Serge Ibaka Points Out Bias Against African Players In

Serge Ibaka has been dealing with questions about his age for his entire career. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)Toronto Raptors power forward Serge Ibaka doesn’t seem happy about the rumors that he’s older than 27 and wants the media to take responsibility for spreading them.“I am very disappointed with the small part of society that spreads rumors and creates news based on stereotypes and without any proof,” Ibaka, who recently re-signed to a 3-year deal with the Raptors, wrote in a Friday, July 1 memo seeming to respond to the claims. “I’m sad that to this day there are still prejudices based on your origin and, as Africans, sometimes we need to take a stand. … I know we live in a fast news world, where rumors and scoops rule, but I think media should take their responsibility seriously when talking about important matters that can hurt people. I know who I am and [where] I come from, and so do the people that really know me.”pic.twitter.com/G3ylRBIv3L— Serge Ibaka (@sergeibaka_7) July 1, 2017Rumors about Ibaka’s age, which have followed him throughout his career, surfaced again when ESPN writer Zach Lowe appeared on the podcast “The Full 48” last week.“Look, as uncomfortable as it is to say that, the league, not the league office, teams believe that [Ibaka] is older than his listed age,” Lowe said Tuesday, June 27. “So whether he is or not, or what are the ethical issues of saying that, I don’t know. But it affects the free-agency market for him.”The Congolese-Spanish star isn’t the only one who has dealt with this, as rumors have plagued other African athletes, too. Local bloggers claimed Nigerian former soccer player Taribo West, who is 43, is in his late 50s, according to The Guardian, and Jay-Jay Okocha, who is also Nigerian and a former soccer player, was supposedly a decade older than 43. read more

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2 Players Kneel for Anthem Kaepernick Tweets to Thank

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson (15) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)DENVER (AP) — Colin Kaepernick called them his brothers.Dolphins teammates Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson were the only two players to kneel during the national anthem on the NFL’s opening Sunday, and Kaepernick, who is no longer welcome on an NFL sideline, made sure to offer his thanks to them via social media .“My Brothers (Stills) and (Wilson) continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed,” Kapernick said in his tweet. “They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. … Love is at the root of our resistance.”It was Kaepernick, then with the 49ers, who sparked the anthem controversy by kneeling during the pregame ritual in 2016 — his way of protesting police brutality and social injustice in America.Since opting out of his contract after that season, Kaepernick has been unable to land a job with an NFL team and is suing the league for collusion.But his voice is still being heard. Last week, Nike introduced an ad featuring the quarterback and his message: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”On Sunday, Kaepernick’s message got through to his friends in Miami.“I know he has our back,” Stills said. “Really, there has been a huge difference between when we first started protesting and now. A lot of people are reaching out and supporting us, so I really appreciate that. To everybody out there … let’s keep doing our best to make a positive change and have these conversations and make our country a better place.”While Stills and Wilson were kneeling during the anthem, teammate Robert Quinn raised his fist. Niners receiver Marquise Goodwin did the same at San Francisco’s game at Minnesota. In Los Angeles, Chargers left tackle Russell Okung raised his fist. Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas and linebacker Brandon Marshall, and Seahawks linemen Duane Brown and Quinton Jefferson, retreated to their respective tunnels while the anthem played.At the peak of the anthem protests, as many as 200 players would partake. On most weeks last year, the Seahawks led the way with the most players doing something to make a statement. Though that number had fallen to 2 to start 2018, Brown wasn’t worried.“I made my decision. That was my decision,” he said. “I wasn’t paying attention to see what other teams or other players are doing.”The NFL briefly had a policy in place in May regarding the anthem, but rescinded it after the players union filed a grievance, which sent the league to the negotiating table with the union. Those talks are ongoing. Brown said he hasn’t heard any word from the union dissuading player protests during the anthem.“I don’t think that would be the best idea to try to get people to move on from it,” he said. “The country hasn’t moved on from it, so I’m not going to move on from it, either.”Among those keeping the issue front and center is President Donald Trump, who sent a tweet of his own several hours before Kaepernick’s, taking digs at the NFL, and linking low ratings for Thursday night’s opener between Atlanta and Philadelphia (lowest for an opener since 2008) to players who refuse to stand for the anthem.“If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!” he tweeted.CBS and Fox, which carried Sunday afternoon’s games, have said they did not plan on televising the anthem.However, NBC did show the anthem on Thursday night (but not before Sunday night’s Bears-Packers game), and no players kneeled or protested in other ways.That included Malcolm Jenkins of the Eagles, who raised his fist during the anthem last season but did not for the opener. During pregame warmups, he wore a shirt that read “Ca$h bail = poverty trap.”Jenkins, a founder of the Players Coalition which was formed to tackle issues similar to those Kaepernick is concerned about, said he would like to move the focus away from the anthem.“I think there’s a huge need for us to turn the attention to not only the issues, but what players are actually doing in their communities to promote change,” he said. “We’re trying to move past the rhetoric of what’s right or what’s wrong in terms of the anthem, and really focus on the systematic issues that are plaguing our communities.” read more

