INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL MONDAY
|JENNINGS COUNTY||51||NEW ALBANY||39|
|FORT WAYNE DWENGER||36||FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA||33|
|GUERIN CATHOLIC||53||INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD||41|
|GARY 21ST CENTURY||71||ILLIANA CHRISTIAN||52|
|BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL||72||SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)||42|
|ROCK CREEK ACADEMY||47||BORDEN||46|
|NEW WASHINGTON||67||RISING SUN||57|
INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL REGIONAL PAIRINGS
CHESTERTON [20-5] VS. PENN [26-1]
HAMMOND CENTRAL [25-1] VS. MISHAWAKA [20-6]
FORT WAYNE WAYNE [20-4] VS. NOBLESVILLE [19-6]
KOKOMO [21-4] VS. FORT WAYNE NORTH [16-9]
NEW PALESTINE [23-2] VS. BROWNSBURG [20-4]
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL [19-5] VS. BEN DAVIS [29-0]
EVANSVILLE REITZ [19-6] VS. JENNINGS COUNTY [23-2]
BLOOMINGTON NORTH [18-5] VS. COLUMBUS NORTH [17-8]
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON
NORTHWOOD [24-2] VS. LAKE STATION [22-3]
JOHN GLENN [16-10] VS. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON [18-5]
TWIN LAKES [10-14] VS. FORT WAYNE DWENGER [12-13]
DELTA [17-9] VS. PERU [17-7]
DANVILLE [18-7] VS. GUERIN CATHOLIC [17-8]
BEECH GROVE [16-6] VS. INDIAN CREEK [14-8]
GREENSBURG [20-6] VS. SCOTTSBURG [20-5]
NORTH DAVIESS [23-5] VS. GIBSON SOUTHERN [13-12]
NORTH JUDSON [23-3] VS. LEWIS CASS [18-7]
WESTVIEW [17-8] VS. GARY 21ST CENTURY [20-5]
FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK [23-3] VS. TIPTON [18-6]
WAPAHANI [24-1] VS. CARROLL (FLORA) [22-4]
PARK TUDOR [16-8] VS. INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA [17-6]
PARKE HERITAGE [18-9] VS. NORTHEASTERN [21-5]
FOREST PARK [9-17] VS. BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL [22-4]
LINTON-STOCKTON [26-1] VS. NORTH DECATUR [21-5]
TRI-COUNTY [12-12] VS. MARQUETTE CATHOLIC [19-7]
KOUTS [16-9] VS. BETHANY CHRISTIAN [16-10]
FOUNTAIN CENTRAL [22-4] VS. LIBERTY CHRISTIAN [15-9]
SOUTHWOOD [12-12] VS. BLUE RIVER [20-6]
BLOOMFIELD [24-3] VS. INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN [16-7]
JAC-CEN-DEL [17-9] VS. BETHESDA CHRISTIAN [21-4]
LOOGOOTEE [19-7] VS. NORTHEAST DUBOIS [14-10]
NEW WASHINGTON [13-13] VS. ROCK CREEK ACADEMY [10-14]
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLLS/RANKINGS
|1||HOUSTON 29-2||1522 (58)||1|
|2||UCLA 27-4||1452 (3)||4|
|12||KANSAS STATE 23-8||838||11|
|14||MIAMI (FL) 24-6||761||16|
|16||SAINT MARY’S 25-6||587||17|
|18||TEXAS A&M 23-8||507||24|
|20||SAN DIEGO STATE 24-6||370||18|
|1||HOUSTON 29-2||771 (29)||1|
|4||KANSAS 25-6||666 (2)||3|
|12||KANSAS STATE 23-8||409||11|
|13||MIAMI (FL) 24-6||381||15|
|16||SAINT MARY’S 25-6||336||16|
|18||TEXAS A&M 23-8||251||21|
|20||SAN DIEGO STATE 24-6||205||19|
|6||SAN DIEGO STATE 24-6||0.6309||6|
|8||SAINT MARY’S 25-6||0.6237||8|
|10||FLORIDA ATLANTIC 28-3||0.6194||11|
|12||UTAH STATE 24-7||0.6177||12|
|15||BOISE STATE 23-8||0.6119||15|
|17||KANSAS STATE 23-8||0.6096||19|
|22||MIAMI (FL) 24-6||0.6045||23|
|24||NORTH TEXAS 25-6||0.6012||24|
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
#9 GONZAGA 84 SAN FRANCISCO 73
#16 ST. MARY’S 76 BYU 69
NORTHERN KENTUCKY 75 YOUNGSTOWN STATE 63
CLEVELAND STATE 93 MILWAUKEE 80
COMPLETE SCOREBOARD: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/CBK/SCOREBOARD.ASP?CONF=-1&DAY=20230306
WOMEN’S TOP 25 POLLS/RANKINGS
|1||SOUTH CAROLINA 32-0||700 (28)||1|
|4||VIRGINIA TECH 27-4||595||8|
|11||NOTRE DAME 25-5||401||10|
|12||OHIO STATE 25-7||395||14|
|19||NORTH CAROLINA 21-10||151||18|
|22||WASHINGTON STATE 23-10||100||NR|
|25||MIDDLE TENNESSEE 25-4||62||24|
|1||SOUTH CAROLINA 32-0||0.7093||1|
|6||VIRGINIA TECH 27-4||0.6584||8|
|11||NOTRE DAME 25-5||0.6417||11|
|17||IOWA STATE 19-9||0.6358||17|
|21||OHIO STATE 25-7||0.6276||20|
|21||WASHINGTON STATE 23-10||0.6276||23|
|23||MIDDLE TENNESSEE 25-4||0.6244||22|
|24||NORTH CAROLINA STATE 20-11||0.6216||25|
|25||SOUTH FLORIDA 26-5||0.6201||NR|
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
#7 UCONN 67 #10 VILLANOVA 56
#16 GONZAGA 79 BYU 64
#21 UNLV 84 NEVADA 47
GREEN BAY 69 PURDUE FORT WAYNE 65
CLEVELAND STATE 63 NORTHERN KENTUCKY 60 OT
COMPLETE SCOREBOARD: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/WCBK/SCOREBOARD.ASP?CONF=-1&DAY=20230306
PHILADELPHIA 147 INDIANA 143
CLEVELAND 118 BOSTON 114 OT
PORTLAND 110 DETROIT 104
MIAMI 130 ATLANTA 128
DENVER 118 TORONTO 113
SACRAMENTO 123 NEW ORLEANS 108
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NBA/SCOREBOARD.ASP
EDMONTON 3 BUFFALO 2
SAN JOSE 3 WINNIPEG 2
CALGARY 5 DALLAS 4
CHICAGO 5 OTTAWA 0
LOS ANGELES 4 WASHINGTON 2
VANCOUVER 4 NASHVILLE 3
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/NHL/SCOREBOARD.ASP
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – SPRING TRAINING
KANSAS CITY 10 ARIZONA 1
LA DODGERS 8 SAN DIEGO 3
LA ANGELS 6 CLEVELAND 0
CHICAGO CUBS 6 SEATTLE 2
COLORADO 4 TEXAS 1
CINCINNATI 6 COLORADO 1
BALTIMORE 10 PHILADELPHIA 7
BOSTON 7 DETROIT 1
ST. LOUIS 7 HOUSTON 1
TAMPA BAY 5 MIAMI 1
NY YANKEES 9 PITTSBURGH 2
BOX SCORES: HTTP://HOSTED.STATS.COM/MLB/SCOREBOARD.ASP
TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES
AP SOURCE: DEREK CARR AGREES TO 4-YEAR CONTRACT WITH SAINTS
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has agreed to a four-year contract with the New Orleans Saints, a personal familiar with the agreement said Monday.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement with the veteran free-agent QB had not been announced.
Carr played nine seasons for the Raiders and holds club records for yards passing (35,222) and touchdown passes (217). But he never won a playoff game. And after struggling late last season, Carr was benched with two games remaining.
Carr, who turns 32 on March 28, was released by Las Vegas on Feb. 14 after he declined to waive the no-trade clause in his contract. Las Vegas needed to trade or release him by that date or $40.4 million of his contract over the next two years would have become fully guaranteed.
Saints coach Dennis Allen was the Raiders’ coach when the selected Carr in the second round of the 2014 draft out of Fresno State. Allen coached Carr for just four games before he was fired that year.
The move provides a measure of certainty for the Saints at an all-important position that was shrouded in uncertainty for the club following its 7-10 2022 season.
Jameis Winston is under contract with Saints through 2023, but New Orleans could release him. His contract calls for a base salary of $12.8 million next season and he played in just three games in 2022 before losing his job — in part because of a back injury — to Andy Dalton.
Winston, who was hurt in Week 1, tried to continue playing in Weeks 2 and 3, when he threw five interceptions and was sacked seven times while passing for just two TDs.
When Winston asserted he was healthy enough to play again and wanted another chance, the Saints stuck with Dalton, who completed 66.7% of his passes for 2,871 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 14 starts.
Dalton, 35 and a 12-year NFL veteran, is due to be a free agent this offseason.
SEAHAWKS, QB GENO SMITH REACH AGREEMENT ON 3-YEAR DEAL
RENTON, Wash. (AP) The Seattle Seahawks agreed to terms with quarterback Geno Smith on a three-year contract Monday that keeps the AP comeback player of the year in the Pacific Northwest.
The deal will keep Smith as the presumptive starter with the Seahawks and gives him the first big payday of his career. NFL Network and The Score reported the deal could be worth up to $105 million.
The agreement came a day before the league’s deadline for using the franchise tag. Smith would have been an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins next week.
Smith was one of the feel-good stories in the league, getting an opportunity to start after nearly a decade as a backup and reshaping the trajectory of his career. Smith led the Seahawks to a 9-8 record and a playoff berth as the last wild card in the NFC.
He threw for 4,282 yards, a career high and a franchise record. He threw 30 touchdown passes and just 11 interceptions, completed 399 passes and led the NFL in completion percentage at 69.8%.
Smith was named to the Pro Bowl and even picked up an MVP vote.
Smith struggled at times during the second half of the year as Seattle slid from its early perch atop of the NFC West. But his season was still good enough to answer one of Seattle’s biggest questions for the next couple of years.
Smith and Seattle’s leaders made it clear after the season ended with a 41-23 loss to San Francisco in the opening round of the playoffs they all wanted the relationship to continue.
“We have our guy, we need to, hopefully, work things out so he is with us. There is business to be done there of course, but there is no lid on what we can do. The sky is the limit,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said after the season. “That along with returning him with his leadership factor that he had, he’s a big deal to us. I just couldn’t be more tickled by the way the whole thing turned out and how he handled it. Really, as we look to the future, he is a big part of why we are looking to the future so promisingly.”
Last season was the first time Smith had been a full-time starter since 2014 with the New York Jets. He was benched after struggling in New York and later found work as a backup with the Giants and Chargers before coming to Seattle to serve as the backup to Russell Wilson.
After Wilson was traded to Denver last offseason, Smith beat out Drew Lock for the starting job and seized the opportunity.
Seattle has two first-round selections in next month’s draft, including the No. 5 overall pick. While a developmental quarterback for the future could be on the agenda, it becomes less of a need for Seattle now that Smith’s immediate future is settled.
“I want to finish my career in Seattle. I want to. I want to be here,” Smith said after the playoff loss. “The town, the city, the team, coach Carroll, the organization, they all embraced me. I was a guy who probably could have been out of the league. They embraced me and I want to repay them for that.”
AP SOURCE: RAIDERS PLACE FRANCHISE TAG ON JOSH JACOBS
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) Josh Jacobs, who led the NFL in rushing last season, has received the franchise tag from the Las Vegas Raiders, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move hadn’t been announced. NFL Network first reported the Raiders’ decision.
Jacobs would make $10.1 million next season under the franchise tag. The sides have been negotiating a long-term deal, and if they reach an agreement by July 15, the Raiders would remove the tag.
Jacobs said the week of the Pro Bowl he had no interest in playing under the franchise tag, saying he would be a “hero turned villain.”
If Jacobs doesn’t agree to a long-term deal, he would play under the terms of the franchise tag or sit out and forfeit his pay. That’s what Le’Veon Bell did when the Pittsburgh Steelers placed the tag on him in 2018.
The Green Bay Packers placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Davante Adams last year. Adams then forced a trade to the Raiders.
Jacobs has repeatedly said he wants to play for the Raiders, and coach Josh McDaniels has made it clear he wants to keep his star running back in the building.
Jacobs led the league in 2022 with 1,653 yards rushing and 2,053 yards from scrimmage.
COWBOYS PUT FRANCHISE TAG ON RB POLLARD AFTER BREAKOUT YEAR
(AP) — The Dallas Cowboys have placed their franchise tag on Tony Pollard and still hope to work out a long-term deal with the running back coming off a breakout season.
If Pollard signs it, the one-year contract would be worth about $10.1 million. The Cowboys and the running back, who was at the end of the four-year deal he got as a rookie, then would have until July 15 to come to terms on a longer contract. The tag Monday came a day before the deadline for such a move.
Pollard became a top playmaker on offense for the Cowboys and was selected to the Pro Bowl last season. He rushed for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns, and caught 39 passes for 371 yards and another three scores during the regular season.
He broke his left fibula and sustained a high ankle sprain when he was tackled in the first half of a 19-12 loss at San Francisco in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. He had surgery and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
The Cowboys could save money on their salary cap by cutting Ezekiel Elliott, who is set to make $10.9 million next season, with a cap hit of more than $16.7 million. There have been indications that the three-time Pro Bowl running back would be willing to take a pay cut to stay with the Cowboys.
Elliott missed two games last season because of a knee injury, and he finished with a career-low 876 rushing yards. He still ran for 12 touchdowns, matching his most rushing scores since 15 as a rookie in 2016.
Pollard, who turns 26 on April 30, was a fourth-round draft pick out of Memphis in 2019. He has averaged 5.1 yards per carry while running for 2,616 yards and 17 touchdowns in his 62 career games (six starts) with the Cowboys. He has 121 catches for 1,007 yards and five TDs.
JAGUARS PLACE FRANCHISE TAG ON TE ENGRAM AFTER CAREER YEAR
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Evan Engram will be back in Jacksonville for another season, probably longer if the Jaguars get their way.
The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on the veteran tight end Monday, guaranteeing him a one-year, $11.345 million contract in 2023. Engram and the team have until July 17 to negotiate a long-term deal, and both sides have expressed interest in making it happen.
General manager Trent Baalke and coach Doug Pederson reiterated their stance at the NFL combine last week, saying they wanted and expected Engram back. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence took to social media last month to campaign for Engram’s return.
It never really was a question after Engram, a first-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2017, caught 73 passes for 766 yards – both career highs – to go along with four touchdowns last season.
“This is where I want to be and where I want to continue my career and be a part of what’s being built here for sure,” Engram said after Jacksonville’s season end with a playoff loss at Kansas City.
Engram developed an instant chemistry with Lawrence and a strong bond with receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. The Jaguars expect even bigger things in their second season together, especially with the addition of former Atlanta receiver Calvin Ridley. Suspended last season for violating the NFL’s gambling policy, Ridley was reinstated Monday and will join his new team next month.
Engram signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Jags last March. Baalke wanted a longer deal, but Engram believed he would flourish with a fresh start outside the Big Apple’s glaring – and often harsh – spotlight, so he took less money in hopes of landing a bigger payday.
It turned out to be a safe bet for a talented player who dealt with five injury-shortened seasons with the Giants.
With Jacksonville, he played every game for the first time in his pro career, didn’t fumble and finished with just four dropped passes.
AP SOURCE: 49ERS QB BROCK PURDY TO HAVE SURGERY FRIDAY
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy will undergo surgery Friday after swelling in his injured throwing elbow subsided, a person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press.
The operation will be done in the Dallas area by Dr. Keith Meister, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday because the team didn’t announce the plans.
Purdy was originally scheduled to have surgery on Feb. 22, but Meister delayed it because there was too much swelling in the right elbow. Meister met again with Purdy last week and cleared him for the operation.
Purdy tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on the first drive of a 31-7 loss in the NFC title game to Philadelphia on Jan. 29.
He is expected to be able to start a throwing program about three months after the operation and should be fully recovered in about six month, putting his status for the start of the 2023 season in question.
Purdy went from the last pick of the draft to starter in the conference title game in an impressive rookie season for the 49ers. He won his first seven starts before the loss to Philadelphia in the conference title game.
Purdy’s injury will give 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance time to work with the first-team offense. Lance began this past season as the starter before a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2.
Lance needed a second operation in late December and has just started throwing recently.
NFL REINSTATES JAGUARS WR RIDLEY AFTER GAMBLING SUSPENSION
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The NFL reinstated suspended receiver Calvin Ridley on Monday, clearing the way for him to join his new team in Jacksonville.
The league said Ridley, who had been suspended indefinitely since March 2022 for violating the NFL’s gambling policy, is eligible to participate in all team activities beginning immediately. He is expected to join the Jaguars for offseason workouts beginning April 17.
“Today’s reinstatement by the NFL brings an end to a challenging chapter of my professional career, one that was self-inflicted and began with an isolated lapse in judgement,” Ridley said in a statement. “I have always owned my mistakes, and this is no different.
“I have great respect for the game and am excited for the opportunity to restart my career in Jacksonville. I look forward to showing my new coaches, teammates and the entire Jaguars organization exactly who I am and what I represent as a player and person.”
The Jaguars gave up a fifth-round pick in 2023 and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2024 to get Ridley from Atlanta at the trading deadline in November. He was suspended after the league determined he bet on NFL games in 2021 while away from the Falcons to address mental health concerns.
The NFL’s investigation uncovered no evidence inside information was used or that any game was compromised by Ridley’s betting.
Ridley petitioned the league for reinstatement last month, the first day he was eligible.
Now, the Jaguars are adding a potential game-changing receiver to an offense that was ranked fifth in the league in total yards in 2022. He will join fellow receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones and tight end Evan Engram as top targets for quarterback Trevor Lawrence in 2023.
“We look forward to building a relationship with Calvin as both an individual and as a player,” The Jaguars said in a statement. “Calvin is a proven playmaker, and we are excited to see him compete among and with his new teammates, first during our Offseason Program in April and ultimately into the 2023 season, as we collectively pursue a championship for Jacksonville.”
Ridley had 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020. He had 31 receptions for 281 yards and two scores before sitting out the final two months of the 2021 season.
Although no Jaguars officials could have any contact with Ridley, general manager Trent Baalke said he was “confident in the due diligence that we did.”
It helped that Jacksonville had Steve Sabo on staff. Sabo spent the previous 12 seasons in Atlanta’s scouting department, including the previous two as the team’s director of player personnel. He was Atlanta’s director of college scouting when the Falcons drafted Ridley with the 26th overall pick in 2018.
Ridley also had developed a close relationship with Kirk and was college teammates with current Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson. Both raved about Ridley’s character and leadership in conversations with Baalke and coaches.
VIKINGS CUT LB ERIC KENDRICKS TO START SALARY CAP PURGE
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Vikings started their salary cap purge by terminating the contract of veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks on Monday, ending his eight-year run with the team.
The 2019 All-Pro started 113 regular season games – plus six in the playoffs – for the Vikings, who drafted him in the second round in 2015 out of UCLA. Kendricks totaled 857 tackles, 51 passes defensed and nine interceptions. He was voted a captain by his teammates and one of the club’s most active players in community service.
The move saves $9.5 million against Minnesota’s cap, with more trimming before free agency begins next week. Kendricks had no guaranteed money left on the contract extension he signed in 2018. Cutting him costs the Vikings $1.93 million in dead money.
The Vikings are high on 2022 third-round draft pick Brian Asamoah, who will likely step into the vacated starting spot. The organization felt strongly enough about Kendricks, their 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for the annual NFL award for community service, that they included farewell statements from general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, head coach Kevin O’Connell and owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf in their announcement.
“During my first year as head coach, Eric played a critical role as a captain and a member of the leadership council in helping establish the culture we want in Minnesota,” O’Connell said. “He was a consistent mentor to his younger teammates, and his tireless work ethic set a standard for others to emulate. I’m thankful to have had the chance to coach Eric as a player and get to know him as a person.”
NFL COMBINE A TV SPECTACLE, MONEYMAKER; VALUE UNDER SCRUTINY
The NFL combine is winding down and it’s clear the annual scouting event that’s evolved into a made-for-TV spectacle continues to be a required stop on the road to a pro football career amid concerns it can be a demeaning process with diminishing value.
The combine, which launched in 1982 mainly to bring prospects to one location so teams could gather medical information, now unofficially kicks off the upcoming NFL season and puts football back on center stage just weeks after the Super Bowl.
The event is a moneymaking machine for the league, another interview/audition for players and a job fair for unemployed coaches. But opinions vary on how necessary it is today.
NFL Players’ Association executive director DeMaurice Smith strongly opposes the combine because he views it as intrusive and says it’s intended to point out negatives about prospects.
“As soon as you show up, you have to waive all of your medical rights and you not only have to sit there and endure embarrassing questions, and I think that’s horrible,” Smith said last month. “I don’t wanna pooh pooh any of that, but would you want your son to spend hours inside of an MRI (machine) and then be evaluated by 32 separate team doctors who are, by the way, are only doing it for one reason? What’s the reason? To decrease your draft value.”
During interviews at the combine, players have been asked to play putt-putt golf, darts or rock-paper-scissors to measure their competitiveness. Over the years, there have been instances where players were questioned about their sexual preference or whether their mother worked as a prostitute.
NFL executive Troy Vincent has sharply criticized the process and was instrumental in implementing rules to enhance the experience for players and ensure prospects are treated with “dignity, respect and professionalism.”
“Sometimes they share things with you and you scratch your head,” Vincent said about conversations with prospects. “Other times, you’re embarrassed. These are things we can fix.”
Now, teams would forfeit a draft pick between the first and fourth round and be fined a minimum of $150,000 for “disrespectful, inappropriate, or unprofessional” conduct during an interview.
A few coaches and general managers skipped the combine this year — including Les Snead and Sean McVay from the Los Angeles Rams — and are relying on reports from their scouts and assistants.
But most of their counterparts were in Indianapolis along with a record 1,625 media members accredited by the NFL to cover the weeklong activities. The number of credentialed media is up from 628 in 2010. NFL Network carried six days of live coverage highlighted by the individual on-field drills.
The attention the combine received just two weeks after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in a thrilling Super Bowl is a reflection of the NFL’s popularity.
But while fans enjoy watching the sprints and weightlifting, Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell doesn’t care much about the 40-yard dash times, bench press numbers or any of the other drills. He’s there for what the masses can’t see: the interviews.
“You grade them off the tape. You don’t grade off somebody out here in pajamas running around a 40 with no defender around,” Campbell said of players. “But the meetings are great. The meetings are really pivotal. All the other stuff, whatever.”
Even Campbell’s sound logic comes into question with teams having plenty of access to players at pro days and top-30 visits, their medical history readily available and an abundance of film to properly evaluate prospects.
Still, proponents say the combine is a crucial part of the draft process.
“One hundred percent necessary in my opinion,” Cincinnati Bengals general manager Duke Tobin said. “You want the right fits for your football team and the players want the team that drafts them to be the right fit for them because they’re dependent on finding a good fit early in their career. And this is a chance for all 32 teams to come together and start to really get to know these guys.
“If we start drafting without thorough knowledge of these guys, you’re gonna find that it hurts the players as much as it does the team. And this is a vital part of what we do in the offseason. And again, it’s something that we all look forward to.”
It’s almost become tradition vs. innovation.
While technological advances make information-gathering and communication easier, traditionalists aren’t going to want to mess with what’s been successful.
“It’s got to start with players and their agents understanding that the combine today has nothing to do with how fast you run, how high you jump, and how much you can lift,” Smith said. “We’re now in an era where we know exactly how fast these guys can run, how much they can lift, how far they can jump, do all of those things.
