Monthly Archives: February 2018

Loyola-Chicago peels away from Valpo for 70-54 win

Clayton Custer scored 18 points with five assists and four steals and Loyola-Chicago pulled away from Valparaiso in the second half for a 70-54 win on Sunday.

Aundre Jackson added 12 points, Donte Ingram 11 and Cameron Krutwig 10. Ingram and Krutwig each had seven rebounds. Loyola-Chicago (16-4, 6-2 Missouri Valley) protected the ball with 16 assists on 27 made shots and committed just eight turnovers.

Fordham enters on the opposite end of the spectrum as losers of five straight games and seven of its last eight games.

In a 68-46 loss at Saint Joseph’s last Saturday, Fordham was led by junior guard Joseph Chartouny and junior forward Prokop Slanina, who each scored 11 points with Slanina adding eight rebounds and two blocks and Chartouny seven rebounds along with four assists and two steals.

No. 20 Florida made it back into the Top 25 this week and has won eight of nine after a bit of a slump. The Gators will meet South Carolina in this SEC game at 7 p.m. but aren’t too concerned about that Elite Eight loss.

Last year was last year, Florida coach Mike White said. It’s a completely different game. Both teams are different.

I feel like we have a good thing going right now; out defense has definitely picked up, Hudson said. (But) I feel like we have a long way to go.

The team’s offense also is doing much better. Now averaging 81.2 points per game, Florida has four players scoring in double figures.

Hudson leads the way with 16.5 points per game. Egor Koulechov (14.4), Chris Chiozza (12.3) and KeVaughn Allen (11.3) also are pitching in as the Gators’ offense has been more consistent in recent games.

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Creighton gets 3rd straight season sweep of St John’s 68-63

Marcus Foster had 24 points and eight rebounds, Khyri Thomas added 19 points and seven boards, and Creighton got its third straight season sweep of St. John’s with a 68-63 victory on Tuesday night.

The latest malady to afflict Plunkett, who has undergone 18 surgeries, is Bell’s palsy, which a neurologist told him is the main factor behind his pulsating headaches. It’s another link in the chain for 1970 Heisman Trophy winner, whose daily regimen of medication is tough to read.

He takes six pills in the morning, seven at night for his heart, blood pressure and other problems. Plunkett usually takes an opioid to play a round of golf, but otherwise stays away from the addictive painkillers. In early summer, he even tried hemp oil for a month but stopped when he didn’t see any results.

It was disappointing because we had a golden opportunity going into the last few minutes of the game, coach Ben Howland said.

Kentucky: After committing 33 turnovers in consecutive losses, the Wildcats improved slightly with just 11 against the Bulldogs and better composure down the stretch. Controlling the boards was key with Hamidou Diallo and Jarred Vanderbilt each grabbing seven while Knox, Washington and Gabriel had six each. They also defended the perimeter, holding MSU to 5-of-29 shooting.

Who wouldn’t want to ditch the parents to root on the Birds?

Even Villanova’s coach knows the top team in the nation is no match in Philly fandom compared to the team in green.

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No. 20 Florida on roll heading into meeting with South Carolina

When last they met, Florida and South Carolina were trying for a spot in last spring’s Final Four. The Gamecocks won that matchup in New York City but the Gators aren’t really thinking much about revenge when it comes to Wednesday’s meeting in Gainesville — they just want to come up with another Southeastern Conference victory.

Offense has been an issue for South Carolina all season. The Gamecocks are averaging just 70.7 points per game and never have scored over 80 points.

Meanwhile, Florida has gone over 80 nine times and even scored more than 100 in four games.

This is the third consecutive ranked team that South Carolina has played, and they’ve got No. 14 Texas Tech coming next. The Gamecocks are coming off of a 70-63 loss versus Tennessee.

Chris Silva leads South Carolina in scoring, averaging 14.3 points per game. Frank Booker is second at 11.3 points, and those are the only two Gamecocks in double figures now.

Valpo took the lead 32-31 with a 9-4 run after being down four at halftime, but Marques Townes had a jumper, Custer followed with a 3-pointer, and Jackson made a jumper and a 3 and the Ramblers were on their way. Custer buried back-to-back 3s and added a layup and the lead was 49-36.

