INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
FORT WAYNE CARROLL 2 FORT WAYNE NORTHRUP 0
DEMOTTE CHRISTIAN 6 FAITH CHRISTIAN 5
MORGAN TWP. 15 OREGON DAVIS 2
HERITAGE HILLS 12 TELL CITY 2
NEW PRAIRIE 13 WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP 3
EVANSVILLE NORTH 7 EVANSVILLE REITZ 2
ANDREAN 13 WHEELER 0
LAKE CENTRAL 15 MERRILLVILLE 0
WESTVILLE 8 TRITON 7
LAPORTE 9 PORTAGE 2
KOUTS 13 ARGOS 1
HIGHLAND 7 CALUMET CHRISTIAN 0
BLOOMINGTON NORTH 3 LINTON STOCKTON 2
DALEVILLE 4 EASTERN 0
WES DEL 22 ANDERSON PREP ACADEMY 0
NORTH POSEY 9 PRINCETON 1
OWEN VALLEY 2 BLOOMFIELD 0
SOUTHWESTERN 16 JAC CEN DEL 13
HENRYVILLE 7 ORLEANS 6
NORTH NEWTON 4 HEBRON 1
UNION CITY 1 COWAN 0
NORWELL 2 S. ADAMS 0
DEKALB 11 EASTSIDE 0
PIONEER 7 TRI COUNTY 5
ALEXANDRIA MONROE 10 BLUE RIVER VALLEY 2
HAMMOND BAPTIST 20 GARY WEST SIDE 12
ILLIANA CHRISTIAN 26 WHITING 0
PAOLI 6 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 2
LOOGOOTEE 17 N. KNOX 5
BLUFFTON 13 NEW HAVEN 1
RIVERTON PARKE 14 FOUNTAIN CENTRAL 7
OAK HILL 19 SOUTHERN WELLS 3
BEECH GROVE 11 TRITON CENTRAL 3
OLDENBURG ACADEMY 11 WALDRON 7
SOUTHRIDGE 3 TECUMSEH 2
HAGERSTOWN 10 SETON CATHOLIC 0
GLENN 6 ROCHESTER 2
GARRETT 6 LAKEWOOD PARK CHRISTIAN 0
FRANKLIN 13 INDIAN CREEK 10
DECATUR CENTRAL 4 PERRY MERIDIAN 3
CATHEDRAL 17 COLUMBUS EAST 4
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC 18 TWIN LAKES 1
PIKE 11 LAWRENCE CENTRAL 1
SOUTHMONT 6 COVINGTON 4
TRINITY LUTHERAN 9 RISING SUN 3
NORTH MONTGOMERY 12 N. PUTNAM 1
TAYLOR 16 MARION 6
BROWNSBURG 7 LAWRENCE NORTH 5
SHENANDOAH 9 RUSHVILLE 6
WHITELAND 24 EDINBURG 0
WEST WASHINGTON 18 CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 1
GREENFIELD CENTRAL 11 NEW CASTLE 0
SPEEDWAY 7 RITTER 4
NEW PALESTINE 13 SHELBYVILLE 10
HARRISON 5 KOKOMO 2
MOORESVILLE 8 MARTINSVILLE 3
ADAMS CENTRAL 8 FORT WAYNE NORTH 5
GREENWOOD 3 GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 2
LOGANSPORT 3 LAFAYETTE JEFF 1
FOREST PARK 2 GIBSON SOUTHERN 1
EASTERN HANCOCK 13 CAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLN 10
PRAIRIE HEIGHTS 9 EDON 7
UNION COUNTY 8 BATESVILLE 6
CLOVERDALE 24 EMINENCE 1
COVENANT CHRISTIAN 7 BREBEUF 2
BARR REEVE 8 EVANSVILLE HARRISON 3
CLAY CITY 5 NORTHVIEW 4
RONCALLI 8 BEN DAVIS 5
MADISON 15 GREENSBURG 0
SEEGER 8 ARMSTRONG 7
NORTHEAST DUBOIS 3 PERRY CENTRAL 2
YORKTOWN 5 PENDLETON HEIGHTS 4
FRANKFORT 3 ROSSVILLE 1
COLUMBUS NORTH 8 E. CENTRAL 4
GUERIN CATHOLIC 13 BISHOP CHATARD 3
AUSTIN 4 SWITZERLAND COUNTY 3
MOUNT VERNON 10 DELTA 0
HAMILTON HEIGHTS 7 MADISON NORTH HOPKINS 4
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI 7 EVANSVILLE CENTRAL 4
TERRE HAUTE NORTH 6 SULLIVAN 1
PARK TUDOR 17 TENNESSEE HEAT 7
SHAWE MEMORIAL 5 ASSUMPTION ACADEMY 0
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK 14 HAMILTON HEIGHTS 4
INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
NEW PRAIRIE 16 LAVILLE 2
ANDREAN 7 MUNSTER 1
PORTAGE 6 VALPARAISO 0
KNOX 14 GLENN 4
CULVER 8 ARGOS 6
LAKE CENTRAL 16 MICHIGAN CITY 0
LAPORTE 4 CHESTERTON 3
EASTERN 5 ORLEANS 3
LOWELL 2 KANKAKEE VALLEY 0
FAITH CHRISTIAN 5 PIONEER 4
HAMMOND NOLL 20 LAKE STATION 4
EASTBROOK 11 BLUFFTON 1
WEST CENTRAL 15 DEMOTTE CHRISTIAN 0
BREBEUF 22 RITTER 1
PRINCETON 13 VINCENNES LINCOLN 0
MCCUTCHEON 18 LAFAYETTE JEFF 0
JASPER 6 HERITAGE HILLS 5
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC 5 BENTON CENTRAL 4
ILLIANA 17 WHITING 1
TERRE HAUTE NORTH 18 W. VIGO 10
INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN 6 INDIAN CREEK 5
CASTLE 20 EVANSVILLE HARRISON 0
GIBSON SOUTHERN 10 EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL 3
EVANSVILLE NORTH 10 MOUNT VERNON 2
ATTICA 14 SOUTHMONT 2
EDINBURG 15 OLDENBURG ACADEMY 0
ROCHESTER 12 TRITON 0
RIVERTON PARKE 14 FOUNTAIN CENTRAL 2
MONROE CENTRAL 3 UNION CITY 2
HAST 12 E. CHICAGO CENTRAL 10
EASTERN 6 MACONAQUH 0
BROWN COUNTY 9 EASTERN GREENE 8
HOBART 10 WHEELER 0
WES DEL 9 DELTA 2
KOKOMO 15 TIPTON 1
WEST LAFAYETTE 2 SEEGER 1
FORT WAYNE CARROLL 10 TWIN LAKES 0
DECATUR CENTRAL 8 PERRY MERIDIAN 1
OWEN VALLEY 13 EMINENCE 3
GREENFIELD CENTRAL 13 SCECINA 0
MORRISTOWN 21 CHRISTEL HOUSE 9
BATESVILLE 10 JAC CEN DEL 2
CONNERSVILLE 12 E. CENTRAL 7
LAKEWOOD PARK CHRISTIAN 17 HAMILTON 3
AVON 12 BEN DAVIS 2
PENDLETON HEIGHTS 4 SHENANDOAH 2
COLUMBUS EAST 5 BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL 4
RONCALLI 3 COLUMBUS NORTH 3
CLAY CITY 19 PARKE HERITAGE 3
MOORESVILLE 20 MARTINSVILLE 2
WHITELAND 12 GREENWOOD 9
TERRE HAUTE SOUTH 16 SHAKAMAK 1
LEBANON 18 S. PUTNAM 5
HARRISON 11 CATHEDRAL 4
EASTERN HANCOCK 13 TRITON CENTRAL 3
NORTHEAST DUBOIS 14 N. KNOX 4
NORTH PUTNAM 2 COVENANT CHRISTIAN 1
JAY COUNTY 6 BELLMONT 3
UNION COUNTY 11 N. DECATUR 1
RUSHVILLE 5 NEW CASTLE 4
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI 4 S. SPENCER 3
JEFFERSONVILLE 10 SALEM 3
LOOGOOTEE 4 BLOOMFIELD 1
EAST NOBLE 1 GARRETT 0
TRINITY LUTHERAN 6 PROVIDENCE 2
LANESVILLE 6 W. WASHINGTON 1
FOREST PARK 7 WASHINGTON 0
ANDERSON 6 ALEXANDRIA MONROE 6
GREENCASTLE 9 N. CENTRAL 4
WESTERN 6 LOGANSPORT 1
FRANKLIN 8 PLAINFIELD 4
TRI WEST 13 BISHOP CHATARD 6
SHELBYVILLE 14 BLOOMINGTON NORTH 5
DANVILLE 6 LAWRENCE NORTH 2
WESTVILLE 19 N. VERMILLION 9
OAK HILL 10 NORTHWESTERN 2
PIKE CENTRAL 7 BOONVILLE 1
2023 BOYS INDIANA BASKETBALL ALL-STAR ROSTER
LUKE ALMODOVAR, NOBLESVILLE.. ST. FRANCIS
XAVIER BOOKER, CATHEDRAL.. MICHIGAN STATE
MARKUS BURTON, PENN…NOTRE DAME
MYLES COLVIN, HERITAGE CHRISTIAN…PURDUE
ZANE DOUGHTY, BEN DAVIS…UNCOMMITTED FROM VALPO
JOEY HART, LINTON-STOCKTON…CENTRAL FLORIDA
LOGAN IMES, ZIONSVILLE…UNCOMMITTED FROM PENN STATE
MASON JONES, VALPARAISO…BALL STATE
A.J. LUX, CROWN POINT…BELLARMINE
SAM ORME, CARMEL…BELMONT
IAN RAASCH, NORTHWOOD…GRACE COLLEGE
JQ ROBERTS, BLOOMINGTON NORTH…VANDERBILT
SHERIDAN SHARP, BEN DAVIS.. NICHOLLS STATE
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCOREBOARD
MIAMI 1 MINNESOTA 0
PHILADELPHIA 4 NY YANKEES 1
TAMPA BAY 10 WASHINGTON 6
PITTSBURGH 4 BOSTON 1
TORONTO 4 KANSAS CITY 1
BALTIMORE 7 TEXAS 2
DETROIT 6 HOUSTON 3
OAKLAND 4 CLEVELAND 3
SEATTLE 11 LA ANGELS 2
ARIZONA 8 SAN DIEGO 6
CHICAGO CUBS 12 CINCINNATI 5
MILWAUKEE 9 NY METS 0
ATLANTA 4 ST. LOUIS 1
LA DODGERS 5 COLORADO 2
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
LOUISVILLE 7 INDIANAPOLIS 2
MIAMI 118 DETROIT 105
CLEVELAND 117 ORLANDO 113
MILWAUKEE 140 WASHINGTON 128
TORONTO 120 CHARLOTTE 100
MINNESOTA 107 BROOKLYN 102
SACRAMENTO 121 NEW ORLEANS 103
ATLANTA 123 CHICAGO 105
HOUSTON 124 DENVER 103
PHILADELPHIA 103 BOSTON 101
MEMPHIS 119 PORTLAND 109
LA LAKERS 135 UTAH 133 OT
GOLDEN STATE 136 OKLAHOMA CITY 125
PHOENIX 115 SAN ANTONIO 94
CAROLINA 3 OTTAWA 2
FLORIDA 2 BUFFALO 1
DETROIT 5 PITTSBURGH 1
TORONTO 4 COLUMBUS 2
NASHVILLE 3 VEGAS 2
ST. LOUIS 4 PHILADELPHIA 2
CHICAGO 4 CALGARY 3
SEATTLE 5 VANCOUVER 2
EDMONTON 3 LOS ANGELES 1
COLORADO 4 SAN JOSE 3
2023 NFL DRAFT ORDER: ALL SEVEN ROUNDS
THREE-ROUND 2023 NFL MOCK DRAFT FOR ALL 32 NFL TEAMS
WEAKEST NFL POSITION GROUPS PRIOR TO THE 2023 NFL DRAFT
TOP INDIANA (RELEASES)
GAME PREVIEW: PACERS VS KNICKS
Just two home games remain on the Indiana Pacers’ calendar, and the next one is against the franchise’s oldest rival.
Indiana (34-45) will host the New York Knicks (46-33) on Wednesday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
The first two contests were close, but the Knicks won both: 109-106 on Dec. 18 and 119-113 on Jan. 11.
The Pacers will continue giving their young talent big minutes after Indiana was eliminated from the playoffs and play-in tournament race on Sunday after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Seven players scored in double figures for the Pacers against the Cavs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 40-point performance by Donovan Mitchell. The Pacers led by two at the half and one going into the fourth quarter before getting outscored 29-18 in the final frame.
Rookie Bennedict Mathurin, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 draft from Arizona, posted 19 points and fellow first-year man Andrew Nembhard, the No. 31 pick from Gonzaga, totaled 13 points and eight assists.
Jordan Nwora, who was acquired by the Pacers just before the trade deadline from the Milwaukee Bucks, recorded 15 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double in the Blue & Gold.
While the young players have picked up their play recently, Pacers veteran point guard T.J. McConnell has also turned it up the last couple weeks. McConnell is averaging 14.8 points, 5.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game over his last five games.
New York – currently riding a four-game winning streak and sitting in fifth in the Eastern Conference – has already clinched a playoff spot, and is three games back of the Cavs for No. 4 in the East. The Knicks have a 2.5-game cushion over their crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets (43-35).
The Knicks have been one of the hottest teams in the second half of the season, posting a record of 13-6 since the All-Star Break.
Guard Jalen Bruson, in his first year with New York, has led his team by averaging 24 points per game on 49.1 percent shooting, 6.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds. In his first two games against Indiana, Brunson averaged 32 points and 3.5 assists.
Another big development for the Knicks this season has been the development of Immanuel Quickley, who is now considered one of the leading contenders for the Sixth Man of the Year Award by averaging 14.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 28.7 minutes per game. Over the last 10 games, Quickely’s scoring average has inflated to 20 points per game.
Indiana’s bench is the highest scoring in the league at 43.4 points per game while the reserves for New York have the highest net rating (2.6) of all teams. One area that could be the difference is in rebounding, as New York is tied for second-most per game on the glass and Pacers sit 24th (41.6).
This time around, the Knicks will be without former All-Star Julius Randle, who suffered a sprained ankle in March and is expected to get reevlauted next week before the postseason starts.
Indiana has also been dealing with injuries, as Pacers All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton has missed the last four games with elbow and ankle issues; Myles Turner has missed five games due to back pain; and Chris Duarte has played just five minutes total over the last 10 games.
The Pacers and Knicks will still have one more game against each other after Wednesday’s matchup, as the teams will face off in the regular season finale on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Pacers: G – Andrew Nembhard, G – Bennedict Mathurin, F – Aaron Nesmith, F – Jordan Nwora, C – Isaiah Jackson
Knicks: G – Jalen Brunson, G – Immanuel Quickley, F – Quentin Grimes, F – Obi Toppin, C – Mitchell Robinson
Pacers: Myles Turner – questionable (sore left ankle), Kendall Brown – out (right tibia stress fracture), Chris Duarte – out (sore left ankle), Tyrese Haliburton – out (right ankle sprain/sore left elbow)
Jan. 11, 2023: The Pacers almost came back from a 25-point third quarter deficit in a 119-113 loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
In the game, the Pacers were without Turner, Nesmith, Oshae Brissett before the game tipped and Haliburton injured his knee in the third quarter and didn’t return.
After trailing by 21 at halftime, the Pacers outscored the Knicks 72-57 on 55.3 percent shooting in the second half.
Indiana was down just 112-109 with 1:15 left before Knicks guard Quentin Grimes hit a 3-pointer and Barrett drained a pair of free throws to close it out.
Pacers guard Buddy Hield scored a season-high 31 points in the loss on seven made 3-pointers and Mathurin poured in 20 points while McConnell had 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Brunson topped the Knicks with 34 points and Barrett dropped 28 points while Randle totaled 14 points and 16 rebounds.
All-time, the Knicks hold a 99-93 edge over the Pacers. However, in Indianapolis the Pacers have a record of 62-35 against New York.
Nembhard is five 3-pointers away from passing Duarte for second-most 3-pointers by a Pacers rookie in franchise history. The No. 1 spot is currently held by Mathurin (97).
Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle coached Brunson in Dallas for three seasons (2018-2021).
Broadcast Information (TV and Radio Listings >>)
TV: Bally Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks on Wednesday, April 5 at 7:00 PM ET.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A four-run third inning erased back-to-back home runs by Tucupita Marcano and Chris Owings and propelled the Louisville Bats to a 7-2 win over the Indianapolis Indians in the series opener at Louisville Slugger Field on Tuesday night.
The Indians (0-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning thanks to the team’s first pair of back-to-back home runs in the 2023 season from the team’s two middle infielders. Prior to the eight-hole hitter Marcano stepping to the plate, Louisville starter Ben Lively (W, 1-0) had set down the first seven Indians hitters he saw.
The lead didn’t last for long, as the Bats (2-2) jumped on Indy starter Quinn Priester (L, 0-1) for four runs in the bottom half of the frame with a home run from left fielder Michael Siani, an RBI double from shortstop Matt McLain and a two-run single for second baseman Matt Reynolds. McLain notched another run-producing double to chase Priester from the game an inning later.
Indianapolis’ lineup went quiet after the third inning, mustering just one more hit off the bat of Marcano to mark his second multi-hit performance in consecutive games. The first seven players in the Indians batting order went a combined 0-25 with one walk and eight strikeouts.
The Indians and Bats will play the second game of their six-game series on Wednesday night in another 6:35 PM ET first pitch at Louisville Slugger Field. RHP Osvaldo Bido (0-0, -.–) will make his season debut for Indianapolis, opposing Louisville RHP Kevin Herget (0-0, -.–).
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana men’s basketball program will join Louisville, Texas, and UConn as participants in the 2023 Empire Classic presented by Continental Tire benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. The event will be played from Nov. 19-20 at Madison Square Garden in New York. IU holds a record of 14-12 all time in games played at MSG.
Semifinal matchups, television coverage, and the on-sale date for tickets will be announced in the future. To be the first to receive updates on these important details, sign up for alerts at Gazelle Ticket Updates and follow the Empire Classic on Twitter and on Instagram.
The series of games will mark a homecoming for Indiana head coach Mike Woodson, who was the head coach of the New York Knicks from 2012-14. Woodson was drafted 12th overall in the 1980 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks and played with the franchise from 1980-81. He also served two stints as an assistant coach with the Knicks from 2011-12 and 2020-21.
Indiana is coming off a 23-12 season that ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This will mark the program’s second appearance in the Empire Classic. IU defeated Washington, 102-84, in the opening round of the 2013 Empire Classic before falling to UConn, 59-58, in the title game.
The Hoosiers also defeated Stony Brook, 90-74, and LIU Brooklyn, 73-72, in the Bloomington Regional at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall leading up to the main event at Madison Square Garden.
Texas, a 2023 Elite Eight participant, will be making its seventh appearance in the Empire Classic, the most of any program. UConn, the 2023 national champion, will be making the program’s fifth appearance in the event. Louisville, guided by former New York Knicks assistant coach Kenny Payne, will be making its debut in the tournament.
The Hoosiers are 11-9 all time against the Cardinals, 1-2 against the Longhorns, and 4-6 against the Huskies.
It will be the Hoosiers first appearance in MSG since defeating UConn, 57-54, on Dec. 10, 2019 as part of the Jimmy V Classic. IU last faced Louisville on Dec. 8, 2018 when it won 68-67 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers fell to Texas, 66-44, in their last matchup on Dec. 1, 2020 in the Maui Invitational played in Asheville, N.C.
About the Empire Classic presented by Continental Tire benefiting Wounded Warrior Project
First played in 1995, the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire is acclaimed as college basketball’s premier early-season tournament. Featuring teams from across the nation, the Empire Classic annually attracts the top programs in the sport.
About the Gazelle Group
The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production and management, client representation, and sponsorship consulting. Gazelle produces numerous nationally recognized college sports events, such as the Empire Classic, Legends Classic, the Gotham Classic, the Sunshine Slam, the College Basketball Invitational, the Kwik Trip Holiday Face-Off, the Barstool Sports Invitational as well as on-campus events at Duke, Kentucky, Nebraska, and other institutions across the country. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit www.gazellegroup.com.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project (Twitter) is the beneficiary of the Empire Classic. With the mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, WWP is the hand extended to encourage warriors as they adjust to their new normal and achieve new triumphs. Offering a variety of programs and services, WWP is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury – from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Life on the road can be tough and for the Indiana baseball program that was the theme on Tuesday (April 4) at Indiana State in a 4-0 loss.
Indiana State (15-12) struck for a single run in the third and sixth innings to take the early lead and added two more in the seventh to cap the scoring. Indiana (21-8) was shutout for the first time in 2023.
Senior Phillip Glasser was on base three times to move his reached base streak to 29 games to open the season. He singled and walked twice in the contest. Sophomores Carter Mathison and Brock Tibbitts each chipped in two hits.
Freshman Cooper Katskee (0-1) was the losing pitcher with one run allowed over 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Junior Brooks Ey tossed two scoreless innings with four strikeouts and freshman Brayden Risedorph struck out one in one inning of work.
Randal Diaz and Luis Hernandez each homered for Indiana State, while Cameron Holycross (2-0) picked up the win with 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Luis Hernandez hit a solo home run to lead off the inning.
at Indiana State 1, Indiana 0
Back-to-back walks for Mike Sears and Grant Magill put two runners on base and a wild pitch moved them to second a third with one out. After an infield pop up, Josue Urdaneta sent a ground ball up the middle to score the runner from third, but IU cut down the second runner at the plate to end the inning.
at Indiana State 2, Indiana 0
Randel Diaz hit a solo home run to lead off the inning. A one-out walk was followed by a base hit, which forced Indiana to chance pitchers. Adam Pottinger brought in the second run of the frame.
at Indiana State 4, Indiana 0
A Big Ten series opens at Bart Kaufman Field with Iowa on Friday (April 7) at 6 p.m. The game can be seen on B1G+ and heard on the Indiana Sports Radio Network
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 19 Indiana (29-9, 8-0 B1G) defeated Western Kentucky (21-13, 6-3 C-USA) in a shutout victory, 3-0, at the WKU Softball Complex on Tuesday evening.
INDIANA 3, WESTERN KENTUCKY 0
• Sophomore Taylor Minnick got the offense started with a base hit through the left side scoring Bassett in the top of the first for the lead.
• Freshman Taryn Kern went yard for the 16th time this season as she earned two RBI extending the Hoosier lead, 3-0 in the top of the second inning.
• The Hoosier defense stood strong holding the Hilltoppers to only three batters in the second and third innings.
• WKU put two runners on base with back-to-back singles in the bottom of the fifth, but sophomore Brianna Copeland would strikeout the next batter to escape the inning.
• Indiana’s defense held strong as they concluded the game with another 1-2-3 inning highlighted from another stellar, diving grab from Kern in the outfield.
• Indiana continues their record-breaking win streak with a program high of 22 wins.
• Kern hit her 16th career home run to tie IU Hall of Famer and Olympian Michelle Venturella for most home runs in a single season.
• Copeland holds a 13-0 record inside the circle while teammate Heather Johnson picked up here third save.
• IU outhit the Hilltoppers 6-4 for their fifth shutout this season.
Indiana prepares for series against Minnesota this weekend on April 7-9 in Minneapolis, Minn.
LOS ANGELES – Senior forward Mackenzie Holmes has been named a finalist for the 2023 Honda Sport Award for women’s basketball.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 47 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2023 Honda Cup which will be presented during the live telecast of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Presented by Honda in downtown L.A., on Monday, June 26, at 9 pm ET/6 PT on CBS Sports Network.
The basketball finalists were selected by a panel of experts and coaches from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The Honda Sport award winner for basketball will be announced later this week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
The Gorham, Maine native is the program’s first Honda Sport Award finalist and averaged a team-high 22.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.9 blocks. She was one of the nation’s most accurate shooters by going 68.0 percent from the floor. She is second in the nation and leading the Big Ten in field goal percentage, fifth in field goals made (281), sixth in points scored (692), and seventh in points per game (22.3). Holmes led the Hoosiers in scoring on 25 occasions this season while posting double figures in 31 games, scoring 20 points 19 times and three 30-point scoring efforts. Her nine double-doubles led the team, as six of her double-doubles occurred in conference play which ranks eighth all-time in a single season. She led the league in blocks (58) and blocks per game (1.9) and averages 1.1 steals (35) per game. She set a season-high five blocks against Nebraska and Michigan while recording multiple blocks in 14 games. Holmes is now in the top five in scoring in school history (1,897) and second in all-time blocks (208).
Other awards for Holmes this season included the program’s first Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and is now a three-time All-Big Ten selection in her career. She has also been named a 2023 Lisa Leslie Award finalist, a 2023 Wade Trophy finalist, 2023 Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy semifinalist and 2023 USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale Player of the Year candidate.
The CWSA, entering its 47th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for their superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its partnership in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.4 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Zach Edey capped off one of the most-statistically dominant seasons in college basketball history by winning the final piece of the National Player of the Year awards today, when the Los Angeles Athletic Club and ESPN announced that the Purdue junior center won the Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s today on SportsCenter.
Edey was named the winner of the Wooden Award, becoming the first Canadian to win the Award and the first Purdue player since Glenn Robinson in 1994 to be the recipient.
The most-dominant player in college basketball during the 2022-23 season won all six National Player of the Year awards, the final one being the Wooden Award today. Edey has also won the Naismith Trophy, The Oscar Robertson Trophy (USBWA), Associated Press (AP) National Player of the Year, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Player of the Year and The Sporting News National Player of the Year. In addition, he has won the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s top center.
He has also been named a first-team All-American by every outlet.
Edey becomes the first Boilermaker since Glenn Robinson in 1994 to win National Player of the Year accolades. He is also the fifth Big Ten Player in the last 14 years to be named National Player of the Year joining Evan Turner (2010), Trey Burke (2013), Frank Kaminsky (2015) and Luka Garza (2021) as National Players of the Year.
Edey earned the Wooden Award after one of the most-dominating seasons in college basketball history. He was named a consensus first-team All-American, the second straight season that Purdue has had a consensus All-American (Jaden Ivey, 2022), after averaging 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.5 assists per game.
He became the first player in NCAA history (since blocks became an official NCAA stat) to record at least 750 points, 400 rebounds, 70 blocks and 50 assists in a season, ranking sixth nationally in scoring, second in rebounds, 19th in blocked shots and 21st in field goal percentage (.607), the only player in the NCAA database to rank in the top 25 of all four categories in the same season.
He finished the season ranking sixth on Purdue’s single-season chart for points (757), first in rebounds (438), fifth in field goals made (290), 14th in field goal percentage (.607), first in dunks (76) and second in double-doubles (27).