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Everyone You Should Watch At The Masters Not Named Tiger Or Phil

The big hittersDustin Johnson (odds to win: 12-to-1): Johnson entered Augusta last season having won three consecutive tournaments. He was among the favorites to win. Then he fell down a flight of stairs.This could be the year he exorcises those what-could-have-been demons.The 33-year-old is tied for the PGA Tour lead in par-4 scoring average and leads the tour in par-5 scoring average. He’s also No. 1 in total strokes gained, a metric that measures each shot a player takes based on how much it reduces his expected score on a given hole, relative to the field average. And Johnson’s putting has been sensational; he ranks in the top 15 in strokes gained with the putter. With an ostentatious ability to drive the ball — he leads the tour in strokes gained off the tee — Johnson owns five of the tour’s 50 longest drives this season, providing ample opportunities for attendees to crow “mashed potatoes.”1Please don’t.Johnson has owned the longest holes at the Augusta National Golf Club, with a career mark of 46 under par on par-5s, according to ESPN Stats & Info. To compete this weekend, though, he’ll need to improve on par-4s, on which he’s a career 44 over par.Bubba Watson (odds to win: 16-to-1): The two-time Masters champion enters this weekend as arguably the player on tour in the best form.After going more than 40 events without a win, he has won twice in the past two months — at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play and the Genesis Open. The same guy who was contemplating retirement last season during a rapid weight loss is now vying to become the ninth player to win the Masters at least three times.The 39-year-old’s unorthodox style feels tailor-made for rounds under the Georgia pines. The course allows him to attempt 45-yard hook shots with a pitching wedge, for example, and to uncork his 316.2-yard drives. And because he annihilates his tee shots, Watson has over his career played the par-5s at the Masters 65 under par, according to ESPN Stats & Info.The short game has traditionally held Watson back, but he has moved from outside the top 140 in strokes gained on shots approaching the green and with the putter last season to inside the top 80 in both this season.Rory McIlroy (odds to win: 12-to-1): With a roaring final-round 64, McIlroy won the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month, his first victory since the fall of 2016. Then came shots of vodka with the media.A win this weekend would complete the career Grand Slam for the 28-year-old. Since 2014, only Jordan Spieth has led more rounds in major tournaments than McIlroy has — and no player save for McIlroy can claim four top-10 finishes at Augusta over the past five years.After an injury-riddled 2016-17 campaign, McIlroy has surged up the leaderboard in a number of metrics, ranking in the top 25 in total strokes gained, strokes gained off the tee and strokes gained with the putter. His drives are averaging a blistering 314.1 yards, a top-five mark on tour.To win, McIlroy will have to improve on holes 10, 11 and 12, where he’s a combined 26 over par since the final round in 2011, according to ESPN Stats & Info.The kidsJon Rahm (odds to win: 20-to-1): It can be easy to forget that Rahm is 23 years old — and not only because he has the face of a 35-year-old accountant. “Rahmbo” has been so good so fast that he’s the highest-ranked player to not have a major championship to his name, according to ESPN Stats & Info.Rahm’s putting has improved mightily: He’s jumped from No. 49 in strokes gained with the putter and No. 66 in putts per round last season to No. 32 and No. 13, respectively, this season.He cranks the ball 306.7 yards off the tee, which makes him No. 23 on tour. But he ranks much higher in strokes gained off the tee — second — because whether he’s blasting his driver or using another club, he’s effective in maximizing his first shots, covering 67.5 percent of hole yardage with his tee shots. Club selection is paramount at Augusta, particularly off the tee — will Rahm’s skills there and his improved putting help him notch a win?Jordan Spieth (odds to win: 10-to-1): Last weekend’s final-round 66 at the Houston Open gave Spieth’s supporters a reason to be optimistic about Augusta, where Spieth’s track record ranges from the sublime to the five-alarm tire fire.In the aggregate, though, Spieth has been dominant at the Masters: In his four starts, he hasn’t finished lower than 11th; three times, he ranked in the top 10. In 2015, he became the fifth-ever wire-to-wire winner and tied the all-time lowest winning score (270, -18). Since 2015, Spieth has been 20 shots or better than any other player at majors, according to ESPN Stats & Info.But Spieth has fallen off a cliff with his putter. In each of the