“Why do we insist on them showing up in Indianapolis?” the NFLPA executive director continued. “It’s not for anything physical, right? It’s for the teams to be able to engage in intrusive employment actions that don’t exist anywhere else.”
Leigh Steinberg, one of the original super agents who has represented the No. 1 overall pick a record eight times, considers the combine the “Super Bowl of scouting events.”
“There are certain dehumanizing aspects of the NFL combine evaluative process that need changing and everything that is tested at the combine can be replicated at pro scouting day on every college campus later in March,” Steinberg told The Associated Press. “There is also a need for injury protection insurance covering the event. Having said that, a potential draftee who is invited would be well advised to continue attending the combine unless there is some collective action to modify it’s format.”
The format of the combine may change and the ongoing scrutiny of the process will likely continue, but the combine doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
BRADY, BROWN PROVE COMBINE FLOPS CAN BECOME NFL STARS
Long before the NFL’s annual scouting combine became a prime-time football fix for fans ahead of free agency and the draft, Mike Mamula absolutely killed it as a combine trailblazer in 1995.
He was among the first players to train specifically for the staple of tests he’d face at the combine: the 40-yard dash that measures speed, the three-cone drill that calculates agility and the 225-pound bench press that gauges strength and stamina.
After his impressive showing in Indy, Mamula rocketed into the first round, where the Philadelphia Eagles traded the 12th overall pick and two second-round selections to Tampa Bay so they could move up five spots and get the Boston College defensive end at No. 7.
Mamula proved more of a workout warrior than Sunday star in his solid five-year career with the Eagles, illustrating the inexact nature of projecting professional success at the combine, where studs can eventually turn out to be duds and flops can turn out to be outstanding players.
Although some prospects skip certain components of the combine and choose to show off in more familiar surroundings at their college pro day or in visits with specific teams, the vast majority now target the week in Indianapolis just like Mamula did.
They train like prizefighters getting ready for their big fight, pumping iron and cutting carbs to stand out amongst their peers — about a third of the invitees in any given year go undrafted while a few dozen snubs take their places in the three-day, seven-round draft in April.
This focus helps produce memorable moments of athletic power and prowess at the combine every year.
There was wide receiver John Ross III limping across the finish line after blazing to a record 4.22-second time in the 40-yard dash in 2017.
His is the most talked about 40 since Deion Sanders’ 4.27-second hand-clocked time in 1989 when he kept running straight through the tunnel as scouts clapped.
“I don’t even believe I stretched,” Sanders recalled years later. “You wanna know why? Because I never seen a cheetah stretch before he go get his prey.”
Whereas Sanders became a Pro Football Hall of Famer and two-sport star, Ross had a mostly forgettable five-year NFL career in which he missed more games than he played after the Cincinnati Bengals selected him ninth overall in the draft.
Orlando Brown Jr. had the opposite experience. The only thing that went right for the massive tackle from Oklahoma at the 2018 scouting combine was the vote of confidence from his Heisman Trophy-winning teammate.
“When are you ever going to watch Orlando Brown run 40 yards down the field?” quarterback Baker Mayfield asked that week. “You can watch last year’s tape and see he allowed zero sacks. I’d say that’s pretty important for a left tackle.”
Measures matter, too, however, and he fell from a projected first-rounder to the third round of the draft, where the Baltimore Ravens took a flyer on him with the 83rd overall pick.
The nearly 6-foot-8, 345-pound left tackle managed just 14 reps on the 225-pound bench press, the lowest total of any lineman who lifted at the combine that year.
Things only got worse for the son of former Browns and Ravens right tackle Orlando Brown a day later when he lumbered through the 40-yard dash in 5.85 seconds. Even by big O-linemen standards, that’s sloth-like slow, and it was the slowest of anyone at that year’s event.
Brown, whose broad and vertical jumps were also the lowest of all players, was undeterred by his wretched week at the combine.
“I’ve been fat my whole life,” he explained. “I wish I was fast.”
Brown, however, made the Pro Bowl in his second season and has made every one since. Last month he won a Super Bowl ring while anchoring Kansas City’s stout offensive line, and he’s in line for another huge paycheck this spring.
Another player who looked overmatched at his combine was none other than seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.
We’ve all seen the official combine photo of the scrawny Brady with uneven bangs standing expressionless in baggy shorts at the 2000 combine where he was a late-round prospect hoping for a chance.
Brady ran the 40 in a turtle-like 5.28 seconds and posted an unimpressive 24 1/2-inch vertical jump.
The only radar he was on was that of the New England Patriots, where head coach Bill Belichick and general manager Scott Pioli were just months into their new jobs and targeted a QB in the later rounds.
They selected Brady in the sixth round after 198 other players were drafted, including seven quarterbacks.
Brady retired last month as the GOAT, a stark reminder that projecting pro success will always be an inexact science and the NFL scouting combine doesn’t always make or break a player.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
QB AUDITIONS TAKE CENTER STAGE IN OHIO ST SPRING PRACTICE
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two-year starter C.J. Stroud is off to the NFL in the draft next month, which means Ohio State coach Ryan Day needs to find a new quarterback for 2023.
With no obvious heir apparent to Stroud, the quarterback derby is the overarching storyline as the Buckeyes open spring practice on Tuesday.
The race pits third-year backup Kyle McCord, who has seen limited action in his first two seasons, against second-year player Devin Brown.
“I’m hoping one of them emerges and we can name a starter (after spring practice). I really do,” Day said last month. “The way our dynamic is, it would be great for our program to be able to do that.”
McCord, from suburban Philadelphia, got mop-up duty last season, completing 16 of 20 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown. He got more playing time in 2021, even starting a game and throwing for 319 yards when Stroud sat out for a rest in a rout of Akron.
Brown, who was coached at his Utah high school by former Buckeye quarterback Joe Germaine, has yet to throw a collegiate pass.
“There definitely is a blank slate,” quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis said of the competition. “I think that just the difference is the guys kind of know what areas that they want to work on, they want to improve on, and they want to go on. But no, absolutely. It’s a blank slate and it’ll be a fun spring for sure.”
For depth at the position, Day picked up transfer Tristan Gebbia, who had been a backup quarterback at Oregon State. An aspiring coach, Gebbia is expected to mentor the young quarterbacks.
Day has a good track record in these situations. He faced a similar quarterback quandary entering spring practice in 2021. Georgia transfer Dwayne Haskins Jr. became a standout and two-year starter. When he left for the NFL, the candidates to succeed him, Stroud and Jack Miller, had seen little playing time, partially because the 2020 season was shortened by the pandemic.
Stroud got the nod in 2021, broke school records and became a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist. Miller ended up transferring.
For all his accomplishments, Stroud couldn’t beat hated rival Michigan in two tries, so Day will be looking for someone who can. Despite the Michigan loss, Ohio State backed into the College Football Playoff last season only to lose to eventual national champion Georgia 42-41 in a wild semifinal.
Regardless of who wins the job this time, Ohio State will — as usual — be loaded with elite offensive talent.
“When you see the cast surrounding them, you couldn’t be more excited to be quarterback in college football,” Day said.
Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming will make up one of the best group of receivers in college football.
Veteran running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams both return to share the carries after both battled injuries last season. Tight end Cade Stover, a key receiver for Stroud, also returns.
Offensive line coach Justin Frye will start auditioning potential starters after losing three first-string guys from last year’s team. Victor Cutler, a transfer from Louisiana-Monroe, will immediately be in the mix.
Cornerback was a conspicuous weakness for the Buckeyes last season due partially to injuries. They’ll hope Denzel Burke can play like he did in 2021 when he showed so much promise as a freshman, but other veteran experience is lacking.
“What we’ve got to do now is we’ve got to create competition. We’ve got to open this thing up,” cornerbacks coach Tim Walton said. “Let guys go earn jobs and go play and go compete. That’s what it’s about.”
The Buckeyes will get a first look at Syracuse transfer Ja’Had Carter, who could win a starting job at safety after leading the Orangemen in turnovers last season.
The Buckeyes will have 15 practices, culminating in the annual spring game April 15.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
HOUSTON, UCLA, KANSAS TOP LATEST AP TOP 25; DUKE BACK IN
UCLA is surging, both toward the postseason and in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.
While Houston was No. 1 for a third straight week in Monday’s poll, the Bruins rose two spots to No. 2 for their highest ranking of the season. UCLA (27-4) has won its last 10 games, including a showdown with highly ranked Arizona in the regular-season finale behind star Jamie Jaquez Jr. to complete a perfect home record.
“I will say this, the recipe for success in March usually – I mean, aside from talent – is a great point guard and some senior leadership, like a guy like Jaime Jaquez,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said afterward. “I mean, we’ve got a chance. But as you know, that tournament’s crazy. It isn’t ‘March Normal.’”
Kelvin Sampson’s Cougars remained firmly entrenched at the top in their third stint at No. 1 this season, earning 58 first-place votes with the other three going to UCLA.
Houston hadn’t reached No. 1 before this season since 1983 during the “Phi Slama Jama” era, but the Cougars have now spent a total of seven weeks at the top to tie Purdue for the most of any team this season.
Houston (29-2) closed out its regular-season schedule by winning at Memphis on a last-second basket Sunday, marking its 11th straight win.
THE TOP TIER
The only change in the top five came with UCLA trading places with No. 4 Alabama, with Kansas remaining at No. 3 despite a loss at Texas in Saturday’s regular-season finale and the Boilermakers staying at fifth.
Marquette stayed at No. 6, followed by the Longhorns climbing two spots to No. 7. Arizona, Gonzaga and Baylor rounded out the top 10.
Texas A&M is the week’s biggest climber, leaping six spots to No. 18 after beating Alabama in its regular-season finale. That’s part of a strong finish under fourth-year coach Buzz Williams, with the Aggies going 17-3 since mid-December and losing just once since the start of February. Before this season, Texas A&M hadn’t been ranked since February 2018.
In all, eight teams climbed from last week’s positions.
Tennessee took the week’s biggest tumble, falling five spots to No. 17 after losing at Auburn in its regular-season finale and its first full game since losing Zakai Zeigler to a season-ending knee injury. Indiana was next, falling four spots to No. 19 after losing at home to Iowa by 22 points.
In all, six teams slid from their ranking last week.
Nearly a third of last week’s ranked teams (eight) stayed in their same position, including No. 13 Virginia, No. 22 TCU and No. 23 Kentucky.
The week’s three new additions are all returnees to the poll, headlined by No. 21 Duke.
The Blue Devils (23-8) returned to the poll for the first time since falling out in mid-January after opening the year at No. 7. First-year coach Jon Scheyer has led Duke to six straight wins to close out the regular season, including Saturday’s win at North Carolina for a rivalry sweep that wounded UNC’s iffy NCAA Tournament hopes.
Creighton checked in at No. 24, returning after a one-week absence for a third stint in the poll this season. Next came 25th-ranked Missouri, which won its last four regular-season games to return to the poll after spending two weeks there in the first half of January.
FAREWELL (FOR NOW)
Providence (No. 20), Maryland (No. 21) and Pittsburgh (No. 25) dropped out this week. All three will be playing in their conference tournaments this week.
The Big 12 and Southeastern conferences shared the lead this week with five ranked teams each, though three of the Big 12′s group were inside the top 10.
The Big East was next with four ranked teams, including No. 11 Connecticut. The Atlantic Coast Conference had three, followed by the Big Ten, Pac-12 and West Coast conferences with two each.
The American Athletic and Mountain West conferences each had one ranked team.
Next week’s poll marks the final edition for the 2022-23 season.
FURMAN WINS, HEADED TO FIRST NCAA TOURNEY SINCE 1980
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) Jalen Slawson scored 20 points and Furman beat Chattanooga 88-79 on Monday night to win the Southern Conference Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1980.
The NCAA field contained 48 teams the last time the top-seeded Paladins made the Big Dance. Furman coach Bob Richey had the Paladins on their way last season as the No. 2 seed until David Jean-Baptiste buried a 35-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to rally top-seeded Chattanooga to a 64-63 victory.
Furman (27-7) took care of business this time around, although adding to the program’s record win total didn’t come easy.
Slawson had three baskets in an 18-0 run to give the Paladins a 23-7 lead nine minutes into the game. Chattanooga (18-17) was trailing 30-11 when A.J. Caldwell scored the final five points in a 13-0 spurt to pull within 30-26. Chattanooga twice cut its deficit to three, but a layup by JP Pegues gave Furman a 38-33 lead at halftime.
Chattanooga made a late run at the Paladins, using back-to-back 3-pointers from Jamal Johnson and Caldwell’s layup to close to within 69-65 at the 5:02 mark – but the Mocs would get no closer.
Slawson made 8 of 12 shots from the floor with two 3-pointers for Furman. Pegues pitched in with 17 points despite missing all seven of his 3-point attempts and Mike Bothwell finished with 16 points, leaving him 10 shy of 2,000 for his career. Bothwell is trying to become the fifth Paladin to reach the 2,000-point plateau.
Jake Stephens paced Chattanooga with 25 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Johnson totaled 17 points and Caldwell posted his first double-double of the season with 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Furman made all six of its previous NCAA Tournament appearances between 1971-80. Its lone win was a 75-67 victory over South Carolina in 1974. They lost to Pittsburgh 81-78 in the Sweet Sixteen.
Chattanooga and former SoCon member Davidson have made the most NCAA Tournament appearances in conference history with 12.
INDIANA, PENN STATE AND NEBRASKA SCORE MEN’S BASKETBALL WEEKLY ACCOLADES
Co-Players of the Week
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
F – Jr. – 6-9 – Greenwood, Ind. – Center Grove – Major: Sports Marketing
- Averaged 26.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.5 blocks, while shooting 54.1 percent from the floor.
- Paired 26 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals in a loss to Iowa
- Led the Hoosiers to a 75-73 overtime win over Michigan with 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals
- Garners his eight career Player of the Week award and fifth this season
- Last Indiana Player of the Week: Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana (Feb. 27, 2023)
Camren Wynter, Penn State
G – Sr.+ – 6-2 – Hempstead, N.Y. – DME Academy (Fla.) – Major: Educational Leadership
- Hit back-to-back game-winning shots in Penn State’s wins over Northwestern and Maryland
- Scored the final of his 24 points with a three pointer in the final second to lift the Nittany Lions to a 68-65 win at Northwestern
- Completed Penn State’s 16-point comeback with a putback with 0.5 seconds to play, as Penn State topped Maryland 65-64
- Garners his first career Player of the Week award
- Last Penn State Player of the Week: Jalen Pickett (Feb. 20, 2023)
Freshman of the Week
Jamarques Lawrence, Nebraska
G – 6-3 – Plainfield, N.J. – Roselle Catholic – Major: Undeclared
- Averaged 15 points on 63 percent shooting with 4.5 rebounds, as Nebraska split a pair of games
- Matched a career best with 15 points in a Huskers’ loss to Michigan State
- Shot 5-8 from three-point range for 15 points in Nebraska’s 81-77 win at Iowa
- Garners his first Freshman of the Week award
- Last Nebraska Player of the Week: Bryce McGowens (March 7, 2022)
KENT STATE’S CARRY, TOLEDO’S DENNIS NAMED MAC MEN’S BASKETBALL CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
MAC Men’s Basketball Co-Players of the Week
Sincere Carry, Kent State, Guard
R-Senior, Farrell, Pa.
Redshirt Senior Sincere Carry helped the Flashes go 2-0 this week against Ohio and rival Akron. Carry recorded 20+ points in both games averaging 29 points per game this week. Carry helped the Flashes claim the No.2 spot in the Mid-American Conference regular season. Carry has scored 20+ points in nine different games and double digits in 29 of the 31 games this season. Carry recorded a season-high 35 points against Akron, while 11 of those points were in OT, and added in four assists, two rebounds, and two steals. He also scored a game-high 23 points against Ohio and recorded five rebounds, three steals, and two steals. Carry shot nearly perfectly from the free throw line averaging 94.4 percent from the line and shot 50 percent from the field. Carry leaves the regular season for the MAC tied at fourth with 17.4 points per game and third for assists with 4.9 assists per game.
RayJ Dennis, Toledo, Guard
Junior, Plainfield, Ill. (Oswego East)
Junior RayJ Dennis averaged 26.5 ppg, 6.5 apg, 2.5 rpg and 2.0 spg and shot an impressive 63.6% (21-of-33) from the field and 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from three-point range to lead Toledo to road victories over Central Michigan and Ball State. The two wins propelled the Rockets to their third straight outright Mid-American Conference title as well as their school-record 15th consecutive victory. Dennis opened the week with a 21-point, six-assist performance in UT’s 99-65 triumph over the Chippewas. The 21-point outing gave Dennis 1,001 points in his Toledo career, making him the fifth Rocket ever to score 1,000 points in his first two seasons. Dennis closed out his regular season by scoring a career-high 32 points and dishing out seven assists in an 87-81 win over the Cardinals. He was 12-of-20 from the field and 3-of-5 from three-point range. Dennis’ three-point with 4:37 remaining put the Rockets up 78-69 and helped hold off the Cardinals’ comeback bid.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
SOUTH CAROLINA NO. 1 FOR 37TH STRAIGHT WEEK, IOWA NOW NO. 2
South Carolina stands alone with the second-longest streak atop The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll as the Gamecocks remained No. 1 for a 37th consecutive week.
The Gamecocks (32-0) won the Southeastern Conference Tournament over the weekend to remain undefeated heading into the NCAA tourney. South Carolina, which received all 28 first-place votes from a national media panel Monday, broke a tie with Louisiana Tech for most consecutive weeks at No. 1. The defending national champions now trail only UConn’s run of 51 straight weeks atop the Top 25.
With the final poll of the season set to come out next week, the Gamecocks are poised to go wire-to-wire at No. 1 this year ahead of the NCAA Tournament.
Iowa moved up five spots to No. 2 after running through the Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes routed Ohio State by 33 points in the title game Sunday behind another strong effort from Caitlin Clark, who had the third triple-double in conference tournament history.
It is the Hawkeyes’ best ranking since they had an eight-week run at No. 2 in 1994.
Indiana dropped one place to third with Virginia Tech moving up four places to No. 4. The Hokies, who won the ACC Tournament for the first time, have their highest ranking ever.
Stanford and Maryland were the next two. UConn moved up to seventh with Utah and LSU next. The Utes and Tigers each dropped five spots after losing in their conference tournaments.
Villanova finished out the top 10. It’s the Wildcats best ranking ever and it came as they faced UConn for the Big East title late Monday.
Tennessee jumped back into the poll at No. 24 after making a run to the SEC Tournament final. South Florida and Iowa State dropped out of the Top 25. The Cyclones had been ranked for 36 consecutive weeks before falling out.
Washington State made history becoming the first seven-seed to win the Pac-12 Tournament after the Cougars beat California, Utah, Colorado and UCLA. The 20th-ranked Cougars entered the Top 25 for only the second time in school history after a one-week stint at No. 25 in 2021.
CONFERENCE BRAGGING RIGHTS
The Pac-12 has six teams in the Top 25 with Washington State jumping in this week. The Big Ten is next with five teams and the ACC has four. The SEC has three with the Big East and Big 12 each having two. Gonzaga, Middle Tennessee and UNLV represent three mid-major conferences.
NO TIMETABLE FOR JA MORANT’S RETURN DURING ‘HEALING PROCESS’
LOS ANGELES (AP) — There’s no timetable for Ja Morant to return to the Memphis Grizzlies, and the All-Star guard knows he’s made “difficult decisions and poor choices” that he has to be accountable for, coach Taylor Jenkins said Sunday night.
Morant was not with the team in Los Angeles for games against the Clippers on Sunday and the Lakers on Tuesday while the NBA investigates a social media post in which Morant appeared to be holding a gun.
“Very tough moment, for sure,” Jenkins said of the video.
Morant streamed the video on his Instagram account early Saturday of himself holding what appeared to be a gun at a nightclub, hours after playing in Denver. He said in a statement through the agency that represents him that he takes “full responsibility” for his actions and that he was going to “take some time away to get help.”
On Monday, police in Colorado said they were investigating Morant’s actions and whether he may have broken any laws. Morant’s video is believed to have been filmed in Glendale, a small enclave surrounded by Denver and known for its strip clubs and shopping centers.
Capt. Jamie Dillon said police did not receive any calls or complaints about Morant’s actions but began looking into them Saturday after learning about the video circulating online.
The Grizzlies coach said Morant understands he’s made “some difficult decisions and poor choices in the past.”
“He’s definitely embracing the mistakes that he’s made, but only time will tell,” Jenkins said. “We’re going to support him and we’re going to hold him accountable to make those changes.”
Jenkins declined to outline the steps Morant needs to take to rejoin the team, saying: “We love him, we want what’s best for him, we support him. It’s going to be a difficult process but we’ve got a great group to get through this.”
He called it “an ongoing healing process.”
The league, if it finds wrongdoing, could fine or suspend Morant.
Morant also was the subject of a league investigation after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis that he said led to a friend of his being banned from home games for a year. That incident occurred after a game against the Indiana Pacers. Multiple media outlets reported that members of the Pacers saw a red dot pointed at them, and a team security guard believed the laser was attached to a gun.
The NBA confirmed that unnamed individuals were banned from the arena but said its investigation found no evidence that anyone was threatened with a weapon.
“This is a tough time for a young kid that’s got to grow and get better,” Jenkins said. “He’s got huge responsibilities not just for the team, for the city, but I know how he’s built with that care factor and what steps he’s now taking. It’s a step in the direction of really being the best version of himself.”
Now in his fourth season with the Grizzlies, the 23-year-old two-time All-Star is the father of a young daughter. Jenkins described Morant as “a generally amazing person, great family person, a father, brother, son, member of our community.”
“My hope is that he just gets better,” Jenkins said. “He knows he’s got a lot of love and support.”
MITCHELL SCORES 40, STEVENS RALLIES CAVS PAST CELTICS IN OT
CLEVELAND (AP) Lamar Stevens spent three quarters watching and waiting his turn. When it finally came, he didn’t waste a single second.
Donovan Mitchell scored 40 points and Stevens came off the bench to fuel Cleveland’s fourth-quarter comeback with his hustle, leading the Cavaliers to a 118-114 win on Monday night over the Boston Celtics, who lost their second overtime game in less than 24 hours.
Evan Mobley added 25 points and 16 rebounds for the Cavs, who improved to 7-0 in OT while avenging a loss in Boston five days ago. Cleveland trailed by 14 entering the fourth before Stevens, who only averages 12 minutes per game, entered and turned the game around.
“There is no way we win that game without Lamar,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “He changed the tone, the physicality, the effort.”
Jaylen Brown scored 32 and Malcolm Brogdon 24 for the Celtics, who didn’t arrive at their hotel in Cleveland until 2:30 a.m. after losing to the New York Knicks in double overtime on Sunday.
But even missing All-Star Game MVP Jayson Tatum, who stayed behind in Boston to rest along with center Al Horford after the taxing loss to the Knicks, the Celtics were up by double digits with seven minutes left.
And, they had a chance to win in the final second of regulation, but Grant Williams missed two free throws with 0.8 seconds left and Marcus Smart barely missed a tip-in at the horn as the teams went to OT tied at 109-all.
Williams had confidently told Mitchell he was going to make both shots before his misfires.
“He gave us both, but I didn’t box out Marcus Smart for the tip and that’s what I’m thinking about,” Mitchell said. “Thank God he missed ’em and we got the win.”
While energizing the Cavs, the misses hurt the Celtics, who were on fumes.
“It’s definitely a little deflating,” Brogdon said. “We were up 10-12 points with three minutes left. We shouldn’t have let it get to that point. We shouldn’t have to rely on free throws. It’s not his fault.”
After playing just nine seconds in the first three quarters, Stevens came off the bench and grabbed eight rebounds – six offensive – and scored eight points, including a 3-pointer with 2:14 left in OT to put Cleveland ahead 114-112.
“I just felt I could help with a little energy boost,” Stevens said. “I was just trying to impact the game however I could.”
His second basket of overtime put the Cavs ahead for good before Brown’s layup with 43 seconds left pulled the Celtics within 116-114.
