civil rights suit against MLB when her contract to umpire in the New York-Penn League becomes void after six days without an explanation. In an eventual landmark 5-2 decision, the New York Court of Appeals will uphold a previous court’s ruling, agreeing with the 39 year-old housewife’s contention that she had been discriminated against unlawfully.

1974       In Yuma (AZ), Ron Bryant, a twenty-four-game-winner for the Giants last year, is hurt in a pool accident during spring training. The promising southpaw’s record will drop to 3-15 this season, and the Redlands, California native’s career will end in 1975 after a brief 0-1 stint with St. Louis.

1975       The Dodgers sign their once arch-nemesis Juan Marichal as a free agent. After two-regular season outings that include a loss to Cincinnati, the former San Francisco superstar and future Hall of Famer will retire in mid-April.

1977       In a nine-player spring training swap with Pittsburgh, the A’s send Phil Garner, Chris Batton, and Tommy Helms to the Pirates for Tony Armas, Mitchell Page, and four pitchers, including Doc Medich and Dave Giusti. Pittsburgh’s acquisition of infielder Phil Garner, the key player in the deal, will move a very disappointed Bill Robinson back into a utility role after he worked all winter to get ready to be the team’s everyday third baseman.

1999       The Yankees name Don Zimmer as the club’s interim manager while Joe Torre receives prostate cancer treatments. The team’s bench coach compiled an 885-858 (.508) record during his managerial stints with San Diego, Boston, Texas, and Chicago.

2000       In spring training action, six Red Sox pitchers combine for a perfect game, beating the Blue Jays in Fort Myers, 5-0. Boston starter Pedro Martinez pitched the first three innings, Fernando De La Cruz tossed the next two frames, with Dan Smith, Rheal Cormier, Rich Garces, and Rod Beck all going one inning apiece.

2008       In front of 12,224 fans, a near-sellout at the new Olympic venue in Beijing, the Dodgers and the Padres played to a 3-3 tie in the first major league game ever played in mainland China. In the seventh inning, the crowd hears “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” but not knowing the lyrics, listens without singing.

2008       Five days after unilaterally renewing his contract for the upcoming season, the Pirates sign Ian Snell (9-12, 3.76) to a three-year deal reported to be worth $8 million. The 26-year-old right-hander, eligible for salary arbitration after the 2009 season, has compiled a 24-26 record with the struggling ball club over the past three seasons.

2012       The website Baseball-Reference.com opts to leave a blank space next to 2011 on its National League MVP list instead of identifying Ryan Braun as the award’s winner. The Brewers outfielder, who received a 50-game suspension scheduled to the start of the 2012 season, became the first player to successfully challenge a drug test result when an arbitration panel overturned the ruling due to the improper handling of the specimen taken last Fall.

2014       The Yankees begin a two-game spring training series against the Marlins at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama to honor Mariano Rivera’s legacy, a native of the nearby fishing village of Puerto Caimito. The contests are the first to be played in the isthmus nation by major league teams since the Bronx Bombers faced the Dodgers in exhibition games in 1947.

TV TUESDAY

COLLEGE BASKETBALL – MENTIME ETTV
NCAA FIRST FOUR: (16)TEXAS A&M-CC VS (16)TEXAS SOUTHERN6:40PMTRUTV
NIT FIRST ROUND: MISSOURI STATE AT OKLAHOMA7:00PMESPN
NIT FIRST ROUND: BELMONT AT VANDERBILT7:00PMESPN2
NIT FIRST ROUND: PRINCETON AT VCU7:00PMESPNU
NIT FIRST ROUND: OREGON AT UTAH STATE9:00PMESPN
NIT FIRST ROUND: ALCORN STATE AT TEXAS A&M9:00PMESPN2
NIT FIRST ROUND: CLEVELAND STATE AT XAVIER9:00PMESPNU
NCAA FIRST FOUR: (12)INDIANA VS (12)WYOMING9:10PMTRUTV
NIT FIRST ROUND: ST. BONAVENTURE AT COLORADO11:00PMESPN2
NIT FIRST ROUND: SANTA CLARA AT WASHINGTON STATE11:00PMESPNU
NBATIME ETTV
BROOKLYN AT ORLANDO7:00PMYES
BALLY SPORTS
MEMPHIS AT INDIANA7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
DETROIT AT MIAMI7:30PMBALLY SPORTS
PHOENIX AT NEW ORLEANS8:00PMNBATV
BALLY SPORTS
NHLTIME ETTV
ARIZONA AT MONTREAL7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET
ANAHEIM AT NY RANGERS7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
MSG
DALLAS AT TORONTO7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET
NY ISLANDERS AT WASHIGNTON7:00PMMSG+
NBCS-WSH
PITTSBURGH AT NASHVILLE8:00PMATTSN-PIT
BALLY SPORTS
VEGAS AT WINNIPEG8:00PMATTSN-RM
SPORTSNET
BOSTON AT CHICAGO8:30PMNBCS-CHI
NESN
DETROIT AT EDMONTON9:00PMBALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET
NEW JERSEY AT VANCOUVER10:00PMMSG+
SPORTSNET
COLORADO AT LOS ANGELES10:30PMALT
BALLY SPORTS
FLORIDA AT SAN JOSE10:30PMESPN+
HULU