Bakari Evelyn made a layup and a pair of free throws to reduce the deficit to 52-45 but the Crusaders couldn’t get closer. Evelyn scored 19 points and Derrik Smits and Tevonn Walker each scored 14 to lead the Crusaders (11-10, 2-6), which made just 3 of 14 from 3-point range.

Of the ranking, Hurley said his team will not feel added pressure.

It’s attention you can’t run from, said Hurley, whose brother, Bobby Hurley, has Arizona State ranked No. 21. They should be excited about it and want to keep it going.

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Genie Bouchard agrees to another Super Bowl-based date

NFL Canada played matchmaker Monday.

The league’s Twitter feed for north of the border offered to reunite tennis player Genie Bouchard and the man who got a date with her based on the Patriots’ comeback win in Super Bowl 51.

University of Missouri student John Goehrke struck up the relationship on a whim, asking Bouchard to agree to a date if the Patriots, trailing 28-3 at one point, came back to beat the Falcons, which New England did.

Paul added 16 points as Houston won its third straight, and Eric Gordon had 16, too, despite continuing to struggle from long range. Gordon ranks fourth in the NBA with 136 3-pointers this season, but has gone a combined 0 for 16 the last two games.

Houston led by 3 entering the fourth, and the teams exchanged leads several times in the first few minutes of the quarter.

The 1995 Super Bowl halftime show, produced by Disney, was meant to help build a buzz around the new Indiana Jones Adventure ride at Disneyland. With the random addition of Patti LaBelle and Tony Bennett, it ended up being one of the most strange, confusing and hilarious halftime performances of all time.

We can thank this halftime show for pushing the NFL to become more of a halftime concert than a Broadway production. Michael Jackson performed the halftime show the following year.

Besides this honor, the 25-year-old earned his first Pro Bowl berth after having by far his best statistical season of his twice-interrupted five-year career. Essentially, he picked up where he’d left off in 2015, when he suffered his season-ending kidney injury in his eighth game. He was on pace for roughly 120 catches and 1,500 yards.

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No. 19 Auburn faces Missouri in battle of Tigers

Auburn coach Bruce Pearl is a little worried.

Our 3-point percentage defense is not very good, Pearl said Monday, according to the website SEC Country. I think that has to do with some of our size. Teams that shoot open 3’s tend to make them. When they get contested 3’s, either because of length or things like that, they tend to miss them.

Brown is 6-foot-3, but his backcourt partner, Jared Harper, is 5-11, and Auburn’s tallest starter, 6-foot-7 Anfernee McLemore, will have to contend with a Missouri front line that runs 6-11, 6-10 and 6-7.

Bryce Brown is a tough cover, Pearl told SEC Country. People are starting to now hip-pocket him and just chase him everywhere he goes. He is going to see a different level of attention now, so we will figure out how we will take advantage of that.

Rider (14-7, 7-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference), which had fallen behind by six, finished the game on an 8-0 run, scoring the winning points in an extended scrum underneath the basket. Vaughn missed a jump shot with 13 seconds remaining, Tyere Marshall controlled the rebound and got the ball to Vaughn, who missed a layup. Vaughn grabbed the board and went back up for a tip-in with 8.5 seconds on the clock.

Fairfield’s Tyler Nelson went to the line with a chance to tie, but missed both free throws and Vaughn leapt and wrapped up the miss as time expired.

Jordan Allen added 19 points with four 3-pointers for Rider, Stevie Jordan scored 17 and Anthony Durham 13.

Nelson led Fairfield (7-12, 2-6) with 24 points and 11 rebounds and three players — Ferron Flavors, Jr., Jesus Cruz and Wassef Methnani — scored 14 each.

Rider has won seven of its last eight.

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The Titans are calling QB Marcus Mariota’s playing status day-to-day with a mild hamstring strain.

Something is going terribly wrong in the Jets’ bid to tank the season: They’re winning a few games. Does this mean that they can’t even tank the season properly? Maybe they should have spent the past few decades trying to tank. They would have won more often.

The outlook for their defense might not be as promising after the 57-point performance by the Texans.

Believe in the Jaguars. Don’t believe in the Jaguars. Who knows any more? Outclass the Ravens in London, then come back to the U.S. and lose to the Jets. When someone figures this team out, please let everyone else know.

Currently relying on veterans Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers to be their bookend offensive tackles, the Vikings could stand to add some youth to their offensive line after drafting Pat Elflein last year. Miller can be a plug-and-play right tackle for Minnesota in 2018.