He has scored in double-figures in 51 straight games, the longest streak in the country, and fourth-longest streak in school history.
For his career in 99 games, he has 1,533 points, the fourth most for a player through his junior season in school history (Carsen Edwards, Glenn Robinson, Rick Mount), with 847 rebounds, 148 blocks and 106 assists.
He finished the year with eight games of at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, the most for a major-college player in the last 20 years, and his 11 games of at least 25 points and 10 rebounds are the most for a Big Ten player in the last 20 years by four games over Luka Garza (Iowa; 7). The 438 rebounds are the fourth most by a player in Big Ten history behind three seasons by Ohio State great Jerry Lucas (1960-62).
Edey became just the second player in Big Ten history to lead the league in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage and is one of just nine players (Blake Griffin, Ike Diogu, Antawn Jamison, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Walton, Lew Alcindor, Gary Bradds) to lead a major-college conference in all three categories in NCAA history. Griffin was the last to do so in 2009.
Edey also earned Big Ten Player of the Year accolades after helping Purdue to a Big Ten regular-season title, a No. 1 national ranking for seven weeks and the Big Ten Tournament title.
Earlier this season, Edey joined an exclusive list of Boilermakers to win the Big Ten Player of the Year honors, joining the late Caleb Swanigan (2017), JaJuan Johnson (2011), Glenn Robinson (1994) and Steve Scheffler (1990) as winners of the league’s top honor.
Edey is the third Boilermaker to receive the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award, joining JaJuan Johnson (2011) and the late Caleb Swanigan (2017) as Purdue recipients. Purdue and Duke are the only institutions to have three Pete Newell Big Man of the Year award winners.
Edey was named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award and earned a spot on the Big Ten’s All-Defensive team.
ZACH EDEY’S AWARDS WON THIS SEASON (Major awards in Bold)
Preseason All-America (every publication)
Preseason All-Big Ten
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award watch list
Wooden Award watch list
Phil Knight Legacy MVP
Big Ten Player of the Week (11-28-22)
NCAA.com National Player of the Week (11-28-22)
Big Ten Player of the Week (12-5-22)
Big Ten Player of the Week (12-12-22)
Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 (1-4-23)
Big Ten Player of the Week (1-9-23)
The Sporting News Midseason All-America 1st Team (1-19-23)
Midseason watch list for Oscar Robertson Trophy (1-19-23)
Watch list for Naismith DPOY Award (1-26-23)
Wooden Award late-season watch list (1-30-23)
Big Ten Player of the Week (1-30-23)
Dick Vitale Star of the Week (1-30-23)
NCAA March Madness Player of the Week (1-30-23)
Naismith Award National Player of the Week (1-30-23)
Wooden Award late-season watch list (1-30-23)
Big Ten Player of the Week (2-6-23)
Naismith Trophy Player of Year Mids. Team (2-9-23)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award semifinalist (2-10-23)
Naismith Def. Player of the Year semifinalist (2-27-23)
Dick Vitale All-American Team (3-1-23)
Semifinalist for Big O Trophy (3-2-23)
College Hoops Today First-Team All-American (3-4-23)
College Hoops Today National Player of the Year (3-4-23)
ESPN College Gameday Player of the Year (3-4-23)
Sporting News First-Team All-American (3-7-23)
Big Ten Player of the Year; coaches, media, AP (3-7-23)
First-Team All-Big Ten; coaches, media, AP (3-7-23)
Big Ten All-Defensive Team (3-7-23)
Field of 68 First-Team All-American (3-7-23)
Sporting News National Player of the Year (3-8-23)
CollegeInsider.com National DPOY Finalist (3-9-23)
CollegeInsider.com National POY Finalist (3-9-23)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalist (3-10-23)
Naismith Player of the Year semifinalist (3-10-23)
Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player (3-12-23)
USBWA District V Player of the Year (3-14-23)
NABC First-Team All-District (3-14-23)
AP First-Team All-American (3-14-23)
NABC First-Team All-American (3-15-23)
USBWA First-Team All-American (3-15-23)
Consensus First-Team All-American (2023)
Naismith Player of the Year Finalist (3-21-23)
NABC National Player of the Year (3-28-23)
NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award (3-28-23)
CBS Sports National Player of the Year (3-30-23)
Wooden Award All-American (3-30-23)
AP National Player of the Year (3-31-23)
USBWA National Player of the Year (4-1-23)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award winner (4-1-23)
Naismith National Player of the Year (4-2-23)
Wooden Award National Player of the Year (4-4-23)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Connor Caskenette hit a three-run homer to cap an eight-run rally in the second inning but Evansville outscored Purdue baseball 10-2 the rest of the way to take the midweek slugfest 12-10 Tuesday at Alexander Field.
Lukas Cook connected for another dramatic long home run to left field, blasting a 414-foot long ball over the bullpen to tie the game at 10-10 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. It was a near carbon copy of the walk-off home run he hit in the 10th inning Sunday vs. Northwestern.
The game featured a combined five home runs, 10 extra-base hits and 22 runs on 25 hits. The Purple Aces (17-11) scored the go-ahead run on a one-out double from Chase Hug in the eighth inning after a leadoff walk to the 9-hole hitter. Hug reached base safely in four of his five plate appearances to improve his on-base percentage to .541.
Purdue (12-15) sent 11 men to the plate in the second inning, scoring eight-plus runs in a frame for the fourth time this season. However, the Boilermakers lost for just the second time since the start of the 2021 season when enjoying a five-plus run inning in a game.
Couper Cornblum delivered a two-run single and Paul Toetz ripped a two-run double down the left field line before Caskenette hit his three-run shot down the left field line for his first career home run at Alexander Field.
A two-out, two-run double from Evan Waggoner in the third inning and two-out, two-run homer from Ty Rumsey in the seventh inning were the big hits in Evansville’s comeback. The Aces tied the game at 8-8 on Brent Widder’s RBI single in the top of the seventh. Rumsey went deep into the right field bullpen two batters later.
Both teams used six pitchers. Evansville’s bullpen managed to post six zeros. After giving up the home run to Caskenette, Michael Parks induced 10 consecutive ground ball outs while retiring the final 11 batters he faced. Purdue had six consecutive hits in the second inning but only four the rest of the game.
Carter Doorn and Jackson Dannelley teamed up for the Boilermakers’ best stretch on the mound, retiring 10 of 12 batters faced while posting three consecutive zeros over the middle innings. Doorn struck out three in a row and Dannelley retired the first five batters he faced before the top of the UE lineup ignited a rally in the top of the seventh.
In center field, Cornblum made a diving catch to end the sixth inning and a sliding catch to end the following frame. Purdue also turned a pair of inning-ending double plays. But a dropped throw at third base when the Boilermakers had an opportunity to cut down the lead runner on a chopper to shortstop helped UE score a significant insurance run in the eighth inning.
Jo Stevens ignited the second-inning rally with a one-out single, extending his on-base streak to 10 consecutive games. He’s now had separate hit and on-base streaks of at least 10 games this season.
The Boilermakers are back in action Friday when they open a three-game series at Minnesota. First pitch in Minneapolis is slated for 6 p.m. ET.
NAPLES, Fla. – The Purdue men’s golf team posted the fourth-lowest round of the day and its best round of the tournament to finish eighth at the highly-competitive Calusa Cup held at Calusa Pines Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
The Boilermakers finished the 54-hole event with a 37-over par 901 (312-302-287) to finish eighth overall, comfortably ahead of ninth-place Iowa (+50; 914). No. 3-ranked North Carolina won the event at 4-under par 860 (284-292-284).
Purdue struggled in the first round, but shot a 589 (+13) over the last two rounds, posting the fifth-lowest score in the tournament over the final two days.
The tournament featured eight teams ranked in the top 40, including four ranked in the top five.
Herman Sekne recorded his sixth top-20 finish of the year, and 14th of his career, with a 7-over par 223 (75-73-75). Kent Hsiao continued his recent strong play with a T-22 showing at 8-over par 224 (75-77-72).
Nels Surtani finished T-28 at 10-over par 226 (78-75-73), while Nick Dentino (84-77-71) and Peyton Snoeberger (84-77-71) finished tied for 40th.
Purdue will host the Boilermaker Invitational on April 15 and 16, at the Ackerman-Allen Golf Course. Admission is free.
INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler softball team was tied with Dayton after six innings but dropped a 4-2 decision when the Flyers scored two runs in the seventh. The Bulldogs (14-21) were up, 2-0, after three innings, but Dayton (19-12) scored in the fourth, fifth, and final frame for the non-conference victory.
How It Happened
Butler scored two in the third to take the early lead. Cate Lehner (2-4, SB) reached on a bunt and stole second. Sydney Carter (3-4, 2B, RBI) doubled to left field and sent Lehner across. Kieli Ryan then singled to right center, allowing Carter to tag home.
In the top of the fourth, Dayton scored its first run. The Flyers loaded the bases and then sent a runner from third after tagging on a caught foul ball up the right field line.
In the fifth, Dayton followed up a double with a single and tied the score, 2-2. In the bottom half of the frame, Lehner and Carter both singled and advanced a base on an Ella White sacrifice bunt. The Bulldogs, however, where unable to put one across and take the lead.
After a scoreless sixth inning, the Flyers drew two walks in the top of the seventh and scored two on a double to right center field. Dayton took a 4-2 lead, and Butler was unable to answer in its final at bat.
Rylyn Dyer (3.0 IP, 2 H) started for Butler in the circle and did not allow a run. Sydney Cammon (2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, K) pitched the fourth and fifth innings. Kayla Noerr (0-3) finished the game and took the loss. In 2.0 innings, she allowed two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out one.
Cate Lehner’s stolen base was her ninth of the season.
Sydney Carter’s double was her fifth of the season and the seventh of her career.
Carter had three hits in a game for the second time in her career (3/26/23 at Providence).
Butler hosts Villanova for a three-game BIG EAST series from Thursday, Apr. 6 through Saturday, Apr. 8.
Butler women’s lacrosse travels to Colorado to face Denver on Wednesday. Both teams enter with a 1-0 conference record after winning their opening Big East games on Saturday.
Maggie Zentgraf is in her first season as head coach at Butler. She previously coached at Division III Lake Forest, going 11-4 in the program’s first-ever season.
The Bulldogs went 6-9 in the 2022 season, setting a program-record in wins.
Butler is currently on a three-game winning streak.
Freshman Kate Kaptrosky earned Big East Freshman of the Week honors for her performance against Xavier. She logged two goals, two groundballs, two draw controls and two caused turnovers.
As a team, Butler recorded their season high in goals (19), points (23), and shots on goal (30) against Xavier.
Last Time Out
Butler enters this game coming off their first Big East win in program history, defeating the Xavier Musketeers 19-12 on Saturday. As a team, Butler recorded their season high in goals (19), points (23), and shots on goal (30). The Bulldogs were led by Leah Rubino and Campbell Connors, who combined for nine goals. Six other players scored at least one goal, as Butler scored the fourth-most goals in a game in program history.
Denver is 6-0 in the all-time series versus Butler.
Denver is the only unbeaten team in the Big East.
Julia Gilbert won Big East Attacker of the Week for her performance in the Pioneers’ 17-4 win over Villanova.
Denver leads the conference in both turnovers per game (14) and caused turnovers per game (11.27).
The Pioneers went undefeated in the conference last season and 18-3 overall.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The IUPUI softball team picked up a midweek victory over Southern Indiana on Tuesday evening, 3-0. Freshman Alexa Holman earned her third win of the season while Carly Metcalf picked up her first save as the Jaguars blanked the Screaming Eagles.
IUPUI took the lead in the top of the third inning when Rachael Gregory grounded out to the shortstop scoring Kendal Calvert, 1-0. They extended their lead in the top of the sixth inning when Kennedy Warbritton grounded out to the second baseman scoring Maicey Bedrick, 2-0. The Jags added one more run in the sixth when Kasie Keyes scored on a passed ball, 3-0.
Holman earned the win throwing five scoreless innings giving up just one hit while fanning six batters. Metcalf earned her first save, throwing two scoreless with two strikeouts.
Kennedy Cowan, Calvert, Bedrick, Abbey Haas and Jaida Speth all collected a hit while Calvert and Bedrick each recorded a stolen base.
IUPUI is now 9-18 overall and will get back into Horizon League play when they host Purdue Fort Wayne for a three-game series this weekend, April 7-8.
BALL STATE ATHLETICS
BALL STATE BASEBALL
MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State baseball team returned to the friendly confines of the Ball Diamond at First Merchants Ballpark Complex on Tuesday for a non-conference contest with Bellarmine. Casey Turturici, Matthew Rivera, Hunter Dobbins, and Dylan Grego all blasted home runs as the Cardinals won 12-3.
With the victory, Ball State improved to 21-7 on the year, while Bellarmine fell to 8-21 on the season.
Decker Scheffler led off the home half of the first with a triple to left center. Ryan Peltier reached safely on an error to the third baseman. Andrew Wilhite grounded out to second and drove in Scheffler from third. Turturici launched a two-run home run over the left field wall for an opposite field shot. The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
The Knights tied it in the bottom of the third with three runs on three hits and on two Cardinal errors.
Dobbins notched a one-out single to left field to start the bottom of the fourth. Grego followed with a four-pitch walk. Nick Gregory singled through the right side and drove in Dobbins from second. BSU regained the lead, 4-3, after four innings of play.
Tellier drew a five-pitch walk to lead off the bottom of the fifth. He advanced to second on a stolen base and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. Wilhite doubled down the right field line and scored Tellier. Ball State extended its lead to 5-3.
Grego led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to the second baseman. Gregory single to center, a fielding error allowed Grego to score and Gregory to move up to second. Tellier notched a one-out single to the pitcher. Peltier drove in Gregory on a sac fly to right field. The Cardinals took a 7-3 lead into the seventh.
The bottom of the seventh for the Cardinals was something you do not see every day as Rivera, Dobbins, and Grego went back-to-back-to-back with solo home runs. The Cards took an 10-3 lead into the eighth inning.
Peltier started the bottom of the eighth off with a walk. He advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jalen Martinez drew a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Blake Bevis reached on a fielder’s choice as Martinez was out at second. CJ Horn drove in Peltier and Bevis with a double to left field. Ball State extended its lead to 12-3. Will Jacobson tossed a scoreless ninth as the Cardinals claimed a 12-3 victory.
Casey Bargo got the start on the mound for Ball State and got a no decision. He went 2 2/3 innings with one strikeout. He surrendered three runs, two earned, on three hits. Logan Schulfer picked up the victory in 4 1/3 innings. He recorded a career-high eight strikeouts and picked up his first career win. He improved to 1-0 on the season. Owen Quinn tossed a shutout inning. Jacobson threw one inning and had one strikeout.
Brady Morse got the start for the Knights. He gave up three runs, all unearned, on three hits. He struck out three batters. Cody Medley got the loss and fell to 1-1 on the year. He struck out one batter and surrendered two earned runs on three hits. Arren Hash, Paul Osting, and Crew Egan combined for three innings of relief and seven runs, five earned.
Ball State is back on the road for a four-game series at The Citadel on Thursday, April 6. First pitch is slated of for 5 p.m.
BALL STATE SOFTBALL
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – – In its final scheduled non-conference game of the season, the Ball State softball team suffered a 10-2 (6) setback to Notre Dame Tuesday evening at Melissa Cook Stadium.
After the Fighting Irish (21-10-1) put three runs on the board in the bottom of the second, senior designated player Amaia Daniel countered with a two-out, two-run single in the top of the third to bring the Cardinals (16-17) back within one.
Unfortunately, Notre Dame would counter with the final seven runs of the game.
In addition to getting Ball State’s first hit of the game, redshirt freshman shortstop McKenna Mulholland made a spectacular diving catch for Notre Dame’s second out of the day.
Freshman Bridie Murphy led the Cardinals in the circle, limiting the Irish to two hits and two runs over 2.0 innings of work.
Redshirt sophomore third baseman Emma Richards provided Ball State’s third hit of the game, a single to left field.
SCORING SUMMARY: Ball State 2 – Notre Dame 10 (6)
B2 | A two-out RBI single from Joley Mitchell opens the scoring in the game. (1-0)
B2 | A blooper to right by Karina Gaskins drives in two more runs. (3-0)
T3 | Daniel smashed a two-out, two-run single into center field, cutting the UND lead to one as Richards and junior center fielder Remington Ross scored. (3-2)
B3 | A solo home run from Leea Hanks doubles the Notre Dame lead. (4-2)
B4 | An RBI single up the middle from Lexi Orozco allows the Irish to reclaim the three-run lead. (5-2)
B4 | With runners at first and third, a throwing error on a stolen base attempt at second allows another run to score. (6-2)
B4 | Notre Dame scores another run on a double steal. (7-2)
B6 | A bases loaded comebacker to the circle allowed another UND run to score. (8-2)
B6 | A bases loaded walk bring home another Irish run. (9-2)
B6 | A two-out bases loaded single to short ends the game. (10-2)
FROM COACH SCHURR
This team has really stuck together from day one. Their goal is to continue to stick together good, bad, or ugly. That’s the best part about this team, they are going to put up a lot of fight. I am really excited about this weekend, because it means a lot to them to get back home and to get back into conference play.
Ball State returns home Friday to open a three-game series versus Toledo with a 3 p.m. first pitch at the Softball Field at First Merchants Ballpark Complex. The Cardinals and Rockets will also play a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday.
BALL STATE WGOLF
MUNCIE, Ind – The Ball State women’s golf team returned to the University Club at Arlington for the final round of the Colonel Classic on Tuesday. Jasmine Driscoll finished tied for 25th and led the Cardinals.
“After steady progress in our first three events this spring this week was a disappointment,” said Head Coach Cameron Andry. “We weren’t ready to compete, and the results showed that. We’ll get back to work and be ready to go next week as we close out the regular season.”
Driscoll rocketed up 20 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 25th with a three-round mark of 225 (+9). She added three birdies on the round and finished with a 72 (E). She moved her total to eight birdies and one eagle for the tournament.
Madelin Boyd and Payton Bennett both tied for 61st with a three-round score of 233 (+17). Boyd moved up six spots in the standings with a round of 77 (+5). Boyd finished with four birdies for the tournament. Bennett posted a final round of 78 (+6) and had six birdies across the three rounds.
Sarah Gallagher climbed 13 spots on the leaderboard and into a tie for 70th. She tallied four birdies and posted a 75 (+3). She notched six birdies for the tournament.
Peyton Broce moved up two spots on the leaderboard into 91st with a three-round total of 244 (+28). She collected two birdies for the tournament.
Ball State returns to the course on Saturday, April 15, for day one of the Lady Jaguar Invitational at the Plum Creek Golf Club.
1. Austin Peay – 997 (+23)
2. Illinois State – 889(+25)
T3. Georgia State – 890 (+26)
T3. Dayton – 890 (+26)
5. North Alabama – 895 (+31)
6. Eastern Kentucky – 901 (+37)
7. Morehead State – 903 (+39)
8. Butler – 905 (+41)
9. Bradley – 906 (+42)
10. Belmont – 910 (+46)
11. Bellarmine – 913 (+49)
12. Akron – 914 (+50)
13. Marshall – 922 (+58)
14. Cleveland State – 924 (+60)
15. Ball State – 926 (+62)
16. Ohio – 933 (+66)
NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS
NOTRE DAME SOFTBALL
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team earned a 10-2 six-inning victory over the visiting Ball State Cardinals Tuesday night at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Fighting Irish pitching staff struck out a season-high 11 hitters as the offense scored in four of the six innings to cruise to its 21st win of the season. Notre Dame improves to 21-10-1 on the season, while Ball State falls to 16-17.
Micaela Kastor started in the circle. The freshman threw 5.0 innings, allowing three hits, two runs, none earned and struck out a career-best eight hitters. Becker worked the sixth inning in relief, recording all three outs via a strikeout to put up a zero and set the stage for the Irish offense.
Notre Dame’s offense was led by a 3-for-4 effort from shortstop Lexi Orozco. Orozco added an RBI and scored a run in the victory. Leea Hanks added a 2-for-2 effort with a home run, as Carlli Kloss, Joley Mitchell, Karina Gaskins, Cassidy Grimm, Jane Kronenberger, Macie Eck and Miranda Johnson all added a hit in the victory.
How It Happened
The Irish started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. The bottom of the order loaded the bases with a pair of bunt singles sandwiching a traditional single up the middle. Mitchell brought in the first run with an infield single, and Gaskins brought in two as she looped a single down the line in right to put the Irish up 3-0.
Ball State answered with two runs of their own in the top of the third. An error and a walk put two on for Amaia Daniel who drove a single to the gap in right center to bring in two and cut the lead to 3-2.
Hanks pushed the lead to two with a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning.
Notre Dame rallied for three more in the bottom of the fourth. A lead-off walk and a single put two on for Grimm, who singled off the pitcher to bring in a run. With runners on the corners, Grimm stole second, and an error on the throw to second allowed Emily Tran, who pinch ran for Orozco, to score. Hanks was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners again, where another double steal was ran to perfection, scoring the runner from third to extend the lead to 7-2.
Three more came home for the home team in the sixth inning as the game was ended via the mercy rule. A one-out single, an error and a walk loaded the bases. Eck knocked a single back at the pitcher for an RBI and kept the bases loaded. Mac Vasquez drew a pinch-hit walk for the second run and an infield hit from Kloss brought in the game-ending run.
The Irish are back in action Thursday as they begin an ACC series at Louisville that will wrap up Saturday afternoon on ACC Network.
NOTRE DAME BASEBALL
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish took home their sixth win at home this year as they defeated the Northwestern Wildcats in a 12-0 victory at Frank Eck Stadium on Tuesday, April 4. The Fighting Irish advance to 15-11 on the season as the Wildcats fall to 3-20 on the year.
HOW IT HAPPENED
David Lally Jr. made his third start on the mound for the Irish, throwing his first two strikeouts of the day in the top of the first. Notre Dame would record one hit in the bottom frame, but it would be a scoreless ballgame heading into the second.
A strong second inning, would put the Irish ahead with a 6-0 advantage after recording six hits in the bottom frame. DM Jefferson got the party started with a single up the middle, followed by a hit by pitch from Nick DeMarco.
After the HBP, it was four consecutive base hits for the Irish, as Danny Neri, TJ Williams, Jack Penney, and Zack Prajzner each recorded their first hits of the day. Brooks Coetzee was hit by the pitch for the 21st time this season as he reached first and scored Williams. A Vinny Martinez double to right field scored Penney, Prajzner, and Coetzee as the Irish took the lead 6-0.
The Wildcats recorded two hits in the top of the third, but were held scoreless as Lally closed the frame with his third strikeout of the day.
Neri hit it deep to right field for a triple in the bottom of the fourth, followed by a sac bunt from Williams to score Neri and extend the Irish lead to 7-0. Carter Bosch struck out the side in the top of the fifth as the Irish continued to hold the Wildcats scoreless.
After scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth for both Northwestern and Notre Dame, the Irish recorded their eighth run of the day in the bottom of the sixth as Prajzner scored on a wild pitch.
Penney recorded his sixth home run of the season as he sent it over the left field fence in the seventh frame to score DeMarco and extend the Irish lead 10-0.
After going three up, three down in the top of the eighth, the Irish offense tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the inning. Brady Gumpf had a base hit up the middle and was scored by Joey Spence, who recorded his first career home run as he sent it out to deep left field to make it a 12-0 ballgame. The Irish held the Wildcats scoreless in the final frame to take home their 15th win of the season.
The Irish are back on the road for more ACC play as they head to Pittsburgh, PA to take on Pitt in a three-game series starting Thursday, April 6.
NOTRE DAME WGOLF
CHATTANOOGA, TN. – The Fighting Irish women’s golf team traveled to Tennessee for the Chattanooga Classic hosted by UT Chattanooga. The tournament was successful as the team claimed fifth place and the Irish saw Lauren Beaudreau take third place while Chloe Schiavone placed in the top 20. The Irish shot 293, 296, and 287 for a total 876 (+12) on the weekend.
The first round saw the Irish shoot 293 as a team. They were led by Beaudreau who finished with a 68 on the first round, and teammate Schiavone who was even with par at 72. Caroline Curtis shot a 75, while Montgomery Ferreira finished with a 78. Caroline Wrigley rounded out the scoring for the Irish with a 89 on the day.
Beaudreau continued her strong play in round 2 as she finished even with par. Curtis stayed on average as she shot a 74 on the day. Both Ferreira and Schiavone shot 75’s. Wrigley rounded out the day with an 83, helping the Irish to their final round score of 296.
The final round of the tournament was led by Beaudreau. She continued to shoot one under through her first 11 holes of the round. She finished the day shooting one under with a final round score of 71. Teammate Schiavone also shot one under in her third round while Wrigley shot an even par with five birdies. Ferreira rounded out the scoring for the Irish with a 73 and Curtis finished the day with a score of 79.
The Irish return to the course for ACC Championships April 13 through April 16.
Notre Dame Finishes:
Lauren Beaudreau: 68, 72, 71= 211
T16. Chloe Shciavone: 72, 75, 71=218
T42. Montgomery Ferreira: 78, 75, 73 = 226
T50. Caroline Curtis: 75, 74, 79= 228
Caroline Wrigley: 89, 83, 72 =244
Team Finishes (Ranking):
T10. Central Arkansas
12. East Tennessee St.
INDIANA STATE ATHLETICS
INDIANA STATE BASEBALL
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Cameron Holycross turned in another dominant relief outing and Luis Hernandez and Randal Diaz both homered as the Sycamores shutout the visiting Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday night at Bob Warn Field, 4-0.
Cam Edmonson went the first 1.1 innings in the start before turning the ball over to Holycross (2-0) in the top of the second. The ISU redshirt junior was masterful over the next 4.2 innings utilizing 72 pitches and limiting the Hoosiers to three hits while striking out four in keeping the shutout intact.
The Sycamore (15-12) defense turned double plays in both the eighth and ninth innings in support of reliever Jared Spencer (S, 2). Adam Pottinger robbed an IU (20-9) home run at the left field wall in the eighth and Spencer retired the final out on strikes to complete ISU’s fourth shutout of the Hoosiers in the all-time series between the two teams.
Hernandez connected on his second home run of the season in the bottom of the third inning to provide the Sycamores all the run support they would need, while Randal Diaz added his third home run in the last four games to power the Sycamores to the win. Josue Urdaneta and Pottinger both added RBI singles as ISU snapped a six-game home losing streak to the Hoosiers dating back to 2015.
Urdaneta and Pottinger both recorded multi-hit games in the win, while the duo and Miguel Rivera added doubles in the contest. Seth Gergely, Urdaneta, and Diaz were all hit by pitches as ISU extended their Missouri Valley lead in the category to 54.