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI4524.65224-921-1511-229-137-31 L
MILWAUKEE4326.6232.024-1219-149-326-187-31 W
PHILADELPHIA4126.6123.019-1522-116-825-167-31 L
CHICAGO4127.6033.525-1016-179-426-174-61 L
BOSTON4128.5944.024-1217-169-630-167-31 L
CLEVELAND3929.5745.521-1118-188-523-184-61 W
TORONTO3830.5596.517-1521-157-523-196-44 W
BROOKLYN3533.5159.514-1821-159-625-184-63 W
ATLANTA3434.50010.522-1312-218-521-226-43 W
10 CHARLOTTE3435.49311.016-1718-185-721-225-52 W
11 WASHINGTON2938.43315.017-1712-216-722-213-74 L
12 NEW YORK2840.41216.513-1915-214-1014-263-72 L
13 INDIANA2346.33322.015-198-272-1311-344-61 L
14 DETROIT1850.26526.511-237-275-814-275-53 L
15 ORLANDO1851.26127.08-2410-272-1110-335-51 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
1 X-PHOENIX5414.79429-825-67-431-96-41 W
MEMPHIS4722.6817.524-1023-128-531-146-43 W
GOLDEN STATE4722.6817.529-718-1510-328-165-54 W
UTAH4226.61812.024-1118-1513-128-156-41 L
DALLAS4226.61812.023-1219-1412-230-158-22 W
DENVER4128.59413.520-1321-155-925-197-31 W
MINNESOTA4030.57115.022-1218-1811-427-188-22 W
LA CLIPPERS3635.50719.520-1416-217-721-246-41 L
LA LAKERS2939.42625.020-179-223-1116-262-82 L
10 NEW ORLEANS2840.41226.016-1912-215-819-225-51 W
11 PORTLAND2641.38827.517-189-231-1211-303-71 L
12 SAN ANTONIO2643.37728.513-2213-214-716-233-72 L
13 SACRAMENTO2545.35730.016-209-255-717-283-71 W
14 OKLAHOMA CITY2048.29434.09-2611-224-814-302-86 L
15 HOUSTON1751.25037.010-227-293-109-342-82 L
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS. 

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

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
CAROLINA HURRICANES5941135874019813923-4-218-9-37-2-1
FLORIDA PANTHERS5940136863824517326-6-014-7-66-3-1
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING5938156823620017119-5-419-10-26-4-0
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS6036159813419716017-9-519-6-45-4-1
NEW YORK RANGERS5937175793318015419-5-318-12-26-4-0
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS5937175793521918120-7-217-10-35-3-2
BOSTON BRUINS5936185773418016018-10-218-8-38-1-1
WASHINGTON CAPITALS60321810743019716914-11-518-7-56-3-1
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS6030273632619922217-12-313-15-04-4-2
10 NEW YORK ISLANDERS5624248562315215714-12-410-12-45-4-1
11 DETROIT RED WINGS5924287552117022116-12-48-16-32-7-1
12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS5922325492017920814-14-38-18-25-5-0
13 BUFFALO SABRES6020328481816221211-16-49-16-44-6-0
14 OTTAWA SENATORS5921335472015719411-18-210-15-33-7-0
15 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS59183011471814820611-15-67-15-53-5-2
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS591635840141472248-17-28-18-67-2-1
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
COLORADO AVALANCHE6042135893923317024-3-318-10-26-3-1
CALGARY FLAMES5936167793420414318-5-518-11-26-3-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES5934178763221116520-7-314-10-55-3-2
LOS ANGELES KINGS6133208743017817315-12-318-8-56-3-1
MINNESOTA WILD5834204722921819317-7-117-13-33-6-1
EDMONTON OILERS5932234682919318716-12-016-11-44-5-1
NASHVILLE PREDATORS5934214723219016617-11-017-10-46-4-0
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS6132254682819218316-13-316-12-13-7-0
DALLAS STARS5732223672917016920-8-112-14-26-3-1
10 VANCOUVER CANUCKS6029247652617317413-11-416-13-36-3-1
11 WINNIPEG JETS60272310642618218715-11-212-12-85-3-2
12 ANAHEIM DUCKS62272510642318019716-11-411-14-63-6-1
13 SAN JOSE SHARKS5826257592415418214-13-312-12-44-4-2
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS6022308521916120811-15-411-15-44-5-1
15 ARIZONA COYOTES591936442181532139-20-110-16-37-3-0
16 SEATTLE KRAKEN6118376421615922010-17-38-20-32-6-2
 

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

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