However, Darius Garland made a pair of free throws with 9 seconds to go for the Cavs and after securing the final rebound, Mitchell, who played with a badly sprained left middle finger, slammed the ball off the floor as Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse erupted following a win that was probably tougher than needed.
Brown didn’t make any excuses after the Celtics lost for the fourth time in five games.
“There were some key vital plays that we missed, but we can’t blame fatigue,” said Brown, who played 45 minutes after logging 47 on Sunday. “I wish one of the games had turned into a win. If I’ve got to play 47 minutes the next game, I’m down with it.”
Celtics: Brown added 13 rebounds and 9 rebounds, just missing his first triple-double this season. … Coach Joe Mazzulla didn’t provide specifics on Tatum’s injury, but said he doesn’t expect it to sideline him for long. … C Robert Williams is expected to miss up to 10 days with a hamstring strain. … Smart celebrated his 29th birthday and Mazzulla credited the team’s “emotional leader” with a “beautiful ability to control the game.”
Cavaliers: Improved to 3-1 against Boston with each winning coming in OT. … Mitchell tied J.R. Smith’s team record with his 200th 3-pointer. Mitchell made a career-high 232 3-pointers for Utah last season. … Cleveland is set to begin a unique scheduling quirk in which the Cavs will play consecutive road games in Miami, Charlotte, Brooklyn and Orlando over the final month.
Celtics: Host Portland on Wednesday.
Cavaliers: Visit Miami on Wednesday, the first of two straight road games against the Heat.
LILLARD’S TRIPLE-DOUBLE HELPS BLAZERS BEAT PISTONS 110-104
DETROIT (AP) Damian Lillard had 31 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, securing his second triple-double of the season and third of his career before the end of the third quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Detroit Pistons 110-104 on Monday night.
Lillard scored 16 points in the first quarter to give the Trail Blazers a 31-18 lead, and they had little trouble keeping a comfortable margin against a banged-up and slumping team for most of the night.
“He came out and set the tone for us,” coach Chauncey Billups said. “He usually does.”
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound dynamic guard also hit the boards for his undersized team, grabbing three more than he had in any other game this season.
“We are kind of small and we need him in there right now,” Billups said. “He’s going to fight with the big guys. He’s prepared to do whatever it takes.”
Detroit pulled within six points with 1:39 left to fire up the previously quiet fans, and Jerami Grant quieted them with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession. Grant finished with 26 points against his former team.
“I applaud our fight and scratch down the stretch,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said.
Cam Reddish had 13 points, Trendon Watford scored 12 and Drew Eubanks added 10 points for the Trail Blazers, who have won two straight for the first time in a month to strengthen their hopes of rallying into the playoffs.
“I don’t mind floating under the radar,” Billups said. “I just want us to get healthy and see if we can make the push that that I believe we can.”
Isaiah Livers matched a career high with 17 points for the Pistons, who have lost a season-high eight straight games.
“He did an excellent job of being aggressive and taking his open shots,” Casey said. “He was our best 3-point shooter out there at times.”
Detroit rookie Jaden Ivey had 13 points and 13 assists, Cory Joseph scored 14 points, Alec Burks had 13 and James Wiseman added 12.
The Pistons were without injured starters Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Stewart and rookie center Jalen Duran, along with key reserve Killian Hayes.
“We were out of sorts offensively because that is such a new lineup,” Casey said. “That hurt us in the first quarter and then we compounded them when we started substituting.”
Billups, NBA Finals MVP during Detroit’s third and last championship in 2004, was welcomed back with a roar from the crowd at Little Caesars Arena.
“Even though this is not the building I played in, it’s still home,” said Billups, who played with the Pistons at The Palace in suburban Detroit. “It’s always fun no matter what. It’s just another game for me to coach, in all honesty, but it means so much more to see everybody.”
Fans politely clapped for Grant, who was dealt to Portland last summer for a 2025 first-round pick that Detroit used in a trade with New York to acquire Duren.
Blazers: Anfernee Simons (ankle) missed a third straight game. … Lillard has 30-plus points in all three of his triple-doubles and has scored at least 30 in six straight games against Detroit.
Pistons: Bogdanovic (Achilles tendon), Stewart (hip), Duren (ankle) and Hayes (hand) left the team short-handed. … Detroit is 5-21 in 2023.
Blazers: Play at Boston on Wednesday night.
Pistons: Host Washington on Tuesday night.
BUTLER SCORES 26, HEAT BENCH ADDS 59 IN 130-128 WIN VS HAWKS
MIAMI (AP) Miami got the breathing room it needed over Atlanta. And now the Heat will take a bit of momentum into trying to chase down others in the Eastern Conference.
Jimmy Butler had 26 points, Victor Oladipo and Caleb Martin combined to score 43 off the bench, and the Heat held off the Atlanta Hawks 130-128 on Monday night.
Butler also had nine rebounds and nine assists for Miami (35-31), which swept a two-game set from the Hawks and moved 2 1/2 games clear of Atlanta in the race for No. 7 in the East. The Heat took the season series 3-1, so they hold the tiebreaker as well.
“Our guys are competitors. They love these kind of games,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It gets my stomach twisting and turning and everything. But these guys just love it. It was important to get this two-game set. We knew the context of it.”
Bam Adebayo scored 16 points, Duncan Robinson had 14, Tyler Herro finished with 13 and the Heat set a season high with 59 bench points. They also made 16 3-pointers, their most in a game since Dec. 15.
“We grinded it out,” said Martin, who had 21 points, one fewer than Oladipo. “That’s what we do.”
The Heat rallied to win from 15 or more points down for the fourth time this season, and improved to 14-8 in games decided by three points or less.
Trae Young scored 25 for Atlanta, which got 23 from Dejounte Murray and 17 apiece from Saddiq Bey and John Collins.
“We’ve been really moving the ball, scoring,” Young said. “We’ve just got to make a little more effort on the defensive end.”
The Heat led for 1:07 in the very early going, but Atlanta had control by the end of the opening quarter. The Hawks shot 76% (19 for 25) in the first 12 minutes, led by as many as 15 and took a 43-30 edge into the second. It was the most points allowed by Miami in any quarter this season.
Coming off an off day Sunday, Atlanta was flying at the start.
“I want us to be the best team we can be by the end of the year,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “And that’s really what it comes down to, how can we keep improving? Obviously, we want to win – record, standings, playoffs – but I think we’ll be better off if we continue to improve. And in order to do that, sometimes you need to have an off day.”
Atlanta kept the lead until the fourth, with the Heat chipping away. Martin had 16 points in the second quarter off the bench to help Miami get within 68-63 at halftime, and the Hawks’ lead was 96-92 entering the fourth.
A pair of free throws by Adebayo gave Miami the lead for the first time since those opening moments with 9:38 left, the start of five lead changes in a four-minute span.
De’Andre Hunter scored 14, while Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic each had 12 for Atlanta.
Hawks: The 43-point first quarter was the most Atlanta had ever scored in 601 quarters all-time against Miami. It was also the Hawks’ second-highest scoring quarter of the season; they had 49 in the second quarter against Cleveland on Feb. 24. … Monday marked the sixth time this season the Hawks had seven players in double figures, and they were all there by the midpoint of the third quarter. They’re now 3-3 in those games.
Heat: PG Kyle Lowry missed his 13th consecutive game with left knee soreness and is still hopeful of a return later this week. … PF Kevin Love (bruised right rib) missed the game, his first absence since signing with the Heat. He did an on-court workout pregame and is day-to-day.
The Hawks and Heat played a two-game set in Miami, and now another two-game, one-place set awaits both clubs. Atlanta goes to Washington for its next two games, while Miami plays host to Cleveland for two.
Among those in the crowd: Kate Upton and Justin Verlander, seated with Heat managing general partner Micky Arison, and Floyd Mayweather.
Hawks: Visit Washington on Wednesday.
Heat: Host Cleveland on Wednesday.
MURRAY SCORES 24 POINTS, NUGGETS RALLY PAST RAPTORS 118-113
DENVER (AP) Jamal Murray scored 24 points, Michael Porter Jr. had 20 and the Denver Nuggets scored the last six points of the game to pull out a 118-113 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.
Aaron Gordon added 19 points for the Nuggets, who won their ninth in a row at home. They improved to 24-1 in their last 25 games at Ball Arena. Nikola Jokic finished an assist shy of another triple-double. He had 17 points and 13 rebounds.
“It was a great win, all business” Murray said. “We move on to the next. We did what we had to do and I think that’s part of the reason we’re so successful; just move on to the next game and take care of business.”
Fred VanVleet had 21 points for the Raptors. Pascal Siakam added 19.
Siakam’s jumper with 2:20 remaining gave the Raptors a six-point edge, but the Nuggets rattled off seven straight points to go up 112-111 with 1:15 left.
VanVleet hit a pair of free throws as Toronto regained a one-point lead, but Denver scored the final six points, all on free throws, to secure the win. Murray converted a free throw in that final stretch after Scottie Barnes was called for a technical following a foul by Jakob Poeltl and ejected by referee Scott Foster.
“I was just saying something to myself and I guess he took offense to it, so just kicked me out of the game,” Barnes said.
Foster said Barnes was ejected with just one technical foul for using verbiage which “directly questioned the integrity of the crew.” Denver outscored Toronto 35-25 in the final quarter. “It was another example of our defense stepping up when the game was on the line,” coach Michael Malone said. “We had timely stops, big baskets, big free throws, winning the challenge (that reversed a foul call on Jokic in the late going) and then winning that jump ball and getting to the free throw line on a technical. A lot of things went our way at the end. We were down the whole game but we stayed with it.” The Raptors finished with more second-chance points (20) than the Nuggets (14) and maintained a lead for most of the game. Toronto coach Nick Nurse said a similar effort on most any other night would produce a win.
“We play like that, we’re probably going to be able to beat anybody,” he said. “We probably outplayed them and executed really well and all those things. We just didn’t quite get it done at the very, very end.”
The Raptors led by as many as 10 points in the first half but Denver closed the second quarter with a 7-0 run to pull to 61-58 at the break. The burst included a 3-pointer by Porter and a dunk by Gordon off Jokic’s alley-oop pass in the final minute of the period.
Murray scored 12 points in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer midway through the period that put the Nuggets up 72-69 for their first lead of the game. But the Raptors fought back to take an 88-83 lead into the fourth quarter and led 101-93 when Siakam converted a hook shot with 7:08 left to play.
Raptors: All five starters scored in double figures, the fifth time that has happened this season. … VanVleet also had 14 assists.
Nuggets: F Zeke Nnaji remains sidelined indefinitely by a right shoulder injury. … The Nuggets are a league-best 30-4 at home this season. …Jokic’s streak of 10 straight triple-doubles at home was snapped. He has finished an assist or rebound shy of a triple-double nine times this season. … Murray made five of his 10 3-point tries and now has 803 in his career, one shy of the Nuggets’ franchise mark held by Will Barton, who was in the arena as a member of the Raptors.
Raptors: Continue their five-game road trip Wednesday in Los Angeles against the Clippers.
Nuggets: Close out a three-game homestand Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls.
HUERTER HAS 25, SABONIS A TRIPLE-DOUBLE, KINGS BEAT PELICANS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Kevin Huerter scored 25 points, Domantas Sabonis had his eighth triple-double of the season and the Sacramento Kings beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-108 on Monday night.
Sabonis finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. He leads the NBA with 52 double-doubles.
The Kings (38-26) have won six of their first seven games after the All-Star break and pulled within a half-game of Memphis for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
“We want to play our first (playoff) game at home,” Kings rookie Keegan Murray said. “It’s not easy, we know we have a lot of tough stretches coming up… we know we have to be locked in every single night.”
Huerter added eight assists and five rebounds.
“He should get five rebounds in a game, so I’m extremely excited about that and we need to continue to get that kind of production from him,” Kings coach Mike Brown said.
The Kings outscored the Pelicans 38-20 in the third quarter after the game was tied at 59-all at halftime.
Davion Mitchell got the start for injured Kings star De’Aaron Fox and scored 15 points and added six assists. Trey Lyles scored 14 points off the bench.
Brandon Ingram scored 24 points for the Pelicans (31-34). New Orleans has lost six of its last seven games.
“We didn’t get into our offense quick enough,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “We started walking around on the perimeter. …I have any concerns (moving forward).”
Jonas Valanciunas added 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Pelicans: G Jose Alvarado missed the game with a right tibial stress reaction.
Kings: Fox was ruled out before the game with a hamstring injury. … Harrison Barnes received a technical foul with 5:29 left in the third quarter.
Kings: Host New York on Thursday. Pelicans: Host Dallas on Wednesday.
MCDAVID SCORES 2 IN OILERS’ 3-2 WIN OVER SABRES
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Edmonton Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft likes to compare watching Connor McDavid play to living at the foot of Mount Everest, and being almost numbed by taking in the spectacular scene on a daily basis.
That view turned breathtaking for Woodcroft and the Oilers on Monday night, in witnessing McDavid score twice to push his NHL-leading goal total to 54, and set a career high with 124 points in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
“The finish was all-world,” Woodcroft said of McDavid scoring the go-ahead goal on the fly by beating Craig Anderson through the legs 3:23 into the third period, and less than two minutes after the Sabres tied the game at 2.
“I saw someone that was competitive right from the puck right from the puck drop,” he added. “Connor’s at a different evolutionary stage in his game right now, and I think everyone saw that here tonight.”
McDavid continued making a case to win his third Hart MVP Trophy in eight seasons with his 12th multi-goal game of the year. His 124 points in 65 games are one more than the career-best he set in 80 games last year, and McDavid extended his points streak to 11 games, in which the Oilers’ captain has 12 goals and 15 assists.
“Who’s more likely to make a big play than him?” asked teammate Zach Hyman in wonder. “He’s the best player in the world, and he’s pushing his own boundaries. He’s been driving the bus for a long time and continues to get better.”
Derek Ryan also scored and Stuart Skinner stopped 37 shots for the Oilers, who improved to 5-4-3 in their past 12, and bounced back from a 7-5 loss at Winnipeg on Saturday.
Jeff Skinner and Dylan Cozens scored for the Sabres, and Anderson stopped 34 shots.
In dropping to 6-4 in its past 10, Buffalo continued its season-long struggles at home in losing five of its past seven.
Buffalo (32-26-4), in the midst of an NHL-worst 11-season playoff drought, failed to gain ground in a tight Eastern Conference race. The day began with four points separating the seventh-place New York Islanders, and ninth-place Buffalo, which was locked in a four-way tie with teams with 68 points.
Earlier in the day, Sabres coach Don Granato, declined to say whether he considered McDavid to be a step above everyone else in the league out of deference to his young stars. Afterward, Granato had no choice but to praise the Oilers’ captain, who scored twice on three shots on net.
“He’s got 50-plus for a reason, he doesn’t need many (shots),” Granato said. “He’s done that to lots of teams and goaltenders, and he was ready for his opportunities. That’s what makes him special.”
The Oilers (35-22-8) moved into a tie with Seattle for third in the Pacific Division.
After opening the scoring in the first period, McDavid scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, shortly after Cozens tied the game.
Warren Foegele drove up the left wing to gain the Sabres zone and then spun to hit McDavid in stride cutting up the middle. McDavid veered to his left to get by defender Jacob Bryson, and snapped a shot in though Anderson’s legs.
It was McDavid’s ninth game-winning goal of the season, after he began the day in a four-way tie for second and one behind teammate Leon Draisaitl.
INJURIES Oilers LW Evander Kane, who is traveling with the team, missed his ninth game with a rib injury. … The Sabres were without C Tyson Jost and Ds Mattias Samuelsson and Riley Stillman (head), who are listed day to day.
Oilers: At the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
Sabres: At the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
HERTL, COUTURE RALLY SHARKS TO 3-2 WIN OVER JETS IN OT
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Tomas Hertl scored the tying goal with 10.2 seconds left in regulation and Logan Couture got the winner 1:21 into overtime as the San Jose Sharks rallied to beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 Monday night to snap a five-game losing streak.
Steven Lorentz also scored and Erik Karlsson had two assists for San Jose, which was 0-4-1 during its skid. James Reimer had 36 saves.
Reimer, a Manitoba native, picked a great time to have a big game in front of family and friends.
“You don’t get to the NHL by yourself,” said Reimer, who was born in the small town of Morweena. “You get there by so much love and support and encouragement, and even that practice time when you’re 12 years old on the outdoor (rink).
“So it’s special to play in front of your friends and family and it’s even more special when things go your way.”
Sharks coach David Quinn was happy for his veteran goalie, who turns 35 this month, and his cheering section.
“We’re going to bring them on the charter and wherever we go they’re going to go when he plays,” Quinn joked. “Reims has had a really good year for us. He was huge tonight, and it’s always nice to perform in front of family and friends, so I’m happy for him.”
Nate Schmidt and Nino Niederreiter scored for Winnipeg and David Rittich finished with 21 saves to lose his third straight start (0-2-1).
“We definitely had to have more traffic in front of the net,” Niederreiter said. “We made it look a little too easy on Reimer. He made some great saves, but we have to win that game, doesn’t matter how, but it’s on us that we lost.”
With the clock winding down in the third period, Karlsson’s shot from the right point deflected off Jets defenseman Blake Wheeler in front to Hertl, who fired it past Rittich from the left circle for his 17th of the season.
In overtime, Karlsson sent a lead pass to Couture, who skated in on Rittich on a breakaway, deked and put a backhander through the goalie’s five-hole for his 22nd.
Schmidt had given the Jets a 2-1 lead with 5:07 left in the third as he scored from the side of the crease shortly after a Winnipeg power play expired.
Lorentz gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead with 5:47 left in the first period after a scramble on the left side following the rebound of Oskar Lindblom’s shot from between the circles. It was Lorentz’s seventh of the season.
Niederreiter tied it at 6:05 of the second as he got Josh Morrissey’s feed between the circles, spun and fired it past Reimer. It was his 19th of the season and 200th of his career – and first since being acquired from acquired from Nashville on Feb. 25.
“It’s not very important right now,” Niederreiter said, “obviously great to get on the board but it’s tough that we lost.”
Sharks: At Colorado on Tuesday night in the middle of a three-game trip.
Jets: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night to finish a three-game homestand.
RITCHIE SCORES IN FLAMES DEBUT, TOFFOLI LATE WINNER VS STARS
DALLAS (AP) Calgary Flames forward Tyler Toffoli took a peek at the clock as he was charging down the middle of the ice toward the Dallas net.
“I saw that I had enough time to kind of do whatever I wanted, and obviously made the right choice,” Toffoli said.
Toffoli scored on a breakaway with 6.2 seconds left as the Flames beat Central Division-leading Dallas 5-4 on Monday night for their first win in six games after giving up a two-goal lead in the third period. His 26th goal was a wrister past Jake Oettinger after getting the puck from Jonathan Huberdeau.
Nick Ritchie scored a goal in his debut for Calgary after being part of the NHL’s first brother-for-brother trade, though his boarding penalty with just under three minutes left gave Dallas a late power play on which they failed to capitalize.
“Some back and forth there, having a lead and giving it up, but got it done at the end,” Ritchie said. “I think we deserved to win that one.”
Nikita Zadorov, Elias Lindholm and Rasmus Andersson also scored goals for the wildcard-chasing Flames, who were 0-3-2 in their previous five games.
Jason Robertson scored his 38th goal for Dallas, and Roope Hintz got his 30th on a short-hander. Max Domi got his first goal for the Stars since getting traded from the Blackhawks right after Dallas had played in Chicago last Thursday night, tying the game at 2-2 in the second period.
“Tonight definitely stung,” Stars center Tyler Seguin said. “They’re a good hockey team, they played well. And, you know, they always play well against us, and had our number as of late.”
The Flames won 6-5 in Dallas on Jan. 14, their first meeting since Calgary’s overtime goal in Game 7 to beat the Stars in the first round of last season’s Western Conference playoffs.
Hintz scored his short-hander midway through the third period before captain Jamie Benn’s 26th goal with just under six minutes left tied the game at 4.
“It’s disappointing, especially crawling back in the game. I didn’t love our game all night,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. “We played in spurts, but not for long enough. We were fortunate to be tied at that point, but credit to our group. We didn’t pack it in, and we battled back. It’s a tough way to lose and to give that up. It’s probably a symptom of our whole game tonight – awareness and execution was off a little bit.”
Huberdeau also assisted on Ritchie’s goal less than four minutes into the game. Oettinger had stopped his shot but was unable to gather in the puck, which was just beyond his skate in the crease, when Ritchie swiped it in for a 1-0 lead.
“That felt good obviously,” Ritchie said. “Getting a goal early helped the rest of the game.”
Calgary acquired the 27-year-old Ritchie just before the trade deadline Friday from Arizona for his old brother, Brett. The younger Ritchie had scored nine goals in 58 games for the Coyotes. Brett Richie, who turns 30 on July 1, is about 2 1/2 years older.
Oettinger had 32 saves. Jacob Markstrom had 29 for the Flames, but gave up the short-hander to Hintz midway through the third period that got Dallas within 4-3.
NOTES: Zadorov put the Flames up 2-0 in the second with his laser shot from the circle to the left of Oettinger after a cross-ice pass from Troy Stecher, the defenseman was also part of the deal with the Ritchie brothers. … Only twice before in Flames franchise history have they scored game-winning goals with less time remaining in regulation. They had two wins with four seconds left in the 1998-99 season. … Domi, who had 18 goals in 60 games with the Blackhawks, had a 40-foot wrister through traffic ricochet off the left post earlier in the second period. He made his Stars debut on Saturday. … Robertson has 80 points this season, joining Hall of Famer Mike Modano and Seguin as the only Dallas players to have 80 points at age 23 or younger. … Benn also had an assist for his 200th career multipoint game.
Flames: Wrap up a back-to-back on the road at Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Stars: Play their next six games on the road, starting Thursday night at Buffalo.
SETH JONES SCORES TWICE AS BLACKHAWKS BEAT SENATORS 5-0
CHICAGO (AP) According to Seth Jones, there is nothing complex about his offensive production of late.
“Sometimes you get streaky,” he said. “There are times where they don’t go in, and times where those same shots end up going in.”
They are going in at the moment.
Jones scored two of Chicago’s three second-period goals, and the Blackhawks stopped Ottawa’s five-game win streak with a 5-0 victory over the Senators on Monday night.
Anders Bjork had three primary assists, and Alex Stalock made 35 saves in his 11th career shutout. Lukas Reichel, Phillipp Kurashev and Jason Dickinson also scored as last-place Chicago (22-36-5) snapped a four-game losing streak.
“I thought we played very intelligent with and without the puck tonight,” coach Luke Richardson said.
Ottawa (32-27-4) remained three points back of idle Pittsburgh for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, wasting a prime opportunity to gain ground in the playoff race. The Senators outscored their opponents 27-10 during their win streak.
“It was everything that we hadn’t done in the previous five games, we did tonight,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “It’s tough to explain how well we’ve played to come out and do this. But you’ve got to turn the page quickly.”
With Cam Talbot sidelined by a lower-body injury, Mads Sogaard made 16 stops in his first regulation loss in seven appearances this season. He had 28 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks in Ottawa on Feb. 17.
It was a tough night for Alex DeBrincat, who was shut out in his first game at the United Center since he was traded to Ottawa in July. The 25-year-old DeBrincat spent his first five seasons with Chicago after he was a second-round pick in the 2016 draft.
The Blackhawks paid tribute to DeBrincat with a highlight video during a first-period timeout, and the high-scoring winger waved to the cheering crowd.
“You know when you get the call, it’s obviously tough,” DeBrincat said, looking back on the trade. “I loved my time here. I thought I was going to be a Blackhawk forever. Obviously didn’t turn out that way. Like I said, everything happens for a reason.”
Led by Jones and Bjork, Chicago grabbed control in the second.
Jones made it 2-0 when he finished a give-and-go with Bjork 2 minutes into the period. Jones extended his scoring streak to three in a row, and Bjork recorded his first point in his second game since he was acquired in a trade with Buffalo last week.