Brock Tibbitts and Tyler Cerny both doubled for Indiana as the Hoosiers were limited to eight hits on the windy day at Bob Warn Field.
Indiana reliver Cooper Katskee (0-1) took the loss after giving up the Hernandez home run as Indiana utilized seven pitchers on the mound in the Tuesday night contest. Ty Bothwell went 1.2 innings in the start, while Brooks Ey went two scoreless innings with four strikeouts for the Hoosiers on the mound.
The Sycamores avenged their 15-5 loss to the Hoosiers in Bloomington back on March 21 to split the season series against IU.
How They Scored
Luis Hernandez put the Sycamores on the board in the bottom of the third inning as the sophomore designated hitter drove a 2-1 offering down the left field line and over the wall to put ISU ahead 1-0.
Josue Urdaneta plated ISU’s second run in the game in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single up the middle scoring Mike Sears to give the Sycamores the 2-0 lead.
ISU added two runs in the bottom of the seventh on Randal Diaz’s leadoff solo home run and Adam Pottinger’s RBI single to provide the final 4-0 margin.
News & Notes
Tuesday’s win snapped a six-game losing streak to IU dating back to April 11, 2017.
The Sycamores’ 4-0 shutout over the Hoosier marked the fourth time Indiana State has held IU scoreless in the all-time series between the two programs.
All the other three ISU shutout wins in the series also came in Terre Haute. Prior to tonight, the last ISU shutout over the Hoosiers came back on April 16, 1985 (5-0). Other shutout wins include May 4, 1974 (2-0), and May 16, 1967 (2-0).
Indiana State’s shutout win also marked ISU’s first shutout of the 2023 season. The Sycamores posted three shutout wins last year, including an 8-0 victory over Valparaiso back on May 25, 2022, at the MVC Championships.
Mike Sears extended his career best on-base streak to 23 consecutive games after drawing a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. The walk gives Sears the seventh-longest on-base streak dating back to 2011.
Luis Hernandez extended his on-base streak to 20 games following his walk in the bottom of the first inning. He went 1-for-3 from the plate including his third-inning solo home run.
Sears and Hernandez become just the fourth pair of ISU teammates to post 20-plus game on-base streaks dating back to 2015 joining Romero Harris (31) and Jarrod Watkins (22) (2018), Andy Young (25) and Hunter Owen (22) (2016), and Andy DeJesus (29) and Andy Young (21) (2015).
Keegan Watson ran his on-base streak to 15 consecutive games and his hitting streak to 11 games following his seventh-inning single.
Seth Gergely extended his on-base streak to 11 games after reaching on a walk in the bottom of the first inning. He was also hit by a pitch in the second inning to make him the second ISU player to reach double-digit hit-by-pitches this season (Adam Pottinger, 11).
Cameron Holycross continues to dominate on the mound as the redshirt junior dropped his season ERA to 0.47 in picking up his second win of the season.
Holycross has gone 17.2 innings without allowing an earned run dating back to the fifth inning at Miami (Fla.) back on February 22.
Cam Edmonson made his second start on the mound in 2023 on Tuesday night. He previously earned the start back on March 7 against SEMO this season. The Sycamores move to 2-0 in his starts on the year.
Jared Spencer picked up his second save of the season in the third 3.0-inning relief stint of the season.
Luis Hernandez homered for the first time since Feb. 22 at Miami (Fla.).
Randal Diaz has homered for the third time in the last four games after going deep in the first two games of the weekend series at UIC. He currently sits second on the team behind Mike Sears (9) with six home runs in 2023.
It marked the second time in Diaz’s career he’s hit three home runs in a four-game stretch. Last season he homered in three consecutive games against Indiana, Illinois, and the series opener against Evansville (Apr. 12-22, 2022).
Josue Urdaneta’s two-hit day gave him a team-leading 10 multi-hit games in the 2023 season.
Indiana State moves to 2-0 on $2 Hot Dog night at Bob Warn Field in the 2023 season after previously topping Purdue, 8-2, on March 28.
Indiana State continues Missouri Valley play this weekend as the Sycamores welcome Illinois State to Bob Warn Field for a three-game series running from April 7-9. First pitch in Friday’s opener is set for 6:30 p.m. All three games will be streamed live on 105.5 The Legend.
INDIANA STATE SOFTBALL
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Isabella Henning sent the first pitch of her at-bat in the bottom of the ninth over the wall in left field to send Indiana State past the Purple Aces with a 3-2 victory.
The Sycamores (18-17, 7-3) finished with 10 hits in the extra inning contest while Evansville (17-18, 3-7) finished with six.
The Purple Aces got out to an early lead, scoring a run in the opening frame and were able to chase ISU starter Lexi Benko in the top of the second. She was replaced by Lauren Sackett.
Sackett would throw four innings , striking out four Evansville hitters and only allowing one hit.
Indiana State loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, chasing Purple Aces starter Sydney Weatherford who went 4.1 innings. ISU then tied the game as Isabella Henning drew a walk to make it a 1-1 game. Evansville was able to get out of the inning with limited damage.
Hailey Griffin entered for ISU in the sixth and would go 3.1 innings, striking out three batters.
The game remained scoreless until the ninth inning where Evansville launched a lead off solo home run to left field to go up 2-1. With one out in the inning, TeAnn Bringle turned a double play, catching a line drive and throwing back to first to end the inning.
With one away in the bottom of the ninth, Danielle Henning singled to center field. On the very next pitch, Isabella Henning sent a ball over the fence in left field to walk off Evansville and give ISU a 3-2 win.
Hailey Griffin got the win for the Sycamores and improved to 3-1 on the season.
Indiana State will host Northern Iowa for a three-game MVC series beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. ET at Price Field.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE ATHLETICS
PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL
INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue Fort Wayne’s Ben Higgins has been named the #HLBASE Batter of the Week, the league announced on Tuesday (April 4).
Higgins became the first Mastodons to hit three home runs in a game sinec 2016 in the Mastodons’ 12-9 victory at Youngstown State on Friday. On the week, Higgins finished with eight RBIs, eight runs, five hits, two walks and a stolen base. He had a double to go with his three home runs.
Higgins helped the ‘Dons to a series win at Youngstown State.
This is Higgins’ second career weekly award from the Horizon League.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Down 8-2 after two innings, the University of Evansville baseball team rallied on Tuesday for a wild 12-10 come-from-behind victory over the host Purdue Boilermakers at Alexander Field in West Lafayette, Indiana. The win marked UE’s seventh-straight win over Big Ten competition, and its nation-leading eighth-straight road victory.
“Our guys showed a lot of character and a lot of heart tonight,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll. “Purdue really earned that early lead, as they were producing a lot of barrels very early on. But, we had different guys step up to help us pick up this win.
“I thought that Michael Parks did a great job of putting zeros up on the scoreboard and righting the ship for us from a pitching standpoint, and then I thought everyone up and down our lineup stepped up and came through when we needed it. I think this win can really kick-start us into something very special.”
Evansville took an early 2-0 lead on solo home runs by fifth-year first baseman Chase Hug and sophomore designated hitter Evan Waggoner in the first two innings. For Hug, it was his seventh home run of the year, while Waggoner’s home run was his first collegiate home run at UE.
The lead would be short-lived, though, as the Boilermakers would explode for eight runs in the bottom of the second inning, as eight-straight batters reached base, capped by a three-run home run by catcher Connor Caskenette. But, the game was far from over.
UE junior catcher Brendan Hord would score Hug with a two-out RBI single in the top of the third inning, before Waggoner would add a two-run double later in the frame to cut the Purdue lead to 8-5. Parks would then go to work on the mound, and retire the final nine men he faced over the next three innings to keep the score 8-5.
Senior reliever Jakob Meyer would work a scoreless bottom of the sixth to keep the score 8-5, before Evansville would rally for five runs in the seventh inning to take a 10-8 lead. After fifth-year outfielder Eric Roberts doubled to lead off the frame, Hug walked and junior shortstop Simon Scherry followed with an RBI single to score the frame’s first run.
An RBI ground out by Hord would get UE back within one run, before senior third baseman Brent Widder produced an RBI single to tie the game at 8-8. Sophomore centerfielder Ty Rumsey would then follow two batters later with a two-out, two-run home run to right field to give UE a 10-8 lead.
Purdue would answer right back with a two-run home run of its own in the bottom of the seventh inning, but UE would respond with two runs in the top of the eighth inning to grab a 12-10 lead. Hug plated fifth-year outfielder Danny Borgstrom with an RBI double in the frame, and Hord followed two batters later with an RBI single to produce the final margin of victory. Graduate reliever John MacCauley and redshirt-junior closer Nate Hardman combined to shut down Purdue over the final two frames to help UE snap a four-game losing streak.
Hug went 3-for-4 and finished a triple shy of the cycle to lead UE offensively. He also scored four runs and drove in two. Hord also went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI, while Waggoner, Widder and Scherry all had two-hit efforts as well.
With the win, Evansville improves to 17-11 overall. Purdue, meanwhile, falls to 12-15. The Purple Aces will now return to German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium this weekend for a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series against Valparaiso. The series begins Friday night at 6 p.m. and all three games of the series can be heard live in Evansville on 107.1 FM-WJPS and the Old National Bank/Purple Aces Sports Network from Learfield.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – After Jess Willsey gave the University of Evansville softball team a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth, Isabella Henning with a 2-run game-winning home run in the bottom of the frame to give Indiana State a 3-2 win at Price Field.
A low-scoring contest saw the Purple Aces score a run in the first with the Sycamores matching it with a score in the bottom of the fifth. The game went to extra innings with ISU rallying for the victory.
Evansville had a quick start to the day was Marah Wood crossed the plate in the top of the first to make it a 1-0 game. After reaching on a leadoff single, Wood stole second and scored on a ground out by Zoe Frossard. Taylor Howe also picked up a single in the inning.
Over the next six innings, the Purple Aces racked up just two hits. Sydney Weatherford threw the first 4 1/3 innings with just one earned run scoring on seven hits. The Sycamores saw the tying run score in the bottom of the fifth on a bases loaded walk.
Things remained knotted at 1-1 as the game entered the 9th when Jess Willey approached the plate. She drove the first pitch over the left field wall to put Evansville in front at 2-1. With one out in the bottom of the inning, a single by Danielle Henning brought up Isabella Henning, who sent the first pitch she saw out of the ballpark for the walk-off triumph.
Wood picked up two of UE’s six hits on the day. Weatherford gave up one run in her start while Megan Brenton tossed four frames and allowed two earned runs on three hits.
This weekend, UE is back home for a 3-game series versus Southern Illinois.
SILVIS, Ill. – Michael Ikejiani recorded a 1-under 70 in Tuesday’s final round of the WIU Invite to earn an 8th-place finish for the University of Evansville men’s golf team.
Ikejiani completed the opening two rounds at TPC at Deere Run with a total of 151 strokes. His scores checked in at 75 and 76 before his leap on Tuesday. His tie for 8th led the Purple Aces.
Coming in second on the team was Nicholas Gushrowski. Following a 3-over 74 in Monday’s second round, Gushrowski posted a 78 earlier today. His 229 tied him for the 25th spot.
Masatoyo Kato completed the tournament with a 230. His low round of the tournament was a 1-over 72 in the second 18 holes while his 80 on Tuesday earned him a tie for 28th. Next up was Henry Kiel. An 84 in round three gave him a 234 for the weekend. His score tied him for 39th.
Caleb Wassmer had a solid final round. While a 77 in the first 18 holes was his low round of the event, Wassmer carded a 78 on Tuesday. His 236 was tied for 44th place. Luke Schneider wrapped up the UE contingent, posting a 3-round total of 250. His final round finished at an 83.
David Ayala of Western Illinois took top individual honors. Hs final round finished at a 2-under 69 to give him a 3-round score of 213. He defeated Carter Doose of Omaha by one shot.
St. Thomas rallied to take the team victory. Their 292 marked the lowest team score of the day and gave them an 881. South Dakota came home in second with an 887 while the Aces took the 6th spot with a 907.
Next week, the men will take part in the Big Blue Intercollegiate, which is hosted by Tennessee State.
SOUTHERN INDIANA ATHLETICS
SOUTHERN INDIANA SB
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Softball concluded a four-game homestand with a non-conference, midweek contest against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Tuesday afternoon, as the Screaming Eagles fell 3-0 to the Jaguars.
Following the game at USI Softball Field, Southern Indiana’s overall record moved to 12-16 while IUPUI improved to 9-18 this season.
IUPUI scored the game’s first run in the top of the third inning on an RBI groundout. The Jaguars’ freshman pitcher, Alexa Holman, held USI hitless through 4.2 innings. USI sophomore outfielder Olivia Howard (Fishers, Indiana) made the breakthrough for Southern Indiana with a single to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning.
USI freshman pitcher Kylie Eads (Indianapolis, Indiana) made her first start of the season. Eads got her defense involved in the early going, pitching to contact. Eads went four innings, allowing one unearned off four hits with one strikeout. She was charged her second loss of the season.
Freshman pitcher Raegan Gibson (Louisville, Kentucky) took the ball from Eads in relief to start the fifth inning. Gibson tossed a clean fifth inning, but IUPUI doubled its lead to 2-0 with an RBI groundout in the top of the sixth inning. The Jaguars increased its advantage to 3-0 before the end of the inning and held on the rest of the game.
IUPUI’s Holman moved to 3-3 on the season after getting credited with Tuesday’s win. Holman surrendered one hit in five innings with six strikeouts. The Jaguars’ junior pitcher Carly Metcalf pitched the last two innings to earn the save.
The Screaming Eagles will return to Ohio Valley Conference play Friday and Saturday with three games at Eastern Illinois University. Friday’s doubleheader from Charleston, Illinois begins at 1 p.m., while Saturday’s contest is slated for a 12 p.m. first pitch. All three games can be seen with a subscription to ESPN+ and heard on The Spin 95.7 FM. Additional coverage links are on the USI Softball schedule page on usiscreamingeagles.com.
SOUTHERN INDIANA MGOLF
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Golf completed the Ernie Denham Classic in Louisville, Kentucky with a tied for second-place finish after shooting an 869 (+5) as a team. All five competitors for the Screaming Eagles finished in the top 30 while three finished in the top 25.
The Eagles finished the tournament with the lowest average par-four score with a 4.13 average score. USI also finished with the most pars recorded, 171, and third most birdies, 45.
Senior Zach Williams (Mt. Vernon, Illinois) led the Eagles with a tied for third-place finish after shooting a 211 (-5), 72-69-70. Williams’ 211 is the tied for the lowest 54-hole score in USI history, the second time an Eagle has scored that low this spring when sophomore Jason Bannister (Laguna Niguel, California) scored a 211 at the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate. Williams finished with the second lowest average score on par-four holes on the tournament, averaging an even 4.00. He also recorded the most birdies on the tournament with 15.
Juniors Bryce Kirchner (North Vernon, Indiana) and Jace Day (Bloomington, Indiana) were the other two top-25 finishers for USI. Kirchner finished in a tie for 17th after shooting a 291 (+3), 74-72-73, while Day finished in a tie for 21st after he finished the tournament with a 220 (+4), 70-77-73. Day finished with the fourth lowest average score recorded on par-four holes, averaging a 4.10 as well as the second most pars on the tournament with 38.
Bannister and freshman Carter Goebel (Breese, Illinois) rounded out the scorers for the Eagles. Bannister finished in a tie for 27th after shooting a 222 (+6), 73-75-74, while Goebel finished in a tie for 30th with a 223 (+7), 75-76-72. Goebel finished the tournament with the most pars recorded on the tournament with 39.
Junior Trevor Laub (Edwardsville, Illinois) competed in the tournament as an individual and finished tied for 55th after shooting a 231 (+15), 79-74-78.
Up Next for USI:
USI returns to the course next April 10-11 as they head to Batavia, Ohio to compete in The Jewell hosted by Northern Kentucky University at Elks Run Golf Course.
SOUTHERN INDIANA WGOLF
MURRAY, Ken. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Golf completed three rounds at the Jan Weaver Invitational hosted by Murray State University and finish fifth out of seven teams Tuesday afternoon at the Miller Memorial Golf Course.
The Screaming Eagles used a two-round opening day to position themselves in sixth place after shooting 341 and 323 in the first and second rounds, respectively. Junior Haylee Exline (Poseyville, Indiana) highlighted USI’s team effort with a two-round 157 (+13) to sit in a tie for 15th. Also cracking the top 25 was junior Halle Gutwein (DeMotte, Indiana) who finished 22-over-par (166) to tie for 24th.
Round three pushed the Eagles up to fifth place after shooting 34-over-par (336). Exline completed the tournament in a tie for 17th with a 237 (+21) to earn her best rank this season and second-best three-round score this season. Gutwein totaled 244 (+28) to place a tie for 21st to secure her best finish in the 2022-23 campaign.
Murray State University sat atop the podium with a two-day score of 898 (+34) while the Racers’ Payton Carter won the tournament shooting at par in all three rounds.
NEXT UP FOR THE EAGLES:
The Eagles compete in the Ohio Valley Conference Championship April 16-18 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals. This will be the first postseason appearance for USI in NCAA Division I history.
SOUTHERN INDIANA BASEBALL
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — University of Southern Indiana Baseball comes home to host Southeast Missouri State University in Ohio Valley Conference action this weekend at the USI Baseball Field. The three-game series starts Thursday at 6 p.m. before continuing Friday at 6 p.m. and concluding Saturday at noon.
The Screaming Eagles (8-20) are fresh off their first OVC victory after salvaging the series finale at Lindenwood University. Links to follow USI versus SEMO this weekend can be found on the Eagles’ baseball schedule at USIScreamingEagles.com.
USI Baseball Notes:
Eagles snap losing streak: The USI Screaming Eagles snapped an 11-game losing streak to salvage a game out of the three-game set at Lindenwood University. USI lost the first two games of the series by the same score, 6-3.
Leading at the plate last week: Senior catcher/infielder Lucas McNew (Floyds Knobs, Indiana) led USI last week at the plate, hitting .471 (8-17) with five runs scored, a double, a triple, and four RBIs. Junior infielder Jack Ellis (Jeffersonville, Indiana) drove in a team-high five RBIs in the four games.
Leading hitters: Sophomore outfielder Drew Taylor (Jefferson, Indiana) leads USI this season with a .349 batting average (15-43). Sophomore shortstop Ricardo Van Grieken (Venezuela) (16-46) follows with a .345 batting average (20-58), while junior first baseman Tucker Ebest (Austin, Texas) has a team-best 25 RBIs and four home runs.
Taylor has the hottest bat: Sophomore outfielder Drew Taylor has the hottest bat for the Eagles over the last 10 games. Taylor is hitting .412 over the last 10 games (7-17) with a double and two RBIs.
McNew climbing the USI All-Time charts: Senior catcher/infielder Lucas McNew is sixth all-time at USI in home runs (21); tied for eighth in RBIs (145) and 10th in doubles (45).
In OVC Play: In the first six games of OVC action, senior catcher/infielder Lucas McNew is leading USI by batting .375 with five runs scored, one double, one triple, and four RBIs. Sophomore shortstop Ricardo Van Grieken, junior outfielder Drew Taylor, and junior infielder Jack Ellis follow McNew with .333 batting averages. Junior left-hander Blake Ciuffetelli (Newburgh, Indiana) leads the Eagles on the mound during OVC play with a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 innings of work out of the bullpen.
Eagles among the OVC leaders: USI has several players among the OVC leaders.
Sophomore infielder Ricardo Van Grieken: fifth in batting average (.345)
Senior outfielder Evan Kahre (Evansville, Indiana): third in triples (3); third in stolen Bases (10)
Freshman infielder Caleb Niehaus (Newburgh, Indiana): tied eighth in hits (33); seventh in triples (2)
Junior outfielder Ren Tachioka (Japan): tied seventh in triples (2)
Junior designated hitter/infielder Tucker Ebest: fifth in RBIs (25)
SEMO in 2023: Southeast Missouri State University enters the week with a 16-14 overall and a front-running 5-1 in the OVC after completing a series sweep of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock last weekend. SEMO, who has won four-straight and eight of their last 10 games, is scheduled to play Murray State Tuesday before visiting USI.
USI vs. SEMO: USI leads the all-time series with SEMO, 26-23, and will be playing the Redhawks for the first time since 1994. SEMO swept the last doubleheader in 1994, but USI has won eight of the last 10 games between 1990 and 1994.
Valpo softball senior Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) delivered a two-run homer three batters into Tuesday’s game at UIC, which proved to be enough offense for Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) and the Beacons’ defense as Valpo earned a 2-1 win in MVC play in Chicago.
How It Happened
Fifth-year Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) watched four straight pitches go by to lead off the game with a walk. She then stole second base during Kehlenbrink’s at-bat, one pitch before the senior launched a shot over the wall in left-center to give Valpo a 2-0 lead.
That turned out to be the only runs Valpo scored on the day, but it wasn’t for lack of baserunners. The Beacons had at least one runner in scoring position in five of the seven innings, but went just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
For Seib on this day, though, two runs were plenty to work with. The first threat against her came in the third, as UIC led off the frame with three straight singles. But the initial base hit was erased on a caught stealing from Kehlenbrink to Herschbach, and Seib picked up consecutive outs with runners on first and second to end the inning.
Those two outs started a stretch of eight straight batters retired by Seib.
UIC started out the bottom of the sixth with consecutive singles, and back-to-back groundouts plated the Flames’ first run of the game and moved the potential tying run to third base with two outs. Once again, Seib induced a grounder, this one to first for the third out of the inning to maintain the 2-1 lead.
Seib quickly got back-to-back grounders back to the circle for the first two outs of the seventh, but a single and a hit by pitch put the potential tying and winning runs on base for UIC. Facing the Flames’ leadoff hitter, Seib went to her changeup on each of the first two pitches of the at-bat to get a pair of strikes looking, and working well ahead in the count, was able to get a ground ball to second to close out the victory.
Inside the Game
Tuesday’s game renewed a longstanding rivalry, as Valpo and UIC met for the 87th time — the most-common opponent in Valpo history.
Valpo has won each of its last three games against the Flames in Chicago.
Kehlenbrink’s home run was her second of the season and the ninth of her career.
The Beacons have hit three home runs over the last five games after entering last week with just one on the season.
Juniors Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) and Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) both had two-hit games, pairing a single with a double. Hecker’s double, which moved her into a tie for the team lead this year, was a first-inning shot which hit off the top of the outfield wall.
Johnson’s 2-for-4 day pushed her batting average in Valley play to .304, a team best.
Sophomore Kaiah Fenters (Speedway, Ind./Speedway) registered the first extra-base hit of her collegiate career with a second-inning double.
The lone player still on the roster from the last time Valpo and UIC met in 2019, Herschbach reached base twice as well on Tuesday with a bunt single and a walk. She leads the team with 13 free passes this year.
Seib threw a complete game for the second straight game, improving to 3-12 on the season with the victory. She scattered six hits and did not walk a single batter while allowing just the one run, throwing 67 of her 93 pitches for strikes.
Valpo (4-25, 1-9 MVC) continues Valley play by visiting another conference newcomer this weekend, as the Beacons trek to Murray, Ky. for a three-game series at Murray State. The series is slated to begin on Friday evening at 5 p.m.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.— UIndy student-athlete Emily O’Connor was named the Louisville Slugger / NFCA Division II Player of the Week, announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Tuesday. The junior third baseman led the Greyhounds to a perfect 7-0 record last week while amassing six home runs and 16 RBI.
A product of New Palestine, Ind., O’Connor compiled lofty team-leading totals in batting average (.542), on-base percentage (.577) and slugging (1.417), notching at least one hit, one run and one RBI in all seven contests.
She blasted nine extra-base hits on the week, including six round trippers. She drove in five runs in game 2 at in-region Ohio Dominican on Wednesday and four in the opener versus Quincy on Sunday.
O’Connor is first Greyhound since 2017 to garner weekly honors from the NFCA, and just the second position player.
UINDY NFCA POTW HISTORY
Jennifer DeMotte, pitcher, 02/23/11
Jennifer DeMotte, pitcher, 03/21/12
Morgan Foley, pitcher, 03/27/13
Morgan Foley, pitcher, 04/22/15
Morgan Foley, pitcher, 03/02/16
Natalie Lalich, player, 03/22/17
Emily O’Connor, player, 04/04/23
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The streaking UIndy softball team remained at No. 6 in the latest NFCA Division II Coaches Poll, released Tuesday. In fact, the entire top 12 remained static, including unanimous No. 1 North Georgia. The Greyhounds are riding a 17-game win streak and are now 33-3 overall.
NFCA DII COACHES POLL
|RK||TEAM (1st-place votes)||PTS||REC||PREV|
|1.||North Georgia (16)||400||37-1||1|
|7.||Grand Valley State||300||20-3||7|
|14.||West Texas A&M||190||32-4||16|
|21.||Cal State San Marcos||78||20-11||19|
|24.||Cal State Dominguez Hills||26||21-10||23|
Others receiving votes: Southern Arkansas (18), Nova Southeastern (7), Carson-Newman (5), Wilmington (5), Charleston (2), Missouri Southern (2), Oklahoma Christian (2).
BLACKLICK, Ohio—The UIndy women’s golf team made the most of its final event before the postseason, earning both team and individual titles at the NC4K College Classic, held at Jefferson Country Club in Blacklick, Ohio Monday and Tuesday. Grad student Elyse Stasil led a slew of Greyhounds at the top of the leaderboard, sharing medalist honors with a 36-hole score of +3.
“I’m really proud of this team today,” shared head coach Brent Nicoson. “We have to give a ton of credit to Tiffin who played extremely well and had the lead on multiple occasions on the front nine. We bounced back and played under par after trailing and that’s great to see.”
Stasil carded scores of 75-72 to share first place before losing a sudden-death playoff versus Tiffin’s Amanda Johansson. She was one of four Greyhounds to finish at T-6 or better, as the quartet combined to shoot one-under par on the final nine holes to secure the win.
“Ava (Ray) got hot and played a stretch of bogey-free holes at -5 which was a huge key for our win,” Nicoson elaborated. “Elyse continued to lead and although she is disappointed not winning the playoff, she continues to play very good golf. Anci (Dy) was very close to winning as well, so we are starting to head in the right direction.
“Winning is hard and it feels good to get this team victory. We had great family support in Columbus, which makes the win even more special.”
Sophomore Anci Dy (+4) finished one back of the two medalists with scores of 71-77. Ava Ray (+9) and Catharina Graf (+9) shared sixth place, while Katelyn Skinner (T-21) rounded out to team scoring at +15.
Two more Hounds excelled as individuals, with freshmen Macey Brown (+11) and Alice Webb (+13) placing 13th and 17th, respectively. Sophomore Ellen Caton (+28) earned 57th.
The Greyhounds are off to the GLVC Championships April 21-23. This year’s conference tournament will be held at Paradise Point Golf Course just north of Kansas City, Mo.
