INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL

ADAMS CENTRAL85CHURUBUSCO60 
ANDERSON73GUERIN CATHOLIC34 
ARGOS59CASTON45 
AUSTIN63LANESVILLE51 
AVON55MARTINSVILLE51 
BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE42EASTERN GREENE28 
BEECH GROVE77INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA53 
BLACKFORD59CENTERVILLE23 
BLOOMINGTON LIGHTHOUSE49BROWN COUNTY38 
BLOOMINGTON NORTH70EDGEWOOD41 
BLOOMINGTON SOUTH59BLOOMFIELD49 
BOONE GROVE57COVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)44 
BOONVILLE70TELL CITY55 
BROWNSBURG53CENTER GROVE46 
CARROLL (FLORA)53WESTERN47 
CARROLL (FORT WAYNE)48HUNTINGTON NORTH45 
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN53TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN45 
CHRISTEL HOUSE MANUAL76SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)60 
CLARKSVILLE51HENRYVILLE46 
CLINTON CENTRAL63ELWOOD35 
CLINTON PRAIRIE81MONROVIA47 
CONNERSVILLE48NORTHEASTERN36 
COVENANT CHRISTIAN51BETHESDA CHRISTIAN45 
COWAN68UNION (MODOC)32 
CROWN POINT61HAMMOND MORTON47 
DALEVILLE62ALEXANDRIA49 
DANVILLE88FRANKFORT79 
DEKALB65HERITAGE45 
DECATUR CENTRAL78UNIVERSITY50 
EAST CENTRAL47LAWRENCEBURG34 
EAST NOBLE58ANGOLA45 
EASTERN HANCOCK59PENDLETON HEIGHTS48 
EVANSVILLE BOSSE77MOUNT VERNON (POSEY)61 
EVANSVILLE CENTRAL58EVANSVILLE MATER DEI36 
EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN84NORTHEAST DUBOIS51 
EVANSVILLE DAY70WASHINGTON CATHOLIC19 
EVANSVILLE NORTH66EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL64 
FISHERS62NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)56 
FOREST PARK52GIBSON SOUTHERN51 
FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK65LEO55 
FORT WAYNE CANTERBURY79LAKELAND CHRISTIAN54 
FORT WAYNE DWENGER52BELLMONT41 
FORT WAYNE WAYNE65SOUTH ADAMS38 
FRANKTON57KNIGHTSTOWN26 
FREMONT55WESTVIEW44 
GARY 21ST CENTURY52CULVER ACADEMY50 
GREENWOOD47INDIAN CREEK44 
HAMMOND CENTRAL61ANDREAN49 
HAUSER81COLUMBUS CHRISTIAN52 
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN68INDIANAPOLIS SHORTRIDGE39 
HERITAGE HILLS52PRINCETON43 
HOBART59WHITING25 
ILLIANA CHRISTIAN53SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON41 
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL74ZIONSVILLE62 
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD80INDIANAPOLIS HERRON52 
INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN53INDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS48 
INDIANAPOLIS WASHINGTON89VICTORY COLLEGE PREP25 
JAY COUNTY83WINCHESTER46 
JEFFERSONVILLE76MADISON33 
JOHN GLENN48CONCORD42 
KNOX58WINAMAC55 
KOUTS67RIVER FOREST34 
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC56KANKAKEE VALLEY55OT
LAKE STATION63PORTAGE62 
LAWRENCE NORTH64HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN38 
LEWIS CASS57TWIN LAKES49 
LIBERTY CHRISTIAN71IRVINGTON PREP ACADEMY16 
LIGHTHOUSE CPA75HAMMOND NOLL68 
LINTON-STOCKTON91SOUTH VERMILLION49 
MACONAQUAH71PERU54 
MANCHESTER60WHITKO40 
MARION64MUNCIE CENTRAL62OT
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC72GARY WEST61 
MCCUTCHEON44BENTON CENTRAL40 
MICHIGAN CITY86BOWMAN ACADEMY42 
MILAN57SHAWE MEMORIAL46 
MISSISSINEWA54NOBLESVILLE49 
MITCHELL56SHOALS47 
MUNCIE BURRIS66BLUE RIVER51 
MUNSTER77HANOVER CENTRAL36 
NEW CASTLE39LAPEL38 
NEW HAVEN77FORT WAYNE LUERS71 
NORTH DECATUR51WALDRON45 
NORTH HARRISON53PAOLI38 
NORTH JUDSON59LAVILLE47 
NORTH NEWTON58TRI-COUNTY44 
NORTH PUTNAM71NORTH MONTGOMERY35 
NORTH WHITE75FRONTIER39 
NORTHFIELD35CULVER30 
NORTHRIDGE50FAIRFIELD48 
OAK HILL47NORTHWESTERN37 
PARKE HERITAGE46SOUTHMONT43 
PENN78MISHAWAKA47 
PERRY CENTRAL66TECUMSEH65 
PRAIRIE HEIGHTS43LAKELAND42 
PROVIDENCE43NEW WASHINGTON36 
RANDOLPH SOUTHERN55UNION COUNTY35 
RENSSELAER CENTRAL61LOWELL31 
ROCK CREEK ACADEMY63WEST WASHINGTON36 
SCOTTSBURG52JENNINGS COUNTY50 
SEYMOUR54SHELBYVILLE18 
SHAKAMAK61WEST VIGO43 
SILVER CREEK110SALEM35 
SOUTH BEND ADAMS74JIMTOWN47 
SOUTH BEND CLAY68ELKHART CHRISTIAN59 
SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH75PLYMOUTH45 
SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH)65CORYDON CENTRAL58 
SOUTH DECATUR64OLDENBURG ACADEMY55 
SOUTH KNOX58PIKE CENTRAL46 
SOUTH PUTNAM84RIVERTON PARKE77OT
SOUTH SPENCER61CHRISTIAN ACADEMY42 
SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)78CHARLESTOWN58 
SOUTHWOOD85EASTBROOK53 
SPRINGS VALLEY69EASTERN (PEKIN)58 
SULLIVAN67CLOVERDALE44 
TAYLOR62MADISON-GRANT57 
TRI-WEST68CASCADE47 
TRI61HAGERSTOWN36 
TRITON42BREMEN33 
VINCENNES LINCOLN48TERRE HAUTE SOUTH47 
WABASH65EASTERN (GREENTOWN)50 
WARREN CENTRAL79PIKE76 
WARSAW56TIPPECANOE VALLEY40 
WASHINGTON TWP.50WHEELER31 
WES-DEL77SOUTHERN WELLS58 
WEST LAFAYETTE62DELPHI50 
WEST NOBLE53GOSHEN34 
WESTERN BOONE58SPEEDWAY38 
WHITE RIVER VALLEY69EMINENCE43 

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL STATE FINALS

CLASS A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
10:30 AM ET | TECUMSEH (20-8) VS. LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (24-4)

CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
APPROX. 12:45 PM ET | FOREST PARK (25-3) VS. FRANKTON (23-5)

CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
6 PM ET | SILVER CREEK (26-2) VS. SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON (26-3)

CLASS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
APPROX. 8:15 PM ET | FRANKLIN COMMUNITY (28-1) VS. NOBLESVILLE (24-4)

PREVIEW: https://www.ihsaa.org/Portals/0/ihsaa/documents/news%20media/2021-22/2021-22%20Girls%20Basketball%20State%20Finals%20Preview.pdf

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#5 KANSAS 102 KANSAS STATE 83

#21 UCONN 71 #8 VILLANOVA 69

#9 TEXAS TECH 66 OKLAHOMA 42

#17 TENNESSEE 80 MISSOURI 61

#18 ARKANSAS 82 FLORIDA 74

#24 ALABAMA 74 VANDERBILT 72

#25 IOWA 86 MICHIGAN STATE 60

AKRON 82 BOWLING GREEN 68

EASTERN MICHIGAN 74 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 72

RICHMOND 84 GEORGE WASHINGTON 71

KENT STATE 93 BALL STATE 82

BUFFALO 86 MIAMI OHIO 84

OHIO 76 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 50

CHARLESTON 83 NORTHEASTERN 72

ST. BONAVENTURE 73 RHODE ISLAND 55

TOLEDO 92 WESTERN MICHIGAN 50

TEXAS A&M 91 GEORGIA 77

NORTHWESTERN 77 NEBRASKA 65

ST. LOUIS 72 ST. JOSEPH’S 61

MIAMI FLORIDA 85 PITTSBURGH 64

FRESNO STATE 65 AIR FORCE 40

BOISE STATE 58 SAN DIEGO STATE 57

BAKERSFIELD 61 CAL POLY 60

UTAH STATE 81 NEW MEXICO 56

UNLV 62 NEVADA 54

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

SETON HALL 84 BUTLER 55

AMERICAN 64 LEHIGH 45

PRESBYTERIAN 72 GARDNER WEBB 58

VILLANOVA 73 GEORGETOWN 61

SOUTH FLORIDA 61 WICHITA STATE 57

OLE MISS 70 ARKANSAS 62

HAMPTON 59 BRADFORD 53

BAKERSFIELD 85 CAL POLY 71

NHL SCOREBOARD

ST. LOUIS 4 PHILADELPHIA 1

COLUMBUS 4 TORONTO 3

NASHVILLE 6 FLORIDA 4

OTTAWA 4 MINNESOTA 3

NY ISLANDERS 5 SEATTLE 2

ANAHEIM 4 SAN JOSE 3

TOP NATIONAL SPORTS HEADLINES/RELEASES

RODGERS SAYS HE STILL HASN’T DECIDED ON HIS 2022 PLANS

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Aaron Rodgers says he’s still making up his mind about whether he wants to return to the Green Bay Packers next season.

“There will be no news today,” the four-time MVP quarterback said Tuesday on “The Pat McAfee Show” on YouTube and SiriusXM. “No decision on my future.”

Rodgers said after the season that he would try to make a decision about his 2022 plans in relatively short order rather than dragging out the process. The reigning MVP said at the time that he hadn’t ruled out any option, including returning to the Packers for an 18th season, retiring or requesting a trade.

When Rodgers sent out an Instagram post late Monday night thanking current and former teammates and coaches among others, it raised speculation that an announcement on his future could be forthcoming. Rodgers said Tuesday he just wanted to show some gratitude to people who have helped him over the past year.

“I just came out of a 12-day cleanse where you’re eating a specific diet and you’re going through these treatments every day and you’re not really doing anything else,” Rodgers said during his 40-minute conversation.

“You’ve got to kind of turn everything else off, so you’re not working out, you’re not straining or anything. It’s kind of a re-centering. It not only heals you physically, but I think it takes away mental stress and then the spiritual part I think is it allows you to kind of enjoy the meditations a little more, so when I come out, my first thought is intense gratitude for the people in my life.”

Rodgers won his second straight MVP award less than two weeks ago. The Packers went 13-4 in the regular season and won a third straight NFC North title before losing 13-10 at home to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional playoffs.

After the season, Rodgers talked about making a decision by the time the free agency period begins next month. He continues to point out the importance of getting this done soon.

“I get it,” Rodgers said. “There’s not a lot to talk about football-wise and this will be a topic of conversation. But I am looking forward to making a decision and moving forward. I think it’s best for me. It’s best for the team. It’s best for all parties involved. Let’s just get this behind us.”

The 38-year-old Rodgers did offer the Packers some reason for optimism.

He said he enjoyed the postseason conversations he had with team officials such as coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst and executive vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball.

“The meetings were much different than they were in the past, in a positive way,” Rodgers said. “There were some real honest conversations that I appreciate.”

He wants to avoid a repeat of 2021, when his status with the team was uncertain until the start of training camp.

Rodgers reported for training camp on time last summer after skipping their mandatory minicamp, but he acknowledged his future with the organization was uncertain. At the time, he said he wanted more of a voice in the team’s decision-making process.

His relationship with Packers management improved over the course of the season. Rodgers said it started with a meeting he had with Gutekunst shortly after arriving for training camp.

“I feel like that was kind of the first step to having a real free-flowing conversation and friendship,” Rodgers said. “I’m definitely thankful for the work that he put in on the relationship, and Russ Ball as well. Matt and I, I believe every year we get closer and more connected and feel better about our communication.”

Rodgers said he also had to make some adjustments.

“It wasn’t a one-way street,” Rodgers said. “I knew that I had to grow as well. I had to be more comfortable with those conversations, with being responsive to them in a super-timely manner, trying to find kindness in the adverse moments or difficult conversations we had. I feel like we all grew and had a good year of communication, had nice conversations after the season. I felt really good at how that got tied up before I left town.”

LaFleur and president/CEO Mark Murphy had said after the season they wanted Rodgers back in 2022. They indicated that was a unanimous decision among the team’s main decision-makers.

The Packers seemed to make a move aimed at keeping Rodgers last week with the hiring of quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, who previously worked with the team from 2006-16. Rodgers said Tuesday that he owes Clements “so much credit for my development” and added that “the game is better when Tom Clements is coaching because he’s one of those special, special coaches.”

FORMER DOLPHINS COACH FLORES: RACE PLAYED A FACTOR IN FIRING

MIAMI (AP) Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores thinks race placed a factor in the team’s decision to fire him in January.

Speaking on the “I Am Athlete” podcast co-hosted by former NFL wide receivers Chad Johnson and Brandon Marshall, and Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Flores alleged he was given tasks that he doesn’t think would have been required of a white head coach. Flores went 25-24 in three seasons with Miami before being let go on Jan. 10.

Flores, who was hired over the weekend to be a senior defensive assistant for the Pittsburgh Steelers, filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL alleging racist hiring practices. Flores has no plans to abandon the lawsuit even though he has returned to coach in the league.