past three seasons, he ranked 42nd or better in strokes gained with the putter. In 2018, he’s No. 185. But that hasn’t stopped him from attacking the longer holes on tour; he ranks in the top 20 in par-4 and par-5 scoring average. With a win, Spieth would be just the third player to claim four majors before his 25th birthday (the other two are Woods and Young Tom Morris). He turns 25 in July.Justin Thomas (odds to win: 10-to-1): Had he turned in a stronger performance last month, Thomas could have entered this weekend as the top player in the world. Should he win this weekend, few would question his place atop the global leaderboard.The 24-year-old has won an astonishing seven times since the start of the 2016 season, more than any player on tour. But the occasionally profane Kentucky native has struggled in his two previous appearances at Augusta, where he’s never shot in the 60s or finished in the top 20.However, Thomas comes into the tournament with much more momentum this time around. He has jumped from a No. 45 ranking a season ago to No. 5 this season in percentage of yardage covered by tee shots, largely because his drives are averaging 312.5 yards, the longest average distance he’s posted since he turned pro.The Europeans (and one Canadian)Paul Casey (odds to win: 20-to-1): The 40-year-old is one of the the least-discussed veterans in this year’s field, and though he has repeatedly demonstrated his poise at majors, he’s never quite managed a win.Casey has finished in the top 10 at each of the last three Masters, and he has logged top-10 marks at every major at least once in his career.This season, only Sergio Garcia, Johnson and Casey rank in the top five in both strokes gained tee to green and total strokes gained. The Englishman has also notched a win stateside this year at the Valspar Championship, though it’s possible his victory was overshadowed when a certain someone on a comeback tour finished tied for second.Alex Noren (odds to win: 40-to-1): The Swede hasn’t finished outside the top 36 all season, racking up three top-10 finishes. In search of his first major victory, Noren has come to the right place. Eight of the last 11 Masters winners had never won a major before taking home the green jacket, according to ESPN Stats & Info.Noren cut his teeth on the European Tour, where he won five times between July 2016 and May 2017. He enters this weekend ranked in the top 20 in total strokes gained and in strokes gained with the putter, on approach, and from tee to green.Justin Rose (odds to win: 12-to-1): Rose has been a perennial contender at Augusta, and this could be the year he finally breaks through and wins a green jacket. He has finished in the top 10 in the tournament each of the last three years, twice coming in second, and over the last three Masters combined, he has the best score relative to par of anyone on the tour. Rose has ended up in the top 25 in 10 of his 12 starts at the Masters, which is an absurd success rate. Among players with at least five starts at the tournament, only Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan have made the top 25 more consistently.Adam Hadwin (odds to win: 150-to-1): A Canadian made the list! Hadwin has finished among the top 20 in every tournament he’s played in since early February. If he can withstand inconsistencies off the tee (he ranks No. 129 in strokes gained off the tee) and on the green (No. 131 in strokes gained with the putter), his approach game can do most of the work (No. 22 in strokes gained on shots approaching the green, No. 7 in strokes gained around the green). This year also marks the 15th anniversary of Mike Weir’s improbable victory at Augusta to become the first Canadian man to win a major. Hadwin has finished in the top 10 three times so far this season, and like Weir, he’s deft with the short game. It’s Masters week, which means that it’s time to cancel your weekend plans, turn the dulcet tones of Jim Nantz’s voice up as loud as your television and neighbors will allow, and watch — in its piano-saturated glory — golf’s most popular event.The 82nd installment of the Masters will be the smallest field since the mid-1990s, and it will be the most competitive in at least the past decade. There are 10 players with shorter than 20-to-1 odds to win the tournament (two more are at 20-to-1 exactly), according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Tuesday. That’s the most of any Masters since at least 2008, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group.Tiger Woods, a golfer you might have heard of, is in that group, as is another familiar name: Phil Mickelson. But they aren’t the only players worth paying attention to. Below, I’ve highlighted the other marquee players you should look out for, as well as the under-the-radar players who could find themselves in a green jacket by Sunday night. read more