“Just trying to make my reads,” Jones said. “When the time’s there to jump offensively, make those reads, and they seem to be going in right now.”
Jones scored again at 5:29, finishing a nice cross-ice feed from Bjork. It was the 10th goal of the season for the All-Star defenseman.
Dickinson got his ninth when he scored from the slot at 10:31, converting a pass from Bjork from behind the net.
Trailing 4-0, Smith called timeout, but nothing worked. The Senators went 0 for 4 on the power play in the opener of a five-game trip.
“Not good. Unacceptable,” Ottawa forward Brady Tkachuk said. “I guess we took them lightly. I guess we forgot that’s where we were at not too long ago. Nobody was good tonight, including myself.”
Reichel capped the scoring when he slipped in a backhand on a breakaway 3:18 into the third. It was Reichel’s second goal in his 18th NHL game.
Blackhawks defenseman Andreas Englund departed with a lower-body injury. Richardson said he should know more on Tuesday. … It was Stalock’s first win since Jan. 8. The goaltender was activated from injured reserve on Feb. 26 after being sidelined by trouble with his eyesight. … Ottawa recalled Kevin Mandolese from the minors to back up Sogaard.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is working out, but he hasn’t started skating again. Toews announced last month that he is dealing with symptoms of long COVID-19 and chronic immune response syndrome.
“I thought the timeline was going to be a bit earlier to get on the ice but just the way he was feeling, we wanted to continue in the gym and hopefully we get to that next step soon,” Richardson said.
Senators: At the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night.
Blackhawks: At the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.
KINGS STAY HOT AT HOME WITH 4-2 WIN OVER OVECHKIN, CAPITALS
LOS ANGELES (AP) Mikey Anderson scored in the third period and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Monday night for their fourth straight win.
Adrian Kempe, Phillip Danault and Vladislav Gavrikov also scored, and Pheonix Copley made 20 saves as the Kings won their sixth straight game on home ice.
Alex Ovechkin had a power-play goal and Rasmus Sandin had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who failed to pick up a third straight road win in California. Darcy Kuemper had 37 saves.
Anderson restored the lead at 3-2 for Los Angeles off the rush with his third goal, which was set up by Quinton Byfield’s fourth assist during a four-game streak.
Kempe chipped in an empty-net goal with 1.8 seconds remaining to seal Los Angeles’ win.
Oveckhin tied it 2-2 at 2:31 of the third, burying his trademark one-timer from the left circle during a two-man advantage after Copley had saved two prior attempts. It was his 36th goal of the season and 11th on the power play.
Danault put the Kings up 2-1 with 32 seconds left in the second, batting down Viktor Arvidsson’s shot to send it tumbling in underneath Kuemper.
Both the Capitals and Kings acquired defensemen in the run-up to the trade deadline, and it was Sandin and Gavrikov who opened the scoring for their new teams.
Sandin was somehow able to beat Copley five-hole with a backhand shot from his knees after whiffing on a possible one-timer from Sonny Milano midway through the second.
Despite being brought in to offer physicality and address an imbalance between left and right-handed defenders, Gavrikov showed good offensive instincts in crashing the net to put in Kevin Fiala’s rebound to tie it at 1.
NOTES: Kings F Zach MacEwan made his team debut after being acquired in a trade from Philadelphia on Friday. … Capitals D Nick Jensen (upper body) and Martin Fehervary (lower body) practiced in non-contact jerseys on Monday. Both players were injured against Anaheim on Wednesday.
PETTERSSON LIFTS CANUCKS TO 4-3 WIN OVER PREDATORS IN SO
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Elias Pettersson scored the only goal in the shootout and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Monday night.
Pettersson, Vasily Podkolzin and Dakota Joshua had goals in regulation for the Canucks, who recovered after giving up a two-goal lead in the third period to get their third win in four games. Arturs Silovs stopped 29 shots through overtime.
Luke Evangelista scored twice in the third period to tie the score, and Colton Sissons also had a goal for the Predators, who lost for the second time in seven games (5-1-1). Jeremy Lauzon had two assists and Juuse Saros had 26 saves.
After Pettersson put a shot through Saros’ legs on Vancouver’s attempt in the third round of the shootout, Silovs denied Nashville’s Tommy Novak to secure the win.
Pettersson nearly ended the game 59 seconds into overtime, sending a backhanded shot off the post.
Evangelista, a 21-year-old playing in his fourth NHL game, scored his first two career goals 8:24 apart in the third to tie the score with 3:05 left.
First, he got the rebound of Kiefer Sherwood’s shot and delivered it into the back of Vancouver’s net to pull the Predators within one at 8:31 of the third. Then, after a bad clearing attempt by Vancouver defenseman Guillaume Brisebois, the Predators’ Tyson Barrie fired a shot from above the faceoff circle and Evangelista tipped it in for his second goal of the game to tie it 3-3.
Pettersson started the scoring as he got a pass from Andrei Kuzmenko and waited patiently at the faceoff dot for his moment before firing a shot up and over Saros’ shoulder 4:31 into the first period. It was his 30th of the season and his 300th regular season point. It came in his 306th career game, making him the second-fastest player in Canucks’ history to achieve the feat behind only Pavel Bure (246).
The Canucks tied it just 24 seconds later as Jeremy Lauzon fired a shot from the top of the circle and Cole Smith tipped it, sending the puck ricocheting off the post. The rebound hit Silovs in the skate before Sissons tapped it into the open net from the top of the crease for his 11th.
Podkolzin gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead with 9:04 left in the first as he deflected Kyle Burroughs’ long shot from inside the blue line up and over Saros’ blocker.
Joshua pushed the Canucks lead to 3-1 at 5:43 of the third as he got a backward pass from Nils Aman in the slot and sent a shot through Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh’s legs and in for his ninth.
Predators: At Arizona on Thursday night in the fourth of a six-game trip.
Canucks: Host Anaheim on Wednesday night in the fourth of a six-game homestand.
RED SOX INFIELDER JUSTIN TURNER HIT IN FACE BY PITCH
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Boston Red Sox infielder Justin Turner needed 16 stitches after he was hit in the face by a pitch during Monday’s spring training game against the Detroit Tigers.
The 38-year-old Turner fell to the ground after getting drilled by right-hander Matt Manning. Medical personnel rushed to the plate, and Turner was bleeding and had a towel on his face as he walked off the field.
Turner’s wife, Kourtney, posted to Instagram that the infielder had “16 stitches and a lot of swelling but we are thanking God for no fractures & clear scans.”
“He’s receiving treatment for soft tissue injuries, and is being monitored for a concussion,” the Red Sox said in a statement. “He will undergo further testing, and we’ll update as we have more information. Justin is stable, alert, and in good spirits given the circumstances.”
The two-time All-Star signed a $15 million, one-year deal with Red Sox during the offseason after spending the past nine years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit .278 with 13 homers and 81 RBIs in 128 games last season.
Turner was also hit in the face by a pitch while attempting to bunt during the 2003 College World Series with Cal State Fullerton.
With his face bloodied and swollen, Turner left the game against Stanford assisted by trainers. He was later taken to Bergan Mercy Hospital for precautionary X-rays that revealed bruises but no fractures. He also sprained his ankle trying to avoid the pitch.
RELIEVER BRAD HAND GUARANTEED $2M IN DEAL WITH ROCKIES
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Reliever Brad Hand is guaranteed $2 million in his one-year contract with the Colorado Rockies and the three-time All-Star would make $11.5 million over two years if he starts this season in the major leagues and pitches at least 60 games annually.
The left-hander, who turns 33 on March 20, has a $1.5 million salary this year as part of a deal announced Saturday. The contract includes a $7 million team option for 2024 with a $500,000 buyout.
The option would become a mutual option if Hand has at least 25 games finished this year or is traded during the season. His 2023 salary would escalate to $2.5 million if he is on the opening-day roster, the 15-day injured list or the 60-day injured list.
In addition, Hand could earn $1 million each year in performance bonuses for games pitched: $250,000 each for 40 and 50, and $500,000 for 60.
He gets a hotel suite on road trips and award bonuses.
Hand was 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA and five saves in 55 appearances for Philadelphia last season and made seven postseason appearances for the NL champions. He had three scoreless outings in the Division Series against Atlanta and two in the World Series against Houston but gave up three runs in the NL Championship Series against San Diego.
Hand is 35-52 with a 3.62 ERA and 131 saves in 12 big league seasons with the Marlins (2011-15), San Diego (2016-18), Cleveland (2018-20), Washington (2021), the Mets (2021), Toronto (2021) and Philadelphia (2022). He has seven seasons of 20 or more saves.
He would get $25,000 for making the All-Star team or winning a Gold Glove, $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP and $100,000 for World Series MVP or comeback player of the year. Hand would get $100,000 for winning a MVP or Cy Young Award and $50,000 for second through fifth in either. He would get $100,000 for the Mariano Rivera/Trevor Hoffman reliever of the year award and $50,000 for second or third.
Athletes of the Week:
Hitting Athlete of the Week:
Tyler Smitherman (Westfield, Ind.) Anderson University | Senior- Tyler Smitherman went 6-for-11 with 2 homers, a double and 6 RBI’s as Anderson went 3-0 on the week. In Game 2 against St. Norbert, Smitherman delivered the eighth-inning go-ahead RBI single in an 8-7 win. Smitherman posted a .545 batting average, a .571 on-base percentage and a 1.182 slugging percentage.
Pitching Athlete of the Week:
Matthew Johnson (Griffith, Ind.) Franklin College | Sophomore- Matthew Was dominant for Franklin on Saturday afternoon against Hope, allowing one hit and three walks in five innings while striking out a career-high 11 batters.
- Kade Kline (Terre Haute, Ind.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Sophomore- Kade batted .538 (7-13) with 1 double and 1 home run to lead the Rose-Hulman offense in a 2-1 weekend. Kline slugged at an .846 clip with 6 runs scored, 5 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. His top performance came in a 13-12 win over Ferrum – when Kline finished 3-5 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 5 RBIs.
- AJ Sanders (Clayton, Ind.) Franklin College | Sophomore- AJ Went 4-for-11 with a home run, two triples and five RBI as Franklin split a pair of game with Hope on Saturday.
- Aiden Stevens (Rensselaer, Ind.) Manchester University | Senior- In a three game series against DePauw over the weekend, Aidan Stevens hit .500, going 6-12 from the plate. Stevens totaled 5 runs, 6 RBIs, 2 doubles, 1 homerun, and a .625 on base percentage over the weekend.
- Alex Christie (Greenwood, Ind.) Hanover College | Junior- Alex Christie led the Panthers to a 2-0 week as they swept North Park. The junior got it done at the dish going 3-for-7 with four RBI. He added a triple and scored two runs. The junior posted a .429 batting average with two walks.
- Jake Lawson (Cincinnati, Ohio) Mount St. Joseph | Junior- Jake Lawson was impressive for the Lions at the plate this weekend. The Junior finished the weekend with a batting average of .600 (6-10) including a double and a triple. Lawson scored 2 runs of his own while knocking in 3 and drawing a pair of walks.
- Carter Vilevac (Sheffield Village, Ohio) Earlham College | First-Year- Carter Vilevac led the Quakers to a weekend split with Illinois Tech over the weekend. The freshman hit at a .375 clip with three hits, three RBI and one home run against the Scarlet Hawks.
- Henry Mitcham (Lexington Ky.) Transylvania University | Sophomore- Henry Mitcham in his 3 games this weekend swept all 3 beating Westminster. Henry Mitcham hit well with a total of 5 hits going .446 on the weekend. This was backed by a career high 3 RBI’s in just one of the three games. On Saturday Henry had a season high 3 hits, and bases stolen with 1. On Sunday Mitcham had a season high in runs scored with 1, and a season high in assists with 1.
- Josh Erpenbeck (Clayton, N.C.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Junior- Josh Erpenbeck tossed 3.1 scoreless innings to help Rose-Hulman pick up an 8-6 win over Bridgewater on Saturday. Erpenbeck allowed just 1 hit with 2 strikeouts in 3.1 innings, lowering his ERA to 1.13 in 2 appearances on the 2023 season.
- Zach White (Logansport Ind.) Manchester University | Graduate- Zach White pitched 7 innings in a 12-5 victory over DePauw over the weekend. White gave up 4 hits, 1 earned run, and had 4 strikeouts against 33 batters faced.
- Michael Goodpaster (Indianapolis, Ind.) Hanover College | Junior- Marcus Goodpaster helped lead the Panthers to a sweep of North Park as he picked up the game two victory on the mound. The junior pitched 7 and two thirds inning scattering eight hits. He allowed just two runs with seven strikeouts. He finished the contest with a 2.35 ERA.
- Brice McGee (Crestwood, Ky.) Mount St. Jospeh University | Senior- McGee was dominant for the Lions in his 2nd start of the season. McGee earned his 2nd win in as many starts tossing 7 innings allowing 7 hits and just 1 run. McGee was efficient on the mound needing only 71 pitches, walking 1 batter while striking out 4 leading the Lions to a 5-1 victory over Ohio Wesleyan.
- Evan Doan (Frankfort Ind.) Anderson University | Senior- Evan Doan picked up two wins out of the bullpen in Anderson’s three-game sweep of St. Norbert. In 5 and two-thirds innings, Doan issued two walks and allowed two runs on three hits, while striking out 5.
- Connor Arnol (Lexington, Ky.) Transylvania University | Sophomore= Connor Arnold had a great weekend pitching in one of the three wins for the Pioneers in their sweep against Westminster. Arnold pitched 7 innings facing 26 batters, with a season high in innings pitched. Arnold also had a season high in strikeouts this game with 3. Connor won.
- Nick Carrizales (Greenwood, Ind.) Earlham College | Graduate- Nick Carrizales started the the final game of the weekend for the Quakers with seven innings tossed. The graduate student allowed five hits with two runs, while recording four strikeouts against Illinois Tech.
Athletes of the Week:
Hitting Athlete of the Week:
Eriana Wagner (Indianapolis, Ind.) Franklin College | Sophomore- Went 6-for-10 with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored as Franklin recorded a 3-1 week.
Pitching Athlete of the Week:
Erin Norman (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) Bluffton University | Senior- Norman opened the season 1-0 as she went all seven innings for the Beavers, tossing a four-hit shutout and allowing no walks in her senior debut as Bluffton downed Sage 2-0 in one hour and five minutes on Sunday afternoon. Norman finished with three strikeouts.
- Kendra Hutchison (Lafayette, Ind.) Hanover College | Senior- Kendra Hutchison led the Panthers on a very tough road trip in San Antonio, Texas that saw the Blue and Red take on Southwestern, nationally ranked Texas Lutheran, and Trinity. The senior charted three hits on the week with three RBI and a homerun. In the team’s lone win at Trinity, she went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
- Phoebe Worstell (Bicknell, Ind.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Sophomore- Phoebe batted 5-11 with 4 doubles, 2 runs and 2 RBIs to lead the Rose-Hulman offense in 4 games last week. Worstell was 2-3 at the plate with 2 doubles in game 1 at LaGrange, then recorded a 2-4 performance with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs in game 2 at LaGrange. For the week, Worstell averaged .455 and had an .818 slugging average.
- Lauren Beaman (Indianapolis, Ind.) Hanover College | Sophomore- Lauren Beaman led the Panthers as part of a very tough road trip in San Antonio, Texas featuring Southwestern, nationally ranked Texas Lutheran, and Trinity. In the contest with no. 3 ranked Texas Lutheran, Beaman pitched a stellar game. Despite losing 2-0, the sophomore pitched a complete game allowing just two runs on seven hits. Beaman finished the week with a 2.95 ERA with three complete games and 21 innings pitched
- Stephanni Kleber (Seymour, Ind.) Franklin College | Sophomore- Allowed four earned runs and struck out 10 batters over 14 innings, going 2-0 for the Grizzlies during the week.
Athletes of the Week:
Men’s Track Athlete of the Week:
Enrique Salazar (Plymouth, Ind.) Manchester University | Senior – Salazar set a new Manchester school record and HCAC all-time best performance with a time of 8:20.40 in the 3k at the Wartburg Qualifier.
Men’s Field Athlete of the Week:
Gabe Hendricks (Fort Wayne, Ind.) Manchester University | Senior – Hendricks took second place at the Polar Bear Final Qualifier in the shot put with a distance of 15.85 meters. Hendricks narrowly missed qualifying for nationals, finishing in 27th in the nation.
Women’s Track Athlete of the Week:
Brooke Bouwens (Lake Odessa, Mich.) Manchester University | Senior – Bouwens set a new Manchester school record in the 400 meters at the Polar Bear Final Qualifier, crossing the finish line in 1:01.52.
Women’s Field Athlete of the Week:
Carley Camp (Logansport, Ind.) Manchester University | Sophomore – Camp set a new school record in the Shot Put with a new all-time HCAC performance of 13.77 meters. Camp’s distance put her 15th in the nation.
- Michael Sweigart (Alexandria, Ind.) Anderson University | Sophomore – Sweigart claimed fourth place in the shot put with a distance of 15.49 meters (50 feet, 10 inches) during the Polar Bear Final Qualifier. He also secured ninth in the weight throw with a distance of 16.22 meters (53 feet, 2.75 inches).
- Marlon Brown (Austin, Texas) Defiance College | First Year – Brown competed in both the Firebird Finale on Friday and Ohio Northern final qualifier on Saturday. At Firebird, he won the 400 meter dash with a time of 51.10 seconds. He also won the 400 meter dash at Ohio Northern with a time of 50.24 seconds.
TOP INDIANA NEWS RELEASES
INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL
GAME REWIND: PACERS 143, 76ERS 147
Fans in attendance on Monday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse were treated to a good old-fashioned shootout.
For most of the night, it felt like the scoreboard operator could barely keep up as the Pacers and 76ers — led by their respective All-Stars — traded basket after basket. The two teams combined for 157 points in the first half alone and continued to shoot the lights out into the fourth quarter.
But Philadelphia (42-22) ultimately prevailed, using a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to build a lead they would not relinquish in a 147-143 win over Indiana (29-37).
Seven Pacers scored in double figures on the night, led by Tyrese Haliburton with 40 points and a season-high 16 assists. The All-Star guard scored Indiana’s final 14 points and finished the night 12-for-19 from the field, 5-for-10 from 3-point range, and 11-for-12 from the free throw line.
But Joel Embiid tallied a game-high 42 points, going 11-for-16 from the field and a perfect 19-for-19 from the free throw line, and James Harden added 14 points and 20 assists to lead Philadelphia to victory.
Philadelphia shot 58.5 percent from the field and went 35-for-38 from the free throw line in the win, offsetting an equally spectacular offensive performance by the Blue & Gold, who shot 58.9 percent on the night.
“As entertaining games in the NBA go, I don’t know how you get much better than this one,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said.
Making his second start as a Pacer, Jordan Nwora ignited Indiana’s offense early. The 24-year-old forward scored 10 points in his first eight minutes — including a pair of 3-pointers.
The Sixers had their own hot hand in guard Tyrese Maxey, who went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc and scored 14 points in the opening frame.
But the Pacers matched Philadelphia shot for shot in a high-scoring first quarter. Haliburton tallied eight points and seven assists in the frame. His three with 1:14 left in the quarter gave the hosts a lead they would maintain for the remainder of the frame, as Indiana took a 39-38 lead into the second.
The first quarter featured 11 lead changes and five ties and the ensuing frame was no different. The teams traded the lead 14 times and were tied on 11 occasions over the course of the second quarter.
Two Jaden McDaniels free throws with 46.1 seconds remaining in the half gave the Sixers a 76-74 lead. Nwora tied the game with baseline floater on the other end, but Embiid drew a foul with 7.7 seconds left, then knocked down his 10th and 11th free throws of the first half.
Haliburton got the last laugh of the half, however. The star guard nearly lost the ball, but recovered and swished a three at the buzzer to give Indiana a 79-78 lead at the break.
The Pacers set a new season high for points in the first half, shooting 61.1 percent from the field. The Sixers were just as hot, converting 62.5 percent of their attempts overall and going 10-for-15 from 3-point range. Neither team led by more than five points in the entire first 24 minutes.
“It’s fun,” Haliburton said. “How can you not love that style of basketball? I think it was just a lot of elite basketball players on the floor, making big-time plays, making shots. The game just came down to who would get enough stops in a row.
“Usually people say the first one to get three stops in a row — that game (it was) the first one to get two stops in a row.”
The Sixers surged ahead minutes into the third quarter thanks to a 9-2 spurt. Indiana answered with another 9-2 run of its own later in the frame to move back in front, and once again the teams traded the lead several times over the closing minutes of the quarter.
Embiid scored 14 points in the third, including a bucket in the post that put Philadelphia up 114-113 with 34.4 seconds remaining in the quarter. Bennedict Mathurin drew a foul on the other end and hit one of two free throws to tie the game for the 22nd time on the night as the action shifted to the fourth quarter.
Neither team led by more than six until the Sixers reeled off 10 unanswered points against Indiana’s second unit to take a 128-118 lead with under eight minutes remaining.
Carlisle subbed Haliburton and starting center Myles Turner back in at that point.
Indiana eventually trimmed the deficit to 134-129 following T.J. McConnell’s layup with 3:02 to play. Indiana appeared to get a stop on the other end when Harden missed a three and Turner corralled the rebound, but Haliburton was whistled for a push in the back, giving Philadelphia a second chance.
The visitors capitalized, as De’Anthony Melton buried a three from in front of Indiana’s bench. The Pacers committed a backcourt violation on the other end and then Embiid drew a foul on Haliburton and knocked down his 16th and 17th foul shots of the night to push the Sixers’ lead back to 10 with 1:53 remaining.
The Pacers didn’t quit, however. Haliburton drew a foul on a three and then hit another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four with 52.8 seconds remaining. Philadelphia advanced the ball up to Embiid in front of the scorer’s table. The All-Star center fell out of bounds, but Turner was whistled for a shove — his sixth foul of the night.
Embiid once again made both foul shots and the Sixers held on for the victory.
“He’s a monster,” Haliburton said of Embiid. “He’s tough to guard. He gets to the free throw line at will. He didn’t miss a free throw. And he’s so skilled that he can score at every level.”
Nwora finished with 16 points for Indiana, while Buddy Hield added 15 on 4-of-7 3-point shooting and eight rebounds. Jalen Smith scored 14 off the bench, Mathurin added 13, and McConnell tallied 12.
Turner played just 17 minutes due to foul trouble, but still managed 10 points.
Maxey had 24 points for Philadelphia and went 6-for-9 from 3-point range McDaniels added 20 points and eight rebounds for the visitors.
The Pacers will close out a two-game homestand on Thursday against Houston before embarking on a three-game road trip.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers scored a season-high 143 points, but Philadelphia’s 147 were also the most by a Pacers opponent this season.
Indiana’s .589 field goal percentage was the Pacers’ highest this season and the team’s best shooting night since they converted 62.1 percent of their attempts in a win over Atlanta on May 6, 2021.
Haliburton reached 40 points for the second time this season and set a new season high with 16 assists. He has scored at least 29 points in three straight games, averaging 33.7 points over that span.
Embiid, who entered the night second in the NBA in scoring average at 33 points per game, topped 40 points for the 11th time this season.
Harden, who entered Monday leading the league in assists at 10.6 per game, came up one assist shy of his season high and became the seventh player ever to have 20 assists against Indiana, joining Russell Westbrook (two times), Magic Johnson, Geoff Huston, John Lucas, Stephon Marbury, and Kevin Porter.
Nwora has reached double figures in five straight games after tallying just 13 points over his first three games after being traded to Indiana.
Indiana matched its season high with 70 points in the paint, outscoring the Sixers by 16 on the interior.
Philadelphia had a distinct advantage at the free throw line, where they outscored the Pacers by 13. The Sixers are the best free throw shooting team in the NBA and backed it up by converting 92.1 percent of their attempts on Monday, while the Pacers went 22-for-31 (71 percent).