INDIANAPOLIS – Hammering home 23 runs over two games, the Marian softball team made quick work of Taylor University in their Tuesday afternoon doubleheader, as the Knights claimed a 12-0 and 11-2 sweep in back to back five inning games. Marian’s pair of wins increases their win streak to 25 consecutive, as the 25-1 Knights improve to 14-0 in Crossroads League play.
GAME 1 | Marian 12-0 Taylor | 5 Innings
Marian wasted little time jumping on the board in the first inning after a flawless inning pitched by Olivia Stunkel, plating four runs in the opening frame. Savannah Harweger drew a lead-off walk, and after a seven-pitch at-bat, Jenna Minnix ripped a pitch out and over the left field wall, homering for the second time this season for the games opening runs. Three batters later after Grace Meyer reached on a fielder’s choice, Hayley Greene unloaded on a first pitch fastball, hammering a home run to dead center, with her fireworks leaving Marian in front 4-0 after one.
Stunkel shook off a single in the second and got another run on the board from the offense in the home half, as Meyer added an RBI double to her game totals to make the lead 5-0. The offense continued to shine in the third inning after Stunkel completed her outing with a three-up, three-down frame, as Abby Madere led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, and Savannah Baker charged a double three pitches later. Madere would come in to score on a wild throw to the plate after Brooke Knox flew out to left field. Brenna Fink added an RBI with a pinch hit double, and Minnix drove in a run after reaching on an error.
With two outs against the Knights, Sierra Norman and Meyer loaded the bases on free passes, setting up Greene who ripped a two RBI double. Madere finished the inning with a two RBI single, ending the third with Marian on top 12-0. The lead stood over the final two innings, as Abigail McPherson threw two strong innings of relief. McPherson stranded two runners in scoring position in the fourth to keep the shutout going, and in the fifth picked up a strikeout in a perfect frame, ending the 12-0 victory in five innings.
Greene finished the first game 2-3 with four RBI, while Madere had a pair of RBI in her 1-2 outing. Baker went 2-2, as the only other Knight with two hits in the game. Harweger would see her 25-game hit streak snap as she failed to get a hit in game one, but extended her on-base streak to 26 games by walking. Stunkel (12-0) earned the win throwing three innings, allowing one batter to reach base in her shortened outing, striking out three against the lone hit.
GAME 2 | Marian 11-2 Taylor | 5 Innings
Like game one, Marian wasted no time scoring after Sydney Wilson got a double play from her defense to face the minimum in the first, driving in a pair in the first frame. Harweger restarted her hit-streak with a lead-off single, and two batters later the hits kept coming as Sierra Norman and Grace Meyer roped back to back doubles, with Norman’s driving in the shortstop. Norman would score on a sacrifice fly tagged into right field by Greene, ending the first inning with Marian in front 2-0.
Taylor would answer with their first run of the doubleheader in the top of the second as a lead-off double came around to score on a base hit, but Wilson was able to hold the damage to one by forcing a lineout to shortstop for the final out of the frame. The offense came back and answered the score with seven more runs in the bottom of the second, as the Knights hit two home runs in the inning. Anna Pritchett scored on a two-run shot launched by Harweger that cleared the right field fence. The bats kept swinging with Minnix reaching third on a bunt single and two-base error, scoring moments later on an RBI single from Norman. Meyer would walk to put a second runner on base, and Greene again swung for the fences, turning on an 0-1 pitch for her second home run of the day, driving the three-run shot out of left field to drive the score to 8-1.
Marian’s large lead would take a small dent in the third as Taylor managed to get one more run off of Wilson as she walked in a run, but the senior was able to end the inning with the bases loaded as she forced an infield groundout. Leading 8-2 going into the home half, Marian would begin to rotate the bench unit into the game, scoring three runs in the final two innings. In the third a pair of walks and Harweger single loaded the bases, allowing Minnix and Norman to record RBI with a walk and single. Mackenzie Dalton made a pair of defensive outs in the fourth to back up Jaylah Guillium who entered to pitch, and in the bottom a run crossed the board as Brenna Fink scored Abbi Wirey with an RBI single.
Guilliam relied on her defense to end the game in the field, as the junior picked up three outs in the last of her two perfect innings, with a diving catch from Anna Pritchett highlighting the final inning in the 11-2 victory. Wilson earned the win in the circle to move to 11-0 on the year, allowing four hits and four walks in her three innings of work.
At the plate in the second act, Harweger was a perfect 3-3 with two RBI, while Norman was 2-2 with three RBI. Greene finished 1-2 with four RBI to end the day with eight runs batted in, adding her second home run of the afternoon. Dalton and Maddy Trisler each had one of Marian’s 11 base hits in the win.
Marian will look to defend their home turf and winning streak once more on Thursday afternoon, taking on St. Francis at 3 p.m. at the Marian SB Diamond.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Marian women’s golf team turned in another record performance at the Midway Eagle Invitational on Monday and Tuesday, as the Knights set the 36-hole record in their first-place finish for back-to-back weeks setting a record.
Marian was top of the field after day one of the invite with a total score of 304, three strokes better than Milligan who was in second. The Knights continued their success on day two, as they shot a 311 for a total score of 615 across the two-day invite. Milligan finished runner-up, while St. Thomas (Fla.) came in third.
MacKendzie Dresbaugh led the charge on day one, as shot two over par with a 74 to lead the field of 50. Sidney Parmer and Keara Eder were four over par after shooting a 76 to sit in a tie for third, while Ava Hedrick rounded out the top-10 for Marian with a 78. Elizabeth Hedrick and Lili Schneider finish out the Knights’ golfers with Hedrick scoring an 82, while Schneider finished with a 100 after the first round.
On Tuesday, Parmer posted her best score of the tournament to lead the Knights on day two with a 74 to finish with a 150 to finish first. Dresbaugh carded a 79 to finish in a tie for third with her total score of 153, while Eder also tied for third with her 153 total after shooting a 77. Ava Hedrick finished top-15 with her 159 score after carding an 81 on the final day. Elizabeth Hedrick rounded out the finishers for Marian with her 23rd place finish as she finished day two with an 88 for a total of 170. Schneider posted a 114 to total 214.
Marian will be back in action on Monday when they compete in Noblesville at Indiana Wesleyan’s Sagamore Shootout.
Lexington, Ky. – The Marian men’s golf team returned to the links after a three week lay-off in the schedule, placing fourth in their return as the Knights competed at the Midway Spring Invite, hosted at the University Club of Kentucky. Patrick Guymon led the Knights in the event, placing fourth individually in the two-round tournament.
Indiana Wesleyan won the tournament, scoring consecutive rounds of 293 to end the event with a 586 score. St. Thomas (Fla.) finished second in the field with a 593 score, while Milligan edged out the Knights with their third place score of 598. Marian shot a 298 in the first round, and a 305 in the second to end with a 603 score.
Patrick Guymon led Marian with his fourth place finish, continuing his strong spring with back to back rounds of 73, ending with a total score of 146 on his card. Guymon was followed by Nolan Potter for Marian, who finished tied for 21st with a 76+77=153. Luke Beetz tied for 29th, scoring a 74 in round one and an 81 in round two to finish with a 155 total score.
Brandon Heffner was the final member scoring for the Knights team total, as he shot an 80+75=155, tying for 29th overall. Seth Kestranek also tied for 29th with Heffner, scoring in reverse order as Kestranek shot a 75 in the opening round, and an 80 in the second for a 155 total.
Guymon would finish with a +2 score for the tournament on par-three holes, while Luke Beetz was Marian’s top golfer on par-four holes shooting even par. Guymon finished the tournament three-under on par-five holes, and made 26 pars, which was the second most made in the field.
Marian will play a pair of shootouts against Crossroads League foes leading into the CL Championships, playing at the Sagamore Club on Monday, April 10, in Noblesville. The Sagamore Shootout is hosted by Indiana Wesleyan.
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
NATIONAL NEWS HEADLINES
REPORT: PATRIOTS HAVE SHOPPED MAC JONES
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has shopped quarterback Mac Jones for a potential trade, a source told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Florio listed the Las Vegas Raiders, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Washington Commanders as possible destinations.
The Patriots hold the 14th overall selection in the upcoming draft, and have $12.9 million in cap space, according to Over The Cap. Jones is signed through the 2024 season with a fifth-year option for 2025. He has a $4.2-million cap hit next season, according to Spotrac.
Jones threw for 2,997 yards with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, finishing with a 6-8 record in 14 starts last season.
The 2021 first-round pick missed three games due to an ankle injury, and the Patriots went 2-1 in those three contests with quarterbacks Bailey Zappe and Brian Hoyer leading the charge.
Jones’ play last season was a step back from his rookie campaign in which he led New England to a 10-7 record and a playoff spot.
The 24-year-old’s drop-off in play could be related to the infrastructure that surrounded Jones in 2022. His offensive coordinator in 2021, Josh McDaniels, left to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, leaving Matt Patricia as the offensive play-caller.
New England’s offensive weapons did not help Jones last season, as Jakobi Meyers was the only pass catcher to eclipse 800 receiving yards.
Jones was the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He is 16-15 in 31 career starts, throwing for 6,798 yards with 36 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.
RAIDERS SIGN VETERAN QUARTERBACK BRIAN HOYER
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) The Las Vegas Raiders have their potential backup to Jimmy Garoppolo, returning to a familiar place to sign quarterback Brian Hoyer on Tuesday.
Hoyer is the latest player with New England ties to sign with the Raiders, joining the team coached by former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Former Patriots executive Dave Ziegler is Las Vegas’ general manager.
Garoppolo is another one of those players who has played for the Patriots, as is recently signed wide receiver Jakobi Meyers and several others on the roster.
Hoyer’s signing could be a signal the Raiders won’t draft a quarterback with the No. 7 pick and focus on other areas of the team, such as defense and the offensive line. They also could select a QB, such as Florida’s Anthony Richardson, who is considered more of a long-term project and bring him along slowly.
The Raiders needed a backup after losing Jarrett Stidham in free agency to the AFC West rival Denver Broncos.
Hoyer, a 15-year NFL veteran, was the Patriots’ backup quarterback the past three seasons. That was one of three stints in New England; he also has played for six other teams.
He has started 40 career games and appeared in 36 others, passing for 10,668 yards with 53 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.
STEELERS SIGN S KEANU NEAL, NT BREIDEN FEHOKO
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced the signings of safety Keanu Neal and three other players on Tuesday.
Neal inked a two-year contract and nose tackle Breiden Fehoko landed a one-year deal.
The team also re-signed safety Damontae Kazee for two years and tight end Zach Gentry for one year.
Neal, 27, recorded 63 tackles and one interception in 17 games (eight starts) with Tampa Bay last season.
A first-round pick by Atlanta in 2016 and a Pro Bowl selection in 2017, Neal has 473 tackles, three interceptions and eight forced fumbles in 80 games (61 starts) with the Falcons (2016-20), Dallas Cowboys (2021) and Buccaneers.
Fehoko, 26, appeared in 19 games (four starts) with the Los Angeles Chargers from 2020-22 and made 36 tackles.
Kazee, 29, has 271 tackles, 14 picks and seven forced fumbles in 78 games (53 starts) with the Falcons (2017-20), Cowboys (2021) and Steelers.
Gentry, 26, has 39 catches for 303 yards in 40 games (26 starts) since being drafted in the fifth round by Pittsburgh in 2019.
BROWNS WR WOODS RUPTURES ACHILLES TENDON DURING WORKOUT
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns second-year wide receiver Michael Woods II likely will miss the entire 2023 season after rupturing his Achilles tendon while working out with quarterback Deshaun Watson in Texas.
A sixth-round draft pick last year, Woods got hurt Monday while catching passes from Watson. A team spokesperson said Tuesday the 23-year-old Woods will need surgery. Recovery time for the injury can take up to a year.
“Odds never define the kid!” Woods posted on Twitter.
Woods, who played at Oklahoma, had just five catches for 45 yards in 10 games as a rookie. But the Browns have been encouraged by his development and expected him to have a larger impact this season. Woods also played on special teams in 2022.
Woods spent three seasons at Arkansas before transferring to Oklahoma as senior. The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder had 35 catches for 400 yards with two touchdowns for the Sooners.
Watson has spent the offseason working out with some teammates near his home in the Houston area.
The Browns addressed their need for depth at wide receiver this offseason by trading for Elijah Moore and signing free agent Marquise Goodwin to complement Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones and David Bell.
EX-CARDINALS EXEC ACCUSES MICHAEL BIDWILL OF CHEATING, MISCONDUCT
Former Arizona vice president Terry McDonough filed an arbitration claim to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell accusing Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill of gross misconduct and cheating, among other indiscretions, multiple reports said Tuesday.
The NFL confirmed receipt of the claim and the Cardinals have responded in length to McDonough’s accusations, which also include harassment and discrimination.
The Cardinals called the accusations “outlandish.”
Among McDonough’s claims:
–Bidwill had McDonough and then head coach Steve Wilks use burner phones to communicate with former general manager Steve Keim, who was serving a five-week suspension after pleading guilty to DUI charges.
–Bidwill reprimanded and subsequently demoted McDonough for objecting to the use of the burner phones, which McDonough claims to still have in his possession. (The Cardinals said Bidwill put a prompt end to the use of burner phones once he found out about it).
–Bidwill “also subjected McDonough to bullying, mocking, harassing and abusive behavior,” per ESPN.
–Bidwill sabotaged Wilks’ first and only season as head coach of the Cardinals. Wilks was fired after one season.
–Bidwill treated a Black employee and two pregnant women poorly, creating “an environment of fear for minority employees.”
McDonough is seeking damages for emotional distress and breach of contract, per ESPN.
The Cardinals have 20 days to formally respond to McDonough’s claims. Goodell then will determine whether the claims are “football-oriented” or not and whether the dispute will be arbitrated.
“If an arbitration process results, we will welcome the opportunity to set the record straight in that forum and demonstrate how these claims have absolutely no validity or hard basis,” the Cardinals said in a statement, posted online from an independent public relations firm.
BUTLER LEADS HEAT TO LATE WIN AGAINST PISTONS, 118-105
DETROIT (AP) Jimmy Butler scored 18 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and the Miami Heat avoided an embarrassing loss by rallying to beat the hapless Detroit Pistons 118-105 on Tuesday night.
Miami (42-37) kept its chance of escaping the Play-In tournament alive, but Detroit (16-63) made it tough before losing its 10th straight and falling to 1-21 in its last 22 games.
“We had a lot of guys contribute to this win, but Jimmy did what closers do,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We just need to get him the ball and we trust that he’s going to make the right decisions.
“That’s what he does.”
Gabe Vincent scored 22 points for the Heat while Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro had 18 apiece.
Jaden Ivey scored 30 points on 15 shots for the Pistons, while fellow rookie Jalen Duren had 20 points and 14 rebounds.
“I’ve just been constantly working on my 3-point shot,” said Ivey, who was 4 for 6 from behind the arc. “I was getting down on myself when I wasn’t making them earlier in the year, but that’s changed.”
The Heat led 80-79 at the start of the fourth quarter, but weren’t able to pull away from the NBA’s worst team. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Cory Joseph put Detroit ahead 97-94 with 6:42 left, but Butler’s floater gave Miami a 100-99 edge with 4:35 remaining.
Spoelstra started sending his defense hard at Ivey, and Detroit struggled to adapt.
“Did you see what he was doing to us before we started blitzing him?” Spoelstra asked. “He’s got so much speed and tonight he was hitting his 3s and his mid-range shots, which makes him even tougher. He’s a special young talent.”
Butler made it 107-99 from the free throw line with 2:47 left, and after Ivey hit a tough banker, Butler’s three-point play gave Miami a nine-point lead.
“He got to his right hand, and that’s what the coaches warned us about before the game,” Ivey said.
Miami led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, but the Pistons narrowed the gap to 59-52 at the half. Gabe Vincent had 17 points for the Heat while Ivey scored 15.
“Any time you get a win on the road, it feels good,” Vincent said.
Duren’s dunk put the Pistons up 60-59 at 3:10 of the third, but Miami scored the next 13 points. Detroit nearly regained the lead at the end of the period, but Eugene Omoruyi’s layup came just after the buzzer.
Heat: Miami has won seven of its last nine against Detroit, including both games in Michigan this season. … Herro made both free throw attempts, extending his streak to 32, one short of his career-best set in 2020.
Pistons: Ivey extended his franchise rookie record by scoring 10-plus points in his 36th straight game. Dave Bing had streaks of 33 and 32 in the 1966-67 season.
During his postgame press conference, Spoelstra said Butler and Ivey each remind him of players he’s seen a lot of in his coaching career, but wouldn’t divulge who he meant.
“I’m not giving any hints – you’ll have to figure it out,” he said when asked if he was comparing Butler to LeBron James or Dwyane Wade. “I’ve told Jimmy, but that’s private between us.”
Heat: Visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
Pistons: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
MITCHELL SCORES 43 TO LEAD CAVS TO 117-113 WIN OVER MAGIC
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Donovan Mitchell scored 43 points, his fourth straight 40-point game, to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 117-113 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.
The win secured the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage in the first round for the Cavaliers (50-30).
“Fifty wins, that’s no small thing, and now we’ve got to be locked in for the playoffs,” Mitchell said.
“You want to start at home, be in your own bed, your own facility. All those little things have a major impact in a series. That was a big spark for tonight. You could see it with everybody.”
The New York Knicks are currently fifth and Cleveland’s likely first-round opponent with three games left.
Mitchell scored Cleveland’s last six points to become the first Cavalier to score 40 or more points in four straight games, and the first player in the NBA since James Harden had five straight in the 2018-19 season.
Caris LeVert added 19 points and Darius Garland had 16 points and 10 assists in the opener of a two-game series. The teams meet again Thursday.
“When you look at this regular season, this has been a massive success for us,” said Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “We’re not done. We’re looking forward to the next part of this, but to win 50 games in the NBA is an accomplishment for sure.”
Markelle Fultz had 23 points and eight assists, and Paolo Banchero had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic (34-45).
The loss eliminated Orlando from playoff contention.
The Magic ran off 13 straight points while the Cavs went scoreless for more than four minutes of the first quarter, and Orlando led by nine – the largest lead of the game – when Gary Harris hit a 3-pointer midway through the second period.
But after being held to four shots and six points in the first 17 minutes, Mitchell got it going late in the first half, combining with Levert on a rally that pulled Cleveland ahead just before halftime.
“These guys trust me to go out there and do it,” Mitchell said. ”For me, it’s not like it’s forced. Those guys are out there finding me, allowing me to attack, keep going. But I’m also playing within the flow of the offense.”
Two 3-pointers by Mitchell, with a couple of Jarrett Allen blocks in between, lifted the Cavs to a 108-99 lead with 6:04 left.
Wendell Carter, who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, hit two 3-pointers to regain a one-point lead for the Magic before LeVert’s final 3-pointer put the Cavaliers back ahead with 3:31 remaining. Mitchell took over from there.
“Donovan got some clutch baskets down the stretch,” said Fultz. “They just executed down the stretch. They’re a great team. They’re the fourth seed and they came in trying to clinch that, and we came up short in the end.”
Cavaliers: Cleveland’s 50-win season is its first since 1993 without LeBron James on the roster. … In his four-game 40-plus spurt, Mitchell has scored 169 points in 161 minutes, shooting 60.6% (63 for 104) … F Isaac Okoro missed a fourth straight game with a sore left knee.
Magic: The Magic had a 47-30 rebound advantage.. … The Magic are 20-20 at home going into Thursday night’s home finale.
MEANINGFUL GAME IN APRIL
The Magic, out of the postseason for the ninth time in 11 years, came back to play a rare “meaningful game in April” after a 5-20 start, leaving coach Jamahl Mosley with a good feeling after their mathematical elimination.
“That’s the fourth seed in the East,” Mosley said. “We held our own, and more so, and our guys have to understand and believe what we’re capable of doing moving forward.”
ANTETOKOUNMPO’S TRIPLE-DOUBLE LIFTS BUCKS OVER WIZARDS
WASHINGTON (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated last season in a Game 7 on the road.
One more victory, and they won’t have to worry about that.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and Jrue Holiday nearly added a triple-double of his own as the Bucks took another step toward wrapping up the NBA’s best record with a 140-128 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
Holiday finished with 26 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, and Bobby Portis added 19 points and 20 rebounds for Milwaukee.
The Bucks (57-22) moved to three games ahead of Boston with three to play, although the Celtics – who beat Milwaukee in that seven-game series last year – have the head-to-head tiebreaker. Boston lost a 103-101 thriller at Philadelphia on Tuesday, with ex-Buck P.J. Tucker hitting big 3-pointers down the stretch as Milwaukee players watched in their locker room.
After that game ended, Antetokounmpo downplayed the importance of home court just a little, noting that the Bucks were the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference when they won it all two years ago.
“At the end of the day, Boston is a beast, Philly is a beast, Cleveland is a beast, New York is a beast,” Antetokounmpo said.
Kendrick Nunn scored 24 points for the Wizards, who are out of playoff contention and played without Bradley Beal (left knee), Kristaps Porzingis (illness) and Kyle Kuzma (right ankle). Washington kept it close until late in the second quarter, when Milwaukee closed the half on a 13-5 run to lead 75-62.
It wasn’t close after that, with the Bucks leading by as many as 24 points. Milwaukee wasn’t at full strength either. Khris Middleton (right knee) missed the game, which was the first half of a back-to-back for the Bucks. Grayson Allen was also out after leaving Sunday’s game against Philadelphia with a sprained right ankle.
Pat Connaughton played only 5:40 because of what coach Mike Budenholzer said was a twisted right ankle. Budenholzer was hopeful it’s not too serious.
On a night when defense was in short supply, Antetokounmpo made an incredible chase-down block on Nunn in the fourth quarter with his team up 15 – although Corey Kispert followed up with a layup for the Wizards.
“His competitive fire, his competitive spirit, it’s the best,” Budenholzer said. “A lot of guys I think don’t go get that. Not his physical ability to go get it, but just the competitiveness and the willingness to try. He’s very special that way.”
Antetokounmpo nearly had his triple-double after three quarters but needed one more assist.
Washington (34-45) is now in a three-way tie for 11th place in the Eastern Conference with Orlando and Indiana.
Bucks: Jevon Carter (left foot) did not play. … Portis has 23 double-doubles off the bench this season, the most in the league. … Antetokounmpo had eight turnovers. … Jae Crowder scored 19 points. … Milwaukee shot 23 of 42 from 3-point range.
Wizards: In addition to the Beal-Porzingis-Kuzma trio, Washington was also missing Monte Morris (right ankle), Delon Wright (illness) and Deni Avdija (left elbow). Jordan Goodwin, Johnny Davis and Anthony Gill, who had combined for 10 starts all season, were all in the starting lineup. … Davis, a first-round draft pick last year, scored a career-high 20 points. … Gafford picked up four fouls in the first half.
Bucks: Host Chicago on Wednesday night.
Wizards: At Atlanta on Wednesday night.
SIAKAM SCORES 22, LEADS RAPTORS OVER HORNETS 120-100
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Pascal Siakam scored 22 points and the Toronto Raptors rallied from four 9-point first quarter deficits to roll past the Charlotte Hornets 120-100 on Tuesday night.
Toronto has won five of its last six games, improving to 40-39 and solidifying their position for the NBA play-in tournament.
The Raptors scored 19 straight points during a stretch late in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter after Charlotte had gotten within 80-75 with 3:49 left in the third quarter.
Siakam also had 14 rebounds and was joined in double digits by Chris Boucher (21 points), Will Barton (20), O.G. Anunoby (17), Fred VanVleet (16), Precious Achiuwa (12) and Jakob Poeltl (10).
The Hornets were led by Bryce McGowens’ career-high 20 points. Nick Richards added 18 points and 11 rebounds and Svi Mykhailiuk had 17 points, JT Thor 13 and Theo Maledon 13.
The Hornets (26-54) are without eight players due to injury: LaMelo Ball (right ankle surgery), Gordon Hayward (left thumb sprain), Kelly Oubre Jr. (left shoulder sprain), Terry Rozier (right foot injury), Dennis Smith Jr. (right toe sprain), P.J. Washington (right foot sprain) and Mark Williams (left ankle sprain).
Toronto’s 36-20 second quarter was sparked by reserves Boucher and Barton, who combined for nine 3-pointers.
“We weren’t that sluggish,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said of the early Charlotte leads. “They were just really fast and we weren’t as fast as they were. I just kept saying, ‘They’re really moving’ so we had to pick it up a half-notch. We switched to zone and got a bunch of stops in a row and obviously got the … 3-ball going. Fifteen out of 33 is a really good night on 3-pointers.”
Boucher said Barton, who converted six of his nine 3-pointers, really helped the Raptors spread the floor in its victory.
“We need that off the bench,” Boucher said of Barton’s production. “The more guys we have that can do things will help. They got Will here for a reason. They know what he can do and today was just a peek at what he can do.”
Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said Toronto’s defense that created 22 points off 18 turnovers was a huge difference-maker.
“Ball pressure and passing lane pressure led to live-ball turnovers,” Clifford said. “It was 22-10 in points off turnovers.”
BOUCHER’S BIG WEEK
Boucher’s big effort came one day after he announced a scholarship program to help his community and young people growing up like he did.
According to Monday’s Toronto Star, Boucher grew up in abject poverty, was once homeless, dropped out of school and washed dishes at restaurants.
Now a key to the Raptors’ second unit who has a three-year, $35 million contract, the Star says he is using “an undisclosed amount of money disbursed through his SlimmDuck Foundation” to launch a scholarship program that will offer financial support to five students of Caribbean descent. For each of the next five years, a scholarship will be offered to a student with financial struggles who wants to pursue a university degree.
“It’s something I wanted to do for a long time,” Boucher said after Tuesday’s game. “It was just finding the opportunity. I want to help the people that struggle when they move to Canada.”
Raptors: Barton is one of the more veteran players on the Raptors’ roster with 11 years of NBA experience, which includes 29 postseason games with nine starts. But he’s played in 12 games with Toronto since being signed as free agent on Feb. 28 and he had missed the previous three games with a left ankle sprain. “I guess we’re going to have to figure that out in the next four games that we have left,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse said of Barton’s role.
Hornets: Clifford started his 26th different starting lineup Tuesday. It’s the third-most lineups in franchise, behind the 2005-06 and 2006-07 Charlotte Bobcats, which used 28 different starters.
Raptors: At Boston on Wednesday.
Hornets: Host Houston on Friday.
EDWARDS, TOWNS HELP WOLVES EDGE NETS 107-102, END SKID AT 3
NEW YORK (AP) Anthony Edwards scored 23 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 22 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Brooklyn Nets 107-102 on Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
“Right now every win feels like two, and every loss feels like three. It’s just crazy,” Minnesota coach Chris Finch said. “We desperately needed this game.”
Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Mike Conley scored 18 points, nine in the fourth quarter. Minnesota moved within a half-game of eighth-seeded New Orleans, which lost to 121-103 to Sacramento.
“It’s a very good feeling, obviously us winning,” Towns said. “We need some teams to lose, and they’re losing.”
Spencer Dinwiddie had 30 points and six assists, Mikal Bridges scored 24 points and Dorian Finney-Smith had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who had their three-game win streak snapped. Their lead over Miami for the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference was cut to one game after the Heat’s 118-105 victory in Detroit.
“There were a couple of opportunities where we didn’t keep them away from the rim,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “That ended up being the difference in the game.”
Similar to their first meeting, a 124-123 Nets win, the teams traded momentum in the game, which featured 24 lead changes and eight ties. But Minnesota shot 53% in the fourth quarter and outscored Brooklyn 14-7 over the final 4:06 with Gobert, the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, on the bench.
“We knew that we were going to have a matchup (advantage) somewhere,” Finch said. “We put as much shooting out there as we could and felt a little more comfortable guarding everyone on the perimeter, and take nothing away from Rudy; he played a great game.”
Towns, who is laboring through a calf strain and illness, gave the Timberwolves the lead for good when he made a pair of free throws with a minute remaining, and Edwards went 4 of 4 at the line in the final 19.1 seconds.
“Every day I’m getting closer and closer to 100%,” Towns said. “I think today is the most comfortable I’ve felt in the post since I came back, so it was great.”
Dinwiddie had two chances to tie the game with 3-pointers in the final 10 seconds, but Edwards blocked his first attempt, and his second hit the back rim.
“The second one I probably could’ve drove it, probably hunted the 3 a little too much,” Dinwiddie said. “The first one was try to get an attempt up just because we didn’t have any more timeouts left.”
Minnesota’s length wreaked havoc on Brooklyn’s offense early, and the Nets shot just 29% in the first quarter. Towns had six points, eight rebounds and four assists in the period, and the Wolves led 31-24 after one.
“We’ve got a big lineup. I think everyone in the world knows we’re playing a two-big lineup,” Towns said. “We might as well utilize the mismatches we have … instead of trying to outplay them in a chess game. We can just play checkers.”
The Nets found their shooting touch in the second quarter, especially from the outside, where they made 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Finney-Smith hit a pair of 3-pointers in Brooklyn’s 11-0 run, and the Nets outscored Minnesota 30-20 in the second, taking a three-point halftime lead.
Brooklyn outscored Minnesota 26-10 over a span of 9:46 between the second and third quarters. The Nets scored the first eight points of the third, building their largest lead, 62-51.
“I never felt like, even when they went on their little run, or we were chasing, or they were making some threes, that we weren’t doing what we wanted to do,” Finch said. “We knew it was gonna be like this.”
Timberwolves: Gobert’s double-double was his 34th of the season. …. Towns was listed as questionable but played. Guards Jaylen Nowell (left knee tendinopathy) and Austin Rivers (illness) and forward Naz Reid (left scaphoid fracture) were inactive.
Nets: Bridges was named Eastern Conference player of the week Monday after averaging 33 points and 5.7 rebounds over three Nets wins. He entered play averaging 27.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 35.2 minutes per game in 23 games since the Nets acquired him from Phoenix on Feb. 9.
UP NEXT Timberwolves: At San Antonio on Saturday. Nets: At Detroit on Wednesday.
KINGS BEAT PELICANS 121-103 TO CLINCH PACIFIC DIVISION TITLE
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Sacramento rookie Keegan Murray could be the face of the Kings’ remarkable reversal of fortune.
Murray has heard all about the club’s recently ended, 16-season playoff drought. But his only season with the Kings now includes a first division title in two decades – and his scoring has been no small part of that.
De’Aaron Fox scored 23 points, Murray added 21 on seven 3-pointers, and the Kings beat the New Orleans Pelicans 121-103 on Tuesday night to clinch the Pacific Division title – their first such title since the 2002-03 season.
“I’m excited for this organization,” said Murray, who was drafted fourth overall out of Iowa last summer. “It’s really cool for the city.”
Domantas Sabonis had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the Kings, who took the lead for good late in the first quarter and led by as many as 24 points in the second half.
“The physicality that we brought to the game tonight, starting with the starting five, was really good,” Kings coach Mike Brown said. “I also thought our pace was good. … We put pressure on them play after play after play. That’s how we play offensively.”
Brandon Ingram scored 22 points and Trey Murphy III had 17 for the Pelicans (40-39), who entered the game knowing they could guarantee themselves sixth place in the Western Conference if they won their final four games.
Now New Orleans is more likely destined for a play-in spot that goes to teams finishing seventh through 10th. But they have yet to clinch even that, needing one more victory or a loss by Dallas, which next plays on Wednesday.
The Kings “just beat us to a lot of the hustle stats, getting out on us in transition, second-chance opportunities and then the 3 ball,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “It’s not a great game for us and we have to bounce back quick.”
Malik Monk scored 17 and Harrison Barnes 16 points for the Kings (48-31), who remained 1 1/2 games behind Memphis (49-29) for the second seed in the West.
Murray hit five 3s during the third quarter, when the Kings opened up a 17-point lead. It was his third straight game with 18 or more points.
“I felt like I’ve been getting a lot of good looks lately,” Murray said. “They were finding me in the third quarter and I was able to knock down shots.”
Fox hit 10 of 23 shots and also had nine assists.
“They have shooters all across the floor; you have to worry about every single person,” Murphy said. “They have a guard (in Fox) who is as quick as lightning and can score the ball. It’s tough. They put you in help situations and they’re making you pay when they’re kicking it out to shooters and they’re hitting. It’s going to be a tough night when they’re hitting those shots.”
Kings: Sabonis has 13 triple-doubles this season. … Murray now has hit 201 3-pointers this season and has scored 20 or more points in 13 games. … Kevin Huerter scored 11 points. … Shot 50.5% (46 of 91), including 17 of 42 (40.5%) from 3-point range. …. Outrebounded New Orleans 43-37.
Pelicans: Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 points, CJ McCollum and rookie Dyson Daniels each scored 12 points and Herbert Jones scored 11. … Still need two more victories in their last three games to finish with a winning regular season record for the first time since 2017-18, when they went 48-34.
Kings: At Dallas on Wednesday.
Pelicans: Host Memphis on Wednesday.
BOGDANOVIC’S 26 LEAD YOUNG-LESS HAWKS PAST BULLS 123-105
CHICAGO (AP) Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 26 points and the Atlanta Hawks overcame the loss of top scorer Trae Young to beat the Chicago Bulls 123-105 on Tuesday night.
Young, who leads the Hawks with a 26.2 scoring average, didn’t play due to a non-COVID illness. Forward De’Andre Hunter missed his third consecutive game because of a left knee bruise.
But Bogdanovic led the way on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, including 5-of-10 on 3-point attempts.
“I tried to put him back in a couple times, but he was tired,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “Which tells me he’s good. That means he was playing defense. We know he can shoot the ball.”
Atlanta (40-39) opened a two-game lead over the Bulls (38-41), who clinched a play-in berth in the Eastern Conference by virtue of Orlando’s loss to Cleveland earlier in the evening.
After Zach LaVine opened the game with a basket, the Hawks ran off 13 consecutive points, with Bogdanovic scoring 11 during that span as the Hawks never trailed after that.
“We didn’t guard the ball well, didn’t rotate well and didn’t rebound well,” LaVine said.
The Bulls managed only seven fast-break points, and the Hawks had a 66-48 advantage in points in the paint. Saddiq Bey added 18 points while Dejounte Murray had 17 and Jaylen Johnson 16.
LaVine led the Bulls with 26 points, and DeMar DeRozan added 21 and Nikola Vucevic 19.
Without Young or Hunter, Atlanta still managed to expose Chicago’s porous defense by shooting 55.8% from the field (47-for-85), including 10-of-28 shooting from 3-point range.
“I think the key thing is we responded collectively, and that’s what it takes,” Snyder said. “There was no one guy that said, ‘OK, I’m going to be the guy who closes the door on a run. They did it as a group, and they did it defensively, getting stops at various times.”
The Bulls’ defensive efforts were challenged after specialist Alex Caruso committed his second foul six minutes into the game. Caruso returned midway through the second quarter but left two minutes later after being charged with his third foul.
The Hawks led by as many as 20 points after Bey turned a loose-ball sequence into a reverse layup with 1:11 remaining in the second quarter.
“Every one of these games is a must-win game for us,” LaVine said. “Obviously we didn’t do good enough. They wanted it more than us. It’s tough to have that type of result at this point in the season.
A restless crowd booed the Bulls, who responded with an 8-0 run capped by a LaVine 3-pointer to end the quarter.
Hawks: Young didn’t make the trip to Chicago, and Snyder was unsure when he would rejoin the team. …
Hawks: Wednesday vs. Washington.
Bulls: Wednesday at Milwaukee.
ROCKETS PREVENT NUGGETS FROM CLINCHING WEST WITH 124-103 WIN
HOUSTON (AP) Jalen Green scored 32 points, six others scored in double figures and the last-place Houston Rockets prevented the Denver Nuggets from clinching the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a 124-103 victory in their home finale on Tuesday night.
Denver entered Tuesday three games ahead of Memphis for the top spot in the Western Conference with four games remaining for both teams. At 19-60 entering Tuesday, the Rockets stood 33 1/2 games behind Denver’s 52-26 record.
But none of that mattered to the upstart Rockets, hoping to end a rocky season on a positive note.
“When we stay together as a team, feed off each others’ energy and just play hard, the sky’s the limit,” Green said. “We competed with the best in the NBA.”
Denver had a sluggish start to the fourth quarter, making just one field goal in the first five minutes. Houston went on a 16-4 run in that stretch.
Running away with the game late, the young Rockets went on a dunking spree, firing up the Toyota Center crowd for the home finale. After the fourth dunk of the quarter, a thunderous, two-handed windmill dunk in transition from Tari Eason, Nuggets coach Michael Malone called timeout with 5:33 remaining in the game and pulled his starters.
“If that’s how we’re going to play, we’ll be out in the first round,” Malone said after the game. “When we don’t do our jobs, there’s accountability. And I speak the truth. I just called our team, ‘soft,’ and I dared someone to challenge me. No one did, because we as a group were soft tonight. I’m not saying we are soft, but tonight, we were.”
The Rockets outscored the Nuggets 38-18 in the fourth quarter.
Alperen Sengun had 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, Kevin Porter Jr. had 20 points and nine assists, and Jabari Smith Jr. had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Eason added 11 points off the bench for Houston.
“There was a lot of defensive activity, the guys were in the right spots, they were making it hard on them,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “I thought (Sengun) had the best defensive game of his career.”
Michael Porter Jr. led Denver with 23 points, and Nikola Jokic had 14 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes. After missing three games with right calf tightness, Jokic also added a sloppy eight turnovers and went 7 for 13 from the field. Aaron Gordon added 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
“We started the game OK, but we just lost it,” Jokic said. “The whole game was in their favor. Even when we were finding open shots, we couldn’t make shots. We didn’t make free throws, they were blocking our shots, we had a huge amount of turnovers – it was a one-sided game.”
As for coming back from his brief absence, the two-time MVP said he “felt good – just didn’t play good.”
Nuggets guard Jamal Murray left the game early in the second quarter with a right thumb sprain. He was listed as questionable with the same injury and was ruled out late in the third quarter. In nine minutes, he had two points and four assists.
Malone said the team would be smart in deciding whether Murray can play again in the remaining three regular-season games.
With the Rockets finishing the last two games of the season on the road, Houston finished the season 14-27 at home.
Denver had won the previous 10 meetings.
Nuggets: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a team-low 23 points in the plus-minus category and Jokic was at -21. … PF Zeke Nnaji missed a second straight game with a right knee sprain.
Rockets: F Jae’Sean Tate remained out with left knee soreness.
HE SAID IT
“Fun level was at an all-time high. Before the game, we were talking about how we wanted to put on a show and end this home stretch with a win. Everyone had good energy, played hard and we came out with a dub.” — Jalen Green
Soccer star Houston Dynamo FC midfielder Héctor Herrera made his pregame free throw, earning a $5,000 donation for the Rockets Clutch City Foundation. Herrera is captain of both the Dynamo and the Mexican national team.
Nuggets: Visit Phoenix on Thursday night.
Rockets: Finish the season with a road trip to Charlotte and Washington on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
EMBIID SCORES 52, LEADS 76ERS PAST CELTICS 103-101
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Joel Embiid earned the highest stamp of approval from coach Doc Rivers after the All-Star center blistered Boston for his third 50-point game of the season and carried the 76ers on his beat-up, 7-foot frame to victory.
“The MVP race is over,” Rivers said.
There’s an argument to be made for Denver’s Nikola Jokic or Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Embiid, though, certainly won’t argue with his coach or Sixers teammates stumping on his behalf.
“They’re probably right,” Embiid said with a laugh. “But we have bigger goals in mind.”
Embiid strengthened his bid for the award with 52 points and 13 rebounds, and the NBA scoring leader carried Philadelphia to a 103-101 win over the Celtics on Tuesday night.
Embiid made 20 of 25 shots from the floor and 12 of 13 free throws en route to his ninth game of the season with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds. Embiid joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only NBA centers with three 50-point games in a season.
Embiid had a career-high 59 points against the Utah Jazz in November and 53 against Charlotte in December. Considering the magnitude of this game – the 76ers hadn’t beat their East rivals all season – this effort was the most impressive one yet.
“If they end up the No. 2 seed, we might see them in the second round, if we make it there,” Embiid said.
In a game with a playoff vibe, this one came down to the end, as Jayson Tatum’s tying jumper fell short at the horn.
P.J. Tucker gave Embiid and the Sixers the help they needed when he made three late 3-pointers that turned a one-point deficit into a 101-95 lead. Derrick White buried a 3 with 2 seconds left that pulled Boston to 103-101 and hushed a crowd that had just bellowed “MVP! MVP!” chants.
Embiid was whistled for an offensive foul, the latest in a string of late-game breakdowns that almost gave away the game.
“We were trying to give them the game back. We really tried,” Rivers said.
But they hung on and beat the Celtics for the first time in four tries this season. They can thank the All-Star center that punctuated the victory with a vicious two-handed slam late in the game that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
“When he gets it going like that, no one can stop him,” Tucker said.
James Harden had 20 points and 10 assists.
White scored 26 points and Tatum had 19. The Celtics fell to 9-4 this season without Jaylen Brown, the team’s second-leading scorer who got the night off with a back injury.
“Our offense, we just weren’t elite tonight,” coach Joe Mazzulla said. “When your offense isn’t elite, it puts pressure on your defense against great, great players like tonight.”
Embiid responded to the chants that rained down on him by playing early like a one-person show. Embiid got the 50-point effort going from the jump and made 6 of 7 from the floor and 6 of 7 from the free throw line for 18 points in the first quarter. The rest of the team missed 8 of 12 shots and did not attempt a free throw.
As the season winds down, the same pressing question looms for the Sixers just as it did at the start of the season: Who will step up and join Embiid and Harden as consistent playoff performers?
Tucker showed with his string of 3s – left open in large part because Embiid was double-teamed – he could be an option.
“PJ was huge. Three huge corner 3s, I mean, we don’t win that game without him,” Embiid said.
Without the help needed from Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and some production off the bench, the Sixers could be doomed to yet another 50-win, second-round exit this season. The Sixers haven’t advanced to the Eastern Conference finals since 2001 and another early flameout this season could lead to an offseason of upheaval in Philly.
Embiid shuffled off for the night in slippers, after one of the best performances of his career, hoping that never becomes a concern.
“If we can correct a lot of the mistakes that we made,” he said, “we’ve got a pretty good chance.”
Celtics: Hit 15 3-pointers.
76ers: Embiid’s 24 points in the first half gave him 2,134 on the season, the most for an NBA center since Shaquille O’Neal scored 2,344 for the Lakers in 1999-2000. … Only Chamberlain with five in 1965-66 has more 50-point games in a season for the Sixers than Embiid.
Celtics: Host Toronto on Wednesday.
76ers: Play their home finale Thursday against Miami.
BANE’S LATE BURST LEADS GRIZZLIES PAST TRAIL BLAZERS 119-109
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Desmond Bane scored 30 points and keyed a fourth-quarter rally, Ja Morant added 23 points and nine assists and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers 119-109 on Tuesday night.
Luke Kennard added 20 for Memphis, converting 6 of 10 3-pointers.
Skylar Mays, who signed a 10-day contract with Portland last weekend, led the Trail Blazers with 24 points and seven assists. Shaedon Sharpe added 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Jabari Walker finished with 16 points.
Portland held the lead with nine minutes left, but Bane connected on a trio of 3-pointers over a four-minute stretch midway through the fourth. That was part of a 22-2 Memphis run to put away the feisty Trail Blazers.
“We tied it up, and we went on a nice run,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said of the fourth quarter when Memphis outscored Portland 23-14. “Des (Bane) helped spark that.”
As it has in recent games, Portland played without key pieces, such as leading scorers Damian Lillard (32.2 points a game), Anfernee Simons (21.1 points) and Jerami Grant (20.5 points), along with top rebounder Jusuf Nurkic (9.1 boards per game).
That left a number of reserves to carry the Trail Blazers, who are out of the playoff hunt. But Portland coach Chauncey Billups praised his team for their fortitude in a hostile environment.
Memphis not only won its 50th game of the year, but finished the season 35-6 at home, clinching the best home slate in the league.
“I thought we definitely played hard,” said Walker, who was 6 of 11 from the field, including a trio of 3-pointers. “We were in it the whole game, and that speaks volumes to all the guys, how competitive we are and how much heart we have.”
The Trail Blazers chipped away at a 19-point Memphis lead in the first half when the Grizzlies became lackadaisical with the ball. That, and a much more focused Portland defense, led to Memphis holding a slim 66-62 lead at the break.
“We just went to old habits,” Morant said of the lackluster play in the game’s middle stages. “Just no energy. That was pretty much it. We weren’t taking them lightly at all. We’d seen what they’ve done the last couple of games.”
At the start of the third quarter, Portland’s intensity continued, and the Trail Blazers not only pulled even, but took the lead. They were still tied until Bane and the Grizzlies pulled away with the late burst.
“For us to be able to stay together and come back and get a win was big-time,” Morant said.
Trail Blazers: Portland was one of the few visiting teams to defeat the Grizzlies this season, winning 122-112 on Feb. 1. … Portland already had eight players listed as “out” with the early injury reports. By the time Billups got to the podium for his pregame comments, three more previously listed as questionable were not available. That left nine Trail Blazers in uniform. … Jeenathan Williams, the rookie out of Buffalo signed by Portland on Saturday, started his first game and finished with four points.
Grizzlies: F Dillon Brooks took the night off with right hip soreness. Kennard started in Brooks’ spot. … The win snapped a four-game losing streak to Portland at FedExForum.
Kennard started the game hitting all four of his 3-pointers before finishing 6 of 10 from outside the arc. He has made better than 50% of his 3-pointers since joining the Grizzlies in a trade deadline deal in February. Morant told Kennard to keep shooting when he is on that kind of streak. “Whatever shot he likes, we love,” Morant said.
Trail Blazers: Play Thursday at San Antonio against the Spurs.
Grizzlies: Play the Pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday.
JAMES’ GAME-WINNER LIFTS LAKERS PAST JAZZ IN OT
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) LeBron James missed a potential game-winning layup on the final play of regulation. Given a second chance, he delivered.
James scored 37 points, including a go-ahead basket with 27 seconds left in overtime, to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 135-133 victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.
Ochai Agbaji tried to impede James’ drive to the basket, but he spun off from the Jazz guard and finished over Damian Jones. James has now made 40 career go-ahead shots inside the final 30 seconds of the fourth quarter and overtime, counting playoff games.
“I saw a nice clear lane to the right side,” James said. “I definitely had to make up for blowing that layup at the end of regulation. I had a really good look. We set up a good play and I just left it a little short.”
Anthony Davis had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers. Austin Reaves added 28 points. Five players scored in double figures to help Los Angeles win for the seventh time in eight games.
The Lakers escaped with a win by holding Utah without a basket over the final 1:38 after Kelly Olynyk gave the Jazz a 132-129 lead on a 3-pointer.
“This has been us lately. We’ve been one of the top teams defensively,” James said. “We had to get stops and we did that.”
Olynyk finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Talen Horton-Tucker added 23 points and seven assists for the Jazz. Agbaji chipped in 22 points. The Jazz lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Horton-Tucker has scored 124 points over his last four games. He had a chance to force a second overtime but missed a fadeaway jumper with 6.1 seconds remaining.
“Those are shots you want to hit so hopefully I get another opportunity,” Horton-Tucker said.
Utah rallied from a double-digit deficit after shooting 71% from the field in the third quarter. The Jazz finally took their first second-half lead on back-to-back baskets from Collin Sexton and Luka Samanic, going up 99-97 early in the fourth quarter.
Los Angeles retook the lead on back-to-back baskets from Dennis Schroder and James and went up 124-114 with 1:43 left on eight straight points from Reaves.
Utah countered with an 10-0 run to force overtime. Olynyk scored a basket and assisted two others and Jones knotted the score on a pair of free throws with 11.4 seconds remaining in regulation.
“I thought we kind of walked the ball up the floor,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “They were charging, obviously making a run. We got the ball and kind of were walking. … but we found a way.”
The Jazz were missing starters Lauri Markkanen, Walker Kessler, and Jordan Clarkson.
“Our team did a good job of continuing the pace,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “We had the freedom down 10 to just like keep our foot on the gas.”
James and Davis both unexpectedly played heavy minutes on the first game of a back-to-back set. Davis logged a team-high 42 minutes James played 38. Both players saw more court time than planned while helping Los Angeles close out a tight game.
Their status for Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers isn’t yet clear. Davis hasn’t played in both games of a back-to-back set since November. James anticipated playing only 30 to 32 minutes and admitted the extra five minutes didn’t help.
Both players have been dealing with lingering right foot injuries. James said how he feels in the morning will dictate if he’s ready to go against the Clippers.
“It’s always when you step out of bed for the first time in the morning,” James said. “How does it feel? Because that’s going to dictate the rest of the day.”
TIP INS Lakers: Reaves is averaging 20.5 points over his last eight games. Los Angeles has lost once in that stretch. … James, Davis, and Reaves each had six assists.
Jazz: Samanic made his first start of the season, finishing with 12 points. … Sexton returned to action after missing 18 games with a hamstring strain. He scored 15 points and had three assists in 16 minutes.
UP NEXT Lakers: At Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
Jazz: Host Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. —
CURRY, POOLE COMBINE FOR 64 AS WARRIORS BEAT THUNDER 136-125
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) These second-half comebacks are becoming a thing for the Golden State Warriors, much like those old third-quarter surges that used to define this bunch.
Stephen Curry scored 34 points, Jordan Poole dazzled down the stretch to score 30 and the Warriors didn’t lead until the 8:29 mark of the fourth quarter on the way to beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 136-125 on Tuesday night.
In their final regular-season home game, the Warriors moved into fifth place in the Western Conference standings.
For a day, that is. The winner of the Clippers-Lakers game Wednesday jumps to fifth and will drop Golden State to sixth. The Warriors will be watching closely, and can win their final two games on the road and secure their spot.
“It’s fun, this is all what it’s about. We love the competition and even though we’d prefer to be home free in the playoffs right now, this is where we are,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Really proud of the guys what they’ve done here in recent weeks to put ourselves in this position but now we’ve got to go finish the deal and get into the top six.”
On a night Klay Thompson was a late scratch with low back tightness – “totally unexpected,” according to Kerr – Poole and his backcourt mates came through. Poole raised his hands to make a 3 sign while celebrating his big make from deep with 3:17 to play that put the Warriors up 131-120. He added a 360-degree layup the next time down off Draymond Green’s steal.
Poole is happy he’s playing some of his best basketball during a crucial stretch.
“They all matter. You try to lock in as much as possible and put us in a really good position to be successful,” Poole said.
Green contributed 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists with a pair of blocked shots and steals.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 32 points, 21 in the first half, for the Thunder. Jalen Williams added 19 points but the Thunder lost their third in a row and fourth of five.
Moses Moody’s dunk with 4:57 left in the third pulled the Warriors within 92-91 after they trailed by 10 at halftime. He finished with 13 points and five rebounds in his first game scoring in double figures since Jan. 13.
“It definitely had that playoff feel to it being out here in these games, how much each game matters, how much each possession matters,” Moody said.
Donte DiVincenzo added 16 points and Kevon Looney grabbed 11 rebounds as the Warriors held a 54-38 advantage on the boards.
The defending champions got a nice lift before the game seeing Andrew Wiggins back with the team after he had been away since mid-February dealing with a family matter, though he won’t be ready to play immediately as he works to get his conditioning back. Wiggins received a warm ovation when announced during the first quarter and he grinned ear to ear.
“To have him back and see his emotions and see him smiling, that’s a bright spot for the team,” Moody said.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Warriors won their final three at home and finished the regular season 33-8 at Chase Center and with their 471st consecutive sellout.
Wiggins has rejoined the team after being away for six weeks dealing with a family matter and is working his way back to playing again. That won’t be in the next few days, Kerr said.
“When you’re in a certain situation and your family needs you, it requires your attention and your love, that’s my first priority,” Wiggins said. “My career, everything, family’s always first for me. It will always be that way.”
Wiggins missed his 23rd straight game and hasn’t played since Feb. 13 versus Washington.
Thunder: Oklahoma City shot 15 for 26 in the opening quarter and 59.6% in the first half. … The Thunder lost the season series 3-0 last year and 3-1 this season.
Warriors: Golden State has won five straight against the Thunder at home and hasn’t lost on its home floor in the series since a 100-97 defeat on Nov. 25, 2019, in Chase Center’s initial season.
Thunder: At Utah on Thursday night looking to snap a four-game skid on the Jazz’s home floor.
Warriors: At Sacramento on Friday night looking to win the season series against the playoff-bound Kings and former top assistant Mike Brown.
SUNS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT, ROUT INJURY-RIDDLED SPURS 115-94
PHOENIX (AP) Devin Booker scored 27 points and the Phoenix Suns never trailed, beating the depleted San Antonio Spurs 115-94 on Tuesday night to clinch a playoff spot.
The Suns (44-35) won their sixth in a row, the longest current winning streak in the NBA. With one more victory in the final three games, Phoenix would assure itself of the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in the first round.
Chris Paul scored 22 points, while Deandre Ayton had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kevin Durant scored 18 points and reserve Torrey Craig added 15 points and 10 rebounds, playing particularly well in the second half when the Spurs got as close as nine points after trailing by 31 in the second quarter.