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March Madness Crib Notes Welcome To The Elite Eight

Half the Final Four will be set by the end of day Saturday, and it’s a very good bet one of the schools left standing will be named “Kentucky.” As for the other, the battle between Wisconsin and Arizona for the right to emerge out of the West is probably the best matchup of the entire tournament thus far.Here’s everything else to keep an eye on as the Elite Eight gets underway:No. 1 Wisconsin (39 percent win probability) vs. No. 2 ArizonaLocation: Los AngelesWhen to watch: At 6:09 p.m. EDT on TBSPower ratings: Arizona 94.5, Wisconsin 93.6Upset probability: 61 percentPlayer to watch: Frank Kaminsky, WisconsinIn a world where the FiveThirtyEight power ratings ruled all, this matchup would be happening in the Final Four, as Arizona and Wisconsin were Nos. 2 and 3 (respectively) in our pre-tournament team rankings. Instead, the selection committee placed the Wildcats sixth in its S-curve list, handing them the No. 2 seed out West and putting them on a collision course with the Badgers in the regional finals.Don’t let the seedings fool you: Our model favors Arizona by about 2.2 points on the Staples Center’s neutral floor. (Which is, in actuality, slightly less than neutral for Wisconsin due to the effects of travel distance.) We’re not alone, either; of the five different computer ratings that go into the FiveThirtyEight model, only ESPN’s Basketball Power Index ranks Wisconsin higher than Arizona, while the consensus line in Vegas also gives the edge to the Wildcats. So, in an interesting twist, it would be a clear upset if the No. 1 seed advances to the Final Four.And how does Wisconsin pull off said upset? It won’t be by creating havoc with takeaways on defense. Wisconsin ranked 327th out of 351 Division I schools in turnovers forced per possession, and 319th in steals per opponent possession. Nor will it necessarily be through a barrage of 3-point shooting — the Badgers are solid from long-distance, but it’s not the crux of their game plan. The Badgers play a great style for a favorite; they’re big, and they score well inside, hit the defensive glass hard and rarely commit fouls or turn the ball over. But what happens when they’re the underdog?One of the only things about Wisconsin that profiles well for creating the kind of variance necessary to boost one’s upset probability is their trademark slow pace. The fewer the possessions in the game, the fewer chances for Arizona to exert its talent advantage. And it’s more than possible that the Badgers dictate the pace against the Wildcats and grind out the win. (They did force a UNC team that averages nearly 70 possessions per 40 minutes to play, and lose, a 60-possession game Thursday night.) Whatever they do, as underdogs — seedings be damned — they’ll have to shake things up somehow. No. 1 Kentucky (87 percent win probability) vs. No. 3 Notre DameLocation: ClevelandWhen to watch: At 8:49 p.m. EDT on TBSPower ratings: Kentucky 99.7, Notre Dame 87.9Upset probability: 13 percentPlayer to watch: Karl-Anthony Towns, KentuckyCan Kentucky be stopped en route to 40-0? That’s a question 29 teams have tried — and failed — to answer in the affirmative so far this season. Notre Dame will become challenger No. 30 on Saturday, and the FiveThirtyEight model isn’t very optimistic about its chances, either. Our latest calculations say the Wildcats have a whopping 87 percent probability of dispatching the Fighting Irish just like all the other pretenders to their presumptive crown.For a little perspective on 87 percent probabilities, our model also gave Kentucky an 87 percent chance of beating West Virginia in the Sweet 16, and we know how that turned out. I even called the Mountaineers Kentucky’s “sternest test yet,” which, in a sense, was true — the Wildcats boasted rounded-off win probabilities of 100 percent and 94 percent in the tournament’s first two rounds — but just sounded silly after UK doubled up the score on WVU. Now both Las Vegas and our model have the Wildcats favored by about 11 points against Notre Dame, and somehow that feels too low.What little hope the Irish have rests on their efficient offense, which actually ranked better nationally this season (according to KenPom.com) than Kentucky’s. The Irish are a great shooting team that can knock down spot-up jumpers all over the court, and they also excel in the transition game. Kentucky usually possesses an air of unbeatability, but even it could fall to a hot shooting night from downtown, like the one Ole Miss almost used to stop UK’s winning streak in January. More than perhaps any other trait, good 3-point shooting is a great way for underdogs to engineer upsets.But before the Domers get too carried away, Kentucky’s defense boasts the best KenPom rating in the country, and the team is at its most effective when shutting down (you guessed it) spot-up jumpers and transition chances1According to Synergy data., meaning Notre Dame’s best hope plays right into the hands of Kentucky’s dominant defense. And at the other end of the floor, the 100th-ranked Irish defense looks downright porous next to the Wildcats’ No. 6 ranked offense. Even more than the team’s ability to execute offensively, Notre Dame’s upset chances might depend on whether it can punch above its weight on defense and slow down the Kentucky attack.Most likely, that won’t happen. Kentucky probably won’t win by 39 again — West Virginia’s risky playing style opened it up to a big blowout if things went sour — but it would be a tremendous shock if Kentucky isn’t penciled in as the Midwest’s Final Four representative by the end of the night.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

