INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL REGIONAL PAIRINGS

REGIONAL PAIRINGS
CLASS 4A
MICHIGAN CITY
EAST CHICAGO CENTRAL [22-4] VS. MISHAWAKA [19-7]
MICHIGAN CITY
WARSAW [19-5] VS. CROWN POINT [19-5]
NEW CASTLE
KOKOMO [25-3] VS. FISHERS [25-1]
LOGANSPORT
FORT WAYNE NORTH [19-8] VS. FORT WAYNE WAYNE [21-3]
GREENFIELD
AVON [15-10] VS. LAWRENCE NORTH [24-3]
SOUTHPORT
NEW PALESTINE [22-5] VS. BEN DAVIS [20-5]
SOUTHRIDGE
JEFFERSONVILLE [18-7] VS. EVANSVILLE HARRISON [20-4]
SOUTHPORT
FRANKLIN [18-4] VS. CENTER GROVE [20-4]


CLASS 3A
TRITON
HAMMOND NOLL [20-7] VS. FAIRFIELD [19-6]
SB WASHINGTON
JOHN GLENN [13-13] VS. SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH [17-9]
LOGANSPORT
PERU [15-10] VS. WEST LAFAYETTE [19-6]
LAPEL
DELTA [21-6] VS. FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA [14-12]
GREENFIELD
GUERIN CATHOLIC [20-7] VS. INDIANAPOLIS WASHINGTON [14-12]
LEBANON
NORTHVIEW [14-11] VS. DANVILLE [21-3]
SEYMOUR
BATESVILLE [20-5] VS. SCOTTSBURG [21-5]
SOUTHRIDGE
SOUTHRIDGE [19-6] VS. EVANSVILLE BOSSE [14-10]


CLASS 2A
TRITON
WABASH [20-5] VS. WESTVIEW [20-5]
NORTH JUDSON
NORTH JUDSON [15-9] VS. GARY 21ST CENTURY [20-6]
LAPEL
WAPAHANI [23-2] VS. TIPTON [24-2]
FRANKFORT
FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK [20-6] VS. LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC [17-8]
LEBANON
IRVINGTON PREP [16-9] VS. PARK TUDOR [19-5]
MARTINSVILLE
PARKE HERITAGE [22-5] VS. NORTHEASTERN [18-7]
SEYMOUR
SWITZERLAND COUNTY [15-10] VS. FOREST PARK [17-9]
WASHINGTON
SULLIVAN [21-5] VS. BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL [24-4]


CLASS 1A
SB WASHINGTON
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC [11-15] VS. DEMOTTE CHRISTIAN [19-7]
NORTH JUDSON
TRI-COUNTY [14-11] VS. ELKHART CHRISTIAN [16-9]
NEW CASTLE
SETON CATHOLIC [19-7] VS. LIBERTY CHRISTIAN [16-9]
FRANKFORT
FORT WAYNE CANTERBURY [15-9] VS. NORTH VERMILLION [15-10]
MARTINSVILLE
OLDENBURG ACADEMY [13-11] VS. GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN [17-7]
WASHINGTON
BETHESDA CHRISTIAN [20-7] VS. CLAY CITY [21-5]
LOOGOOTEE
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY [22-4] VS. BARR-REEVE [23-2]
LOOGOOTEE
TRINITY LUTHERAN [14-11] VS. EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN [23-2]

2023-24 GIRLS GYMNASTICS STATE TOURNAMENT

Site: Worthen Arena, Ball State University, 1699 W. Bethel Avenue, Muncie | Facility

Time: Doors open to spectators at 10 am ET; Opening ceremonies at 11 am ET; Competition at 11:30 am ET.

Admission: All tickets will be digital through your mobile phone and may be purchased through Eventlink (additional fees may apply). No cash. Present your purchase verification on your mobile phone at the gate for admission. $15 per person. Children age 5 and younger admitted free. All seats general admission. No pass outs. Patrons will enter at Gate 1 on the northeast side of the facility.

Results: Unofficial live results are available online once the meet begins. Official results will be posted following the conclusion of the event.

Streaming: Competition will be streamed exclusively (no commentary) at IHSAAtv.org and the IHSAAtv suite of apps (iPhone, Android phone, Roku Amazon Firestick, AppleTV, and Android TV) via pay-per-view for $15.

Photography: Double Edge Media is the Official Photography Service of the IHSAA and posts state championship images for purchase. Website

Sports Medicine: Athletic trainers from Forté Sports Medicine, the Official Sports Medicine Provider to the IHSAA, will be on hand to assist student-athletes as needed. Website

Apparel: Contact Team IP, our official online provider of state tournament apparel. Website

MEN’S TOP 25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCORES

#24 S. FLORIDA 85 TULANE 72

#7 NORTH CAROLINA 84 NOTRE DAME 51

#3 PURDUE 77 #12 ILLINOIS 71

FLORIDA 105#16 ALABAMA 87

#14 KANSAS 90 KANSAS STATE 68

#25 DAYTON 100 ST. LOUIS 83

#13 AUBURN 101 MISSOURI 74

UNLV 62 #21 SAN DIEGO STATE 58

ELSEWHERE:

BALL STATE 76 STATE 69

BOWLING GREEN 73 WESTERN MICHIGAN 65

OHIO 78 BUFFALO 66

EASTERN MICHIGAN 61 AKRON 60

TOLEDO 97 MIAMI OHIO 63

PURDUE FORT WAYNE 78 ROBERT MORRIS 63

CLEVELAND STATE 85 IUPUI 66

CENTRAL MICHIGAN 69 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 63

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCORES

#23 UNLV 104 UTAH STATE 44

ELSEWHERE:

YOUNGSTOWN STATE 73 IUPUI 50

NBA SCOREBOARD

ORLANDO 101 CHARLOTTE 89

CLEVELAND 105 BOSTON 104

MIAMI 118 DETROIT 110

ATLANTA 116 NEW YORK 100

BROOKLYN 112 PHILADELPHIA 107

NEW ORLEANS 139 TORONTO 98

HOUSTON 114 SAN ANTONIO 101

INDIANA 137 DALLAS 120

PHOENIX 117 DENVER 107 OT

NHL SCOREBOARD

PITTSBURGH 5 COLUMBUS 3

FLORIDA 5 NEW JERSEY 3

NY ISLANDERS 4 ST. LOUIS 2

SEATTLE 4 WINNIPEG 3

MONTRÉAL 4 NASHVILLE 3 OT

CHICAGO 5 ARIZONA 2

DALLAS 7 SAN JOSE 6 OT

VANCOUVER 2 LOS ANGELES 1 OT

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

MIAMI 2 HOUSTON 0

ATLANTA 3 DETROIT 0

PITTSBURGH 6 TORONTO 5

ST. LOUIS 5 MINNESOTA 4

BOSTON 7 TAMPA BAY 4

BALTIMORE 3 PHILADELPHIA 2

NY METS 5 NY YANKEES 4

CLEVELAND 4 SEATTLE 1

SAN FRANCISCO 13 MILWAUKEE 8

ARIZONA 5 SAN DIEGO 3

TEXAS 10 SEATTLE 9

KANSAS CITY 4 CHICAGO CUBS 0

LA ANGELS 4 LA DODGERS 0

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

NO GAMES SCHEDULED

COLLEGE BASEBALL SCORES

NOTRE DAME 11 PURDUE 2

JACKSONVILLE 6 VALPO 5

PURDUE FT. WAYNE 12 BUTLER 10

VIRGINIA 6 PENN STATE 3

RUTGERS 7 WAGNER 2

MARYLAND 3 DELEWARE 2

IOWA 9 ST. THOMAS 3

BALL STATE VS. FLORIDA A&M PPD

COLLEGE SOFTBALL SCORES

MINNESOTA 8 UNC GREENSBORO 6

INDIANA VS. WESTERN KENTUCKY CANCELLED

NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: ROUND UP

Enmanuel Valdez finished a home run short of the cycle as the host Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 in spring training action Tuesday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Valdez hit an RBI single to open the scoring in the second inning, followed by an RBI triple in the third and an RBI double in the fifth. Tyler O’Neill added a two-run home run, an RBI double and three runs for Boston.

Red Sox starter Garrett Whitlock (2-0) struck out two and yielded two runs on four hits over three innings.

Jose Caballero went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and two runs for the Rays, and Jonathan Aranda had a two-run double. Ryan Pepiot (0-1) was shelled for six runs on eight hits while striking out three in 2 2/3 innings.

Pirates 6, Blue Jays 5

Liover Peguero’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth pushed host Pittsburgh past Toronto in Bradenton, Fla.

Oneil Cruz and Tsung-Che Cheng each hit solo homers to help the Pirates rally from a 3-0 hole. John Flowers (1-0) needed to record only one out to pick up the win.

Will Robertson hit an RBI double and Miguel Hiraldo had an RBI single in the top of the eighth to put the Blue Jays back up 5-3 before Hayden Juenger (0-1) blew the save on Peguero’s homer.

Mets 5, Yankees 4

Tylor Megill pitched three hitless innings with six strikeouts to propel the host Mets past the Yankees in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Starling Marte, Francisco Lindor and Brett Baty had RBIs before Francisco Alvarez and Baty scored on Yankees pitcher Harrison Cohen’s fielding error to build a 5-0 lead in the third inning.

Yerry De Los Santos (0-1) gave up four runs (three earned) on three hits over two-thirds of an inning. The Yankees’ comeback fell short after Jeter Downs’ RBI double, Trent Grisham’s two-run single and Kevin Smith’s run-scoring single.

Orioles 3, Phillies 2

Albert Suarez fanned seven over three scoreless innings as visiting Baltimore edged Philadelphia in Clearwater, Fla.

The Orioles’ Diego Castillo drove in a crucial insurance run in the top of the ninth, as Pedro Martinez plated a run for the Phillies on an infield single in the bottom half.

Reliever Andrew Suarez (1-0) pitched a perfect fifth.

Jake Cave went 2-for-2 with an RBI for the Phillies. Luis Ortiz (0-1) suffered the loss after giving up a run on two hits in the sixth.

Braves 3, Tigers 0

Phillip Evans had two RBIs on a sacrifice fly and a single as host Atlanta blanked Detroit in North Port, Fla.

After Braves starter Spencer Strider finished four innings with four hits, four strikeouts and one walk, Charlie Morton (1-0) made his spring debut in relief and fanned three with two hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings.

Six Tigers players mustered one hit apiece. Starter Reese Olson pitched three scoreless innings with two hits and four strikeouts before Joey Wentz (1-1) gave up the game’s first run in the sixth.

Marlins 2, Astros 0

Trevor Rogers and four relievers combined to help Miami three-hit host Houston in Palm Beach, Fla.

Rogers pitched the first two innings before Ryan Weathers fanned four with one hit and one walk over the next four frames. George Soriano (1-0) struck out two and earned the victory after Jonah Bride hit a solo homer to left.

Reliever Misael Tamarez (1-1) went two innings for the Astros and yielded one run on one hit, one walk and two strikeouts. Jose Abreu and Corey Julks hit doubles.

Cardinals 5, Twins 4

Paul Goldschmidt hit a solo homer and an RBI sac fly as host St. Louis held off Minnesota in Jupiter, Fla.

Miles Mikolas (1-0) struck out four over four innings, giving up two runs (one earned) and three hits. Dylan Carlson’s two-run double made it 5-1 Cardinals in the third before the Twins made a push.

Jose Miranda hit two RBI singles for the Twins after Alex Kirilloff led the game off with a homer. Starter Chris Paddack (0-1) yielded three runs on three hits and a walk while fanning two over 2 2/3 innings.

HOUSTON ASTROS ACE JUSTIN VERLANDER TO START SEASON ON INJURED LIST

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will open the season on the injured list after dealing with right shoulder inflammation during the offseason.

Astros manager Joe Espada said Tuesday the 41-year-old Verlander hasn’t suffered any setbacks but needs more time to become game ready.

“He’s doing very well, but we’re just running out of days here, and we won’t be able to build him up enough to start the season,” Espada told reporters. “It’s just a timing issue. We want to do what’s best for J.V. and our club, and this is what’s best for us right now.”

Verlander hasn’t experienced any soreness in his shoulder after bullpen sessions, the manager said. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is expected to throw in the bullpen again on Friday but has yet to face hitters.

“We want to make sure to do it smart and not fast,” Espada said. “We need him for the long haul. It’s a long season, and we need a healthy J.V. throughout the season.”

Verlander is expected to return early in the season. He called the injury “a little hiccup’’ in February but said he will be “really cautious on how I’m building up.’’

Verlander signed an $86.7 million, two-year deal with the New York Mets ahead of the 2023 season but was traded back to Houston on Aug. 2. He helped the Astros win their sixth AL West crown in seven seasons before they lost to Texas in the AL Championship Series.

ACUÑA EXPECTS TO BE READY FOR OPENING DAY AFTER NL MVP’S KNEE EXAM TURNS UP NO MAJOR ISSUES

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. is expected to be ready for opening day with the Atlanta Braves after a more thorough examination of his sore right knee found no serious issues.

Acuña left the Braves’ spring training site in Florida to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Monday night.

The team announced Tuesday that ElAttrache found only irritation in the meniscus of his right knee. Acuña will be able to gradually increase his baseball activities and is expected to be cleared to play by the time the Braves open the regular season at Philadelphia on March 28.

Acuña is coming off a season in which he became the first player in baseball history to hit 40 homers and steal 70 bases. He was a unanimous choice for NL MVP after hitting .337 with 41 homers, 106 RBIs and 73 stolen bases, leading Atlanta to its sixth straight NL East title.

Acuña tweaked his knee on Thursday while he was in a rundown between second and third base during an exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins. There were no immediate issues; he remained in the game for two more innings before exiting with many of the regular starters.

Acuña took batting practice the following day, but the team decided to take no chances when pain persisted in the same knee that sustained a season-ending injury in 2021.

As a precautionary measure, the Braves sent Acuña to be examined by the famed California surgeon who surgically repaired the knee after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in 2021.

ElAttrache confirmed there was no structural damage, providing the Braves with a big sigh of relief as they head into another season of high expectations.

CARDINALS ACE SONNY GRAY COULD MISS OPENING DAY START AGAINST THE DODGERS BECAUSE OF HAMSTRING

St. Louis Cardinals ace Sonny Gray could miss an opening day start because of a mild right hamstring strain sustained in his latest spring training outing.

The three-time All-Star right-hander left his start Monday against Washington after 20 pitches. The Cardinals initially said Gray had tightness in his hamstring, and an MRI revealed the strain.

“We’ve had some encouraging news that it’s a mild strain. Not going to put any return-to-play (date) on it,” president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said Tuesday. “It’s been less than 24 hours. We’re going to see how he responds over the next few days. But from the MRI reading, we’re definitely encouraged. Fingers crossed this isn’t something that’s going to linger too long.”

Following their poorest season since 1995, the Cardinals gave Gray a $75 million, three-year contract in November to anchor a revamped rotation that includes fellow newcomer Kyle Gibson and returning starter Lance Lynn. Gray is coming off one of the best seasons of his 11-year major league career, going 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA for Minnesota while finishing second to the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole in AL Cy Young voting.

Gray was sharp in his spring training debut, throwing a pair of scoreless innings, and he was shutting down Washington before his hamstring problem popped up with two outs in the second inning. He motioned for catcher Willson Contreras to come to the mound, and soon manager Oliver Marmol and Cardinals head athletic trainer Adam Olsen had joined them.

Gray has a history of hamstring injuries, twice missing time during the 2022 season with Minnesota.

Mozeliak said the Cardinals have not discussed who would replace Gray against the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day on March 28. Miles Mikolas appears to be the most likely candidate after starting on opening day last year.

If Gray starts the season on the injured list, Matthew Liberatore and Zach Thompson are in line to take his spot in the rotation.

“It would be challenging, I think, at this point (to start opening day),” Mozeliak acknowledged at the Cardinals’ spring training base in Jupiter, Florida. “We just have to give it a little air, a little space, and we’ll understand more the next few days.”

RED SOX HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE RIGHT ELBOW OF STARTER LUCAS GIOLITO

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox are likely to be without right-handed starter Lucas Giolito for opening day and potentially longer after he experienced discomfort in his elbow following his last outing.

Manager Alex Cora said Tuesday that Giolito will have additional exams to determine the severity of the injury.

“We’re obviously concerned. Not a good day for us,” Cora told reporters in Florida.

Giolito signed a $38.5 million, two-year deal with the Red Sox this offseason. He made two starts in spring training, throwing two scoreless innings in his first outing before getting roughed up allowing four runs and three walks in 2 1/3 innings against Minnesota last Friday.

It was after that start that Giolito reported the discomfort in his elbow.

Giolito is coming off a 2023 season where he gave up a league-high 41 home runs and had a 4.88 ERA pitching for the White Sox, Angels and Guardians. He was an All-Star in 2019 and between 2019-21, Giolito had a combined 3.47 ERA and averaged 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings. The Red Sox were hopeful of getting that version of Giolito when he signed this winter.

THE BIGGEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SPRING TRAINING … SO FAR

There has been A LOT going on across baseball since Spring Training camps began opening for the 2024 season in mid-February. Now with Grapefruit and Cactus League games underway, it might be hard to keep up with the news that has transpired over the past few weeks.

Consider this a spring refresher to help you get caught up on the top stories you may have missed.

Stars shining on new teams

After every long winter, the start of Spring Training games is like a baseball oasis. It’s great to have the game back, and one of the highlights of every spring is seeing how some of the top players look on their new teams. So far, those players — including the Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani, the Yankees’ Juan Soto and the Braves’ Chris Sale — have looked really, really good.

Ohtani homered in his third at-bat with the Dodgers and went 5-for-7 through his first three games. Even as he recovers from right elbow surgery that will keep him off the mound this season, the two-time MVP looks like he’s on track for Opening Day, when he will bat between two other MVPs. Oh, and Ohtani announced that he got married. Quite the offseason for that guy.

Soto has looked very comfortable in Yankee pinstripes. He went deep three times in his first four contests with the Bronx Bombers. That introduction included 17 total bases and a 2.616 OPS.

Sale has been one of the most impressive pitchers of the spring. He popped 97 mph on the radar gun in his first start and struck out nine batters through his first 4 2/3 innings without allowing a run.

Elsewhere, Corbin Burnes had a stellar debut with the Orioles. Jorge Soler has shown the power that he brings to the Giants’ lineup. Sonny Gray tossed two scoreless frames with two K’s in his first outing with the Cardinals, though his second start was cut short by a hamstring injury.

Young phenoms showing out

While it’s been fun to watch those aforementioned veterans, there are also a bunch of top prospects who have become must-see standouts this spring. They are putting the league on notice for what’s to come.

Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford (MLB’s No. 6 prospect), Nationals outfielder James Wood (No. 14 prospect) and Orioles outfielder Colton Cowser (No. 19 prospect) all blasted three homers within their first eight games. Yankees slugger Spencer Jones (No. 84 prospect) launched a pitch 470 feet on the first full day of Spring Training action. Giants left-handed pitcher Kyle Harrison (No. 23 prospect) has looked sharp in camp. Braves righty AJ Smith-Shawver (No. 69 prospect) has drawn rave reviews.

We even got a showdown between the top position player prospect — the Orioles’ Jackson Holliday — and the top pitching prospect — the Pirates’ Paul Skenes. The hard-throwing Skenes won Round 1. However, we could see this matchup again and a whole lot more from the best young talents in baseball when the first Spring Breakout games are held on March 14.

This section wouldn’t be complete without mentioning three players who aren’t prospects but are MLB newcomers with considerable buzz: Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Shota Imanaga and Jung Hoo Lee.

Yamamoto’s debut with the Dodgers was just about perfect. Imanaga struck out the last four batters he faced during his first outing with the Cubs. Lee has been one of the Statcast darlings of Spring Training, flashing impressive pop.

Big deals have been struck

We’ve also seen a lot of action away from the diamond since the start of Spring Training as a host of players have been signed, traded or extended. Here’s a rundown of the most noteworthy transactions.

Cody Bellinger rejoined the Cubs on a three-year deal that contains opt-outs after 2024 and ’25. He’s set to debut on Wednesday.

The Giants improved their lineup and infield defense by signing Matt Chapman to a one-year contract that contains options for each season from 2025-27. That move came about two weeks after the Giants added the slugging Soler on a three-year deal.

FOR MORE BASEBALL NEWS GO TO: https://www.mlb.com/

NEW TOP 30 PROSPECTS LISTS REVEALED: AL AND NL CENTRAL TEAMS

With action in full swing across fields in Florida and Arizona, another spring tradition is upon us: the unveiling of each team’s preseason Top 30 Prospects list.

We started with the 10 teams from the American League and National League East, then moved on to the AL and NL Central. The lists for the remaining divisions will be released as follows:

To qualify for a list, a player must have rookie eligibility, which means he must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues or have accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club, excluding time on the injured list or in military service (not counting September time in 2019 or earlier seasons).

Below is a snapshot of each farm system, with a link to a breakdown of its Top 30 list.

The lists are assembled by Jim Callis, Sam Dykstra and Jonathan Mayo with input from industry sources, including scouts and front-office executives. They are based on analysis of players’ upsides, tools and potential Major League impact.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

Guardians
After setting a record for an American or National League division or league champion by having 17 rookies make their big league debuts in 2022, the Guardians kept the talent flowing last year. That may continue this spring, as the Guardians could have two rookies and Top 100 prospects — first baseman Kyle Manzardo and shortstop Brayan Rocchio — win starting jobs in their infield this spring. More »

1. Chase DeLauter, OF (MLB No. 34)
2. Kyle Manzardo, 1B (MLB No. 59)
3. Brayan Rocchio, SS/2B (MLB No. 91)
Complete Top 30 list »

Royals
The Royals only have one Top 100 prospect, but their system has increased its depth considerably the past couple years after graduating their homegrown core. While the Royals are looking to make a competitive push at the Major League level, they’ve needed to retool their farm system. More »

1. Blake Mitchell, C (MLB No. 94)
2. Nick Loftin, UTIL
3. Cayden Wallace, 3B
Complete Top 30 list »

Tigers
The Tigers embarked on an organizational shift seven years ago when then-general manager Al Avila declared that after years of free-agent signings, the club would build from within its farm system. Scott Harris echoed that philosophy when Detroit hired him as president of baseball operations two years ago. The fruits of that effort are now all over the organization. More »

1. Max Clark, OF (MLB No. 13)
2. Colt Keith, 3B/2B (MLB No. 22)
3. Jackson Jobe, RHP (MLB No. 25)
Complete Top 30 list »

Twins
The addition of Walker Jenkins via the Draft and Gabriel Gonzalez via trade gives the Twins an exciting quartet of bats at the top of their rankings. There’s a run on pitching after that, with a number of examples of the Twins’ knack for finding talent in later rounds. More »

1. Walker Jenkins, OF (MLB No. 10)
2. Brooks Lee, SS (MLB No. 18)
3. Enmanuel Rodriguez, OF (MLB No. 42)
Complete Top 30 list »

White Sox
The White Sox won’t remember 2023 fondly after losing 101 games, their most in 53 seasons, and dismissing executive vice president Kenny Williams and GM Rick Hahn in August. But the good news for their future is that their farm system saw a dramatic influx of talent. More »

1. Colson Montgomery, SS (MLB No. 9)
2. Noah Schultz, LHP (MLB No. 50)
3. Bryan Ramos, 3B
Complete Top 30 list »

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

Brewers
The Brewers have made the postseason in five of the last six years with three NL Central titles included in that run. A big reason for their success: the ability to fill the roster with Major League-ready talent from within the farm system. This year’s rookie class should have an even higher ceiling than last year’s group that included Sal Frelick, Garrett Mitchell and Joey Wiemer. More »

1. Jackson Chourio, OF (MLB No. 2)
2. Jacob Misiorowski, RHP (MLB No. 33)
3. Jeferson Quero, C (MLB No. 35)
Complete Top 30 list »

Cardinals
On the precipice of missing out on the postseason for just the fourth time since 2011, the Cardinals became sellers at last year’s Trade Deadline and moved Jordan Montgomery, Jordan Hicks and Jack Flaherty for potentially impact prospects. The result is a 2024 St. Louis Top 30 Prospects list that has a slightly different feel to it, with seven talents acquired via trades, each of which came over in deals last season. More »

1. Masyn Winn, SS (MLB No. 43)
2. Tink Hence, RHP (MLB No. 43)
3. Tekoah Roby, RHP (MLB No. 99)
Complete Top 30 list »

Cubs
In the middle of the previous decade, the Cubs assembled one of the most impressive collections of position prospects, ranking as baseball’s best farm system in 2015 before ending their 108-year World Series championship drought the following season. Their system currently is the strongest it has been since then and much more balanced this time around with pitching depth.

NBA NEWS

NBA ROUNDUP: CAVS SNAP CELTICS’ WINNING STREAK AT 11

Dean Wade scored 23 points — 20 in the fourth quarter — and Jarrett Allen finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds as the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 22-point, fourth-quarter deficit and beat the visiting Boston Celtics 105-104 on Tuesday night.

The Celtics trailed by one point when Cleveland’s Darius Garland was called for a foul on Jayson Tatum with 0.7 seconds to play, but the Cavaliers challenged the call and it was overturned. The loss ended Boston’s 11-game winning streak and its eight-game road winning streak.

Tatum had 26 points and 13 rebounds. The Celtics received 24 points and nine rebounds from Kristaps Porzingis and 21 points from Jaylen Brown.

The Cavaliers were without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell (knee), and Max Strus (knee) was a late scratch. Garland and Isaac Okoro each scored 16 points, and Garland also had 11 assists.

Suns 117, Nuggets 107 (OT)

Kevin Durant scored eight of his 35 points in overtime, Grayson Allen made eight 3-pointers on his way to 28 points and visiting Phoenix recovered from blowing a big lead to beat Denver.

Bradley Beal had 16 points, Drew Eubanks scored 10 and Jusuf Nurkic grabbed 12 rebounds for the Suns, who led by 22 points in the third quarter.

Jamal Murray had 28 points and nine assists and Nikola Jokic finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds but had seven turnovers for the Nuggets, whose six-game winning streak ended. Jokic had a chance to win it in regulation but his floater at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Pelicans 139, Raptors 98

Tying a career high with 10 3-pointers, Trey Murphy III scored 34 points off the bench as visiting New Orleans crushed Toronto.

Herbert Jones added 17 points for the Pelicans, who have won two straight and are 3-3 in their past six games. Zion Williamson had 16 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

Immanuel Quickley scored 17 points for the Raptors, who completed a 1-3 homestand. Gary Trent Jr. added 16 points.

Rockets 114, Spurs 101

Alperen Sengun racked up 45 points, 16 rebounds and five steals and dominated his matchup with rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama, leading Houston past visiting San Antonio.

Sengun, who also nailed a trio of 3-pointers, routinely had his way in the post with Wembanyama, who posted 10 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Houston received a combined 44 points from the starting backcourt of Fred VanVleet (21 points, 10 assists) and Jalen Green (23 points).

Devin Vassell led the Spurs with 22 points, while Malaki Branham and Keldon Johnson scored 20 and 18, respectively, off the bench.

Hawks 116, Knicks 100

Jalen Johnson recorded 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists to fuel visiting Atlanta’s victory over undermanned New York.

Johnson made 12 of 17 shots from the floor. De’Andre Hunter scored 22 points off the bench and Dejounte Murray collected 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Hawks, who snapped a two-game skid.

New York’s Donte DiVincenzo scored 21 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 off the bench. The Knicks played without All-Star Jalen Brunson (left knee contusion).

Pacers 137, Mavericks 120

Myles Turner scored 20 points, all in the first half, to lead nine Indiana players in double figures as the Pacers ran past host Dallas.

Tyrese Haliburton collected 19 points and 11 assists for the Pacers, who snapped their two-game losing streak. Bennedict Mathurin also scored 19.

Luka Doncic posted his 14th triple-double of the season for Dallas: 39 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Kyrie Irving added 23 for the Mavericks, who have dropped three in a row.

Heat 118, Pistons 110

Jimmy Butler posted a game-high 26 points and added eight assists and six rebounds, leading host Miami past Detroit.

Cade Cunningham posted 23 points and eight assists for the Pistons, who at 9-52 are tied with the Washington Wizards for the worst record in the NBA. Jalen Duren had 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds and reserve Simone Fontecchio added 22 points for Detroit.