“I just wanted to come in and bring a spark,” Craig said. “We get a big lead and think that sometimes teams might lay down because of the guys we have. But it is the NBA and teams make runs.”
The Suns are 7-0 when Durant has been in their lineup, including the last four games after he returned from an injured ankle. His presence has opened up more scoring opportunities for Paul, who was 9 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
“I never thought I’d have to tell a Hall of Fame player to shoot the ball,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “Kevin and Book are going nuts because they all want him to shoot.”
Malaki Branham led the Spurs with 21 points. Tre Jones scored 20, while Keita Bates-Diop and Sandro Mamukelashvili each had 13.
The Spurs (20-59) only dressed 10 players. They were without their top two scorers, Keldon Johnson (right foot sprain) and Devin Vassell (left knee). Also out for San Antonio were Zach Collins (finger), Jeremy Sochan (right knee soreness) and Romeo Langford (left adductor).
And during Tuesday’s game, Doug McDermott played six minutes and limped off with an apparent ankle injury. Dominick Barlow was hurt in a fourth-quarter collision, and starter Devonte’ Graham was helped to the locker room late in the game after hurting his leg.
“Obviously it was going to be a tough, tough night for them, but their competitiveness was great,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I think we were intimidated (in the first quarter). After that we played very competitively and we executed pretty well against a very good basketball team.”
San Antonio entered the night ranked last in scoring defense, having allowed 122.8 points per game. Phoenix came out roaring, shooting 63% in the first quarter in building a 42-25 lead. That’s the most the Suns have scored in the first quarter this season, passing the 40 points against Chicago on March 3.
Phoenix led 69-51 at the half. Paul made 7 of 8 shots in the half to lead the Suns with 18 points while Booker scored 14, all in the first quarter. The Spurs got within nine in the third quarter, but by the end of the period Phoenix was back ahead 97-76.
Williams played for Popovich with the Spurs and coached under him as well.
“I just enjoy seeing him and I’m grateful for the history I have with him,” the Suns coach said before the game. “I’m grateful that I get to tell people outside of basketball that I know Gregg Popovich as a man, as a mentor, as a friend.”
Popovich may not have enjoyed Tuesday’s result, but he too admires what Williams and the Suns have done.
No matter who’s playing, Popovich said of Williams, “He’s gonna coach. He’s going to do the same things, have the same standards, the same accountability. Kick ‘em in the butt when necessary, put an arm around them and love ’em when necessary. He’s a good man.”
Popovich coached the Olympic gold-medal team in 2021 and saw Durant from the same bench.
“He was great. I love him,” Popovich said. “How do you stop him? You can’t. There’s no way you can stop him. Now you can double-team him, and he’s smart enough to give it up. No matter what happens, they’ll figure out what they need to do.”
Spurs: Play Portland on Thursday in Austin, Texas.
Suns: Host Denver Thursday. —
ANALYSIS: WILL LOAD MANAGEMENT IMPACT NBA SCORING RACE?
The most famous scoring race in NBA history was probably the 1978 edition, when George Gervin edged out David Thompson by seven hundredths of a point.
Thompson scored 73 points in his team’s final game of the regular season, only for Gervin to answer with 63 later that day. It was an example of how two talented players — with a tight margin separating them — can push each other to some impressive heights.
Will we see anything similar this coming week from Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic?
Embiid is the current leader at 32.97 points per game. Doncic is at 32.75. The regular season ends April 9 — 45 years to the day after Thompson and Gervin produced their fantastic finish to the 1977-78 season. Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers are scheduled to play at Brooklyn at 1 p.m. That game should end around the time Doncic and the Mavericks tip off against San Antonio.
So it’s easy to imagine Embiid putting up a huge number and leaving Doncic to try and answer with his own scoring binge. And that would be fitting, given that this season has already had two 71-point games from Donovan Mitchell and Damian Lillard.
(Lillard is a close third in the scoring race at 32.17 ppg, but he’s had a calf injury and hasn’t played since March 22 for the out-of-contention Portland Trail Blazers. He has appeared in 58 games — the exact number needed to qualify for the scoring title.)
Doncic scored 60 points in a Dec. 27 game against the New York Knicks, and Embiid had 59 on Nov. 13 against Utah. There’s no telling how high they might go if there’s enough motivation to chase the scoring championship.
Of course, that’s the big question: How big a priority is it? Especially for Embiid, who won last year.
The 76ers have four games remaining. They’re currently third in the Eastern Conference, three games behind Boston and 2 1/2 ahead of Cleveland. If Philadelphia’s postseason seeding becomes certain, would Embiid — who is also an MVP candidate — sit out to rest up for the playoffs?
Doncic may not have that choice. The Mavericks are a game out of the last play-in spot in the West, and they need him in the lineup as they try to salvage their rapidly deteriorating season. Of course, that means winning games is the priority, so Dallas may not be in a position to feed Doncic the ball in an effort to get him the scoring crown.
Gervin finished the 1977-78 season at 27.22 ppg, with Thompson at 27.15. That is, according to Sportradar, the closest race since 1969-70, when the NBA started using points per game to determine the scoring champion instead of total points.
Here are the other four closest races since then — and how they ended:
1993-94: David Robinson 29.79, Shaquille O’Neal 29.35.
Robinson and O’Neal gave the NBA a Thompson vs. Gervin redux in ’94. Well, half of one. Robinson poured it on in San Antonio’s finale, scoring 71 points against the Los Angeles Clippers. That performance broke the team record for single-game scoring — set by Gervin in his 63-point game 16 years earlier. It left O’Neal needing 68 points for the title, but he managed only 32. Brian Hill, Shaq’s coach in Orlando, called the Spurs-Clippers game a “farce.”
1997-98: Michael Jordan 28.74, Shaquille O’Neal 28.32.
Another near-miss for Shaq, although he played only 60 games that season while Jordan played all 82. Jordan scored 44 points in his final regular-season game for Chicago. O’Neal needed 59 the following day and scored 33. It was the 10th and last scoring title for Jordan.
2009-10: Kevin Durant 30.15, LeBron James 29.71.
This was a close race, but it wasn’t overly suspenseful because James was rested at the end of the season and didn’t play in any of Cleveland’s last four games. Durant scored 31 points in Oklahoma City’s finale, but even if he’d gone scoreless, he’d have won.
2011-12: Kevin Durant 28.03, Kobe Bryant 27.86.
Durant won his third straight title after scoring 32 points in the regular-season finale. Bryant could have passed him with a 38-point effort the following night, but he sat out the Lakers’ game at Sacramento as the team prepared for the playoffs. James finished at 27.15, making this the last time the top three scorers were within a point of each other — a scenario that could be repeated this year.
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UCONN MARCH MADNESS STEAMROLLER COULD BE START OF A NEW ERA
HOUSTON (AP) — There was a short list of believers in the potential of a rebuilt UConn roster before the season started.
It was made up mostly of the UConn players and coaches themselves.
The team that was among “others receiving votes” in the first AP poll of the season ended up cutting down nets after the last game — as sure a sign as any that in the new college landscape reconstituted by the transfer portal and name, image and likeness deals, anything is possible.
The Huskies not only won the title but won it in one of history’s most dominating runs through the NCAA Tournament. They won their six games by an average of 20 points, closing it out Monday night with a 76-59 pasting of San Diego State.
“We came into the season unranked,” coach Dan Hurley said. “So we had an edge to us to start the year to prove people wrong.”
Nobody could really blame fans and pundits for overlooking UConn, just as it might have been hard to blame them for pumping up North Carolina, a national runner-up the year before that was bringing back the core of its roster.
UConn won the title. UNC didn’t even make the tournament.
It’s a testament to how quickly things can change in an era that looks more like NFL free agency than anything college sports has ever seen.
Hurley said he went back to work the day after the Huskies lost to New Mexico State in the first round last season and started looking at retooling his roster. The goal was to add more options from the perimeter. So, he got four new players, including Joey Calcaterra (two 3s for 6 points in the final), who had spent four years at University of San Diego, and Tristen Newton (19 points, 10 rebounds), who had spent three years at East Carolina.
Big East coaches still picked UConn to finish fourth in the conference. Even if the talent is there, it’s hard to gauge how it might all come together.
The UConn story played out in different ways at different places all across the sport this season, and had a lot to do with a Final Four that included three underdog programs, seeded fifth (SDSU), fifth (Miami) and ninth (Florida Atlantic), that had never made it to the final weekend.
The Aztecs had two new players this year joining two others who came to San Diego State the year before.
Elsewhere, Kansas State was picked last in the Big 12 and ended up three points shy of making the Final Four, with the help of Keyontae Johnson, a transfer from Florida who was named a third-team AP All-American.
Creighton made its own run to the Elite Eight with big help from a transfer from South Dakota State, Baylor Scheierman, who was also getting looks from Duke and other bluebloods.
Texas withstood the midseason firing of its coach and made the Elite Eight with two transfer-portal players: Tyrese Hunter from Iowa State and Sir’Jabari Rice from New Mexico State.
Arkansas made its third straight Sweet 16 with a semi-rebuilt roster.
“I promise I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for the transfer portal,” Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman said earlier in the tournament. “Really interesting, because eight years ago, when somebody was transferring, the process was a lot different.”
Instead of having to sit out a year, players can now go freely from one school to another. Some coaches find it too destabilizing, too transactional.
No longer, however, is it a matter of faith that veteran teams that stick together — say, as recently as Villanova’s 2018 team that crushed everyone on the way to the title — have a better chance of winning.
And even though FanDuel Sportsbook is listing UConn (11-1) and Duke (13-1) as the early favorites to win it all next season, there’s little reason to put much stock in any “way too early” looks at next year’s top teams.
“We don’t really know rosters, or how different players are going to fit in,” said ESPN analyst Jay Bilas. “Will they blossom, will they not? And preseason polls are done for fan interest and nothing else. You can’t really predict anything based on those.”
Certainly, nobody was picking Florida Atlantic, Miami or San Diego State to make the Final Four back in October.
And UConn with all those new players to win it all? Nobody saw that coming either.
Well, almost nobody.
“We knew we were the best team in the tournament going in,” Hurley said. “We just had to play to our level.”
CELEBRATIONS, DESTRUCTION ON CAMPUS FOLLOW UCONN VICTORY
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Some UConn fans pulled down signs and light poles, smashed windows and caused other damage after thousands of people, most of them students, spilled onto campus following the Huskies’ NCAA Tournament win over San Diego State.
Fifteen people had been arrested by early Tuesday and 16 were taken to the hospital during the celebrations. None of the injuries were thought to be serious, UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said.
“The vast majority of those celebrating the Husky victory last night did so safely and responsibly,” she said in a statement. “A small number chose to risk their safety and that of others by vandalizing or destroying property after the game.”
Most of those arrested were students, she said. Police were expected to investigate the damage, and those responsible could face expulsion if they are students.
Gampel Pavilion, the school’s basketball arena, was open Monday night for students to watch the game, which was played in Houston. More than 10,000 people attended the watch party.
Much of the partying, which lasted into the early morning, was peaceful, but social media and television video showed students taking down signs and light posts, with several using one pole to smash through the glass portion of a door at one campus building as a crowd cheered.
Reitz said the damage also included broken windows, a vehicle flipped on its side and fires set in trash dumpsters and on wooden benches.
“We were on the streets and people were going crazy,” said Nancy Toskova, a 20-year-old junior from Montreal, Quebec. “Everyone was celebrating. Everyone was happy. You felt good. Everyone came together. I was expecting something worse to be honest. I was expecting cars flipping and fires everywhere and people breaking everything, which happened but not to the extent I imagined.”
Crews worked feverishly through the morning to clean up the debris and make repairs. Classes and other academic operations were being held as regularly scheduled, Reitz said.
The team was scheduled to return home to Storrs Tuesday afternoon, with a rally planned inside Gampel, the team’s home arena.
The Huskies were scheduled to arrive at Bradley International Airport about 3:30 p.m., with team buses making the about 40-mile (64-kilometer) drive to campus under police escort. The school said there will be no public access at the airport.
Gov. Ned Lamont took to Twitter shortly after the 76-59 victory to congratulate the team.
“You guys worked so hard for this and we could not be more proud,” he wrote. “Now, it’s time to plan a parade.”
DUKE FRESHMAN DERECK LIVELY II SAYS HE’LL ENTER NBA DRAFT
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke big man Dereck Lively II is entering the NBA draft after one college season.
Lively announced his decision in a social-media post Tuesday.
The lean 7-foot-1 freshman averaged 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 34 games with 27 starts. But he came on in the second half of the year as a rim protector and key to the Blue Devils’ defense, averaging 2.4 blocks on the year to rank ninth nationally.
The highlight came in a home rivalry win against North Carolina in a game that captured how his value was well beyond any scoring production. He had just four points in that one, but was a force with 14 rebounds and eight blocked shots.
That was part of a four-game stretch in which he had 20 blocked shots, and he finished the year with 23 rebounds and eight blocks in two games in the NCAA Tournament.
Lively arrived as the No. 2 recruit in 247sports’ overall top-ranked recruiting class for Jon Scheyer’s first season with the Blue Devils. He helped Duke surge down the stretch to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Lively joins fellow freshman guard Dariq Whitehead in announcing plans to enter the NBA draft.
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SOUTH CAROLINA’S BREA BEAL TO ENTER WNBA DRAFT
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Brea Beal’s time as South Carolina’s talented defensive stopper is over.
The fourth-year senior said Tuesday on social media that she was foregoing a fifth year in college that’s allowed due to COVID-19 and will enter the WNBA draft.
Beal is a 6-foot-1 guard from Rock Island, Illinois, who has been a centerpiece of the Gamecocks’ smothering defense.
Beal started 137 of 138 games in her four seasons. She helped the Gamecocks win three Southeastern Conference tournament titles, reach three Final Fours and win the national championship in 2022.
South Carolina (36-1) saw its latest season end Friday night with a 77-73 loss to Iowa in the national semifinals. Beal averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds this season. She was also second on South Carolina with 100 assists.
Beal’s WNBA draft stock has risen this year: She’s projected as a late first-round selection. South Carolina teammate Aliyah Boston is projected as the No. 1 pick in the draft, which is on April 10.
MLB ROUNDUP: RAYS RALLY PAST NATS, STAY UNBEATEN
Luke Raley, Josh Lowe and Yandy Diaz smashed home runs during a five-run, ninth-inning outburst as the Tampa Bay Rays earned a 10-6 victory over the host Washington Nationals on Tuesday.
With the victory, the 5-0 Rays remained the lone unbeaten team in the major leagues after the Minnesota Twins lost to the Miami Marlins.
Raley and Lowe greeted Washington closer Kyle Finnegan (0-1) with back-to-back long balls to start the rally. With one out, Taylor Walls singled and Jose Siri doubled. Finnegan then left a slider over the middle of the plate, and Diaz crushed a three-run blast 414 feet into the left field bullpens.
Pete Fairbanks closed out the game for the Rays with a scoreless ninth. Ryan Thompson (1-0) earned the win.
DIAMONDBACKS 8, PADRES 6
Visiting Arizona scored four runs in the top of the eighth, capitalizing on San Diego miscues to earn a win and a split of a two-game series. Padres star Manny Machado was ejected in the first inning after arguing a third-strike call that was made for a pitch-clock violation.
The Padres had built a 5-1 lead through five innings on an RBI single by Austin Nola, a solo home run by Nelson Cruz, a run scored on a throwing error and a two-run homer by Xander Bogaerts. But the Diamondbacks scored seven runs in the next three innings against the Padres bullpen.
The Diamondbacks pulled to within a run in the sixth on a two-run double by Geraldo Perdomo and an RBI single by Josh Rojas. Arizona then made the most of three singles to score four runs in the eighth against Luis Garcia (0-1). Kevin Ginkel (1-0) earned the win.
MARLINS 1, TWINS 0
Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara scattered three singles over nine innings en route to the fourth shutout of his career to lead Miami past visiting Minnesota.
Alcantara (1-0) retired the first 11 batters he faced before yielding an infield single to Trevor Larnach. Michael A. Taylor had a line-drive single in the sixth and Carlos Correa added a single to center in the ninth for the only other Minnesota hits. Alcantara walked one and struck out five. He threw 100 pitches, 68 for strikes.
Kenta Maeda (0-1), making his first start in nearly 600 days after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2021 and sitting out the entire 2022 season, allowed one run on three hits over five innings while striking out nine.
DODGERS 5, ROCKIES 2
Will Smith hit his third home run in three games and Julio Urias went six scoreless innings as Los Angeles pulled off a two-game sweep of visiting Colorado.
Jason Heyward added his second home run in two games, while Max Muncy also went deep for the Dodgers. Urias (2-0) gave up five hits and no walks while striking out six. Evan Phillips got the last two outs for his first save.
Yonathan Daza had two hits for the Rockies, who lost their fourth game in a row. German Marquez (1-1) gave up four runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings, with two walks and four strikeouts.
PIRATES 4, RED SOX 1
Bryan Reynolds collected three hits for the second consecutive game to help visiting Pittsburgh beat Boston.
Reynolds hit a solo home run, a double and had an RBI single on Tuesday. His three hits in Pittsburgh’s 7-6 triumph over Boston on Monday night included two home runs. He has four home runs in the past three games.
The Red Sox, who scored 33 runs in their first four games, were held to four hits in the loss. Boston starter Nick Pivetta (0-1) lasted five innings. He gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks while striking out six.
CUBS 12, REDS 5
Ian Happ went 3-for-4 and reached base a career-best five times and visiting Chicago scored 11 runs over the final four innings to rout Cincinnati.
Happ doubled in a six-run seventh inning and walked twice. Patrick Wisdom doubled twice, drove in three runs and scored twice for the Cubs, who snapped a three-game skid.
Trey Mancini also drove in three runs for the Cubs, who evened the series at a game apiece. Stuart Fairchild homered for the Reds, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. The Reds have homered 10 times in their first five games.
PHILLIES 4, YANKEES 1
Kyle Schwarber hit his 200th career homer two batters into the game, and visiting Philadelphia stopped a season-opening, four-game losing streak with a victory over New York.
Schwarber helped Philadelphia end its early frustration when he hammered a fastball for his 415-foot drive to right field off Domingo German (0-1). Brandon Marsh also homered in the third. Trea Turner and Schwarber added RBI singles in the fifth off Michael King, who was making his second appearance since returning from a broken elbow.
Andrew Bellatti (1-0) fanned two in the fifth and earned the win. The Yankees’ lone run came on DJ LeMahieu’s solo home run with one out in the ninth.
BLUE JAYS 4, ROYALS 1
Whit Merrifield scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch against his former team, lifting visiting Toronto to a victory over Kansas City.
Daulton Varsho homered to lead off the sixth inning and Matt Chapman had an RBI single among his three hits and scored a run. Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier each had two of the 11 hits recorded by the Blue Jays, who snapped a three-game losing skid.
Yusei Kikuchi (1-0) overcame Franmil Reyes’ homer to lead off the second inning to keep Kansas City in check. Kikuchi allowed that one run on three hits in five innings. Matt Duffy had three of the four hits for the Royals. Kris Bubic (0-1) took the loss.
BRAVES 4, CARDINALS 1
Austin Riley hit a two-run homer and Orlando Arcia hit a solo shot to lift visiting Atlanta past St. Louis.
Braves starting pitcher Dylan Dodd (1-0) won his big-league debut while allowing one run on six hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked none. A.J. Minter closed out the ninth inning to earn his first save.
Cardinals starting pitcher Steven Matz (0-1) allowed four runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven batters and walked one. Willson Contreras’ RBI single produced St. Louis’ only run.
ORIOLES 7, RANGERS 2
Jorge Mateo homered for the second time in as many days, Kyle Gibson allowed two runs over seven innings and Baltimore rolled to a victory in Arlington, Texas.
The Orioles have now won eight straight over the Rangers, dating back to the start of the 2022 season. It was a forgettable Rangers debut for Andrew Heaney (0-1), who allowed all seven runs on seven hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings.
Baltimore took control of the game with a five-run second inning, highlighted by a three-run home run by Ryan Mountcastle. Cedric Mullins and Ryan McKenna also had RBI hits in the inning. Gibson (2-0) allowed six hits, struck out five and didn’t issue a walk.
BREWERS 9, METS 0
Brian Anderson drove in six runs with two homers and a double and Wade Miley tossed six scoreless innings for his 100th career victory as Milwaukee posted its second consecutive shutout against visiting New York.
Miley (1-0), limited to nine games with the Cubs last season due to injuries, scattered five hits, striking out three and walking none in his season debut.
Rowdy Tellez, Anderson and Garrett Mitchell hit consecutive homers off Mets starter Max Scherzer (1-1) in the sixth inning to put the Brewers up 5-0. Scherzer allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out two and walking two.
TIGERS 6, ASTROS 3
Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson recorded multi-hit games, with Torkelson producing three RBIs, as visiting Detroit claimed a victory over Houston.
The Tigers secured the three-game series with their second win in as many games. Torkelson produced an RBI double that opened the scoring in the first inning before delivering a two-run home run in the eighth that provided Detroit a measure of insurance.
Matt Manning (1-0) earned the victory after allowing two runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts while logging 5 2/3 innings. Framber Valdez (0-1) took the loss.
MARINERS 11, ANGELS 2
Teoscar Hernandez and AJ Pollock each hit two home runs and Luis Castillo pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings as Seattle defeated visiting Los Angeles.
The Mariners snapped a four-game skid and put an end to the Angels’ three-game winning streak. Castillo (1-0) hasn’t allowed a run in two starts this season. On Tuesday, the right-hander allowed two hits, walked two and struck out six.
Angels starter Jose Suarez (0-1), making his season debut, allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
ATHLETICS 4, GUARDIANS 3
Tony Kemp singled home Ryan Noda with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, delivering Oakland a walk-off win over visiting Cleveland.
Neither team had scored since the sixth before Noda drew a walk from Cleveland’s fourth pitcher, James Karinchak (0-2), to lead off the ninth.
An Esteury Ruiz infield out advanced Noda to second with two outs, and he scored the game-ender on Kemp’s hit to right. Trevor May (2-1) earned the win after pitching a scoreless top of the ninth.
VERDUGO RIPS JAYS’ MANOAH FOR ‘DISRESPECTING’ OPPONENTS ON MOUND
Warning: Story contains coarse language
Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo has a bone to pick with Toronto Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah and his fiery reactions on the mound.
Verdugo believes Manoah crossed a line when he yelled at some of his Red Sox teammates after striking them out in a game last season.
“I’ll say it right now, I think Alek Manoah goes about it the wrong way, 100% I think he does,” Verdugo told WEEI’s Rob Bradford on the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast. “You can find videos of him … in Triple-A going like this to hitters. Last year, telling Franchy (Cordero) and Bobby (Dalbec) ‘Go sit,’ shit like that, and looking right at them.
“Shit like that just pisses me off. … It should be played like you’re celebrating it with your team, you’re not fucking disrespecting another player who is – at the end of the day we’re just trying to compete, that’s it.”
Manoah, one of baseball’s more fiery pitchers, exchanged words with both Cordero and Dalbec last July after striking them out in the sixth inning of an eventual Toronto victory at Fenway Park. The hurler’s Blue Jays teammates led him off the field before the benches could clear.
Verdugo said displaying emotions on the diamond is “good” for the sport overall. However, he believes players should use their emotional outbursts to fire up their teammates, as opposed to getting under the skin of opponents.
“Now, with the whole staring down people (thing), and like throwing your bat crazy, and staring down a pitcher or a pitcher staring at you, looking at you and saying some shit, it’s a little bit different. You start … crossing over into disrespectful. I don’t really play like that,” Verdugo explained.
“I don’t like that shit. That’s when I start having a little bit of problems with it. It’s like, hey, you want to pimp shit, you want to look at the ball and do whatever you want – skip, hop, jump – like look at the ball. There’s no reason to stare at the pitcher and be like, ‘Yeah, what’s up.'”
He continued: “And then, vice versa, with the pitcher striking out a hitter. You want to get fired up, look at your dugout and (be) like, ‘Let’s go.’ You don’t need to look at me at the plate and be like, ‘Fuck you, let’s go.’ … I think that’s when you start getting a little bit muddy. But if it’s a genuine reaction and it’s for the boys, not against (or) not directed toward somebody, then yeah, (it’s fine).”
Verdugo’s Red Sox will face off against Manoah’s Blue Jays for the first time in 2023 on May 1 in Boston.
NHL ROUNDUP: MATT BOLDY’S HAT TRICK LEADS WILD OVER KRAKEN
Matt Boldy scored his second hat trick in nine days as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Seattle Kraken 5-1 Monday night in St. Paul, Minn.
Jake Middleton and Ryan Hartman also scored and Marcus Johansson, Jared Spurgeon and Joel Eriksson Ek had two assists apiece for the Central Division-leading Wild, who improved to 15-1-4 in their past 20 games and pulled within three points of Western Conference-leading Vegas. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves.
Jaden Schwartz scored for the Kraken, who lead the West’s wild-card race. Goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 9 of 13 shots before being pulled early in the third after Boldy scored to make it 4-0. Martin Jones stopped 6 of 7 shots the rest of the way as Seattle had an eight-game road point streak snapped (7-0-1).
Boldy completed the hat trick 50 seconds into the third. Eriksson Ek stole a clearance attempt and passed to Boldy for a one-timer from the slot. Boldy also had three goals in a 5-3 victory against Washington on March 19.
CANADIENS 4, SABRES 3 (SO)
Brendan Gallagher’s 200th career goal tied things up just before the midway point of the third period, and Montreal eventually won in a shootout against host Buffalo.
With the Canadiens down 3-2, Gallagher leveled things when he rang the post via his milestone goal with 11:25 remaining in regulation. Jordan Harris and Alex Belzile also had goals, and Michael Pezzetta’s score in the sixth round of the shootout was the difference for the Canadiens.
Lukas Rousek scored on his first NHL shot and added an assist in his league debut for the Sabres. JJ Peterka and Riley Stillman also scored, while Eric Comrie made 38 saves for Buffalo, which played without star Tage Thompson (upper-body injury).
SENATORS 5, PANTHERS 2
Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, Mads Sogaard made 32 saves and Ottawa scored three power-play goals to beat visiting Florida.
The win moved the Senators closer in their pursuit of an Eastern Conference wild-card spot. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who were idle on Monday, are in the second wild-card slot with 82 points, while the Panthers are just behind them despite being on a season-high, four-game losing streak.
Ottawa’s Alex DeBrincat, Tim Stutzle and Erik Brannstrom all scored on the power play, with each score coming near the end of each period. After its 3-for-4 performance on Monday, the Senators’ streaking power-play unit is 10-for-28 over the past eight games. Gustav Forsling scored both of the Panthers’ goals.
ISLANDERS 5, DEVILS 1
Kyle Palmieri scored twice against his former team for New York, which earned a pivotal victory by beating New Jersey in Elmont, N.Y.
