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College GameDay’ returns to Notre Dame

first_imgAlmost exactly seven years ago to the day, ESPN’s popular pregame show “College GameDay” visited campus to broadcast live before Notre Dame hosted USC in the infamous “Bush Push” game. Today, after the fortunes of the Irish football program have fallen and risen again, the first of the approximately 50 cast and crew of “GameDay” begin arriving on campus from all over the country to prepare for Saturday’s national broadcast. “It’s great. It’s been way, way, way too long since we’ve been there,” ESPN analyst and announcer Kirk Herbstreit said. “It’s nice to see that they have a high-profile game at home to allow us to come in there and just add to the atmosphere hopefully there in South Bend on Saturday,” Tom Engle, producer of “GameDay,” said he and his crew were excited to return to South Bend. “The tradition that Notre Dame has, not only with football but as a University, it’s a special place. Any time we get the opportunity to come back there is great,” Engle said in a phone interview with The Observer. “It’s too bad it’s been as long as it’s been since we’ve been there, but I think it’s a good sign for Notre Dame that we’re coming back. That means obviously they’re doing something well on the field.” Engle said ESPN makes its decision about where to host “GameDay” each week based solely on its opinion of what the biggest game of the week is. While ABC and ESPN (who are both owned by Disney) broadcast many games each week and NBC has exclusive rights to all Notre Dame home games, Engle said that did not matter. “It doesn’t really bother us what network it’s on,” he said. “We’re going to go where we think in our estimation the best game is every week regardless of what network it’s on or anything like that.” John Heisler, senior associate athletic director, said the University welcomed “GameDay” to campus and was excited about the opportunity to host the show. “I think it’s a great compliment to everybody,” Heisler said. “There’s not a football program in the country that wouldn’t like to have ‘GameDay’ come on any given weekend.” Engle said while the Saturday morning broadcast is the centerpiece of the show’s visit, “GameDay” will start to have a visible campus presence as early as Thursday. “There will be a lot of action around there on Thursday setting up the set and our ‘College GameDay’ footprint … which seems like it’s getting bigger and bigger each year,” he said. “We have obviously our set, and then flanking our set is two Jumbotrons for all the crowd to be able to watch and hear the show as it goes on. So it’ll be quite a presence once we get everything set up Thursday afternoon.” Although “GameDay” visited Notre Dame’s contest at Michigan last year, Engle said those fans who last saw the show live in 2005 will notice differences. “It’s a whole new demographic of students we’re reaching out to … our footprint’s gotten much bigger since then,” he said. “We do our best to keep the fans that do show up involved by playing music, by playing the show on the two Jumbotrons … and just interaction with the fans out there.” Notre Dame hosted the first-ever campus broadcast of “College GameDay” in 1993 before the then-No. 2 Irish defeated then-No. 1 Florida State. Heisler said the show has become much bigger than what it used to be. “We look back on when it first came here back in 1993, it was nowhere near the stature of what it is now,” he said. “In fact, they were up here indoors in the concourse of the Joyce Center, there were certainly some people that came and watched it, [but] there was nowhere near the interest in having a huge audience that there is now.” Engle said there might be surprises for fans in attendance, but he was sure fans would enjoy the experience. “We have some things in the works,” he said. “Nothing that I can really tell you now, because I’m not sure yet … But I think they’ll enjoy it, I’ll say that. The people that show up will have a couple wrinkles that will make it worth their while for coming.” Engle said Notre Dame’s Thanksgiving weekend contest at USC could also see the show visit, especially if both teams continue to win. “There’s obviously a ton of games that need to be played by a lot of teams before then,” he said. “But it’s a definite possibility.” ESPN will begin broadcasting parts of various shows at 9 a.m. Friday and broadcast “College Football Live” from its on-campus set Friday afternoon. The set will be located on Library Quad. “On Friday, we start doing T.V. at 9 a.m.,” he said. “There will be guys and girls out there on and off all day … Until about 4 p.m. there will be some sort of action on the set. People are more than welcome to hang out on Friday if they want to.” The “GameDay” festivities will start early Saturday morning, as filming will begin at 8 a.m. The show will go live at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and then will be live on ESPN from 10 a.m. to noon. In a now-famous “GameDay” tradition, ESPN analyst Lee Corso will predict the winner of the Notre Dame-Stanford contest shortly before the show’s end by donning a mascot uniform of the team he picks to win. “Who knows what he’s going to do?” Engle said. “It’ll be a spectacle about 11:55 when he makes his pick. I don’t know where he’s going yet, but we’ll see.” Engle encouraged students to show up early to the set, especially if they wanted to see themselves on national television. “If you get there early, obviously you’ll get up close and get a chance to be on TV. We’ve had people camp out before,” he said. “We’ve seen all kinds of things over the years. It’s kind of first-come first serve as far as your chance to get in the front row and possibly see yourself on ‘GameDay. … the earlier that you come, the better.” Herbstreit said he was excited to broadcast from campus, especially after he learned students would be finishing midterms this week. “Oh my gosh,” he said. “They [the students] will be out of their minds. That’ll be fun.” “College GameDay” will begin broadcasting live at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and continue its broadcast from 10 a.m. to noon on ESPN. The set will be on Library Quad. Contact Allan Joseph at ajoseph2@nd.edulast_img read more