“I think race played a role in my firing,” Flores said on the podcast. “What I mean by that is, there were things I was asked to do. There were conversations that were had. I was made out to be a difficult person to work with. I think my white counterparts wouldn’t have been asked to do the things I was asked to do.”

Flores did not offer specifics on what the Dolphins asked of him that he considered racially based.

Flores, who turns 41 on Thursday, is now on the staff led by Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, one of three Black head coaches in the league along with Houston’s Lovie Smith and Miami’s Mike McDaniels, who identifies as biracial. Flores interviewed for the job that ultimately went to Smith, who was an assistant head coach for the Texans last season. Flores has maintained he was not hired because of his pending litigation against the league.

Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert said Monday that hiring Flores was based on Flores’ track record. Flores won four Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots and made the defensive calls during a 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 that gave the franchise its sixth championship.

“I think (the hiring) says that we hired a very good quality defensive coach that can maybe help us win games,” Colbert said. “And really beyond that, there’s nothing else to say.”

Flores, like other Black assistant coaches in the league, including Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, believes NFL owners – the owners of 30 of 32 are white – are simply more likely to choose leaders who reflect what they see in the mirror each morning.

“There’s a change of heart that needs to happen,” Flores said. “We’ve got to open our minds up.”

LANDRY TELLS BROWNS HE WANTS TO STAY, BUT “BALL” WITH TEAM

CLEVELAND (AP) Browns five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry, slowed by injuries last season, has told the team he’s hoping to stay but is ready to move on if necessary.

In a series of Twitter posts Tuesday, Landry, who is entering his final year under contract, addressed his uncertain future with Cleveland.

“I have put the ball in CLE court by telling them I would like to stay but if not then I’m confident enough in myself to be a better healthy me this year and moving forward to helping do my part in winning a championship elsewhere,” Landry wrote.

Because he’s scheduled to make $15.1 million next season, the Browns may ask Landry to restructure his contract. The sides are expected to meet at next week’s NFL combine in Indianapolis.

When the Browns made the 2020 playoffs after decades of ineptitude, Landry was instrumental in helping improve the culture. He came to Cleveland in a 2018 trade with Miami, where he was one of the league’s most consistent pass catchers for four seasons.

Landry’s production slipped in 2021, when he dealt with a left knee sprain suffered in Week 2 against Houston. During a season with more turmoil centered on Landry’s friend and former college teammate, Odell Beckham Jr., he finished with a career-low 52 catches – 50 below his high – for 570 yards and scored two touchdowns in 12 games.

The 29-year-old said there were other injuries as well.

“Reality behind all this is I came back to play in the best shape of my life, I got hurt week 2 with a high grade MCL Sprain, Partial quad tear and bone bruise,” Landry tweeted. “Then came back way to early and ended up staying hurt the entire season. You never heard me mention anything about it.

“Before this year I missed 0 games. So push y’all narrative, it’s noted. … I GAVE EVERYTHING!!!! EVERYTHING.”

After Beckham forced his way out of Cleveland in November, Landry didn’t speak with reporters for the rest of the season. His only interview came at a holiday food drive he hosted.

“My media availability didn’t happen because I was focused on getting on the field as healthy as possible during the week and after games,” Landry explained.

JUDGE: DESHAUN WATSON DEPOSITIONS CAN BEGIN IN ASSAULT SUITS

HOUSTON (AP) A judge has declined efforts by attorneys for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to delay all his depositions in connection with lawsuits filed by 22 women who have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

During a court hearing on Monday, defense attorney Rusty Hardin had asked that depositions in the case be delayed until after an ongoing criminal investigation of the allegations against Watson concluded.

Hardin said Houston police have already forwarded their findings to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and he believed a grand jury could make a decision in the case by April 1. Eight of the women filed criminal complaints against Watson. The FBI is also reviewing the allegations.

“I know that Deshaun is more than willing to give his testimony and to give depositions. I’m saying as his lawyer I think it would be crazy to allow it until we know what’s going to happen on the criminal side,” Hardin said.

In their lawsuits, the 22 women accuse Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them against their will during massage appointments.

Watson and his lawyers have denied the accusations. His lawyers have said “some sexual activity” happened during some of the appointments but that he never coerced anyone.

Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the 22 women, argued that most of the women have already given their depositions and it was only fair for Watson to be deposed according to an agreed upon schedule. A previous court order has set Watson’s depositions to begin on Thursday.

“You would think that someone who’s legal team has called every one of these women liars, has criticized me and has loudly declared his completely innocence would be ready to speak publicly under oath as he originally agreed,” Buzbee said. “But instead, he ducks and runs for cover.”

Judge Rabeea Collier ruled that those women who did not file a criminal complaint against Watson can have their lawyer depose the quarterback while the others will have to wait until after April 1.

Buzbee said he expected depositions of Watson on behalf of nine of the women to begin within 10 days.

“Mr. Watson can continue to seek delay but it’s inevitable that he will eventually and ultimately have to answer questions about his conduct under oath,” Buzbee said.

Hardin said while there is still an ongoing criminal investigation, “it is only fair” to wait and see if it results in any charges before having Watson give a deposition.

“I’m hoping and trusting that the public will listen to us when we say he didn’t do what he is accused of doing. I’m hopeful and trust that’ll be the conclusion of a grand jury,” Hardin said.

Watson’s lawyers have sought to balance their defense of the NFL star while simultaneously condemning sexual violence against women.

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

Watson’s future with the Texans remains unclear.

Even before the lawsuits were first filed in March, Watson had asked to be traded. The trade request and the lawsuits kept Watson out all last season.

CINCINNATI EXTENDS LUKE FICKELL’S CONTRACT AFTER PLAYOFF RUN

CINCINNATI (AP) Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell has received a two-year contract extension through 2028 and a raise to $5 million per year after leading the Bearcats to the College Football Playoff.

The university board of trustees approved the contract extension Tuesday, also increasing the football staff salary pool to $5.2 million per year.

“Completing a contract extension for Coach Fickell was a top priority for our athletic department and university, and shows our commitment to growing this football program and taking it to the next level,” Cincinnati athletic director John Cunningham said in a sattement. “We believe we have the best coach in the country and certainly the best leader for our Cincinnati football program. He has proven that day in and day out by building a culture that consistently wins and breaks records, but most importantly develops men of great character, setting them up to succeed in life.”

Fickell filled various coaching positions at his alma mater Ohio State before being hired by Cincinnati in 2017. He led the Bearcats to the American Athletic Conference title each of the past two seasons and to 13 wins last season.

Cincinnati was the first Group of Five team to make the CFP in 2021 before losing to Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. The Bearcats have finished in the AP Top 25 four straight years, including No. 4 in the final poll last season.

REPORT: SIMMONS TO RAMP UP CONDITIONING AS NETS DEBUT NEARS

The Brooklyn Nets are on their way to welcoming star acquisition Ben Simmons to the court.

Simmons will ramp up his conditioning as he gets closer to making his Nets debut, and his timeline is “weeks rather than months,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported on “NBA Today” on Monday.

It’s been over eight months since Simmons last suited up in the Philadelphia 76ers’ Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Simmons reportedly informed the 76ers in October that he didn’t feel mentally ready to play after holding out from the team at the start of training camp. He was traded to Brooklyn on deadline day.

Getting the point guard integrated into the rotation would be a major boost for the Nets, who have lost 12 of their last 14 games and sit eighth in the East at 31-28.

COLE’S DRIVE, DEFENSE LIFT NO. 21 UCONN OVER NO. 8 VILLANOVA

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) UConn’s first win over Villanova during the Dan Hurley era came with the head coach watching the game on television in the back of the arena.

R.J. Cole hit a driving floater with 5.9 seconds left and then took a charge from Collin Gillespie at the other end of the court to rally No. 21 Connecticut to a 71-69 victory over the eighth-ranked Wildcats on Tuesday night.

Adama Sanogo scored 20 points and Tyler Polley drained a clutch 3-pointer for the Huskies (20-7, 11-5 Big East), who saw their coach ejected from the game in the first half.

Isaiah Whaley added 13 points and Cole had 12 for UConn, which secured their first 20-win season in six years, prompting fans to storm the court at the XL Center.

“We took a step forward,” Cole said. “It was a huge win for us, a huge win for the program, but the season, it didn’t stop today. We have three games left. We have to continue to try and win out and put ourselves in great position going into the Big East Tournament.”

Gillespie had 17 points and Brandon Slater added 15 for Villanova (21-7, 14-4), which had won five in a row and eight of nine.

“It was two great teams battling it out and down the stretch they made the plays,” coach Jay Wright said. “We didn’t make the plays. It was that close of a game.”

Villanova had a four-point lead and the ball with 35 seconds remaining. But then Caleb Daniels missed the front end of a 1-and-1 for the Wildcats, the best free-throw shooting team in the country, and Villanova was outscored 6-0 the rest of the way.

UConn led by one at halftime and seven early in the second half, but could not shake the Wildcats.

A 3-pointer from Gillespie gave Villanova its first lead of the final 20 minutes at 56-54, and the teams went back and forth over the final eight minutes.

Polley’s third 3-pointer of the second half with 21 seconds left brought the Huskies to 69-68. Cole then tied up Gillespie in the backcourt to force a turnover, setting up the winning play. The left-handed Cole drove toward the basket along the right side and tossed in a tough, contested shot with his right hand.

Nova had one more chance and Gillespie drove the length of the court, but right into a waiting Cole and never got a shot up.

“It’s something he’s done all year,” said associate head coach Kimani Young, who coached in Hurley’s absence. “There was not surprise there, but just shows his toughness, his grit, his will.”

Hurley was tossed from the game after receiving back-to-back technical fouls with just under five minutes to go in the first half.

He picked up his first for slamming his fist on the scorers’ table protesting the lack of a call on what he thought was a Villanova foul. He was tossed from the game seconds later by referee James Breeding after turning to the crowd and waving his arms in the air, imploring fans to get loud.

“It was surreal. I was stunned,” Hurley said. “I guess I’ll wait to see what the Big East (does). I’m very eager to find out from the head of officials what the explanation was.”

BIG PICTURE

Villanova: The Wildcats trail only Providence (12-2) in the conference standings with two games left for the Wildcats to play, including a home game against the Friars next week. The top five finishers in the regular season earn a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament.

UConn: The Huskies’ last win over the Wildcats came in the third round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament on the way to the program’s fourth national title. Their last regular-season win in the series came in 2012. UConn came into the game having lost five straight to the Wildcats, including 85-74 on Feb. 5 in Philadelphia.

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

The win was the first for UConn in 13 games against an opponent ranked in the top 10. The Huskies are 3-3 this season against Top 25 teams.

LOW WATER MARK

Polley and Whaley were on the team in 2018 when the Huskies fell by 20 points to Villanova on the same floor, a loss Hurley used when he was hired to show the kind of basketball he wasn’t going to allow his UConn teams to play.

“This was a big-time win. I’m not going to lie, it just felt great, just to beat them” Polley said. “Because, you know, five years, we kept getting closer and closer each year, just couldn’t go over that hump. But, tonight we got over that hump.”

UP NEXT

Villanova: The Wildcats have a week off before hosting No. 11 Providence on March 1 at Finneran Pavilion.

UConn: The Huskies play at last-place Georgetown on Sunday.

NO. 9 TEXAS TECH WINS 20TH HOME GAME IN A ROW, 66-42 OVER OU

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Ninth-ranked Texas Tech is already tough enough to beat on its home court. Things really got out of hand when Oklahoma kept turning over the ball.

“When you get easy baskets, you know, you’re probably going to win a lot of games,” first-year Tech head coach Mark Adams said.

Davion Warren scored 16 points, Bryson Williams had 13 and the Red Raiders won their 20th consecutive home game, avenging their only loss this month with a 66-42 victory over Oklahoma on Tuesday night. Texas Tech had eight consecutive baskets in the second half off turnovers by the slumping Sooners.

Williams had the first two baskets of the second half when the Red Raiders (22-6, 11-4 Big 12) scored the first 10 points. That included converting an OU turnover into a back-door layup by Adonis Arms, who brought the ball up the court before making the first of five passes between four players – the last a bounce pass from Clarence Nadolny to Arms along the baseline.

“I’m disappointed the way that we came out in the second half. I thought in the first half … we got some shots, some didn’t fall,” first-year Sooners coach Porter Moser said. “But the bottom line is, we had to play really well to beat Texas Tech tonight. We needed a lot of really good performances to beat Texas Tech tonight, and we didn’t have them.”

Jalen Hill had a team-high eight points for the Sooners (14-14, 4-11), who have lost four straight since their 70-55 home win over Texas Tech two weeks ago. Oklahoma had 21 turnovers that led to 26 Tech points, including 13 turnovers in the second half that the Red Raiders converted into 23 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva and Arms both finished with nine points for the Red Raiders, who are 17-0 at home this season. Tech has won its last four games and seven of eight, with the lone loss in Norman.

Warren’s 16 points were the most for the senior transfer since 19 in the second game of the season. He had a combined five points on 1-of-12 shooting the previous two games, but made 7 of 9 shots against Oklahoma.

“Just staying the course. The past couple of games I’ve been getting myself in trouble with foul trouble, so I kind of didn’t get in the rhythm of those games,” Warren said. “It’s really not about scoring, because I didn’t really come here to be the scorer. I did that in my previous years.”

The Red Raiders never trailed, going ahead to stay on a layup by Williams that broke a 7-7 tie only 4 1/2 minutes into the game.

Tech had a 19-0 run over nearly seven minutes midway through the second half that included three consecutive baskets by Santos-Silva. Nadolny had a pass to Santos-Silva streaking into the lane and without a dribble had an impressive slam with his left hand to make it 58-29.