Pierre Engvall scored in the first period and Bo Horvat and Zach Parise each scored empty-netters late in the third for the Islanders, who stopped a two-game losing streak and lengthened their lead in the Eastern Conference wild-card race. Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves.
Erik Haula scored in the second period for the Devils, who lost for the sixth time in eight games (2-4-2) and missed a chance to move within one point of the idle first-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division. New Jersey goalie Vitek Vanecek recorded 31 saves.
OILERS 5, COYOTES 4
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a third-period tiebreaking goal, Leon Draisaitl netted the 300th of his career and Edmonton prevailed in Tempe, Ariz.
By scoring in his 630th game, Draisaitl used the fourth-fewest games to reach 300 goals among active players. Evan Bouchard had a goal and an assist, and Zach Hyman and Darnell Nurse scored for the Oilers. Jack Campbell made 29 saves for the win.
Arizona got two goals apiece from Matias Maccelli and Barrett Hayton. Lawson Crouse dealt three assists and Jack McBain and Nick Schmaltz each had two.
AVALANCHE 5, DUCKS 1
Nathan MacKinnon and Bowen Byram each had a goal and an assist as visiting Colorado cruised past Anaheim for its third consecutive win.
Valeri Nichushkin, Jack Johnson and Samuel Girard also scored goals and Cale Makar added two assists for Colorado, which is one point behind first-place Minnesota in the Central Division ahead of a Wednesday game vs. the Wild in Denver. Jonas Johansson stopped 29 of 30 shots.
Derek Grant scored for Anaheim, which took its fifth straight loss. John Gibson made 39 saves for the Ducks, who finished an eight-game homestand with just a 1-6-1 record to fall to 12-22-3 at the Honda Center this season.
MEN’S GOLF NEWS
REPORT: UK PANEL SIDES WITH EUROPEAN TOUR IN FIGHT WITH LIV
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) The European tour has won a key court case in the ongoing dispute with LIV Golf that allows the tour to fine players competing on the Saudi-funded rival league without permission, according to a London newspaper.
The Times of London reported that Sport Resolutions, a three-member arbitration panel that heard testimony in February, has ruled in favor of the European tour.
It said a decision would be announced Thursday, the same day 18 players from LIV Golf are set to compete in the Masters.
The ruling would allow the European tour to impose £100,000 fines on players who compete for LIV Golf without a conflicting events release, according to the Times. It also said the tour can impose the fine on players at the inaugural LIV event last June outside London.
That has been the only LIV Golf event held in Europe. LIV is scheduled to return this year to the Centurion Club outside London, along with another event in Spain.
“Out of respect for the confidentiality of the process conducted by Sports Resolutions, we will make no comment on any aspect of the arbitration until the decision is formally announced,” said a statement from the DP World Tour, the commercial name of the circuit.
A ruling in favor of Europe means Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulters and others are likely to resign their membership.
It was the first court decision since LIV Golf began in June.
Rory McIlroy, one of the strongest voices against LIV Golf, was cautious with his reaction until the decision is formally announced.
“If that is the outcome, that certainly changes the dynamic of everything a bit,” he said. “I’m not a lawyer, but if the arbitration panel thinks that’s the right decision, we have to go by what they say.”
The PGA Tour suspended its members when they played the rival league. Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau were among nine players who filed an antitrust lawsuit in August against the PGA Tour, and now LIV Golf has joined the lawsuit while all but three players removed themselves as plaintiffs. The PGA Tour then filed a countersuit against LIV.
Three players asked for a temporary restraining order against the PGA Tour that would have allowed them to continue to compete in PGA Tour events. A federal judge denied that request in August.
That case is slowly moving through a federal court in California. It now is in the discovery process, and any trial is not scheduled until next January at the earliest.
The European tour fined its players for competing at Centurion Club last June and suspended them from the Scottish Open. Poulter, Adrian Otaegui of Spain and Justin Harding of South Africa appealed, allowing players to compete in European tour events.
Sports Resolution heard the case in February over five days of private hearings.
The ruling could provide clear definition for Europe in the Ryder Cup in terms of who could qualify or even play.
RORY MCILROY RETURNS TO MASTERS IN SEARCH OF GREEN JACKET
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Rory McIlroy has had plenty of memorable moments on the back nine on Sunday, but two of the best have had nothing to do with the four-time major champion holding up a trophy at the end.
One came in 2018, when McIlroy was paired with Tiger Woods in the final group at the Tour Championship. McIlroy faded that Sunday at East Lake, but he was left with the best view possible to watch Woods win for the first time in five years.
The other came just last year, down the hill from the stately clubhouse at Augusta National, where McIlroy holed out from the bunker on the 18th to finish off his Masters — and then watched Collin Morikawa do the same right behind him.
“Obviously the last time this tournament was played I walked away from the course and the tournament pretty happy with myself, as you can see over there,” McIlroy said Tuesday, gesturing to a nearby photograph of him standing in the bunker, his club raised and the vestiges of a joyful cry still spread across the Northern Irishman’s face.
What could top those two moments this Sunday? Perhaps a green jacket and a career Grand Slam.
That bunker shot that sent Woods-like roars through the towering Georgia pines last year left McIlroy with a 64, matching the best final-round score in Masters history, and three shots back of winner Scottie Scheffler in second place.
Yet it also left McIlroy with a feeling he carries into his 15th try at Augusta National this week: confidence.
“The only thing I could say is I proved to myself I could do it,” McIlroy explained. “As much as I didn’t really get into contention, there was part of me on the back nine last year that thought I had a chance. To play the way I did, and eagle 13 and have those feelings, in my mind anyway, I felt like it was a breakthrough.
“So any time I see an image like that,” McIlroy said, glancing again at the photograph of him on 18, “or the video of me and Collin doing what he did as well, it brings back those good vibes.”
The vibes haven’t always been good at Augusta National.
By most rights, McIlroy should have slipped into the first of many green jackets 12 years ago. He had opened with a 65, reached 12 under by the end of the third round and was still leading when he made the turn on Sunday. But a wayward tee shot ricocheted through the trees to the left of the 10th and McIlory made triple bogey. He made another bogey at the next. And when he splashed a shot into Rae’s Creek at the par-3 13th, his meltdown was complete.
He shot a final-round 80, and the lasting image was not of the 33-year-old McIlroy standing triumphantly in a bunker a dozen years later but of a 21-year-old McIlroy, so publicly wounded, doubled over his club in anguish.
“I don’t think every experience is going to be a good experience. That would lead to a pretty boring life,” McIlroy observed this week. “You have to learn from those challenges, and learn from some of that scar tissues that built up.”
If anyone knows about scar tissue, figuratively and literally, it would be Woods. He played a practice round with McIlroy on Monday, and the five-time Masters champion might be the one person more confident in McIlroy than himself.
“It’s just a matter of time. Rory has the talent. He has the game. He has all the tools,” said Woods, the most recent player to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus in completing the modern Grand Slam.
“Last year he made a great run, put himself right there,” Woods said, “but I think it’s just a matter of time, whether it’s this year or next or whenever it comes. He will get it done. He will have a career Grand Slam. It’s just a matter of when it will be.”
It might be this week. McIlroy’s game is certainly on point. He won in January in Dubai and was second at Bay Hill before advancing to the semifinals of the Dell Match Play a couple of weeks ago, where he lost to Cameron Young.
Those results, coupled with the way McIlroy has learned to navigate Augusta National, are why oddsmakers picked him, along with defending champion Scottie Scheffler, to have his most memorable moment on the 18th green this Sunday.
“It looks like this is another prime year,” 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples said after watching McIlroy in a practice round this week. “He’s playing very, very well. What does he have to do? I don’t know. Is it surprising he’s never won this? Of course it is, the way he plays and the way he putts and how high he hits and how far he hits it. But it’s not that easy.
“He just does his own deal and plays like Rory can, he’ll be just fine. Then he’s got to beat two, four, five people on Sunday.”
RAHM LOOKS TO REGAIN MOMENTUM AT MASTERS AFTER ROUGH MARCH
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Jon Rahm looked nearly unbeatable just a month ago.
Now, the world’s No. 3-ranked player suddenly finds himself looking for a way to regain his top form this week at the Masters.
After winning three tournaments in a six-week span culminating in a two-shot victory over Max Homa at Riviera, Rahm endured a rough March — making it anyone’s guess as to what to expect from the 28-year-old Spaniard at Augusta National.
Rahm’s issues began at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he followed up a stellar opening-round 7-under 65 with back-to-back 76s, eliminating him from contention at Bay Hill. He ultimately finished tied for 39th, snapping a streak of 10 straight top-10 finishes.
He followed that with a first-round 71 at the Players Championship, but was forced to withdraw because of a stomach illness.
Then came a disappointing effort at the WGC-Dell Match Play where he lost to Rickie Fowler and Billy Horschel, becoming the only top six seed not to advance to the round of 16.
The question now becomes can he return to his dominant form and win his first green jacket — or has he lost that momentum?
Rahm, for one, downplayed the idea of momentum being a factor, calling himself a “week-to-week type of guy.”
Translation: He’s plenty confident he’ll turn things around this week.
“If you believe that something like that can stop positive momentum, when you get on a negative run, you know, how can you change that, right?” said Rahm, who has won nearly $45 million during his professional career. “If you’re waiting for something outside yourself to change things, I don’t think that’s the best way to look at it, in my mind.
“Every single tournament I go to, my plan is to win, and my mindset doesn’t deviate from that.”
Despite his recent struggles, Rahm remains among the favorites to win the Masters according the FanDuel Sportsbook at 19-2 odds, which ranks behind only defending champion Scottie Scheffler (7-1) and Rory McIlroy (15-2).
Those three golfers have separated themselves from the rest of the pack in the world rankings, although Rahm refuses to classify them as the next “big three” of men’s professional golf.
“I think for us to be compared to something like that, we have a very long way to go,” Rahm said. “It could be the start. But still a long way to go.”
Rahm should know.
A self-described “golf junkie,” Rahm said he regularly wakes up at 5:30 in the morning to watch videos of other golfers — past and present — on YouTube because he feels as if he can always learn something from others. He’s become a historian of the game, and he’s well aware of the high bar set by Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia, three Spaniards who have combined to win five Masters.
He’s quick to point out this is the 40-year anniversary of Ballesteros winning his second green jacket.
And while he wasn’t alive when Olazabal won his first Masters in 1994 — and hadn’t even started playing golf when he won his second in 1999 — he’s gone back and watched the videos of those wins, gaining a better understanding of what a great source of pride and inspiration they were for his country.
Rahm’s first appearance at the Masters came in 2017 when Garcia outlasted Justin Rose to win his first major, something that has emboldened Rahm’s desire to win the Masters.
“It’s something that’s important to me,” Rahm said of the prospect of winning here.
History suggests Rahm will play well. He’s finished in the top 10 in four of his six appearances, finishing tied for fifth two years ago and fourth in 2018.
But can Rahm regain that momentum from earlier this season when he surged to No. 1 in the world?
McIlroy, who had breakfast with Rahm on Tuesday, doesn’t see why not.
McIlroy said it’s difficult to imagine Rahm and Scheffler not being in contention on Sunday.
“I look at both of those guys, and it’s hard to see them not consistently finishing in the top 10 of every tournament that they play,” McIlroy said. “They both do it a different way. They both sort of have different attitudes towards the game. But it just seems like every week that we’re playing, one of us has got a chance to win that tournament.”
AUTO RACING NEWS
DIRT RACING NEXT AS NASCAR MOVES TO BRISTOL
All Times Eastern
NASCAR CUP SERIES
Food City Dirt Race
Site: Bristol, Tennessee.
Schedule: Friday, practice, 6:35 p.m. and 8:32 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 6 p.m.-7 p.m. in four heats; Sunday, race, 7 p.m. (FOX).
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway.
Race distance: 250 laps, 125.5 miles.
Last year: Kyle Busch won after starting 11th.
Last race: Kyle Larson pulled away from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Josh Berry on a restart with 14 laps to go and won at Richmond for his first victory of the season.
Fast facts: Larson’s victory was the 20th of his career, half of them coming in his 2021 championship season. It was also the fifth for Chevrolet in seven races and the third for Hendrick drivers. … Berry’s finish was his career best. He is filling in for injured driver Chase Elliott. … Denny Hamlin overcame an early pit road penalty to get back into contention, but a second one took him out of the mix at his home track. … Hendrick driver Alex Bowman has six top-10 finishes and leads Ross Chastain by four points in the standings. Christopher Bell is 34 points behind, and the top Toyota. Kevin Harvick is sixth and the top Ford.
Next race: April 16, Martinsville, Virginia.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
Last race: Chandler Smith outran John Hunter Nemechek in a six-lap dash to the finish to win at Richmond, his first victory in 10 career starts in the series. Nemechek rallied after being 33rd to end the first stage.
Next race: April 15, Martinsville, Virginia.
NASCAR TRUCK SERIES
Weather Guard Truck Race on Dirt
Site: Bristol, Tennessee.
Schedule: Friday, practice, 5:35 p.m. and 8:02 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in four heats, and race, 8 p.m. (FS1).
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway.
Race distance: 150 laps, 75 laps.
Last year: Ben Rhodes won after starting second.
Last race: Carson Hocevar avoided a last-lap-of-regulation crash by the leaders and led only the last lap in the second overtime to win at Texas, his first career victory.
Fast facts: Nick Sanchez won the first two stages and led 168 of the 172 laps before crashing with Zane Smith after taking the white flag and finishing 16th. Smith wound up 14th. … Race runnerup Chase Purdy also posted his career-best finish. … Stewart Friesen was third, followed by Ty Majeski and Jake Garcia. … Majeski took over the points lead by three over Zane Smith. … Four of the five races run have been won by full-time series competitors. … Three of the top five in the standings — Smith, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton — are former series champions.
Next race: April 14, Martinsville, Virginia.
Last race: Two-time defending champion Max Verstappen outran seven-time champ Lewis Hamilton in a three-lap sprint of a race filled with restarts to win for the second time in three races this year and the 18th time in the last 27. The finish was Hamilton’s best in more than a year.
Next race: April 30, Azerbaijan.
Last race: Josef Newgarden edged Pato O’Ward in a stirring lead-swapping duel and won at Texas when a crash behind the leaders brought out a yellow flag just as the leaders took the white flag. It was the third victory for Newgarden at Texas. O’Ward leads the standings.
Next race: April 16, Long Beach, California.
NHRA DRAG RACING
Last event: Justin Ashley won in Top Fuel and Matt Hagan won in Funny Car at Pomona, California.
Next event: April 16, Las Vegas.
WORLD OF OUTLAWS
Next events: April 7, Osborn, Missouri, and April 8, Wichita, Kansas.
MEN’S TENNIS NEWS
NADAL, ALCARAZ PULL OUT OF CLAY-COURT MONTE CARLO MASTERS
MONACO (AP) Rafael Nadal pulled out of the clay-court Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday, saying he is not yet able to compete at the highest level.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been sidelined with a left hip flexor injury since the Australian Open. The Monte Carlo Masters begins on April 8.
“I will not be able to play in one of the most important tournaments of my career, Monte Carlo,” Nadal wrote on Twitter. “I am not yet in conditions to play with the maximum guarantees and I continue my preparation process, hoping to be back soon.”
Second-ranked Carlos Alcaraz and seventh-ranked Felix Auger-Aliassime also withdrew from the event.
Alcaraz pulled out because of “physical discomfort” after his semifinal loss in Florida last week. The Spaniard had been so dominant recently, he hadn’t lost a set since February before that defeat.
“I have post-traumatic arthritis in my left hand and muscular discomfort in the spine that needs rest to prepare for everything that is to come,” the 19-year-old from Spain said.
Auger-Aliassime needs to rest his left knee.
“I have been struggling with my left knee for the past few weeks and decided it was the smartest decision to take some time off so I’m able to fully heal and recover,” the 22-year-old Canadian wrote on Instagram.
Nadal has won the Monte Carlo tournament a record 11 times, including an Open Era record streak of eight consecutive titles from 2005-12. The 36-year-old Spaniard generally uses the event as a key part of his preparations for the French Open, which takes place May 28-June 11.
Nadal has won 14 of his major titles on clay at Roland Garros, including last year while dealing with chronic pain in his left foot.
In January, Nadal hurt his hip flexor during a second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open.
|Tampa Bay||5||0||1.000||–||3 – 0||2 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 0||0 – 0||5 – 0||W 5|
|Baltimore||3||2||.600||2||0 – 0||3 – 2||1 – 2||0 – 0||2 – 0||3 – 2||W 2|
|NY Yankees||3||2||.600||2||3 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 2||L 1|
|Boston||2||3||.400||3||2 – 3||0 – 0||2 – 1||0 – 0||0 – 0||2 – 3||L 2|
|Toronto||2||3||.400||3||0 – 0||2 – 3||0 – 0||1 – 1||0 – 0||2 – 3||W 1|
|Minnesota||4||1||.800||–||0 – 0||4 – 1||0 – 0||3 – 0||0 – 0||4 – 1||L 1|
|Cleveland||4||2||.667||0.5||0 – 0||4 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||4 – 2||4 – 2||L 1|
|Chi White Sox||2||3||.400||2||0 – 1||2 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||2 – 2||2 – 3||L 1|
|Detroit||2||3||.400||2||0 – 0||2 – 3||0 – 3||0 – 0||2 – 0||2 – 3||W 2|
|Kansas City||1||4||.200||3||1 – 4||0 – 0||1 – 1||0 – 3||0 – 0||1 – 4||L 1|
|LA Angels||3||2||.600||–||0 – 0||3 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 2||3 – 2||L 1|
|Texas||3||2||.600||–||3 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 2||L 2|
|Oakland||2||3||.400||1||2 – 3||0 – 0||0 – 0||1 – 1||1 – 2||2 – 3||W 1|
|Houston||2||4||.333||1.5||2 – 4||0 – 0||0 – 0||2 – 4||0 – 0||2 – 4||L 3|
|Seattle||2||4||.333||1.5||2 – 4||0 – 0||0 – 0||1 – 3||1 – 1||2 – 4||W 1|
|Atlanta||4||1||.800||–||0 – 0||4 – 1||2 – 1||2 – 0||0 – 0||4 – 1||W 2|
|NY Mets||3||3||.500||1.5||0 – 0||3 – 3||3 – 1||0 – 2||0 – 0||3 – 3||L 2|
|Miami||2||4||.333||2.5||2 – 4||0 – 0||1 – 3||0 – 0||0 – 0||2 – 4||W 1|
|Philadelphia||1||4||.200||3||0 – 0||1 – 4||0 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||1 – 4||W 1|
|Washington||1||4||.200||3||1 – 4||0 – 0||1 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||1 – 4||L 2|
|Milwaukee||4||1||.800||–||2 – 0||2 – 1||2 – 0||2 – 1||0 – 0||4 – 1||W 4|
|Cincinnati||3||2||.600||1||3 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 2||0 – 0||3 – 2||L 1|
|Pittsburgh||3||2||.600||1||0 – 0||3 – 2||0 – 0||1 – 2||0 – 0||3 – 2||W 2|
|Chi Cubs||2||3||.400||2||1 – 2||1 – 1||0 – 0||2 – 3||0 – 0||2 – 3||W 1|
|St. Louis||2||3||.400||2||2 – 3||0 – 0||0 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||2 – 3||L 2|
|LA Dodgers||4||2||.667||–||4 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||4 – 2||4 – 2||W 2|
|Arizona||3||3||.500||1||0 – 0||3 – 3||0 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 3||3 – 3||W 1|
|San Diego||3||3||.500||1||3 – 3||0 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||3 – 3||3 – 3||L 1|
|San Francisco||2||2||.500||1||0 – 0||2 – 2||0 – 0||0 – 0||0 – 0||2 – 2||W 1|
|Colorado||2||4||.333||2||0 – 0||2 – 4||0 – 0||0 – 0||2 – 4||2 – 4||L 4|
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 xy-Milwaukee||57||22||.722||—||31-8||26-14||10-5||34-16||7-3||2 W|
|2 x-Boston||54||25||.684||3.0||29-9||25-16||9-5||31-18||7-3||1 L|
|3 x-Philadelphia||52||27||.658||5.0||29-11||23-16||9-6||32-17||5-5||1 W|
|4 x-Cleveland||50||30||.625||7.5||31-9||19-21||13-3||33-17||7-3||2 W|
|5 x-New York||46||33||.582||11.0||23-17||23-16||8-8||31-19||7-3||4 W|
|6 Brooklyn||43||36||.544||14.0||22-17||21-19||7-8||28-21||4-6||1 L|
|7 Miami||42||37||.532||15.0||26-14||16-23||9-5||22-27||6-4||2 W|
|8 Atlanta||40||39||.506||17.0||23-16||17-23||7-8||25-24||6-4||2 W|
|9 Toronto||40||39||.506||17.0||26-14||14-25||4-10||25-24||7-3||2 W|
|10 Chicago||38||41||.481||19.0||21-19||17-22||6-8||26-24||6-4||1 L|
|11 Indiana||34||45||.430||23.0||20-19||14-26||7-8||23-26||3-7||1 L|
|12 Washington||34||45||.430||23.0||18-21||16-24||7-7||20-30||2-8||3 L|
|13 Orlando||34||45||.430||23.0||20-20||14-25||7-8||20-29||6-4||1 L|
|14 Charlotte||26||54||.325||31.5||13-27||13-27||7-9||14-37||4-6||3 L|
|15 Detroit||16||63||.203||41.0||9-31||7-32||1-13||7-42||0-10||10 L|
|W||L||Pct||Conf GB||Home||Road||Div||Conf||Last 10||Streak|
|1 xy-Denver||52||27||.658||—||33-7||19-20||10-5||33-16||6-4||1 L|
|2 xy-Memphis||50||29||.633||2.0||35-6||15-23||13-2||30-20||8-2||1 W|
|3 xy-Sacramento||48||31||.608||4.0||23-17||25-14||9-6||32-17||6-4||1 W|
|4 x-Phoenix||44||35||.557||8.0||27-12||17-23||9-5||29-20||7-3||6 W|
|5 Golden State||42||38||.525||10.5||33-8||9-30||6-9||28-22||6-4||1 W|
|6 LA Clippers||41||38||.519||11.0||21-18||20-20||7-7||24-25||5-5||2 L|
|7 LA Lakers||41||38||.519||11.0||21-18||20-20||5-9||25-24||7-3||4 W|
|8 New Orleans||40||39||.506||12.0||25-14||15-25||10-5||28-22||7-3||1 L|
|9 Minnesota||40||40||.500||12.5||21-19||19-21||8-8||27-23||5-5||1 W|
|10 Oklahoma City||38||42||.475||14.5||23-17||15-25||8-7||23-27||4-6||3 L|
|11 Dallas||37||42||.468||15.0||22-16||15-26||9-6||27-23||3-7||3 L|
|12 Utah||36||43||.456||16.0||22-17||14-26||5-9||23-26||3-7||3 L|
|13 Portland||33||46||.418||19.0||17-23||16-23||7-9||23-26||2-8||1 L|
|14 San Antonio||20||59||.253||32.0||13-26||7-33||2-13||8-41||2-8||1 L|
|15 Houston||20||60||.250||32.5||14-27||6-33||4-12||12-40||2-8||1 W|
Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.
X – Clinched Playoff Spot, Y – Clinched Division, Z – Clinched Conference
|1 xyz-Boston Bruins||77||60||12||5||125||56||286||166||31-4-3||29-8-2||9-1-0|
|2 x-Carolina Hurricanes||77||50||18||9||109||46||251||198||27-10-3||23-8-6||6-3-1|
|3 x-New Jersey Devils||78||49||21||8||106||47||271||217||22-13-4||27-8-4||5-4-1|
|4 x-Toronto Maple Leafs||77||46||21||10||102||45||262||213||26-8-6||20-13-4||6-3-1|
|5 x-New York Rangers||77||45||21||11||101||41||261||207||22-12-4||23-9-7||7-2-1|
|6 x-Tampa Bay Lightning||77||45||26||6||96||42||267||231||27-7-5||18-19-1||6-4-0|
|7 Florida Panthers||78||40||31||7||87||38||274||261||22-12-4||18-19-3||6-4-0|
|8 New York Islanders||78||39||30||9||87||38||227||214||22-13-3||17-17-6||5-4-1|
|9 Pittsburgh Penguins||78||38||30||10||86||37||249||254||22-12-5||16-18-5||4-6-0|
|10 Buffalo Sabres||76||37||32||7||81||36||271||278||15-20-4||22-12-3||4-4-2|
|11 Ottawa Senators||78||37||34||7||81||35||246||254||22-14-3||15-20-4||4-3-3|
|12 Detroit Red Wings||77||35||33||9||79||32||231||252||19-15-4||16-18-5||5-5-0|
|13 Washington Capitals||77||34||34||9||77||32||240||243||17-15-6||17-19-3||2-6-2|
|14 Philadelphia Flyers||77||29||35||13||71||27||209||257||17-17-5||12-18-8||5-3-2|
|15 Montreal Canadiens||78||30||42||6||66||25||219||289||16-20-3||14-22-3||3-7-0|
|16 Columbus Blue Jackets||77||24||45||8||56||23||205||307||15-21-2||9-24-6||3-6-1|
|1 x-Vegas Golden Knights||78||48||22||8||104||43||259||223||23-15-1||25-7-7||6-2-2|
|2 x-Colorado Avalanche||76||46||24||6||98||40||256||210||21-13-5||25-11-1||8-2-0|
|3 x-Edmonton Oilers||78||46||23||9||101||46||309||255||22-12-6||24-11-3||9-0-1|
|4 x-Los Angeles Kings||78||45||23||10||100||39||267||245||25-10-4||20-13-6||6-3-1|
|5 x-Dallas Stars||77||42||21||14||98||39||267||213||19-10-9||23-11-5||5-4-1|
|6 x-Minnesota Wild||77||44||23||10||98||37||232||209||24-11-4||20-12-6||6-2-2|
|7 Seattle Kraken||77||43||26||8||94||43||272||243||18-16-4||25-10-4||6-3-1|
|8 Winnipeg Jets||77||43||31||3||89||42||233||215||24-12-2||19-19-1||5-5-0|
|9 Calgary Flames||78||36||27||15||87||34||250||244||19-16-4||17-11-11||6-3-1|
|10 Nashville Predators||77||39||30||8||86||34||216||227||20-14-4||19-16-4||5-5-0|
|11 St. Louis Blues||78||36||35||7||79||33||255||288||17-16-6||19-19-1||6-2-2|
|12 Vancouver Canucks||77||34||36||7||75||29||262||287||17-20-2||17-16-5||5-3-2|
|13 Arizona Coyotes||78||27||38||13||67||24||216||282||20-14-4||7-24-9||2-6-2|
|14 San Jose Sharks||77||22||39||16||60||21||226||295||8-20-11||14-19-5||3-3-4|
|15 Chicago Blackhawks||77||25||46||6||56||23||190||280||14-22-3||11-24-3||2-8-0|
|16 Anaheim Ducks||77||23||44||10||56||20||195||317||12-22-3||11-22-7||1-9-0|
Last updated Apr. 5, 1:37 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
1913 In an exhibition game against the Yankees, 25,000 fans watch the Dodgers play their first game in Ebbets Field. Brooklyn beats New York, 3-2, with Casey Stengel hitting the park’s first home run, an inside-the-parker.