The Heat, who improved to 11-3 in their past 14 games, also got 18 points and seven rebounds from Bam Adebayo. Terry Rozier added 17 points and seven assists.

Magic 101, Hornets 89

Paolo Banchero led six Orlando scorers in double figures with 22 points in a victory over host Charlotte, which lost its fifth game in a row.

Cole Anthony had 14 points and Wendell Carter Jr. supplied 12 points and nine rebounds as the Magic won their fourth straight and seventh in the past eight.

Vasilije Micic, who has been called upon for duties at point guard, racked up a season-high 21 points in another starting role for the injury-ravaged Hornets. Tre Mann and Brandon Miller added 18 points apiece.

Nets 112, 76ers 107

Dorian Finney-Smith scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as Brooklyn rallied down the stretch for a victory over Philadelphia in New York.

The Nets, who won for the third time in four games, overcame an eight-point deficit in the final 8:45 thanks to Finney-Smith, who finished 8-for-11 from the floor and made all five of his shots in the fourth.

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored a season-high 30 points, including a 3-pointer that put the Sixers ahead 92-84. Philadelphia gave up 11 straight points after Oubre’s trey, was outscored 28-15 over the final 8:24 and fell to 6-9 since losing Joel Embiid to left knee surgery.

10 THINGS WE’VE LEARNED AS SEASON ENTERS FOURTH QUARTER

There is only one more calendar flip before the checkered flag is waved and the 2023-24 NBA regular season officially becomes a wrap. And much like every season before, this one has had its usual share of surprises, disappointments, drama and sharp turns.

Here are 10 takeaways from around the league heading into the stretch run:

1. Celtics are the “beast” (regular season) team

The sheer dominance of the Celtics is a sight to behold. They’ve beaten the Warriors by 52, Pacers by 51, Clippers by 37, Heat by 33, Mavs by 28 and Kings by 25. They’re 4-0 against the Knicks and nearly spotless at home (29-3 through Sunday).

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are All-Stars, Kristaps Porzingis has been healthy for the most part and Derrick White a massive help in support. The combination of star power and depth is unmatched, and a huge reason why they lead the league in point differential.

It’s championship or bust for this team, and in that sense, three will soon be under the ‘scope for how they’ll respond: Tatum, Brown and coach Joe Mazulla.

2. Two legends (maybe three!) seem bound for Play-In

The most heightened suspense right now lies with the West playoff positioning and in particular, the race to make (or avoid) the So-Fi Play-In Tournament.

It’s dramatic because it involves, for the moment, Stephen Curry and LeBron James, who have been in this position before (2021, the Lakers moved on). Except now there’s a higher urgency given the fragile state of the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors and what might await the loser come summer.

And if the Phoenix Suns — who have the toughest remaining schedule in the NBA — falter down the stretch, add Kevin Durant to the mix. Did we mention drama?

3. Heat are in a familiar spot

The Heat are teetering on the guaranteed playoff cutoff. They haven’t shown much flex all season and will surrender home-court advantage to the East powerhouses assuming they make the playoffs.

In other words, same-old. For those sweating the Heat right now, remember that Jimmy Butler and friends survived the Play-In last season and found themselves in the NBA Finals at the expense of the Bucks and Celtics.

The Team Nobody Wants To See in the East playoffs is busy trying to be underestimated again.

4. Don’t expect a Wolves collapse

They’ve either occupied first place or been within a game of first in the West since Nov. 19. That staying power dismisses any notion of being a fluke. They won 42 games last season and should improve by 10-plus this year.

They’re hardly flawless, but what they do, they do well. Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns plus the league’s top-rated defense and good health is a recipe for success … and maybe a No. 1 seed. Whether the Wolves will go deep into the postseason, however, is another question.

5. Rough going in Memphis

We don’t need the remaining month to conclude the obvious: 2023-24 has been a stark reversal of fortune for the Grizzlies. They won 51 games last season and might have declined by 25 games or more when this one’s done.

This underlines the importance of superstars to their teams (as if there was any doubt about that). Ja Morant losing games to suspension and injury was crippling. The season now belongs to youngsters and rookie GG Jackson is a revelation. But they just dropped two at home to Portland, one of which was by 30 points.

6. Was demise of Bucks exaggerated?

Milwaukee has endured two crisis points — early in the season when their defense turned to dust, and for about a week after Doc Rivers was hired. Three, if you count their collapse in the In-Season Tournament semis.

Yet with just over a month left in the season, we find the Bucks in step with projections. Also, it’s much quieter now under Rivers. And after a bumpy introduction, Damian Lillard is fitting in.

The lesson: This team should be judged by the playoffs and playoffs only. So let’s all pause until then.

7. Wizards need the biggest rebuild

Remember when, for about three months, this dishonorable mention belonged to the Detroit Pistons? Since then, very stealthily (and certainly regrettably in Washington) the Wizards have become the (slightly/arguably) Team At The Bottom.

At least the Pistons have a few long-term keepers. The Wizards appear ripe for a major overhaul and there’s probably not a future All-Star on the roster or anyone who will command a max contract.

The “good” news is they’re headed for a bottom-three finish and highest odds at the No. 1 pick.

8. Jokic closing in on third Kia MVP

This is partly by default because of Joel Embiid’s injury and subsequent ineligibility under the new 65-game rule. That adds another chapter to the two centers’ dramatic MVP race over the last three years.

But this isn’t to shortchange “The Joker,” or to insinuate he isn’t worthy this time. His numbers and impact are roughly the same as his previous MVP years. It’s a wrap. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jayson Tatum should be the other finalists.

9. Spurs add a generational talent and more losses

It’s truly the biggest mystery of the season: Why are the Spurs, after welcoming Victor Wembanyama, struggling more this season than last?

The results don’t lie, and the Spurs are on pace to finish below the 22-win total from 2022-23 despite not dealing with a crippling injury. And, they still have coach Gregg Popovich. But poor defense, rebounding and lack of a creator will follow them hauntingly into Game 82.

10. Are Knicks truly improved?

The East’s No. 5 seed is led by Jalen Brunson’s star turn, subscribes to the defensive gospel according to coach Tom Thibodeau and is an easy team for New Yorkers to love.

But didn’t the Knicks finish in the East’s top five last season? And they won a first-round series, right? So where exactly is this massive leap that supposedly has the league on alert?

You can understand the excitement of a fan base that hasn’t seen a championship in five decades, but let’s take the pulse of the club when Julius Randle and OG Anunoby are healthy and, most importantly, come May — if the Knicks make it that far and, you know, actually show improvement.

NFL NEWS

JAGUARS CUT VETERAN CORNERBACK DARIOUS WILLIAMS TO CREATE $11.5 MILLION IN CAP SPACE

The Jacksonville Jaguars cut veteran cornerback Darious Williams on Tuesday to create $11.5 million in salary cap space.

Williams, who started 30 games over the last two seasons in Jacksonville, was due to make $9 million in 2024 and count $12 million against the cap. The Jaguars will take on $500,000 in dead money while saving $11.5 million this season.

The additional cap space will help the Jaguars bring back pass rusher Josh Allen and potentially re-sign receiver Calvin Ridley and left guard Ezra Cleveland.

The move also sends a clear sign that Jacksonville will be in the market for a cornerback in free agency next week and probably in the NFL draft next month. Fellow starting cornerback Tyson Campbell is entering the final year of his rookie contract.

Williams finished with 53 tackles and four interceptions last season, but the Jaguars are switching to a scheme that calls for more man-to-man coverage under new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen. That change coupled with Williams’ production and salary made him expendable at age 31.

Williams signed a three-year, $30 million deal in 2022 that included $18 million guaranteed. He notched 106 tackles, five interceptions and two forced fumbles with Jacksonville. He previously played four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams.

The move came a day after the Jaguars cleared $3.5 million in cap space by releasing veteran defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi.

PANTHERS PLACE FRANCHISE TAG ON BURNS

The Carolina Panthers placed the franchise tag on pass-rusher Brian Burns, the team announced on Tuesday.

Burns will make approximately $24 million on the tag. The Panthers will have roughly $11 million in salary cap space after the move, per Over the Cap.

Carolina and Burns reportedly broke off long-term talks several days ago.

Burns has been a trade candidate before and could be the subject of rumors again this offseason. The Los Angeles Rams reportedly offered the Panthers a package including two first-round picks and a second-round selection during the 2022 campaign.

The Florida State product’s sack production dipped slightly in 2023, but Burns still notched eight quarterback takedowns to lead the team. He also had 16 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles.

The two-time Pro Bowler has racked up 46 sacks, 59 tackles for loss, 95 quarterback hits and eight forced fumbles since being selected No. 16 overall in the 2019 draft. His sack total ranks fifth on the club’s all-time leaderboard.

REPORT: GIANTS DECLINE TO USE FRANCHISE TAG ON BARKLEY

The New York Giants won’t use the franchise tag on star running back Saquon Barkley, a source told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The decision sets Barkley up as one of the biggest free agents on the market next week.

The Giants reportedly weren’t expected to tag Barkley for a second straight season, though general manager Joe Schoen did not rule it out when asked about it at the NFL Scouting Combine last week. Schoen added that the franchise hoped to have the 27-year-old back.

Barkley was tagged in 2023 but was unable to come to an agreement with the NFC East franchise on a long-term contract. He ended up playing the year on an amended one-year deal that contained incentives.

The two-time Pro Bowl running back reportedly targeted the Houston Texans as his top free-agent destination.

Barkley is slated to be part of a talented running back free-agent class that includes Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, and Tony Pollard, among others.

Barkley rushed for 962 yards on the ground last season while also adding 280 yards as a receiver. His best season came as a rookie when he led the league in yards from scrimmage (2,028) and was named the 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

JETS TO RELEASE TE C.J. UZOMAH

New York Jets tight end C.J. Uzomah was informed he will be released, creating a 2024 cap savings of $5.3 million.

Uzomah, 31, will become a free agent and is attempting to return from knee surgery.

Uzomah had eight catches for 58 yards and one touchdown in 2023 and had one year left on the three-year, $24 million contract he signed in free agency before the 2022 season.

Uzomah made $16 million for two seasons with the Jets. He had 29 catches for 290 yards and three TDs in 27 total games (21 starts).

New York has Jeremy Ruckert (16 catches last season) behind Tyler Conklin (61 receptions for 621 yards, zero TDs last season) at tight end on the current depth chart.

AP MOCK NFL DRAFT: BEARS KEEP THE NO. 1 PICK, TAKE USC STAR QB CALEB WILLIAMS

The Chicago Bears passed up C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young last year because they had Justin Fields.

Now, they’ve got a shot at Caleb Williams.

They can’t miss another chance at a franchise quarterback.

The Bears traded away the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft to the Carolina Panthers, who used it to select Young. They ended up with the top pick again this year because Young struggled and the Panthers flopped.

Fields, who was picked 11th overall in 2021, is 10-28 in three seasons in Chicago. He finished strong, leading the Bears to a 4-3 record over their final seven games last season.

But Williams is the future for Chicago.

The first edition of the AP’s 2024 mock draft says the Bears keep the top pick and take Williams.

1. Chicago Bears: CALEB WILLIAMS, QUARTERBACK, USC

Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, didn’t work out at the NFL’s scouting combine in Indianapolis. He didn’t have to. He’s the consensus No. 1 pick and the Bears finally may have a long-term answer at the most important position.

2. Washington Commanders: JAYDEN DANIELS, QUARTERBACK, LSU

The Commanders choose the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner over Drake Maye, giving new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury a dual-threat QB to build his offense around. Daniels has the ability to make big plays with his arm and legs while also taking care of the ball. He threw 40 touchdown pass and just four interceptions last season.

3. New England Patriots: DRAKE MAYE, QUARTERBACK, NORTH CAROLINA

It’s a new era in New England with Bill Belichick gone. Jerod Mayo took his place as head coach but the Patriots still haven’t found a QB to replace Tom Brady. Mac Jones, a first-round pick in 2021, fizzled after a solid rookie season. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Maye stood out at the combine with Williams and Daniels electing to not participate. He’s been one of the best college QBs over the past two seasons and has what it takes to be a franchise player.

4. Arizona Cardinals: MARVIN HARRISON, JR., WIDE RECEIVER, OHIO STATE

Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison’s son is considered the best overall prospect in the draft. He has all the physical tools and skills to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become one of the NFL’s dominant receivers.

5. Los Angeles Chargers: JOE ALT, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, NOTRE DAME

New Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh has made it clear the team must protect QB Justin Herbert and the offense has to run the ball efficiently. The 6-9, 321-pound Alt is an athletic, versatile player widely considered the best blocker in a strong draft class. His father, John Alt, was a two-time Pro Bowl left tackle in Kansas City.

6. New York Giants: MALIK NABERS, WIDE RECEIVER, LSU

The Giants haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018. Naber gives them a physical receiver with elite ball skills and explosive route-running ability. He caught 89 balls for 1,569 yards and 14 TDs last season.

7. Tennessee Titans: TALIESE FUAGA, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, ORGEON STATE

The Titans need to protect Will Levis after allowing an NFL-high 64 sacks last season. The massive Fuaga, 6-6, 324, excels in pass protection and is a people-mover as a run blocker. He’s considered the second-best tackle behind Alt and projects to be an immediate starter at right tackle.

8. Atlanta Falcons: J.J. MCCARTHY, QUARTERBACK, MICHIGAN

New coach Raheem Morris and the Falcons will be looking for a franchise QB unless they trade for Fields or acquire Russell Wilson. This spot may be too early for McCarthy and Atlanta could trade back to get him. Despite playing in a run-heavy offense, McCarthy’s stock is on the rise after leading Michigan to a national championship. He’s a winner who brings plenty of intangibles along with a strong arm.

9. Chicago Bears: ROME ODUNZE, WIDE RECEIVER, WASHINGTON

The Bears could be in position to take the best edge rusher in the draft, but teaming Odunze with D.J. Moore to give Williams another playmaker is too enticing to pass up. Odunze has size, speed and skills to be elite. He had 92 catches, for 1,640 yards, 13 TDs in 2023.

10. New York Jets: OLUMUYIWA FASHANU, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, PENN STATE

Protecting Aaron Rodgers is the top priority. Fashanu had to cut his combine workout short because of a thigh injury, but expects to be ready for his pro day. The 6-6, 321-pound Fashanu is already an elite pass blocker on the right side. He didn’t allow a sack in college.

11. Minnesota Vikings: DALLAS TURNER, EDGE, ALABAMA

The Vikings take an athletic edge rusher in Turner. He has size, speed and burst to get after playmaking QBs.

12. Denver Broncos: BO NIX, QUARTERBACK, OREGON

Because they’ll have to replace Wilson, the Broncos grab Nix ahead of more talented players at other positions. Trading down to get one of the second-tier QB would be an ideal scenario. Wherever they get him, Nix seems like a perfect fit for coach Sean Payton. He had an impressive season, throwing for 4,508 yards and 45 TDs with only three interceptions while completing an astounding 77.4% of his passes.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: BYRON MURPHY, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, TEXAS

Unless one of the top five QBs are available, the Raiders bolster the interior of their defensive line by plugging the powerful Murphy in the middle.

14. New Orleans Saints: LAIATU LATU, EDGE, UCLA

Latu was the best defensive end in college last season, earning both the Lombardi and Ted Hendricks awards. He’ll give the Saints a pass rusher with game-changing skills.

15. Indianapolis Colts: TERRION ARNOLD, CORNERBACK, ALABAMA

Arnold is an exceptional cover guy tough enough to be an asset against the run and has excellent ball skills.

16. Seattle Seahawks: KRIS JENKINS, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, MICHIGAN

The son of two-time All-Pro nose tackle Kris Jenkins has the ability to wreak havoc in the middle of a defensive line as a premier run-stuffer.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: BRIAN THOMAS, JR., WIDE RECEIVER, LSU

Trevor Lawrence gets a playmaker over a pass protector. Thomas had 1,177 yards receiving on 68 catches and just ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: J.C. LATHAM, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, ALABAMA

Latham gives the Bengals more protection for Joe Burrow. He’s an athletic, powerful right tackle who should be an immediate starter.

19. Los Angeles Rams: NATE WIGGINS, CORNERBACK, CLEMSON

Wiggins has elite speed, he’s versatile and is a playmaker.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: QUINYON MITCHELL, CORNERBACK, TOLEDO

Mitchell ran a 4.33 second 40-yard dash at the combine and gives the Steelers another young potential star to pair opposite Joey Porter Jr.

21. Miami Dolphins: TYLER GUYTON, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, OKLAHOMA

Guyton is a mammoth (6-8, 322) and athletic tackle versatile enough to play either side, giving the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa an anchor opposite Terron Armstead.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: COOPER DEJEAN, CORNERBACK, IOWA

DeJean didn’t allow a touchdown in coverage last season and he’s versatile so the secondary-needy Eagles can use him in various ways.

23. Houston Texans: JARED VERSE, EDGE, FLORIDA STATE

The Texans get a steal when Verse slips out of the top 10. He had an impressive showing at the combine and possesses the skills to be an elite pass rusher.

24. Dallas Cowboys: AMARIUS MIMS, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, GEORGIA

The Cowboys get a combine superstar in Mims, who has outstanding speed for a giant (6-7, 340) of a man.

25. Green Bay Packers: PATRICK PAUL, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, HOUSTON

The Packers get a behemoth bookend tackle in a draft filled with talent at this spot. Paul is 6-7, 333 pounds yet agile enough to take on speedy edge rushers.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: JACKSON POWERS-JOHNSON, OFFENSIVE LINEMAN, OREGON

Powers-Johnson is the consensus No. 1 center/interior offensive lineman in the draft. The Buccaneers snag a projected top 20 player to anchor the middle of their line.

27. Arizona Cardinals: JER’ZHAN NEWTON, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, ILLINOIS

Newton is a disruptive interior defender who brings a physical presence in the middle of the line along with outstanding ability to get to the quarterback.

28. Buffalo Bills: CHOP ROBINSON, EDGE, PENN STATE

Coming off an impressive combine, Robinson is drawing comparisons to former Nittany Lions star Micah Parsons.

29. Detroit Lions: KAMARI LASSITER, CORNERBACK, GEORGIA

Steps in right away to bolster the defense for the NFC runner-up Lions.

30. Baltimore Ravens: JORDAN MORGAN, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, ARIZONA

Morgan is a versatile lineman who played tackle but can move to guard.

31. San Francisco 49ers: GRAHAM BARTON, OFFENSIVE TACKLE, DUKE

Barton fits nicely in coach Kyle Shanahan’s run schemes and is a versatile pass protector who can play tackle or guard.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: XAVIER WORTHY, WIDE RECEIVER, TEXAS

The Chiefs have won consecutive Super Bowls since trading Tyreek Hill but now they add someone even faster. Worthy set a combined record with a 4.21 40-yard dash.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

TOP 25 ROUNDUP: NO. 3 PURDUE CLAIMS 2ND STRAIGHT BIG TEN TITLE

Zach Edey poured in 28 points with eight rebounds as No. 3 Purdue rallied for a 77-71 victory over No. 12 Illinois on Tuesday night in Champaign, Ill., to clinch a second straight outright Big Ten regular-season title.

Fletcher Loyer contributed 16 points — including seven straight in the final four minutes after Illinois regained a two-point lead — while Braden Smith added 13 points and six assists and Mason Gillis posted 10 points and six boards for the Boilermakers (27-3, 16-3 Big Ten).

After going just 1 of 6 from 3-point range in the first half, Purdue drilled 8 of 10 attempts from long range after halftime to become the Big Ten’s first back-to-back champs since Ohio State in 2006-07.

Marcus Domask paced Illinois (22-8, 13-6) with 20 points. Coleman Hawkins recorded 13 points. The Illini led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but they shot just 36 percent in the second half and missed all six of their 3-point tries.

No. 7 North Carolina 84, Notre Dame 51

The Tar Heels claimed at least a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title with a win against the Fighting Irish in Chapel Hill, N.C.

North Carolina (24-6, 16-3 ACC) remains a game ahead of second-place Duke heading into the regular-season finale on Saturday against the No. 9 Blue Devils in Durham, N.C. The Tar Heels, who have won five in a row, beat the Blue Devil 93-84 in the first meeting on Feb. 3.

ACC scoring leader RJ Davis had 22 points and six assists in his final home game, Armando Bacot and Cormac Ryan scored 14 points each and Harrison Ingram finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds for North Carolina. Tae Davis scored 11 points as the lone player in double figures for Notre Dame (12-18, 7-12).

No. 13 Auburn 101, Missouri 74

Auburn shot 76 percent from the field in the second half to stomp Missouri in a Southeastern Conference clash of Tigers at Columbia, Mo.

Johni Broome led the way with 17 points, while Jaylin Williams and Chad Baker-Mazara each added 15 for Auburn (23-7, 12-5 Southeastern Conference). Dylan Cardwell hit for 12, while Denver Jones netted 10 points.

Sean East II scored a game-high 21 points for Missouri (8-22, 0-17), which has dropped 20 of its past 21 games. Missouri needs a victory in its regular-season finale Saturday at LSU to avoid going winless in conference play.

No. 14 Kansas 90, Kansas State 68

Hunter Dickinson amassed 15 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks as the Jayhawks cruised in their regular-season home finale, drubbing the Wildcats in Lawrence, Kan.

Kevin McCullar led Kansas (22-8, 10-7 Big 12) with 19 points. The Jayhawks have not lost on Senior Night since the 1982-83 season.

Will McNair Jr. led the Wildcats (17-13, 7-10) with 17 points. Kansas State’s three leading scorers coming into the game, Tylor Perry, Cam Carter and Arthur Kaluma, combined for just 15 points.

Florida 105, No. 16 Alabama 87

Will Richard scored 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting as the Gators sprinted to a win over the Crimson Tide in Gainesville, Fla.

Walter Clayton Jr. added 22 points and shot 15-for-16 from the free-throw line for Florida (21-9, 11-6 SEC). Tyrese Samuel and Zyon Pullin finished with 19 points apiece.

Mark Sears scored 33 points on 10-for-20 shooting to lead Alabama (20-10, 12-5). Aaron Estrada finished with 17 points.

UNLV 62, No. 21 San Diego State 58

Dedan Thomas Jr. broke a tie with a step-back jumper with 18 seconds left and the Runnin’ Rebels held on to upset the Aztecs in Las Vegas.

Thomas scored 19 points and Keylan Boone had 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for UNLV (19-10, 12-5 Mountain West), which has won five in a row and 10 of 11.

Elijah Saunders scored 14 points off the bench and Jaedon LeDee had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Aztecs (22-8, 11-6), who finished 3-6 on the road in conference play.

No. 24 South Florida 85, Tulane 72

Senior guard Chris Youngblood scored a career-high 29 points and the Bulls extended their school-record winning streak to 15 games by defeating the Green Wave in Tampa.

Kasean Pryor scored 13 points, Selton Miguel had 12 and Jayden Reid added 11 for South Florida (23-5, 16-1 American Athletic Conference), which won its first game since clinching its first regular-season conference championship. The Bulls’ 15-game winning streak is the longest active run in the nation.

Jaylen Forbes tied his career high with seven 3-pointers and scored 24 points for Tulane (13-16, 4-13), which lost its seventh consecutive game.

No. 25 Dayton 100, Saint Louis 83

DaRon Holmes II scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and the Flyers hit a season-high-tying 18 3-pointers in a rout of the Billikens in St. Louis.

Kobe Elvis and Koby Brea each added 21 for Dayton (23-6, 13-4 Atlantic 10), which rebounded from a disappointing road loss to Loyola Chicago on Friday. It was the Flyers’ first 100-point game since Jan. 12, 2018, a 106-79 win over VCU.

Gibson Jimerson scored 24 and Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 17 for Saint Louis (11-19, 4-13).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

CAITLIN CLARK SIGNS ENDORSEMENT DEAL WITH GAINBRIDGE

(WTHR SPORTS)

INDIANAPOLIS — Iowa Hawkeyes basketball star Caitlin Clark isn’t a member of the Indiana Fever just yet, but that hasn’t stopped her from partnering with the namesake company of her presumed future team’s home arena.

Clark, who recently became the all-time leading scorer in the history of NCAA Division I basketball, has agreed to a “multi-year partnership” with Gainbridge to serve as a brand ambassador for the company.

The widely-anticipated No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, Clark joins a roster of Gainbridge athletes including 39-time Grand Slam Champion Billie Jean King and 72-time LPGA Tour winner Annika Sörenstam.

READ MORE: https://www.wthr.com/article/news/local/caitlin-clark-signs-endorsement-deal-indiana-based-gainbridge/531-8badae86-0b43-44d7-8805-681800b9dbca

NNEKA OBIAZOR, NO. 23 UNLV ROLL PAST UTAH STATE 104-44

Nneka Obiazor posted 16 points and seven rebounds, reaching 1,000 career points in the process, as No. 23 UNLV demolished host Utah State 104-44 on Tuesday night in Logan, Utah.

UNLV (27-2, 17-1 Mountain West) finished the regular season on a 12-game winning streak and will hold the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament next week.

The Lady Rebels shot 62.1 percent (41-of-66) from the floor, including an overwhelming 80 percent (32-of-40) on 2-pointers. McKinna Brackens (14 points), Amarachi Kimpson (14), Desi-Rae Young (11), Kiara Jackson (11) and Ashley Scoggin (10) all joined Obiazor in double figures. Obiazor has 1,001 career points.

Livia Knapp shot 3-of-5 from 3-point range for nine points to pace the Aggies (5-24, 2-16), who were outrebounded 49-20.

HOCKEY NEWS

NHL ROUNDUP: OILERS TIE IT LATE, BEAT BRUINS IN OT

Leon Draisaitl scored at 2:18 of overtime, his second goal of the night, as the Edmonton Oilers overcame a third-period deficit and downed the host Boston Bruins 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Connor McDavid assisted on both of the Oilers’ goals to extend his point streak to 12 games. His cross-ice pass to Draisaitl for a one-timer in the right circle resulted in the winning goal in Edmonton’s fifth straight win.

Boston’s Pavel Zacha scored early in the third period, and Draisaitl scored an extra-attacker goal with 1:20 left in regulation to force overtime. Edmonton goaltender Stuart Skinner made 25 saves, while Linus Ullmark stopped 24 shots for Boston, which is 5-4-6 in its last 15 games.

Bruins forward James van Riemsdyk played in his 1,000th NHL game. He became the eighth 2007 draftee to reach the milestone.

Canadiens 4, Predators 3 (OT)

Nick Suzuki scored 17 seconds into overtime as visiting Montreal rallied to end Nashville’s eight-game winning streak.

Suzuki one-timed a Cole Caufield pass to beat Nashville’s Juuse Saros (26 saves) on the short side for Montreal’s only lead. With the Canadiens trailing 2-0, Brendan Gallagher and David Savard scored second-period goals. Joshua Roy tied the game at 3-3 with his late third-period score for the Canadiens.

Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and two assists while Gustav Nyquist and Filip Forsberg recorded one of each for the Predators, whose run ended up matching the second-longest winning streak in club history.

Blackhawks 5, Coyotes 2

Arvid Soderblom made 37 saves, Seth Jones scored twice and Chicago scored four power-play goals en route to snapping a 22-game road losing streak with a victory over Arizona in Tempe, Ariz.

The Blackhawks won on the road for the first time since a 5-3 victory at Tampa Bay on Nov. 9. Chicago’s Nick Foligno and Jason Dickinson each had a goal and an assist, Tyler Johnson had three assists, Connor Bedard logged two helpers and Philipp Kurashev also scored.

Nick Bjugstad and Michael Carcone scored and Connor Ingram finished with 27 saves for Arizona, which had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Stars 7, Sharks 6 (OT)

Roope Hintz scored 1:49 into overtime to give Dallas a wild comeback victory over host San Jose.

The Stars came back to equalize three times in the game, including an unlikely late surge after trailing 6-3 with 13 minutes left in the third. Logan Stankoven and Wyatt Johnston then scored within a 43-second span, and Johnston evened things up with his third goal of the game at the 15:42 mark.

Johnston had three goals and two assists, setting career highs for points and goals in a game. Stankoven had two goals and two assists, giving the 21-year-old rookie eight points (five goals, three assists) in his first six NHL games. Anthony Duclair had two goals and two assists for the Sharks, and Fabian Zetterlund had a goal and two assists.

Canucks 2, Kings 1 (OT)

J.T. Miller scored during a delayed penalty at 1:36 of overtime to give visiting Vancouver a win over Los Angeles.