“Whether you lose by that much, or this much, it’s a loss you got to put in the bank,” Moser said. “I’m upset at a lot of things, but on the other hand, we’ve got to move past this.”

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma: The Sooners, who opened the season 4-0, had their lowest-scoring game of the season and slipped to a .500 record for the first time. They have lost seven of eight. Their win over Texas Tech was their fourth over a top-15 team. … Oklahoma had two-point losses to Kansas and Texas before a 75-54 loss at Iowa State and the setback against Tech. Both lopsided losses have come since a season-ending injury to senior guard Elijah Harkless.

Texas Tech: The Red Raiders’ 17-0 record at home this season is now better than No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 4 Kentucky, both at 16-0. The Red Raiders won their final three home games last season. … Texas Tech shot 57% overall (28 of 49) from the field, including a 16-of-23 clip (70%) after halftime.

TOPPING 2K

Williams began his college career with two seasons at Fresno State and two at UTEP before transferring to Tech this season. He surpassed 2,000 career points, and now has 382 of his 2,009 career points for Tech.

“He’s one of the most dedicated guys that I’ve ever been around,” Adams said.

TOURNAMENT TALK

Going into the game, some projections had Oklahoma listed in the first four out of the NCAA Tournament field.

“Got a lot of ball left, don’t count us out,” Moser said. “We’ve got opportunities. We’ve got great opponents.”

UP NEXT

Oklahoma: Home against in-state Big 12 rival Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Sooners lost the first matchup, 64-55, in Stillwater on Feb. 5.

Texas Tech: At TCU on Saturday, two weeks after beating the Horned Frogs 82-49 in Lubbock.

‘I’VE DONE THIS BEFORE’: MARTELLI LEADS MICHIGAN FOR HOWARD

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) In a hallway in the guts of Crisler Center, an anxious Michigan athletics employee walked Phil Martelli to the news conference. More than once, she offered to help: Do you need me? Can I do anything?

Martelli, his shoulders relaxed and his demeanor confident, assured her that he was OK. And with that, he strode purposefully into the room and toward the podium.

“I know what I’m doing. I’ve done this before,” he said Tuesday.

The 67-year-old Martelli, having spent nearly four decades in big-time college basketball, will fill in for Michigan head coach Juwan Howard for the rest of the regular season. Howard was suspended five games and fined $40,000 by the Big Ten Conference after hitting a Wisconsin assistant coach in the head during the handshake line after a loss Sunday.

Martelli aims to bolster the Wolverines’ chances at an NCAA Tournament bid after the team started the season with high expectations for March. His first game will be Wednesday night when Michigan (14-11, 8-7) hosts Rutgers.

Now in his third season as the Michigan associate head coach, following 24 years of guiding Saint Joseph’s and 10 more there as an assistant, Martelli is no stranger to leading a team through late-season pressure. He maintained his approach will be to continue on the path created by Howard.

“What we have in place is the way we’re going to play,” Martelli said. “I don’t have the offensive mind that (Howard) has. I don’t have that in my DNA.”

Assistant coach Howard Eisley will serve as offensive coordinator in Howard’s absence, Martelli said. Eisley will call sets from a “really effective and massive” playbook that he and Howard have put together.

And Martelli made this clear: Michigan will continue to participate in postgame handshake lines.

“Do not get rid of them,” he said, adding, “this is about more than basketball, it’s about teaching young people lessons.”

Howard, a former Michigan standout and NBA All-Star who is the reigning Associated Press men’s coach of the year, became upset after Wisconsin coach Greg Gard called a timeout with 15 seconds left and his team leading by 15.

The confrontation began when Gard grabbed Howard by the arm in an attempt to explain why he called the timeout. Howard yelled and put his right index finger in Gard’s face as the two began to argue.

After the two coaches were separated, Howard swung his right hand and struck Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft on the left side of the head with an open hand. Players on both sides quickly got involved and a punch-filled melee ensued.

Howard apologized in a statement Monday. Michigan’s Moussa Diabate and Terrance Williams II and Jahcobi Neath of Wisconsin were suspended one game each.

Diabate averages 5.7 rebounds per game, second best on the Wolverines, and 9.3 points. Williams is a reserve forward playing 15.4 minutes per game. The Wolverines will look to bench players such as Jace Howard and Brandon Johns Jr. to replace that production.

“Brandon Johns is not Moussa,” Martelli said. “You can’t come up with a game plan and say, `Moussa averages 8.1; how are we going to get 8.1?’ That’s not going to work. … We need the best Brandon Johns in order to beat Rutgers, and it’ll be good enough.”

Martelli was the 2004 Associated Press men’s coach of the year after guiding Saint Joseph’s within one win of the Final Four. He was 444-328 as the Hawks’ head coach, including seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Martelli will coach the Wolverines in home matchups against Rutgers, No. 15 Illinois on Sunday, Michigan State on March 1 and No. 25 Iowa on March 3, and a visit to No. 22 Ohio State on March 6.

Howard is expected to return for the Big Ten Tournament, which begins March 9 in Indianapolis.

“I am not Juwan Howard, and I’m going to be me,” Martelli said. “A small thing about me is that I never sit down during a game. So there’ll be a chair there, but it will be for him. It will not be for me.”

MICKELSON APOLOGIZES FOR COMMENTS, ENDS DEAL WITH KPMG

(AP) — Phil Mickelson apologized Tuesday for comments about the Saudis and a proposed super league, which he claims were off the record and not meant to be shared publicly.

Mickelson also said in a statement he has felt pressure and stress affecting him at a deeper level over the last 10 years and he needs time away. However, he did not say if he would be taking a break from golf.

“I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this,” he said.

Also, KPMG became the first of Mickelson’s corporate sponsors to announce an end to their partnership, a decision the company said was mutual.

Most damaging about Mickelson’s remarks to author and golf writer Alan Shipnuck was referring to the Saudis financing a proposed breakaway league as “scary mother (expletive)s.” He also told Shipnuck, who is writing a biography on Mickelson due out in May, that it was worth getting in bed with the Saudis, despite their history of human rights abuses, if it meant a chance to change the PGA Tour.

The interview took place last November.

“We know they killed (Washington Post columnist Jamal) Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay,” he said. “Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”

Mickelson said he has always put the interests of golf first, “although it doesn’t look this way now given my recent comments.”

“There is the problem of off record comments being share out of context and without my consent,” he said. “But the bigger issue is that I used words I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions.”

Mickelson said he was “deeply sorry” and said his comments were reckless.

Shipnuck wrote on The Fire Pit Collective, where he published Mickelson’s comments last week, that “not once did he say our conversation was off-the-record or on background or just between us or anything remotely like that. He simply opened a vein.”

Shipnuck tweeted Tuesday that Mickelson’s claims he spoke off the record were “completely false.”

KPMG, meanwhile, said the company and Mickelson agreed mutually to end a sponsorship that had been around since 2008. “We wish him the best,” KPMG said in an email.

Mickelson’s statement, received about the same time as KPMG’s announcement, said he has given his partners the option to pause or end their relationships “as I understand it might be necessary given the current circumstances.”

Still unclear is where Mickelson might play next. His statement concluded, “I know I have not been my best and desperately need some time away to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.”

LOCKED OUT MLB PLAYERS, OWNERS TO MEET 3RD DAY IN A ROW

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) Locked out baseball players and team owners agreed to meet for a third day in a row on Wednesday in an attempt to reach a deal that would salvage opening day on March 31.

Players made counteroffers on several topics during Tuesday’s session. The talks on the 83rd day of the second-longest work stoppage in baseball history marked only the second time since the lockout began that bargaining on core economic issues has taken place on consecutive days.

The sides had met on consecutive days just once before, on Jan. 24 and 25.

MLB has told the union an agreement is needed by Monday for the season to start on time. Players have not said whether they accept that as a deadline.

Negotiations were shifted this week from New York to Roger Dean Stadium, the spring training home of the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.

On Monday, MLB increased its offer of a bonus pool for prearbitration players by $5 million to $20 million, upped its proposal from three to four for teams participating in an amateur draft lottery and dropped its request for flexibility to decrease domestic minor league contracts along with a plan to limit optional assignments to five per player each season.

The union wants a $115 million bonus pool, eight teams in a draft lottery and a maximum four optional assignments.

The players and teams are far apart on luxury tax thresholds and rates. The teams have told the union they will not increase salary arbitration eligibility, will not decrease revenue sharing and will not add new methods for players to accrue service time, which players said are needed to prevent teams from holding players back to delay free agency.

REPORT: FREEMAN COULD LEAVE BRAVES DUE TO CONTRACT IMPASSE

There’s a growing belief All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman won’t re-sign with the Atlanta Braves when free agency resumes due to a standoff in contract talks, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.

The Braves offered Freeman a five-year, $135-million deal before the lockout, but the 2020 NL MVP wants a six-year pact, sources told Olney.

Freeman was reportedly seeking a six-year, $180-million contract prior to the lockout.

“I think (the Braves) will move quickly to settle on an alternative and move on to get past the conversation,” an anonymous official said.

Atlanta reportedly discussed a trade with the Oakland Athletics involving All-Star first baseman Matt Olson prior to the work stoppage.

Braves manager Brian Snitker also acknowledged in early February that the team may not be able to bring Freeman back. The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Toronto Blue Jays were rumored to be interested in the 32-year-old slugger.

Freeman, who’s spent his entire 12-year career with the Braves, has hit 271 homers with 941 RBIs and has an .893 OPS in 1,565 games. He’s a five-time All-Star who owns multiple Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove to go along with a World Series title.

AMERICAN WOMEN PLAYERS SETTLE SUIT VS US SOCCER FOR $24M

(AP) — U.S. women soccer players reached a landmark agreement with the sport’s American governing body to end a six-year legal battle over equal pay, a deal in which they are promised $24 million plus bonuses that match those of the men.

The U.S. Soccer Federation and the women announced a deal Tuesday that will have players split $22 million, about one-third of what they had sought in damages. The USSF also agreed to establish a fund with $2 million to benefit the players in their post-soccer careers and charitable efforts aimed at growing the sport for women.

The USSF committed to providing an equal rate of pay for the women’s and men’s national teams – including World Cup bonuses – subject to collective bargaining agreements with the unions that separately represent the women and men.

“For our generation, knowing that we’re going to leave the game in an exponentially better place than when we found it is everything,” 36-year-old midfielder Megan Rapinoe said during a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “That’s what it’s all about because, to be honest, there is no justice in all of this if we don’t make sure it never happens again.”

The settlement was a victory for the players, who sparked fans to chant “Equal Pay!” when they won their second straight title in France in 2019. And it was a success for USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone, a former player who became head of the federation in March 2020.

Cone replaced Carlos Cordeiro, who quit after the federation made a legal filing that claimed women had less physical ability and responsibility than male counterparts.

“This is just one step towards rebuilding the relationship with the women’s team. I think this is a great accomplishment and I’m excited about the future and working together with them,” Cone said. “Now we can shift the focus to other things, most importantly, growing the game at all levels and increasing opportunities for girls and women.”

U.S. women have won four World Cups since the program’s start in 1985, while the men haven’t reached a semifinal since 1930.

Five American stars led by Alex Morgan and Rapinoe began the challenge with a complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2016. Women sued three years later, seeking damages under the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The sides settled the working conditions portion in December 2020, dealing with issues such as charter flights, accommodations and playing surfaces. They were scheduled to argue on March 7 before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to reinstate the equal pay portion thrown out by a U.S. District Court.

“The settlement announced today is an important step in righting the many wrongs of the past,” the union for the women’s team said in a statement.

While a labor contract remains to be reached and ratified to replace the deal that expires March 31, the settlement was an enormous step.

“It’s so gratifying to feel like we can start to mend a relationship with U.S. Soccer that has been severed for so many years because of the discrimination that we faced,” said Morgan, a 32-year-old forward. “To finally get to this moment feels like we can almost sigh a breath of relief.”

Players were able to set aside the legal distractions to continue on-field success.

“The additional hours and stress and outside pressures and discriminations we face, I mean sometimes you think why the hell was I born a female?” Morgan said. “And then sometimes you think how incredible is it to be able to fight for something that you actually believe in and stand alongside these women. … There was something more than stepping on the field and wanting to be a starter or wanting to score goals or wanting to win or wanting to have the glory.”

The $22 million will be split into individual amounts proposed by the players, subject to the District Court’s approval.

Cone said the federation’s method of equalizing World Cup bonuses is yet to be determined. The federation has until now based bonuses on payments from FIFA, which earmarked $400 million for the 2018 men’s tournament, including $38 million to champion France, and $30 million for the 2019 women’s tournament, including $4 million to the champion U.S.

American men have been playing under the terms of a CBA that expired in December 2018.

Rapinoe was critical of both Cordeiro and his predecessor, Sunil Gulati, who headed the USSF from 2006-18. Cordeiro is seeking to regain the job from Cone when the USSF National Council meets on March 5 to vote on a four-year term.

“The thing that Cindy did was acknowledge the wrongdoing and apologize for the wrongdoing,” Rapinoe said. “It was well within Sunil’s ability to not discriminate and to pay us fairly and equally. It was well within Carlos’ ability to do that, and they made choices not to. … I think Cindy has shown a lot of strength in that, and I think the other two, frankly, just showed a ton of weakness and showed really their true colors in allowing this to happen for so long.”

PREDATORS BEAT PANTHERS 6-4, END 4-GAME LOSING STREAK

SUNRISE, Fla.- (AP) Mikael Granlund scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and the Nashville Predators snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Tanner Jeannot scored twice, Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist, and Yakov Trenin and Roman Jusi added goals for Nashville. Matt Duchene had two assists and David Rittich stopped 44 shots.