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Beside The Points For Thursday Feb 22 2018

Oh, and don’t forgetIs this the secret to ice dancing? We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆  Join the squad. Subscribe See more NBA predictions All newsletters Things That Caught My EyeTeam USA did it!In a thrilling finish to what’s become one of the greatest rivalries in international sports, the Americans beat Canada 3-2 in a shootout after overtime to win the gold medal in women’s ice hockey. Four years ago, Canada beat the U.S. in Sochi 3-2, and in this game, the Americans had to overcome a fierce Canadian power play with less than 2 minutes to go in overtime to win. [SB Nation]Russia, not so muchRussia has never won a gold medal in Olympic ice hockey. Naturally, the Soviet Union was an international ice hockey juggernaut, but the Russian Federation hasn’t had their luck, winning only a silver and a bronze over the past six games. Moreover, while the Russians at this games are playing great, they aren’t actually playing for Russia, more just the Olympics in general. [FiveThirtyEight]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?U.S.A. not so much eitherThis is poised to be a rather disappointing games for the United States, with the Americans (as of Tuesday) coming in 10.8 fewer medals than we’d expect at this point given the team’s historical performance in the winter games. Norway is sucking up all the gold in the room, with 9.3 medals above expectations. [FiveThirtyEight]Louisville actually didn’t win that time it turns outThe Louisville men’s basketball program’s 2013 national championship — and it’s 2012 appearance in the Final Four — will be wiped from the books, as the team was ordered by the NCAA to vacate the wins in light of penalties levied against the school. The allegations that lead to the penalties include a report that “a former Louisville staff member arranged for striptease dances and sex acts for players and recruits.” [ESPN]Try out our brand new super fun quiz, Which Winter Olympic Sport Is Best For You? I got ski jumping!The mom did it!Cross-country skier Kikkan Randall, the only mom on the U.S. Olympic Team, gave birth since her last appearance at the games in Sochi but still managed to not only return to the Olympics but win gold as part of the women’s team sprint race with Jessie Diggins. It’s the first time an American woman won a medal in cross-country skiing, and Randall’s trip back to competition can tell us lots about work-life balance. [Anchorage Daily News, FiveThirtyEight]U.S. curling makes the finalA 5-3 upset over defending world champion Canada puts the United States in the final against curling juggernaut Sweden. The team never beat Canada before and hasn’t made the podium since 2006. [ESPN]Big Number56.3 percentThe percentage of 2017 MLB revenue that went to players in the form of overall compensation, including MLB player compensation, benefits, postseason payments and minor league signing bonuses, salaries and benefits. Looking strictly at the majors, that figure is 50.1 percent of revenues, down about a point since 2010. [The Ringer]Leaks from Slack: walt:HAHAHAHAHAHhttps://twitter.com/TMortimerFtbl/status/965539277911285760kyle:yes that story rules she’s a criminalPredictions NBA read more