Miller netted his 31st goal of the season on a one-timer from the right circle. Elias Pettersson scored, Quinn Hughes had two assists and Thatcher Demko made 23 saves for the Pacific Division-leading Canucks, who had lost six of eight (2-5-1).

Trevor Moore scored and Cam Talbot made 29 saves for the Kings, who had won two in a row.

Panthers 5, Devils 3

Nick Cousins scored two goals and Florida beat New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J., for its sixth consecutive win.

Florida spoiled the debut of interim New Jersey coach Travis Green, who replaced Lindy Ruff on Monday. Matthew Tkachuk had three assists for the Panthers, who have won 16 of their past 18 games after sweeping back-to-back road contests against the New York Rangers and the Devils.

Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist and Timo Meier scored in his third straight game for the Devils, who have lost three straight and six of eight. Colin Miller added a goal, Jesper Bratt had two assists and Akira Schmid made 26 saves.

Islanders 4, Blues 2

Bo Horvat, whose turnovers in the second period led to a pair of goals by St. Louis, capped New York’s comeback by scoring the tiebreaking goal early in the third period of a win in Elmont, N.Y.

Horvat’s first shot glanced off the pads of Blues goalie Joel Hofer, but the center collected the rebound and wrapped a shot into the open corner of the net 55 seconds into the third. Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin made 19 saves.

Alexey Toropchenko and Jordan Kyrou scored in the second for the Blues, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Hofer made 29 saves for St. Louis.

Kraken 4, Jets 3

Andre Burakovsky scored a power-play goal at 17:21 of the third period as Seattle defeated host Winnipeg.

Jared McCann had a goal and two assists, and Justin Schultz and Tomas Tatar also scored for the Kraken, who swept their two-game Canadian trip after a 4-2 victory Monday at Calgary. Goaltender Joey Daccord made 30 saves, including diving across the crease without his stick to stop a shot by Neal Pionk with seven seconds to go.

Kyle Connor, Adam Lowry and Nino Niederreiter tallied and Mason Appleton had two assists for the Jets, who lost for just the third time in their past 12 games. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 20 of 24 shots.

Penguins 5, Blue Jackets 3

Reilly Smith had a goal and two assists to help Pittsburgh dispatch visiting Columbus.

Evgeni Malkin added a goal and an assist, Jesse Puljujarvi, Rickard Rakell and Jeff Carter also scored, and Ryan Graves added two assists for the Penguins, who had lost three in a row. Pittsburgh goaltender Tristan Jarry improved to 8-1-1 all-time against Columbus with 33 saves.

Jack Roslovic and Andrew Peeke each had a goal and an assist, and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for the Blue Jackets, who had won two straight. Columbus goaltender Jet Greaves, in his fourth NHL game, made 26 saves.

MEN’S GOLF

REPORT: LIV GOLF ABANDONS EFFORT FOR OWGR RECOGNITION

LIV Golf abandoned the effort for accreditation for its members from the Official World Golf Ranking system, Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday.

Per the report, LIV commissioner and CEO Greg Norman informed league members by letter this week that “a resolution which protects the accuracy, credibility and integrity of the OWGR rankings no longer exists” and that the league had withdrawn its application to be recognized by the system.

LIV Golf submitted an application to OWGR in July 2022 after the Saudi-backed league had played two of its 54-hole, no-cut events. The board turned down LIV Golf’s formal request to allow players to compete for ranking points in October 2023.

OWGR president Peter Dawson told Global Golf Post the decision was based on format concerns and limited access to players for LIV Golf events.

The OWGR points are used, in part, to determine a player’s qualification for majors on the PGA Tour, as well as for some Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams.

Last week, Talor Gooch — who won the individual title in the LIV league last year — was critical of the lack of ranking points for LIV players after he was not granted an invitation to the Masters Tournament this spring. Because he no longer earns points as a LIV member, he has fallen below the points needed for automatic qualification and said the Masters winner’s title would be diminished because the field wouldn’t have the best players in the world.

Norman told players in his letter that LIV officials aggressively pursued OWGR inclusion but met stiff resistance.

“We have made significant efforts to fight for you and ensure your accomplishments are recognized within the existing ranking system. Unfortunately, OWGR has shown little willingness to productively work with us,” Norman wrote, per Sports Illustrated.

Only four LIV players are in the OWGR top 50: No. 3 Jon Rahm, the defending Masters champion who left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf in December; No. 17 Tyrrell Hatton, No. 30 Brooks Koepka and No. 50 Cam Smith.

JON RAHM FINE WITH LIV MOVING ON FROM OWGR

LIV Golf is done with trying to validate the league in the eyes of the Official World Golf Ranking, and Jon Rahm, one of the circuit’s biggest stars, is OK with that.

The Spaniard discussed the development on Wednesday (local time) at Hong Kong Golf Club, where the next LIV event is set to tee off on Friday.

LIV CEO Greg Norman sent a letter to the tour’s membership on Tuesday, informing them that the circuit will no longer be attempting to qualify for OWGR points, which determine invitations and exemptions into major championships.

“We have made significant efforts to fight for you and ensure your accomplishments are recognized within the existing ranking system,” Norman wrote in his letter, according to multiple media reports. “Unfortunately, OWGR has shown little willingness to productively work with us.”

Asked about the decision, Rahm said, “I haven’t talked to anybody about this or seen any responses (to Norman’s letter), but I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know they were still trying to get World Ranking points. But the one thing I can say is I’m going to back to what I said two years ago in the DP World Tour Championship.

“I didn’t think it was a good system back then, and if anything, the more time that goes on, the more it proves to be wrong.”

Rahm keyed in on Chilean Joaquin Niemann’s absence from the top 10 of the OWGR as an example of just how faulty the point system is. Niemann has taken the individual title at two of three LIV Golf events this season, winning at Mayakoba and Jeddah. He finished tied for 30th at Las Vegas.

“If anybody in this world, for example, doesn’t think (Niemann) deserves to be in the top 10 or doesn’t know that he’s a top player in the world, I don’t know what game you’re watching,” Rahm said. “We can tell. I think anybody who watches golf can tell who the best players in the world are, and obviously I don’t think the ranking is reflective of that right now to its entirety.”

Who should be ranked where aside, LIV member Bryson DeChambeau also believes that preventing his tour’s players from getting OWGR points is just bad for the sport in general.

“I mean, there’s a lot of ways you can think about it,” DeChambeau said. “From certain people’s perspectives, though, we came over here, and we don’t deserve to have ranking points, for whatever their reasons are. Is it right? I don’t know.

“I just think what’s right is in the best interest of the game, and we should focus on having the best players at the majors, and continuing to have that around the game of golf is only important to growing the game of golf and to make the game of golf continue to be as relevant as it is now and even more in the future.”

DeChambeau is hoping there are still conversations to be had about OWGR eligibility.

“What I think about it is we need to find a collective way, all the governing bodies, everybody, come together, sit down and figure this out,” he said. “Because we need to do this for the fans.”

LIV Golf Hong Kong runs Friday through Sunday. It features a 54-player field with a $25 million purse — $20 million to be dispensed among individuals, $5 million to be distributed among teams.

The individual winner will receive $4 million, with the winning team getting $3 million.

PATRICK CANTLAY, XANDER SCHAUFFELE EYE WIN IN SEASON RULED BY UNKNOWNS

Nine tournaments into the new PGA Tour season, the headlines haven’t been dominated by a bunch of household names.

Only one player who was top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week, Wyndham Clark, has gone on to lift a trophy. Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama made a long-awaited return to the winner’s circle, but there have also been four first-time winners: then-amateur Nick Dunlap, France’s Matthieu Pavon, Jake Knapp and Austin Eckroat.

Top-10 players such as Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay don’t have a firm answer as to the reason.

“Nine events isn’t a really big sample,” Schauffele said Tuesday ahead of this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. “I think there’s still a lot of golf to be played, and we’re kind of getting into what I would call sort of the thick of the season. I imagine you’ll start seeing some of the higher-ranked players winning.”

Schauffele liked what he saw out of Dunlap, with whom he played at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after Dunlap had broken through at The American Express and consequently turned pro.

“I always think it’s impressive to pull through and win. I was fortunate enough to play with Nick at Pebble, to see kind of what his game is like,” Schauffele said. “He, unfortunately, didn’t play very well, but I can see why he won, to say the least.”

Schauffele himself has had a strong start to the season, with four top-10 finishes in five starts. Yet he’s still searching for his first win on tour since the summer of 2022, when he picked up the Travelers Championship and Scottish Open titles a few weeks apart.

Schauffele said Tuesday he’d been missing the “comfort factor” on Sundays.

“I think the times you see guys win by six to eight shots coming down the stretch, they’re pretty comfortable. I haven’t had that moment yet …” he said. “Just not entering the week feeling pretty good, but not amazing, and then putting myself in really good space, and then old habits seem to kick in in my swing that I’ve been fighting off, and, as soon as I feel comfortable, some old things will peel back in, which I don’t need. So, just some small stuff I need to clean up.”

Schauffele’s friend Cantlay had a great opportunity in his last start, when he took a five-shot lead into the weekend at the Genesis Invitational. But he shot a 1-under 70 and a 1-over 72 on the final two days and settled for a T4 behind Matsuyama.

It was later revealed that Cantlay was fighting a flu bug that was going around at the course.

“I’ve played many tournaments not feeling my best before. Kind of inopportune timing, but no excuse,” Cantlay said Tuesday.

Cantlay didn’t offer any theories as to why the top-ranked players have yet to break through in 2024, though he feels it’s a sign the tour has gotten deeper.

“I think it’s harder to win out here than it ever has,” he said. “I think guys play more aggressively, and the scores, as you can see, are lower and lower, seemingly every year. I always marvel at the beginning of the year how many under par guys shoot at the Sentry. It’s essentially the same golf course, but guys keep shooting lower and lower.

“Yeah, I think winning, you got to keep putting yourself in position time after time, and some of those weeks you get the right break at the right time. You hit a couple putts that, instead of going on the lip, they go in. Usually those are the weeks that you win.”

Cantlay, a PGA Tour policy board member, also had little to say of the ongoing negotiations between the tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. He said he hasn’t spoken with anyone from the PIF in his role as a board member.

“Not anything to add, other than what’s been reported. Just that talks are ongoing,” Cantlay said.

GOLF GLANCE: BAY HILL’S $20M DRAWS ELITE FIELD; LPGA, LIV IN ASIA

The PGA Tour tees up its fourth signature event of 2024 this week, while tournaments will also be played in Puerto Rico, China and Hong Kong.

PGA TOUR
LAST TOURNAMENT: Cognizant Classic (Austin Eckroat)
THIS WEEK: Arnold Palmer Invitational, Orlando, Fla., March 7-10
Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge (Par 72, 7,466 yards)
Purse: $20M (Winner: $4M)
Defending Champion: Kurt Kitayama
FedEx Cup Leader: Matthieu Pavon
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (GC), 2:30-6 p.m. (NBC)
Streaming (ESPN+): Thursday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
X: @APInv
NOTES: This is the second of three player-hosted invitationals along with Tiger Woods’ at the Genesis and Jack Nicklaus’ at the Memorial. It’s also the fourth of eight signature events, featuring a $20 million purse and 700 FedEx Cup points. Player-hosted signature events are the only ones to feature a 36-hole cut, with the low 50 and ties advancing to the weekend. … Tony Finau is the only eligible player among 70 who is not competing this week. … Kitayama seeks to become the first player to successfully defend at Bay Hill since Matt Every in 2015. … The API has three qualifying spots available for The Open Championship to those not already qualified. … European Ryder Cup players Nicolai Hojgaard and Shane Lowry are in the field on sponsors exemptions, and will be joined by 2018 Players champion Webb Simpson. … North Carolina junior David Ford will make his first start on tour after winning a vote of his peers at the 2023 Palmer Cup. … Payne Stewart holds the tournament scoring record of 264 set in 1987.
BEST BETS: Scottie Scheffler (+650 at BetMGM) has gone T4-1-T15 in his past three starts at Bay Hill. He hasn’t finished worse than T17 in his past five starts on tour, but Scheffler is seeking his first official tour win since The Players last March. … Rory McIlroy (+900) won the API in 2018 and was the runner-up last year. He has six top-10s at Bay Hill since 2015. … Viktor Hovland (+1400) makes his first start since a T19 at the Genesis. … Min Woo Lee’s (+4500) late charge for a T2 at PGA National helped earn a spot in the field. He enters the week a career-best 31st in the world rankings.

THIS WEEK: Puerto Rico Open, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, March 7-10
Course: Grand Reserve Golf Club (Par 72, 7,506 Yards)
Purse: $4M (Winner: $720,000)
Defending Champion: Nico Echavarria
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 2:30-5 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)
X: @PGATour
NOTES: This is the 16th playing of the event, and the winner will earn a spot in next week’s Players Championship if not already qualified. … Echavarria is seeking to become the first player to successfully defend in Puerto Rico. He tied the tournament scoring record of 267 first set by Chesson Hadley in 2014. … Aaron Wise, who withdrew from the Masters last year to focus on his mental health, is making his first start since last year’s U.S. Open. … Daniel Berger has made three of four cuts since returning from an 18-month absence due to a back injury. … Puerto Rican Rafa Campos is making his 15th event start, with his best previous finish a third place in 2020.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Players Championship, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., March 14-17

LPGA Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: HSBC Women’s World Championship (Hannah Green)
THIS WEEK: Blue Bay LPGA, China, March 7-10
Course: Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course (Par 72, 6,675 yards)
Purse: $2.2M (Winner: $330,000)
Defending Champion: Gaby Lopez (2018)
Race to the CME Globe leader: Lydia Ko
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 p.m.-4 a.m. ET (All times Golf Channel)
Streaming: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 p.m.-4 a.m. ET (Peacock)
X: @LPGA, #BlueBayLPGA
NOTES: The tournament returns after a five-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. … This is the final of three events on the LPGA Tour’s “Asia Swing.” After two no-cut events, this week’s 108-player field will be cut to the top 65 and ties following 36 holes. … Minjee Lee holds the tournament scoring record of 275 set in 2016. … Lopez is in the field to defend her title from five years ago, and is joined by fellow former champions Lee and Sei Young Kim (2015). … Ko needs one more career point to reach the minimum threshold of 27 for LPGA Hall of Fame induction. She would earn that point with a victory this week.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., March 21-24

PGA Tour Champions
LAST TOURNAMENT: Trophy Hassan II (Ricardo Gonzalez)
THIS WEEK: Cologuard Classic, Tucson, Ariz., March 8-10
Course: La Paloma Country Club (Par 71, 6,856 Yards)
Purse: $2.2M (Winner: $330,000)
Defending Champion: David Toms
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steven Alker
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Friday, 7-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel — Tape Delay); Saturday, 5-7 p.m. (GC), Sunday, 5-8 p.m. (GC)
X: @CologuardGolf
NOTES: La Paloma plays host to the event after the first nine editions were held at Omni Tucson National. … The 78-player field includes seven members of the World Golf Hall of Fame, including 2024 inductee Padraig Harrington. … Bernhard Langer is the only previous champion not in the field as he recovers from a torn Achilles.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Hoag Classic, Newport Beach, Calif., March 22-24

LIV Golf League
LAST TOURNAMENT: Saudi Arabia (Individual: Joaquin Niemann; Team: Crushers GC)
THIS WEEK: Hong Kong, March 8-10
Course: Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling Course (Par 70, 6,710 Yards)
Purse: Individual: $20M (Winner: $4M); Team: $5M (Winner: $3M)
Defending Champion: Individual, Brooks Koepka; Team, Fireballs GC
2024 Leaders: Players, Niemann; Team, Legion XIII
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV/Streaming: Friday-Saturday, 12:15 p.m. local time (The CW app, Caffeine, LIVGolf+, YouTube); Saturday-Sunday, 12:05 p.m. local time (The CW, LIVGolf+, YouTube)
X: @LIVGolf_League
NOTES: Niemann, who opened the season with a win at Mayakoba, has won three of his past four worldwide starts as he also won the Australian Open in December. He also notched a third-place finish in the Asian Tour event last month. … Anthony Kim, making his returns after a 12-year absence from professional golf, finished 33 shots off Niemann’s lead last week. … The 54-player shotgun start features 13 teams of four players along with two wild cards.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Miami, April 5-7

INDIANA SPORTS RELEASES

COLTS FOOTBALL

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST COLTS TIGHT END ARRESTED ON DOMESTIC BATTERY ALLEGATIONS

AVON, Ind. — The domestic battery charges against Indianapolis Colts tight end Andrew Ogletree have been dropped, according to official court documents.

On Tuesday, the judge in the trial announced Ogletree’s two charges, domestic battery resulting in moderate bodily injury and domestic battery committed in the presence of a child less than 16 years old, were dismissed.

In December, Avon police officers were called to a home “regarding a physical domestic between an adult male and adult female.”

Officers found a woman on scene, and she was immediately taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries, the spokesperson said.

Officers filed an affidavit of probable cause in Hendricks County, and an arrest warrant was issued for one count of felony domestic battery committed in the presence of a child less than 16 years old and one count of felony domestic battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, the spokesperson said.

READ MORE: https://www.wthr.com/article/sports/local-sports/charges-dropped-against-colts-tight-end-arrested-on-domestic-battery-allegations-indianapolis-nfl-football-crime/531-1acf287c-b362-4db0-b4c7-9afab09bfebe

INDIANA PACERS

NINE PACERS SCORE IN DOUBLE FIGURES IN WIN OVER MAVS

Myles Turner scored 20 points, all in the first half, to lead nine Indiana players in double figures as the Pacers ran past the host Dallas Mavericks 137-120 on Tuesday.

Tyrese Haliburton collected 19 points and 11 assists for the Pacers, who snapped their two-game losing streak. Bennedict Mathurin also scored 19, followed by 14 from Obi Toppin. Pascal Siakam tallied 13 points and 13 rebounds, while T.J. McConnell added 13 points and seven assists. Ben Sheppard scored 12 points. Jalen Smith 11 and Andrew Nembhard 10 for the Pacers.

Luka Doncic posted his 14th triple-double for Dallas: 39 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds and. Kyrie Irving added 23 for the Mavericks, who have dropped three in a row. P.J. Washington contributed 20 points, and Daniel Gafford chipped in 16 points and 10 rebounds.

After Indiana led by four at halftime, and five straight points from Haliburton jump-started a 20-6 run to begin the second half. Indiana led 94-76 after Siakam’s three-point play.

The Mavericks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a 3-pointer to end the burst, and Doncic’s floater trimmed the deficit to 13 with 3:39 left.

Mathurin’s layup pushed Indiana’s layup to 16, before three straight Dallas free throws cut the Pacers’ cushion to 99-86 with 2:31 left in the quarter.

However, the Pacers ended the quarter on a 7-2 run and took a 106-88 lead into the fourth.

Indiana added to its commanding lead on Sheppard’s 3-pointer and Siakam’s floater, making it 131-112 with 4:20 left in the game.

In the first quarter, the score was knotted at 32 with 48 seconds left before McConnell’s trey gave Indiana the lead going into the second period.

Mathurin scored five straight for the Pacers in the second quarter. His 3-pointer with 4:05 remaining put Indiana ahead 63-57.

Almost three minutes later, another bucket by Mathurin pushed Indiana’s lead to nine points with 1:08 left.

Washington’s 3-pointer and a pair of Irving free throws by Irving cut Dallas’ halftime-deficit to 74-70.

Turner led the Pacers with 20 points in the first half, while Doncic had 28 for Dallas.

INDY FUEL

INDY FUEL PIT STOP: WEEK 20

INDY FUEL WEEK TWENTY RESULTS 0-2-0-1

INDY FUEL OVERALL RECORD 28-20-5-1 (3rd in Central Division)

GAME 53 – FRIDAY, MARCH 1 VS. IOWA – 4-3 SOL 

The Fuel hosted the Iowa Heartlanders on Friday night to kick off International Women’s Month and after a comeback and thrilling overtime period, ultimately fell 4-3 in the shootout to the Heartlanders.

GAME 54 – SATURDAY, MARCH 2 AT CINCINNATI – 4-1 L 

The Fuel headed to Cincinnati for their second of three games in a row this weekend. After battling through the first period, the Fuel fell 4-1 to the Cyclones. 

GAME 55 – SUNDAY, MARCH 3 AT FORT WAYNE – 3-2 L

The Fuel went into Fort Wayne looking to extend their second-place lead in the division. Despite 42 shots on goal, the Fuel would lose their third straight game falling 3-2 to the Komets.

ROSTER MOVES

  • Cam Hillis signed to Hartford Wolf Pack PTO (02/28)

OIL DROPS

  • Kyle Maksimovich was named the ECHL Rookie of the Month for February. He tallied five goals and 12 assists during the month.
  • Anthony Petruzzelli tallied his 7th goal of the season over the weekend against Iowa. 
  • Chris Cameron also tallied a goal against Iowa, it is Cameron’s third of the season.
  • Zach Driscoll and Mitchell Weeks are ranked 17th and 18th respectively among all ECHL goaltenders. They have a collective save percentage of over .890.

TEAM NOTES

  • After tallying 42 shots on goal this Sunday, the Fuel are on a thirteen game streak of outshooting their opponent.
  • There were numerous penalties over the weekend, bringing the Fuel’s PIM season total to 868 minutes. They are ranked fourth in the league with an average of 15.78 minutes per game.
  • The Fuel still play best in the second period. Through 55 games, they have 625 shots for in the second period. However, they also allow the most shots during the second period, with 530 shots against in the second frame this season.

INDY FUEL WEEK 21 SCHEDULE

  • GAME 56 –  FRIDAY, MARCH 8 AT KALAMAZOO
  • GAME 57 – SUNDAY, MARCH 10 AT FORT WAYNE

BROADCAST

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UPCOMING FAN EXPERIENCES AND EVENTS

Get ready for lots of fun at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in 2024! Check out some of our upcoming promotions and special fan experiences!

  • Friday, March 15 – Come out to Indiana Farmers Coliseum to celebrate Indy Fuel hockey, family, faith, and fellowship sponsored by Citizens Energy Group for Faith and Family Night! Also START YOUR ENGINES! It’s USAC Racing Night too. Check out a real car from USAC Racing and meet drivers! PLUS enjoy unlimited hot dogs, popcorn and chips! Act fast, these tickets are flying by.
  • Saturday, March 16 – Don your greenest attire to cheer on the Fuel in their game against the Tulsa Oilers–all while sipping on a green beverage. After the game, bid on the Fuel’s St. Patrick’s Day jerseys! It’s also Indy 500 Night! Plus … are you lucky? Before the game, join us for Pregame Bingo. Greenlight Entertainment will host bingo in the Taproom!  

INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

FOUR EARN ALL-BIG TEN HONORS; MOORE-MCNEIL AND HOLMES NAMED ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana women’s basketball placed four student-athletes on All-Big Ten teams and a pair on the All-Big Ten Defensive Team in the league’s annual postseason honors, announced on Tuesday.

Graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes and senior guard Sara Scalia each earned a place on the All-Big Ten first team while senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil earned second team honors and sophomore guard Yarden Garzon landed on the honorable mention team. All four appeared on the ballots from the coaches and media. This is the fifth-straight year the Hoosiers have placed one or more players on the first team and are one of two schools to have four players appear amongst the All-Big Ten first, second or honorable mention teams.

Holmes closes out her five-year Indiana career as a four-time All-Big Ten selection including a three-time first team honoree. She is a unanimous selection in both the coaches and media voting for the 2023-24 season. The Gorham, Maine native is Indiana’s leading scorer with 20.7 points per game (second in Big Ten), 7.1 rebounds per game, 1.5 blocks per game and shoots a league and nation’s best 67.0 percent. She has scored in double figures in 27 of 28 games this season, a team-high six double-doubles and has 16 20-point scoring efforts along with a pair of 30-point performances. Holmes scored a season-high 32 points in a win over Minnesota and pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds in a win over Penn State. Holmes ranks ninth in the country in field goals (140), 20th in points per game and 21st in total points (579). Most recently, she became the program’s all-time leading scorer and has recorded 2,476 career points to date.

Scalia also concludes her decorated career with her fourth All-Big Ten honor including her first time appearing on the first team. IU’s second leading scorer with 16.3 points per game, Scalia is one of the nation’s best 3-point shooters as she leads the Big Ten with a 43.8 clip from beyond the arc. She has connected on 91 3-pointers in her final season in cream and crimson, blowing away the previous school single season record of 74 makes. The Stillwater, Minn. native has scored in double figures in 25 games this season including a season-high 32 points against Bowling Green. She has nine 20-point efforts and shoots 43.9 from percent this season. Her effort at the free throw line is a team-best, shooting 89.4 percent on the season. In addition to her prolific scoring, Scalia adds 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals and holds a +2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio. She has dished out multiple assists on 20 occasions and 71 total for the year.

Moore-McNeil repeats as a second team selection, leading her team with 4.9 assists per game (136 total) and a +2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Greenfield, Tenn. native adds 10.1 points per game, 3.4 rebounds and a team-high 1.3 steals per outing. She recorded the program’s fourth ever triple double (second ever player) in a win over Michigan State (10 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists). Moore-McNeil has hit double figures 14 times including a career-high 20 points in the Barn Burner Trophy win over Purdue. From the floor, she is shooting 46.5 percent, 40 percent from the 3-point line and 78.7 percent from the free throw line.

Garzon earns her second All-Big Ten honors in as many collegiate seasons coming in on the honorable mention team. The team’s third leading scorer, she averages 11.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game this season. The Ra’anana, Israel sharp shooter holds a 47.3 percent clip from the floor and a 45.5 percent clip from the 3-point line. She has knocked down 56 3-pointers this season and has scored in double figures 16 times while scoring a career-high 30 points against Evansville. Garzon has a pair of 20-point efforts including a team-high 23 points in a win over then No. 19/21 Tennessee.

Holmes and Moore-McNeil are on the All-Defensive team for the second-straight season. Holmes is now a three-time honoree on the league’s defensive unit (2021, 2023, 2024) and is fourth in the Big Ten in blocks (41, 1.5 per game). Moore-McNeil earns a nod from both panels as a lock down defender who is known for frustrating opponent’s leading scorers. She has a team-high 37 steals (1.3 per game) this season and has picked up only 50 fouls this season, one every 17.5 minutes of game action.

No. 12 Indiana (24-4) is the 3-seed in the upcoming 2024 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament in Minneapolis this week. It will face either Michigan or Minnesota/Rutgers in the quarterfinals on Friday at approx. 9 p.m. ET.

INDIANA MEN’S GOLF

SALYERS EARNS 18TH-CAREER TOP-10 FINISH AT COLLETON RIVER COLLEGIATE

BLUFFTON, S.C. – The Indiana men’s golf team shot an 850 (286-280-284; -14) to finish ninth in the team standings at the 12th annual Colleton River Collegiate played from March 4-5 at the Colleton River Club. The Hoosiers, who ranked No. 46 in the latest Scoreboard Rankings powered by clippd, hold an overall record of 70-43-1 this season.

Indiana shot under par as a team for the first tournament since going 27-under (837) in a third-place finish at the Quail Valley Collegiate Invitational on Oct. 16, 2023. The Hoosiers also finished under par at the Fighting Irish Classic (837; -3) and the Windon Memorial Classic (823; -29) during the fall schedule.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION

Battle at Briar’s Creek • Johns Island, S.C.

The Golf Club at Briar’s Creek

Par 72 • 7,175 yards

Live Scoring via GolfStat

Team Standings: 9th/14 – 850 (286-280-284; -14)

Top Indiana Player: Drew Salyers – 208 (71-70-67; -8)

CHIP-INS

• Senior Drew Salyers tied for 10th overall with a three-round scorecard of 208 (71-70-67; -8). He provided two birdies and an eagle to his scorecard in the opening round, four birdies in the second round, and five birdies and an eagle in the final round. Salyers has finished inside the top-10 in 18 career events.

• Redshirt junior Robert Bender III tied for 26th after shooting a 212 (75-68-69; -4), his lowest score against par this season. He played three birdies in the opening round, half-a-dozen birdies in the second, and five birdies in the final round. 

• Sixth-year senior Noah Gillard shot a 216 (72-70-74; E). He knocked in five birdies in his debut round, a team-high seven birdies in the second, and four birdies in the last round. 

• Graduate Thomas Hursey turned in a scorecard reading 217 (71-72-74; +1). He made four birdie putts and an eagle in the first round, five birdies in the middle round, and four birdies in the final round. 