You Can Quote Me On That
“This was some game. Considering that we’re on the second night of a back-to-back, going toe-to-toe with these guys for 48 minutes…I’m really proud of our guys. The beginning of the fourth quarter got us a little bit and it made it tougher. But proud of this group. Our guys are learning, growing and tonight they went head up against a legitimate championship contending team and that’s meaningful.” -Carlisle on Monday’s shootout
“Just getting up and down. Our pace was really good. First unit, we set the tone and I think that T.J. and the second unit kept it going. Like we’ve talked about all year, we’re going to score. It just ultimately comes down to getting stops, and nobody got stops tonight.” -Haliburton on why Indiana’s offense was clicking
“I feel like we’re just playing the right way. Making the extra pass, getting downhill, getting in the paint, creating a problem, and finding the open guy…The last two games, we’ve really moved the ball well.” -McConnell on the second unit finding a groove
“He’s changed everything with this organization. He’s changed the entire vibe of it. He’s changed the atmosphere day-to-day in the locker room and the way that people view Indiana Pacers basketball. And he loves the challenge, he loves the responsibility and the challenge of being the leader on the court. Nothing but props to him.” -Carlisle on Haliburton’s impact
“He loves those moments. He worked exceptionally hard this past summer on those types of situations…There’s some guys at his age that really have a sense of the moment — the moment in their career where this is their moment, this is their opportunity. In those cases, the ones that recognize it and invest further in themselves and work even harder are the ones that come out on the other side as guys that can be some of the very best to ever play for their franchise. He’s in the process of doing it. What is there not to love about this guy?” -Carlisle on Haliburton rising to the moment
Stat of the Night
Haliburton is the first player in franchise history to have 30 points and 15 assists in a single game. He joins Nikola Jokic as just the second player to have 40 points and 15 assists in a game this season.
Indiana has lost five straight games against Philadelphia.
Aaron Nesmith missed his second straight game for Indiana with a sore left hip.
Sixers forward Tobias Harris did not play on Monday due to a sore left calf.
The Pacers are 7-6 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
Actor and comedian Will Ferrell attended Monday’s game and revved up the crowd before the opening tip. Rapper 50 Cent was also on hand on behalf of his company Sire Spirits. Other celebrities in attendance included Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and Colts legend Reggie Wayne.
The Pacers welcome Jalen Green and the Houston Rockets to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday, March 9 at 7:00 PM ET.
JACKSON-DAVIS NAMED CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ROSEMONT, Ill. – Indiana senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis was named the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday.
The award is the eighth of his career, extending his own program record. Calbert Cheaney and Steve Alford (six each) rank second on the all-time Hoosier list for Big Ten Player of the Week selections. Alan Henderson and D.J. White are the only other IU players to claim at least five awards. Jackson-Davis also moves past White for single-season selections with five.
Jackson-Davis averaged 26.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 3.0 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game in his final two home games of his decorated career.
To open the week, the Greenwood native charted 26 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, four steals, and one block against Iowa. The game marked his eighth outing of the season with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
TJD tallied 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocked shots in a come-from-behind victory over Michigan on March 5. The victory helped the Hoosier clinch the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Big Ten Conference Tournament, the highest seed for the program since 2016.
The No. 19 Indiana Hoosiers will open the 2023 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in the quarterfinal round as the No. 3 seed at 9 p.m. ET on March 10. IU will meet the winner of the 6-seeded Maryland Terrapins and either the 11-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers or the 14-seeded Minnesota Gophers.
INDIANA MEN’S GOLF
HUGE SECOND ROUND PROPELS INDIANA INTO TOP-5
BLUFFTON, S.C. – The Indiana men’s golf team shot a 17-under 271 in the second round of the Colleton River Collegiate at the Nicklaus Course on Monday afternoon to climb back into the top-5 of the team standings after 36 holes.
Indiana’s team score of 271 marked the third-lowest total of any team in the second round. As a team, the Hoosiers compiled three eagles and 20 birdies. Three IU players broke into the 60’s on the day.
No. 21 Kansas State (-32), No. 24 Georgia Southern (-27), and Penn State (-23) are the only programs ahead of Indiana (-22) heading into the final round. The entire 12-team field is separated by 20 strokes.
Colleton River Collegiate • Bluffton, S.C.
Par 72 • 7,085 yards
Live Scoring via GolfStat
Team Standings: t-4th/12 – 554 (283-271; -22)
Top Indiana Player: Drew Salyers – 135 (69-66; -9)
• Junior Drew Salyers continued his prolific third year at Indiana with a 135 (69-66; -9) on day one. His opening round consisted of a team-best five birdies and a score of 69 (-3). Salyers posted a second round of 66 (-6) with one eagle and five birdies. Through seven stroke play tournaments this season, the Howard, Ohio, native has posted a score in the 60’s in seven rounds played. He has outright won the last two stroke play events he has played in and will start the final round two strokes off a three-peat.
• Fifth-year senior Mitch Davis played a two-round scorecard of 139 (71-68; -5). Davis was 1-under (71) in the opening round with three birdies. He then played a 68 (-4) with one eagle and four birdie conversions.
• Senior Eric Berggren finished day one at 140 (73-67; -4). He tapped in a couple of birdie attempts on his first-round 73 (+1). Berggren fired a 67 (-5) in the second round with one eagle and four birdies.
• Fifth-year senior Harry Reynolds was the fourth player to play under par at 143 (70-73; -1) through 36 holes. He matched Salyers for the team-lead with five birdies in the first round and shot a 70 (-2). Reynolds converted three birdies in his second round of 73 (+1).
• Senior Noah Gillard carded a 144 (74-70; E). He converted one birdie try on his way to a first round of 74 (+2). Gillard bounced back to secure four birdies and a second-round score of 70 (-2).
• Junior Robbie Bender III, playing as an individual, shot a 155 (79-76; +11). He carded a 79 (+7) through the first found with one birdie. He tallied four birdies in the second round to shoot a 76 (+4).
HOOSIERS IN THE STANDINGS
t-4. Drew Salyers – 135 (69-66; -9)
t-22. Mitch Davis – 139 (71-68; -5)
t-27. Eric Berggren – 140 (73-67; -4)
t-47. Harry Reynolds – 143 (70-73; -1)
t-55. Noah Gillard – 144 (74-70; E)
71. Robbie Bender III – 155 (79-76; +11)
FROM THE MAYER
“We needed a huge effort in the afternoon round after a slow start on the morning and we got it,” said head coach Mike Mayer. “Now we need all five players to step up tomorrow to make a run up the leaderboard.”
The final round of the Colleton River Collegiate will begin with rolling tee times 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday. IU will be paired with a pair of Big Ten Conference rivals in Penn State and Minnesota at 8 a.m. off the first tee box.
BASEBALL ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE CHANGE FOR BELLARMINE SERIES
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – To take advantage of the best possible conditions for fans and student-athletes, the Indiana baseball program has announced a schedule change for its weekend series at Bart Kaufman Stadium versus Bellarmine. The two teams will now play single games starting on Thursday through Sunday (March 9-12).
The new schedule is as follows:
Thursday, March 9 – 4 p.m.
Friday, March 10 – 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 11 – 2 p.m.
Sunday, March 12 – 1 p.m.
Parking for the weekend will remain the same, with lots around Bart Kaufman Field remaining open for patrons to park.
Those with tickets for Saturday’s doubleheader can use that ticket to enter Thursday’s contest and again to gain entry on Saturday. If you experience issues, visit the ticket office located near the home plate gate for assistance.
FIVE BOILERMAKERS SHOWCASE SKILLS AT NFL COMBINE
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Purdue Football was well-represented at the NFL Combine over the past week (March 2-5), as five Boilermakers showcased their skills in front of scouts and front office members from all 32 NFL teams. Payne Durham, Jalen Graham, Charlie Jones, Aidan O’Connell and Cory Trice participated in the annual event at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Trice turned in a strong performance, posting 17 reps on the bench press to rank second among all cornerbacks. His 11-foot broad jump nearly cracked the top five for the position group, and he produced a 40-yard dash of 4.47 seconds.
Another Boilermaker showing off his speed was All-American Charlie Jones. The NCAA’s leader in receptions through the 2022 season, Jones ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, while also completing the 10-yard split in 1.51 seconds. He combined his speed and pass-catching talent in a variety of on-field drills as well.
Coming off an impressive week at the Senior Bowl, Durham joined Jones in showcasing his ability to catch the football. The Second Team All-Big Ten tight end logged times in running drills along with measurements in jumps, which included a 34.50-inch vertical.
The most accurate quarterback in Purdue history, O’Connell demonstrated his precision all over the field. The two-time All-Big Ten QB showed off his arm strength as well, connecting on several deep balls to wide receivers, including Jones. Scouts graded O’Connell just below a quartet of quarterbacks expected to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, proving that he belongs as part of the class.
As a hybrid linebacker/safety during his time in West Lafayette, Graham joined the linebackers for the combine. On the field, he went through drills that tested tackling technique and his ability to drop back in coverage.
The five Boilermakers will return home to West Lafayette this week, joining several other teammates for Purdue Football Pro Day (March 9). Scouts from around the NFL will be on campus to see the players shine on their home turf.
JONES PICKS UP BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.—Shortstop Tyrina Jones was selected as the Big Ten Softball Player of the Week, following a Week 4 performance which saw a pair of wins vs. James Madison and a victory at North Carolina. The honor is the first of its kind for Jones.
Jones produced a .533 batting average, which included two home runs and six RBI on eight hits.
Not only did Jones score the game-winner in all three Purdue victories, she had a hand in every run scored in the 4-0 victory at UNC (3/4) with a run in the sixth inning, followed by a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to seal the win. Jones also notched an RBI double in the fifth-inning vs. James Madison (3/5) to tie up the score, 3-3, before going on the score the game-winner in that very same inning.
The sophomore has now scored a run in 12 of the last 13 games and recorded at least one RBI in the last three straight.
Overall, Jones ranks fourth in the league with a .433 batting average and five home runs this season. Meanwhile, the Lake Worth, Florida, produce has accumulated 21 RBI, good for third in the league.
She joins elite company alongside Purdue alums All-American Rachel Becker (March 14, 2022), Jenny Behan (March 4, 2019) as the most recent Boilermakers to receive Big Ten Player of the Week honors.
Purdue will travel to Fullerton, California for the Cal State Fullerton Tournament next weekend. The tournament will see doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday, followed by a single game on Sunday. The Boilermakers will take on Brown, Cal State Fullerton, Weber State and Long Beach State and Sacramento State over the three days.
#1 LSU TOPS BUTLER 11-0 ON MONDAY NIGHT
BATON ROUGE – The Butler Bulldogs moved to 2-10 on the season after taking an 11-0 loss to #1 LSU on Monday night. Action ended after seven innings with the Tigers on top at home. LSU recorded 14 hits and limited the ‘Dawgs to just three.
UCLA transfer Thatcher Hurd threw six of the seven innings Monday night vs. Butler. He struck out 11 Bulldogs over six frames and only issued one walk. All three hits came against Thatcher as Blake Money came in from the pen to strikeout two of the three batters he faced in the seventh.
LSU jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after home runs from Crews and Neal. A six-run second inning gave Thatcher plenty of run support and the top team in the country would add solo runs in the fourth and fifth before scoring two more in the sixth to earn their 11th win of the season.
Crews ended the game 2-for-5 with a team-best three RBI. Tre’ Morgan, Paxton Kling and Cade Beloso also had multi-hit games for the Tigers.
Butler hits went to Carter Dorighi and Joey Urban at the top of the order. Dorighi broke up the no hitter in the top of the fourth inning. Kollyn All also had a hit to lead off the fifth.
Butler sent five Bulldogs to the mound on Monday night. Aaron Barokas took the loss after just one inning. LSU tagged Barokas with five earned runs off six hits. Dawson Taylor and Lukas Galdoni each tossed two innings in relief. Cade Thune and Shane Kilfoyle would come together for the final three outs.
BU returns to action on Wednesday afternoon for a 4 PM game at Mississippi Valley State. The Delta Devils currently lead the NCAA in stolen bases.
SIU DROPS @BUTLERSOFTBALL IN FINAL GAME AT SALUKI INVITE
CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Butler softball team lost its final game of the Saluki Invite to Southern Illinois, the host school, by the final score of 8-0. The Salukis (14-2) held the Bulldogs (4-17) to only one hit on the day.
Game 5: Southern Illinois- 8, Butler- 0 (6 innings)
SIU scored four in the third inning and forced a Butler pitching change.
The Salukis tacked on one run in the fourth, and two more in the fifth, to extend the lead to 7-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, an SIU single followed by an RBI-triple ended the game at 8-0.
Rylyn Dyer (1-5) started for Butler and took the loss. In 2.1 innings, she allowed four earned runs on six hits and a walk. Sydney Cammon (3.0 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K) provided relief in the third inning and finished the game.
Butler heads to Oxford, Ohio, to play Miami on Wednesday, Mar. 8, at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs will then open BIG EAST play by hosting a series with DePaul from Mar. 10 – Mar. 12.
JAGS FALL IN HOOSIER CLASSIC FINALE, 10-2
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The IUPUI softball team fell to host school Indiana in six innings on Monday afternoon, 10-2. Freshman Kennedy Cowan launched her second home run of the season in the loss.
IUPUI opened the game on a hot start with Cowan hitting her second homer of the season over the left field fence, giving the Jags the 1-0 lead. IU answered quickly with two runs in the bottom half of the first inning. Sarah Stone singled through the right side scoring two, 2-1.
In the bottom of the second inning, Cora Bassett tripled to right center scoring one run to extend the Hoosiers lead, 3-1. IU added three runs on two hits in the bottom of the third frame to push their lead to 6-1.
After a scoreless fourth inning the Jags chipped at the lead with one run in the top of the fifth inning. Kasie Keyes doubled to left field then with two outs, Jaida Speth doubled to left field to score Keyes, 6-2.
The Hoosiers added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with one run on one hit and two IUPUI errors. IU then sealed the win in the bottom of the sixth inning with three runs on two hits, 10-2.
Madison Bryant took the loss on the mound for the Jags giving up six earned runs on six hits with six walks. Bryant fanned ten in the loss. Keyes went 2-for-2 at the plate with a double and a run while Cowan and Speth collected the two RBI for IUPUI.
IUPUI will return to Indy for the home opener on Tuesday, March 14 when they welcome Indiana State for a 3:00 PM first pitch.
NOTRE DAME WBB
CITRON MAKES ACC ALL-TOURNAMENT SECOND TEAM
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Notre Dame guard Sonia Citron continues to be one of the best players in the ACC, and the sophomore guard has earned another honor to prove it. Citron was named to the ACC All-Tournament Team on Sunday.
Notre Dame went into Greensboro this week as the No. 1 seed in the league after winning the regular season conference title on Feb. 26. As a result, the Irish waited until Friday to play and defeated NC State, 66-60. Citron was the hottest player on the floor that day, putting up a season-high 28 points on eight buckets and 11 made free throws. She added 9 rebounds and 5 assists as well.
Saturday’s game ended Notre Dame’s ACC Tournament trip earlier than the group would have liked, as the Irish fell to Louisville. Citron battled in that contest too, playing more than 33 minutes and posting 8 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Prior to this last week in Greensboro, Citron was named to the All-ACC First Team. She is Notre Dame’s leading scorer at 14.7 points per game, and she averaged 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists as well. Citron’s 49.5 success rate from the floor ranks second in the ACC this season amongst guards. She is also shooting 43.9 percent from deep, leading Notre Dame.
In terms of what’s next, Notre Dame will spend this week waiting to see its NCAA Tournament fate. The Irish were a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Division I Committee’s most recent seeding release.
NOTRE DAME MBB
STARLING NAMED TO ACC ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
GREENSBORO, N.C. – On Monday evening, the Atlantic Coast Conference released its end of season awards for the 2022-23 men’s basketball season. Notre Dame guard JJ Starling was the lone Irish player to earn recognition, being named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.
It marks the second straight year in which Notre Dame landed a student-athlete on the ACC All-Freshman Team, following in Blake Wesley’s footsteps. Wesley and Starling are also the only two to earn the All-Freshman distinction in the ND-ACC era.
Starling played in 28 games, with 25 starts for the Irish in his debut season, averaging 11.2 points per game. Starling’s scoring average ranked third amongst ACC freshmen.
Starling posted three 20+ point performances on the year: 23 points against Bowling Green, 20 at Florida State and 22 in the win over Louisville.
Another memorable outing included the overtime win vs Georgia Tech, in which he scored six of the team’s final 11 points to help force overtime and the eventual win. Starling finished with 16 points in the game. Starling also brought home the Michigan State win on Nov. 30, scoring 9 of his 14 points in the 2nd half.
ACC TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: IRISH LOOK TO MAKE A RUN
GREENSBORO, N.C. – It’s a clean slate and a new season for the Notre Dame men’s basketball team. A tall task lays ahead as the No. 14 seed – potentially five games in five days if they can make a run. It’s March, it’s time for some Madness, so why not embrace it. The message from Glenn & Stacey Murphy head coach Mike Brey was simple – this first one will be a dogfight; handle it, then we’ll talk game two then let the momentum take care of itself.
BREY IN ACC TOURNEY – GREENSBORO GREATEST MEMORY
Coach Brey and the Fighting Irish are 11-7 all-time in the ACC Tournament and 5-2 inside the Greensboro Coliseum. Speaking of, they’ll return to Greensboro this week which played home to Brey’s favorite ACC memory – the 2015 ACC Title run. In just their 2nd year in the league, Notre Dame had come to Tobacco Road, beaten two of its bluebloods and walked away with the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. The Irish defeated Duke (74-64) in the semis and North Carolina (90-82) in the title game.
Though a smaller sample size, but holds true nonetheless, Notre Dame’s .611 winning percentage in ACC Tournament games ranks third in the league behind Duke (.699) and North Carolina (.677).
SCOREMAC IN MARCH
When the calendar turns to March, the best players step up and embrace the Madness. Case in point, Cormac Ryan, who is averaging 14.3 ppg in the month of March during his ND career – best of anyone on the team.
Irish fans won’t forget the memorable March Ryan had a season ago. He posted the game of his career in the NCAA first round victory over Alabama (3/18/22) leading the Irish with 29 points on 10-for-13 shooting 7-for-9 from three point range while adding six rebounds. The career high 29 points was a Mike Brey-era high for a player in the NCAA tournament, while the seven three pointers set the school record for an NCAA tournament game.
Going off the aforementioned about Ryan, he’s peaking again down the final stretch. He’s recorded 10 double-digit scoring games over the last 12 contests.
He just earned his 3rd 20-point game of the season in ND’s upset win over #25 Pitt (6th of his career). A few days later he was one point shy of his first career consecutive 20-point games.
He’s averaging 16.3 ppg over the last 4 games.
ND VS VIRGINIA TECH
The overall series between the two is deadlocked at 9-apiece, yet the Hokies own all the momentum. Virginia Tech has won five in a row and eight of the last 10.
The last 3 games have all been decided by single digits. Last year, the Irish lost 79-73 in Blacksburg then lost 87-80 in the ACC Tournament.
On Feb. 11 of this season, the Irish offense had one of its best games but still fell in another close one, 93-87. Nate Laszewski and Cormac Ryan combined for 50 points. Laszewski went off for a career high 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting, including a 6-for-9 mark from three-point range. He also grabbed a team best eight rebounds. It marked the first Irish 30-point performance since Matt Farrell dropped 37 points at Boston College on Feb. 17, 2018. Ryan connected on 5-of-9 from deep to total 17 points. The turning point of the game – from 15:56 to 3:49, Virginia Tech made 14 of their next 16 shots. Basile scored 23 of his 33 points in this stretch, as Tech pounded the ball down low.
A LITTLE IRISH MAGIC LEFT
It was Senior Day for both Notre Dame’s six graduates and Head Coach Mike Brey. And that group of resilient Irish made sure to go out on a high note in their last game inside Purcell Pavilion, knocking off No. 25 Pitt, 88-81, tying their season high in points scored. ND controlled most of the game, jumping out to a 14-point lead at halftime and a lead as large as 20 points in the second half. Pitt made it a little interesting, cutting the lead to five, but the Irish held on as Cormac Ryan put the exclamation point on the game with a slam dunk with 14 seconds left.
And what a moment it was for a senior group that’s had its ups and downs. Ryan and Marcus Hammond co-led the team in scoring with 20 points each, as it marked a season high for the latter. All-in-all, 5 grads finished in double figures and even Robby Carmody provided solid minutes down the stretch.
“We wanted it bad, for a variety of reasons,” Ryan said. “At no point, have we ever given up. I think there was starting to be a little bit of a narrative like, the guys don’t want to win. People are ready for spring break. Nobody wanted it more than the guys in that locker room. To send Coach out with a win means everything to us.”
“Call me crazy, but I feel the same way about this group as I did when I was talking to you guys in June,” said Ryan. “I feel the same exact way. It hasn’t gone our way. I’m telling you, I wouldn’t want to play us in Greensboro.”
THREAT FROM THREE
Notre Dame’s offense may struggle from time to time, but you can’t argue with the team’s three-point shooting ability. The Irish rank 3rd in the ACC in made three-pointers per game and 41st in the country, converting 8.8 per game. Their 8.8 threes per game would crack the program’s all-time top-10 list- the program record is 9.7 set by the 19-20 squad.
Career Three-Pointers Made
Goodwin – 228
Laszewski – 233
Ryan – 210
Hammond – 251
Trey Wertz – 193
Between those 5 players, a whopping 1,115 career three-pointers made.
HAMMOND FROM DEEP
Speaking of three-point shooting, ND’s most dependable from beyond the arc as of late – none other than Marcus Hammond. He’s 8 for his last 14 from three over the past 3 games played. He’s now shooting a team best 41.3 percent from deep.
Trey Wertz is 7 threes away from 200 in his career and 13 assists away from 500 — If he can get to both, he’d become just the 3rd Irish player to achieve 200 made threes + 500 career assists since 1996. The other two: Chris Thomas and Prentiss Hubb.
*Note that not all of Trey’s threes and assists happened at Notre Dame
Trey is finishing the season strong. Three of his last 4 games were in double figures. He’s produced at least five assists in three of the last five games – 22 assists total in that span.
BALL STATE BASEBALL
CARDINALS SQUARE OFF WITH RATTLERS ON TUESDAY
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team stays on the road for a matchup with Florida A&M on Tuesday. The Cardinals and Rattlers are scheduled for a 5 p.m. first pitch from Moore-Kittles Field in Tallahassee, Florida.
The Cardinals are coming off a 3-1 weekend in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with two wins against Purdue Fort Wayne and a win against Cornell. Ball State’s lone loss came to No. 3 Wake Forest. BSU has an overall record of 7-5, while FAMU enters with a 5-8 mark.
Gold Glove Peltier
At the conclusion of last season, Peltier was honored as the best defensive third baseman in the NCAA and received an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove. After being named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year and earning a spot on the All-MAC Second Team for back-to-back seasons, Peltier was awarded the first Gold Glove in BSU history. He was a 2023 Preseason All-American honoree from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Peltier leads the Cardinals with a .432 batting average. He has pelted a team-best five homers and has a team-high 12 RBIs. His five home runs are tied for 29th in the NCAA and tied for the conference lead. He has a slugging percentage of .84. Peltier has scored 16 runs, which is tied for 50th in the NCAA and leads the MAC.
What Can Brown Do for You?
Ryan Brown was named the No. 49 prospect in college baseball by D1 Baseball. Brown was the only Mid-American Conference player selected to the top-100 list. He was also tabbed as one of the top mid-major prospects for the 2023 season. Brown also landed on the 2023 MLB Draft: Rising Righthanded Pitchers watch list. Last season, Brown earned recognition as a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-American along with the MAC Freshman Pitcher of the Year. He also earned a spot on the All-MAC Second Team.