Researchers finalize tidal data gathering in Washington state

first_imgNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Washington researchers have concluded tidal turbulence data gathering project in two Washington state waterways.The research was conducted at the Bellingham Channel and Rosario Strait as part of the US Energy Department-funded Advanced Turbulence Measurements Project.Researchers recently retrieved buoys which recorded water velocity and turbulence measurements that will be used to validate models and facilitate device loads estimates from device simulation tools, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).Also, the data gathered will assist industry in making better siting decisions, DOE said, while at the same time maximizing device efficiency and lowering the cost.The research team will continue the project by deploying measurement buoys in Kodiak Island, Alaska, and Fort Bragg, California, in September 2017, DOE informed.last_img read more

IOC approves $800m to address COVID-19 crisis

first_imgInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) anticipates that it will have to bear costs of up to USD 800 million for its part of the responsibilities for the organisation of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, its own extended operations and the support for the wider Olympic Movement. Loading… Additionally, the Swiss Federal Council agreed yesterday to offer support to the Switzerland-based IFs in a joint programme with the IOC. ‘The IOC thanks the Swiss Federal Council for the offer to support the International Federations jointly with the IOC. We are fully committed to successfully delivering this International Sports Federation support programme in cooperation with the Swiss authorities. This initiative is a great acknowledgement of the importance of the International Sports Federations and sport,’ IOC President Thomas Bach commented. It was previously announced that Olympic Solidarity has increased the budget for its athlete programmes by USD 15 million, which covers scholarships for over 1,600 athletes from 185 NOCs and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team. Olympic Solidarity had also increased the budget for IOC subsidies for the participation of NOCs in the Olympic Games by USD 10.3 million. This additional budget will allow Olympic Solidarity to make available additional funds relating to exceptional Games-related costs incurred by NOCs due to the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. President Bach said: ‘The Olympic Movement is facing an unprecedented challenge. The IOC has to organise postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever, and has to help its stakeholders come through this global crisis. read also:IOC to discuss providing financial support to international federations This new situation will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility. We shall all need to make sacrifices and compromises. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. This situation requires every one of us to do our part, and this applies to all of us, including the IOC. With today’s financial plans, we are addressing these needs.’ FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 This amount will be covered by the IOC itself, including any funding from the Olympic Foundation. This number includes the cost for the organisation of the postponed Games of up to USD 650 million for the IOC, and an aid package of up to USD 150 million for the Olympic Movement, including the International Federations (IFs), the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the IOC-Recognised Organisations, to enable them to continue their sports, their activities and their support to their athletes. Today, the IOC Executive Board (EB) approved this financial plan. At the moment, the IOC is undergoing a deep analysis process to evaluate and assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on all of its operations. This is a complex exercise because of the constantly changing factors which have to be considered in the current environment. The IOC, as the leader of the Olympic Movement, is playing a critical role in supporting its stakeholders during the COVID-19 outbreak. To stand in solidarity with the Olympic Movement, it has also put together an aid package of up to USD 150 million, from which the IFs, NOCs and IOC-Recognised Organisations can benefit. This funding is meant to help them continue their mission to develop their sports, prepare for the Olympic Games and support their athletes. The IOC and its stakeholders are still going through the analysis process to assess the needs on a case-by-case basis. Promoted ContentYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black Holes7 Netflix Shows Cancelled Because They Don’t Get The Ratings8 Things That Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits EarthWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?How They Made Little Simba Look So Lifelike in ‘The Lion King’Underappreciated Movies You Missed In 2019Boys Deserve More Than Action-Hero Role ModelsCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read Morelast_img read more