• Competing as an individual, freshman Nick Piesen finished at 220 (76-74-70; +4). He provided two birdies and an eagle to his scorecard in the opening round, four birdies in the second round, and four birdies in the final round. 

• Freshman Cole Starnes ended the tournament at 222 (72-76-74; +6). He posted two birdies in the first 18 holes, four birdies over the back nine in the second round, and five birdies in the closing round. 

HOOSIERS IN THE STANDINGS

t-10. Drew Salyers – 208 (71-70-67; -8)

t-26. Robert Bender III – 212 (75-68-69; -4)

t-41. Noah Gillard – 216 (72-70-74; E)

t-45. Thomas Hursey – 217 (71-72-74; +1)

t-60. Nick Piesen* – 220 (76-74-70; +4)

t-68. Cole Starnes – 222 (72-76-74; +6)

*Competed as an individual

UP NEXT

Indiana will have a quick turnaround with the Seminole Intercollegiate beginning on Monday, March 11, at the Seminole Legacy Golf Course in Tallahassee, Fla. Following the team event in the Sunshine State, a group of individuals will compete in the Butler Spring Invitational from April 1-2. Team competition will resume with the Hoosier Collegiate from April 6-7 at The Pfau Course. 

INDIANA BASEBALL

BASEBALL CENTRAL: NORTHERN KENTUCKY

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. –  The Indiana Baseball team (7-4) begins a stretch of 15 of 18 games at home to close out the month of March with a midweek contest against Northern Kentucky (March 6th).

After a tough week, that featured three losses sandwiched around a win over No. 25 Dallas Baptist, IU will look to get back on track against Northern Kentucky before a three-game set vs. Troy on the weekend.

Freshman pitcher Seth Benes continues his role as the midweek opener as he makes the slow return to full health after an injury his senior year of high school.

Junior outfielder Nick Mitchell has taken over the leadoff role after missing the first six games of the season and has made an immediate impact. He had a three-hit day in the win over Dallas Baptist and has reached base 11 times in five games.

Four Hoosiers have played in all 11 games and are hitting .300 or better on the season, led by sophomore outfielder Devin Taylor (.422) and sophomore shortstop Tyler Cerny (.383).

Despite being delayed from Tuesday to Wednesday because of weather, IU’s midweek with Northern Kentucky will still begin at 4:00 PM EST on BTN+. William McDermott (PxP) and Josh Pos (Color) will have the call.

Gameday Info

vs. Northern Kentucky (Wednesday, March 6th)

Live Video: bit.ly/48GsyEX

Live Audio: bit.ly/IUAudio

Live Stats: bit.ly/49HHc0i

Probable Starters

Indiana vs. Northern Kentucky

• Seth Benes (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. TBD

Notable

Top-25 Wins

• The Hoosiers have collected two top-25 wins in four tries to begin the season after a rigorous opening three weekends to the season. Down five runs to Dallas Baptist on Saturday, junior catcher Brock Tibbitts sparked a comeback victory with 4 RBI’s, two doubles and a triple.

• Now through three weekends, IU has wins over No. 18 Coastal Carolina and No. 25 Dallas Baptist, two of the top mid-major teams in the entire nation. Two of IU’s losses are to consensus top-20 teams in Alabama and Duke.

Home Sweet Home

• After three weekends on the road, IU returns to the friendly confines of Bart Kaufman Field for 15 of its next 18 contests. Sprinkled in there are weekend series against Troy, Belmont, Butler and the Big Ten opening weekend against Illinois.

• The Hoosiers were 26-4 at home last year and are 1-1 so far this season. IU is 10 wins away from 200 all-time wins at Bart Kaufman Field, a stadium that opened in 2013.

First RPI Release

• The NCAA released the first edition of the RPI ratings for the 2024 baseball season. The Hoosiers come in at No. 26, the third-highest team in the entire Big Ten Conference.

• Early-season opponents Alabama (7), Duke (13), Dallas Baptist (17) and Coastal Carolina (23) all rank inside the top-25. IU will also play Nebraska (3), Rutgers (6), Indiana State (37) and Purdue (38) as the year progresses.

Saturday Standard

• Connor Foley and Ty Bothwell have combined to form an outstanding pitching duo on Saturday afternoons. The pair has pitched all 27 innings on Saturdays, helping the Hoosiers to wins against No. 18 Coastal Carolina, Baylor and No. 25 Bothwell.

Early-Season Numbers

– Connor Foley: 1-0, 14.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 21 K

– Ty Bothwell: 2-0, 1 SV, 12.2 IP, 13 H, 3 ER. 11 K

Mitchell Makes an Impact

• After missing the first six games of the season, Nick Mitchell earned his first start of the season on the Sunday at Baylor. Since then, he’s started all games and appeared in right field on three occasions.

• Through five games with the Hoosiers, he’s hitting .353 (6-17) with seven runs and one RBI. He had a three-hit game in the win over Dallas Baptist and scored three times in the victory.

Strong Start

• Off to a 7-4 start through 11 games, IU is ahead of schedule in last year’s 43-win campaign. IU was 5-6 through 11 contests last season before getting hot at home in the month of March.

• The Hoosiers began the 2019 Big Ten title campaign at 6-5 and were 9-2 through 11 contests in 2018.

Scouting the Opponent

Northern Kentucky (4-7, 0-0)

• Fresh off a weekend series victory over SEC-foe Missouri, Northern Kentucky makes the trip to Bloomington for the second all-time meeting between the programs.

• The top of the Northern Kentucky lineup has been on a tear to begin the season with six starters batting .310 or better. Led by Jake Paulick who is hitting .484 (15-31) in 10 games, the Norse have an extremely potent offensive lineup.

• Northern Kentucky has hit 17 home runs this year with Mitch Wood and Liam McFadden-Ackman combining on 12 of those. Six of its contests this season have been against SEC competition in Georgia and Missouri.

Inside the Series

Indiana vs. Northern Kentucky

• The two programs meet for just the second time in program history. Northern Kentucky began the four-year reclassification process from division two to division one in 2012-13 and became a full-time member of the Horizon League in 2015.

• IU beat Northern Kentucky 7-3 in March of 2011 in Bloomington.

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL

#3 PURDUE RALLIES PAST #12 ILLINOIS FOR OUTRIGHT BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP

#3 Purdue 77, #12 Illinois 71 (Postgame Notes)

No. 3-ranked Purdue improved to 27-3 overall and 16-3 in the Big Ten Conference with a 77-71 win over No. 12-ranked Illinois in Champaign.

The win enabled Purdue to win the outright Big Ten regular-season championship for the second straight year. Purdue became the first Big Ten program since Ohio State in 2005-06 and 2006-07 to win back-to-back outright titles.

A win on Sunday over Wisconsin will give Purdue a three-game cushion in the final Big Ten standings for the second straight season.

Purdue is now 7-0 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25, with all of the opponents being ranked in the top 12 at the time of the game. Since the 2021-22 season, Purdue is 16-5 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25, easily the best winning percentage in the country (.762; Arizona is second at 14-7 — .667).

Since the start of last year, Purdue is 14-6 in Big Ten road games – the only team above .500 in the Big Ten in road games. Purdue has gone 7-3 on the road in both seasons.

Purdue’s 7-3 road record is the second-best road record among high-major programs in the country (North Carolina; 7-2).

The win was Purdue’s 58th in Big Ten play since the 2020-21 season, this year’s current seniors freshman campaign. The 58 wins in league play are a school record and now just one off the Big Ten record (Indiana twice – 1978, 1979).

Illinois was held under 75 points for the first time since Jan. 27.

The win was Purdue’s nation-leading 11th quad-1 win and 24th in the first three quads.

Purdue’s 16 Big Ten wins are now tied for the most in Purdue history.

Purdue has now trailed by six or more points in 10 games this year. Purdue is 8-2 in those games.

Purdue’s 27 wins are tied for the most in a regular season in school history (1987-88).

Purdue’s 56 wins since the start of last season are the third-most victories in a two-year span in school history. The school record is 58 (2021-22, 2022-23).

Purdue went 8-of-10 from long distance in the second half, after going 1-of-6 in the opening half.

Braden Smith became Purdue’s single-season assists record holder, now with 212 assists on the season. He passed Bruce Parkinson (1974-75) with 207 assists.

Smith had 13 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals – his 11th straight game scoring in double-figures. Smith hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to put the game away.

Zach Edey scored 28 points with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks – his 81st straight game scoring in double-figures.

Edey moved into ninth place on the Purdue single-season scoring list (724 points).

Edey now needs 66 points to pass Rick Mount (2,323) to become the school’s all-time leading scorer. Edey has 2,257 career points.

Edey moved into fourth place on the school’s single-season rebounds list (350), and now needs three rebounds for 1,200 in his career.

Fletcher Loyer tallied 16 points, five assists and three rebounds – his second straight double-figure scoring game. In the last two games, Loyer is 6-of-9 from 3-point range, averaging 15.5 points and 4.0 assists per game.

Mason Gillis tallied 10 points, six rebounds and four assists. Purdue is now 40-4 during his career when he makes two or more 3-pointers.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Zach Edey had 28 points and eight rebounds as No. 3 Purdue rallied in the second half to beat No. 12 Illinois 77-71 on Tuesday night, becoming the first team in 17 years to win consecutive outright Big Ten regular-season championships.

Fletcher Loyer added 16 points for the Boilermakers (27-3, 16-3), who had already clinched at least a share of their second straight conference title with Saturday night’s victory over Michigan State.

The previous Big Ten team to win back-to-back outright regular-season crowns was Ohio State in 2006 and 2007.

Braden Smith had 13 points and six assists for Purdue, which improved to 7-0 against ranked opponents this season. Mason Gillis scored 10 off the bench.

Loyer hit a 3-pointer with 3:08 left that put Purdue ahead for good, 67-66.

Marcus Domask led second-place Illinois (22-8, 13-6) with 20 points. Coleman Hawkins had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Quincy Guerrier scored 12 for the Fighting Illini, and Terrence Shannon Jr. had 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting – including 0 of 4 from 3-point range.

Edey scored 18 points in the first half, shooting 9 of 13 from the field, but the Illini led 40-34 at halftime. Purdue didn’t take its first lead until Gillis’ 3-pointer with 10:11 left put the Boilermakers in front 56-54.

PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

STEVENSON NAMED BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the first time in 20 years, a Boilermaker has been named a Big Ten Freshman of the Year. After an impressive first campaign in West Lafayette, Mary Ashley Stevenson was tabbed the top freshman in the Big Ten by the league’s media.

Stevenson is Purdue’s fourth Freshman of the Year and first since head coach Katie Gearlds garnered the award after her first season at Purdue in 2003-04.

She also earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman teams from the coaches and media, as well as an honorable mention all-conference nod by the media.

The New York City native averaged 9.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game with a 43.1% shooting clip. Stevenson finished third among Big Ten freshmen in scoring and second in rebounding. Her 82.4% mark at the charity stripe led the league’s freshmen and was fourth nationally among rookies averaging two made free throws per game.

In Big Ten action, Stevenson tallied 10.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per night. Her shooting clip jumped up to 43.4%, while she went 43-of-47 at the line for 91.5%. She finished second in freshman rebounding in league games and second in scoring.

Stevenson has worn a protective face mask for the last nine games after breaking her nose against Ohio State. She has averaged 10.7 points while shooting 51.4% from the field and 95.5% at the line in those games.

She was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice and earned the first USBWA National Freshman of the Week honor in Purdue history.

Stevenson finished in double figures 14 times, 12th most by a Purdue freshman in the last 30 years. She joined Shereka Wright and Katie Douglas as the only Boilermaker freshmen to record 275 points and 140 rebounds.

Nebraska’s Natalie Potts was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year after a tight vote by the coaches.

Jeanae Terry picked up her third postseason honor as a Boilermaker, earning honorable mention all-conference status from the coaches and media.

Terry finished another all-around campaign with 5.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.9 steals per game. She ranked second in the Big Ten in assists and fifth in rebounding. After becoming the second player in league history to reach 900 rebounds, 700 assists and 200 steals, Terry joined Iowa’s Caitlin Clark as the only players in the nation to average over seven rebounds, six assists and one steal per game.

Harper also received honorable mention laurels from the media and coaches following a season with 11.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game behind a 55% shooting clip. Harper was one of five posts from the Big Ten to average over 10 points and shoot 55% or better this season.

She set her Purdue career high with 29 points against Penn State on senior night before her season was cut short due to injury. Harper etched her name in sixth in career field goal percentage.

Harper was named Purdue’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.

Rashunda Jones landed a spot on the media’s Big Ten All-Freshman team. Jones was fourth in the league freshman scoring at 7.7 points per game. Her 1.7 assists per game ranked third among the conference’s rookies, while finishing third in usage rate at 28%.

BOILERS OPEN BIG TEN TOURNAMENT WITH NORTHWESTERN

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue women’s basketball team opens the 2024 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET. at the Target Center in MInneapolis. The No. 12 seed Boilermakers will face No. 13 seed Northwestern on Peacock with Zora Stephenson, Meghan McKeown and Caroline Pineda on the call.

Tim Newton and Jane Schott will be courtside for the Purdue Global Radio Network on 95.3 BOB FM.

GAME INFORMATION 

Purdue (12-17) vs. Northwestern (9-20)

Wednesday, March 6

Time: 6:30 PM ET

TV/Stream: Peacock

Radio: 95.3 BOB FM

Live Stats: Purduestats.com

LAST TIME OUT

Purdue battled back and had a chance to tie or win with a possession under a minute to play in a 64-60 loss at Michigan in the regular season finale. The Boilermakers were led by Abbey Ellis’ 23 points for her sixth 20-point outing of the season, while Rashunda Jones jumped back into double figures with a 16-point game. Mary Ashley Stevenson and Sophie Swanson recorded seven of Purdue’s eight steals.

NOTES

• Purdue leads the all-time series with Northwestern 53-26.

• Purdue owns the record for most Big Ten Tournament titles with nine, the last coming in 2013, and tournament wins with 46.

• The Boilermakers return to the Target Center after reaching the quarterfinals last year. Jayla Smith sank a late 3-pointer to lift Purdue over Wisconsin 57-55.

• For the first time in 20 years, a Boilermaker is a Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Mary Ashley Stevenson was tabbed the top rookie in the conference by the media after finishing the year with 9.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, ranking third and second among the league’s freshmen this season. Purdue’s last Freshman of the Year was Katie Gearlds in 2003.

• Stevenson was also tabbed to both All-Freshman teams, as well as Big Ten honorable mention by the media.

• Seniors Jeanae Terry earned an All-Big Ten honorable mention nods. Harper was tabbed honorable mention, as well as Purdue’s Sportsmanship honoree. Rashunda Jones earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman team.

• Abbey Ellis finished the regular season with a team-high 14.2 points per game to rank 14th in the Big Ten. The Australian finished the campaign with six straight games in double figures including three 20-point outings in her final four games.

• After joining the 1,000-point club and reaching 200 3-pointers in her career, Madison Layden enters her final Big Ten Tournament with the sixth most made triples by a Purdue senior with 61.

• The Boilermakers’ freshman class ended the regular season with the highest point production in the Big Ten with 22.8 points per game and 22.9 points per league contest.

• Purdue’s rookies combined to finish in double figures 29 times tied for the league’s best with Nebraska. The freshmen have recorded nine games with multiple freshmen in double figures. Purdue is one of two schools nationally to have three different freshmen score 19 points in a game this season.

• Alaina Harper made her first Purdue start against Michigan in place of her older sister. Alaina had two points and four rebounds in 23 minutes. The Harpers became the first sister tandem in program history to each start a game for Purdue.

• Abbey Ellis has recorded 13 20-point games at Purdue, the most since Dominique Oden’s 20 from 2017-20.

• Jeanae Terry and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark are the only players in the nation averaging seven rebounds, six assists and one steal.

• Mary Ashley Stevenson is one of three freshmen in Purdue history with over 275 points and 140 rebounds.

PURDUE WOMEN’S GOLF

WOMEN’S GOLF MOVES UP LEADERBOARD, FINISHES 4TH IN THE SHOW

LAS VEGAS – Entering the final round of The Show in sixth place, Purdue Women’s Golf fired a 2-over 290 to move up the leaderboard and finish tied for fourth alongside No. 23 Pepperdine at 12-over.

The Boilermakers made a combined 21 birdies during the final round, averaging more than four per golfer and nearly doubling their total for the entire tournament. Purdue’s 46 birdies over three rounds ranked second in the field.

Ashley Kozlowski led the Boilermakers, tying for seventh for her second Top 10 finish of the season. The senior made 13 birdies throughout the tournament, ranking second in the 77-player field and ending the tournament 2-under par following a final round 71 (-1). Kozlowski dominated the par 4s, playing those holes 4-under to lead the field. Her final round featured five birdies, including four of the 10 par 4s.

Momo Sugiyama added another Top 20 to her Purdue resume, ending The Show 1-over par to tie for 13th. She made four birdies throughout the final round, playing the last 10 holes 3-under. Sugiyama earned her fifth Top 20 performance of the 2023-24 season, and she cracked the Top 20 for the third straight tournament.

Jocelyn Bruch and Jade Gu contributed to the team’s final round tally with rounds of 73 (+1) and 74 (+2), respectively. Bruch played her last eight holes bogey free, making one birdie along the way to post her best round of the tournament. Gu’s round featured three straight birdies to begin the front nine, going 4-under through a seven-hole stretch. 

Up next, Purdue will compete in the Briar’s Creek Invitational on the coast of South Carolina (March 11-12). Closing out a busy month, the Boilermakers will return to The Bruzzy Challenge at Dornick Hills Country Club in Oklahoma (March 30-31).

BOILERMAKERS

T7. Ashley Kozlowski: 73-70-71—214 (-2)

13. Momo Sugiyama: 71-74-72—217 (+1)

T31. Natasha Kiel: 76-73-75—224 (+8)

T37. Jade Gu: 73-78-74—225 (+9)

T55. Jocelyn Bruch: 81-76-73—230 (+14)

*T57. Jasmine Kahler: 75-78-78—231 (+15)

*Competing as an individual

TEAM LEADERBOARD

T1. #3 UCLA: 285-289-284—858 (-6)

T1. SMU: 285-290-283—858 (-6)

3. #24 Virginia: 294-289-288—871 (+7)

T4. Purdue: 293-293-290—876 (+12)

T4. #23 Pepperdine: 291-287-298—876 (+12)

T6. TCU: 297-288-297—882 (+16)

T6. New Mexico: 292-294-296—882 (+16)

8. Houston: 298-293-304—895 (+31)

9. Minnesota: 299-293-305—897 (+33)

10. UNLV: 312-296-292—900 (+36)

11. Tulsa: 307-299-298—904 (+40)

12. Furman: 306-292-312—910 (+46)

13. Nevada: 294-306-315—915 (+51)

PURDUE BASEBALL

IRISH SCORE 8 UNANSWERED TO PUT AWAY PURDUE

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Notre Dame scored the game’s final eight runs to blow open a one-run affair through five innings, defeating Purdue Baseball 11-2 in the midweek opener for both teams Tuesday.

Connor Caskenette’s two-run single on a full-count pitch in the fifth inning put the Boilermakers (8-4) on the board and cut UND’s lead to 3-2. The base hit plated Ty Gill and Mike Bolton Jr. as RBI numbers 16 and 17 for the Purdue catcher.

The key sequence of the game came in the bottom of the sixth as the Irish (9-2) scored four times with two outs. With runners on second and third, Brady Gumpf connected for an opposite-field double to right. Estevan Moreno followed with a two-run homer to center field, his second long ball of the day.

Moreno led off the eighth inning with his third home run of the day, hitting one to all fields from the 8-hole in the lineup. Connor Hincks also had a big day in the 3-hole, finishing a home run shy of the cycle and scoring all three times he was aboard.

There were two close plays on runners sliding into third base and both plays went in favor of the home team. After doubling to open the fourth inning, Hincks slid in under the tag as shortstop Camden Gasser tried to cut down the runner at third base on an infield chopper. Consecutive RBI singles followed. In the top of the fifth, Jo Stevens tried to go first to third on Gill’s base hit into left center. Gumpf made an excellent throw and Stevens was tagged out on a close play for the first out.

Logan Sutter connected for a one-out double in the fourth inning, his Big Ten-leading ninth of the season. He also remains among the top five nationally. Gill doubled in the ninth inning to finish the day 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. The second baseman also turned an inning-ending 4-3 double play to finish off Aaron Suval’s scoreless fifth inning.

Bennett Flynn retired eight of the 10 batters he faced over three innings of one-hit relief as the most effective pitcher of the day for the Irish. He teamed up with Radek Birkholz to retire eight consecutive Purdue hitters after Caskenette’s two-run single.

The Boilermakers loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning but Caskenette flew out to the wall in left field to end the game.

Luke Gaffney was held hitless for the first time as a Boilermaker, seeing his team-best 10-game hit streak come to an end. Sutter extended his on-base streak to 12 consecutive games and Gasser kept his on-base streak alive at 10 straight games.

Purdue open its 30-game home schedule this weekend with Friday’s 4 p.m. home opener vs. UAlbany. The four-game set vs. the Great Danes marks the beginning of a 13-game homestand. March 8 also represents the earliest home opener in program history.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL

IRISH FALL AT #7/7 NORTH CAROLINA, 84-51

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Notre Dame men’s basketball team has made tremendous strides down the final stretch of the regular season, but their wave of momentum was halted inside the house of the No. 7 team in the country, North Carolina. The Fighting Irish (12-18, 7-12) hung early by starting 7-of-15 from the field, but then suffered from a 4-for-22 shooting stretch that spanned from the end of the first half to well into the second, all resulting in an 84-51 Tar Heels (24-6, 16-3) victory on Tuesday night.

“Congrats to North Carolina,” Glenn & Stacey Murphy Notre Dame Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “They kicked our butt from start to finish. It was grown men versus boys out there. We have to get better if we want to get to that level.”

Tae Davis was the lone Irish in double figures tonight with 11 points to go with his six rebounds. It marked his fourth consecutive game with double-digit points.

Markus Burton’s 22-game double-digit scoring streak ended with a nine-point showing on Tuesday. It was just his third game in single digits all season. Burton earned three rebounds, four assists and two steals. Braeden Shrewsberry also finished with nine points to go with his four rebounds.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Notre Dame and North Carolina were going back and forth early. The Irish connected on three-in-a-row from the field and it was a one-possession game, down 16-18, at the 9:41 mark. That’s when UNC captured all the momentum.

Notre Dame was 7-of-15 from the field at that point, but shot 4-of-16 over the last 9.5 minutes. RJ Davis scored seven points during a 12-2 UNC run, forcing a Coach Shrewsberry timeout now down 18-30 with 5:57 left.

The Tar Heels shot 51.6 percent in the half (16-31 FG) to roll into halftime with a 41-25 advantage. RJ Davis had 11 points, followed by nine from both Cormac Ryan and Harrison Ingram. The Irish were led by Markus Burton’s seven points, followed by six from Tae Davis and Braeden Shrewsberry.

North Carolina didn’t let up, starting the second half on a 16-0 run, shooting 6-of-8 from the field compared to Notre Dame’s 0-for-8 start. The Irish kept fighting and recorded a 6-for-8 offensive spurt from the field to cut a 32-point deficit to 20 (44-66) with 7:56 remaining. Konieczny and Davis combined for 12 points during this span.

Unfortunately, the Tar Heels came back and churned out an 18-0 run and cruised to the 84-51 final. RJ Davis led the way with a team-high 22 points.

UP NEXT

The Irish conclude the regular season at Virginia Tech on Saturday, March 9, with a 2:30 p.m. ET tip on ESPNU. Notre Dame will then bus straight to Washington D.C. to begin prep for the 2024 ACC Tournament.

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

HIDALGO NAMED ACC ROOKIE AND DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hannah Hidalgo is both the ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the year, the conference announced on Tuesday. She is just the third player in ACC history to take both ROTY and DPOY, joining Duke’s Elizabeth Williams (2012) and former Syracuse post Kamilla Cardoso (2021). Hidalgo is the only guard to ever win both awards. Additionally, the star freshman finished third in the voting for ACC Player of the Year and was the only rookie named to the All-ACC First Team.

The revelation that Hidalgo is the conference Rookie of the Year comes unsurprisingly, as the point guard from Haddonfield, N.J., won 12 of the 17 ACC Rookie of the Week honors this year. That mark is a conference record and was previously 10 set last year by Florida State’s Ta’Niya Latson.

Offensively, Notre Dame’s point guard is averaging 23.8 points per game, which leads the ACC. She is also tied for third with 5.4 assists per game and is a solid rebounding guard as well (6.5 per game). On Feb. 29 against Virginia Tech, Hidalgo scored her 660th point of the year and set a new single-season ACC freshman scoring record. Through 29 games, she now sits at 689 points on the year.

Hidalgo has become a defensive household name as well this year, as the freshman leads the nation with 4.9 steals per game. With 141 steals on the year, she has already broken the program single-season steals record and the ACC freshman steals record. She is on-pace to shatter the Notre Dame record for highest steal average, which was set in 1978-88 by Mary Gavin (3.3).

Hidalgo’s length of accolades is lengthy and is likely to continue to grow in the postseason. On Monday, she was named one of five finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which is given to the nation’s best point guard. She is the only freshman on the list. Hidalgo also made the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20, the Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year Midseason Team and the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watchlist.

With the Rookie of the Year award, Hidalgo joins a long list of Notre Dame greats to take a conference’s freshman honors. Brianna Turner (2015), Sonia Citron (2022) each won the ACC award as a freshman, while Maddy Westbeld was voted the conference’s Rookie of the Year by the coaches. Alicia Ratay (2000), Jacqueline Batteast (2002) and Jewell Loyd (2013) earned the award while Notre Dame was a member of the Big East.

Brianna Turner is the sole Irish player to have won the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award, and she did it in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Devereaux Peters (2011 and 2012) and Ruth Riley (1999, 2000 and 2001) won it in the Big East. Hidalgo is the first Irish player to earn a spot on the ACC’s All Defensive Team since Turner did so in 2019.

WESTBELD, CITRON NAMED TO ALL-ACC SECOND TEAM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After a pair of standout seasons both on and off the court, Maddy Westbeld and Sonia Citron have been named to the 2024 All-ACC Second Team.

Westbeld, the sole starter on the squad to have been with Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Coach Niele Ivey since she started in 2020, finished the regular season with the best rebounding mark of her four-year career: 9.4 per game. She is also averaging 14.1 points per contest, shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 35.4 percent from deep, and has a 79 percent success rate from the charity stripe. The latter number is also a career-best. Additionally, Westbeld has 12 double-doubles this season. She entered the year with just nine over her first three seasons in South Bend.

The 6-3 forward is heating up at the right time, too. Over the last five games, Westbeld is averaging 15 points and 9.6 rebounds per game while shooting 51.7 percent from the floor. She has notched three double-doubles in that span. Westbeld is one of just four ACC players averaging at least 14 points and 9 rebounds per game this year.

Citron made her way onto the list despite missing nine games with a knee sprain suffered on Nov. 15. She ended the regular season averaging 16.3 points per game, which ranks ninth in the league. Citron is also the most reliable free throw shooter in the conference, leading the ACC with a 90.8 percent success rate from the line (59-65).

A suffocating defensive presence as well, Citron was often tasked with guarding opponents’ top scorers. She is the only guard in the ACC to finish the regular season averaging at least 15 points and 5 rebounds per game who also has 10 blocks on the year.

This yearly award is Citron’s third from the ACC in as many years; she was the 2021 ACC Rookie of the Year and a member of the All-ACC First Team last season.

In addition to the honors Westbeld and Citron earned, Irish freshman Hannah Hidalgo was named to the All-ACC First Team and earned both ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Notre Dame begins postseason play in the 2024 ACC Tournament on Friday at 11 a.m. The opponent has not been finalized, but it will be either Louisville, Clemson or Boston College.

BUTLER SOFTBALL

IUPUI VISITS AS @BUTLER SOFTBALL BEGINS FOUR-GAME HOMESTAND

Tournament Information – vs. IUPUI

DATE:                                  Wednesday, Mar. 6, 4PM

LOCATION:                         Indianapolis / Butler Softball Field

LIVE STATS:                      butlersports.com

LIVE VIDEO:                      N/A

Full Notes

The Butler softball team begins a four-game homestand on Wednesday when IUPUI visits the Butler Softball Field on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 pm. The Bulldogs (10-9, 0-0 BIG EAST) are coming off a weekend that saw three wins at the Thundering Herd Invitational at Marshall. The Jaguars (3-16, 0-0 Horizon League) most recently picked up a win over Saint Louis at the Austin Peay Invitational.