Brown is currently second in the NCAA with 19.93 strikeouts per nine innings and tied for third in the NCAA with 31 strikeouts. He his 3-1 on the year and has thrown 14 innings. Opponents are hitting just .130 against him for the season.
Ball State vs. FAMU: The Series
The Cardinals hold a 6-1 series record against the Rattlers. FAMU won the last matchup 5-3 on March 6, last season. All of the games have been played at Moore-Kittles Field.
Scouting the Rattlers (5-8)
Florida A&M is led by Joseph Pierini, who was the SWAC Hitter of the Week last week. Pierini paces the club with a .385 average and is tied for the team lead with six doubles. He has drawn 10 walks to go along with 13 runs scored. Pierini was named to the Preseason All-SWAC team. Ty Hanchey was also selected to the Preseason All-SWAC team and is second on the squad with a .375 batting average. He is tied for the team lead in home runs with four and has driven in 11 runs. He has drawn nine walks and has scored seven times. Will Brown is hitting .350 and is tied for the team lead in doubles with six. He has scored 11 runs and has seven RBIs. Hunter Viets was a Preseason All-SWAC selection on the mound for the Rattlers. He is 1-0 in three appearances with 17 innings pitched. He has a team-high 17 strikeouts with an ERA of 3.18. He has given up eight runs, only six are earned.
INDIANA STATE WOMEN’S GOLF
SYCAMORES OPEN SPRING SEASON AT UTRGV INVITATIONAL, SIT IN 12TH AFTER DAY ONE
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State women’s golf opened its 2023 spring season Monday on day one of the UTRGV Invitational at McAllen Country Club in McAllen, Texas. The Sycamores sit in 12th place after the first day of action.
Indiana State shot a 315 in the first round followed by a 320 in the second round for a two-round score of 635, six behind 11th place Omaha and five ahead of 13th place Stephen F. Austin.
Kristen Hobbs led the Sycamores on the first day with a two-round score of 157 and sits in 44th place. She shot a 75 in the first round and followed that with an 82 in the second round. Molly Lee and Iyoun Chew were right behind, each tied for 45th place with a two-round score of 158. Lee shot a 79 in both rounds, and Chew shot an 82 in round one before improving to shoot a 76 in round two. She was two under par in her last four of the second round.
Chelsea Morrow sits tied for 62nd after the first day with a two-round score of 163. She shot a 79 in the first round and 84 in the second. Rounding out the Sycamores in team scoring was freshman Eliza Baker in her first career start with a two-round score of 166 after shooting an 83 in both rounds.
Freshman Briana LeMaire played as an individual but earned herself a spot in next week’s starting lineup according to head coach Greg Towne after shooting one under par in the second round with a score of 70. She shot an 84 in the first round and sits tied for 32nd with a two-round score of 154.
The Sycamores will hit the course Tuesday for the final round of the UTRGV Invitational with a shotgun start at 9:15 a.m. ET.
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
SYCAMORES CONTINUE SPRING BREAK ROAD TRIP WITH TWO-GAME SET AT SEMO
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State continues on the road this week as the Sycamores make the trip to Cape Girardeau, Mo. for a two-game series against Southeast Missouri State on March 7-8.
Both games are set to start at 4 p.m. ET at Capaha Field. Live stats will be provided on SEMORedhawks.com.
ISU continues its season-opening road trip to start 2023 as the Sycamores first 16 games will occur away from the friendly confines of Bob Warn Field. ISU opened up the year competing at the Snowbird Baseball Classic against Iowa, Quinnipiac, Florida Gulf Coast and Northeastern, while also making a trip to Miami (Fla.) for a midweek contest.
The Sycamores enter the midweek series against the Redhawks on a seven-game skid after a competitive series at Kentucky this past weekend. Indiana State fell in all three games at Kentucky Proud Park, 4-2, 5-4, and 7-6.
Parker Stinson was the Sycamores’ leader at the plate over the weekend series as the redshirt sophomore connected on his first home run of 2023. He posted a .273 batting average and added a two-hit game in the series finale against the Wildcats, while adding two RBI.
Mike Sears added his third home run of the season with a three-run shot in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against UK, while Randal Diaz and Luis Hernandez both posted three hits against the Wildcats. Hernandez added a three-RBI contest in the final game against Kentucky to highlight the weekend.
ISU’s pitching staff posted a 5.84 ERA over the three-game series at UK with the bullpen highlighting the weekend against the Wildcats. The Sycamore relief corps posted a 2.13 ERA and went nine scoreless innings on Saturday in their best performance of the 2023 season to date. Cameron Holycross paced the ISU relievers with 5.0 scoreless innings on Saturday in the longest outing of his collegiate career, while Jared Spencer recorded a pair of two-strikeout games.
Indiana State’s defense has been strong early in the season with the Sycamores entering the week seventh overall in the NCAA and leading the Missouri Valley Conference with a .989 fielding percentage. The Sycamores posted a four-game errorless streak this season.
Scouting the Opposition
SEMO enters the weekend with a 4-8 overall record on the year after taking the weekend series against Milwaukee this past weekend. The Redhawks dropped the opener against the Panthers 3-1, but responded to win the series after posting 6-5 and 13-7 wins over the final two games. SEMO is 2-2 overall at Capaha Field this season following the weekend series.
Josh Cameron (.348) has been SEMO’s hitting leader on the year as the junior is the lone Redhawk to hit above .300 this season. Cameron has posted a team-leading 16 hits and 12 runs scored while adding seven extra-base hits (three home runs). Carlos Aranda has a team-high four home runs among his nine hits on the year, while Lincoln Andrews has added three homers and 10 RBI on the season.
SEMO’s pitching staff has posted a 6.42 ERA on the season with 16 different pitchers drawing time on the mound. Four different SEMO pitchers have earned wins on the season while the Redhawks have posted a 67:32 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Four different pitchers have made four or more appearances on the season including Hunter Ralls (5), Logan Katen (4), Payton Lawrence (4), and Ethan Osborne (4).
SEMO was picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference for the third consecutive season in 2023 after taking the OVC regular-season and tournament titles in each of the last two years. The Redhawks received 128 points and 16 of the 18 first-place votes as selected by the league’s head coaches.
Indiana State – SEMO History
Indiana State leads the all-time series between the two schools with the Sycamores boasting a 7-0 mark against the Redhawks dating back to 2005. The first two games of the series were held in Cape Girardeau, while the last five have come at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute. This includes the midweek series played last year on March 15-16 with ISU winning 10-1 and 5-4.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
MASTODON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL’S RUN ENDS IN THE HORIZON LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL
INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball saw the 2022-23 season end in the Barbasol Horizon League Championship semifinal on Monday (March 6) afternoon with a 69-65 loss to top-seeded Green Bay.
The sixth-seeded Mastodons had as good of a start as you could in the contest. The ‘Dons forced Green Bay to start the game 3-of-21 from the floor over the first 14 minutes of the game. The ‘Dons took a 25-14 lead during that time. Then the switch flipped for Green Bay. The Phoenix made 13 of their next 18 shots over the next 10 minutes of game action and grabbed a 43-37 lead midway through the third quarter.
That could have been the end of the game, but the same resilient Mastodon team that showed up all postseason showed up again. The ‘Dons scored six points in a row to tie the game at 45 with less than two minutes left in the third. But Green Bay added the final five points of the quarter, including their second buzzer-beater of the game, to lead 52-47 at the end of the third quarter.
Green Bay built their lead to as many as 11 in the fourth quarter but at the 2:14 mark the ‘Dons were down just four at 64-60 following a layup by Audra Emmerson. A defensive stop earned the ‘Dons a chance to cut it to one possession with 1:39 remaining. The ‘Dons had a pair of 3-point looks, but both rimmed out. Green Bay closed it out from there. Shayla Sellers finished with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting and 3-of-8 from 3-point range. Amellia Bromenschenkel had 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Purdue Fort Wayne finished 24-of-60 from the floor (40 percent) and a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line, including 4-for-4 from Sellers. The Mastodons led in points off turnovers 14-9 and second chance points 13-6. The two squads were even with 28 points in the paint each.
Purdue Fort Wayne led for 18:04. Green Bay led for 17:50.
The Mastodons finish the 2022-23 season at 14-19, their best record in nearly 10 years. Green Bay (27-4) moves on to play for the Horizon League Championship on Tuesday (March 7).
HUG EARNS SECOND-STRAIGHT MVC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Evansville fifth-year first baseman Chase Hug (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike/Olney Central) earned his second-straight Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week Award on Monday, after continuing his torrid pace at the plate last week while helping Evansville win five-straight games.
Hug slashed .647/1.000/.739, while collecting a double, a triple, a home run, driving in eight runs, and scoring 10 more to help UE to a perfect 5-0 week. He collected multi-hit and multi-run games in four of UE’s five contests, while having three multi-RBI games.
Hug opened the week going 3-for-5 with two runs scored to help Evansville to a 14-8 victory over preseason Ohio Valley Conference favorite Southeast Missouri State. He then went 8-for-12 in a four-game series sweep of Bowling Green, and capped the series by going a perfect 4-for-4 with a double, a home run, three runs scored and three RBI in UE’s 13-3 seven-inning mercy-rule win over the Falcons. He finished a triple shy of the cycle in the contest, which marked the second weekend in a row in which he just narrowly missed hitting for the cycle.
Overall, Hug is now hitting .463 to rank 42nd in NCAA Division I baseball, and he has hit an amazing .680 (17-for-25) over the last seven games to help Evansville to a seven-game winning streak. Evansville (7-5) will put that winning streak on the line on Wednesday, as the Purple Aces will travel to Nashville, Tennessee to take on #7 Vanderbilt (8-4) in a mid-week contest. First-pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday’s game can be seen live on the SEC Network+ streaming platform.
SOUTHERN INDIANA BASEBALL
EAGLES TO HOST AUSTIN PEAY TUESDAY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — University of Southern Indiana Baseball (5-6) starts a four-game homestand Tuesday when it hosts Austin Peay State University for a 6 p.m. first pitch. The homestand continues with a three-game series versus Oakland University Friday at 6 p.m. before continuing Saturday at 2 p.m. and concluding Sunday at noon.
Austin Peay’s (2-9) visit to the USI Baseball Field is the first for the Governors since 1982, while Oakland (2-8) is making its first visit to USI since 1977.
Links to follow the Eagles during 2023 can be found on USIScreamingEagles.com.
USI Baseball Notes:
USI frozen by Washington State: The USI Screaming Eagles suffered a three-game sweep by Washington State University over the weekend. The Eagles held it tight in the opening game 7-5 loss, leaving the bases loaded in the ninth, before losing 11-5 and 6-0 in the final two games.
USI junior infielder Nolan Cook and senior outfielder Ren Tachioka had the best weekend at the plate for the Eagles, hitting .429 (3-7) and .400 (4-10), respectively.
Cook hits first collegiate home run: Junior infielder Nolan Cook hit his first collegiate home run as an Eagle in game two of the series with Washington State. Cook hit his home run on his 108th at-bat as an Eagle.
Long ball Eagles: Junior first baseman Tucker Ebest has a team-high three home runs in the first eight games. Freshman infielder Caleb Niehaus follows with a pair of round trippers.
Leading hitters: Sophomore shortstop Ricardo Van Grieken (11-30) and senior outfielder Evan Kahre (14-40) are leading the Eagles in batting averages, hitting .367 and .350, respectively.
McNew climbing the USI All-Time charts: Senior catcher Lucas McNew is sixth all-time at USI in home runs (21); ninth in RBIs (142) and 12th in doubles (42).
USI vs. Austin Peay: USI and Austin Peay are meeting for the ninth time, with the Governors leading the series, 8-0, overall and 2-0 at the USI Baseball Field.
Austin Peay in 2023: The Governors of Austin Peay (2-9) begin this week on a seven-game losing streak after losing three to 12th-ranked Oklahoma State University last weekend. Austin Peay last won on February 21 when they defeated Southern Illinois University at home, 14-13.
USI vs. Oakland: The all-time series between USI and Oakland is even at 1-1 after the Screaming Eagles and the Golden Grizzlies split a double-header in 1977. USI took the opening game, 8-3, but stumble in the nightcap, 4-0.
Oakland in 2023: The Grizzlies of Oakland are 2-8 to start the 2023 campaign after losing two of three at Wichita State University last weekend. Oakland, who visit Eastern Michigan University Tuesday and the University of Michigan Tuesday before coming to USI, also is 2-3 in its last five games.
SPRING TRIP CONTINUES TUESDAY AT MISSISSIPPI STATE
Valparaiso (6-3, 0-0 MVC)
at Mississippi State (7-5, 0-0 SEC)
Dudy Noble Field (15,000) | Starkville, Miss.
Tuesday, March 7, 6 p.m. – RHP Griffin McCluskey
Next Up in Valpo Baseball: The Valparaiso University baseball team will continue its seven-game, 11-day spring break road trip on Tuesday night under the lights in Starkville. The first midweek game of the season for the Beacons will come at Dudy Noble Field, the largest on-campus facility in college baseball.
Last Time Out: Valpo took two out of three this past weekend, sweeping a doubleheader on Saturday at Little Rock before falling 18-8 in the series finale. The Beacons rallied in the ninth inning to capture a 7-6 win in Saturday’s first game before a 9-3 victory in the nightcap that featured a five-run seventh inning. This was Valpo’s second straight road series win against an Ohio Valley Conference opponent after sweeping UT Martin the previous weekend.
Following the Beacons: Tuesday’s game will air on SEC Network Plus with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com. For all the latest in Valpo Baseball, follow @ValpoBaseball on Twitter and Instagram.
Head Coach Brian Schmack: Brian Schmack (174-270) is in his 10th season in charge of the program. He ranks third in program history in seasons coached and games coached as he enters 2023 having skippered 435 Valpo games. He enters the season with 168 victories, one of four coaches in program history with over 150. The former big-league pitcher led Valpo to 25 wins in his inaugural campaign in 2014, a school record for victories by a first-year skipper. Schmack, a member of the 2003 Detroit Tigers, served as pitching coach/associate head coach at Valpo for seven seasons prior to his promotion.
Series Notes: This will mark the third matchup between the Beacons and Bulldogs with both prior collisions occurring as part of a 2009 doubleheader in Starkville. Valpo dropped both games, losing the opener 9-2 and the nightcap 5-4.
In the Other Dugout – Mississippi State
Averaged 11,127 fans per game during the first two weeks of the season, leading the nation in attendance.
Program has produced 66 Major League Baseball players.
2021 national champions.
Have advanced to the College World Series at least once in six straight decades.
Program has made 39 NCAA Tournament appearances, 12 College World Series appearances and boasted 19 First Round MLB Draft Picks.
Valpo has featured a flair for the dramatic this season, twice coming from behind to win with ninth-inning rallies.
The first such comeback came on Feb. 25 at UT Martin, when Valpo was down to its final out in the top of the ninth when Nolan Tucker singled to tie the game at four. A bases-loaded hit by pitch helped Valpo produce the go-ahead run in the 10th, a game the Beacons won 5-4.
The March 4 win in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Little Rock was equally as improbable, as the Beacons were down 6-3 going to the ninth before plating four to win 7-6. A two-run single by Brady Renfro tied the game and an RBI double by Jake Skrine gave Valpo the lead.
Valpo had lost 66 straight games when trailing after eight innings before winning back-to-back games under those circumstances. Prior to the UT Martin rally, the last time Valpo trailed through eight and prevailed was May 10, 2019 vs. Southern Illinois, a 5-4, 14-inning win.
Prior to this season, Valpo had not won multiple games when trailing through eight innings in the same season since 2012, when they won three such games. This year, Valpo produced multiple ninth-inning rallies in the first seven games of the year.
Best Start Since 19, 19, 1985
The Valpo baseball program is off to its best start since Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and way before Nirvana as the team’s 6-3 record through nine games is its best at this point in the season since 1985. Head coach Rick Ferchen’s team began 1985 with a 7-2 mark through nine games.
The highlight of the sizzling start was a five-game winning streak that was snapped in Sunday’s series finale at Little Rock. That marked the team’s longest winning streak since recording six straight from May 15-25, 2016. That stretch featured wins over Oakland, Youngstown State and Northern Kentucky.
Valpo ranks 63rd in the latest RPI, the second best in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Other Notes Wrapping Up Little Rock
Valpo outhit Little Rock 12-8 in the series opener, but had to overcome a Little Rock advantage in the extra-base hit department. Six of the eight hits by the Trojans went for extra bases including four home runs, while 10 of Valpo’s 12 knocks were singles.
Valpo pitching registered 12 strikeouts in the series opener, the third time this season the Beacon arms have fanned double figures. The nightcap of the Saturday doubleheader saw Valpo again tally double-figure strikeouts on the mound (10), the fourth time this season that has occurred.
The Beacon bats produced a dozen hits in the series opener and 10 in each of the next two games. They have been in double figures in the hit column in six straight contests.
The doubleheader sweep of the Trojans on March 4 was Valpo’s first doubleheader sweep since March 25, 2022 vs. St. Bonaventure.
Nowak Nailing It Down: Bobby Nowak nailed down eight saves last season, finishing just outside the program’s single-season top 5. He finished with Valpo’s highest single-season save total since 2014, when Karch Kowalczyk had 11. The righty nailed down his first save of 2023 on March 4 at Little Rock, the ninth save of his Valpo career. That helped him climb into a tie for eighth in program history in career saves, joining Adam Paetznick (2001-2004).
Valpo’s Career Saves List
Jarad Miller, 2008-2012, 36
Karch Kowalczyk, 2010-2014, 24
Adam Knobel, 2002-2005, 14
Justin Craker, 1998-2001, 13
Easton Rhodehouse, 2017-2021, 11
T-6. Dallas Cawiezell, 2005-2007, 10
T-6. Jon Tieman, 2017-2021, 10
T-8. Adam Paetznick, 2001-2004, 9
T-8. Bobby Nowak, 2022, 9
Chip Pettit, 1993-1996, 8
Bringing Out the Brooms
Valpo’s three-game sweep of UT Martin marked the program’s first series sweep of three or more games since May 10-12, 2019 vs. Southern Illinois at Emory G. Bauer Field.
This was the team’s first sweep of a road series of three or more games since March 18-20, 2016 at Northern Kentucky.
Not only did Valpo polish off the sweep on Sunday, Feb. 26, but the Beacons invoked the 10-run rule with a 17-4 blowout. The 17 runs marked Valpo’s highest total since also scoring 17 on May 1, 2021 at Illinois State.
The Beacons notched 17 hits for the second time in the series in Sunday’s series finale. Prior to that series, the program had not recorded 17 or more hits in a game since 18 in the aforementioned May 1, 2021 game against the Redbirds.
They had not notched 17 or more hits in a road game since May 8, 2018 at Western Michigan.
The 13-run margin of victory was Valpo’s largest since beating Milwaukee 23-5 on April 11, 2018.
Valpo hit four home runs in the series finale, its highest single-game home run total since launching five on May 1, 2021 vs. Illinois State.
The three-game series against the Skyhawks saw Valpo produce 32 runs on 46 hits while batting .383 and slugging seven home runs.
While Valpo won two of the three games at UT Martin in lopsided fashion, the middle game of the series featured significant late drama. UT Martin took the lead by scoring twice in the eighth, then Valpo tied it despite being down to its final out in the ninth before winning it with a run in the 10th.
This was Valpo’s first extra-inning game since April 26 of last season, a 6-5 loss at Purdue.
This was the squad’s first extra-inning victory since a 6-4 win over Missouri State in the opening round of the MVC Tournament on May 25, 2021.
The 6-5 edging of UT Martin was Valpo’s first one-run win since May 1, 2022 at Southern Illinois, an 11-10 triumph.
Valpo ranks second in the Missouri Valley Conference and 12th nationally with 1.89 home runs per game.
The Beacons rank third in The Valley and 39th nationally with 17 total long balls.
Valpo has already launched 17 home runs this season through just nine games. Last year, Valpo had only 15 home runs in the 20 Missouri Valley Conference contests. The Beacons did not hit their 17th home run of 2022 until the 30th game of the season on April 16.
Kyle Schmack has drilled four home runs this season, one of nine players in the Missouri Valley Conference with four or more. Schmack hit two home runs in the Feb. 26 game at UT Martin.
Nolan Tucker has cracked three home runs on the year. Entering this year, Tucker had two home runs in 57 career games. He had three home runs in the first six games this season.
Valpo also ranks second in the league in batting average (.301) also second in on-base percentage at .506.
The offense has given us plenty to write about, but the Valpo pitching should not be overlooked.
The Beacons lead the Missouri Valley Conference in team ERA at 5.19.
Valpo is also atop the Valley in opponents’ batting average, holding the opposition to .257.
Connor Lockwood leads the league in innings pitched (19 1/3) and ranks in the top five in both ERA (2.33, fourth) and opponents’ batting average (.179).
Jumping on the Jayhawks
Valpo’s 11-3 win in the middle game of the series vs. Kansas represented the program’s first win over a Power-5 conference opponent since knocking off No. 25 Illinois 11-7 on April 17, 2018.
This marked Valpo’s second Big 12 win of the Brian Schmack Era and first since beating Oklahoma 11-4 on Feb. 24, 2018.
The 11 runs represented the team’s highest single-game run total since beating Southern Illinois 11-10 on May 1 of last season.
Lockwood = Locked In
Connor Lockwood built on his late-season success from 2022 in his first outing of 2023, delivering seven shutout innings of two-hit ball while walking none and fanning six to earn the victory in Saturday’s 11-3 triumph vs. Kansas.
The seven innings marked the longest outing of Lockwood’s career after he went no longer than six as a freshman last season.
This was the first outing of Lockwood’s career where he pitched shutout ball while throwing more than three innings.
The six strikeouts outdid his previous career high of four.
By virtue of his successful outing against the Jayhawks, Lockwood was tabbed the MVC Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 20. He joins Jake Miller, Colin Fields (twice) and Easton Rhodehouse as the only Valpo hurlers to garner MVC Pitcher of the Week accolades since the program joined the Missouri Valley Conference.
Valpo slugged six home runs in the season-opening series with Kansas, including two from Jake Skrine, a graduate transfer from Indiana University who was competing in his first weekend with the Brown & Gold. Skrine’s home runs were the first two of his collegiate career.
Kade Reinertson’s three-run big fly in Saturday’s game played a crucial role in the outcome. That was his first collegiate home run and came as part of a four-RBI game. He entered the day with one RBI in his first 23 career games.
Kyle Schmack spanked the 10th homer of his Valpo career, while Brady Renfro had his 12th and Nolan Tucker contributed his third.
The most home runs Valpo hit in a single series last year was three. The six home runs in Corpus Christi marked Valpo’s most in a series since six in a home set with Illinois State from April 30 – May 2, 2021, and that was a four gamer.
Other Notes Wrapping up Kansas
Grant Jablonski worked 3 1/3 shutout innings of hitless ball while striking out four and walking one in Sunday’s game. That marked his career high in terms of both innings pitched and strikeouts. He faced the minimum as the only player who reached base against him was erased on a double play.
Redshirt sophomore Matt Olive made his season debut in Sunday’s game as the designated hitter. That was his first appearance since March 13, 2022 after he missed the bulk of last season with an injury.
Valpo outhit the Jayhawks 5-4 in Sunday’s game and owned an overall 17-14 edge in the hit column over the three games.
Four of Kansas’ six runs in the rubber match were unearned tallies.
Valpo pitchers notched 10 strikeouts on opening day and fanned 26 Jayhawks over the three games.
Inside the Schedule
The 2023 nonconference schedule will see Valpo take on opponents from nine different conferences including four of the power five – the Big 12, ACC, Big Ten and SEC as well as the Ohio Valley Conference, Sun Belt, Summit League, Horizon League and Mid-American Conference.
Valpo will make a trip to preseason top-25 Southern Miss (March 10-12) to match up with a team that won Conference USA last season as part of a 47-19 record, hosting and winning an NCAA Regional before making an NCAA Super Regional appearance.