Van der Sar backs Rooney to stay

first_imgFormer Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar does not believe Wayne Rooney needs a change of scenery to get back to his best in front of goal. The 27-year-old striker has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford since it was revealed he had a transfer request rejected by the Barclays Premier League champions towards the end of the season. Van der Sar, who is now a marketing director with Ajax, feels Rooney could find a new lease of life under incoming United manager David Moyes. The Dutchman told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme: “There has been so much pressure on him, you build him up and put all your money on him to make England world or European champions.” He added: “So it’s also quite easy to cut him down again. Players have indifferent seasons and maybe Wayne’s been overtaken by Robin van Persie this year but it’s the hard work that he puts in for the team (that should be recognised).” Rooney scored 12 league goals to summer signing Van Persie’s personal haul of 26 in the 2012-13 campaign. “It was maybe a lesser season (for Rooney) and he didn’t play the last couple of games but he’s really important for United,” Van der Sar added. “English players tend to stay in England to play their football and rightly so because you have big clubs, the tradition and the stadiums are always full. “With the change of manager and backroom staff it could be a big change for Manchester United but I don’t think you’ll find a better atmosphere at many other clubs.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Bucknell looks to extend streak vs Loyola

first_img February 6, 2020 ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditWhatsappBucknell (9-15, 5-6) vs. Loyola (Md.) (11-13, 3-8)Reitz Arena, Baltimore; Saturday, 5 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Bucknell looks for its seventh straight win in the head-to-head series over Loyola (Md.). Bucknell has won by an average of 14 points in its last six wins over the Greyhounds. Loyola (Md.)’s last win in the series came on Feb. 15, 2017, a 78-77 win. Bucknell looks to extend streak vs Loyolacenter_img STEPPING UP: The explosive Andrew Kostecka has averaged 21 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals to lead the way for the Greyhounds. Isaiah Hart is also a key contributor, accounting for 9.4 points per game. The Bison have been led by Jimmy Sotos, who is averaging 11.9 points.CLAMPING DOWN: The Bison have given up only 67.4 points per game to Patriot League opponents so far, an improvement from the 78.6 per game they allowed in non-conference play.JUMPING FOR JIMMY: Sotos has connected on 38.7 percent of the 119 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 7 for 14 over the last three games. He’s also converted 85.7 percent of his free throws this season.WINLESS WHEN: The Greyhounds are 0-6 when they score 62 points or fewer and 11-7 when they exceed 62 points. The Bison are 0-9 when they fail to score more than 63 points and 9-6 on the season, otherwise.STREAK STATS: Bucknell has scored 61.3 points per game and allowed 69.7 over its three-game road losing streak.DID YOU KNOW: Loyola (Md.) is ranked second among Patriot League teams with an average of 73.2 points per game. The Greyhounds have averaged 80.8 points per game over their last five games. Associated Press last_img read more