With Nelson Agholor set to be a free agent and Alshon Jeffery having just landed a $52 million contract, Philadelphia might look to the draft to find Carson Wentz’s No. 2 receiver instead of locking up Agholor.

Atlanta’s running game is a big reason for its success, and the Falcons have done a great job keeping it a strength during the draft process. With the defense now loaded with talent, adding offensive line support would be a great next step.

McNair has sought to clean up his mess, offering yet another statement Saturday after meeting with players. However, his apology to players did “not go over well,” the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports. McNair’s effort at damage control included a statement in which he said:

“As I said yesterday, I was not referring to our players when I made a very regretful comment during the owners meetings last week. I was referring to the relationship between the league office and team owners and how they have been making significant strategic decisions affecting our league without adequate input from ownership over the past few years.

Camara sets rebounding mark, UNH tops Stony Brook 53-51

Iba Camara became New Hampshire’s all-time rebounder, scored the final five points and blocked a last-second shot in a 53-51 victory over Stony Brook on Sunday.

With Stony Brook leading 51-48, Camara drove and scored with 1:28 left then added three free throws in the final minute before rejecting Jaron Cornish’s shot at the rim as time ran out.

Very impressive, Belichick said of the Jaguars win. They did a great job. They do a lot of things well, play good defense, can rush the passer, can stop the run, turn the ball over, can run the ball, have a lot of explosive players in the passing game, they’re good in the kicking game, they’re very aggressive in the kicking game. They’re well coached. I know that, for sure. They’ve handled the situations that have come up in those games very well — fourth-and-1 in the first quarter, things like that. They’ve really done a good job, so yeah, it’s impressive.

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has made plays with his legs the last two weeks, something that Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said makes the Jaguars a very dangerous group.

Satou Sabally scored 21 points, Sabrina Ionescu had 15 points and 11 assists and Oregon beat No. 18 Oregon State 75-63 on Sunday night.

The Ducks (18-3, 7-1 Pac-12) broke the game open with a 28-11 second quarter and led by as many as 27 points to snap a 14-game losing streak against the Beavers (14-5, 5-3). Maite Cazorla had 16 points and Mallory McGwire 14 for Oregon.

McGwire was particularly effective forcing the 6-foot-5 Gulich off her favorite post-up spots before help arrived to double-team the Beavers’ top scorer at 17.1 points per game.

I think the first 20 minutes was the best defense that’s ever been played in this arena since I’ve been here, Graves said, and probably ever on the women’s side, so I was really proud of how in tune and focused we were with each other.

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They divorced after winning back-to-back Super Bowls.

All anyone talked about last Friday was the article detailing reportedly intense Patriots strife, strafing the league’s preeminent dynasty while purportedly showing why Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft might not be going out for a pitcher of Milwaukee’s Best — or non-fat cold-fish-flavored sorbet (only in the summer months) — any time soon.

Whether it’s because of the TB12 storefront, the collection of egos fed by 17 years of unprecedented success or some dude playing quarterback 3,000 miles west of Foxborough, apparently all isn’t well in New England. (It should be noted that Brady, Belichick and Kraft issued a statement denying such discord in response.)

That unfortunate situation should show you how lucky fans in New England have been to see Brady, Belichick and Kraft work together as they have. If Troy Aikman were a “me” guy or had been a grizzled veteran at that time (he was in Year 5), the JJs might not have even lasted that long. Bet you a Mike Greenwell rookie card the Patriots’ big three will be in the playoffs, together, next January.

In Pittsburgh, Watt’s brother, T.J. Watt, got off to a great start in his rookie debut with two sacks and an interception in the first three quarters.

Before the game, all eyes were on the sidelines for possible national anthem protests. Last week Marcus Peters of the Kansas City Chiefs chose to remain seated for the anthem during the NFL opener Thursday night in New England and the Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, whose Cheap Dolphins Jerseys allegations of racial profiling and brutality by the Las Vegas police made headlines last week, continued his protest in the late afternoon national game Sunday in Green Bay. His brother, Packers tight end Martellus Bennett, stood on the opposite Cheap Fan Jerseys sideline, raising his right fist in protest during the anthem.

A Thursday tipping point? The Thursday night game between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals was remarkable for two things: Injuries and more injuries. So many, in fact, that Doug Baldwin of the Seahawks said the “games should be illegal.”