1925 Babe Ruth collapses at a railroad station in Asheville (NC). The “bellyache heard round the world,” so dubbed when a writer suggests that a hot dog and soda binge caused the illness, will require hospitalization and an operation, keeping the Yankees slugger out of the lineup for seven weeks.
1934 Babe Ruth, sponsored by Quaker Oats, agrees to do a weekly show on NBC radio. The Sultan of Swat’s broadcast salary for the 13-week series will be $4000 more than his reported Yankee contract of $35,000.
1934 Reds president Larry MacPhail hires 26-year-old Red Barber to broadcast the team games on WSAL. The not-so-old “Ol’ Redhead” will spend the first five years of his Hall of Fame career in Cincinnati, calling the contests from Crosley Field’s stands.
1935 The Braves, returning north from spring training, beat North Carolina State College, 6-2, in a contest that ends in the seventh inning because there are no baseballs to play with, having used the 100 put aside for the game. Olney Ray Freeman strikes out a 40-year-old Babe Ruth on a two-strike curveball, a feat the southpaw brags about until he died in 2008.
1957 The Phillies trade five players, Ron Negray, Tim Harkness, Elmer Valo, Mel Geho, Ben Flowers (the player to be named later), and send $75,000 to the Dodgers to obtain much-touted Cuban infielder Chico Fernandez. Philadelphia’s new shortstop plays three seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, batting just .242 before being traded to the Tigers.
1966 Don Larsen, the last active major leaguer who played for the Browns, is released by the Orioles. As a rookie in 1953, the Michigan City, Indiana native posted a 7-12 record for the hapless franchise, which lost 100 games in its final season in St. Louis.
1971 At RFK Stadium, 45,000 fans watch the last Opening Day game the Senators will play in the District of Columbia. Dick Bosman goes the distance, blanking the A’s on six hits in Washington’s 8-0 victory over Oakland.
1972 The player strike, which started on April 1st, cancels the season opener between the Astros and Reds. The work stoppage postpones Opening Day for the first time in major league history, with 86 games not played until both sides agree on increasing pension fund payments and the owners adding salary arbitration to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
1972 The Expos trade a stunned All-Star right fielder Rusty Staub to the Mets for outfielder Ken Singleton and infielders Tim Foli and Mike Jorgensen. The 28-year-old ‘Le Grand Orange,’ a fan favorite in Montreal, will miss most of the season due to injuries but will play a significant role in New York’s 1973 ‘Ya Gotta Believe’ pennant-winning team.
1976 In a deal negotiated in the groundskeeper’s office under the third base stands at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, 31-year-old right-hander Tom Seaver agrees to a three-year contract with the Mets. The pact makes ‘Tom Terrific,’ who posted a 25-9 record last season while leading the league in strikeouts with 243, the first hurler in baseball history to earn $200,000 annually.
1979 At Memorial Stadium, Oriole manager Earl Weaver notches his 1,000th career victory when Baltimore beats Chicago on Opening Day, 5-3. The future Hall of Fame skipper will finish his 17-year managerial career, all with the Birds, with a 1480-1069 (.583) record.
1983 On Opening Day, Tom Seaver, making his first appearance with the Mets since 1977, combines with Doug Sisk to blank the Phillies at Shea Stadium, 2-0. ‘Tom Terrific,’ who will go on to extend the record to 16, ties Walter Johnson’s major league mark with his 14th Opening Day assignment.
1988 With a 6-3 Opening Day victory over the Padres, Houston wins its 2,000th game in franchise history. The Astros score five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, making starter Mike Scott the winning pitcher.
1989 At Riverfront Stadium, Dodgers’ hurler Orel Hershiser’s scoreless-inning streak ends at 59. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Todd Benzinger’s single scores Barry Larkin, almost a pickoff victim after getting a base hit to lead off the game but was safe on the ‘Bulldog’s’ throwing error.
1993 William Jefferson Clinton becomes the first U.S. president to successfully throw the season’s first pitch from the pitcher’s mound. Orioles starter Rick Sutcliffe, giving up six runs in six innings, doesn’t fare as well when the Birds lose to the Rangers, 7-4 at Camden Yards.
1993 At Shea Stadium, the Rockies lose their National League debut, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Mets and Dwight Gooden, who pitches a four-hit complete game for the victory. Right-hander David Nied starts the contest for Colorado, and Andres Galarraga collects the franchise’s first hit with a second-inning single.
1993 In front of 42,334 fans at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, the Florida Marlins, making their major league debut, defeat the Dodgers, 6-3. Joe DiMaggio throws out the ceremonial first pitch, and the team retires uniform number 5 in tribute their late president Carl Barger, the number of his favorite player, fittingly Joe DiMaggio.
1993 On Opening Day, Greg Maddux, signed as a free agent in the offseason, allows no runs and scatters five hits to his former team over 8.1 innings. Mike Stanton gets the last two outs in the Braves’ 1-0 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
1993 Eric Fox, inserted into the game as a late-inning defensive replacement, hits a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving the A’s an eventual 9-4 Opening Day victory before 43,370 fans at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The round-tripper will be the outfielder’s only homer of the season.
1997 At Olympic Stadium, the Rockies set a franchise record with seven home runs, including three by Larry Walker, pulled from the game in the eighth inning by Rockies manager Don Baylor. The Colorado skipper doesn’t want to run up the score against the Expos with his team ahead 15-1.
1998 After five attempts, the Diamondbacks win their first game in franchise history when Andy Benes pitches seven strong innings, and Matt Williams paces the attack with three hits in the team’s 3-2 victory over San Francisco at Bank One Ballpark. Arizona’s 0-5 start is the second-longest season-opening losing streak for an expansion team in its first season, surpassed only by the 1962 Mets, who didn’t record a victory until their tenth game.
2003 The Royals become the first major league team to begin the season 5-0, en route to nine consecutive victories, after losing 100 games the prior year. Runelvys Hernandez, the winner of a coin toss, making him the Opening Day starter, gets his second victory, allowing two hits in seven innings to beat the Indians at Kauffman Stadium, 2-1.
2003 To show support for the U.S. troops in Iraq, the White Sox announce all active military members showing a military ID will be given free admission to most home games at U.S. Cellular Field. The free passes will not be available during the Cubs series scheduled for June.
2004 Braves’ general manager John Schuerholz announces the team has exercised the option to retain Bobby Cox as the team’s manager through the 2005 season. The 62-year-old skipper, ninth all-time in managerial wins with 1,906, has won a record 12-consecutive divisional titles.
2004 “This, I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. I’m going to live with this. Opening Day, a walk-off home run – it doesn’t get any better.” – CARLOS BELTRAN, reflecting on his game-winning home run on Opening Day. The Royals become the first team since 1901 to overcome a ninth-inning deficit of four runs on Opening Day when they rally to beat the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium, 9-7. Kansas City center fielder Carlos Beltran’s two-run walk-off homer that bounces off the top of the wall is the keynote hit in the team’s six-run final frame.
2005 The Nationals, formerly known as the Expos, lose their inaugural season opener, bowing to the Phillies, 8-4. The franchise, which played its initial 36 years in Montreal, becomes the first team to represent the nation’s capital since the Senators left Washington to become the Texas Rangers in 1971.
2005 Johan Santana gets credited for the win in the Twins’ 8-4 victory over Seattle at Safeco Field, but the southpaw’s streak of 22 straight starts of allowing three or fewer runs ends. Last season’s Cy Young Award winner has the second-longest span of giving fewer than four runs in consecutive outings, trailing only Dwight Gooden’s 24 in 1985.
2006 Sluggerrr, the Royals’ Mascot, celebrates his tenth birthday at Kauffman Stadium. In the offseason, the nearly seven-foot-tall lion with a crown built into his skull is very active in the Kansas City community, visiting local schools to encourage youngsters to excel in school and be good citizens.
2009 Jordan Schafer becomes the tenth Braves’ player in franchise history and the 99th overall to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat. The 22-year-old rookie center fielder, who never played in a level higher than Double-A, goes deep off Philadelphia’s Opening Day starter Brett Myers in the second inning at Citizens Bank Park.
2010 Mainly receiving cheers from the standing-room-only crowd at Nationals Stadium, President Barack Obama, wearing a White Sox cap and a Nats jacket, continues a 100-year tradition when he throws the ceremonial first pitch before Washington’s home opener against Philadelphia. The Commander-in-Chief’s toss is high and wide, but third baseman Ryan Zimmerman makes a lunging grab of the ball.
2010 Jason Heyward becomes the eleventh Braves player in franchise history to homer in his first major league at-bat. The much-touted 20-year-old rookie, with the hometown fans chanting, “Let’s go, Heyward!” hits a three-run homer in the first inning off Chicago’s Carlos Zambrano at Turner Field.
2010 The Red Sox and their ace, Josh Beckett, agree on a $68 million, four-year contract extension. The agreement keeps the team’s Opening Day starter in Boston, giving the club a potent 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation for the next five years with the recent free-agent acquisition of John Lackey.
2010 Matt Stairs plays for his twelfth major league organization when he flies out in a pinch-hitting role for the Padres in a 6-3 loss to Arizona at Chase Field, equaling Deacon McGuire’s record (1884 to 1912) for the most teams ever played with by a position player. The 18-year veteran also joins pitchers Mike Morgan and Ron Villone for being on a dozen different clubs.
2011 Nine different pitchers each contribute a hitless inning apiece when the High Desert Mavericks (Adelanto, California) no-hit the local Victor Valley Community College Rams, 12-0. Hurlers James Gillheeny, Tim Boyce, Nick Czyz, Austin Hudson, Johnathan Hesketh, Ogui Diaz, Jose Jimenez, John Housey, and Chris Kirkland share the equal workload for the California League’s Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Mariners.
2012 “In memory of Shannon Stone and dedicated to all fans who love the game,” -statue’s inscription, honoring a fan who died last season at the stadium while attending a game last season.
Six-year-old Cooper Stone helps to unveil the statue depicting him and his dad holding hands and having a conversation wearing their baseball caps in front of a gate at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Bruce Greene’s sculpture pays tribute to his father, who died last season when he fell twenty feet onto the concrete behind the left-field scoreboard, reaching for a ball thrown into the stands by Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton while attending a game with him.
2012 J.P. Arencibia’s three-run homer in the 16th inning, giving the Blue Jays an eventual 7-4 victory over the Indians, ends the longest opening-day game in major league history. The Progressive Field marathon surpassed the 15-inning Opening Day contests between Cleveland and the Tigers in 1960 and the A’s and Senators in 1926.
2013 Joining Willie Mays (1971), Mark McGwire (1998), and Nelson Cruz (2011), Chris Davis, who collects a grand slam and five RBIs in the Orioles’ home opener, becomes the fourth player in major league history to homer in his first four games of the season. The 27-year-old Baltimore first baseman also breaks the RBI mark for the same span, driving in 16 runs, four more than the previous record shared by three players.
2014 Ike Davis becomes the second player in franchise history to deliver a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam when he goes deep off J.J. Hoover in New York’s 6-3 victory over Cincinnati at Citi Field. The only other Met who accomplished the feat is the team’s current third base coach Tim Teufel, who went yard off the bench with the bases loaded in 1986 against Philadelphia.
2015 A.J. Preller continues his makeover of the Padres, acquiring All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. from the Braves for outfielders Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin, minor league prospects, and the 41st overall draft pick. By pulling off the incredible deal the day before the season begins, the San Diego GM significantly increases the club’s payroll, with most of the cost involving taking on the remaining $46.35 million still owed Upton, who will now join his brother B.J. as a teammate.
2016 For the first time in more than six decades, the Cubs and White Sox start the same season with two victories and no losses. The last time both Chicago teams were undefeated after two games occurred in 1951, two seasons before Ernie Banks played his rookie year.
2019 Rays’ left fielder Tommy Pham, going 1-for-5 in the team’s 5-2 victory over the Giants at Oracle Park, extends his on-base streak to 40 games, setting a new franchise record. Johnny Damon established the previous mark when he reached base in 39 consecutive games in 2011.
2021 A near-capacity crowd of 38,238, the largest to attend a U.S. sporting event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, watch the Blue Jays defeat the hometown Rangers, 6-2. Before the Globe Life Field contest, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declines to throw the ceremonial first pitch to protest MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to Georgia’s new election laws.
Few men in the history of baseball have seen great success as a player and as a manager. Frank Chance was one of them.
But Chance’s most enduring legacy – despite his success on the field and in the dugout – has been as the subject of the most celebrated baseball poem ever written.
“Baseball’s Sad Lexicon” by Franklin P. Adams uses the refrain “Tinker to Evers to Chance” as a description of the Chicago Cubs’ double-play combination in the early 1900s. After mostly catching and playing outfield for his first four years in the big leagues, Chance played the majority of his games at first base beginning in 1902, leading to his place in the poem.
“He was a great player – I think one of the best first basemen ever in the game – but in addition he was a great leader because he asked no man to take any chance that he would not take himself and because he had the power to instill enthusiasm even in a losing cause,” said fellow Hall of Fame manager John McGraw.
Born on Sept. 9, 1876 in Fresno, Calif., Chance played 17 seasons in the big leagues, 10 of those as a player/manager, earning the nickname “Peerless Leader.” He signed with the Chicago Orphans (the team name changed to the Cubs in 1903) in 1898 at age 21 and was moved to first base in 1902 by manager Frank Selee.
“Here’s the most promising player I ever saw,” said Bill Lange, former Chicago Colts outfielder who discovered Chance. “Some day he’ll be a wonder.”
Chance led the National League in stolen bases in 1903 with 67 and again in 1906 with 57. He also led the league in runs scored in 1906 with 103. As a first baseman, Chance had a .983 fielding percentage and was involved in 470 double plays.
“Chance is one great artist and to my mind ranks with Lajoie and Wagner,” said former major leaguer Danny Shay. “He is everything they are – a great hitter, splendid fielder, fast base-runner and has a head full of brains.”
He led the Cubs to four pennants in five years (1906-08, 1910), helping set a long-standing team record for wins in 1906 with 116. The Cubs lost the 1906 World Series to the White Sox, but won two back-to-back championships in 1907-08. He posted a .300 career average in the Fall Classic with 10 stolen bases and 21 hits.
Chance played for the Yankees in 1913-14, but appeared in considerably less games from 1912 on after suffering chronic headaches caused by several beanings. He finished his career with a .296 batting average, 1,273 hits, 401 stolen bases and 797 runs.
“Frank Chance was a wonderful fellow and a great manager,” Wilbert Robinson said. “He played the game hard all the way.”
Chance was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.
He passed away on Sept. 15, 1924.
Though he served just one six-year term as commissioner of Major League Baseball, Albert Benjamin “Happy” Chandler oversaw significant changes in the game.
A U.S. Senator and former governor of Kentucky, Chandler succeeded Kennesaw Mountain Landis as baseball’s second commissioner in 1945. Chandler became a leading candidate for the job after advocating for the continuation of play during World War II.
The following year, Chandler faced his first test when multi-millionaire Jorge Pasquel began offering major league players up to three times their annual salary to play in the newly formed Mexican League. Chandler acted quickly by threatening to impose a five-year ban on any player who defected to Mexico.
Chandler served as Commissioner for Jackie Robinson’s historic breaking of the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Later that season, Chandler threatened to suspend Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman for his racially insensitive taunts toward Robinson. He also supported National League president Ford Frick’s threat to indefinitely suspend St. Louis Cardinals players who had proposed sitting out games against the Dodgers.
“Some of the things he did for Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and [myself] when he was commissioner of baseball – those are the kinds of things we never forget,” said Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe, who added that Chandler had cared for black players in baseball “when it wasn’t fashionable.”
The year 1947 also saw a feud develop between Chandler and Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher. Continuing the authoritarian efforts of his predecessor, Landis, Chandler suspended Durocher for one year prior to the season for “the accumulation of unpleasant incidents” that included suspected ties with gamblers.
During the 1947 World Series, Chandler moved the two alternate umpires in each crew from the sidelines to the foul lines, a positioning that is still used today.
Chandler used the money raised from the league’s radio broadcasting contract for that Fall Classic to establish a players’ pension fund. Two years later, Chandler negotiated a new seven-year, $4,370,000 contract with the Gillette Safety Razor Company and the Mutual Broadcasting System for radio rights to the World Series, and funneled the proceeds directly into the pension fund. He would repeat that donation again in 1950.
“He was very much known as the players’ commissioner, probably the last one who was thought of in that way,” said baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn. “He was instrumental in creating the great pension that players benefit from today.”
Chandler became the third commissioner elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982. He passed away on June 15, 1991.
BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW
1933 AMERICAN LEAGUE
Off the field…
The legal prevention of alcoholic beverages known as “Prohibition” was finally repealed due to the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment. After World War I, national prohibition had become the law as stated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which strictly forbid the manufacturing, sale, import, or export of any and all intoxicating liquors. In spite of the Volstead Act (1919), law enforcement proved to be very difficult and smuggling (or bootlegging) on a large scale could not be prevented. As a result, the illicit manufacture of liquor sprang up with such rapidity that authorities were unable to suppress it.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated his “New Deal” domestic reform program. The first phase (1933-34) attempted to provide recovery and relief from the Great Depression through programs of agricultural and business regulation, inflation, price stabilization, and public works. As a result, Congress established numerous emergency organizations, notably the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Public Works Administration.
In the American League…
During a May 16th marathon at Griffith Stadium, the Washington Senators and Cleveland Indians both combined to break a Major League record by using eleven different pitchers in twelve innings. With both bullpens depleted, the Senators finally broke through the stalemate for the 11-10 decision.
On August 14th, Philadelphia Athletics slugger Jimmie Foxx hit for the cycle against the Cleveland Indians while driving in nine runs for a new American League record. Eight players amazingly would hit for the cycle during the 1933 season.
New York Yankees icon Babe Ruth returned to the mound on October 1st to pitch the final outing of his career. Adding a homerun to support his own cause, “The Bambino” finished the complete game with a 6-5 victory over his old teammates (and rivals) the Boston Red Sox.
In the National League…
Honus Wagner left retirement to rejoin the Pittsburgh Pirates as a coach. Wagner had previously played seventeen years with the ball club and would remain for thirty-nine more while giving batting tips to future Hall of Famers Pie Traynor, Kiki Cuyler, Arky Vaughn, Ralph Kiner, and the Waner brothers.
On March 11th, a substantial earthquake rocked the Los Angeles area interrupting an exhibition game between the Chicago Cubs and New York Giants. As fans exited the grandstands amidst panic, players from both teams were forced to huddle around the center of the diamond until the tremors stopped.
Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Dick Bartell equaled a Major League mark on April 25th with four doubles in four at bats during a 7-1 victory over the Boston Braves at the Baker Bowl.
Around the League…
Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis took a voluntary pay-cut of forty percent setting an example for the league-wide salary cuts that were anticipated due to the lingering Depression.
The All-Star Game made its debut on July 6th 1933, at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. It was initiated at the insistence of Arch Ward, a sports editor for the Chicago Tribune, to coincide with the celebration of Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition. The National League’s manager John McGraw and American Leagues’s Connie Mack were chosen to lead a line-up of big hitters including Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Babe Ruth. With fellow All-Star, Charlie Gehringer on first in the bottom of the third, Ruth drove one into the right-field stands for the first homer in All-Star history. The rest of the American Leaguers followed suite and went on to beat the Nationals in the inaugural Midsummer Classic 4-2.
Sammy Baugh arrived on the pro football scene in 1937, the same year the Redskins moved to Washington from Boston. The Texas Christian star was the team’s first round pick that year. Over the next 16 seasons “Slingin’ Sammy” not only helped establish the pro game in the nation’s capital, he also was a major influence in the offensive revolution that occurred in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
When Baugh first started with the Redskins pro football was largely a grind-it-out ground game. The forward pass was something to be used with caution, and never inside your 30-yard line, except in desperate situations. By the time Baugh was through, the forward pass was a primary offensive weapon. Obviously, such a change could not be totally brought about by one individual. But Baugh was the catalyst that changed the game. No one had seen a passer who could throw with such accuracy.
Baugh started his pro career as a single wing tailback and didn’t make the switch to the T-formation until 1944. He won a record-setting six NFL passing titles and earned first-team All-NFL honors seven times in his career. Sammy also led the NFL in punting four straight years from 1940 through 1943. Extremely versatile, he led the NFL in passing, pass interceptions, and punting in 1943.
One of his best single performances came on “Sammy Baugh Day” in 1947 when he passed for 355 yards and 6 touchdowns against the Chicago Cardinals, that season’s eventual champions. Baugh, although highly competitive, was still comparatively easy-going and never lost his sense of humor. When the Chicago Bears defeated the Redskins, 73-0, in the famous 1940 NFL title battle, a Redskins end dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone. Reporters asked Baugh if the outcome would have been different had the pass been caught. “Yeah,” Baugh answered, “It would have made it 73-7.”
April 5, 1973 – The National Football League revisies its rules to adopt the jersey numbering system with:
1-19: Quarterbacks and specialists
20-49: Running backs and defensive backs
50-59: Centers and linebackers
60-79: Defensive linemen and offensive linemen other than centers
80-89: Wide receivers and tight ends
Numbers 0, 00, and 90-99 are no longer allowed to be issued, even though these numbers were rarely issued anyways. Numbers 90-99 would be allowed again in 1984 for defensive linemen and linebackers in addition to the above mentioned numbers according to the American Football Database.
Other rule revisions for the NFL were Defensive players cannot jump or stand on a teammate while trying to block a kick.
The clock is to start at the snap following a change of possession. Previously, the clock would start on a change of possession when the ball was spotted ready for play by the referee.
If there is a foul by the offensive team, and it is followed by a change of possession, the period can be extended by one play by the other team.
If the receiving team commits a foul after the ball is kicked, possession will be presumed to have changed; the receiving team keeps the ball.
Of course this had some tweaks along the way with expanding the numbers for skill players in 2020 and the reinstating of the number 0 in 2022.
APRIL 5 FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAYS
April 5, 1871 – Springville, New York – Glenn “Pop” Warner the legendary head coach of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School was born. Pop’s contributions to football are numerous. The was the first to teach the spiral punt technique, first in using the “dummy practice,” unbalance lines and he innovated both the single-wing and the double-wing formations that helped create both the modern spread and shot gun formations. His football mind was always at work trying to give his teams an advantage by creating the concept of the screen pass, hidden ball plays, mousetrap plays, the naked reverse and the rolling block. Warner also developed better body blocking techniques as well as introducing the three point stance according to the National Football Foundation. Besides coaching Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle team he also led squads at Pittsburgh, Georgia, Cornell, Temple and Stanford for a total combines record of 319-106-32. Pop Warner was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951.
April 5, 1951 – Owosso, Michigan – The Michigan State Spartans hard hitting safety , Brad Van Pelt was born. The National Football Foundation voters chose the name of Brad Van Pelt for selection into the College Hall of Fame in 2001. Brad then went on to become a 5 time Pro Bowler as played in the NFL for 14 years with the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, and Oakland Raiders.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
3 – 13
April 5, 1925 – A big scare in the world of baseball when star New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth, Number 3 collapses in a preseason exhibition game against the National League’s Brooklyn Dodgers. Doctors had recommended that the Bambino not make the trip down south to play the game, but he did anyway, knocking two home runs over the wall before leaving the game with what ended up being the symptoms of an ulcer.
April 5, 1934 – Speaking of Babe Ruth, it was on this day that he received a contract to talk on NBC radio weekly, in three 15 minute audio broadcasts for the lofty sum of $39,000 over 13 weeks. This was $4000 more than the Yankees were paying him to play for a season at the time.
April 5, 1967 – Number 13, Wilt Chamberlain hauled in an NBA record 41 rebounds against the defending champion Boston Celtics. Number 13 also scored 20 points as the 76ers handed the Celts their third consecutive loss with a 115-104 final score in the Eastern NBA Playoffs.
April 5, 1973 – The NFL officially adopted the numbering system for players that included having QBs be number 1-19, and other playing positions having ranges of uniforms numbers as well.
|Masters: Par 3 Contest||3:00pm||ESPN|
|MLB REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Chi. Cubs at Cincinnati||12:35pm||MLBN|
|Philadelphia at NY Yankees||1:05pm||NBCS-PHI|
|Tampa Bay at Washington||1:05pm||MASN/2|
|Minnesota at Miami||1:10pm||Bally Sports|
|Atlanta at St. Louis||1:15pm||MLBN|
|Pittsburgh at Boston||1:35pm||NESN|
|NY Mets at Milwaukee||1:40pm||SNY|
|Baltimore at Texas||2:05pm||MASN/2|
|Detroit at Houston||2:10pm||Bally Sports|
|San Francisco at Chi. White Sox||2:10pm||NBCS-BAY|
|Cleveland at Oakland||3:37pm||MLBN|
|LA Angels at Seattle||4:10pm||MLBN|
|Toronto at Kansas City||7:40pm||MLBN|
|NBA REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Brooklyn at Detroit||7:00pm||YES|
|New York at Indiana||7:00pm||MSG|
|Chicago at Milwaukee||7:30pm||ESPN|
|Washington at Atlanta||7:30pm||NBCS-WSH|
|Toronto at Boston||7:30pm||Sportsnet|
|Memphis at New Orleans||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Sacramento at Dallas||8:30pm||NBCS-CA|
|LA Lakers at LA Clippers||8:00pm||ESPN|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES||TIME ET||TV|
|Tampa Bay at NY Rangers||7:30pm||TNT|
|Calgary at Winnipeg||7:30pm||Sportsnet|
|Edmonton at Anaheim||10:00pm||TNT|
|DFB Pokal: Nürnberg vs Stuttgart||12:00pm||ESPN+|
|DFB Pokal: RB Leipzig vs Borussia Dortmund||2:45pm||ESPN2|
|English Premier League: West Ham United vs Newcastle United||3:00pm||USA|
|English Premier League: Manchester United vs Brentford||3:00pm||Peacock|
|Copa del Rey: Barcelona vs Real Madrid||3:00pm||ESPN+|
|Coppa Italia: Cremonese vs Fiorentina||3:00pm||Paramount+|
|CONCACAF Champions League: Motagua vs Tigres UANL||8:00pm||FS1|
|CONCACAF Champions League: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Los Angeles FC||10:00pm||FS1|