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History repeats itself OSU exits NCAA Tournament following Sweet 16 falter

NEWARK, N.J. — For the second consecutive season, Ohio State exits the NCAA Tournament in the Sweet 16 — and, for the second consecutive season, an SEC team showed it the door. Shooting a season-low 32.8 percent from the floor, the OSU men’s basketball team could not hold on, and fell to Kentucky, 62-60, on Friday in Newark, N.J., in the NCAA Tournament. “Some of the shots we missed are shots we have been making all year,” OSU senior guard Jon Diebler said. “It is one of those games you have to give them credit. … Those are shots that we make, and tonight they weren’t going in.” Though a 3-point basket from Diebler tied the game, 60-60, with 21.1 seconds left, Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight hit a jumper in the lane with 5.4 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats the win. “Today he struggled shooting, but he made that last one,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “If we are in another game and it is late, that coach will know we’re playing through Brandon.” The final attempt by OSU junior guard William Buford was off the mark. After averaging 18 points in the Buckeyes’ first two tournament games, Buford had just nine points on a dismal 2-for-16 shooting. “Will got a great look off, and we had enough time to make a play on it if it didn’t go in,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “I don’t know who it was that tipped it away from us.” The contest opened with poor shooting from both teams in front of a crowd of 18,343. OSU and Kentucky had hit only one field goal each when the whistle was blown for the first media timeout with 15:35 remaining in the half. OSU had three turnovers to Kentucky’s two during that stretch, but the Buckeyes led, 4-2. Though OSU shot just 30.8 percent from the floor in the first half, it was able to remain in the game by putting multiple Wildcats in foul trouble and connecting on 12 of its 15 free-throw attempts. The teams went to intermission knotted, 30-30. “Well,” Matta said, “one of those games where we had a hard time putting the ball in the basket.” Kentucky entered the locker room with 11 team fouls — including two on starters Knight, freshman forward Terrence Jones, senior forward Josh Harrellson and junior guard Darius Miller. The Wildcats’ sixth man, junior guard DeAndre Liggins, also had two fouls at the break. OSU fifth-year senior forward David Lighty was able to stay in front of Kentucky’s dribble-drive offense, and drew three charges early, including one on each of Kentucky’s two leading scorers, Knight and Jones. Foul trouble aside, Harrellson led the way for Kentucky early with 12 first-half points to go along with seven rebounds. The senior finished the game with 17 and 10, respectively. Overall, the Wildcats used a balanced attack as all six players who logged minutes scored. Liggins nearly matched Harrellson’s output with 15 points of his own. The teams traded baskets and played evenly for much of the second half as the score was 53-53 with 5:38 remaining in the game. With Buford struggling, the team relied on Freshman of the Year forward Jared Sullinger, who tallied 21 points and 16 rebounds, both game highs. Diebler added 16 for the Buckeyes, while Lighty had 12. Nothing the seniors could do made up for the team’s overall poor shooting. Lighty leaves OSU as the program leader in wins, with 128, and Diebler’s 374 made 3-pointers are tops in Big Ten history. “(We had) an incredible season, an incredible run for these guys,” Matta said. “I told them I never had a team like this, and, you know, these two guys (Diebler and Lighty), as seniors, were incredible.” The 19-for-58 shooting from OSU was good for more than 20 percentage points below its average in its first two tournament games. “It hurts,” Diebler said, “just because we felt we could — we could make a run at the championship.” The Buckeyes will be forced to watch the remainder of the NCAA Tournament from home as they follow Duke and Pittsburgh as No. 1 seeds to make an early exit. read more