Bulldog Bits                                                                                       

          (as of 3-3-24)

Ella White leads the BIG EAST (63rd nationally) with 6 doubles. She is second (59th) with 5 home runs and third (81st) with a .772 slugging %.

Kieli Ryan leads the BIG EAST (5th nationally) with 7 baserunners caught stealing.

Katie Petran is second in the BIG EAST (43rd nationally) with 6 wins in the circle and is fourth with 41 strikeouts. She was recognized as BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week by the conference for her performances at the Thundering Herd Invitational.

Cate Lehner is fifth in the BIG EAST with six stolen bases.

at the Thundering Herd Invitational

Ella White smacked three home runs over four games, totaling 7 RBI. She had a 2-RBI home run and a sacrifice fly in a 10-inning, 6-5 win over Purdue. In a 5-3 win over Radford, she had a solo home run and a 3-RBI home run.

Katie Petran made three appearances in the circle, pitching 17.2 innings and picking up a win and a save. Overall, she had an ERA of 2.04 with 15 strikeouts. She earned her sixth complete-game win of the season in a 3-2 win over Marshall. She then pitched 8.0 innings against Purdue, leaving with the game tied, 5-5. Her save came in a 5-3 win over Radford.

Makena Alexander batted .571 over four games, going 4-for-7. In a 3-2 win over Marshall, she singled in the winning run. She struck a home run in a second game vs. Marshall, and she had an RBI single in a 5-3 win over Radford, giving her 3 RBI for the tournament.

SCOUTING IUPUI (3-16, 0-0 Horizon League)

Series- IUPUI leads: 42-35-2

Butler has won the most recent nine contests.

The Jaguars most recently won in 2015, defeating the Bulldogs twice that season.

IUPUI has wins over UAB, Toledo, and Saint Louis.

Losses include Mississippi State, Georgetown, Murray State, and Indiana State.

IUPUI vs. (opponents)                                                     Butler

runs:     45-115                                                                         82

hits:       108-139                                                                      145

RBI:       36-103                                                                        78

SB:        16-34                                                                           16

ERA:     6.09-2.16                                                                   4.03

Batting leaders:

#25 Kendal Calvert (.361) 10R, 22H, 2B, 6SB

#7 Paige McPhearson (.358) 3-2B 6RBI

#5 Rachael Gregory (.298)

#16 Kinsey Pfeiffer (.229) 3HR, 13RBI

Pitching leaders:

#23 Alexa Holman (2-7) 4.72 ERA, 22K

#1 Carly Metcalf (1-5) 7.95 ERA, 8K

BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL

BUTLER HOSTS XAVIER WEDNESDAY FOR SENIOR NIGHT TIP

The Tip-Off

• Butler closes out the regular season with a Wednesday night tip at Hinkle Fieldhouse, hosting Xavier.

• The Bulldogs own a BIG EAST bye for the final Saturday of the regular season as the other 10 teams will take part in conference games.

• Wednesday’s game will serve as Senior Night with Jalen Thomas and John-Michael Mulloy being recognized pregame.

Butler (17-13, 8-11 BIG EAST) vs. Xavier (15-14, 9-9)

Wednesday, March 6;  7:30PM

Hinkle Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Ind.

TV: CBS Sports Network – Andrew Catalon & Steve Lappas

Radio: WXNT 1430AM, Varsity Network Radio App, SiriusXM 389, SXM App 979 – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)

The Series with the Musketeers

• The first meeting between Butler and Xavier came in 1937.

• The two programs have been rivals in three different conferences: the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, the Atlantic 10 for a single season in 2012-13, and in the BIG EAST since the 2013-14 campaign when both programs, along with Creighton, joined the league.

• While Xavier has a 47-26 lead in the series, Butler holds an 18-16 advantage in games played at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

• The teams split the season series in 2022-23 with each team winning on its home court.

First Time Around

• In a game that featured huge swings of momentum and scoring runs back and forth, Xavier was able to post an 85-71 win over Butler Jan. 16 at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.

• The Musketeers held their largest lead of the game at 46-27 in the closing minutes of the first half and an eventual 46-32 halftime advantage.

• The Bulldogs would fight all the way back. A 20-3 Butler run capped by 11 straight points from Posh Alexander (nine on three-pointers) gave the Bulldogs a 60-58 lead with 11:01 remaining in the game.

• Xavier would respond with the next 13 points to take control of the game at 71-60.

• Desmond Claude (26) and Dayvion McKnight (20) paced the Musketeers, who also got 15 points from Quincy Olivari.

• Pierre Brooks II led Butler with 22 points, while Alexander added 21.

Series:  Xavier Leads, 47-26

Streak: Xavier, W2

At Hinkle: Butler Leads, 18-16

First Meeting: XU, 28-26; 1/16/1937 (at XU)

Last Meeting: XU, 85-71; 1/16/24 (at XU)

Of Note

• Butler earned an 82-63 road win against DePaul Saturday in the team’s most recent outing.

• Butler handed out 24 assists (one shy of the team’s season-high) against only six turnovers (one more than the team’s season-low) in the win over DePaul.

• Butler shot 50 percent from the field against the Blue Demons. The Bulldogs are now 9-1 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field and a perfect 15-0 when shooting a better percentage than their opponent.

• With only six turnovers, Saturday marked Butler’s 15th game this season with 10 or fewer turnovers; the Bulldogs are also 12-5 this season when committing fewer turnovers than their opponent.

• Butler only got to the line four times against DePaul, but made each of those attempts. On the season, Butler ranks ninth nationally in free throw shooting at 78.9 percent. Butler has shot 70 percent or better from the line in all but one game.

• DJ Davis’s 24 points led the Bulldogs against DePaul. His five made three-pointers matched a season-high and equaled his output from the previous five games (going a combined 5-for-33).

• Davis also paced the Bulldogs with seven rebounds. Butler’s typical starting five has each led the team in both scoring and rebounding in the same game at least once this season (Davis, Thomas and Jahmyl Telfort have each done it twice).

• Davis ranks No. 1 nationally in free throw percentage at 96.7 percent; he has made 55 of 56 free throw attempts in BIG EAST play.

• Pierre Brooks II’s 16 points against DePaul were his highest output since scoring 20 points against Georgetown Jan. 23, a stretch of 10 games.

• Andre Screen finished with 13 points against DePaul, the most he has scored in a BIG EAST game this season.

• Posh Alexander handed out nine assists at DePaul, matching his second-highest total of the season.

• Butler’s offense put up 82 points at DePaul Saturday. Butler now has 13 games this season scoring 80 points or more (including seven games of 90 or more).

• Butler’s 15 NCAA NET ranking Quad 1 games this season are tied for second nationally (along with Baylor and DePaul; Michigan leads the nation with 16 as of Tuesday, March 5).

• KenPom ranks Butler’s schedule so far this season as the nation’s 11th-toughest slate, while the NCAA NET strength of schedule metric lists it as No. 7 nationally (as of Tuesday, March 5).

• The Bulldogs commit just 13.8 fouls per game, which ranks 12th nationally.

• Alexander leads the BIG EAST and is 24th nationally at 2.17 steals per game.

• Alexander is sixth in the conference and 53rd nationally at 5.0 assists per game.

• Pierre Brooks II is 15th in the BIG EAST in scoring at 14.8 points per game. He is sixth in the BIG EAST in three-pointers made per game (2.47).

• Jalen Thomas ranks ninth in the BIG EAST in blocks (1.13 per game) and 16th in rebounding (6.0 per game).

• Jahmyl Telfort is fourth in the BIG EAST in minutes per game (34:39).

BUTLER BASEBALL

SEVENTH INNING LIFTS PFW OVER BUTLER

INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue Fort Wayne scored nine runs in the top of the seventh inning to come back and defeat Butler by the final score of 12-10. The Bulldogs were in control after a six-run second inning but would lose for the sixth time this season. The Mastodon improved to 4-9 with the victory.

Xavier Carter had a four-hit game for Butler and caught a couple of deep fly balls out in right field to keep the Mastodons in the dugout. He scored two runs for BU as did Kade Lewis.

Butler’s RBI leader was Joey Urban with three. Urban hit second in the lineup and went 2-for-4 from the plate. He and Carter were the only ‘Dawgs with multiple hits in the contest.

Urban highlighted the second inning with a base-clearing double that hit the fence in left center to score Carter, AJ Solomon and Carter Dorighi. Urban eventually came around to score himself on a single back up the middle of the diamond by Jack Moroknek to make the game 6-0.

The Mastodons homered in the third and fourth to get back in the game at 9-3, but the turning point came in the seventh. The Bulldog bullpen couldn’t find the zone allowing PFW to score nine runs off three hits. There were five walks in the seventh mixed with a pair of errors and a hit batter to turn the outcome of the game.

Ethan Vecrumba tried to turn the momentum back to the home team with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, but BU wouldn’t get any closer giving the Mastodons a 12-10 win.

Carson Caudill earned the win (1-1) while Shane Kilfoyle took the loss. The save went to Kevin Fee, his first of the season.

Butler will return to action this weekend with three games against three different opponents. The Memphis Tigers will host the action and take on Butler Friday evening at 6 PM. The ‘Dawgs will face Jackson State Saturday at 1 PM and end the weekend with an 11 AM tilt vs. Presbyterian on Sunday.

IUPUI WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS AT YOUNGSTOWN STATE IN HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNEY OPENER

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Jazmyn Turner and Katie Davidson each tally double-digit points in IUPUI’s Horizon League tournament loss at Youngstown State on Tuesday, March 5, 73-50. Turner, a graduate student was one rebound short of a double-double with 17 points and nine boards.

Offensive fouls and turnovers cost the Jags early in the game, giving the Penguins momentum which hurt in the long run.

Youngstown State was efficient from three to put the Jags away with a 50.0 percent mark behind the arc. Malia Magestro led the Penguins with 18 points, shooting 7-for-11 form the floor while Haley Thierry earned a perfect mark behind the arc at 3-for-3, totaling 12 points. Abby Liber added 13 points.

Youngstown State’s Thierry set the tone early, scoring the first points of the game with a three. IUPUI answered with their own three-pointer from Faith Stinson, the lone three of the game for the Jags, to tie the game at 3-3. After trading buckets back-and-forth for a 10-9 advantage Penguins, Youngstown State finished the first quarter on a 4-0 run at 14-9.

In the second quarter, the Jags were within five at 24-19 when Youngstown State sunk a three, taking their largest lead of the game so far at 27-19. IUPUI cut the deficit back down to five with two minutes left to play before the Penguins went on a 6-0 run to take a 33-22 lead before the half.

After trading baskets to open the third quarter, Turner sunk a couple layups with an extra point to cut the Penguins’ lead to six at 37-31. Youngstown State started to pull away with an 8-1 run with three minutes left at 46-32. IUPUI continued to scratch away with Turner taking contact under the basket and tallying two free throws, 46-34. Youngstown State once again closed out the quarter on a run, this time 8-1 for a 19-point lead heading into the final quarter.

The Jags totaled 15 points compared to the Penguins 19 points in the final quarter, falling 73-50.

Turner in her final game as a Jaguar totaled 17 points and nine rebounds to lead IUPUI while Davidson added 10 points and two rebounds. Faith Stinson totaled seven points and eight rebounds while Abby Wolterman added six points and five rebounds.

The Jags close out the season with a 7-23 overall record while Youngstown State moves on to the quarterfinals round of the Horizon League Tournament at No. 2 Green Bay.

IUPUI MEN’S BASKETBALL

JAGUARS DROP #HLMBB TOURNEY OPENER AT CLEVELAND STATE, 85-66

CLEVELAND – The IUPUI basketball team’s 2023-24 campaign came to a crashing close on Tuesday night (Mar. 5) as the No. 10 Jaguars fell to No. 7 Cleveland State in the opening round of the 2024 Barbasol #HLMBB Championships, 85-66. Cleveland State shot a blistering 60 percent overall and 40 percent from three-point range in breezing past the Jaguars. IUPUI shot an efficient 51 percent from the floor, but saw any hopes of an upset unraveled by 19 turnovers.

CSU (19-13) turned the 19 turnovers into 33 points.

The Jaguars close the campaign with a 6-26 overall mark while Cleveland State moves on to the quarterfinals round of the Horizon League Tournament.

IUPUI got the start it wanted, surging out to a 9-3 lead with contributions coming from four different players. However, CSU gained its footing and scored the game’s next eight points to take the lead. After ties at nine all and 11 all, the Vikings got some breathing room by scoring seven straight to build a 24-15 advantage. After operating efficiently to start the game, the IUPUI offense began settling for outside jumpers and saw the Vikings take advantage and push away to a 44-29 lead by the break.

The Jaguars shot 55 percent in the opening half despite going just 1-of-8 from three. Cleveland State was brilliant in the opening 20 minutes, making better than 59 percent of its attempts.

IUPUI held Cleveland State scoreless for nearly three minutes to start the second half, but scored just five points of its own during that span to cut the lead back to 44-34. However, IUPUI never got closer than 10 and the Vikings methodically pulled away behind Tristan Enaruna and Jayson Woodrich.

Woodrich closed with a game-high 18 points, including four threes, and Enaruna had 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbed five rebounds.

IUPUI reserves closed the game with a 13-3 run to shave into the final margin. Vincent Brady II, John Egbuta and Bryce Monroe all finished with a team-high 11 points apiece and Jlynn Counter added 10, all in the second half. Egbuta grabbed a team-high five rebounds and Monroe finished with three assists and a pair of steals off the bench. Sophomore DJ Jackson finished with seven points, exclusively from the foul line, to accompany his three boards and two thefts.

BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WBB RECEIVES VOTES FOR SEVENTH-STRAIGHT WEEK IN THE USA TODAY TOP 25 COACHES POLL

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State women’s basketball team received five votes in the latest USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll which was released Tuesday afternoon. The Cardinals own a 25-4 overall record and currently sit in second in the Mid-American Conference standings with a 14-2 ledger.

Ball State is currently one of 10 NCAA DI teams that have a 13-2 record in Mid-American Conference play. The Cardinals are also one of three NCAA DI teams that have only four losses so far this season. Two of the Cardinals’ losses this season came against national powerhouses No. 14 Notre Dame and No. 9 UConn. Ball State also has the highest win percentage out of any NCAA DI program in the state of Indiana 24-4 (.862). This is the seventh week in a row the Cardinals have received votes.

 The USA TODAY Sports women’s basketball coaches’ poll is conducted weekly throughout the regular season using a panel of head coaches at Division I schools. The panel is chosen by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The members represent each of the 32 Division I conference that receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Each coach submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.

BALL STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

CARDINALS DOMINATE CRUNCH TIME TO BEAT KENT STATE IN HOME FINALE

MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s basketball team started and finished strong, including an 11-0 scoring run in the final three minutes of the game, to take down Kent State 76-69 on Tuesday night at Worthen Arena.

Jalin Anderson scored six points in the game-deciding stretch, including a pair of pull up jumpers and two free throws, on his way to a game-best 23 points. Davion Bailey scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half to help the hosts pull away from Kent State, who took its first lead with 10:40 to play.

The game went back-and-forth from there until a Julius Rollins triple put the Golden Flashes ahead 64-63 with 3:13 to go. Davion Bailey added a field goal and Mickey Pearson Jr. sank three free throws in the 11-0 Ball State rally that followed to put the hosts ahead 74-64 with 30 seconds on the game clock.

The Cardinals (15-15, 7-10 Mid-American Conference) got out to a 26-12 lead midway through the first half against the Golden Flashes (15-15, 8-9 MAC) in the home finale of the 2023-24 season and led 37-32 at halftime.

Anderson added three assists and two blocks for Ball State, while Bailey pulled down seven rebounds to help the Cardinals win the rebounding battle by a 39-32 margin. Mickey Pearson Jr. (13 points, seven rebounds) and Ben Hendriks (11 points, four rebounds, two assists) got double figures, while Mason Jones collected a career high 10 rebounds in addition to three points, three assists and two steals.

Ball State got revenge on the Golden Flashes from the MAC season opener in early January, as the Cardinals held a lead for more than 32 minutes and controlled the game for the balance of the first half and in crunch time. Kent State got a combined 47 points from the trio of Reggie Bass, VonCameron Davis and Jalen Sullinger.

The hosts went 43.1 percent (25-58) from the field including 30.0 percent (6-20) from beyond the arc while making 74.1 percent (20-27) of their free throws. The Golden Flashes hit 40.9 percent (27-66) of their shots, 31.0 percent (9-29) of 3-pointers and 85.7 percent (6-7) at the foul line.

Ball State is scheduled to play its regular season finale at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Bowling Green.

BALL STATE SOFTBALL

SOFTBALL SWEEPS TUESDAY TWINBILL AT ETSU

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – – The Ball State softball team earned a Tuesday sweep at East Tennessee State, winning the opener 6-0 and taking the nightcap 8-1 at Betty Basler Field.

With the doubleheader sweep, the Cardinals improve to 10-11 on the year and are now 4-2 on its annual spring break trip. The Bucs fall to 4-12 with the losses.

The opener saw another dominating pitching performance from senior Francys King, who limited the Bucs to four hits and one walk over her 7.0 innings. She also struck out one on her way to earning her third complete game shutout win of the year.

On the offensive front, redshirt junior catcher / first baseman McKayla Timmons provided the biggest blast with a three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning. It was her 10th home run of the season and the 26th of her Ball State career. The 26 career home runs are currently tied as the seventh-most in program history.

The nightcap saw another solid pitching performance, this time from senior Bridie Murphy. Over her 7.0 innings of work, Murphy held the Bucs to four hits, three walks and one run. She also struck out three of the 27 batters she faced for her third complete game victory of the season.

Seven different Cardinals registered at least one hit in the second game, with the biggest being a three-run double by senior center fielder Remington Ross to cap the scoring in the game.

GAME 1 SCORING SUMMARY – Ball State 6 – MTSU 0

T2 | After doubling to open the inning, Hoffman scores on an error on a sacrifice bunt attempt senior left fielder Kaitlyn Mathews (1-0)

T2 | Mathews scores on an RBI double to right center by graduate first baseman Samantha-Jo Mata (2-0)

T4 | Hoffman opens the fourth with a solo shot to left field (3-0)

T5 | Timmons doubles Ball State’s lead with a three-run blast to center field, scoring graduate third baseman Haley Wynn who singled and graduate second baseman Jazmyne Armendariz who walked (6-0)

GAME 2 SCORING SUMMARY – Ball State 8 – MTSU 1

B4 | ETSU’s Sara Muir homers to left field to open the scoring in the game (1-0)

T5 | Redshirt sophomore shortstop McKenna Mulholland opens the inning with a double and scores on a single to center by senior right fielder Hannah Dukeman (1-1)

T5 | Wynn follows with an RBI triple to right center (1-2)

T5 | A sacrifice fly from Timmons brings home Wynn (1-3)

T5 | An error on a Hoffman single to right field allows sophomore pinch runner Ashlee Lovett to score from first (1-4)

T7 | A bases loaded walk to Mathews gives Ball State a four-run lead (1-5)

T7 | Ross followed with a bases-clearing double to left-center (1-8)

UP NEXT:

The Ball State softball team is schedule to open play in the Marshall March Madness tournament Friday versus Indiana State (11 a.m.) and host Marshall (4 p.m.).

BALL STATE SWIMMING

MEN’S S&D OPENS MAC CHAMPIONSHIPS WEDNESDAY AT SIU

MUNCIE, Ind. – – After months of preparation, the Ball State men’s swimming & diving program will put all its hard work to the test this week at the Shea Natatorium for the 2024 Mid-American Conference Championships.

Action in the four-day meet hosted by Southern Illinois begins Wednesday (March 6) with a pair of relay swims. Individual action gets underway Thursday (March 7) and will run through Saturday (March 9).

Ball State will be looking to build upon last season’s success at the MAC Championships, in which it broke 12 program records, won a pair of event championships and claimed 11 total medals.

Ball State scored a total of 457 points and finished fourth overall as a team. It was the program’s second-highest point total at the MAC Championships since 2005, trailing only the 511.50 scored in 2021.

AT THE 2023 MAC CHAMPIONSHIPS:

The Cardinals opened the 2023 MAC Championships with a bang, winning the 200 medley relay with a program record time of 1:26.35. It was Ball State’s first MAC relay title since winning the 200 free and 200 medley relays in 1996.

Overall, the Cardinals broke all five relay records at the four-day meet including the 800 freestyle relay (6:37.50), 200 freestyle relay (1:19.35), 400 medley relay (3:12.42) and 400 freestyle relay (3:12.42). BSU also took second in both the 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay, as well as third in the 400 medley relay.

On an individual front, Joey Garberick earned First Team All-MAC honors after winning his third straight title in the 100 breaststroke with a program record time of 52.17. He would also place second in the 200 breaststroke at 1:57.69.

Porter Brovont was a two-time silver medalist, taking second on both the 1M (303.65) and 3M (298.00) diving boards. The effort helped him earn MAC Freshman Diver of the Year honors, as well as Second Team All-MAC accolades.

Owen Chaye also claimed a pair of medals and second Team All-MAC honors by placing second in the 100 freestyle with a program record time of 43.58 and third in the 50 freestyle with a program record effort of 19.89.

Rounding out Ball State’s medalists was Bryce Handshoe with a third-place effort tin the 100 fly (48.13). Handshoe’s prelim time of 47.93 was a program record, as was his 200 butterfly finals time of 1:47.75

Along with the 10 program records above, the Cardinals received new standards from Zach Zishka in the 400 IM (3:57.18) and Jacob Siewers in the 200 freestyle (1:38.80).

IN THE MAC RANKINGS:

In the latest NCAA Division I Top Time Rankings as compiled by CollegeSwimming.com, the Cardinals have 15 student-athletes ranked in scoring position in their respective events heading into the Mid-American Conference Championships.

Senior breaststroke specialist Joey Garberick is BSU’s top-ranked student-athlete, holding the top spot in both the 100 (52.69) and 200 (1:58.67) breaststroke events.

Men’s Swimmers Currently Ranked in the MAC Top 16

50 Freestyle: 3rd – Owen Chaye (20.03) / T-12th – Ethan Pheifer (20.63) / T-12th  – Joey Garberick (20.63)

100 Freestyle: 2nd – Owen Chaye (43.85) / 12th – Jacob Siewers (45.00)

200 Freestyle: 5th – Jacob Siewers (1:38.62) / 12th – Malcolm Slater (1:39.77) / 16th – Owen Chaye (1:40.78)

500 Freestyle: 4th – Malcolm Slater (4:31.74) / 5th – Tommy Brunner (4:32.09)

1000 Freestyle: 7th – Malcolm Slater (9:34.27) / 10th – Tommy Brunner (9:37.64) / 14th – Alexander Eddy (9:43.07)

1650 Freestyle: 4th – Malcolm Slater (15:48.96) / 12th – Tommy Brunner (16:04.91) / 13th – Alexander Eddy (16:05.16)

100 Backstroke: 6th – Joey Garberick (49.33) / 7th – Ethan Pheifer (49.58)

200 Backstroke: 12th – Max Kruglov (1:50.51) / 16th – Chance Buckles (1:52.00)

100 Breaststroke: 1st – Joey Garberick (52.69) / 5th – Michael Burns (55.21) / 7th – Aidan Biddle (55.51)

200 Breaststroke: 1st – Joey Garberick (1:58.67) / 5th – Michael Burns (2:01.36)

100 Butterfly: 6th – Bryce Handshoe (48.19) / 15th – Benjamin Clarkston (50.10)

200 Butterfly: 7th – Bryce Handshoe (1:48.87) / 13th – Michael Mitsynskyy (1:50.85) / 14th – Malcolm Slater (1:50.90) / 15th – Benjamin Clarkston (1:51.28)

200 IM: 8th – Michael Burns (1:51.00) / T-12th – Max Kruglov (1:52.29) / 16th – Ethan Pheifer (1:52.60)

400 IM: 10th – Malcolm Slater (4:01.07) / 12th – Max Kruglov (4:02.15) / 15th – Zach Zishka (4:05.14)

200 Freestyle Relay: 3rd (1:20.36)

400 Freestyle Relay: 3rd (2:58.95)

800 Freestyle Relay: 3rd (6:43.09)

200 Medley Relay: 3rd (1:28.01)

400 Medley Relay: 3rd (3:15.17)

FROM THE DIVING BOARDS:

Sophomore Porter Brovont leads the Cardinals with a NCAA Zone Diving Qualifying scores of 317.70 on 1M and 328.50 on 3M.

Ball State Divers Top Results in 2023-24

Porter Brovont (So.) – 317.70* on 1M / 328.50* on 3M

Isaac Hunter (Sr.) – 292.95 on 1M / 313.05 on 3M

Wyatt Blake (5th Sr.) – 261.68 on 1M / 312.45 on 3M

* = NCAA Zone Diving Qualifying Score

MAC AWARD WINNERS:

Ball State has already claimed four Mid-American Conference weekly award this season with senior Joey Garberick earning three MAC Swimmer of the Week honors and fifty-year senior Owen Chaye claiming the other.

Award Winners:

10/18/2023 – Joey Garberick MAC Swimmer of the Week

10/25/2023 – Owen Chaye MAC Swimmer of the Week

11/22/2023 – Joey Garberick MAC Swimmer of the Week

1/31/2024 – Joey Garberick MAC Swimmer of the Week

EVENT WINNERS:

As a squad, the Cardinals have chalked up 43 individual event wins and eight relay victories so far this season. Senior Joey Garberick leads the squad with 11 event wins, while fifth-year senior Owen Chaye is right behind with 10. Both have also swum on seven of the eight winning relays.

2023-24 Men’s Individual Event Winners (43 Total)

11 – Joey Garberick (Sr.)

   Oct. 14 at UIC – 100 Breaststroke (55.75) / 200 Breaststroke (2:04.28)

   Nov. 3 vs. IUPUI – 100 Breaststroke (55.61)

   Nov. 17 at House of Champions – 100 Breaststroke (52.86)

   Dec. 1 at Minnesota Invite – 100 Breaststroke (52.69)

   Jan. 26 vs Miami – 100 Breaststroke (55.34) / 200 Breaststroke (2:03.41)

   Jan. 28 at Butler Invite – 100 Breaststroke (53.71) / 200 Breaststroke (2:01.79)

   Feb. 10 at SIU – 100 Breaststroke (54.87) / 200 Breaststroke (2:03.97)

10 – Owen Chaye (5th Sr.)

   Oct. 14 at UIC – 50 Freestyle (21.09) / 100 Freestyle (46.08)

   Oct. 21 at Dan Ross Indiana Intercollegiate – 50 Freestyle (20.49) / 100 Freestyle (45.54)

   Nov. 3 vs. IUPUI – 50 Freestyle (20.80) / 100 Freestyle (45.79)

   Nov. 16 at House of Champions – 50 Freestyle (20.03)

   Nov. 18 at House of Champions – 100 Freestyle (43.85)

   Jan. 26 vs Miami – 50 Freestyle (20.75)

   Feb. 3 vs Bellarmine – 200 Freestyle (1:43.11)

5 – Malcolm Slater (Fr.)

   Oct. 14 at UIC – 200 Butterfly (1:52.57) / 500 Freestyle (4:41.78)

   Nov. 3 vs. IUPUI – 200 Butterfly (1:53.34) / 500 Freestyle (4:38.56) / 400 IM (4:08.19)

3 – Bryce Handshoe (5th Sr.)

   Oct. 14 at UIC – 100 Butterfly (50.63)

   Nov. 3 vs. IUPUI – 100 Butterfly (50.39)

   Feb. 10 at SIU – 200 Butterfly (1:53.44)

2 – Porter Brovont (So.)

   Feb. 10 at SIU – 1M Diving (307.73) / 3M Diving (328.50)

2 – Benjamin Clarkston (So.)

    Feb. 3 vs Bellarmine – 50 Freestyle (21.20) / 100 Freestyle (47.33)

2 – Ethan Pheifer (Jr.)

   Oct. 14 at UIC – 100 Backstroke (51.68)

   Nov. 3 vs. IUPUI – 100 Backstroke (51.89)

2 – Jacob Siewers (So.)

    Nov. 17 at House of Champions – 200 Freestyle (1:38.71)

    Jan. 26 vs Miami – 100 Freestyle (45.56) 

1 – Logan Ayres (So.)