The Latest: IOC suspends Olympic boxing qualifiers

first_img12:45 p.m.The Penn Relays, one of the oldest and largest track meets in the nation, has been canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.The Penn Relays were scheduled for April 23-25 and had been held uninterrupted since 1895. The event celebrated its 125th consecutive running last year. The Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania says it will attempt to host a substitute track meet at a later date in late May or early June. The new event wouldn’t meet the standard Penn Relays format. The three-day event would shorten into a one-day event for youth, high school and open runners.The Penn Relays has adapted to worldwide conditions in the past. The meet was altered in 1917 and 1918 when several colleges, including most Ivy League institutions, curtailed their track programs during World War I. During World War II, travel restrictions reduced participation and spectator attendance while gas rationing was in effect in 1943 and 1944.___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):6:30 p.m.The IOC has decided to suspend all Olympic boxing qualifying events until May because of the coronavirus outbreak. Associated Press Paderborn player Luca Kilian has tested positive for the coronavirus. Three players in the second division also have the virus.Germany was the last of Europe’s top five leagues to suspend games.The German soccer federation says that games in the top two women’s divisions and the women’s cup will be suspended through April 19.___2:05 p.m. Fourteen members of the team were also placed in quarantine for 14 days after coming into close contact with the person who tested positive for the virus. McLaren chief executive Zak Brown says they are in “good spirits.”McLaren says the rest of the team has returned to Britain but will not go to the team’s headquarters for two weeks as a precaution.With the first four races postponed, the F1 season will not resume until May at the earliest.___11 a.m. March 16, 2020 ___1:55 p.m.The Hungarian soccer federation has temporarily suspended all of its competitions.Federation spokesman Jeno Sipos says clubs have been asked to forego training sessions and make it possible for players and staff members to stay home.Sipos says in a video posted on the federation’s Facebook page “we hope we are contributing to stopping the spread of the epidemic.” The league is to meet Tuesday to discuss its response to the coronavirus outbreak. However, CSKA said it was no longer able to host Sunday’s game against Zenit after restrictions on mass gatherings in Moscow were tightened.CSKA says it will discuss potential rescheduling and refunds for spectators later.The Russian league was the largest European soccer competition still operational over the weekend, with more than 33,000 fans attending a game between Zenit and Ural Yekaterinburg on Saturday.One large banner at the match read: “We’re all infected with soccer and will die for Zenit.”___ The Greek Olympic committee says the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Tokyo Games will take place without spectators in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.The committee says the accreditation cards that had been issued for Thursday’s ceremony at the stadium in Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 would not be valid.The body’s headquarters will also remain closed from Monday until further notice.The committee canceled the remainder of the Olympic torch relay last week after crowds gathered in southern Greece to watch part of the torch relay in Sparta, where the torch was carried by actor Gerard Butler.Greek health authorities have warned people to stay home, and have shut down everything from restaurants, bars and cafes to public organized beaches, ski resorts, hair salons and movie theaters, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. The FIVB says it is in contact with the IOC about “potentially revising the beach volleyball qualification system” for the Tokyo Olympics.As of Monday, four of the last nine points-rich four- and five-star events have been postponed or canceled.___12:20 p.m.NHL players have been told they can return home and self-isolate there until the end of March while hockey is on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Latest: IOC suspends Olympic boxing qualifiers British horse racing will take place without spectators and with restrictions on the number of attendees.The British Horseracing Authority says “the intention is for scheduled race meetings to take place wherever possible.” It adds that “decisions may have to be made to cancel meetings.”BHA chief executive Nick Rust says the racing industry is “following the government’s advice to strike a balance between protecting public health and maintaining business activity.”More than 250,000 people attended the four-day Cheltenham Festival last week.No decision has been made on whether the Grand National Steeplechase will go ahead at Aintree next month. More Britons bet on that race than any other. 2:10 p.m.The German soccer league has extended its suspension through at least April 2.The extension covers the next round of games and the upcoming international break.League CEO Christian Seifert says “it doesn’t mean that we assume we can play from April 3.”Seifert adds that some clubs could face potential financial collapse and put “tens of thousands of jobs” at risk without funding from TV broadcasts and sponsors. 12:40 p.m.A staff member of Canucks Sports & Entertainment has tested positive for COVID-19.Trent Carroll, chief operating officer of the Vancouver Canucks’ parent company, said the diagnosed individual was in self-quarantine and feeling better. The organization closed its offices Monday and employees were preparing to work from home “wherever possible.”“We are receiving guidance from the health authorities on next steps,” Carroll said.center_img All six of the remaining teams are based in Russia, where various cities and regions have imposed their own restrictions. Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow played in an empty arena on Wednesday.The KHL said Saturday it was “in consultation with clubs and all relevant authorities to diligently manage the impact” of the virus outbreak.The KHL has not commented on the withdrawals and its website still lists those teams as competing. The next scheduled games between teams which have not withdrawn are Wednesday.___9:55 a.m. A European qualifier currently taking place in London started on Saturday and was scheduled to run to March 24. It will be closed after Monday’s evening session.Subsequent Americas and final world qualifiers were scheduled to take place in May.The IOC boxing task force says it has taken the decision to suspend events “amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home.”The task force says it is evaluating the situation daily with the aim “to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June.” ___ This signals a significant update on the league’s potential timeline to resume the season. Commissioner Gary Bettman announced last week the season was on pause and did not provide more specifics on how long that would last.Players had previously been told to remain in their team’s city and await further direction. The new directive comes in the aftermath of the CDC’s recommendation the U.S. not hold gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.___3:30 p.m.The Russian soccer league has taken a step closer to shutting down after CSKA Moscow canceled its upcoming game with Zenit St. Petersburg. The WTA says it is calling off clay-court tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague, adding those to a list of events previously canceled.Each of those three tournaments was scheduled to begin in April.The tour says a decision will be made “in the week ahead” about the rest of the European clay-court circuit.The next Grand Slam tournament is the French Open, which is scheduled to begin in Paris on May 24.___ The federation’s announcement was in line with a government decision to have sports matches played in empty stadiums and only if organizers took responsibility.Speaking Monday in parliament, famously soccer-mad Prime Minister Viktor Orban said it would be even better if matches were not played at all.___1:30 p.m.The women’s professional tennis tour has suspended all competition until May 2 because of the coronavirus outbreak. Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials say they are holding off on postponing the month of May activities that conclude with the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend.The Indy 500 draws crowds in excess of 300,000.“We are aware of the CDC’s interim guidance suggesting the postponement of events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks,” the speedway said in a statement released before 6 a.m. local time.“Our priority is to do our part in protecting the public health while still conducting the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge as scheduled on May 24. This continues to be a dynamic situation which we are monitoring constantly in coordination with federal, state, local and public health officials.”___ Canucks Sports & Entertainment, formerly known as Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment, owns the NHL Canucks and Rogers Arena, among other properties.___12:30 p.m.The international beach volleyball tour has postponed two more events, clearing the schedule of everything until May 6.The FIVB says a three-star event that was supposed to take place this week in Gold Coast, Australia, and a four-star tournament next week in Cancun, Mexico, have been postponed because of travel restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The events are crucial for athletes trying to qualify for the Summer Olympics, with more points available at the higher-rated tournaments. 10:10 a.m.A second team has withdrawn from the Kontinental Hockey League playoffs because of the coronavirus outbreak.The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL and is one of the few major sports organizations still operating in Europe.There are now six teams remaining in an eight-club conference semifinal bracket.Finnish club Jokerit withdrew Saturday citing concern for the health of its players and staff. Now Barys Astana says it is withdrawing after authorities in Kazakhstan banned sports events and restricted entry to the country. Coates says “it’s never been the IOC’s position. It was Dick’s idea. There is four months to go.”___11:10 a.m.McLaren says the team member who tested positive for coronavirus at the Australian Grand Prix “is recovering well” and that his “symptoms have gone.”The British team pulled out of the season-opening Formula One race on Thursday because of the positive test. The race was canceled on Friday. 11:25 a.m.The leader of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics says there is no May deadline to cancel the games and he remains confident the event will go ahead despite sports coming to a virtual standstill globally amid the coronavirus outbreak.John Coates, who will have to go into government-mandated self-isolation when he returns to Australia this week from Olympic business in Europe, told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “It’s all proceeding to start on the 24th of July.”Former IOC vice president Dick Pound said in an interview with The Associated Press last month that the end of May loomed as a possible deadline for the IOC to make a call on the Tokyo Olympics.But Coates, an IOC vice president and head of the Australian Olympic Committee, told the Sydney paper in a telephone interview from Switzerland that the IOC didn’t recognize the deadline and he thought Pound had backed away from it, too. 1:20 p.m.The NHRA drag racing series has suspended its season 30 days with the intention to resume events April 17-19 in Houston.An event at Las Vegas has been postponed with no new date announced.“We made this decision with heavy hearts as we see the effects this pandemic is having on the world,” NHRA said in a statement. “We are all in this complicated uncertain and rapidly changing situation together, and we encourage everyone to look out for each other.”Other motorsports such as NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One already pulled the plug on racing. Greece currently has 331 confirmed cases and four deaths.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