Granlund’s power-play goal gave the Predators a 5-4 lead with 5:31 left in the third. Jeannot added an empty-netter with 1:32 left for the final margin.

“We knew what we needed to do, we were playing good hockey,” Jeannot said. “We stuck with it and had a good result.”

The Predators overcame deficits of 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3 to record their first win in five games.

“We don’t want to get too high, or too low,” Jeannot said. “When the games weren’t going our way these past few games, we didn’t get too low. We played hard and got the win.”

Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist, Radko Gudas scored his first of the season and Sam Bennett and Aaron Ekblad added scores for Florida. Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves as the Panthers lost at home for the first time in 10 games and just the fourth time this season.

“We had chances to bury the game and really take control, and we let them back in,” Bennett said. “They pushed hard, they battled hard, but we can’t let them back in games that easy.”

Bennett broke a 3-3 tie when he jammed in a loose puck from in front at 8:11 of the third to make the score 4-3. Nashville appeared to have tied the score 11 seconds later on a shot into the net by Luke Kunin, but the Panthers challenged for goalie interference and the goal was disallowed.

Jeannot’s short-handed goal tied the score 4-all at 10:41 of the third.

“That was a big goal,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “We were tied (before the goal was disallowed) and he comes up with a big play at a key time.”

Gudas put the Panthers ahead 2-1 when his shot from the point got past Rittich at 1:54 into the second.

Ekblad stretched the lead to 3-1 when he flipped the puck over Rittich at 9:42 of the second.

The lead didn’t last long. The Predators answered about a minute later on a goal by Josi that made it 3-2 at 10:44, then tied it on the goal by Trenin at 11:21.

“We got what we deserved tonight. We weren’t smart enough in key moments,” Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette said.

Reinhart gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 6:45 in. Reinhart brought the puck out from behind the net and bounced it off the far post and into the net.

Forsberg came from behind the net and swept in a loose puck in the crease at 12:06 of the first.

NOTES: Florida was playing at home for only the third time in the last 38 days. The game started a five-game homestand for the Panthers, who will then play nine of their next 10 and 17 of their final 27 games on the road. … It was the first Florida-Nashville game of the season. The Predators still have yet to face Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. Nashville is scheduled to play the Lightning on Saturday at Nissan Stadium in the latest Stadium Series game. … Florida has yet to face Anaheim and Toronto this season. . On Oct. 13, 1998, Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette scored the first goal for the expansion Predators in a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

UP NEXT

Predators: Host Dallas on Thursday.

Panthers: Host Columbus on Thursday.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES

NO. 4 HOOSIER MEN CHASE BIG TEN TITLE

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After an undefeated regular season, No.4-ranked Indiana men’s swimming and diving looks to ride its momentum into the 2022 Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, a four-day event beginning Wednesday (Feb. 23) inside Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Indiana.

“Our goal is to have the best competition possible,” IU head swimming coach Ray Looze said. “We want our men to display the perseverance, competitiveness, and desire it takes to be successful at such a high-level event.”

“Senior captain Andrew Capobianco will be leading the IU diving squad and three of the country’s top freshman to the Big Ten Championships this week,” IU head diving coach Drew Johansen said. “The Big Ten continues to be the top conference in the NCAA, and we are looking forward to the challenge this week.”

MEET INFO

Wednesday, February 23 – Saturday, February 26 | 10 a.m. ET (Prelims), 5:30 p.m. ET (Finals)

Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center • West Lafayette, Ind.

Opponents: No. 9 Ohio State, No. 13 Michigan, No. 24 Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue

B1G Championships Central: https://bit.ly/3p57MuS

Live Results (Swim): https://bit.ly/3LPzTrx

Live Results (Dive): https://bit.ly/3LTqtvw

Live Stream: bigtenplus.com

SCHEDULED EVENTS (FINALS START TIME)

Wednesday (5 p.m. ET) – 200 Medley Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay

Thursday (5:30 p.m. ET) – 500 Freestyle, 200 IM, 50 Freestyle, 1-Meter Dive, 400 Medley Relay

Friday (5:30 p.m. ET) – 100 Butterfly, 400 IM, 200 Freestyle, 100 Breaststroke, 100 Backstroke, 3-Meter Dive, 200 Freestyle Relay

Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET) – 1,650 Freestyle, 200 Backstroke, 100 Freestyle, 200 Breaststroke, 200 Butterfly, Platform Dive, 400 Freestyle Relay

OF NOTE…

PODIUM WATCH – HOOSIERS IN THE TOP FIVE

Bruno Blaskovic – 50 Free (19.21), 100 Free (42.75)

Michael Brinegar – 500 Free (4:16.82), 1,650 Free (14:40.23)

Brendan Burns – 200 Free (1:33.04), 100 Back (45.18), 200 Back (1:40.27), 100 Fly (45.49), 200 Fly (1:40.72)

Mikey Calvillo – 1,650 Free (14:55.95), 400 IM (3:46.23)

Andrew Capobianco – 1-Meter Dive (425.63), 3-Meter Dive (465.30)

Tristan DeWitt – 400 IM (3:46.32)

Gabriel Fantoni – 100 Back (45.20), 100 Fly (45.91)

Quinn Henninger – 1-Meter Dive (386.85), 3-Meter Dive (428.63), Platform Dive (326.63)

Josh Matheny – 100 Breast (52.24), 200 Breast (1:53.03), 200 IM (1:44.87)

Van Mathias – 200 IM (1:45.01)

Rafael Miroslaw – 100 Free (42.41), 200 Free (1:33.00)

Jacob Steele – 100 Back (46.02), 200 Back (1:40.95)

Carson Tyler – 1-Meter Dive (411.83), Platform Dive (411.23)

2021 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Indiana won nine events and had an A finalist in all but one competition in last year’s event as the Hoosiers finished second with 1,357 points, closely behind champion Ohio State (1,401 points).

Brendan Burns won the 200 Backstroke and 200 Butterfly and finished second in the 100 Fly to earn Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships. Andrew Capobianco was named Co-Diver of the Championships after winning the 1-meter dive and placing fourth in the 3-meter.

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

Indiana has won 27 Big Ten Championships all-time, the league’s second-highest total. IU’s most recent title finished a three-year streak in 2019. The Hoosiers have finished within the top three in 11 straight seasons.

IUSD athletes have totaled 365 individual conference championships, including 259 swimming titles, 67 relay titles and 51 diving titles. Hoosiers have earned five straight Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships awards and eight of the last 10 Big Ten Diver of the Championships honors.

BOILERMAKERS SET FOR HOSTING SPOTLIGHT AT BIG TENS

MEET INFORMATION

Purdue Men’s Swimming & Diving hosts the Big Ten Championships

Wednesday, Feb. 23 to Saturday, Feb. 26

Opening Night Relays at 5 p.m. ET

10 a.m. Prelims, 5:30 p.m. Finals / All Sessions on BTN+

Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center / West Lafayette, Ind.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The conference championships spotlight shines bright on the Morgan J. Burke Aquatic Center this week as Purdue men’s swimming & diving looks to capitalize on the opportunity to host the full Big Ten Championships for the first time since 2016.

It’s back to four-day, seven-session format this season, with swimming events and diving events contested in the same facility. Purdue hosted the special co-ed Big Ten Diving Championships last year at the same time the women were racing in Minneapolis. The diving scores were also added to the men’s swimming championships the following week in Iowa City.

The Boilermakers have finished fourth at Big Tens three times in the last four years dating back to 2018. They also finished fourth when they hosted in 2009. The Purdue men have won at least one Big Ten title in each of the last seven seasons dating back to 2015. Those titles have come in platform diving (4), 200 breast (3) and 3-meter diving (2).

The Purdue divers have won multiple medals at every Big Tens since 2013, a streak that figures to continue with seniors Ben Bramley and Greg Duncan competing along freshman standouts Tyler Downs, Jordan Rzepka and Sam Bennett. Bramley has an opportunity to join David Colturi (2008-10) and David Boudia (2009-11) as Purdue’s men’s divers to medal in three consecutive seasons at Big Tens.

Nikola Aćin and Downs will be among the numerous Olympians competing at the Burke Aquatic Center this week. Aćin and Ryan Hrosik have helped Purdue win relay medals each of the last two years – bronze in the 200 medley in 2020 and silver in the 200 free last season. That’s a feat the Boilermakers had not accomplished since 2002 and 2003; 2001 to 2003 was the last stretch of three consecutive years with medal-winning relays. A year ago Aćin also won silver with a record-breaking swim in the 100 free, becoming the first Boilermaker since 2009 to win individual and relay medals in the same year.

MEDALS WON AT 2021 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

• Brandon Loschiavo – Gold on Platform

• Nikola Aćin – Silver in 100 Free

• 200 Free Relay Team (Aćin, Hrosik, Sherman, Lawrence) – Silver

• Ben Bramley – Bronze on Platform

PROGRAM RECORDS AT 2021 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

• Nikola Aćin – 100 Free (42.27)

• Nick Sherman – 200 Free (1:33.81 on Opening Leg of 800 Free Relay)

• 200 Free Relay – 1:16.50

• 400 Free Relay – 2:50.32

• 800 Free Relay – 6:24.63

• 200 Medley Relay – 1:23.82

MEDALS WON LAST TIME PURDUE HOSTED FULL BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 2016

• Marat Amaltdinov – Gold in 200 Breast

• Joe Cifelli – Silver in 1-Meter Diving

• Adam Johnston – Bronze in 50 Free

BUTLER MBB HEADS TO NEWARK FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT TIP WITH SETON HALL

Butler (13-15, 6-11 BIG EAST) at –/rv Seton Hall (16-9, 7-8 BIG EAST)

Wednesday, Feb. 23;  8:30PM

Prudential Center; Newark, N.J.

TV:  FS1 – Noah Eagle & Casey Jacobsen

Radio:  1430AM – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)

Varsity Network Radio App, XM391, SiriusXM App 981

The Bulldogs return to the road for a Wednesday match-up with Seton Hall in Newark. Butler is in the midst of a five-game stretch that includes four contests away from Hinkle Fieldhouse.

THE SERIES: Butler holds a slim 10-9 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools, a series that has been played exclusively since the Bulldogs joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 season. The two teams have split eight previous tips in Newark.

Butler Leads, 10-9

Streak: Seton Hall, W1

At Seton Hall: Tied, 4-4

LaVall Jordan (at BU) vs. SHU: 3-7

First Meeting: Butler, 64-57; 1/29/14 (at SHU)

Last Meeting: Seton Hall, 71-56; 1/4/22 (at Hinkle)

• According to KenPom, Butler has played the 19th-toughest schedule in the nation so far this season.

• Six of Butler’s last eight games have been decided by three points or less.

• Eight different Bulldogs have led the team in scoring this season.

• Butler has seven players averaging between 7.8 points and 10.6 points per game in BIG EAST contests.

• The Bulldogs committed only eight turnovers in 45 minutes of play vs. Providence Sunday, the team’s fourth game this season with single-digit miscues.

• Butler is 9-2 this season when winning the rebounding margin.

• Chuck Harris led the Bulldogs with 17 points vs. Providence Sunday.

• Bo Hodges has led the Bulldogs in rebounding in seven of the 12 games he has played this season.

• Bryce Golden had a team-high 19 points in the first meeting between Butler and Seton Hall this season (Jan. 4).

• In Friday’s game at St. John’s, Jayden Taylor became the first Bulldog to lead the team in scoring (19), rebounds (6) and assists (4) in the same game.

• All six of Simas Lukosius’s double-digit scoring games have come against BIG EAST opponents and the Bulldogs are 5-1 in those games.

• Lukosius has made 34 of his last 36 free throw attempts and is shooting 89 percent from the charity stripe on the season.

• Aaron Thompson is now Butler’s leader in career assists; he broke Thomas Jackson’s record (540) Feb. 12 vs. Marquette.

• Thompson (152) is now tenth on Butler’s career steals list.

• Butler had five players in double figures vs. Marquette, the first time that has happened since Dec. 23, 2020 vs. Providence.

FIRST TIME AROUND: No. 24/22 Seton Hall pulled away from Butler for a 71-56 win Jan. 4 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Jared Rhoden led the Pirates with 17 points. Alexis Yetna had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

A Bryce Nze three-pointer with 4:01 remaining in the game pulled Butler within six at 58-52, which was the closest Butler had been since the opening minutes of the second half. Seton Hall responded with seven of the game’s next nine points to solidify the result.

Bryce Golden led the Bulldogs with 19 points, one off his then career-high. All 56 of Butler’s points came from their starting five as the Pirates held a 16-0 advantage in bench points.

Both teams shot 41 percent, but the Pirates went 18-for-19 from the free throw line and had a 36-25 rebounding edge.

LAST TIME OUT: No. 8 Providence was able to overcome a 19-point deficit to force overtime and eventually take a 71-70 win over Butler Sunday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Butler had a 33-20 lead at the half and extended that lead to 19 (43-24) with 17:16 remaining in regulation with an 8-0 run. Providence cut the lead to single digits (47-39) with 11 minutes to play, the first single-digit advantage since 15-7.

A.J. Reeves made back-to-back three-pointers to pull PC within one at 61-60. Three Butler free throws and a Providence basket made it a two-point game before Noah Horchler tied the game 64-64 with 23 seconds to play. Butler was unable to convert in the closing seconds of regulation. The Friars went 7-for-12 from three-point in the second half.

Jared Bynum hit two free throws with 38 seconds remaining in overtime to give Providence a 71-70 lead. A Butler three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining was off the mark and Providence was able to swing the ball around until the clock ran out.