   Oct. 14 at UIC – 200 Backstroke (1:54.68)

1 – Aidan Biddle (Fr.)

   Feb. 3 vs Bellarmine – 100 Breaststroke (57.98)

1 – Seth Blossom

    Jan. 28 at Butler Invite – 1650 Freestyle (15:58.40)

1 – Tommy Brunner (Fr.)

    Feb. 3 vs Bellarmine – 1000 Freestyle (9:46.92)

1 – Alexander Eddy (Jr.)

   Oct. 14 at UIC – 1000 Freestyle (9:55.10)

1 – Max Kruglov (Jr.)

   Feb. 3 vs Bellarmine – 200 IM (1:56.19)

2023-24 Men’s Relay Event Winners (8 Total)

3 – 200 Medley Relay

   Oct. 14 at UIC – Ethan Pheifer, Joey Garberick, Bryce Handshoe, Owen Chaye – 1:31.68

   Nov. 3 vs. IUPUI – Ethan Pheifer, Joey Garberick, Bryce Handshoe, Owen Chaye – 1:31.46

   Feb. 3 vs Bellarmine – Ethan Pheifer, Aidan Biddle, Michael Burns, Benjamin Clarkston – 1:33.37

1 – 200 Freestyle Relay

    Jan. 26 vs Miami – Owen Chaye, Joey Garberick, Benjamin Clarkston, Jacob Siewers – 1:23.19

4 – 400 Freestyle Relay

   Oct. 14 at UIC – Jacob Siewers, Joey Garberick, Ethan Pheifer, Owen Chaye – 3:05.87

   Nov. 3 vs. IUPUI – Jacob Siewers, Ethan Pheifer, Joey Garberick, Owen Chaye – 3:05.69

   Nov. 18 at House of Champions – Owen Chaye, Jacob Siewers, Joey Garberick, Ethan Pheifer – 2:58.95

   Feb. 3 vs Bellarmine – Joey Garberick, Ethan Pheifer, Jacob Siewers, Owen Chaye – 3:09.94

BALL STATE WOMEN’S GOLF

BOYD LEADS WOMEN’S GOLF ON DAY 1 OF PUERTO RICO CLASSIC

HUMACAO, Puerto Rico – – Sophomore Madelin Boyd shot a team-low round of +1 (73) Tuesday morning to lead the Ball State women’s golf team on the opening day of the Puerto Rico Classic.

The effort, which was highlighted by a birdie on the par 4 17th, has Boyd tied for 12th overall among the field of 71 golfers on the Flamboyan Course at the Palmas Del Mar Golf Club in Humacao, Puerto Rico.

In fact, Boyd was the top finisher among the group of 11 individuals playing in the event, three strokes ahead of Little Rock’s Viktoria Krnacova at +4 (76).

On the team front, freshman JJ Gregston and Jasmine Driscoll both tallied rounds of +4 (76) and are tied for 32nd overall. Gregston tied for fourth among the field with five birdies on the day, while Driscoll collected one.

In her first round of the spring, senior Kiah Parrott opened the 54-hole tournament with a round of +5 (77) and is currently tied for 39th overall with six other golfers, including reigning Mid-American Conference Golfer of the Week Sarah Gallagher and individual Jenna Estravillo. Parrott and Estravillo finished their rounds with one birdie each, while Gallagher collected three.

With the team’s top four golfers finishing the day at +18 (306), Ball State is currently tied for ninth among the 12-team field. Cal Baptist leads the tournament at -7 (281), followed by Little Rock +2 (290) and Western Carolina +4 (292). The Cardinals are just 14 strokes out of third.

Another Ball State individual highlight came from junior Payton Bennett who collected an eagle on the 455-yard, par 5 11th. It was one of just six eagles recorded in the opening round.

Action in the Puerto Rico Classic hosted by Ball State continues Wednesday with another 8:30 a.m. AT / 7:30 a.m. ET shotgun start.

BALL STATE TEAM SCORES

T32nd – JJ Gregston – +4 (76)

T32nd – Jasmine Driscoll – +4 (76)

T39th – Sarah Gallagher – +5 (77)

T39th – Kiah Parrott – +5 (77)

69th – Madelyn Young – +14 (86)

BALL STATE INDIVIDUAL SCORES

T12th – Madelin Boyd – +1 (73)

T39th – Jenna Estravillo – +5 (77)

T51st – Payton Bennett – +7 (79)

T58th – Sabrina Langerak – +9 (81)

TEAM RANKINGS

1st – Cal Baptist – -7 (281)

2nd – Little Rock – +2 (290)

3rd – Western Carolina – +4 (292)

4th – Seattle – +6 (294)

5th – South Dakota – +7 (295)

6th – Florida Golf Coast – +8 (296)

7th – Wofford College – +9 (297)

        UNCG – +9 (297)

9th – Ball State – +18 (306)

        Loyola – +18 (306)

11th – Georgia State – +26 (314)

12th – Northern Kentucky – +31 (319)

INDIANA STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL

BLEDSON HIGHLIGHTED AS TEAM CAPTAIN FOR ONE OF TWO MVC SPECIALTY TEAMS

ST. LOUIS – Indiana State men’s basketball redshirt senior Xavier Bledson and junior Jayson Kent each picked up their second recognition in two days from the Missouri Valley Conference, highlighted by Bledson being named as team captain for the All-Bench Team.

The All-Bench Team is composed of seven student-athletes from across the MVC in men’s basketball, where Bledson was selected as the team captain. He averaged 18.5 minutes over the course of the season with averages of 6.9 PPG and 3.0 RPG, appearing in all 31 regular season games. Bledson finished fourth on the team in made triples with 35.

Kent was selected to the Most-Improved Team, made up of five student-athletes across the MVC in men’s basketball. One season ago, Kent was averaging 5.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.4 AST/G, 14.8 MIN/G (46.8% FG%, 27.1% 3FG%). This year, Kent finished the season with 12.7 PPG and 7.9 RPG, shooting 61.3% from the field and 30.6% from deep. From the charity stripe, the junior shot 83.5% after shooting 79.5% last year.

INDIANA STATE BASEBALL

INDIANA STATE RECEIVING VOTES IN THE USA TODAY, NCBWA POLLS

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State received votes in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Poll as announced by the organizations this week.

It marks ISU’s second consecutive week in the USA Today poll and third week in the NCBWA poll heading into this weekend’s series at Florida A&M.

The Sycamores (8-3) are coming off a weekend series at Southern Miss where the Sycamores took the series finale against the Golden Eagles with a 12-5 win in Hattiesburg, Miss. Parker Stinson connected on an early grand slam and Mike Sears homered to propel the Sycamores to the win over USM.

Indiana State continues the 2024 season this weekend in Tallahassee, Fla. with a four-game series against Florida A&M at Moore-Kittles Field starting Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S BASKETBALL

‘DONS WIN #HLMBB FIRST ROUND GAME OVER ROBERT MORRIS 78-63

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A big first half from the Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball team led to a 78-63 victory over Robert Morris on Tuesday (March 5) in the opening round of the Barbasol Horizon League Basketball Championship.

Purdue Fort Wayne moves on to the quarterfinal of the Championship and will face No. 1 seed Oakland in Rochester, Michigan on Thursday (March 7) at 7 p.m.

Anthony Roberts got the party started in Fort Wayne, hammering down a windmill dunk to go up 8-5.

The Mastodons shot 59.4 percent from the floor in the first half. They had a 15-0 run in which they went 6-of-9 from the floor and held Robert Morris to 0-for-7. A few minutes later, the ‘Dons had a 6-0 spurt that ballooned the lead to 24.

Coming out of halftime, the Colonials rattled off a 15-1 run helped shrink the Mastodon lead all the way down to five at 52-47.

RMU never got any closer than that.

The Colonials hung around until about the 5-minute mark, when the Mastodons mounted a 10-0 run sparked by Jalen Jackson. He laid in a shot in close, then Quinton Morton-Robertson drilled a 3-pointer before four more points from Jackson. Eric Mulder put the exclamation point on the contest with a put-back dunk with just under a minute to play.

Morton-Robertson finished with a team-high 17 points, followed closely by Jackson’s 16. Roberts finished with 10 points. Mulder finished with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, four of which were offensive boards. All nine Mastodons that played in the contest scored at least one basket.

Purdue Fort Wayne moves to 21-11. Robert Morris falls to 10-22.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE BASEBALL

NINE-RUN SEVENTH INNING LIFTS ‘DONS TO 12-10 VICTORY AT BUTLER

INDIANAPOLIS – The Purdue Fort Wayne baseball team fought back from down 9-1 after three innings to defeat the Butler Bulldogs 12-10 Tuesday.

The Mastodons were trailing 6-0 in the third inning when Grant Thoroman put Purdue Fort Wayne on the board with a two-out solo home run.

Down 9-1 in the top of the fourth, Ben Higgins hit a two-run shot to make it a 9-3 game.

The ‘Dons took their first lead of the game in the nine-run seventh. The ‘Dons used small ball in the inning, never recording an extra base hit in the frame.

Carson Caudill (1-1) picked up the victory out of the bullpen for the ‘Dons. The right-hander went 1.2 shutout innings while giving up one hit, allowing one walk and striking out one. Kevin Fee threw 1.2 innings to get the save.

Higgins led the way offensively for the Mastodons, going 2-for-5 in the game with a double, a home run and three RBI. Thoroman was 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk and an RBI. Nick Sutherlin also chipped in, going 2-for-5 for Purdue Fort Wayne with a walk and an RBI.

Four Mastodons had multiple hits in the ballgame. The ‘Dons drew seven walks in the game.

The ‘Dons are now 4-9. Butler falls to 4-6. The ‘Dons are at Missouri this weekend.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S GOLF

MASTODONS TIE FOR 10TH AT DAYTONA BEACH INTERCOLLEGIATE

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Purdue Fort Wayne men’s golf team tied with Villanova for 10th at the Daytona Beach Intercollegiate on Tuesday (March 5).

The Mastodons were led by Kasey Lilly, who shot a 73 in his final round. He had birdies on nine and 14 to pair with 13 pars. He finished in a tie for 19th with a three-round total of 224.

Hunter Mefford was three strokes behind Lilly with a 76. He had a birdie on the 531-yard 14th. He also had a stretch of five pars in a row from holes 2-8. He tied for 41st with a total of 230.

AJ Agnew finished in a tie for 45th with a 232. He had a birdie on hole two in round three, which played as the second-toughest. Nick Holder shot 240 and took 70th. He birdied holes six and eight in round three en route to a 78.

Burke Pitz rounded out the lineup, finishing with a 242 to tie for 73rd. He had three birdies on Tuesday, coming on holes two, eight and 11.

Brock Reschly and Nick Bellush played as individuals. Reschly finished as the Mastodons’ second best, shooting 227 to tie for 25th. Bellush turned in a 235 to tie for 57th.

EVANSVILLE SOFTBALL

UE SOFTBALL TO FACE LINDENWOOD IN HOME DH ON WEDNESDAY

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – For the first time since February 19, the University of Evansville softball team will be at Tri-State Orthopaedics Field at James & Dorothy Cooper Stadium on Wednesday when the Purple Aces welcome Lindenwood for a doubleheader.

Game one is set for a 3 p.m. first pitch with the second contest to begin 30 minutes following the completion of the first contest.

Evansville is coming off a 4-game weekend in Charleston, S.C. where they took part in the Low Country Classic. Jess Willsey batted .500 with seven hits in 14 at-bats over the course of the weekend.   She recorded a home run and two RBI on the weekend while reaching base 53.3% of the time.

Abby Bode batted .500 with three hits in six at-bats, but her offense did not stop there in the weekend trip to Charleston.  Bode added three walks and a sac fly to finish with an on-base tally of .600.  Hannah Hood also finished the trip with an average over .400.  Picking up five hits in 12 at-bats, Hood batted .417 while reaching base 50% of the time.

Lindenwood comes into Wednesday’s doubleheader with an even 9-9 record on the strength of a 6-game win streak.  In their weekend home tournament, they took two games apiece from Bellarmine and Green Bay.

EVANSVILLE MEN’S SWIMMING

UE MEN OPEN MAC SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS ON WEDNESDAY

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Evansville men’s swimming and diving team will kick off competition at the 2024 Mid-American Conference Swimming & Diving Championships on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium in Carbondale, Illinois.

The Purple Aces have not competed since placing fourth at the UIC Invitational on January 27.  UE has been hard at work in training the last four weeks preparing for the MAC Championships.  Evansville will turn to juniors Patrik Vilbergsson (Kopavogur, Iceland) and Daniel Santos Lopez (Madrid, Spain) to lead the way.

Vilbergsson is a two-time second-team all-MAC performer for UE, and he ranks among the MAC’s fastest competitors in multiple events this season.  Vilbergsson ranks second-fastest in the MAC this year in the 200-Yard Backstroke, having posted a time of 1:47.84 already this year.  He also ranks fifth-fastest this year in the 100 Back, and is ranked among the league’s top 12 swimmers in the 500-Yard Freestyle.

Santos Lopez, meanwhile, owns the fourth-fastest 100-Yard Butterfly time this year in the MAC at 48.04, while also ranking among the league’s leaders in both the 50- and 100-Yard Freestyle events.  Santos Lopez owns the UE school record in the 100 Fly, while Vilbergsson is the school record holder in the 200 Back.

Diving-wise, sophomore Levi McKinney (Boonville, Ind./Boonville) has earned MAC Diver of the Week honors twice this year, and has posted an NCAA Zone Qualifying score this season as well.

The MAC Championships will kick off Wednesday night with team relay races in both the 200-Yard Medley Relay and 800-Yard Freestyle Relay events.  The MAC Championships will feature competitors from Ball State, Evansville, Miami (OH), Missouri State, Southern Illinois, UIC and Valparaiso.

EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL

BAILEY AND CUFF NAMED TO MVC ALL-BENCH TEAM

ST. LOUIS – University of Evansville men’s basketball players Chuck Bailey III and Tanner Cuff were named to the 2024 Missouri Valley Conference All-Bench Team in an announcement by the league on Tuesday afternoon.  The teams, which were selected by a panel of the league’s newspaper beat writers and a panel of media voters, are comprised of a minimum of five student-athletes (top five vote-getters, plus ties) on each squad.

Freshman Chuck Bailey III played in 30 games this season while making one start.  He completed the regular season with an average of 8.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.  The 4-time MVC Freshman of the Week had the top game of his Purple Aces career in November’s league opener at Missouri State.

In that contest, Bailey recorded 27 points on a 10-of-17 shooting performance.  Hitting 10 of his 13 attempts, he scored 18 at Bradley.  He was one of the most efficient free throw shooters in the league, finishing 11th in the conference connecting on 81.6% of his attempts.

Junior Tanner Cuff enjoyed solid campaign for Evansville, wrapping up the year with 7.5 points and 4.0 caroms per contest.  Seeing the floor in all 31 games, Cuff averaged 22.0 minutes per game.  He was a 49.2% shooter from the field and converted 74.1% of his free throw tries.  Cuff’s 70 assists was second on the team behind Kenny Strawbridge Jr.

Cuff’s top performance saw him tally 16 points in the home victory over UIC before registering 15 points at Murray State.  He ranked among the best in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio for the duration of the season, wrapping up the regular season with 70 helpers and just 32 turnovers.

SOUTHERN INDIANA BASEBALL

USI VISITS #8 TENNESSEE, BELLARMINE

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — University of Southern Indiana Baseball starts a nine-game road trip Wednesday, beginning with a visit to eighth-ranked University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. First pitch is slated for 5:30 p.m. (CST). Fan can follow the Eagles versus the Volunteers on the SEC Network+.

Following USI’s first game with a nationally ranked opponent on Wednesday, the Screaming Eagles visit an old rival in Bellarmine University this weekend for a three-game series. The series starts Friday at 1:30 p.m. (CST); continues Saturday at 1:30 p.m. (CST); and concludes Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (CDT).

Links to follow the Eagles during the opening weekend of 2024 can be found on USIScreamingEagles.com and on the USI Baseball Schedule.   

USI Baseball Notes:

Great homestand to start home slate. The USI Screaming Eagles went 4-3 in the first homestand of the season, winning back-to-back weekend series. USI took two-of-three from Eastern Michigan University and the University of St. Thomas (Minn.). The Eagles lost the lone midweek game of the homestand to Ball State University.

Hit leaders on homestand. Senior outfielder Ren Tachioka (Japan) led the Eagles with a .400 average (2-5) in two of the games before suffering an injury. Junior catcher Joe Ricchio (Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin) followed with a .375 average (3-8) and added four RBI after entering the starting role. Junior second baseman Lane Crowden (Jackson, Missouri) had a team-best eight RBI, while senior designated hitter Tucker Ebest (Austin, Texas) and freshman outfielder Cameron Boyd (Villa Hills, Kentucky) each had a home run.

Pitch leaders on homestand. Junior left-hander Mason Sweeney (Fishers, Indiana), junior right-hander Gavin Seebold (Jeffersonville, Indiana), junior right-hander Gavin Wilson (Lee’s Summit, Missouri), and freshman right-hander Grant Parson (Owensboro, Kentucky) had one win each during the homestand. Junior right-hander Tyler Hutson (Villa Hills, Kentucky), sophomore left-hander Will Kiesel (Wadesville, Indiana), and freshman right-hander Clayton Weisheit (Ferdinand, Indiana) each had a save during the homestand.

Leaders last week at the plate. Junior infielder Lane Crowden led the Eagles in the four games last week, hitting .556 (5-9) with six RBI and five runs scored. Junior catcher Joe Ricchio followed with a .429 mark (3-7) and four RBI after starting the final two games of the series with St. Thomas.

Looking for a win on the road. After going 0-4 the opening weekend (0-2 on the road; 0-2 at neutral site), the Eagles are looking for their first win away from the USI Baseball Field this season.  

USI predicted 8th in 2024 OVC. The USI Screaming Eagles are predicted to place eighth in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2024. 

USI reached OVC Championship during 1st Division I season. The Eagles earned a trip to the OVC Championship during its first season of transitioning to NCAA Division I. The Eagles lost in the opening round of the tournament.

USI under Archuleta. The Eagles are in their 18th season under Head Coach Tracy Archuleta, who has led the Eagles to two NCAA Division II national championships (2010, 2014) in his 17 years at the helm. He also has been recognized as the Division II ABCA National Coach of the Year twice (2010, 2014); the ABCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year five times (2007, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018) and the GLVC Coach of the Year twice (2011, 2014) since taking over the program in 2007. He also is the winningest coach in the history of the program with 546 victories in 17-plus years.

Long road coming up. In March, the Eagles will have a long road to go, playing 14 of 17 games away from the USI Baseball Field. 

Tennessee in 2024. The University of Tennessee is rolling to start the 2024 season, going 11-1 through March 5. The Volunteers, who have one game left before the Eagles visit Knoxville, Tennessee, on March 6, have won 10-straight at press time.

USI vs. Tennessee. USI will be playing Tennessee for the first time in the history of the baseball program.

Bellarmine in 2024. The Knights of Bellarmine University are off to a rough start to 2024, going 1-10 and losing 10-straight. Bellarmine hosts Marshall University Wednesday before USI comes to visit.

USI vs. Bellarmine. USI leads the all-time series with Bellarmine, 85-77, dating back to 1970s and when both teams were members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The Eagles extended its series lead after winning two-of-three from the Knights at the USI Baseball Field last spring.

SOUTHERN INDIANA SOFTBALL

USI SOFTBALL CLOSES TRIP TO THE SPRING GAMES WITH 5-0 VICTORY

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. – University of Southern Indiana Softball closed its trip to The Spring Games in Madeira Beach, Florida, on Tuesday with a 5-0 shutout victory over the University of North Dakota.

Southern Indiana struck first in the bottom of the second inning Tuesday. USI loaded the bases with two outs when sophomore outfielder Caroline Stapleton (Shirley, Indiana) brought a run in on an infield RBI hit.

The Screaming Eagles built onto their lead in the next inning. Senior first baseman Lexi Fair (Greenwood, Indiana) led off the third frame with a home run, her first of the season. Later in the inning, USI did some more damage with two outs. Freshman infielder Sydney Long (Haubstadt, Indiana) and senior outfielder Mackenzie Bedrick (Brownsburg, Indiana) tallied back-to-back RBI singles to put USI ahead 4-0. Southern Indiana scored one more time before the end of the third inning to lead 5-0.

From that point on, North Dakota kept USI off the scoreboard, but the five-run cushion was all that USI starting pitcher Josie Newman (Indianapolis, Indiana) needed. The right-hander shut down the Fighting Hawks, hurling a one-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts. For Newman, Tuesday’s performance was the ninth complete game and second shutout this season. The junior moved to 5-4 on the campaign with the win.

Offensively, Southern Indiana recorded its five runs off eight hits. Bedrick ended up with a two-hit game with an RBI. Junior infielder Hailey Gotshall (Lucerne, Indiana) tallied a hit and scored two runs.

North Dakota (5-17) mustered just the one hit at the plate, while junior pitcher Makaela Carr was charged with the loss to move to 3-4 this season. Carr lasted 2.2 innings, giving up five runs – two earned – off seven hits and two walks.

With Tuesday’s win, the Screaming Eagles improved to 6-9 this season as they head back north to begin Ohio Valley Conference play Saturday and Sunday at Tennessee Tech University. Saturday is set for a doubleheader starting at Noon. Sunday’s series finale is also scheduled for Noon.

All three games at Tennessee Tech can be seen with an ESPN+ subscription. Live stats and coverage links can be found on the USI Softball schedule page on usiscreamingeagles.com.

SOUTHERN INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL

HERNANDEZ NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-OVC

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball junior guard Jeremiah Hernandez (Chicago, Illinois) was honored with first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors today. Hernandez named to the ten player first-team after being selected by the OVC head coaches and the communications directors.

The post-season conference honor is the first for Hernandez.

Hernandez is the leader of the Eagles in 2023-24, averaging a team-high 17.2 points per outing and is first on the team with 31.4 minutes per contest. The junior also is posting a team-best 20.5 points per game during OVC action, ranking second in the conference.

In addition to posting career season-highs in a USI uniform, Hernandez scored a career-high 35 points in the overtime win in the 2023-24 OVC opener at Southeast Missouri State University. He has posted nine games over 20 points this season and recorded a pair of games with 30-or-more.  

Hernandez and the Eagles starts their second appearance in OVC Championship as the eighth seed at the Ford Center Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. USI is set to play fifth-seeded Tennessee State University in the first round.

EAGLES OPEN OVC CHAMPIONSHIP ACTION WEDNESDAY

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Men’s Basketball begins its second Ohio Valley Conference Championship action Wednesday when it takes on Tennessee State University in the opening round at the Ford Center. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.

The Screaming Eagles (8-23, 5-13 OVC) open OVC post-season play as the eighth seed in the tournament. USI had to limp into the tournament this season, clinching a spot on the last day of the regular season and losing its last three.

USI is led by first-team All-OVC guard Jeremiah Hernandez (Chicago, Illinois) who recorded a team-high 17.2 points per outing and is first on the team with 31.4 minutes per contest during the regular season. The junior also posted a team-best 20.5 points per game during OVC action, ranking second in the conference.

USI sophomore guard/forward AJ Smith (Edwardsville, Illinois) followed Hernandez, averaging 31.1 minutes a game, while posting 14.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest during his second season with USI. He also averaged 15.9 points in OVC play this season.

The Tigers of TSU (17-14, 10-8 OVC) are the fifth seed after losing their last two games of the season. TSU, despite going 0-2 last week, was .500 over the last 10 games of the regular season.

Following a season series split, the all-time series is tied 2-2 between USI and TSU. The Eagles took the opening game in January, 69-67, at Screaming Eagles Arena, but lost in February, 79-74, in Nashville.

The winner of the USI-TSU contest Wednesday advances to play Western Illinois University Thursday at 6:30 p.m. WIU (20-11, 13-5 OVC), the fourth seed in the tournament, earned a first-round bye during its first season in the OVC.

The first two rounds of the OVC Championship will be streamed live on ESPN+ in addition to being heard on ESPN 97.7FM and 95.7FM The Spin. The OVC Tournament semifinal games will air live on ESPNU, while the championship game will air live on ESPN2 and Westwood One.

Tickets are $80 for all men’s and women’s tournament sessions passes and can be purchased through the Ford Center Ticket Office. Individual session tickets are also on sale now through the Ford Center and Ticketmaster.

VALPO SOFTBALL

SOFTBALL CONCLUDES PRECONFERENCE ACTION AT OMAHA

Valparaiso (5-13, 0-0 MVC)

March 7-9 – at Connie Claussen Classic (Omaha, Neb.)

March 7 – at Omaha (14-7) – 3 p.m.

March 8 – at Omaha – 1 p.m. | vs. Kansas City (6-14) – 3:30 p.m.

March 9 – vs. Northern Colorado (6-13) – 11 a.m. | vs. Rider (4-5) – 1:15 p.m.

Next Up in Valpo Softball: It’s the final weekend of preconference action for the Valpo softball team before the Missouri Valley Conference slate gets going, as the Beacons head to Omaha for the Connie Claussen Classic. Valpo will face the host Mavs twice and take on Kansas City, Northern Colorado and Rider once apiece.

Previously: Valpo split four games last weekend at the Hoosier Classic, defeating Bowling Green by final scores of 5-3 and 12-4 while falling to host Indiana by finals of 8-6 and 10-0.

Looking Ahead: MVC play starts next weekend for the Beacons, as they continue life on the road with a three-game series at Evansville.

Following Valpo Softball: The two games against Omaha will be streamed on the Summit League Network ($), while the other three will be streamed for free through Omaha’s website. All five games will also have live stats available, linked at ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Meaggan Pettipiece: Meaggan Pettipiece was hired in September 2022 as head coach of the Valpo softball program and enters her second season in 2024. Pettipiece is in her 15th season overall as a collegiate head coach, most recently spending three seasons at Akron prior to coming to Valpo. Pettipiece, who owns 263 career coaching victories, was an All-American on the diamond and helped California University of Pennsylvania to a D-II national title in 1998 collegiately before playing internationally for Team Canada, including at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Series Notes: Omaha – Valpo is 1-2 all-time against the Mavs, but the two programs have not met since 2015, when Omaha earned a pair of wins at the Colorado State Classic, 11-2 and 13-1.

Kansas City – Former conference mates in the Mid-Continent Conference, Valpo holds a slim 27-25 advantage in the all-time series. In the only meetings since Valpo left the Mid-Con, Kansas City won a pair of matchups in 2021 at the DePaul Dome Tournament, 3-2 and 10-2.

Northern Colorado – The lone matchup all-time between the two programs came in 2018 at UC Davis’ Aggie Invitational, a 6-2 win for the Bears.

Rider – First meeting.

Who’s Back: Valpo returns 12 of 16 letterwinners from last year’s squad for the 2024 season. In all, 69.2% of Valpo’s plate appearances are back for this season and 49.4% of last season’s innings pitched return.

Who’s New: A group of nine newcomers joined the Beacons for the 2024 season. Kam Utendorf transferred in after playing her freshman season at Black Hawk College, joining eight true freshmen on this year’s team.

A Large Roster: The combination of 12 returnees and nine newcomers gives Valpo a 21-player roster for the 2024 campaign. That’s a five-player increase over last season’s group of 16 players, and it is the largest roster the softball program has had since fielding 21 players for the 2008 season.

Hitting the Road: This weekend’s games continue a long and winding road for the Beacons before they finally get the chance to play at the Valpo Softball Complex. This is the last of five weekends of action prior to the start of Missouri Valley Conference play, as Valpo already played at Texas A&M, Presbyterian, Chattanooga and Indiana. The Beacons will open MVC action with back-to-back weekends on the road as well – at Evansville and at Drake – before finally opening the home slate March 29 against Bradley. All told, Valpo is scheduled to play its first 29 games of the season away from home.

A Big Win: The Beacons put a trio of crooked numbers on the scoreboard in just five innings of work as they earned a 12-4 run-rule win over Bowling Green on Sunday. The run-rule win was the program’s first since closing the 2022 regular season with a 10-0 win over Evansville. Combined with its 13-11 win over Morehead State back on Feb. 16, this year’s team is the first Valpo squad to score a dozen or more runs twice in the same season since the 2019 team beat Delaware State 12-1 and Wagner 13-0 in early-season action.