Valpo will play twice at Notre Dame (March 21, April 18), a team that reached the College World Series as part of a 41-7 season last year.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL READY FOR HOOPS IN THE HEARTLAND
Valparaiso (7-22, 5-15 MVC)
Hoops in the Heartland – First Round
Game #30 – March 9, 2023 – 8:30 p.m.
vs. UIC (17-14, 9-11 MVC)
Vibrant Arena at The MARK (12,000) – Moline, Ill.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valpo women’s basketball team heads to Hoops in the Heartland in Moline, Ill. as the 11th seed for the MVC Tournament. The Beacons will have to win four games in four days to claim the tournament championship, starting on Thursday evening against sixth-seeded UIC.
Previously: Using one of the most prolific 3-point shooting games in program history, the Valpo women’s basketball team nearly took down MVC co-regular season champion Belmont at the ARC Saturday afternoon, but the visiting Bruins edged ahead late to earn a 70-67 victory over the Beacons. Valpo celebrated Senior Day on Saturday, honoring Ilysse Pitts and Maya Dunson as they played the final home game of their collegiate careers.
Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: ESPN+ – Brad Wells and Kelly Burke
Radio: WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso)
Streaming Audio: TuneIn app
Links for live coverage: Available via ValpoAthletics.com
Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans is in her fifth year at the helm of the program in 2022-23 and owns a record of 55-90. Evans has made an impact on the program in her first four years, raising the team’s level of play to be competitive in a strong Missouri Valley Conference. Evans’ preferred style of play has been a big part of the program’s turnaround, as Valpo has led the MVC in 3-pointers made per game in each of the last three seasons and in steals per game in two of the last three years.
Series Notes: Valpo renews acquaintances with the most common opponent in program history on Thursday night, as the Beacons match up with UIC for the 53rd time – the Flames hold a slim 28-24 edge in the series. The MVC marks the fourth different conference the two programs have shared affiliation in, as Valpo and UIC were both previously together in the North Star Conference (1988-92), the Mid-Continent Conference (1992-94) and the Horizon League (2007-17).
UIC earned a pair of narrow victories in this season’s two matchups, edging Valpo 51-50 in Chicago on Jan. 11 and 55-53 in Valparaiso on Feb. 1.
This will be the fifth time the two programs have met in conference tournament play:
– 3/7/91 – North Star – Valpo 81, UIC 73
– 3/11/93 – Mid-Con – UIC 101, Valpo 100
– 3/10/94 – Mid-Con – UIC 65, Valpo 62
– 3/11/13 – Horizon – Valpo 67, UIC 57
– Valpo was picked to finish in 10th place in the MVC preseason poll, totaling 197 points, just 10 points behind Evansville.
– Valpo is in its sixth season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
– The Valley was ranked 10th in conference NET last year, was ranked seventh nationally in conference NET in 2020-21 and was eighth nationally in conference RPI in 2019-20.
– Valpo connected on seven 3-pointers in the game’s opening 10 minutes to lead 23-14 at the end of the first quarter.
– The Beacons got their lead up to 13 points at 30-17 before Belmont went on a 13-4 run over the final seven minutes of the half, cutting Valpo’s edge to 34-30 at intermission.
– A back-and-forth third quarter saw the Bruins score the final six points of the quarter, cutting Valpo’s lead to 47-46 with 10 minutes to play.
– The fourth quarter featured four ties and seven lead changes, with neither team holding more than a four-point lead at any point in the period.
– A 3-pointer from Olivia Brown with 3:34 to play gave Valpo a 61-60 lead, and after two Belmont baskets, Brown hit from deep again to tie the game, 64-64, with 1:46 remaining.
– Destinee Wells gave BU the lead for good with 1:24 to play. Brown hit one final 3-pointer with 16.0 seconds to go to bring Valpo back within 68-67, but Belmont hit both its ensuing free throws and the Beacons’ last-second tying effort was off the mark.
– Olivia Brown led the attack from downtown, hitting 5-of-8 from 3-point range on her way to a team-best 19 points. The senior went 11-of-16 from deep in Valpo’s pair of games against Belmont this season.
– All seven Beacons who attempted a triple connected at least once from deep. Ali Saunders was next up, as she went 3-of-6 from 3-point range on her way to 13 points. The freshman also tied her season high with a game-best six assists.
– Led by Leah Earnest (9 boards), Dunson (7) and Pitts (6), the Beacons outrebounded the Bruins on Saturday, 30-29. This comes after Belmont held a +9 advantage on the glass in the first meeting of the season.
– Saunders’ and Pitts’ (4 assists) distribution of the basketball helped Valpo record a season-high 20 assists on 24 made baskets.
…versus Murray State
– Valpo shot just 26.1% from the field in the opening half as the Racers led from the jump. An 8-0 MSU run midway through the first quarter accounted for most of its 21-10 lead at the end of the opening period.
– The Racers led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter before entering halftime up 36-18.
– While the Murray State lead reached as many as 24 points in the third quarter, Olivia Brown helped Valpo keep pace by scoring 12 points in the third quarter alone, as the Racers’ lead was 60-40 with 10 minutes to play.
– Valpo opened the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 11 points, and after MSU pushed the lead back out to 17, the Beacons put together another spurt to get within 73-61 with 2:30 to play. But they would get no closer than that.
– After being held scoreless in the first half, Brown exploded for 12 points in the third quarter and 10 in the final period for a 22-point second half on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor, leading all players in the scoring column and coming just two points shy of her career best.
– Not to be outdone, Ali Saunders had a 20-point night on 8-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, as well. The freshman scored 10 points in each half en route to her second-highest scoring output of the season.
– It is the first time since Jan. 31, 2021 against Missouri State that Valpo has had two players finish with 20 or more points.
– Brown and Saunders were the only Beacons to finish in double figures, however, as Leah Earnest was next on the scoring list with seven points. The junior also paced Valpo with five rebounds.
– After shooting just 26.1% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, the Beacons rebounded to hit at a 59.3% clip in the final 20 minutes to finish at 44% for the game.
– Valpo’s 46 second-half points matched its second half against Southern Miss for the team’s highest-scoring half of the season.
– The Beacons also shot a season-best 92.9% (13-of-14) from the foul line.
…away from home
– Thursday marks the first neutral-site game of the year for Valpo.
– The Beacons were just 4-10 away from home in the regular season, but won three of their last four road games.
– UIC enters Hoops in the Heartland with a 17-14 overall record and went 9-11 in MVC play to earn the tournament’s sixth seed.
– The Flames alternated losses and wins over their final eight games of the regular season.
– Josie Filer led UIC in the regular season, averaging 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while Jaida McCloud was right behind her at 12.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
A Look Back at the UIC Games
…51-50 loss at UIC, Jan. 11
– Valpo trailed 13-4 eight minutes into the contest, but held UIC scoreless for a stretch of over eight minutes in the second quarter to move to within 20-18 at halftime.
– The Beacons took their first lead of the game mere seconds into the second half and led 36-34 at the end of the third quarter.
– Valpo pushed its lead to 46-38 with 4:58 to play, but would not hit another field goal the rest of the way and went just 4-for-8 from the foul line in the final two minutes.
– UIC’s Josie Filer hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds to play.
– The Beacons held UIC to 39% shooting, while on the offensive end, Valpo hit at a 45.9% clip. At the foul line, however, the Beacons were just 11-of-22 to the Flames’ 12-of-18.
– Olivia Sims matched her career high in the scoring column, going 4-of-6 from the field and 4-of-5 from the foul line for 12 points.
U OF INDY MBB
MEN’S HOOPS EARNS NO. 1 SEED, HOSTING RIGHTS FOR NCAA MIDWEST REGIONAL
INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time since March 2020, the UIndy men’s basketball team is heading back to the big dance as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Midwest Region tournament.
Unlike 2020, however, it appears that the eight-team regional field will assemble in Nicoson Hall from March 11-14, in which seven games will be played. The Greyhounds are scheduled to play on Saturday at 5 p.m., against eighth-seeded McKendree. The Bearcats earned the GLVC’s automatic-qualifying bid by winning the league tournament on Sunday afternoon.
It will be the first NCAA tournament game for the program since 2016 and first under head coach Paul Corsaro.
The other participating programs, ranked No. 2-7, are: Missouri-St. Louis, Ashland, Hillsdale, Northern Michigan, Ferris State, and Parkside.
UIndy last hosted an NCAA regional in March 1997, then known as the Great Lakes Region. This year’s event marks the first time in 26 years that NCAA tournament contests will be played inside Nicoson Hall, before any UIndy student-athlete currently rostered was born.
The Hounds are making their 13th appearance in the NCAA postseason, sporting a 6-11 overall record. UIndy has advanced to the regional semifinal on three occasions and to the Midwest title game once in 2015.
Reigning GLVC Player of the Year Kendrick Tchoua leads all NCAA divisions with a 72.5 field goal percentage, while Jesse Bingham tops the team with 15.4 points per game. Bingham, along with fellow Warren Central grad Jakobie Robinson, were voted to the GLVC All-Defensive team last week.
U OF INDY MLAX
GREYHOUNDS SLIP TWO SPOTS IN LATEST USILA POLL
BALTIMORE, Md. – The UIndy men’s lacrosse team slipped two spots to No. 9 in the latest USLIA national rankings following its first loss of the spring, the organization announced on Monday.
The Hounds suffered a 15-13 loss to now-top-ranked Le Moyne on Sunday in Rocky River, Ohio. During the game, Drew Billig became the program’s all-time points leader, surpassing Parker Kump.
Previous No. 1 and defending national champion Tampa fell to the six-hole, while Merychurst and Mercy rounded out the top three.
U OF INDY WLAX
HOUNDS SOAR TO #1 IN LATEST ILWOMEN/IWLCA RANKINGS
NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. – After taking down then-No. 2 Tampa on Saturday, the UIndy women’s lacrosse team has soared up the rankings into the top spot of the recent ILWomen/IWLCA top-25 poll, officials announced on Monday.
The Hounds (6-0) were ranked No. 7 in last week’s poll and received 658 points and 10 first-place votes this week. Florida Southern sits in second while West Chester, Tampa, and Le Moyne are in third through fifth, respectively.
UIndy is set for a big game coming up on Sunday as the squad will travel up north to No. 11 Grand Valley State. That match will begin at noon ET.
SHUTOUT WIN OVER UM-DEARBORN CLOSES UNDEFEATED START TO MARIAN SOFTBALL’S SPRING BREAK TRIP
Melbourne, Fla. – The Marian softball team got off to a strong start in their 2023 spring break trip, earning wins on day one against Roosevelt and Michigan-Dearborn. The Knights run-rule and shutout victories improve the overall season record to 3-1.
Marian 9-1 Roosevelt | 5 Innings
After a scoreless first inning, the Knights began to generate runs in the second inning, as Abby Madere led the frame off with a double. After stealing to move 60 feet away from scoring, Mackenzie Dalton lifted a fly ball into the outfield, sacrificing her plate appearance to bring in the first run. Marian kept the inning going as Abbi Wirey drew a walk and Caitlyn Phillips singled in the infield. With two runners on, Jenna Minnix ripped a ball into a gap in left field, turning on the jets as she recorded an inside-the-park homerun to cap the four-run inning.
The Knights continued to groove into the third inning after Olivia Stunkel tossed her third consecutive perfect inning, and added three more runs in the home half of the frame. A two-out double from Dalton helped charge runners to the plate, with Wirey delivering a two-RBI single. A pair of errors in Caitlyn Phillips’ second at bat would help bring Wirey home, capping the scoring to provide a 7-0 lead. Stunkel’s bid for perfection ended after recording the 10th out of the game as Roosevelt managed an infield single, but the Marian sophomore faced the minimum as a pop out and a Grace Meyer pick off play closed the inning.
Marian finished their scoring in the bottom of the fourth, bringing home two runs in the half inning. Minnix, Hayley Greene, and Madere loaded the bases on a pair of base hits and Madere taking one for the team, with Dalton chalking an RBI as she drew a walk. Savannah Baker picked up a pinch-hit RBI single to drive the run total to nine, entering the fifth three outs away from a victory. Roosevelt would tack on a run in their final at bats as Lauren Mayer made her collegiate debut in the circle, giving up three singles and a run before ending the game on a routine groundout.
As a team the Knights recorded 10 base hits in their 9-1 victory, with Minnix and Greene each getting two hits. Minnix’s home run was the Knights first of the season, as she had three of the eight RBI. Stunkel faced the minimum allowing one hit over four innings, earning her first win of the year as she struckout three batters.
Marian 2-0 Michigan-Dearborn
In their second game of the day, the Knights locked into a pitcher’s duel with Michigan-Dearborn, as the Wolverines’ Lanie Ellinger battled against Sydney Wilson. Ellinger retired the Knights in order in the first inning with three strikeouts, while Wilson stranded a lead-off single in her first frame of work. Marian was the lone team to record a base runner in the second as Wirey reached on an error, but the Knights were unable to compound the mistake. Wilson tossed a perfect second inning, and the game remained scoreless after three complete as Marian was retired in order in the top half, with the southpaw stranding runners on the corners in the home half.
Marian’s offense started clicking in the fourth inning as Minnix led the frame with a single, and with two outs Greene sliced a single and Wirey drew a walk to load the bases. The Wolverines stood tall and managed to prevent Marian from scoring as a strikeout ended the chance, but the Knights stood on top as Wilson quickly tossed a perfect fourth. In the fifth Marian was finally able to break the tie, as Anna Pritchett started a rally with a one-out single. A walk moved the freshman into scoring position, who darted home on a Sierra Norman RBI single to score the game’s first run.
Wilson continued to throw strong as she stranded a pair of two-out singles in the fifth, and got stronger in the sixth after getting an insurance run on an RBI single from Savannah Harweger. Wilson shut down the Wolverines in order in the sixth, and in the seventh the senior managed to work around two base hits, ending the game as Hayley Greene snared a line drive out of the air down the third base line.
In the 2-0 win, Wilson stranded seven Dearborn base hits over 81 pitches, earning her second win of the season. Marian had seven hits of their own in the win, with Pritchett leading the team with a pair of singles. Harweger and Greene each had a stolen base in the win, and Meyer drew two of the team’s four walks.
Marian will return to action on Tuesday morning, taking on Culver-Stockton and Cornerstone. Game one on March 7 will begin at 9 a.m.
MARIAN SWEEPS WHAC LACROSSE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time as Wolverine-Hooiser Athletic Conference (WHAC) members, the Marian women’s lacrosse team has swept the weekly player of the week awards, with Ruby Mason and Madeline Dumke claiming the first Marian honors of the season. Mason was named the Offensive Player of the Week, while Dumke claimed the Defensive Player of the Week honor.
Ruby Mason led the Marian offense in their win against Thomas More on March 1, leading the team with a game-high five goals. Mason netted her five scores on eight shots, recording her third collegiate hat trick and her second hat trick-plus. Mason is averaging four goals per game this season for the Knights.
Madeline Dumke was named the defensive player of the week following Marian’s win over Thomas More, as the midfielder recorded five ground balls and caused two turnovers. Dumke also won one draw control, and scored a goal while adding two assists.
Marian will start their three-game schedule on Tuesday afternoon, playing Missouri Baptist in St. Louis at 5:00 p.m. eastern time.
MCNAMAR COMES UP BIG FOR MARIAN IN WIN OVER MISSOURI VALLEY
Hilton Head, S.C. – The Marian men’s tennis team began their spring break trip with a win over Missouri Valley on Monday morning. Jones McNamar came up clutch for the Knights as he decided the 4-3 win. With the win, Marian moves to 9-5 win the win.
Marian was the first to strike as Ashwin Bhat and Jones McNamar picked up the 6-4 win at No. 2 doubles over Kaito Tanitsu and Yago Calduch. However, Missouri Valley responded by winning the next to double match to pick up the first point of the match. Mark Griffin and Andrew Ilett fell 6-3 to Jacopo Scottocornola and Francesco Caratii at the No. 1 spot, followed by Jake Giles and Jona Henze losing 7-5 to Alexis Diaz and Alecson Deschamps.
The Vikings got started in singles action, with Tanitsu defeating Dmitrii Voshchenkov at No. 2 singles 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), but it was Ilett winning 7-5, 5-7, 1-0 (10-6) against Caratti at the No. 3 spot. Missouri Valley took the 3-1 lead after getting the win at No. 1 singles, as Griffin fell in three sets at 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (5-7), 1-0 (10-3). The Knights stepped up big after the lead shifted, with Henze defeating Diaz 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot, followed by Bhat winning against Benjamin Ganem 7-5, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. With the score tied, No. 6 singles determined the match, and it was McNamar picking up the thrilling three-set victory. McNamar defeated Deschamps 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) to help the Knights win 4-3.
Marian will be back in action tomorrow as they face Milligan at 8:30 a.m.
MARIAN KICKS OFF SPRING BREAK TRIP WITH SWEEP OF MISSOURI VALLEY
Hilton Head, S.C. – The Marian women’s tennis team started their spring break trip off with a bang on Monday morning, defeating Missouri Valley in dominating fasion. The Knights swept the Vikings 7-0 to move to 12-4 overall on the season.
Marian picked up the doubles point pretty quick, as Emma Chrome and Josie Yarbrough defeated Nikoleta Aleksci and Tristan Liebenberg 6-0 at No. 3 doubles, followed by Betija Dusele and Katharina Bopst picking up the 6-3 win over Milene Marciniuk and Anais Gerard at the No. 1 spot. Isadora Muller and Dana Savarino were leading 5-4 over Queralt Carbo and Claudia Casas before their match went unfinished.
In singles action, Chrome got things rolling with her 6-0, 6-0 win over Casas at No. 3 singles before Bopst followed suit by winning 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 2 spot against Marciniuk. At the No. 1 singles, Dusele picked up the win in three sets, downing Carbo 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-9). Muller sealed the win for the Knights as she picked up the next win at the No. 4 spot, taking down Gerard 6-0, 6-0. Savarino and Joelle Leihbacher picked up the next two wins to help Marian have the 7-0 sweep. Savarino defeated Aleksci 6-0, 6-3 at No. 5 singles, with Leihbacher winning 6-2, 6-2 over Liebenberg at tge No. 6 spot.
Marian will be back in action tomorrow as they face Milligan at 8:30 a.m.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 Milwaukee||46||18||.719||—||27-6||19-12||8-4||27-14||9-1||1 W|
|2 Boston||45||21||.682||2.0||25-9||20-12||9-4||28-16||5-5||3 L|
|3 Philadelphia||42||22||.656||4.0||24-10||18-12||7-6||25-15||7-3||2 W|
|4 Cleveland||41||26||.612||6.5||28-7||13-19||12-3||25-13||6-4||2 W|
|5 New York||39||27||.591||8.0||19-15||20-12||8-8||28-16||9-1||9 W|
|6 Brooklyn||36||28||.563||10.0||19-12||17-16||7-8||26-17||4-6||2 W|
|7 Miami||35||31||.530||12.0||21-12||14-19||9-4||18-21||4-6||2 W|
|8 Atlanta||32||33||.492||14.5||18-13||14-20||5-8||19-22||5-5||2 L|
|9 Toronto||32||34||.485||15.0||20-13||12-21||4-9||20-21||6-4||1 L|
|10 Washington||30||34||.469||16.0||15-15||15-19||7-3||17-21||5-5||2 L|
|11 Chicago||29||36||.446||17.5||18-15||11-21||6-8||23-22||3-7||2 L|
|12 Indiana||29||37||.439||18.0||18-16||11-21||5-5||20-19||4-6||1 L|
|13 Orlando||27||38||.415||19.5||15-17||12-21||4-8||14-27||5-5||1 L|
|14 Charlotte||20||46||.303||27.0||11-20||9-26||7-9||11-31||5-5||3 L|
|15 Detroit||15||50||.231||31.5||8-24||7-26||0-11||6-32||1-9||8 L|
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 Denver||46||19||.708||—||30-4||16-15||10-5||32-12||8-2||4 W|
|2 Memphis||38||25||.603||7.0||26-5||12-20||7-2||20-18||6-4||2 L|
|3 Sacramento||38||26||.594||7.5||20-13||18-13||7-6||26-14||7-3||1 W|
|4 Phoenix||36||29||.554||10.0||21-10||15-19||9-1||23-15||7-3||3 W|
|5 Golden State||34||31||.523||12.0||27-7||7-24||5-8||22-16||6-4||1 L|
|6 Minnesota||34||32||.515||12.5||20-14||14-18||8-7||25-20||5-5||3 W|
|7 Dallas||33||32||.508||13.0||21-13||12-19||8-2||24-18||4-6||1 L|
|8 LA Clippers||34||33||.507||13.0||16-15||18-18||6-7||20-21||3-7||1 W|
|9 Utah||31||34||.477||15.0||20-13||11-21||5-8||21-21||4-6||3 L|
|10 Portland||31||34||.477||15.0||17-15||14-19||5-8||21-19||4-6||2 W|
|11 LA Lakers||31||34||.477||15.0||16-15||15-19||4-9||18-22||6-4||1 W|
|12 New Orleans||31||34||.477||15.0||20-11||11-23||7-4||20-17||3-7||2 L|
|13 Oklahoma City||30||34||.469||15.5||19-15||11-19||7-7||17-22||4-6||2 W|
|14 San Antonio||16||49||.246||30.0||10-22||6-27||2-10||6-34||2-8||2 L|
|15 Houston||15||49||.234||30.5||9-22||6-27||3-9||9-35||2-8||2 W|
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.
X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference
|1 Boston Bruins||62||49||8||5||103||47||237||132||26-2-3||23-6-2||10-0-0|
|2 Carolina Hurricanes||61||41||12||8||90||38||212||155||22-7-2||19-5-6||7-3-0|
|3 New Jersey Devils||62||41||15||6||88||40||223||170||18-11-2||23-4-4||7-2-1|
|4 Toronto Maple Leafs||63||38||17||8||84||38||212||168||23-6-4||15-11-4||6-4-0|
|5 Tampa Bay Lightning||63||37||21||5||79||35||220||196||22-5-4||15-16-1||2-5-3|
|6 New York Rangers||63||35||19||9||79||32||209||179||17-11-4||18-8-5||4-5-1|
|7 New York Islanders||65||32||25||8||72||32||188||177||19-11-3||13-14-5||5-2-3|
|8 Pittsburgh Penguins||62||31||22||9||71||30||201||199||16-9-4||15-13-5||5-5-0|
|9 Buffalo Sabres||62||32||26||4||68||31||231||221||13-17-2||19-9-2||6-4-0|
|10 Ottawa Senators||63||32||27||4||68||30||199||198||19-12-2||13-15-2||6-3-1|
|11 Florida Panthers||64||31||27||6||68||29||219||217||17-10-3||14-17-3||5-5-0|
|12 Washington Capitals||65||31||28||6||68||30||201||196||15-13-3||16-15-3||3-7-0|
|13 Detroit Red Wings||63||28||26||9||65||26||188||208||15-12-4||13-14-5||3-6-1|
|14 Philadelphia Flyers||63||24||28||11||59||23||166||206||12-15-4||12-13-7||2-6-2|
|15 Montreal Canadiens||63||26||33||4||56||22||173||225||14-15-1||12-18-3||4-6-0|
|16 Columbus Blue Jackets||63||20||37||6||46||19||163||234||13-19-2||7-18-4||4-4-2|
|1 Vegas Golden Knights||63||38||19||6||82||34||203||177||21-13-1||17-6-5||7-1-2|
|2 Dallas Stars||64||34||17||13||81||31||215||171||17-9-8||17-8-5||4-3-3|
|3 Los Angeles Kings||65||37||20||8||82||31||222||217||20-9-2||17-11-6||7-2-1|
|4 Seattle Kraken||63||36||21||6||78||36||220||200||15-12-3||21-9-3||6-3-1|
|5 Minnesota Wild||63||36||21||6||78||29||182||168||21-10-2||15-11-4||8-1-1|
|6 Winnipeg Jets||64||36||25||3||75||35||199||179||21-10-2||15-15-1||2-6-2|
|7 Edmonton Oilers||65||35||22||8||78||35||251||218||16-12-5||19-10-3||5-3-2|
|8 Colorado Avalanche||61||34||21||6||74||30||195||174||16-10-5||18-11-1||6-2-2|
|9 Nashville Predators||61||31||23||7||69||28||178||180||16-11-3||15-12-4||6-3-1|
|10 Calgary Flames||64||28||23||13||69||27||199||200||15-13-3||13-10-10||3-5-2|
|11 St. Louis Blues||62||27||30||5||59||24||191||227||13-14-4||14-16-1||3-5-2|
|12 Vancouver Canucks||63||26||32||5||57||22||213||246||13-17-1||13-15-4||5-4-1|
|13 Arizona Coyotes||63||21||32||10||52||18||171||227||14-11-3||7-21-7||4-4-2|
|14 Anaheim Ducks||63||21||34||8||50||18||161||257||11-16-2||10-18-6||4-4-2|
|15 San Jose Sharks||64||19||33||12||50||18||189||242||6-18-8||13-15-4||2-7-1|
|16 Chicago Blackhawks||63||22||36||5||49||20||158||225||13-18-3||9-18-2||6-4-0|
Last updated Mar. 7, 1:49 ET
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the divisional playoff format. The top three teams from each division make up the first six spots. The two remaining teams with the highest points, regardless of division, qualify for the final two wild card spots.