Nate Watson led the Friars with 22 points; Bynum (18) and Horchler (15) also reached double figures. Providence shot 62 percent from the field in the second half and 42 percent for the game.

Chuck Harris led Butler with 17. Aaron Thompson had 16 points, while Bo Hodges and Bryce Nze added 13 and 11 points, respectively. Butler had 38 points in the paint, including 24 in the first half as they took an early lead. Butler went 15-of-21 from the free throw line.

TOUGH SLATE: In addition to a true round-robin format that has Butler playing all 10 BIG EAST foes both on the road and at home, the Bulldogs challenged themselves significantly with this season’s non-conference schedule.

Butler’s non-conference opponents includes No. 4 Purdue — Crossroads Classic, No. 14 Houston — Maui Invitational in Las Vegas, and Michigan State — Gavitt Games, which is the first team on the outside of this week’s poll.

TWO TIMES FOR THE FIRST YEAR: Simas Lukosius was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week Jan. 31 following an impressive 2-0 week for the Bulldogs. This is the second weekly conference honor for the Lithuanian, who also was recognized on Jan. 3.

Lukosius averaged 13.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in the team’s two contests. In the Jan. 26 win over Creighton, Lukosius scored 14 points and went 6-for-6 from the free throw line. He was the team’s leading scorer in the Jan. 29 win over Georgetown, recording 13 points. He shot 45 percent from three-point range in the team’s two games.

QUITE THE BATTLE: As part of the annual BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle, the Bulldogs picked up a 66-62 overtime road win Dec. 7 at Oklahoma. Chuck Harris led the Bulldogs with 26 points. Butler trailed by 10 points at the half and by 13 early in the second half before clawing all the way back. After Oklahoma forced overtime with a three-pointer with two seconds remaining in regulation, the Sooners took a 62-58 lead in overtime before Butler scored the game’s final eight points.

ON THE WAY: Connor Turnbull, a 6-10 forward/center from Missouri, has signed a national letter of intent to join the Bulldogs beginning with the 2022-23 season.

Turnbull, from Saint Paul, Mo., stars for Fort Zumwalt North High School, where he earned Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State honors for Class 6. As a junior, Turnbull averaged 14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game, leading the team to a 27-4 record and the Class 6 state semifinals. He shot 34 percent from three-point range. Turnbull helped Brad Beal Elite to a runner-up finish at the 2021 Peach Jam as part of the Nike EYBL circuit.

BULLDOGS ANNOUNCED AS PART OF 2022 BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS FIELD: The Bulldogs will participate in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis for the third time as the 2022 bracket has been announced. Celebrating its 11th year of elite collegiate tournament play, the 2022 field will include Butler, BYU, Dayton, Kansas, North Carolina State, USC, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Butler was previously part of the Battle 4 Atlantis field in both 2014 and 2018. The Bulldogs went 2-1 in each event.

HAPPY RETURNS: Butler returns 10 of its top 11 scorers from last season. In all, Butler’s roster returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 96.2 percent of minutes played from the 2020-21 season. Butler returns five double-digit scorers from a season ago and adds Ty Groce, a graduate transfer from Eastern Michigan. Butler has six players who will play their fifth season of college basketball during the upcoming campaign — Aaron Thompson, Bryce Nze, Jair Bolden, Christian David, Bo Hodges, and Ty Groce. Of that group, Nze, Bolden and Groce are in their sixth year of college after previously redshirting and now taking advantage of the additional season of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BUTLER WBB FALLS AT SETON HALL 84-55

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – The Pirates defeated the Bulldogs on Tuesday afternoon by the final score of 84-55. Sidney Cooks scored a career-high 35 points in the outcome and Lauren Park-Lane would post 17 points and a career-high 18 assists. Butler was led by Celena Taborn and her 15 points and six rebounds.

How It Happened

It was a slow start for each side on Tuesday afternoon. Seton Hall hit two of their first nine shots to open up a 5-2 lead against Butler at the first media timeout. The ‘Dawgs started just 1-for-7 with the lone bucket coming courtesy of Sydney Jaynes.

The Pirates came out of the huddle to score the next nine points of the game, taking a 14-2 lead. Butler stopped the scoring spree with a Celena Taborn bucket from the right block and a deep buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Zoe Jackson.

Lauren Park-Lane would hit her first 3-pointer of the game at the 8:36 mark of the second quarter to give SHU a 10-point cushion at 19-9. Her second made shot from behind the arc came on the very next trip down, giving her eight points early in the action.

Seton Hall stayed hot from behind the arc and would lead Butler 30-13 near the midway point of the second quarter. Tenley Dowell hit a 3-pointer before the media timeout to break up the scoring run, but the Pirates would push forward to lead by 20 at 36-16.

Sidney Cooks and Lauren Park-Lane were the difference in the first half. Cooks had 19 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes of action and Park-Lane was in the box score with 10 points and eight assists. Park-Lane and Andra Espinoza-Hunter never left the court for SHU.

Butler went without an assist in the first half, but would record one on the first possession of the second half with Zoe Jackson feeding Taborn in the post for two. Seton Hall however would score the next five points of the third quarter causing head coach Kurt Godlevske to call a timeout just two minutes into the frame.

Butler came together and went on an 8-0 run in the third quarter. Taborn sparked the surge with a 3-point play then Kendall Wingler pulled up for three on a BU fast break. Ellen Ross was the third ‘Dawg to get involved before a Pirate timeout. SHU would then get things rolling over the final stages of the third. They used a 9-0 run to win that 10-minute stretch 20-16.

The Bulldogs went on another 8-0 scoring run in the fourth quarter. Zoe Jackson blew by her defender for the first two for BU and Trinity White was in the mix, scoring her first bucket of the game. The other four points were provided by Taborn in the paint. Taborn scored eight of her team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter before exiting the court with 5:35 to play.

Park-Lane set a new Seton Hall single-game assist record in the closing minutes of the contest. The junior dished out 18 assists on the day while also scoring 17 points. In the end, Seton Hall would outscore Butler 25-19 in the fourth to take us to our final of 84-55.

Stat of the Game

Sidney Cooks and Lauren Park-Lane combined for 52 points, 11 rebounds, and 20 assists.

Inside the Box Score

– Celena Taborn led Butler with 15 points and six rebounds

– Alex Richard came off the bench to supply BU with nine points and five boards

– Tenley Dowell had eight points and four rebounds

– Sidney Cooks scored 19 of her career-high 35 points in the first half

– Cooks went 15-for-20 from the field, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range

– Butler did not record an assist, steal, block, or attempt a free throw in the first half

– BU shot just 19% from 3-point range (5-27)

– Sexton, Dowell, Jackson, Ross and Jaynes started for Butler

Up Next

Butler will host Villanova on Friday night at 7:08 PM. The contest will be the annual “Think Pink Game”. All fans in attendance are encouraged to wear pink.



IRISH TAKE ON ORANGE WEDNESDAY EVENING IN PURCELL

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team is back in Purcell Pavilion for a two-game stretch, starting with Wednesday’s game with Syracuse at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNews. The Irish and Orange were originally schedule to meet on Feb. 22, but a COVID-19 delay pushed the Orange to play a game Monday night at home – a contest in which Syracuse defeated Georgia Tech in overtime. 

The ACC then pushed the game a day to provide rest of Syracuse after Monday night’s contest.

GAME TRENDS 

In 2021-22 the Notre Dame is…

… 15-1 when it shoots better than its opponent.

… 11-1 when it makes 10-or-more three-point field goals.

… 10-2 when a Notre Dame player scores 20-or-more points.

… 13-1 when it out-rebounds its opponent.

A NOTRE DAME WIN WOULD… 

… mark the second-most ACC wins in a single season (13).

… improve the Irish to 12-1 in Purcell Pavilion this season.

… improve the team’s record in February to 6-1.

… make 2021-22 the 16th season that the team posted 20 wins in the Mike Brey era and sixth time in nine seasons of ACC play.

IRISH ITEMS – BY THE NUMBERS

1

Freshman Blake Wesley is poised to become the first rookie in the country this season to reach 400 points, 100 rebounds, 50 3FGM, 70 assists and 30 steals.  See page 4 for more details.

5

Notre Dame is the first team in the nation this season to have five 1,000 career point scorers on its roster – Paul Atkinson Jr., Dane Goodwin, Prentiss Hubb, Trey Wertz and Nate Laszewski.

4.85

Assist/turnover ratio for senior Prentiss Hubb in ACC play this year – the best for any player in the country in conference play.

Hubb has dished out 63 assists in league play this season and given the ball away just 13 times.

11.0

Points per game average for senior Cormac Ryan since stepping into the starting lineup against Louisville on Feb. 9. In four games, Ryan is shooting .483 from the field, .500 from three-point range (7-for-14) with 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. 

12

Notre Dame has 12 wins in ACC play this season, earning a 13th would match the 2011-12 BIG EAST team for the second-most league wins in a single season. The high mark is 14 league wins for the program in 2014-14 (ACC) and 2007-08/2010-11 (BIG EAST).

17.6

Points per game average over the last four games for Blake Wesley. In that stretch he has shot .500 from the field (32-64), .481 from three-point range (13-27), with 4.4 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals.

46

At .464 senior Dane Goodwin continues to lead the ACC in three-point field goal shooting in all games. That mark is good for 17th in the country.

58

Or .582 to be precise – graduate student Paul Atkinson Jr.’s field goal percentage in ACC play this season – second in the league behind Duke’s Mark Williams.

SYCAMORES HOST NORTHERN IOWA WEDNESDAY TO CLOSE 2021-22 HOME SLATE

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State basketball wraps up the home portion of its 2021-22 schedule Wednesday evening with Northern Iowa visiting the Hulman Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. with Senior Day ceremonies taking place before the contest to honor ISU guard Tyreke Key.

The game will air on Bally Sports Midwest, Indiana, Kansas City as well as on ESPN Plus with blackout restrictions. The game will also be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago and the radio on 105.5 The Legend and GoSycamores.com/Listen.

Fans wishing to purchase tickets can do so by clicking HERE, by calling 877-ISU-TIXS, or by visiting the Hulman Center Ticket Office.

*Indiana State University requires all campus visitors, faculty, staff and students to wear a mask while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Full Hulman Center Guidelines can be found by clicking HERE.

THE FOREST INCENTIVES

The Culver’s “Drive to 25” promotion for The Forest continues at Hulman Center this season. Students in The Forest will receive promo cards for a free butter burger from Culver’s if ISU scores 25 points or more in the first half of action.

Labor Link has also teamed up with the Sycamores to provide gift cards to Forest members based on student attendance. Outlined below are the thresholds required and the number of gift cards given away to ISU students.

2 – $25 gift cards – 100 students attend

6 – $25 gift cards – 250 students

8 – $25 gift cards – 500 students

20 – $25 gift cards – 1,000 students

CULVER’S

Culver’s mascot, Scoopy, will be on the concourse pregame to hand out free concrete mixer coupons.

GAMEDAY SPONSOR

Our Gameday Sponsor is Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm. For more information click HERE.

THE SERIES

» Indiana State leads the all-time series with Northern Iowa 33-30. The two squads split their meetings last season at UNI and in one meeting in 2022, the Panthers came out on top January 11 in Cedar Falls with an 80-74 overtime win as ISU played with seven players due to COVID-19.

HEAD COACH JOSH SCHERTZ

» Indiana State basketball is under new leadership as first-year head coach Josh Schertz takes over the reins of the program. Schertz takes over after a 13-year run at NCAA Division II Lincoln Memorial University where he had a career record of 337-69 (.831) en route to four national coach of the year honors. Schertz led the Railsplitters to 10 NCAA Division II Tournament appearances, won 14 total conference championships and three Southeast Regional titles, and had five seasons of 30-or-more victories.

ELITE COMPANY

» Cooper Neese scored a career high 35 points during a double overtime win at Evansville (2/10). The guard tied a career high with five 3-pointers in the game while also pulling down six rebounds in 49 minutes.

» Neese became the 14th Sycamore in program history to record 35 points or more in a single game, joining the likes of Larry Bird, Butch Wade, John Sherman Williams, Carl Nicks, Nate Green among others. It marks the highest scoring output for a Sycamore since Marico Stinson scored 37 against Drake in 2006.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB

» Cooper Neese joined the Indiana State basketball 1,000-point club after scoring 19 against Southern Illinois in his last outing. Neese is the 41st ISU basketball player to do so.

MOVING UP THE BOARD

» Neese hit five 3-pointers at UE to move into sole possession of fifth place in school history in career 3-pointers. He has hit 172 triples in 100 games over his career.

» Neese has scored in double-figures in 18 games this season, scoring 15 or more in 15 games. His 2.5 made 3-pointers per game lead ISU and ranks third in the MVC.

HENRY IS A MATCHUP NIGHTMARE

» Cameron Henry has scored in double-figures in 20 of the 25 games he has seen action in, including 12 MVC contests. He is averaging 14.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game. His scoring output is 10th, while his rebounding ranks eighth and assist mark ranks 10th in the MVC.

STEPHENS CLICKING AT THE RIGHT TIME

» Indiana State forward Kailex Stephens has scored in double-digits 12 times this season and in each of his last three games, averaging 17 points and six rebounds per contest. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama native needed just seven attempts to score 14 at Missouri State, followed by a career high 21 points against Southern Illinois. In his last game at Drake, Stephens posted a career high with four 3-pointers to score 16 points for the Sycamores.

BASEBALL SET FOR MIDWEEK CLASH WITH FIFTH-RANKED VANDERBILT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Facing its second-straight ranked opponent to open the season, the University of Evansville baseball team travels to Nashville to take on fifth-ranked Vanderbilt at 4:30 PM on Wednesday afternoon.