The Bats Came to Play: Valpo had easily its best offensive weekend of the season last weekend, hitting .341 as a team over the four games and reaching base at a .455 clip. Three regulars – Kayden Krug, Alexis Johnson and Kam Utendorf – hit at least .400, while Kim Rodas OPSed 1.316 and Regi Hecker OPSed .917. To go with their 12-run performance on Sunday against BGSU, the Beacons put six runs on the board Saturday against Indiana – the program’s highest output against a Power Five foe since 12 years to the day, March 2, 2012 — a 16-7 win over Iowa State.

Winning in Extras: Valpo came away with a 2-1 extra-inning win over Georgetown Feb. 24, scoring one run in the international tiebreak in the top of the eighth before retiring the side in order in the bottom half of the frame. The win was Valpo’s first in extra inning since a 7-5, eight-inning win over Cleveland State March 8, 2020 in what turned out to be the final game of the COVID-shortened season. Valpo had dropped its last four extra-inning games before the win over the Hoyas.

McDermott Mows Them Down: Freshman Sydney McDermott came to Valpo after earning Ohio All-State honors each of her last three years of high school, and has showcased that form over the last two weekends. She opened the weekend at Chattanooga engaging in a pitcher’s duel against the reigning Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year, giving up just three hits and one earned run in a tough-luck loss against Texas A&M-CC. McDermott rebounded with a two-hitter, surrendering a single unearned run while striking out a season-best eight, in the 2-1 extra-inning win over Georgetown. She closed the weekend by giving up just one run in 3.2 innings of relief work Sunday against Ohio. Then, in her first start this past weekend at Indiana, facing Bowling Green, McDermott retired 15 batters in a row during a complete-game three-hitter, giving up just one earned run to the Falcons. She became the first Valpo pitcher to throw complete games in three straight starts and surrender three or fewer hits in all three since Andrea Zappia in 2008.

Runners on the Move: The Beacons continued their early-season aggression on the basepaths by going 7-for-8 on stolen base attempts over the weekend. After going just 21-for-36 in the steals department last season, Valpo is already 26-for-29 this season. Senior Alexis Johnson – who tallied just six steals in her first three seasons – went 4-for-5 on the basepaths last weekend alone and is already 9-for-10 on the season, tied for the most steals by an MVC player. Fellow senior Kayla Skapyak is a perfect 6-for-6 on the basepaths this year as well.

Newcomer of the Week: Sophomore Kam Utendorf became Valpo’s first MVC Newcomer of the Week since May 2019 on Feb. 20 after slashing .643/.706/.786 the previous weekend at Presbyterian. She had a trio of multi-hit games, including three-hit performances in both of Valpo’s victories – going 3-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI, a walk and a stolen base in the win over Morehead State and 3-for-4 with a run scored, two RBIs and two doublesin the win over YSU. Through four weekends, Utendorf’s .415 batting average leads the Valley.

Offensive Bests: Valpo exploded for 13 runs in its win over Morehead State to open the Pinnacle PC Invitational, the program’s largest scoring output since a 13-0 win over Wagner in March 2019. The Beacons closed the weekend with a 13-hit performance in the win over YSU, the program’s best single-game total since racking up 16 hits in a win over Holy Cross in Feb. 2022.

Making Debuts: All nine of Valpo’s newcomers made their debuts in the Beacon uniform in the opening weekend of play, eight of those coming on opening day. Four of those debuts came in the season opener against Tulsa, as Kam Utendorf started at shortstop, Anna Wilming pitched in relief and Cici Wilson & Natalie Bush both appeared as pinch-hitters. Four more debuts came against Texas A&M, as Sydney McDermott started in the circle, Kayden Krug entered as a pinch-hitter and Carson Kuhlmann & Madison Stamper were both defensive replacements. Lana Tellez made her collegiate debut in the nightcap of the twinbill with Lehigh the next day as a defensive replacement.

Hecker Hacking: Senior outfielder Regi Hecker started the 2024 regular season just as she closed the 2023 regular season. Hecker, who paced Valpo last year in batting average, hits, doubles, RBIs and stolen bases, closed 2023 by hitting .412 (14-for-34) with four multi-hit games over the Beacons’ final 12 games of the regular season. Through four weekends this year, Hecker ranks third on the team with a .353 batting average and a .450 on-base percentage.

International Experience: Sophomore infielder Kim Rodas continued her international career playing for Mexico over the summer, as she earned a bronze medal at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games. Rodas previously medaled with Team Mexico at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games, where her squad claimed the silver.

VALPO BASEBALL

BEACONS RALLY IN NINTH, DROP HEARTBREAKER IN WALK-OFF FASHION

The Valparaiso University baseball team took the lead thanks to a clutch, go-ahead hit by Liam Patton (Barrington, Ill. / Warsaw [Wabash]) with two outs and two strikes in the top of the ninth, but host Jacksonville responded to Valpo’s three-run rally with two of their own in the bottom of the inning to walk off with a 6-5 victory in Tuesday’s midweek matchup in Jacksonville, Fla.

How It Happened

Jacksonville picked up a run in the opening inning on a run-scoring double by Josh Steidl, then the Dolphins got two more in the second on a sac fly and an RBI double to make it 3-0.

A bunt single and stolen base by Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) set him up to score on a double by Kevin Denty (Tinley Park, Ill. / Marian Catholic) to left center to get Valpo on the board in the top of the third.

Valpo starter Kaleb Krier (Altoona, Iowa / Southeast Polk [DMACC]) exited after giving up three runs on five hits in three innings. Bryce Konitzer (Mukwonago, Wis. / Mukwonago [Oakland]) took over and tossed a scoreless fourth. The hosts picked up a run against him in the fifth on an RBI triple by Steidl that made it 4-1.

Denty picked up another RBI in the top of the seventh when he singled up the middle, allowing Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) to score from third.

Valpo faced a 4-2 deficit through eight innings. Kaleb Hannahs (West Terre Haute, Ind. / West Vigo) led off the ninth with a single, then a one-out double by Denty put runners at second and third. The Dolphins recorded the second out of the inning and Valpo was down to its final out. Back-to-back walks including one to Carson Husmann (Hanna, Ind. / South Central [Bradley]) drove in a run to make it 4-3. With two outs and two strikes, Patton delivered a two-run, go-ahead single to put the Beacons in front 5-4.

The Dolphins started the bottom of the ninth with three straight singles, the third of which saw Valpo put out a runner who was trying to go from first to third but allowed the tying run to score. Pitcher Jake Jakuboski (Lake in the Hills, Ill. / Huntley [Heartland]) induced a fly out for the second out.

Clay Hodges hit a walk-off single to right to give Jacksonville the 6-5 win.

Inside the Game

This marked Valpo’s second straight one-run loss after falling 3-2 vs. Binghamton on Sunday. Each of the team’s last three games have been decided by two runs or fewer.

Denty delivered another big day, going 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, a walk and a run scored. He is hitting .348 in eight games as a freshman.

Schmack posted a multi-hit game including a double, the 41st of his collegiate career. He moved into a tie for seventh in program history in career doubles, joining Chris Moore (1998-2001) and Kevin Kutansky (2003-2006).

Patton also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5.

Each team had a dozen hits, with Valpo’s total representing a season high.

The Beacons worked a season-high eight walks while issuing just two.

Up Next

Valpo (4-7) will continue the spring trip by playing a three-game weekend series at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. CT.

VALPO WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL OPENS FINAL HOME WEEKEND THURSDAY VERSUS SIU

Valparaiso (5-22, 4-14 MVC)

Game #28 – March 7, 2024 – 6 p.m.

Southern Illinois (9-19, 4-14 MVC)

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

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valpo women’s basketball team returns to its home court at the ARC for the final weekend of regular season play, starting with a big conference matchup Thursday evening against Southern Illinois.

Previously: Despite a season-high 19 points from freshman Saniya Jackson leading all players, the Valpo women’s basketball team was unable to overcome MVC regular season champion Drake on Saturday afternoon in Des Moines, falling to the Bulldogs by an 82-62 final. Olivia Brown connected on five 3-pointers in a 17-point effort, while Leah Earnest added 13 points.

Following Valpo Basketball: Streaming Video: ESPN+

Links for live coverage: Available via ValpoAthletics.com

Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans is in her sixth year at the helm of the program in 2023-24 and owns a record of 60-113. Evans has made an impact on the program in her first five years, raising the team’s level of play to be competitive in a strong Missouri Valley Conference. The 2022-23 season saw Evans lead Valpo to the first win in program history over perennial MVC power Missouri State. The Beacons also won three consecutive road games in Valley play, the first time the program accomplished that feat against three different opponents since 2007.

Series Notes: It’s a brief series between SIU and Valpo, as the two programs did not meet prior to Valpo joining the MVC in 2017-18. SIU won the first five meetings, followed by Valpo winning four of the next five matchups. Most recently, the Salukis improved their series record to 8-4 with a 75-66 victory in Carbondale in early January. Saniya Jackson led the Beacons in that contest with 15 points and six rebounds, while Ella Van Weelden knocked down four 3-pointers for 12 points in the fourth quarter as Valpo got as close as seven points late after trailing by as many as 21 in the final period.

UINDY MEN’S BASKETBALL

HOUNDS RETURN TO TOP 25 FOR POSTSEASON PLAY

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fresh off its second straight GLVC regular season title, the UIndy men’s basketball team returned to the NABC national coaches poll, announced on Tuesday afternoon.

After previously receiving votes, the Greyhounds entered the rankings at No. 23 with 41 points. They are joined by Walsh (Great Midwest) as the lone Midwest Region programs in the top 25.

UIndy opened the 2023-24 campaign with its highest preseason national ranking ever at No. 5. Now winners of six straight – and nine of the past 10 games – the Hounds have secured back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 2011-16.

Defending national champion Nova Southeastern tops the poll with 15 first-place votes. The complete set of rankings can be found below.

NABC DII Poll

RK     SCHOOL (1st-place votes)RECPTSPREV
1.     Nova Southeastern (15)24-23991
2.     Minnesota State27-23823
3.     Gannon26-23505
4.     Northwest Missouri State (1)24-43456
5.     Colorado Mesa25-33247
6.     Fort Lewis25-33222
7.     West Texas A&M26-33104
8.     Cal (PA)25-32948
9.     Minnesota Duluth24-526111
10.   Dallas Baptist24-425612
11.   MSU Moorhead24-52209
12.   Charleston24-420510
13.   West Liberty23-520314
14.   East Stroudsburg24-416218
15.   St. Thomas Aquinas23-515817
16.   Fort Hays State22-613919
17.   USC Aiken23-513823
18.   West Georgia23-513613
19.   Cal State San Bernardino22-611224
20.   North Georgia22-610815
21.   Colorado School of Mines23-710216
22.   Emmanuel24-556NR
23.   UIndy21-741NR
24.   Walsh21-536NR
25.   Cal State Dominguez Hills22-62122

UINDY SOFTBALL

SOFTBALL REMAINS EIGHTH IN NFCA POLL

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s new poll put UIndy Softball at eighth for the second week in a row. The Greyhounds have also remained in the top 10 for the fourth consecutive week. The Hounds enter March 13-2 on the season. 

UIndy comes off an undefeated weekend where they topped Wheeling and West Liberty in two sets of doubleheaders. For their effort during the contest Kenzee Smith and Braxton Downs were given the GLVC softball weekly awards. To earn her first GLVC accolade after going 9-for-16 (.563) at the plate and accumulating a .611 on-base percentage. The fifth-year also did not record a single strikeout in 18 appearances on the weekend. Smith tossed 16.1 shutout innings, including two complete games. The senior only allowed eight hits and three walks, punching out 28 batters.

UP NEXT
The Greyhounds will travel to Central Florida to participate in the annual THE Spring Games from Mar. 10 through the 14th. The first two days will take place at the Auburndale Sports Complex in Jan Phyl Village, with the final two days in Winter Haven at the Diamondplex. All games will be streamed on Flo Sports and the full schedule is here.



NATIONAL FASTPITCH COACHES ASSOCIATION WEEK 4 POLL 

RankTeamRecordPointsPrevious
1North Georgia (15)19-23991
2West Texas A&M20-13852
3Rogers State14-43594
4Tampa12-43523
5Grand Valley State8-33275
6UT Tyler16-53266
7Cal State San Marcos10-53017
8Indianapolis13-22908
9Colorado Christian19-22709
10Mississippi College13-323913
11Wingate19-423314
12Central Oklahoma12-623012
13West Alabama12-719310
14Western Washington15-218216
15East Stroudsburg10-418017
16Pittsburg State18-217218
17Charleston11-114319
18Saint Leo14-511520
19Nova Southeastern12-59815
20Wilmington4-59011
21Northwest Nazarene12-28222
22Southern Arkansas13-67521
23Lenoir-Rhyne19-55525
24Concordia15-43824
25Angelo State18-72323


Receiving Votes: Washburn (15), Ohio Dominican (8), Cal State Dominguez Hills (7), Francis Marion (7), AUM (6).

UINDY MEN’S GOLF

MEN’S GOLF OPENS SPRING SCHEDULE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

GREENWOOD, S.C.— The UIndy men’s golf team kicked off its spring slate this week at the Bearcat Classic, hosted by Lander University at Greenwood Country Club in Greenwood, S.C. The Greyhounds placed 12th in the 20-team field, with eight of the 20 teams receiving votes in the latest Bushnell/Golfweek DII Coaches Poll.

INS & OUTS

Sporting an all-freshman lineup, the Greyhounds saved their best round for last. Their 11-under 277 in Tuesday’s final round—good for the fourth-best score of the day—lifted them three spots in the final team standings. All five Greyhounds finished at even-par or better for the round, with three Hounds finishing in the 60s.

Maverick Conaway carded a pair of 69s on the week, finishing at -6 to lead the team at T-15. He shot a 31 on the final back-9, including an eagle on the 536-yard 15th. Simon Engman (E) settled at T-45 followed by his countryman Alexander Nestun (+4)  at T-61. Cameron Young and Ben Keil finished strong with a final-round 68 and 69, respectively.

UP NEXT

UIndy next competes closer to home at the SVSU Spring Break Invite in Lexington , Ky., March 16-17.

UINDY WOMEN’S TRACK

THREE HOUNDS NAMED INDOOR ALL-REGION BY USTFCCCA

NEW ORLEANS – Ellie Lengerich, Zoe Pentecost, and Sabrina Robison from the UIndy women’s track and field team have been awarded Midwest All-Region Honors. The list was announced by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) on Tuesday. All three Greyhounds are set to compete at the NCAA DII Championships this weekend.

Lengerich finished in first place at the GLVC Champions with 3790 points. This is a new school record and a career-high for the junior. Lengerich enters the weekend 12th overall.

Pentecost is currently ranked No. 1 in the weight throw with a mark of 19.85 meters.  The senior won the GLVC title in the event and finished third last year at the championships.

Robison was the third and final Greyhound to be recognized. The senior won and demolished her own school record at the conference championships in the pole vault after clearing 4.20 meters. With this height, Robison is ranked fourth in Division II.

The national meet is slated to begin on Friday, March 8, and last through March 9. The festivities will take place on the campus of Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kan. 

UINDY SOFTBALL

SMITH PICKS UP LOUISVILLE SLUGGER/WILSON DII CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONORS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kenzee Smith was named the Louisville Slugger/Wilson Co-Pitcher of the Week, announced by the National Fastpitch Association on Tuesday. This is the first time in Smith’s career that she has reached this accomplishment.

Smith was named the GLVC Pitcher of the Week on Monday due to her outstanding performance during the No. 8 Greyhounds’ time in West Virginia.

Smith twirled a pair of shutouts and earned a save in three appearances last weekend. She struck out 28 batters and allowed just three walks over 16.1 innings of work. Smith, a senior from Indianapolis, opened the week with a four-hit shutout with eight punchouts versus Wheeling. She also registered a six-inning shutout against West Liberty in which she fanned 12, surrendered four hits, and did not issue a walk. She tossed 3.1 hitless innings and retired eight batters via strikeout in game two versus WLU. On the year, Smith is 6-0 with a 0.15 ERA and 56 strikeouts.

Braxton Downs was also selected as a top performer this week.

MARIAN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

NO. 1 MARIAN CLAIMS CROSSROADS LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP CROWN 77-66 OVER NO. 4 INDIANA WESLEYAN

INDIANAPOLIS – For the first time since 2020, the Marian women’s basketball team has won the Crossroads League Tournament Championship, as the Knights painted a defensive masterpiece in the second half as they won 77-66 over No. 4 Indiana Wesleyan. Marian’s championship gives them the CL sweep for the first time since 2018, while lifting their record to 30-1 on the year.

The Knights came out aggressive after winning the opening tip, pushing the tempo with a quick 6-0 run. Indiana Wesleyan slowly carved away at the lead by making it a one-point game with 4:21 to play as the low-scoring affair saw 19 combined points. The lead changed hands five times over the final four minutes with the Wildcats taking their first share of the lead, but Marian was able to counter with Ella Collier and Abbey McNally shouldering the offense. Collier put Marian on top 20-19 with 20 seconds to play in the opening quarter, but a brief lapse allowed Klair Merrell to get open for three, as the Knights fell behind 22-20 after one.

Indiana Wesleyan would go on to control most of the second quarter, as Lilli Frasure and Jordan Reid helped boost the Wildcats lead to seven points. Kinnidy Garrard and Tamia Perryman helped Marian stay in the battle, while a pair of three’s from Collier and Bosse after a timeout whittled the deficit to three, but the Wildcats roared back with scores from Jade Nutley. The Wildcats led by as many as 11 points in the second half, but would only lead by nine at the intermission as Abbey McNally and Ella Collier scored to make the contest a three-possession, 47-38 game.

The Knights shot 53 percent from the field in the first half to battle with Indiana Wesleyan’s 58 percent clip, but a difference of five made field goals and four three-point makes allowed the Wildcats to hold an edge.

After making adjustments in the locker room at halftime, Marian attacked the Indiana Wesleyan defense, as Kinnidy Garrard and Ella Collier got to work on offense. Within two minutes the lead was trimmed to five thanks to the two seniors, and with 5:34 to play in the third quarter Marian had cut the gap to one as Collier scored on a fastbreak layup. Marian kept their run going through an IWU timeout and misses by the Wildcats, going on a 10-0 sprint to take the lead as McNally and Garrard scored inside. Maddie Lawrence would tie the game at 52-52 with 3:28 to play in the quarter, but the Wildcats’ defense couldn’t stop Marian as Bosse, Collier, and Perryman out-scored their opponents 6-2 in the final two minutes to capture a 58-54 lead.

Marian out-scored Indiana Wesleyan 20-7 in the third quarter, as their defense allowed just three made shots from the floor.

The intensity on defense continued into the final quarter, as the Knights kicked the door wide open with an 11-0 run that spanned through the first seven minutes of the half. Marian’s suffocating defense forced seven missed shots and four turnovers in the span, as the lead grew to 15 points at a 69-54 mark. A Jade Nutley three-pointer would end the Wildcats drought as their 7-0 run brought the score to an eight-point difference with 1:43 to play.

Leading 69-61, the game turned to a free throw battle for Marian with Garrard, Collier, McNally making trips to the line to keep a multiple-possession lead. Indiana Wesleyan would only come within seven points of Marian’s lead as the Knights’ foul shooters kept the edge, and with 17 seconds Jayla Wehner iced the game, sinking two free throws to give Marian a 77-66 lead. Marian would force a missed three pointer on IWU’s final possession, as Garrard grabbed her 10th rebound to seal the championship with Marian winning 77-66.

The Knights held Indiana Wesleyan to a 21 percent field goal percentage in the second half on Monday night, while shooting 59 percent on their offensive end. Collier led the Knights with a game-high 27 points, and Kinnidy Garrard scored 21 points to go with 10 rebounds for a double-double. McNally also finished with a double-double scoring 13 points to go with 12 rebounds. Bosse finished the night with eight points, and Perryman scored six. Sara Majorosova led the team with five assists, and Wehner had a game-high four steals.

Marian’s win captures the Crossroads League Tournament sweep, giving Marian both titles for the first time since 2017-18. Marian has now won the CL Tournament five times. The Knights win was also their 28th consecutive victory, setting a program record for most consecutive wins.

Marian, the odds-on favorite to be the top-seed in the NAIA National Tournament, will learn their spot in the bracket and their NAIA First Round Opponent on Thursday, March 7 during the NAIA Selection Show. The show airs at 8:00 p.m. ET on the NAIA YouTube channel.

MARIAN WOMEN’S LAX

NO. 8 MARIAN WOMEN’S LACROSSE WINS 11-9 OVER AVE MARIA

Ave Maria, Fla. – The Marian women’s lacrosse started off their two game road-trip with a 11-9 win over Ave Maria. The Knights are now 2-2 overall.

The Knights took action early in the game scoring the first goal, as Ruby Mason scored the first goal of the night. Ella Grace Giedd continued to bring the energy for Marian with two consecutive goals by the 9:21 mark. The Knights continued to dominate with Mason scoring another goal bringing the score 4-0 in favor of the Knights at the midway point of the period. The Gyrenes quickly responded with two back-to-back goals from Abigail Seiler and Lily Hynds to make it a two goal game. Katie Murphy answered Ave Maria’s push and scored two more goals for Marian to bring the score 6-2 at the end of the period.

The Gyrens scored the opening goal for the third period early to decrease the Knights lead. Mason quickly answered scoring a goal two and a half minutes later to bring the lead back up to four points. Ave Maria had no signs of giving up the fight by scoring two goals to bring the difference back down to two goals. Scoring came to a slow after the midway mark ending the period with a score of 7-5 in favor of the Knights.

Ave Maria scored quickly in the second half with Anna Bocchino shooting a free position shot. Murphy got her hand in the mix again after the midway point scoring a goal for the Knights bring the score 8-6. The Gyrenes continued to push at the Knights with another goal bring the game back into a one goal game.

The Knights took the early push in the fourth period with Murphy scoring her fourth goal of the night increasing the lead for the Knights back to two goals. Ashlynn Gray got her hand in the mix at the midway point of the game to bring the score 10-7 in favor of the Knights. The Gyrenes continued to push at the Knights lead with a goal quickly after Gray’s goal. The Knights answered back quickly with Giedd scoring her third goal of the evening to increase Marian’s lead to three points. Ave Maria scored another goal with 2:01 on the clock to bring the score 11-9 in favor of the Knights to finish off the game.

Murphy led the team in goals with four and one assist. Giedd had two goals and one assist, while Mason had two goals.

Madeline Dumke and Alex Dean led the team defensively, with Dean recovering five ground balls recovered and Dumke recording six turnovers. In goal, Katherine Hirsch took the win having 11 saves on the day.

MARIAN SOFTBALL

MARIAN SOFTBALL EARNS PAIR OF WINS ON SECOND DAY IN FLORIDA

Melbourne, Fla. – The Marian softball team earned a pair of wins on their second day during their spring break trip in Florida, defeating Michigan-Dearborn and Roosevelt. The Knights two wins improves their season record to 6-0 overall.

Game 1 | Marian 11-3 Michigan-Dearborn | 6 Innings

The Knights fell behind early in game one on the day as Jaylah Guilliam saw a two-out double turn a previous walk into a run in the top of the first inning. Marian didn’t trail long after Guilliam recorded the final out, as Savannah Harweger reached base with an infield hit and then reached third on a stolen base and wild pitch. Anna Pritchett and Abby Madere followed with back to back walks, setting up Sierra Norman who tripled to right-center, taking advantage of the large outfield to put Marian on top 3-1.

Guilliam found a groove after her first inning and struckout three batters between the second and third innings, retiring the side in order in each inning. In the fourth inning the senior pitcher faced the minimum as a double play ended the inning after allowing a walk, and in the home side she gained run support as Harweger roped a single to score two runs to ignite a five-run frame. Mackenzie Dalton scored on an error to take Marian’s sixth run of the game, and a two-out double from Norman would score two more runs, giving Marian a comfortable 8-1 lead.

Michigan-Dearborn would get back a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning as Lauren Mayer came on to pitch, as the second-year Knight gave up three hits that resulted in two runs. Mayer settled in and ended the inning with a flyout, and after pitching a clean sixth got the support from her offense. A walk drawn by Harweger to start the sixth would be the ninth run for the Knights, as a stolen base and pair of sacrifices scored the fifth-year senior. Sierra Norman and Lily Wendt reached base with back to back hits on a single and double, and after a walk to Hayley Greene, an error off of Abbey Hoffman’s bat scored two runs, giving Marian the run-rule 11-3 victory.

Guilliam earned her second win on the season in the circle, allowing one hit with three strikeouts in four innings of work. Norman had a monster game at the plate, leading Marian with three hits and five RBI. Harweger had two hits and scored three runs, and four other Knights each had one base hit in the win.

Game 2 | Marian 2-0 Roosevelt

Marian’s fourth game of the week was a pitchers’ dual, as Olivia Stunkel and Kate Sisson locked horns. Stunkel got off to a perfect start through eight outs before a two-out single in the third ruined her streak, but the junior stranded the runner with her second strikeout of the game. Marian was able to get a runner on base against Sisson in the first inning, but were held scoreless through six outs of softball as the Lakers slowed the Knights’ offense.

The bats were able to connect in the bottom of the third for Marian as Brooke Knox delivered a one-out single, and a triple from Savannah Harweger drove in the junior to score the game’s first run. Marian’s 1-0 lead would stand as the inning concluded, and held into the sixth inning as Stunkel pitched three scoreless frames. Runners would reach base in each of the three innings, but the junior pitcher prevented any runs from crossing the plate by getting a strikeout to end each frame to protect the shutout.

In the bottom of the sixth Marian got an insurance run for their pitcher, starting the inning by loading the bases on singles from Harweger and Anna Pritchett and a pitch that drilled Abby Madere. The Knights were unable to fully cash in on the bases loaded opportunity as a double play picked up two outs, but a well-hit single from Lily Wendt would drive in Pritchett, giving Marian a 2-0 lead. Stunkel protected the two-run advantage in the seventh, completing the shutout with a three-up, three-down inning to secure the 2-0 victory.

Stunkel allowed three hits in her complete game victory, as the junior improved to 3-0 overall on the season. Stunkel’s shutout featured seven strikeouts to just two walks, getting 10 flyouts in the win. At the plate, Harweger was a perfect 3-3, driving in a run in the win. Pritchett, Wendt, and Knox each had a hit in the win, with the sophomore Wendt also delivering an RBI.

Marian will be off on Wednesday, before returning to the diamond for a pair of late games on Thursday against Lourdes and Lawrence Tech.

MARIAN MEN’S TENNIS

MARIAN MEN’S TENNIS CONTINUES THE SPRING BREAK TRIP WITH A 4-1 WIN OVER COASTAL GEORGIA

Hilton Head, S.C. – The Marian men’s tennis team continued to dominate during the spring break trip on Tuesday afternoon, as the Knights took down Coastal Georgia with a 4-1 score. Marian is now 10-6 overall on the season.

Marian got off to a good starting point with Jona Henze and Marc Soriano at No. 2 with a score of 6-2 to gain the victory over Coastal Georgia, at No. 3 Jan Bartolome and Jones McNamar took another victory for the Knights with a score of 6-4. Allowing Marian to take the lead 1-0. Andrew Ilett and James Ashworth fell to the Mariner’s with a score of 6-2 at No.1.

The Knights continued their lead in to singles with Luis Sobanski won after three sets with 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10) in the tie breaker at No. 2. Henze won at No. 3 with scores of 6-4, 6-3. Ashworth fell to the Mariner’s 3-6, 4-6 at No. 1.

The Knights fell in both No. 5 and No. 6 with Ilett scoring 6-4, 2-4 and Bartolome scoring 6-0 with both matches unfinished. Soriano turned up the heat and won at No. 4 with scores of 5-7, 6-1, and 1-0 (4) in the tie breaker to clinch the victory for the Knights.

Marian will play on March 6th, continuing their spring break matches with a JV contest against the Berry College.

MARIAN WOMEN’S TENNIS

MARIAN WOMEN’S TENNIS CONTINUES TO DOMINATE SPRING BREAK WITH A 4-3 WIN OVER COASTAL GEORGIA

Hilton Head, S.C. – The Marian women’s tennis team continues their spring break matches with another win on Tuesday afternoon over Coastal Georgia in a 4-3 score. The Knights are now 11-4 overall on the season.

Marian opened the afternoon matches, winning two of the three doubles matches to gain a 1-0 lead. Michelle Irigoyen and Katharina Bopst won No. 1 doubles with a score of 7-5, and Ana Barbosa Fernandez and Yasmin Imamniyazova won No. 2 doubles with a score of 7-6. Isadora Muller and Paloma Caceres Villalba fell to Costal Georgia by a score of 6-4.