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Womens lacrosse continues to ALC Tournament semifinals with win against Vanderbilt

Like the strings of a guitar, the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team was plucked and pulled, but would not snap as it held off host Vanderbilt, 14-13, in the quarterfinals of the American Lacrosse Conference Tournament on Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. It is the Buckeyes’ first conference tournament win in the five-year history of the tournament, and their second one-goal victory against the Commodores this season. OSU defeated Vanderbilt, 17-16, in their April 10 regular-season matchup in Columbus. Senior attacker Brittney Zerhusen led the Buckeyes with seven points, netting five goals and assisting on two others. Annie Carruthers refused to relinquish the lead, as the senior goalie recorded 15 saves, including a clutch stop on a shot from Vanderbilt junior Courtney Kirk with 16 seconds remaining in the contest. Carruthers said the defensive plan set out during a timeout shortly before that play worked perfectly as the Buckeye defense forced Kirk to take a tough shot. “I had a good idea of where she was going to shoot,” Carruthers said. OSU coach Alexis Venechanos commended Carruthers’ play. “Annie came up huge this game,” Venechanos said. “She is definitely a leader for this team.” OSU led, 9-4, at halftime, but a 5-0 Commodores run tied the score just minutes into the second half. The Buckeyes regained the lead shortly thereafter, never allowing Vanderbilt to level the score for the remainder of the game. “I was very proud the way we were able to close the game out,” Venchanos said. “It showed a lot of character.” The fourth-seeded Buckeyes will play top-seeded Florida in the semifinals at 4 p.m. Friday. The Gators are ranked fourth in the latest Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association poll, while the Buckeyes are ranked 18th. Florida topped OSU, 10-8, when the teams met for their regular-season contest in Gainesville, Fla., on March 26. During that game, the Buckeyes trailed, 7-0, before fighting back to lose by just two goals. Venechanos said the team adjusted and handled Florida’s speed well during its comeback attempt in that game and that it is better prepared to face the Gators this time around. “We’re excited to move on, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to play a great Florida team,” she said. Carruthers said the previous game with the Gators sparked a “passion” in the team and that it is looking forward to the rematch. “We definitely had a chance in that (March 26) game,” she said. “From that point on we have been wanting to play them again.” In the other half of the ALC Tournament bracket, third-seeded Penn State knocked off fifth seed Johns Hopkins. The Nittany Lions will square off against second-seeded Northwestern in the semifinals Friday. read more

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Womens Basketball Ohio States losing streak extends to three games with 10389

Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell controls the ball during the first quarter of the Buckeyes’ game against Idaho on Nov. 15. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorThe No. 12 Ohio State women’s basketball team’s disastrous stretch continued Thursday night with a third straight defeat. Iowa held off the Buckeyes, defeating them 103-89 in Iowa City, Iowa. This is Ohio State’s first three-game losing streak since the 2013-14 season. The team has more losses in the past three games than in the opening 18 games of the year. The loss dropped Ohio State, the preseason conference favorite, to fifth in the Big Ten.The Buckeyes had no answer for junior forward Megan Gustafson. The Big Ten Player of the Year candidate dropped 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting, adding 11 points from free throws. Sophomore guard Kathleen Doyle added 25 points, making 4-of-8 3-pointers. She led the game with 11 assists.While Ohio State had just five assists, Iowa assisted on 26 of its 37 made shots. Ohio State struggled mightily inside with foul trouble while attempting to guard Gustafson. Redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga, who picked up three first-half fouls, fouled out with 7:38 remaining in the game. Redshirt junior forward Makayla Waterman fouled out with seven minutes to go. Forwards Alexa Hart also fouled out with 21 seconds to go in the game. The Hawkeyes took advantage, hitting 20-of-24 free throws. The Buckeyes also did damage from the charity stripe, going 14 for 17 from the free-throw line.Ohio State got off to a poor start and fell behind 14 points in the first quarter. But Mitchell began to heat up, scoring six points in the final 1:06 of the quarter, and the Buckeyes pulled back within five points by the end of it. But Iowa regained the momentum and entered halftime with a nine-point lead. The Buckeyes made a third-quarter run, pulling within two points, but Iowa rode its shooting touch and retained its lead for the remainder of the game.Senior guard Kelsey Mitchell led Ohio State with 27 points, making 10-of-26 shots. Mavunga had 15 points and 10 rebounds before her night ended early. Redshirt senior guard Linnae Harper scored 17 points and grabbed 12 boards.The Hawkeyes made 54 percent of their shots and drilled 9-of-17 triples. Ohio State hit just 41 percent of its shots and went 5 for 23 from behind the 3-point line. The Buckeyes grabbed 20 offensive rebounds and held a 19-10 advantage in second-chance points. Gustafson and Ohio State redshirt junior guard Sierra Calhoun collided heads with 2:23 left in the game. Both players returned to action before the game ended.During the three-game losing streak, Ohio State has given up at least 84 points in each game.The Buckeyes have one off day before getting back to action at home against Michigan State at noon Saturday. read more