Previewing the Matchup: No. 5 Vanderbilt

The Aces and Commodores are meeting for the 61st time in series history when the two sides clash on Wednesday with Vanderbilt holding a 42-18 advantage in the all-time series.

Vanderbilt enters the matchup having won five-straight in the series, including the last meeting, 6-0, on Feb. 25, 2020 in Nashville.

Opening with a three-game series at No. 10 NC State, this marks the first time in program history that the Aces have opened a season with four-straight contests against ranked opponents. The only other time Evansville has face ranked competition to open the season was with a three-game set against No. 2 Florida State in 2003.

Vanderbilt enters the matchup after a 1-2 weekend against No. 7 Oklahoma State this weekend and after Tuesday’s midweek game against North Alabama was rained-out.

Widder Leads the Way

Offensively, it was junior Brent Widder who led the way for the Aces on the road at No. 10 NC State.

Widder hit .333 on the weekend with a double and three RBI and follows up an impressive end to the 2021 campaign that saw Widder conclude the year going 8-for-19 in the final three games, including a 4-for-7 performance in Evansville’s opening game of the MVC Tournament.

Dominik, Meyer named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List

A pair of Aces were named to the NCBWA’s Stopper of the Year Watch List, given to the nation’s best relief pitcher.

Dominik and Meyer were two of five nominees from the MVC on the 66-player watch list.

Building a Challenge

Evansville has been intentional in how it scheduled the 2022 slate.

Of the 56 games on the schedule, seven are against teams ranked in the preseason top 25 poll.

The first four games of the season come against teams that reached the 2021 College World Series.

In all, four of Evansville’s opponents made the 2021 NCAA Baseball Tournament and 16 games will be played against Power 5 opponents.

DOMINIK, MEYER NAMED TO STOPPER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST

DALLAS, Texas – University of Evansville relief pitchers Drew Dominik and Jakob Meyer have been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award watch list, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I Baseball, the association announced Thursday. Nominees were submitted by institution and conference publicity directors.

This year’s impressive group includes 66 of the nation’s best relievers and features five nominees from the Missouri Valley Conference, including Dominik and Meyer, Indiana State’s Connor Fenlong, Missouri State’s Trey Ziegenbein, and Southern Illinois’ Trey McDaniel.

Dominik is coming off a dominant campaign in 2021 that saw him lead the team in ERA, amassing a 1.52 earned run average over 29.2 innings in 20 appearances. Meyer was right in step with Dominik, finishing the 2021 season with a 3.68 ERA, capturing five wins and six saves.

Evansville returns to action on Wednesday at No. 5 Vanderbilt in a midweek matchup in Nashville with first pitch at 4:30 PM.

MEN’S BASKETBALL TO CELEBRATE SENIORS ON WEDNESDAY

Drake (20-9, 11-5 MVC)

at Valparaiso (13-15, 6-10 MVC)

Game No. 29 – Wednesday, Feb. 23, 6 p.m.

Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will close out the home portion of the schedule on Wednesday night as Drake comes to town for the penultimate game of the regular season. It’s Senior Night at the Athletics-Recreation Center as Valpo will celebrate Trevor Anderson, Kevion Taylor and Eron Gordon as well as senior managers, cheerleaders and dance team members before taking on the Bulldogs in an effort to extend its winning streak to three.

Last Time Out: Valpo led by as many as 13 late in the first half on Monday night, but visiting Evansville scored the first 16 points of the second half to build up a 10-point lead. Valpo responded in a positive manner, rallying past the Purple Aces 74-69 to allow the Beacons to complete a four-game Hoosier State sweep of instate foes Indiana State and Evansville for the first time since joining the Missouri Valley Conference. Valpo was led in scoring by Kevion Taylor with 23 points, while Ben Krikke had 16. In addition, Sheldon Edwards (13&12) and Kobe King (12&10) both posted double-doubles. Valpo went 9-of-10 at the free-throw line in the final 33 seconds to ice the win. 

Following the Beacons: Streaming – The Valley on ESPN Exclusive (ESPN+) – Mitch Holthus (play-by-play) and David Kaplan (analyst)

Valpo Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR, ValpoAthletics.com, TuneIn Radio App – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Garrett Willis (analyst)

Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball

Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (96-93) is in his ninth season overall at Valparaiso University and sixth as the head coach of the men’s basketball program in 2021-2022. The 2020-2021 season saw Valpo improve its Arch Madness seeding for the fourth straight year as the program continued to make positive strides in each season as a Missouri Valley Conference member. The team earned a first-round bye in the State Farm MVC Tournament for the first time since joining the prestigious league. Valpo upset previously-undefeated Drake, the nation’s No. 25 team, 74-57 on Feb. 7, 2021 at the ARC, the fourth win over an AP Top 25 team in program history and second under Lottich. The Bulldogs were one of three undefeated teams in the nation prior to that setback, joining Gonzaga and Baylor. Just two years removed from finishing in last place and being knocked out in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as a first-year Valley member, Lottich’s team did more than hold its own in 2019-2020, ascending into a tie for sixth in the league standings before finishing as the conference tournament runner-up. Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness to reach the title game after playing in the opening round. Lottich, hired as the 22nd head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April 2016, graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and New Trier High School (Illinois) in 2000.

Series Notes: The most recent Athletics-Recreation Center matchup between these two teams was a memorable one as Valpo upset No. 25 Drake 74-57 on Feb. 7, 2021, handing the Bulldogs their first loss of the season. At the time, Drake was one of just three undefeated teams in the nation, joining Baylor and Gonzaga. That victory, the fifth in program history against a ranked opponent and the second during the Matt Lottich Era, came a day after giving the Bulldogs a scare in an 80-77 setback. Another memorable game in the recent head-to-head series was Feb. 19, 2020, a battle that saw Valpo rally from 19 down in Des Moines to force overtime in an eventual 77-75 setback. Valpo is 8-7 in the all-time series but Drake owns a 5-4 edge since Valpo joined the Missouri Valley Conference prior to the 2017-18 campaign. The first matchup of the year between these two foes saw Drake prevail 73-66 way back on Dec. 2 at the Knapp Center.

Dec. 2: Drake 73, Valpo 66: The Missouri Valley Conference conducted conference openers across the league in early December, a change to the previous scheduling format to create a nonconference scheduling opportunity in the first window after Christmas. Valpo started league action with a 73-66 road loss to MVC preseason favorite Drake. The Beacons outscored the Bulldogs 34-33 after halftime but an eight-point halftime lead held up for the hosts, who used a key 11-1 burst from the 16:30 mark to the 13:20 mark of the first half. Valpo trailed by 11 with 1:27 remaining in the game, but managed to claw to within four and had the ball with a chance to trim the lead to one possession with 47 seconds on the clock before a Drake steal and subsequent free throws sealed the deal.

A Senior Salute

Valpo will recognize sixth-years Trevor Anderson and Eron Gordon and fifth-year Kevion Taylor as part of a pregame ceremony.

Gordon is in his fourth year in the program and third year as an active player after transferring from Seton Hall. Taylor and Anderson both joined the program as graduate transfers this season.

Senior cheerleaders and dance team members will also be part of the pregame ceremony, as will senior student managers Ben Kukla, Connor Smith, Morgan Fifield and Zac Sewell.

After the game, Eron Gordon and head coach Matt Lottich will speak to the crowd.

Valpo did not hold a Senior Night last season since all players were eligible to return for an extra year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s Senior Night features only players who are in their final year of athletic eligibility.

Valpo holds a 26-4 record in its final home game of the season over the last 30 years.

Mr. 2,000?

Kevion Taylor is the top storyline entering Wednesday’s game as he sits just 15 points away from 2,000 for his collegiate career. That includes 1,635 points over his four seasons at Winona State before joining Valpo prior to this season as a graduate transfer.

On Feb. 21 vs. Evansville, Taylor scored a team-high 23 points, his fourth 20-point output of the season, all in his last 10 games. He has scored 20 points or more in three of his last six.

If Taylor reaches the hefty milestone, he would become just the third player in program history to score his 2,000th collegiate point while playing for Valpo, joining program legends Alec Peters and Bryce Drew.

Entering Feb. 23 vs. Drake, Taylor has reached double figures 16 times in 28 games this season including 12 performances featuring 15 points or more.

Taylor reached a milestone on Feb. 12 at Missouri State, when he secured six rebounds to push his career total over 700. Taylor became just the 14th active player nationally with over 1,900 points and over 700 rebounds.

Arch Madness Scenarios: According to Matt Hackman (@mjhackman on Twitter), Valpo has a 91 percent chance of earning the No. 7 seed at the State Farm MVC Tournament and a nine percent chance of earning the No. 8 seed. The Beacons are locked into either seventh or eighth. Valpo holds a two-game lead on both Indiana State and Illinois State for seventh and would also have the head-to-head tiebreaker over Indiana State. The only way Valpo finishes eighth would be Valpo falling to both Drake and Bradley, Illinois State beating both Southern Illinois and Indiana State and Illinois State finishing ahead of Valpo in NET rating. The Beacons would clinch the seven seed with a win on Wednesday vs. Drake or an Illinois State loss to Southern Illinois.

Sustained Home Success

The Athletics-Recreation Center has provided a distinct homecourt advantage over the years as Valpo has not finished with a losing mark at the ARC since 1991-92.

Thanks to the Feb. 21 victory over Evansville, the program will finish with a record of .500 or better at home for the 30th consecutive season.

Valpo enters the Feb. 23 game vs. Drake with an 8-7 home mark and has a chance to nail down a winning record within the confines of the ARC.

Century Mark in Sight: Valpo head coach Matt Lottich earned his 96th career win on Feb. 21 vs. Evansville. He needs just four more to become the fourth head coach in program history to reach 100 career victories, joining Homer Drew, Bryce Drew and J.M Christiansen. Earlier this season, Lottich moved into sole possession of fourth place in program history, surpassing the legendary Gene Bartow (1964-1970). On a side note, Valpo assistant coach Matt Bowen worked under Bartow at UAB in 1995.

Scouting the Bulldogs

Secured a 20-win season on Monday night vs. Indiana State by rallying from down 36-32 at halftime to pull away for a 74-58 victory.

Lost three straight from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12 (vs. UNI, vs. Missouri State, at Bradley), but have responded with a three-game winning streak that includes wins over Evansville, Loyola and Indiana State.

Tied for third in the MVC standings entering Wednesday, but just one game separates the top four teams. Loyola and UNI are tied atop the league at 12-4, while Drake and Missouri State are tied for third at 11-5.

Picked to finish first in the MVC preseason poll.

Earned an NCAA Tournament at-large berth last season.

Led in scoring by freshman Tucker DeVries at 14.1 points per game. Garrett Sturtz (11.2 ppg), D.J. Wilkins (10.5 ppg) and Roman Penn (10.5 ppg) all average in double figures as well.

Five players on their roster went to high school in Northwest Indiana – D.J. Wilkins (Merrillville), Roman Penn (Bishop Noll), Tremell Murphy (Griffith), ShanQuan Hemphill (Michigan City) and Jonah Jackson (Merrillville).

MARIAN RACKS UP EARLY RUNS, HOLDS OFF GEORGETOWN RALLY FOR 11-9 WIN

Georgetown, Ky. – The Marian baseball team wrapped up their four-game road trip on Monday afternoon with an 11-9 victory over Georgetown. The Knights piled on all of their 11 runs through the first six innings before holding off a late push by the Tigers. Marian goes 2-2 on their three-state trip through the south, putting their overall record at 7-4.

After a scoreless first, Marian took the game’s first lead in the second inning. Hironori Kato drew a leadoff walk, then came around to score on Caden Mason’s sacrifice fly. The Knights made it 3-0 later in the inning after Jackson Hogg’s double plated Kameron Salazar and pinch-runner Tyler Hargrove. Freshman pitcher Justin Johnson looked keep rolling after a 1-2-3 first inning, but Georgetown’s got a run back to make it 3-1.

Donavan Shepherd earned a free pass to start the fourth inning, and Hargrove stole second after reentering to run for the Knights’ catcher. Hogg’s sacrifice fly scored Hargrove from third base after a Mason groundout, giving Marian another run. Salazar singled and later scored off of several Georgetown errors to make it 5-1 Marian.

Marian added another run in the fifth inning before putting up a five-run sixth. Jared Berger entered to relief Johnson in the bottom of the fifth, allowing two walks but managing to get a popout to keep it 6-1. Mason started the Knights off with a one-out single in the sixth, then Salazar hit an RBI single to bring Mason around. Matteo Porcellato smashed an RBI single after a couple more Knights hits, then JJ Rivera broke it open with a two-RBI single to score Porcellato and Hogg. Kato doubled to left field then to score Rivera from first, putting Marian ahead 11-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

The Tigers answered Marian’s five-run sixth with five runs of their own in the bottom half. Schineller singled to score Joshua Duarte, then Chris O’Neal brought home another Georgetown run with their fourth-straight baserunner. Daniel Brenneman tried to get Marian out of the mess, but Georgetown scored a run on an RBI groundout from Dashon Moore, then scored two more runs after Eric Burckle’s two-out single. Brenneman got out of the inning with a Duarte popout, keeping Marian’s lead at 11-6 through six.

Brenneman began the bottom of the seventh on the mound, but was relieved after allowing a leadoff double and RBI single. Jaxon Meyer worked out of a jam with runners at second and third, getting Moore to strikeout then Isaiah Bumgarner to fly out to finish the seventh inning with Marian up 11-7. After a scoreless top of the eighth, Meyer retired the Tigers in order with two more strikeouts. Georgetown scored a couple more runs after a Schineller double, but a huge double play after Schineller failed to tag up at second-base on a flyout allowed the Knights to escape with the 11-9 win.