X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1903 The Tigers trade second baseman Kid Gleason to the Giants for Heinie Smith, the team’s part-time manager. New York immediately sends its newest infielder to the Phillies.
1914 In the last inning of an intrasquad exhibition game of the International League’s Baltimore Orioles, the recently-signed George Herman Ruth Jr. hits his first professional home run, a 400-foot shot at the Cape Fear Fairgrounds in Fayetteville. A state marker claims the moniker ‘Babe’ was given to the 19-year-old in this North Carolina city when his teammates teased him about being adopted by manager Jack Dunn, who became his parent to keep the St. Mary student on the club.
1923 Kenesaw Mountain Landis turns down the American Legion’s request to discontinue major league morning games on Memorial Day. Although disappointed by the decision, the organization will award the baseball commissioner its Distinguished Service Medal in 1929.
1924 In Orlando (FL), Reds’ coach Jack Hendricks immediately replaces manager Pat Moran, who dies of Bright’s disease during spring training. The late 48-year-old Cincinnati skipper, who also piloted the Phillies, compiled a 748-586 (.561) record, capturing two pennants and a world championship during his nine-year tenure in the dugout.
1941 Pee Wee Reese and Ducky Medwick become the first players to don protective headgear when wearing plastic inserts inside their caps during a spring exhibition game. The Dodger teammates missed weeks of playing time after being beaned by a pitch during the 1940 season.
1955 Ford Frick announces he favors the legalization of the spitter, claiming it is “a great pitch and one of the easiest to throw.” The commissioner believes there is nothing dangerous about the banned pitch, and making it legal again would slow down baseball’s increasing offensive statistics.
1956 The major league player representatives accept the owners’ position on the expiring World Series and All-Star game television deal and the proposed minimum salary structure, which remains at $6,000. The players are still seeking workman’s compensation coverage by all the clubs.
1979 The Hall of Fame’s Special Veterans Committee selects former center fielder Hack Wilson, who compiled a .307 batting average playing mostly for the Giants and the Cubs during his 12-year major league career. The committee also chooses former National League president Warren Giles, who spent 18 years in the post, for induction in Cooperstown this summer.
1995 The Veterans Committee selects former players Richie Ashburn, Vic Willis, Leon Day, and past president of the National League, William Hulbert, for induction into the Hall of Fame. Day, a Negro League right-hander, who played in Baltimore with the Black Sox and the Elite Giants and the Brooklyn and Newark Eagles, will be dead of a heart attack in less than a week after hearing the good news.
2001 Bud Selig upholds the January 14th Blue Jay and White Sox trade, which sent Toronto pitchers David Wells and Matt DeWitt to the White Sox in exchange for pitchers Mike Sirotka, Kevin Beirne, and Mike Williams and outfielder Brian Simmons. Although further medical examinations will determine Mike Sirotka to be ‘damaged goods’ before the deal, the commissioner used a ‘buyers beware’ policy, stating the individual club must take responsibility for the info initially used in making the transaction.
2006 In their World Baseball Classic debut, Team USA blanks Mexico, 2-0. Home runs by Derrek Lee and Chipper Jones, along with Jake Peavy and a bevy of relievers combining to throw a four-hitter, prove to be the difference as the United States defeats their neighbors from south of the border.
2008 Danny Sandoval, with a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning off reliever Colter Bean, spoils the Braves’ bid for a spring training combined no-hitter. Atlanta uses seven hurlers, beating the Indians at Winter Haven 4-1.
2008 The Cape Cod Times reports MLB has threatened to withhold their annual grant from the Cape Cod League if six teams in the ten-team circuit continue to use nicknames of big-league without purchasing uniforms and souvenir merchandise from licensed vendors. The deadline has been extended until March 21 to give league officials more time to resolve the more expensive edict.
MULE HAAS BIOGRAPHY
If there is anyone in the family that could be classified as “famous” or “well-known”, it is George “Mule” Haas. He was a professional baseball player, and a pretty good one too. He is mentioned in many books dealing with the period he played. His major league career covered the years 1925 and 1928 – 1938. He was in three World Series: 1929, 1930 & 1931. After his playing career, he was a coach for the Chicago White Sox and a manager in the minor leagues and at Fort Monmouth.
Mule Haas came from a baseball family. His father, George A. Haas had played semi-pro baseball around the Montclair area for years and once had a tryout with the New York Giants, but did not make the team and became a plumber. George A. pitched for the Pinebrook A.C. and the National Turners of Newark, New Jersey. Mule originally wanted to be a pitcher, but his father, who had been a pitcher for Montclair High School himself, convinced him to become an outfielder so that he could play more often. Mule’s nickname then was “Eggs”. He got the nickname “Mule” from sportswriter Zipp Newman of the Birmingham Age Herald in 1925, while playing for the Birmingham Barons. Mule won a game with a home run and the headline in the paper read “Home Run Kick By Mule Haas Wins Game For Barons”. Physically, Mule was a big guy for his time: 6 feet 2 inches, 170 pounds, batted left handed, threw right handed.
He played on a few semi-pro teams in the Montclair area before playing for Williamsport in 1923, when he signed a contract with Jimmy Johnstone of the Pirate’s organization. A half hour after he signed with Johnstone, Mike Drennen arrived with an offer from the Athletics, which was for $1,500 more. He played for the Oklahoma City Indians, a farm club of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1924. Staying in the Pittsburgh organization, he played at Pittsfield and Birmingham, and was called up to the majors with Pittsburgh for 4 games in 1925. But he was sent down, this time to Atlanta for two more years before joining the Athletics in 1928. He had a lifetime minor league batting average of .313 before joining the Athletics.
While he was with Atlanta, he began to get noticed by the rest of the major leagues and was mentioned more and more in the local newspapers. One reporter wrote: “To pick any one outfielder out of the 24 regularly engaged in the business of snagging flies and say: ‘Here is the best’, is likely to bring down a lot of criticism from the fans here and elsewhere. But we’ll risk that to hand the honors to Mule Haas. Mr. Haas, who cavorts in the outfield for the Atlanta Crackers, is the best doggoned fly chaser in the Southern Association. He can go and get that potato, can chuck it as far and more accurately than any other, and is one of the first 12 hitters. Yesterday, Mule made a catch of a tremendous drive off the bat of Eddie Morgan. He went up the hill and within a foot or two of the fence to do it. And a lot of fans went home calling Mother Haas’ son a robber and other names. For that catch beat the Pelicans. Some of the boys might have said Haas was lucky. That’s where we put in our oars. Mule made a half dozen similar catches in the four games the Pelicans played in Atlanta last week. He made ’em running back, running in, and to both sides, one handed and backhanded and circus. Haas did it so often, that we know he wasn’t lucky. A man can’t be that lucky. He’s just a great fielder, one of the greatest in baseball, major or minor, and we nominate him as our choice for the “best outfielder in Dixie”. Take him or leave him at that”.
In 1928, he was bought by Connie Mack of the Athletics (although the Baltimore Orioles also wanted him), for $10,000 where he joined fellow Montclair resident, pitcher George Earnshaw. To play, Mule was going to have to break into an established outfield of Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, and Al Simmons – three Hall of Famers. While Cobb and Speaker were at the end of their careers, they were still respected and could still play. But he did it. He credited Tris Speaker with helping him improve his fielding, then took Speaker’s place in the outfield. He played in 91 games his rookie year and batted .280. One of the highlights of that first year had to be when about 600 Montclair residents held “George Haas and George Earnshaw” Day in, of all places, Yankee Stadium on September 11. They were honored before the game, but Babe Ruth hit a homer with Lou Gehrig on base in the eighth to win the game for the Yankees.
In 1929, the A’s won the American League pennant and faced the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. In the fourth game, at Philadelphia, with the A’s leading the series 2 games to 1, the A’s were down 8-0 in the seventh inning when they decided to set a World Series record – the most runs scored in one inning in a World Series game. The Athletics sent seventeen men to the plate, banged out ten hits and scored ten runs to win the game 10-8. The highlight of the inning was Mule Haas’ inside the park home run with two men on. The towering fly was lost in the sun by Cub center fielder Hack Wilson and rolled to the fence. By the time it was recovered, Mule rounded the bases to bring the Cub lead down to 8-7.
Mule played the hero again in the next (and final) game. This time, the A’s were down 2-0 in the ninth inning when Mule hit another home run with a man on to tie the score. Soon after, the A’s scored again to become the World Series Champions. According to a newspaper article: “It was Mule Haas who made history in that ninth — Mule, who will be 26 years old tomorrow and who decided to celebrate a day in advance. Mule hit a homer folks, a home run that, like the shot at Concord Bridge echoes ’round the world…”
The A’s won the pennant again in 1930 and 1931, winning the 1930 Series but losing in 1931, both to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1933, Mule, Al Simmons and Jimmy Dykes were sold to the Chicago White Sox because Connie Mack needed the money due to the depression. Mule played with the White Sox until 1937, then returned for one more season with the A’s in 1938, but played in only forty games. He spent two years in the minor leagues, playing and managing, then was hired as third base coach for the Chicago White Sox by his old friend, Jimmy Dykes, and stayed there until 1946. He spent a few years scouting for the White Sox, then became third base coach for the Hollywood Stars in the Pacific Coast League in 1948. Later, he was the manager of the Fort Monmouth Army Baseball team, where he had a decent young pitcher named Whitey Ford for a couple of years.
Mule Haas was also an expert bench jockey. According to his son, George: “He was quite an umpire baiter, too. He could do some crazy things. But none of them are printable. He got thrown out of quite a few games”. When Mule was coaching with the White Sox, Ted Williams made the mistake of saying he would “just as soon been a fireman as a baseball player”. The next time they played in Chicago, Mule and his group were in their dugout wearing fire helmets and armed with fire bells, sirens, and whistles. He was always throwing firecrackers at opposing coaches between innings on lazy summer days. I once read an article in his scrapbook where he noticed that the opposing pitcher always picked up any piece of litter or paper on the mound before he pitched each inning, as if they bothered him. Mule’s team was losing midway through the game, so Mule came into the dugout at the end of the inning, got a piece of paper, ripped it into a million pieces, like confetti, and put it in his back pocket. He played shallow that inning and got a head start into the dugout after three outs, beat the pitcher to the mound and while crossing it, put his hand in his back pocket and flicked out a mess of the small papers and continued into the dugout. When the pitcher reached the mound, he looked into the dugout right at Mule. Back then, they wouldn’t stop the game for that, and he couldn’t pick up all those tiny pieces of paper, so he just began pitching. Sure enough, he couldn’t find the plate and was so wild, he was taken out after a few walks. Of course, Mule’s team scored and won the game.
But Mule was more than a bench jockey. He was a very good ballplayer. I met him twice, when I was a young boy. My parents took me to his home in Montclair when I was about 10 years old and I was mesmerized by this man who had played professional baseball against Babe Ruth. I remember him as a big man, probably a combination of my small size and giant admiration for a man who actually played professional baseball. At that time, in my mind, if there was any justification for hero worship, that was it. I remember getting his autograph on index cards and I still prize them. He was a big, but gentle man who indulged me and the silly questions of a ten year old. A few years later, when he was the coach of the Fort Monmouth baseball team, my father took me to the Fort to watch one of the practices. Again, he was just as attentive and nice, and I remember leaving with a bag of about twenty used baseballs he had given me from that practice. I wish now that I had enough maturity to ask really good questions and really get to know this gentle giant of a man who must have had so many stories to tell of a time long gone in baseball history.
I remember looking through his scrapbooks once, two huge, bulging collections of newspaper clippings his wife, Marie, had compiled through his playing career. I believe his son, George, must have them now, and I would love to look through them again. I remember one story from a clipping in his scrapbook where the White Sox were playing the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. If you saw Yankee Stadium in the 1930’s, the right field fence was a tar paper barrier about 3 – 4 feet high up to the bullpen, then a tar paper wall that extended toward center field, gradually rising from the 3 – 4 feet height to about 10 feet, with a small chain link fence on top of the wall. Mule was playing center field, with a man on second and one out. Babe Ruth came up to the plate. The Babe hit a rocket to right center. Mule raced for the fence, and when he hit the warning track, leaped onto the tar paper wall, dug his spikes into the wall, reached up and grabbed the chain link fence, lifting himself up and reaching over the fence into the bleachers. He timed the jump perfectly as the ball landed in his glove, his body hit the fence, and he fell back onto the field, knocking him dizzy. In the meantime, the runner on second base, thinking it a home run, had already rounded third and had to race back to second, where he tagged up and again began his run to the plate. By the time Mule regained his senses and stood up, all he saw was the second baseman running toward him waving his arms. Mule threw the ball to the second baseman, and he then spun around, throwing it to the shortstop who threw it to the catcher, who tagged the runner from second at the plate for a double play. The clipping said Ruth was standing on second base when Mule trotted in toward the dugout and the Babe just starred at him. This was not a story told years later that could have been well exaggerated, it was a newspaper story written the next day by an eyewitness sportswriter at the game.
He once went 7 for 9, including a home run, in a doubleheader. He was known for his excellent fielding too. He had a lifetime fielding average of .983. To put that in perspective, that fielding average was better that the following greats: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Joe DiMaggio, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Al Simmons, and Ted Williams. While he played in less games that all of those, that is what averages are for. Only Speaker and DiMaggio averaged more putouts per game than Mule, and only Simmons averaged less errors per game than Mule – who averaged only one error for every 22.46 games, while Cobb averaged one error for every 11.07 games.
Mule Haas was elected to the New Jersey All-Sports Hall of Fame in 1967, along with Johnny Vander Meer, George Earnshaw, Ducky Medwick, and boxer James J. Braddock. He was also named the Philadelphia Athletics All Time Centerfielder. While his photo and autograph are in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, he was not good enough to get elected into the Hall. Still, he is in the company of many excellent ballplayers…
BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW
YEAR IN REVIEW : 1906 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Off the field…
More than five-hundred people were killed during the great San Francisco earthquake, which struck the “City by the Bay” on the morning of April 18 at 5:15 AM. Modern analysis estimated the tremors to register at an 8.25 on the Richter scale (By comparison, the quake that hit San Francisco on October 17, 1989 registered 6.7). The greatest destruction came from the fires that were ignited and the ensuing inferno ravaged the city for three days before burning out. In the end, the maelstrom destroyed four-hundred ninety city blocks, a total of 25,000 buildings and rendered over 250,000 residents homeless. Damage estimates topped $350,000,000.
In the American League…
The New York ban on Sunday baseball was temporarily lifted on April 29th as the Highlanders and Philadelphia Athletics played a benefit game for the victims of the San Francisco earthquake, raising $5,600.
St. Louis Browns first baseman Tom Jones recorded an American League record twenty-two putouts on May 11th against the Boston Red Sox. New York Highlander Hal Chase tied the record four months later (September 21), but would not be matched himself until Yankee captain Don Mattingly duplicated the effort during a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on July 20, 1987.
In August, the Boston Americans set an unwanted Major League record after suffering four straight shutout losses (0-3 on August 2; 0-4 on August 3; 0-1 on August 4 and 0-4 on August 6).
In the National League…
On April 12th, Boston Braves outfielder Johnny Bates became the first modern player to hit a home run in his first Major League at bat. The inaugural round tripper came courtesy of Dodger Harry McIntire who lost twenty games or more in three seasons with Brooklyn’s miserable turn-of-the-century teams.
New York Giants pitcher Hooks Wilste became the first pitcher of the modern era to strike out four batters in a single inning (after a third-strike error) en route to a twelve-K, 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. He also fanned the side in the fourth inning for a total of seven batters struck out in just two innings for the first and only time in Major League history.
On October 4th, the Cubs recorded their one-hundred sixteenth victory of the year. The 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates gave Chicago a 60-15-road record with a .800 percentage mark that has never been equaled. They also became the first team to finish with fewer than two-hundred errors and their pitching staff combined for a league-leading 1.76 ERA.
Around the League…
In an effort to curb accusations and/or suspicions of tampering, a new rule was set putting the umpire in sole charge of all game balls. (The home team manager previously had some say as to when a new ball was introduced).
Harry Pulliam was unanimously re-elected president of the National League with an increased salary of $10,000. The American League increased Ban Johnson’s salary to $15,000 for the remaining four years of his contract.
Hank O’Day, a National League umpire unsuccessfully proposed that the batter’s box be outlined with white rubber strips (rather than chalk) to prevent batters from erasing them with their spikes.
March 7, 1943 – Portland, Oregon – The two way player at guard and linebacker from the University of Washington from 1962 to 1964, Rick Redman arrived into this life. This player has an interesting story, and we cover it along with some saved content by clicking his name.
March 7, 1950 – Baltimore, Maryland – Thom Gatewood the brilliant wide receiver of the University of Notre Dame football program from 1969 to 1971 celebrated his day of birth. The NFF tells us that Gatewood was the first African-American captain in Notre Dame history, and this player set almost every receiving record in school history during an All-American career! Earning the consensus First Team All-American in 1970, Thom was the leader of receiving for Notre Dame in all three seasons of his collegiate career. Gatewood didn’t establish just one but owned multiple Irish receiving records for more than 30 years! These Irish gridiron milestones included the single-season of 77 catches and 157 career receptions, single-season yardage marks with 1,123 and career yardage of 2,283 receiving and career receiving touchdowns at a solid 21 times crossing the goal line. The doors swung wide open for Thom Gatewood as he carried his collegiate legacy into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Thom was taken in the fifth round of the 1972 NFL draft by the New York Giants and spent two seasons in the Big Apple with the team. After that he went on to serve as director and stage manager for ABC News and ABC Sports, receiving both an Emmy and Peabody Award for his great work.
HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAYS FOR MARCH 7
March 7, 1950 – Fort Dix, New Jersey – The 6′-2″ 230 pound full back from the early 1970’s Penn State Nittany Lions, Franco Harris was born. We have so much more coverage of Franco, just a click on his name away…
March 7, 1952 – Alcoa, Tennessee – The graceful pass catching wide out of the USC Trojans of the early 1970’s Lynn Swann arrived into the world. Learn more about the Steelers graceful pass catcher by clicking on his name above.
March 7, 1955 – San Antonio, Texas – Rice University’s stellar quarterback of 1973 to 1976, Tommy Kramer was born. Kramer led the nation with 3,317 passing yards and 3,272 yards of total offense in 1976. Both milestones gave him the honor of ranking second in NCAA single-season history at the time. The NFF’s bio of Kramer gives him the distinction of being one of only two quarterbacks in college football history to earn consensus All-America honors for a team with a losing record. Also in that 1976 senior season of his, Tommy registered fifth in the Heisman voting and was selected as a consensus All-American. The NFF voters chose Tommy Kramer to be part of the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame induction class and preserve his football legacy. Chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 1977 NFL Draft, Kramer compiled nearly 25,000 career passing and 159 touchdowns yards during 14 NFL seasons. In 1986 he was picked as the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year and earned a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl squad.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
17 – 4 – 99 – 25
March 7, 1978 – The Vancouver Canuck’s Ron Sedlbauer, Number 17 failed to send the puck home on 5th penalty shot against Islanders.
March 7, 1979 – Both legends Warren Giles, a pioneer executive and Hack Wilson who wore the Number 4 with the Brooklyn Dodgers after playing many season with the New York Giants before numbers were on uniforms were selected for entrance into the Baseball Hall of Fame
March 7, 1986 – The Great One, Number 99, Wayne Gretzky, breaks his own NHL records by registering his 136th assist in a season.
March 7, 1988 – Jim Abbott, Number 25 wins the James E. Sullivan Award for his playing performance. The amazing thing is that Abbott showed the world that a person with only one hand can do remarkable things at the highest levels of sport!
|NCAA BASKETBALL GAMES – MEN’S||TIME ET||TV|
|Atlantic 10 First Round||11:30am||CBSSN|
|ACC First Round||2:00pm||ACCN|
|Atlantic 10 First Round||2:00pm||ESPN+|
|WAC First Round||3:00pm||ESPN+|
|ACC First Round||4:30pm||ACCN|
|Atlantic 10 First Round||4:30pm||ESPN+|
|MAAC First Round||5:00pm||ESPN+|
|WAC First Round||5:00pm||ESPN+|
|America East Semifinal||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Horizon League Championship||7:00pm||ESPN|
|ACC First Round||7:00pm||ACCN|
|America East Semifinal||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|MAAC First Round||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Big Sky Semifinal||8:30pm||ESPNU|
|Summit League Championship||9:00pm||ESPN2|
|WAC First Round||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Big West First Round||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|MAAC First Round||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Big Sky Semifinal||11:00pm||ESPN2|
|WAC First Round||11:00pm||ESPN+|
|Big West First Round||11:30pm||ESPN+|
|COLLEGE BASKETBALL – WOMEN’S||TIME ET||TV|
|Horizon League Tournament||12:00pm||ESPNU|
|Summit League Tournament||2:00pm||ESPNU|
|MLB SPRING TRAINING||TIME ET||TV|
|Toronto vs Pittsburgh||1:05pm||MLBN|
|NBA REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Washington at Detroit||7:00pm||NBCS-WSH|
|Milwaukee at Orlando||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Charlotte at New York||7:30pm||MSG|
|Philadelphia at Minneosta||7:30pm||TNT|
|Golden State at Oklahoma City||8:00pm||NBCS-BAY|
|Brooklyn at Houston||8:00pm||YES|
|Utah at Dallas||8:30pm||ATTSN-RM|
|Memphis at LA Lakers||10:00pm||TNT|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Carolina at Montréal||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Columbus at Pittsburgh||7:00pm||ATTSN-PIT|
|Philadelphia at Tampa Bay||7:00pm||NBCS-PHI|
|Toronto at New Jersey||7:00pm||Sportsnet|
|Vegas at Florida||7:00pm||ATTSN-RM|
|Buffalo at NY Islanders||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|Calgary at Minnesota||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
|San Jose at Colorado||9:00pm||NBCS-CA|
|St. Louis at Arizona||9:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Anaheim at Seattle||10:00pm||ESPN+|
|UEFA Europa Conference League: Lazio vs AZ||12:45pm||Paramount+|
|UEFA Champions League: Chelsea vs Borussia Dortmund||3:00pm||CBS|
|UEFA Champions League: Benfica vs Club Brugge||3:00pm||Paramount+|
|CONCACAF Champions League: Violette AC vs Austin||6:00pm||FS1|
|CONCACAF Champions League: Alianza vs Philadelphia Union||8:00pm||FS1|
|CONCACAF Champions League: Tigres UANL vs Orlando City SC||10:00pm||FS2|
|WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC||TIME ET||TV|
|Netherlands vs. Cuba||11:00pm||FS1|