The Knights won three out of the six singles matches, starting off with Barbosa Fernandez’s win at No. 2, as she gained a 6-0, 6-1 victory. Irigoyen won No. 3 with a 6-2, 6-3 score. Imamniyazova fell to a 6-1, 6-2 Costal Georgia victory in No. 1 singles.

Bopst fought a tough three set match but ended up falling in two tie breakers against Coastal Georgia 4-6, 7-6 (4), 1-0 (7). Canceres Villalba fell to a 6-4, 6-4 set in favor of Costal Georgia. Muller gained a win at No. 6 with a 6-1, 6-2 score claiming the Knights victory.

Marian will play on March 6th, continuing their spring break matches with a JV contest against the Berry College.

MARIAN MEN’S GOLF

MARIAN OPENS SPRING WITH NINTH PLACE PERFORMANCE AT KEISER KUP

West Palm Beach, Fla. – The Marian men’s golf team opened their spring schedule for the 2024 season, placing ninth at the Keiser Kup, hosted at Okeeheelee Golf Course by Keiser University. Augie Mann was the top individual for the Knights over the three days, finishing in a tie for 11th in the 54-hole tournament.

Keiser earned the win in the tournament shooting an 843 for the three rounds, while Texas Wesleyan finished second. Palm Beach Atlantic, Keiser’s ‘B’ team, and St. Thomas would round out the top-five. Marian finished ninth overall, shooting an 889 for the three days, scoring a total of 37 shots over par. Marian’s top round came on Monday in round two with a 288, bouncing back from Monday’s 304. On Tuesday the Knights shot a 297.

Marian’s top individual was Augie Mann, who shot a two-over 215 for the three days. Mann shot a 74 in round one, followed by rounds of 72 and 69 to end with his two-over score and 11th place performance. Mann played as an individual in the field, with his score not reflecting Marian’s team score in the lineup.

Weston Ogden tied for 22nd in the tournament, scoring a 220 for the three rounds with round scores of 77, 71, and 72. Nolan Potter would finish tied for 27th with his score of 221, shooting a 73, 71, and 77 in the respective three rounds. Brandon Heffner carded a 222 and finished 30th overall, firing round scores of 75 in the first and third round, while taking a 72 in the scorecard in round two. Lane Zedrick tied for 49th overall with a final total of 227, and Luke Beetz tied for 59th with a final score of 231 for three rounds.

Will Pruitt also played as an individual, tying for 61st with his 232 score.

Marian will next play in Ocean Isle, North Carolina, competing in the IU East Big Cats Collegiate. The Tournament will be played on Wednesday March 13 and Thursday March 14.

VINCENNES MEN’S BASKETBALL

KING CATCHES FIRE FROM THREE, LEADS NO. 4 BLAZERS TO WIN ON SOPHOMORE NIGHT

VINCENNES, Ind. – The Vincennes University men’s basketball team climbed up one spot this week in the final NJCAA Division I National Rankings for the 2023-24 season to No. 4 in the country.

The Blazers closed down the 2023-24 regular season Tuesday night in the Physical Education Complex on Sophomore night and came away with an 84-65 victory over the Kaskaskia College Blue Devils.

VU sophomore Kris King (Washington, D.C.) caught fire from behind the arc in the second half Tuesday night, connecting on six of eight three-point shots and scored 20 of his career-high 26 points in the second half.

Vincennes got off to a great start Tuesday night, working the ball into the paint and putting together an early 8-0 scoring run to take an 8-2 lead.

Kaskaskia would battle back and even the score at 28-28 before VU picked up the first double-digit lead of the night with an 11-0 run to lead 39-28.

The Blue Devils answered with a pair of buckets before halftime, cutting the deficit to seven and heading into the locker room break trailing the Blazers 39-32.

Vincennes again looked to create some separation on the scoreboard early in the second half and were able to use an 8-3 run to take a 50-37 lead before growing the lead even further with an 8-0 run to take a 60-43 lead.

The teams would trade baskets for most of the later part of the second half, with Kaskaskia unable to go on a scoring run of their own before VU helped seal the game with five unanswered to take their largest lead of the night at 84-61.

Kaskaskia would score the final two baskets of the game but were unable to get back within single digits as VU closed out the 2023-24 regular season winning 84-65 over the Blue Devils.

“In the first half I thought we got out hit,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin said. “That’s the best way I can put it. I thought we were losing the screen fight in the first half. I thought we were sticking on their screens instead of beating their screens. We made enough plays to lead by seven at the half. There wasn’t that big of a differential in points in the second half but I thought there was a big difference in our intensity of getting through the screen game.”

“I thought in the second half we did a better job of pressuring the ball instead of sitting back and letting their guys pick it apart,” Franklin added. “And we did a better job of fighting the screens. When we didn’t fight the screens, they scored. Any time we got stuck, whether the came off of it and made a play or they threw it back to Jenkins and he’s hitting top of the key threes, which for some reason when he sees us it’s what he likes to do. But I thought we got a little tougher as the game went along. Then Kris, obviously hit some shots.”

“I thought we moved the ball fairly well against the zone,” Franklin said. “We’ve seen zone all year. We’ve had one bad stretch in the last 10 minutes at Logan but other than that we’ve been okay against zone. Like I said, we see it all the time. Everybody thinks that’s going to be something that will bother us but I thought we did a pretty good job with that.”

“I thought Dink gave us good energy,” Franklin added. “Obviously the King twins had pretty good nights. Kris obviously shot the heck out of it. Mike was pretty good. Especially early in the game. He was getting us going when we needed it. But we got more competitive as the game went along. It’s a funky night when you play on Sophomore Night. But Kaskaskia, when they play like that, is a good basketball team. When they go about their business like that, they can be a real problem. They were a problem and they would have beaten a lot of people tonight. The were 50-percent from the floor and we were guarding them pretty good. We were fighting them in a way that our defense is usually pretty good. We were a little bit soft, I thought, in the first half but as the game went along we were fighting at a pretty high level. I think they played well, we just played a little bit better.”

VU was led offensively by a big night by sophomore Kris King, who closed out his final VU home game in style with a career-high 26 points and six made three-point baskets.

Sophomore Michael Osei-Bonsu (Bolingbrook, Ill.) got the Vincennes scoring going early and finished his night with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Sophomore Kent King (Washington, D.C.) got the starting nod Tuesday night and filled up the stats sheet with 11 points, a team-high six assists and five rebounds.

Freshmen Damarien Yates (Somerville, Tenn.) and Lebron Thomas (Bishopville, S.C.) came off the bench to score in double figures for the Blazers, with Yates finishing with 11 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals, while Thomas finished with 10 points, four assists and a team-high three steals.

Sophomores Karyiek Dixon (Enfield, London, UK), Victor Lado (Louisville, Ky.) and Ryan Oliver (Antioch, Tenn.) also closed out their final game inside the Physical Education Complex Tuesday night, with Dixon finishing with six points, seven rebounds and three assists. Lado added six points and three rebounds, while Oliver ended his night with four assists and two rebounds.

“It’s been a heck of a run for these sophomores,” Franklin said. “We brought them in here when Covid was finally over to kind of get restarted after that. Last year we were a little unfortunate that we had Lebron hurt all year and still won 30 games. We still won all but one game at home and the team that beat us ended up being the National Champs and we probably gave them as good of a game as they had.”

“We won all the rest of them and our schedule at home that we’ve played the past two years has been outstanding,” Franklin added. “These are not just a bunch of JV’s that we’re playing. We are playing real games every night. So for them to go through that for two years and only lose one game at home and for this sophomore class to lose none at home this year, with our schedule, really was outstanding and really didn’t have a game that came down to the last minute or so to determine it either.”

“They have done a heck of a job to win this regular season title,” Franklin said. “It’s hard. These are very difficult things, especially in the old school way that we do it where we play everybody twice home and away. To go 14-2 and we missed a couple of one footers in games we had leads in or we could have possibly been 16-0. I think that’s a heck of a job. Olney pushed us. Olney is a legitimate top-20 team, no question about that. They pushed us to have to go all the way to the last game of the season. We had to beat them late and we knew we couldn’t lose coming down the stretch. Didn’t think they would lose and made us push. But our guys did.”

“I’m proud of the fact that they regrouped after Logan and finally came to my way of thinking just a little bit on how hard edged we have to be on things,” Franklin added. “And I thought we did a much better job of that since then, except for the first half of this game tonight. I thought, maybe because it’s sophomore night, we backed off a little bit. But really since we got back from Logan, we’ve been pretty tough and if we can continue that into the postseason, that would be great.”

“But they’ve been a great group,” Franklin said. “They are good guys. I’ve got to push them all the time because that’s my job. But they are good guys. They have been guys that have been good in the classroom for the most part. There’s always going to be a silly thing that young guys are going to do at some point but there have really been no major issues. They are good people to be around and I think they are going to be good men in the future. We don’t trade it off when we get our guys. So for us to win games like we do or to win championships, everybody can know you are doing it with good people. Not perfect people, but good people and this group is good people. They are getting better and we’ll see if we can push it a little bit further.”

“To start the year top five and finish top five, win the league, really have a chance to win every game,” Franklin added. “We’re 27-3 and obviously our losses are to good teams on the road in games where we had a chance. To almost certainly going back to Hutch. I don’t know how in the world you can possibly keep us out now. I’m proud of them, but we’ve got more work to do.”

The Trailblazers earned the 2023-24 NJCAA Division I Region 24 Regular Season Championship Tuesday night and have secured the No. 1 seed in next week’s Central District Tournament hosted by Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill.

Vincennes will begin their postseason run Monday, March 11 at Rend Lake against an opponent that is to be determined.

The Central District Tournament will continue throughout the week with the Semi-final round being played on Wednesday, March 13 and the Championship game scheduled for Friday, March 15.

The winner of the Central District Championship will earn an automatic bid into the 2024 NJCAA Division I National Championship tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. later this month.

“We’re just going to have to play hard,” Franklin said. “Get down in the stance, work and fight. Kaskaskia is going to make you do it. That’s postseason basketball. But if you thought it wasn’t going to be that way, they told you tonight it is. We know what we can do when we get determined. But we have to be determined.”

“This doesn’t just come to us,” Franklin added. “Even this season, a lot of people had expectations like we had about four or five starters back. We had one starter back. We lost our All-American in Caleb. Four of the five starters from last year are not back. We had one starter, one guy that was a sixth man and another guy who played in the rotation at the end of the year in Ryan. A lot of guys had to improve, had to step up and had to form a new team. It wasn’t like last year’s team came back, that’s not the case. Now, we’ve had guys that have seen things and been through things, so that gives you a little bit of an advantage. But this team has been developing all year. They’ve had great achievements throughout but they are still developing.”

“I think this team was given the expectations that it was already there,” Franklin said. “And it wasn’t. Our leader from last year was Tasos, who is gone. Our All-American in Caleb is gone. 6-9 center is gone. Trenton Johnson, who was a glue guy and started is gone. Devawn White, who was a really good, tough minded guy that did the right things is gone. We had to have new guys step up and become leaders and get better as players and they’ve done that. It was like it was going to be easy for them and that’s not fair. Because it’s not easy for them when you look at the schedule. We’re still learning how to be those leaders but we’ve made a big jump since we got back from Logan and at that time, we had been top-10 in the country all year. So it sounds silly for me to say it, but it’s not silly, it’s true. That’s just the natural progression in JuCo and this team was no different.”

“We didn’t bring back four starters or have an All-American back this year who was the certified leader,” Franklin added. “Lebron didn’t practice all year last year. He didn’t practice at all until the Spring after the season. They are all getting there. They are improving and they have done a heck of a job living up to some pretty high expectations coming into this season. It’s almost impossible to realistically expect them to do much better than they have done when you sit back and look at it. I’m proud of them. It’s good to enjoy this. But as I said in the locker room, is that it? We won the regular season. That’s a great thing. We’ve had a great regular season and finished top-four in the country. But we’ve got to push forward to do more and I think they all want to, so that’s what we are going to try to do.”

TAYLOR MEN’S BASKETBALL

ANDREWS NOT RETURNING AS HEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH AT TAYLOR

UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Kyle Gould, announced on Tuesday that Josh Andrews would not be returning as TU’s head men’s basketball coach following the conclusion of his 11th season at the helm for the Trojans.

“Josh Andrews represented Taylor Athletics and our men’s basketball program with integrity and dedication for eleven years as our head coach,” stated Gould. “His tenure was marked with many highlights and accomplishments, and he was fully committed to the development and discipleship of the young men he recruited into the program. We wish him and his family nothing but success moving forward.”

Taylor’s Vice President for Student Development and Intercollegiate Athletics, Skip Trudeau, added, “We appreciate Josh’s contributions to our program and we wish him success in his next endeavor.”

Andrews took over the TU men’s basketball program for the 2013-2014 season as just the third Taylor head coach since the start of the 1947-1948 campaign, following Hall of Famers, Don Odle and Paul Patterson to the position.

In his 11 years with the Trojans, Andrews saw his squad pick up 148 wins, while producing 21 All-Crossroads League honors and two NAIA All-Americans. The Trojans were especially tough inside Odle Arena, going 92-68 under Andrews, while scoring 13 victories over top-25 foes on the home planks.

The highlight campaign came in 2016-2017, with Andrews leading the Trojans to a 21-12 clip that included a 73-67 win over No. 8 Warner in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament. TU matched its best start in program history that year at 10-0, climbed as high as No. 7 in the NAIA Top-25 Poll and set program records for three-pointers made in a single game and a single season.

In addition to those on-court accomplishments, Andrews’ teams routinely rated among the finest in the classroom in the NAIA, ranking top-10 in team grade-point average four times in the past six years.

“My family and I are grateful to have been a part of the Taylor community the past eleven years,” said Andrews. “We are so thankful for the contributions of the players and assistants, past and present, who sacrificed and invested to pursue excellence. Special thanks to the incredible men’s basketball alumni base for welcoming and supporting us. Taylor is an amazing place and it has been a thrill and honor to help develop young men, while seeking to represent Christ from the prestigious helm of the men’s basketball program.”

Taylor will begin a national search for its next head men’s basketball coach immediately, with the successful candidate taking over a program that ranks 12th in all-time wins for an NAIA men’s basketball program.

SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS

INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/

EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/

WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/

FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/

ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/

ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index

TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index

BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/

DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/

HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/

MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/

HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/

OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx

ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index

IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/

IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/

IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/

PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/

INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx

GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/

ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/

GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/

HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php

TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/

VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index

FOOTBALL HISTORY

Happy Birthday Jim Conzelman

March 6, 1898 – St. Louis, Missouri – Jimmy Conzelman  the quarterback of the Great lakes Navy Blue Jackets in 1918 and the Washington University of St. Louis Pikers in 1919 arrived into this world. We have much more on this legend.

HOF Birthdays

March 6, 1927 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The brilliant end of the Oklahoma Sooners from 1946 through 1949, Jim Owens was born.

March 6, 1942 – Dallas, Texas – The quarterback who played at SMU in 1961 then transferred to play the same position in 1963 and 1964 for Tulsa, Jerry Rhome celebrated his birth.  The NFF’s bio on Rhome tells how in 1963 Jerry was third in the nation in passing as well the third highest collegian in total offense. He tossed many of those passes to the top receiver in the country, Howard Twilley. For the 1964 season, Jerry was credited with 32 touchdown passes, including seven in one game against Louisville. Rhome was an All-America selection and was named Player of the Year by the Academy of Sports Editors, the Washington Touchdown Club, and the Knute Rockne Club. He received the Walter Camp Trophy and was runner-up in the Heisman vote. Tulsa retired his jersey, No. 17 after the completion of his playing time there. The National Football Foundation carried the gridiron legacy of Jerry Rhome into the College football Hall of Fame in 1998.

March 6, 1943 – Houston, Texas – Ronnie Caveness the two way center and linebacker from the University of Arkansas from 1962 to 1964 was born. The FootballFoundation.org says that Ronnie was a First-Team all-American in his senior campaign of 1964 as he helped the Razorbacks take a share of the National Championship. There were a couple of other notable players on that Championship team of the Razorbacks in ‘64… Jimmy Johnson, a 2012  College Hall of Fame inductee as a coach and 2020 Pro Football HOF enshrinee, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The College Football Hall of Fame included the name of Ronnie Caveness in 2010. Ronnie was picked up in the AFL by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1965, as he spent one year with the franchise before playing out the remainder of his five-year professional career with the Houston Oilers.

March 6, 1950 – Birmingham, Alabama – The Crimson Tide running back from 1969 through the 1971 season, Johnny Musso was born. Johnny was a straightforward bruising back and described in his NFF bio as a bulldozer type of runner. Musso made  the All-America selections in 1970 and 1971 and as a senior he was fourth in the Heisman vote. The American Football Coaches Association gave him the Ernie Davis Award. Johnny Musso was selected by the National Football Foundation voters in 2000 to secure a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1884      High winds tear off the grandstand roof of Manhattan’s Southeast Diamond, but the one-year-old ballpark will be ready for the Gothams’ National League home opener on May 1st. The team, renamed the Giants next season, will win their first dozen games at the repaired facility at 5th Avenue and 110th street, commonly referred to as the Polo Grounds because the sport of kings took place in the 1870s at the site.

1907      The courts formally acquit Phillies’ owner A.J. Reach and John Rogers from damages resulting from the 1903 Baker Bowl disaster. A balcony had collapsed at the Broad Street and Lehigh Avenue ballpark, killing 12 and leaving 232 fans injured.

1923      The Cardinals announce that players will wear numbers on their uniforms’ sleeves, with the digits corresponding to their place in the batting order. The Redbirds strongly disapproved of the concept implemented by St. Louis manager Branch Rickey, who acted on a suggestion from sportswriter John Sheridan.

1938      The Phillies trade first baseman Dolph Camilli to the Dodgers for utility player Eddie Morgan and $45,000. The heavy-hitting infielder will spend six seasons in Brooklyn, having his best year in 1941 when he wins the National League MVP after leading the circuit in home runs and RBIs.

1945      In some of the fiercest fighting of World War II, Harry O’Neill is killed in the battle for Iwo Jima. In 1939, the fallen Marine played one game in the major leagues, appearing with the A’s as a catcher.

1948      The Braves acquire All-Star second baseman Eddie Stanky from the Dodgers for Bama Rowell and $60,000. This season, the 32-year-old hard-nosed infielder, known as the Brat, will play a pivotal role in Boston’s National League championship.

1951      Perennial loser Charlie Brown, who made his debut in Charles Schultz’s Peanut comic strip last October, appears in his first baseball game. The team’s pitcher and the manager usually fielded the following lineup first baseman – Shermy, second baseman – Linus, third baseman – Pig-pen, shortstop – Snoopy, right fielder – Lucy, center fielder -Patty, left fielder -Violet, and catcher – Schroeder.

1971      Joe Cronin, the AL president, defers to A’s owner Charlie Finley’s request to allow three balls, rather than four, to constitute a base on balls during an exhibition game against the Brewers. The experiment, designed to add offense and speed up the game, proves tedious for both teams when 19 walks are issued and six homers clear the fence during the 13-9 spring training victory for Oakland.

1973      In a spring training game against the Pirates, Larry Hisle becomes the first designated hitter in major league history. The contention that the new American League rule will add more offense to the game appears correct when the Twins’ DH hits two homers and drives in seven runs.

1976      Before the return of natural grass is in place for Opening Day, approximately a thousand people show up at Comiskey Park to get a piece of the 18,000 square feet of artificial turf covering the infield that Bill Veeck made available to the fans. The new White Sox owner, sensing a lack of public interest during the work stoppage, decided to stage the promotion to spark interest in the upcoming season, reminding fans, “when you go to the ballpark, you are entitled to the smell of freshly cut grass.”

1987      Free agent Andre Dawson signs a blank contract to join the Cubs. The former player for the Expos will win the National League MVP, making him a bargain at $500,000, the amount Chicago decided to pay the All-Star outfielder.

2001      The dedication of two sculptures, located 60 feet, six inches apart, depicting Johnny Podres pitching to Roy Campanella during the seventh game of the 1955 World Series, takes place on the south lawn of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The life-sized bronze statues, designed by figurative sculptor Stanley Bleifeld, were donated by an ardent Dodger fan Sheldon Fireman.

2001      Bill Mazeroski, the 1960 World Series hero who compiled a .260 batting average during his 17 seasons with the Pirates, is elected into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. The group, who met in closed sessions and cast multiple classified ballots, also selected six-time All-Star right-hander Hilton Smith, a pitching standout with the Kansas City Monarchs, often overshadowed by his teammate Satchel Paige.

2005      Suzyn Waldman, making her debut with John Sterling on WCBS-AM (880), the Yankees radio flagship, becomes the first woman in big-league history to be a full-time color commentator. The former radio-talk host on WFAN, the first all-sports radio station in the country, was the first female to broadcast on a nationally telecast baseball game and the first local TV (Yankees) major league play-by-play announcer.

2020      Twenty-eight-year-old outfielder Chris Yelich signs the most extended and richest deal in Brewers’ history, agreeing to a seven-year, $187.25 million contract extension. The agreement most likely keeps the 2018 National League Most Valuable Player, who won the National League’s batting title last two seasons in Milwaukee for the remainder of his career.

BASEBALL YEAR IN REVIEW: 1932 (BASEBALL ALMANAC)

Off the field…

Charles A. Lindbergh, the American aviator who made the first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris, faced every parent’s nightmare after his child was kidnapped and murdered. In March, Lindberg’s son was abducted from his own bedroom with a ransom demand of $50,000 for his release. After paying the sum, Lindberg’s son was not returned infuriating the country and sparking one of the largest manhunts in modern history. In September, the missing child’s battered body was found near Hopewell and further investigation revealed a suspect named Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was found in possession of the ransom. In a sensational trial at Flemington, New Jersey, Hauptmann was convicted of murder and electrocuted on April 3rd, 1936.

In the American League…

On May 16th, the New York Yankees recorded their fourth straight shutout to equal the American League record set by both Cleveland and Boston in 1903 and 1906. The Pinstripes “perfect rotation” included Johnny Allen, George Pipgras, Red Ruffing, and Lefty Gomez who combined for an 8-0 triumph over the Indians.

Lou Gehrig, of the New York Yankees, tallied four consecutive homeruns during a 20-13 slugfest against the Philadelphia Athletics on June 3rd. Teammate Tony Lazzeri hit for the cycle and the Bronx Bombers also set a Major League record with forty-one extra bases.

Washington Senators third baseman Ossie Bluege tied the American League record after being walked five times in the first game of a doubleheader that was eventually won by the Detroit Tigers 8-6.

In the National League…

First baseman Bill Terry tied a National League record on April 17th with twenty-one putouts as the New York Giants topped the Boston Braves 6-0 at the Polo Grounds.

Pittsburgh standout Paul Waner tied a Major League mark with four doubles in five at bats as the Pirates topped the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 on May 20th. Waner would later go on to break Chuck Klein’s National League record for most doubles in a season with sixty-two.

John Quinn of the Brooklyn Dodgers became the oldest pitcher (at forty-nine) to win a Major League baseball game after relieving Van Mungo in the ninth to beat the New York Giants 2-1 on August 14th. Teammate Johnny Frederick had tied the game with his fourth pinch-hit homerun of the year setting a new major league record and would go on to add two more before the season’s end.

Around the League…

On May 30th, a commemorative plaque in memory of former Yankee manager Miller Huggins was dedicated at Yankees Stadium initiating an array of tributes that would later evolve into “Monument Park”.

At a June 22nd meeting of the National League club presidents, a committee finally approved the addition of numbers on player uniforms. The American League’s New York Yankees had initiated the concept in 1929 with the rest of the American League following close behind.

After holding several hearings, Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis cleared Rogers Hornsby on charges of fraudulently “borrowing” money from several Chicago Cubs players. The investigation was initiated after local papers in the “Windy City” reported that Hornsby had obtained money from players to bet on horse races or to share in joint ventures.

During a joint meeting of American and National League owners on December 15th, the concept of “chain store” baseball (originally developed as the St. Louis Cardinal farm system) was approved despite objections by Judge Landis.

NUMBERS IN SPORTS

3 – 9 – 21 – 77

March 6, 1922 – The New York Yankees signed star slugger, Number 3, Babe Ruth to a $52,000 per year contract.

March 6, 1982 – The Highest scoring game in NBA history occurred when the San Antonio Spurs knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks 171-161 after three Over Time sessions!

March 6, 1985 – Legends from the diamond, Enos Slaughter, Number 9 the lefthanded batting right fielder most famously of the St Louis Cardinals during the 1940s,and Arky Vaughan, Number 21 the longtime infielder of the Pittsburgh Pirates are both elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

March 6, 2000 – Ray Bourque the vaunted defenseman and longtime captain of the Boston Briuns was traded to the the Colorado Avalanche. He famously wore the Number 77 on his sweater with both clubs

TODAY IN NBA HISTORY

March 6, 1982

The Spurs defeated Milwaukee 171-166 in triple-overtime in San Antonio in what was then the highest scoring game in NBA history. The mark of 337 points was erased when Detroit beat Denver 186-184, also in triple-overtime, on December 13, 1983 for a total of 370 points.

March 6, 2000

Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers scored an NBA season-high 61 points to go with 23 rebounds in the Lakers’ 123-103 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers.

March 6, 2001

The Portland Trail Blazers retired the No. 22 jersey worn by versatile guard Clyde Drexler, who played for the team for more than 11 seasons from 1983 to 1995.

March 6, 2019

With a driving layup in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers surpassed Michael Jordan’s 32,292 career points. In doing so, James became the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history. Despite his efforts, though, the Lakers lost the game, 115-99.

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY

1920 — Mickey Roach of Toronto scores five goals to lead the St. Patricks to an 11-2 rout of the Quebec Bulldogs.

1964 — Boxing legend Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam and changes his name to ”Muhammad Ali″, calling his former title a “slave name”.

1976 — Dorothy Hamill wins the World Figure Skating Championships in Goteberg, Sweden.

1977 — Montclair State’s Carol Blazejowski scores 52 points against Queens College, setting a new collegiate scoring record (for men or women) in the current Madison Square Garden in New York.

1982 — The San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks combine for 337 points in the highest scoring game in NBA history, to that point. The Spurs win, 171-166, in three overtimes.

1983 — The 12-team United States Football League begins its first season with five games.

1984 — Dale Hawerchuck of the Winnipeg Jets sets the NHL record for most assists in one period, with five in the second period of a 7-3 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings.

1988 — Julie Krone becomes the winningest female jockey in history with her 1,205th career victory. Krone rides a filly named Squawter to victory in the ninth race at Aqueduct Racetrack.

TV SPORTS WEDNESDAY

AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL (MEN’S)

3:30 a.m. (Thursday)

FS2 — AFL: Melbourne at Sydney

CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

7 p.m.

NHLN — Sault Ste. Marie at Sudbury

COLLEGE BASKETBALL (MEN’S)

6:30 p.m.

FS1 — Villanova at Seton Hall

7 p.m.

BTN — Northwestern at Michigan St.

ESPN2 — Tennessee at South Carolina

ESPNU — Boston College at Miami

SECN — LSU at Arkansas

7:30 p.m.

CBSSN — Xavier at Butler

8:30 p.m.

FS1 — UConn at Marquette

9 p.m.

BTN — Indiana at Minnesota

ESPN2 — BYU at Iowa St.

ESPNU — Mississippi St. at Texas A&M

SECN — Vanderbilt at Kentucky

9:30 p.m.

CBSSN — Utah St. at San Jose St.

10:30 p.m.

FS1 — Fresno St. at New Mexico

COLLEGE BASKETBALL (WOMEN’S)

11 a.m.

SECN — Southeastern Tournament: Georgia vs. Kentucky, First Round, Greenville, S.C.

1 p.m.

ACCN — Atlantic Coast Tournament: Boston College vs. Clemson, First Round, Greensboro, N.C.

1:30 p.m.

SECN — Southeastern Tournament: Missouri vs. Florida, First Round, Greenville, S.C.

3 p.m.

PAC-12N — Pac-12 Tournament: Oregon vs. Colorado, First Round, Las Vegas

3:30 p.m.

ACCN — Atlantic Coast Tournament: Pittsburgh vs. Georgia Tech, First Round, Greensboro, N.C.

5 p.m.

ESPNU — Ball St. at Kent St.

5:30 p.m.