Hogg led the Knights at the dish, going 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Salazar scored three runs on a 2-for-4 effort which included a walk. Porcellato, Rivera, and Kato also had an extra-base hit each, and Hargrove stole two bases. Berger gets the win in relief after allowing four hits and four earned runs in 1.0 inning on the mound. Meyer gets the save, recording three strikeouts while allowing two runs (one earned) and three hits in 3.0 innings.

After the busy weekend of baseball, Marian will return to action this next weekend at Edward Waters. The three-game series will start with a nine-inning game on Friday at 5 p.m. before a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.

BASEBALL RANKED SIXTH AHEAD OF 2022 SEASON

RICHMOND – The Earlham College baseball team is set to begin its 2022 season with a weekend series against Olivet College beginning on Saturday, Feb. 26. The Quakers will be looking to back up their trip to the HCAC championship game from one year ago.

THE SCHEDULE

The 40-game schedule will mostly be contested at Sadler Stadium, and the Quakers will only have one road trip in the non-conference schedule. After Olivet, Earlham will host Wilmington College for the Quaker Bowl on March 5-6. The Quakers will also host a doubleheader with Principia, and three-game sets against Hope, Oberlin and Adrian before HCAC games begin on April 2. Earlham begins the conference slate at Mount St. Joseph before returning to Sadler Stadium for Defiance the following Tuesday. After a road trip to Hanover, the Quakers will host four consecutive HCAC doubleheaders and conclude the season with away contests at Franklin and Manchester.

THE PLAYERS

The Heartland Conference dubbed five Quakers as “Athletes to Watch” ahead of the season. Justin Dillhoff posted a 2-5 record as a starting pitcher with just over 37 innings pitched last season as a freshman. The Dayton, Ohio native allowed a batting average of .285 in his first season on the mound. Maxwell Fries hit for a .302 average in his sophomore season in 2021 with 86 at bats. He recorded 26 hits with seven doubles and three home runs for the season. Fries also knocked in 17 runs. Christian Lancianese returns for his junior year after batting .289 during the 2021 season. Lancianese tallied 24 hits with five doubles, two triples and one home run. Nathan Lancianese hit .303 in his sophomore season after recording 20 hits with four doubles and one home run. The sophomore brought home six runs while at the plate during the season. Cameron McCabe returns for his senior campaign after batting .292 with 31 hits, eight doubles, one triple and nine RBIs. McCabe also collected 32 put-outs and eight assists while in the field and had a fielding percentage of .889.

THE COACHES

Steve Sakosits will lead the Quakers in his 12th season as head baseball coach. Sakosits is the all-time winningest coach in Quaker baseball history with 217 wins in 11 seasons. Mike Coduto, Kevin McGee and Beau Smith remain on the staff for their sixth season with the Quakers.

HCAC OUTLOOK

The Quakers were picked to finish in sixth place in the preseason HCAC poll with 56 votes. Earlham finished just five votes behind Hanover in fifth place of the poll. The Quakers ended the regular season in 2021 in fifth place before making a run to the championship game in the HCAC tournament.

Strong day on the mound gives Trailblazers doubleheader sweep

VINCENNES, Ind. – The Vincennes University baseball team completed the four-game sweep of opening weekend at Jerry Blemker Field Monday by defeating Ancilla College 10-2 and South Suburban 3-1.

The Trailblazers began their day against the Ancilla Chargers and wasted little time jumping out to a quick lead in the first inning.

Sophomore Connor VanLannen (Clinton, Ind.) came through with a two RBI single which gave VU the early 2-0 lead.

Ancilla responded by getting a run back in the second, but the Blazers took complete control of the game in the third.

Vincennes sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs in the third inning alone.

Freshman Colton Evans (Henderson, Ky.) began the scoring with an RBI single that drove home Colin Long (Evansville, Ind.).

Sophomores Dale Coy (Evansville, Ind.) and Zach Finley (Charleston, Ill.) got in on the action with a pair of two RBI doubles.

Freshman Ethan Burdette (Linton, Ind.) also ended with a two RBI single in the inning, two of his three RBI’s on the game.

Vincennes rode the momentum of the big third inning to a strong 10-2 win over the Chargers.

Freshman Jake Stuteville (Rockport, Ind.) got the start for the Blazers, throwing 3.1 innings and giving up one run on three hits and striking out one.

Sophomore Josiah Sizemore (Cambridge City, Ind.) entered in relief in the fourth inning and threw 1.2 innings, giving up one run on one hit with one strikeout on his way to getting the winning decision.

Sophomore Camden Greer (Boonville, Ind.), freshman Caleb Moore (Wentzville, Mo.) and freshman Matt Brown (Allen, Ky.) all saw some time on the mound as Vincennes closed out the win.

VU then had to quickly turnaround and take on the South Suburban Bulldogs in the final game of the weekend set and this time the Blazers trailed early as South Suburban plated one run in the first inning.

Vincennes got on the board in the second inning on an RBI fielder’s choice by freshman Kobe Bartlett (Rockport, Ind.) and a run driven in on an Ethan Burdette walk gave VU the 2-1 lead.

The pitchers stole the show in the game as neither team as able to put together a meaningful rally through the middle innings.

Vincennes extended their lead in the sixth when freshman Will Egger (Terre Haute, Ind.) was driven in on a hard-hit double play by VanLannen.

Freshman Nick Kapostasy (Cincinnati, Ohio) entered the game in relief in the seventh with the tying run on base and slammed the door shut on the Bulldogs as VU closed out the 3-1 win, their fourth in two days.

Connor VanLannen pitched another gem on the mound for the Trailblazers, coming off of five no-hit innings last weekend, VanLannen threw six innings Monday, giving up one run on one hit and punching out seven.

Kapostasy picked up the save in the seventh inning, allowing no runs and getting a strikeout.

“We played really, really well,” VU Baseball Coach Chris Barney said. “We had minimal mistakes in the field and came up with some clutch hitting. We were able to bunt the ball around a little bit. We came up with some big hits, obviously in the second inning against South Suburban. Bartlett put the ball in play and scored Nick Williams, who got on by an error. Later in the game Connor VanLannen barreled up two balls and hit them about as well as you can and got a double play and an RBI out of it.”

“I feel good about our outings today,” Barney added. “Our pitching staff did a great job with VanLannen in the second game with Kapostasy closing is out. In the first game against Ancilla we ran a bunch of guys out there to throw. I felt really good about those guys. They did a good job for their first time on the dirt and first time getting some college experience. Today was obviously a good day for VU baseball.”

“We talk about all the time that what will win you games is two out RBI’s and we had a good string in the first game where guys did that. Dale Coy stepped up big for us and hit a ball as well as he can the opposite way and one-hopped the wall. We had a few guys come through in the first game and help us out swinging the bat.”

The Trailblazers are scheduled to host another big weekend on games next weekend as VU hosts Morton College Friday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. eastern.

VU will return to the field Saturday, Feb. 26 to host Joliet Junior College and Olney Central with Vincennes taking on Joliet at 10:30 a.m. and OCC at 3:30 p.m.

There is a chance of inclement weather in the area before Friday, so fans are reminded to follow Vincennes University Athletics on all social media platforms to stay up to date on any schedule changes.

“Hopefully the first thing our team got from these four games is confidence,” Barney said. “The best thing about playing South Suburban, who is a good team, they usually win about 30 games a year, is that you’ve got confidence that we played well in close games. That’s something we weren’t able to do last weekend at Cleveland State and we were able to do it here, so I’m very proud of our guys for that. We battled today and our guys did a great job in the dugout having energy and keeping the momentum over here throughout both games. I hope we built some confidence and we feel like we’re going to go on a good run here.”

TRINITEE HARRIS’ SECOND-HALF DOUBLE-DOUBLE LEADS LADY BLAZERS TO WIN OVER REND LAKE

VINCENNES, Ind. – VU freshman Trinitee Harris recorded her first career double-double of 14 points and a new career-high 13 rebounds Tuesday night in the Lady Blazers 76-74 win over Rend Lake in Vincennes’ regular season finale.

What makes Harris’ accomplishment so impressive, is that she didn’t play a second in the first half. Harris finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and a team-high four assists, all in the third and fourth quarters alone.

Vincennes got off to a quick start against the Lady Warriors, scoring eight of the first nine points of the game to take an early seven point lead.

Rend Lake responded with a 10-2 scoring run to take the lead late in the first quarter and hold a 19-14 advantage after the first 10 minutes of play.

VU opened the second quarter by cutting the lead down to two before Rend Lake answered back to grow their lead back 10 midway through the second.

Vincennes would battle tough, but the Lady Warriors held a 38-27 lead heading into the locker room.

VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Harry Meeks purposefully kept Harris out of the game in the first half, so she could be fresh in the second half and Harris immediately made an impact.

Within the first five minutes of Harris being on the floor, she had already grabbed seven rebounds as VU opened the second half on an 11-0 run to even the score at 38-38.

The two teams battled throughout the third quarter, with neither team able to sustain a lead as the game was even at 46-46 heading into the final quarter of play.

VU outscored the Lady Warriors 25- 9 to start the fourth quarter, jumping out to their largest lead of the game at 69-55.

Rend Lake would answer back, slowly chipping away at the VU lead but were never able to retake the lead as Vincennes closed out their 19th win of the season by the final score of 76-74.

“We had a ‘come to church’ meeting in the locker room at halftime,” Meeks said. “We didn’t do anything correctly in the first half. We mishandled the ball, missed shots and we were very unsure of ourselves. We had to talk about measuring up to what the task was tonight and being responsible as a teammate to help your team win.”

“We started a little different in the second half,” Meeks added. “I started Trinitee in the second half and that was a big factor. That was a shot in the arm for us about pushing the ball up floor. We made that deficit up rather quickly and we didn’t struggle doing it either, so that was the important part of the game. We had to get back into the game after being out of it at the end of the first half.”

“We finished with five girls in double figures and that’s the way we like to play. We like to spread the ball around a little bit. At the end of the game, we gave up a 10 point lead and it got back down to two, when they didn’t quite understand what I wanted them to do. We just needed to run our offense, because they were down they were going to foul us and we were going to end up at the free throw line. We still never quite got that corrected and we’ll talk about that and we’ll work on it. So, by the time we get to our next game, we’ll know how to use it.”

“We’ve won 19 games this season, but 18 of them have been against teams we should have beat. This is the first team that we have beaten that is rated higher than we are. Rend Lake plays a good game. Their coach does a great job and they have got some good athletes on their team. Their guards are tough to play against. This is a good win for us and it sets us up to go into the tournament on a high note. I’m really proud of the way these girls played and how they battled back.”

Harris was one of five VU scorers to reach double figures, with sophomore Laila Grant (Derwood, Md.) adding 13 points and three rebounds on the night.

Sophomore Macy Michels (Teutopolis, Ill.) ended her night with 12 points and seven rebounds but had to sit most of the second half due to foul trouble.

Freshman DayLynn Thornton (Lafayette, Ind.) came through with some clutch shots in the second half on her way to 12 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Freshman Cherrelle Newsom (Indianapolis, Ind.) was the fifth VU scorer in double figures, ending her night with 11 points and a career-high five rebounds.

Sophomore Nina Blade nearly finished with a double-double on the night off the bench, ending with nine points and 11 rebounds on the game.

“Trinitee’s ability to get the ball and get by the defense, because they were trying to press us and we needed to get the ball into the frontcourt was big for us tonight,” Meeks said. “With her being well rested coming off the bench, I had that in mind, I thought about it yesterday. I wanted to have a fresh body out there to start the second half because I know how Rend Lake plays and I knew they would keep running the ball. Cherrelle was a little gassed at the end of the first half. We left her out there for a long time and I planned on that. I didn’t talk to my assistant coach about it, I just knew I wanted a fresh point guard in the second half to help us put pressure on them offensively.”

“I didn’t think we played well offensively in the first half,” Meeks added. “But we brought it up a notch or two in the second half and it relates to Trinitee being able to push the ball up the floor. Trinitee came up the floor with her ball handling ability and they fouled her several times and she was a good free throw shooter.”

“Laila didn’t have a particularly good night, but I kept telling her that she is going to make these shots and tried to psych her up and she start to make them. She made a bunch of free throws and I thought that was very positive for us. We had some people who stepped up, this is a good win for us and I’m going to enjoy this one.”

Vincennes will have a long break before their next game, when the Lady Blazers travel to Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill. to take part in the Region 24 Tournament.

The Lady Blazers will play their first round game on Sunday, Feb. 27 but their game time and opponent are still yet to be decided. Vincennes will either play at 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. eastern time on Sunday, as VU waits to see if they will be slated as the No. 2 seed or No. 3 seed in the tournament.

“We are going to keep working on our running and keep our legs where they should be,” Meeks said. “We pretty much know that we are going to end up playing Rend Lake again. Then if we can beat them again, we have to face Wabash Valley. I think Wabash Valley will win the other side of the bracket rather easily. I think the important thing about playing against Wabash Valley is, we can’t get down early and we are going to have to be able to run our offense and rebound and do the things that we need to do.”

“I thought Nina came in tonight and helped us on the boards,” Meeks added. “I know she was frustrated offensively because she kept getting fouled and I thought she played really well. She made some free throws, got some big rebounds for us.”

“Macy Michels did a really nice job for us both scoring and rebounding. She was big factor for us early in the second half by making a couple of jump shots that really helped the team. Cherrelle did a good job of handling the ball and running the offense. Then I put Trinitee in and ran Cherrelle at the two and that gave us another really good shooter on the floor. I’m proud of this team. They have worked hard and tonight was a really big win for us.”