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BBC Board chair to receive £10000 less a year than predecessor job

first_imgThe will need to establish a Board that places audiences at the heart of its decision-makingBBC spokesman Ms Fairhead surprise departure was announced in September after Theresa May reversed David Cameron’s decision to let her stay until 2018. In a statement, she said she did not want to put her name forward to chair the new governing body, which will come into existence in the New Year, and would instead be moving into the private sector. The new employee will join a number of staff and presenters at the BBC earning a six-figure salary. A spokesman for the BBC Trust confirmed it has nothing to do with setting the salary for the role. He said that it was completely normal for the Government to run the recruitment process.He added: “Our Charter consultation showed the public want a BBC that is bold, creative and above all independent. We welcome the start of the recruitment process for the new chair, who will need to establish a Board that places audiences at the heart of its decision-making.”The Department for Culture, Media and Sport declined to comment further on the recruitment process.  The new BBC Board chair will receive less money than their predecessor, it was revealed as the Government launched the recruitment process. The successful candidate will be offered £100,000 per annum for “at least two to three days work”- £10,000-a-year less than former chair Rona Fairhead, who stepped down last month.   They will be expected to have knowledge of broadcasting, as well as financial management and commercial media. It is understood the emphasis will be on ensuring the BBC stays independent from Government and politicians over the next four years. They will also focus on keeping audiences interested and “at the heart” of decision making. It comes after the BBC lost The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4 earlier this year. Previously, the head of the BBC Trust, the governing body being replaced by the board, has received £110,000 for three to four days work a week, as well as having their expenses reimbursed.The salary is set by the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, currently Karen Bradley, and chairs have included Lord Patten and Sir Michael Lyons. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Luxury hotel evacuated as huge gorse fire spreads in Devon

first_imgOne firefighter was taken to hospital and three others needed medical treatment. With the wind fanning the flames, the fire could be seen for miles around the area.Roads were closed, but some people have travelled to the area to see the incident. Devon fire It took place in an area that is popular with dog walkers.The fire service sent 20 pumps, four water carriers and two incident command units to the scene after the fire broke out around 2pm. Fire Fire in Devon Credit:Camera Firm / FameFlynet.uk.com Following the fire on Woodbury Common today Woodbury Park is not in danger, but due access the business will remain closed until the morning pic.twitter.com/TeAtjtenG4— Woodbury Park Hotel (@Woodbury_Park) April 23, 2017 Firefighters on the scenecenter_img A luxury hotel was evacuated on Sunday as a massive gorse fire spread in Devon.Guests left the Woodbury Park hotel as a precaution as around 160 firefighters tried to contain the blaze on Woodbury Common in east Devon. Credit:NPAS Exeter Police Helicopter Credit:Twitter / @jeremyboyden Credit:NPAS Exeter Police Helicopter  The hotel was once owned by former world racing champion Nigel Mansell. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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