South African appeals court more than doubles Pistorius sentence

first_imgJOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Supreme Court more than doubled Oscar Pistorius’ murder sentence on Friday, accepting prosecutors’ argument that the original jail term of six years for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was “shockingly lenient”.last_img

Stone happy with freshman Wurtz, UW’s defense

first_imgAfter Sunday’s 106-39 exhibition rout over Division III opponent UW-Oshkosh, the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team is ready to begin the 2009-10 regular season. The Badgers will face the North Dakota Fighting Sioux this Sunday at the Kohl Center for the first time in program history.“We’re certainly looking forward to the start of the season,” Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone said in her Monday press conference. “Yesterday, we had the exhibition game and got to put the uniforms on for the first time, got our freshmen out there to be in front of the lights and their fans and their families. I thought we did a nice job, stayed fairly disciplined. What I was most encouraged with was the fact that we only had nine turnovers in 40 minutes.”In Sunday’s triumph over Oshkosh, Stone’s new four-out, one-in motion offense was on display as the Badgers shot 62.5 percent from the field and had five players in double figures. Junior forward Tara Steinbauer led the way with 25 points on 12-13 shooting, while senior guard Rae Lin D’Alie contributed 19 points and six assists.Badger defense strong from the startDespite the lopsided final score, Stone was able to sufficiently assess where her team is at heading into Sunday’s opener.“You find out a lot about your team, actually,” Stone said of measuring her team after such a victory. “Our defense made it very difficult for Oshkosh to score, but there’s still things you can take. We looked at the film today and for a period of time in the second half, we weren’t closing out as hard as we could, we got a little lazy on the weak side, and it’s hard for your team to stay focused but that was the challenge.”The Badger defense was definitely at its best, as Oshkosh was unable to score its first field goal for almost 14 minutes. Wisconsin forced 32 turnovers and had 22 steals, including five by sophomore forward and tri-captain Anya Covington, as well as four by freshman guard Taylor Wurtz.“Anya Covington is a natural-born leader,” Stone said. “She has been a leader her entire life, both in the classroom, the community and on the court. As a freshman, [she] was not afraid to speak up in a team meeting, was not afraid to come to coaches with concerns or maybe wanting to get some help or try improve her game or how to make the team better. She earned the respect of her teammates as a freshman.”Freshman Wurtz has an impressive debutStone also expressed enthusiasm about the play of Wurtz, who was well thought of as the 89th-ranked player nationally by HoopGurlz — ESPN.com’s women’s college basketball forum — coming out of Ripon High School in Ripon, Wis. Listed as 6-foot, Wurtz boasts solid size for a Big Ten guard, which was on definite display against Oshkosh.Aside from her stellar defense, Wurtz scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds in an impressive 21 minutes of playing time. Along with other freshman guards Catie O’Leary and Aly Bucierka, Wurtz will be counted on to provide the Badgers with an upbeat, youthful presence.“She is a freshman, she has a lot to learn, and it was good to see her be able to play the number of minutes she did in different positions and not turn it over,” Stone said. “[Wurtz] shot the ball fairly well, you saw her get an offensive board, hit a three, get out in transition; she was our leading rebounder yesterday. Her versatility is definitely something that we’re going to lean on. We were injured in the post yesterday; we only had three post player rotations, so you’ll see her rotate inside and outside … if we’re facing a team maybe with a big point guard, that matches up very nice. If we’re facing a team with an athletic power forward, Taylor matches up very well.”last_img read more

7th-seeded Michigan State outlasts 3rd-seeded Oklahoma to advance to Elite Eight, face Louisville on Sunday in Carrier Dome

first_imgThirty minutes after Louisville clinched another 40 minutes on the Carrier Dome floor, its opponent was to be decided.Seventh-seeded Michigan State (26-11) and No. 3-seed Oklahoma (24-11) went to war for the second and final spot in the Elite Eight in the East Regional, and Tom Izzo’s Spartans prevailed, 62-58, on Friday night.The Sooners, behind 11 first-half points from leading scorer Buddy Hield and 40.6-percent shooting as a team, took a 31-27 lead into the break after holding a 10-point lead just a few minutes earlier.But 10 and a half minutes into the second half, the Spartans took their first lead of the night.And it didn’t take long for the Michigan State faithful to boast itself as the largest and loudest fan base in the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGuards Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice connected on 3s to keep the Sooners at bay and fill the spacious dome with a roar from the MSU fans in the crowd. But OU hit its free throws and kept itself within striking distance.With 2:53 remaining, Michigan State possessed a 54-51 lead. After a timeout, Trice drained a fadeaway jumper to push MSU’s lead to five, but that was answered by a pair of foul shots from Sooner TaShawn Thomas.Trice nailed a pair at the charity stripe to push it back to a five-point game, and Hield answered with a second-chance 3 pointer, Oklahoma’s first of the half, to cut it to 58-56.MSU took it under 40 seconds. Trice missed a step-back late in the shot clock, but the Spartans grabbed the second and third chances and Valentine earned a trip to the line, where he sank a pair to push MSU back up by four.Thomas answered with a second-chance bucket and OU quickly called timeout, down by two with 15.5 left.The Sooners fouled Trice, who again pushed MSU ahead by more than a possession.And when Oklahoma couldn’t convert on the other end, the Spartans grabbed the rebound and paraded down the court with only time to kill before celebrating its Elite Eight appearance. Comments Published on March 28, 2015 at 12:27 am Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Kohlbeck: Andersen proves his worth in second season at UW