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | TROJANS CRUISE IN QUARTERFINALS AND ADVANCE TO SEMI’S

UPLAND, Ind. – After establishing an early 10-0 lead, the Taylor women’s basketball team never looked back, defeating Mount Vernon Nazarene (14-16) by a score of 82-70 in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinal game.

Taylor trailed the Cougars by two points for a brief 14 seconds to start the second quarter, but otherwise maintained a lead throughout the remainder of the game. Taylor Westgate and Ariel Dale led the way on offense for the Trojans, as the sophomore forward tallied 18 points in tandem with 17 scored by the junior guard.

After experiencing a bit of rebounding woes in their previous two games, the Trojans recovered by outrebounding the Cougars 41-35. The first half was especially favorable to Taylor in this way, thanks in large part to Kayla Kirtley and her 11 first-half boards. Kirtley, then, finished the game by matching a career-high with 15 total rebounds, while Westgate and Claycee West combined for another 15 more.

Four different scorers put the ball in the basket in the game’s opening minutes, nurturing a 10-0 Trojan lead just over three minutes into the first quarter. The Cougars answered, though, by outscoring Taylor 15-6 to finish the quarter down just one.

Mount Vernon Nazarene promptly knocked down a three to start the second frame, taking its brief two-point advantage before the Trojans responded with a 13-0 run. Westgate and West each contributed four points to that run, while Kirtley added a three-ball and Merideth Deckard snuck in a contested layup.

Taylor finished the second quarter strong, carrying a 12-point lead into the half. Defense was lights out for the Trojans in the first half, as they held the Cougar offense to just 27.0-percent shooting in the game’s first 20 minutes while orchestrating the boards to the tune of a 26-17 first-half rebounding advantage.

The Trojan lead was trimmed to seven by the end of the third quarter, in which the Cougars outscored Taylor 27-22 while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from deep. Taylor managed to score three timely three-balls of its own to hold on to the lead heading into the fourth though.

The final frame set the stage for a series of mini-runs, Taylor going up 11 early before the Cougars made it a six-point game with eight minutes to play. From that point on, however, Taylor controlled the flow of the game, maintaining its lead en route to an 82-70 Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinal win.

Taylor (15-12) will move on to the semifinals on Friday, February 25th, when the Trojans will take on top-seeded Marian (26-3) at 7:00 pm. Stay tuned to TaylorTrojans.com for more info regarding coverage links for the game.

No. 12 IWU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ADVANCES TO TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS IN BIG WIN OVER GOSHEN

MARION, Ind. – No. 12 Indiana Wesleyan women’s basketball opened up Crossroads League Tournament play Tuesday, defeating Goshen College 68-45 in the Quarterfinals. The Wildcats collected 20 assists on 26 made baskets, their highest efficiency output of the season. 

IWU smothered GC in the first half allowing six points in the first quarter, and seven in the second quarter. GC finished the half 5-for-20 from the field.

The Wildcats were ice cold from long range in quarter one, shooting 1-for-7. They would catch fire in quarter two, netting four of their eight attempts.

Goshen doubled their point total for the game in the third quarter, netting 13 points bringing their total points scored after 30 minutes to 26.

Despite the Maple Leafs offensive outpouring in the third quarter, IWU led by 32 going into the third quarter.

2 – how many turnovers IWU had in the first half

25 – IWU’s lead at the break

4 – the fewest amount of turnovers by a Wildcats squad in a game this season

32 – how many points IWU poured in off GC’s 20 turnovers

Lilli Frasure – 15 points, 8 rebounds

Rylie Parker – 13 points

Madison Davis – 10 points

Kelli Damman – 10 points

IWU hosts Grace College Friday at 7 p.m. in the Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals. 

WABASH ADVANCES TO NCAC SEMIS WITH WIN OVER HIRAM

Wabash senior guard Jack Davidson exploded for 27 first-half points on the way to a 37-point effort in the Little Giants’ 101-79 win over Hiram Tuesday night in the quarterfinal round of the 2022 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament.

Davidson, who earlier in the day was named to the D3hoops.com Team of the Week, shot 9-of-12 from the field in the opening 20 minutes. He connected on 4-of-6 three-point shots and hit all five free throws. Davidson scored 10 points in the first 11 minutes of the second half before taking a seat for the evening with the 16th-ranked Little Giants (22-3) well out in front.

Davidson finished the night with 37 points but also handed out six assists, grabbed five rebounds, and generated two steals and one blocked shot.

While Davidson was handling the scoring with outside shooting and driving baskets, fellow senior Kellen Schreiber dominated the paint. Schreiber matched his season-best scoring effort with 25 points. That equaled a 25-point performance earlier at home against the Terriers (9-17). The senior forward shot 9-of-11 from the field and grabbed six rebounds.

Wabash trailed early before Davidson hit an old-fashioned three-point play with 16:25 left to play in the first half to tie the score at 9-9. Davidson hit a three on the next trip down the floor to put the Little Giants in front 12-9. Wabash stretched the lead to 11 points at 22-11 on a Jesse Hall field goal with 12:25 left in the opening half. Hiram got as close as five points on two different occasions. But Wabash answered with a 12-7 run to go back in front by double digits in the final three minutes of the half before stretching the lead to 16 points at 49-33 at the break.

The Little Giants outscored Hiram 52-46 in the second half to extend their winning streak to 18 games. The victory also guaranteed Wabash home-court advantage throughout the remainder of the tournament for the first time since the Little Giants joined the NCAC in 1999. The Little Giants won the conference regular-season title and are the number-one seed in the tournament.

Hall came off the bench to score nine points for the Little Giants in the win. Tyler Watson gave out a game-high eight assists and led the team with nine rebounds. Wabash won the rebounding battle 38-29.

Brodgie Gordon led Hiram with 20 points. Spencer Willman added 15 points for the Terriers. Sherman Cox and Keven Beans, Jr. each scored 11 points.

Wabash will face Denison Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Chadwick Court in the second semifinal game of the NCAC Tournament. The fifth-seeded Big Red knocked off number-four seed Wittenberg University 62-58 in Springfield, Ohio, Tuesday evening. Second-seeded Wooster will play sixth-seeded DePauw at 5 p.m. on Friday. The two semifinal winners will play in the championship game on Saturday at 4 p.m.

TV WEDNESDAY

COLLEGE BASKETBALL – MENTIME ETTV
THE CITADEL AT MERCER2:00PMESPN+
BUCKNELL AT ARMY WEST POINT6:00PMESPN+
CREIGHTON AT ST. JOHN’S6:30PMFS1
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT SOUTH CAROLINA6:30PMSECN
DUKE AT VIRGINIA7:00PMESPN
TCU AT TEXAS7:00PMESPN2
WEST VIRGINIA AT IOWA STATE7:00PMESPNU
SYRACUSE AT NOTRE DAME7:00PMESPNEWS
WAKE FOREST AT CLEMSON7:00PMACCN
XAVIER AT PROVIDENCE7:00PMCBSSN
RUTGERS AT MICHIGAN7:00PMBTN
GEORGE MASON AT VCU7:00PMESPN+
GEORGE MASON AT VCU7:00PMESPN+
VERMONT AT BINGHAMTON7:00PMESPN+
UMASS AT DAYTON7:00PMESPN+
FGCU AT LIBERTY7:00PMESPN+
LA SALLE AT FORDHAM7:00PMESPN+
STETSON AT KENNESAW STATE7:00PMESPN+
COLGATE AT HOLY CROSS7:00PMESPN+
RADFORD AT LONGWOOD7:00PMESPN+
LOYOLA (MD) AT NAVY7:00PMESPN+
LAFAYETTE AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY7:00PMESPN+
DRAKE AT VALPARAISO7:00PMESPN+
LOUISIANA AT GEORGIA SOUTHERN7:00PMESPN+
UTA AT TROY7:00PMESPN+
WOFFORD AT VMI7:00PMESPN+
APPALACHIAN STATE AT LITTLE ROCK7:30PMESPN+
GRAND CANYON AT CHICAGO STATE8:00PMESPN+
TEXAS STATE AT SOUTH ALABAMA8:00PMESPN+
COASTAL CAROLINA AT ARKANSAS STATE8:00PMESPN+
HOUSTON AT TULANE8:00PMESPN+
TULSA AT SMU8:00PMESPN+
BUTLER AT SETON HALL8:30PMFS1
OLE MISS AT AUBURN8:30PMSECN
EASTERN KENTUCKY AT JACKSONVILLE STATE8:30PMESPN+
LSU AT KENTUCKY9:00PMESPN
VIRGINIA TECH AT GEORGIA TECH9:00PMACCN
CINCINNATI AT UCF9:00PMESPNU
WISCONSIN AT MINNESOTA9:00PMBTN
WYOMING AT COLORADO STATE9:00PMCBSSN
WASHINGTON AT WASHINGTON STATE11:00PMESPNU
NHLTIME ETTV
EDMONTON AT TAMPA BAY7:30PMTNT
COLORADO AT DETROIT7:30PMALT
BALLY SPORTS
WINNIPEG AT DALLAS7:30PMSPORTSNET
BALLY SPORTS
BUFFALO AT MONTREAL7:30PMSPORTSNET
MSG-BUF
LOS ANGELES AT ARIZONA10:00PMTNT

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI3821.64419-719-1411-224-126-41 W
CHICAGO3821.64423-815-137-323-137-35 W
PHILADELPHIA3523.6032.516-1319-104-720-146-41 W
CLEVELAND3523.6032.518-917-147-320-136-42 L
MILWAUKEE3624.6002.520-1116-138-322-176-41 L
BOSTON3426.5674.520-1114-157-624-159-11 L
TORONTO3225.5615.016-1316-125-521-148-21 W
BROOKLYN3128.5257.013-1518-137-221-132-81 L
CHARLOTTE2931.4839.514-1415-175-719-181-93 L
10 ATLANTA2830.4839.517-1311-177-517-185-52 W
11 WASHINGTON2731.46610.515-1512-166-620-194-61 W
12 NEW YORK2534.42413.013-1712-174-714-222-83 L
13 INDIANA2040.33318.514-176-232-119-292-81 W
14 DETROIT1345.22424.58-205-253-79-232-81 W
15 ORLANDO1347.21725.55-218-262-118-313-74 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
PHOENIX4810.82826-522-56-428-79-17 W
GOLDEN STATE4217.7126.526-616-119-225-116-42 L
MEMPHIS4119.6838.020-1021-96-428-128-21 L
UTAH3622.62112.021-1015-1211-122-126-41 L
DALLAS3524.59313.520-1115-1311-224-147-32 W
DENVER3325.56915.016-1017-154-818-176-43 W
MINNESOTA3128.52517.517-1114-177-420-187-31 L
LA CLIPPERS3031.49219.518-1312-185-617-235-51 W
LA LAKERS2731.46621.018-139-182-815-193-71 W
10 PORTLAND2534.42423.516-169-181-811-244-64 W
11 SAN ANTONIO2336.39025.511-1812-184-614-205-51 W
12 NEW ORLEANS2336.39025.513-1710-194-714-205-52 L
13 SACRAMENTO2238.36727.015-177-215-715-224-62 L
14 OKLAHOMA CITY1840.31030.09-199-213-513-244-61 L
15 HOUSTON1543.25933.08-187-252-87-281-97 L
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS. 

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

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
FLORIDA PANTHERS5135115753321215123-4-012-7-57-3-0
CAROLINA HURRICANES5035114743417612117-4-218-7-26-2-2
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING4932116703016913916-4-416-7-27-2-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS5231138702917314014-7-517-6-34-3-3
NEW YORK RANGERS5032135692815112716-4-316-9-26-3-1
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS5032144683017914118-5-114-9-35-4-1
WASHINGTON CAPITALS5228159652617114512-10-516-5-45-5-0
BOSTON BRUINS5029174622814513916-10-113-7-35-4-1
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS5026231532316718314-10-112-13-08-2-0
10 DETROIT RED WINGS5123226522014717615-9-38-13-35-5-0
11 NEW YORK ISLANDERS4619207451811612810-10-49-10-34-5-1
12 OTTAWA SENATORS5019265431813415910-15-29-11-35-4-1
13 BUFFALO SABRES511627840141381828-14-48-13-43-6-1
14 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS5115261040151291808-13-57-13-52-6-2
15 NEW JERSEY DEVILS5017285391614618210-13-37-15-22-8-0
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS51113372991171977-17-14-16-63-7-0
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
COLORADO AVALANCHE5036104763319914321-3-215-7-27-2-1
CALGARY FLAMES4930136662816911414-4-416-9-210-0-0
ST. LOUIS BLUES5030146662817913818-6-212-8-46-3-1
MINNESOTA WILD4831143652718614716-4-115-10-26-4-0
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS5129184622516915014-11-315-7-15-3-2
EDMONTON OILERS5028193592516816114-11-014-8-36-3-1
NASHVILLE PREDATORS5129184622815914714-9-015-9-45-4-1
LOS ANGELES KINGS5026177592414714113-11-213-6-56-2-2
ANAHEIM DUCKS5325199592116016114-8-411-11-55-3-2
10 DALLAS STARS4927202562414314517-7-110-13-16-4-0
11 VANCOUVER CANUCKS5224226542114014811-10-313-12-36-3-1
12 WINNIPEG JETS5022208522114515013-10-19-10-75-4-1
13 SAN JOSE SHARKS5022226502113415811-11-311-11-31-5-4
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS521826844151261768-13-410-13-43-6-1
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN531633436151371909-17-27-16-22-8-0
16 ARIZONA COYOTES501333430121141866-18-17-15-33-7-0
 

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