first_imgWhen the Wisconsin football team blew a 24-7 lead way back against LSU Aug. 30, the Badgers and second year head coach Gary Andersen suddenly found themselves in the midst of a three-game losing streak.Not only did the Badgers miss out on a statement victory against a well-known SEC team in LSU, but combined with two losses from the previous season — against Penn State on Senior Day at Camp Randall and to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl — questions started to circulate about whether or not Andersen was the right successor for former UW head coach Bret Bielema.And things did not get better for Andersen in the ensuing weeks of his second season at the helm of the Badgers.Following the LSU loss the Badgers did win three straight games, but they were against teams that can be considered as textbook “cupcakes.” And then the Big Ten season started and Andersen and the Badgers had a chance to start conference play on the right foot and start the journey to the Big Ten Championship game. But once again Wisconsin lost a close game, falling to the Wildcats 20-14, and had now lost their last four games against Power Five conference opponents.After the Northwestern loss the Badgers were 4-2 on the season, 0-1 in the Big Ten and had a messy situation at quarterback with both Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy. A Big Ten West Division championship seemed like a far-off possibility. The play calling of offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig was questioned, while unrest with the performance of Andersen filled Madison and the state of Wisconsin.But fast forward seven weeks, and the Badgers — under the direction of Andersen, Ludwig and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda — are going to the Big Ten Championship game for the third time in four years.After the debacle at Northwestern, Andersen and Ludwig decided to go with a two-quarterback system. It’s a strategy that makes most football fans cringe simply when they hear the term and one that has prompted the well-known phrase: “if you have two quarterbacks, you have none.”But Andersen and company turned things around. The two-quarterback strategy became effective and the Badgers rattled off seven straight wins — including a blowout of Nebraska, a two-point win at Iowa and Saturday’s win over Minnesota to close out the regular season — to claim the Big Ten West division title.While the offense was and still is largely fueled by the efforts of Heisman contender Melvin Gordon, it’s been the play of both Stave and McEvoy that has kept things open for Gordon. Andersen and Ludwig saw the talents in both quarterbacks and decided it would be best to utilize each one’s individual strengths to help the offense overall by putting them both on the field.Since the implementation of the two-quarterback system after Northwestern, Stave has been effective over those seven games going 71-for-117 (61 percent) for 928 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception. McEvoy on the other hand has used his feet and the run option to run for 288 yards on 31 carries (9.3 average) and four touchdowns.Defensively, the Badgers under both Andersen and Aranda have found the right players to fill in for a defense that lost seven of its starters from last season. A quicker, more athletic UW defense now leads the Big Ten in most major defensive categories and ranks second in total defense and fourth in scoring defense in the nation.But it’s also been the ability to win close games that has Andersen in the Big Ten Championship game in just his second season at Wisconsin. The Badgers pulled out another close game that came down to the fourth quarter Saturday against the Gophers after winning a decisive battle in Iowa City two weeks ago against the Hawkeyes.The changes Andersen has made in his second season at UW have shown he has what it takes to be successful in the Big Ten as a head coach. After the loss to Northwestern, the Badgers were considered to be a far cry from being legitimate contenders to win the Big Ten West. Now, they are the 11th-ranked team in the AP and Coaches poll and have a date with the Ohio State Buckeyes next weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the right to be called Big Ten champions.So while this season can certainly finish even better with a victory over the Buckeyes, regardless of what happens Saturday, Andersen has a Big Ten West Division title under his belt and has proved his worth as the head coach for the Badgers in just his second season.last_img read more