Sports News-March 10, 2014

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Wichita State has become the second team in NCAA Division I men's basketball history to open a season with 34 straight wins, and the first since UNLV in 1990-91.  The Shockers did it by winning the Missouri Valley Conference title game, downing Indiana State 83-69.  Fred VanVleet scored 22 points for the Shockers, while tournament MVP Tekele Cotton drained four three-pointers to finish with 20 points.   

Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway scored 26 points apiece, and Nebraska upset ninth ranked Wisconsin 77-68 last night to put a dent in the Badgers' hopes for a top seed in the NCAA tournament.  The Cornhuskers won for the tenth time in their last twelve games to clinch fourth place in the Big Ten for their highest conference finish since 1997-98.  Wisconsin had their longest conference win streak since 1940-41 end at eight games.  Petteway added ten rebounds.  Shields made a couple free throws, Ray Gallegos hit a three-pointer and Shields dunked in transition to start a 12-1 run that turned a 52-48 deficit into a 60-53 lead with five minutes left.  Nebraska is now 19-11 overall and 11-7 in the Big Ten while the Badgers are now 25-6 overall and 12-6 in the conference.

Creighton forward Doug McDermott was named First Team All-Conference for the fourth year in a row, and Ethan Wragge earned Honorable-Mention acclaim as the BIG EAST released its All-Conference honors yesterday. McDermott was also named BIG EAST Player of the Week for the eighth time this season, the league office announced yesterday.  McDermott averaged 33.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while becoming the eighth man in NCAA history to surpass 3,000 career points.  In the process, he passed Oscar Robertson and Hersey Hawkins and moved into seventh on the NCAA's all-time scoring list with 3,011 career points.  The eighth award is two more than the previous league record for a player in one season.

Rachel Theriot scored 19 of her 24 points in the second half yesterday, leading 16th ranked Nebraska past 23rd ranked Iowa 72-65 for the Big Ten tournament title.  It's the first time the Cornhuskers have ever won a conference tourney crown, clinching the league's automatic NCAA tournament bid.  Nebraska also posted its second straight 25-win season and is tied for the second most victories in school history.  The Cornhuskers head into the postseason with plenty of momentum after winning twelve of their last 13 games.  The Hawkeyes had a six-game win streak snapped.  Nebraska never trailed, though Iowa closed to 57-56 with 7:43 to play.  Theriot, the tourney's most outstanding player, helped the Huskers pull away with an 8-3 run.  Nebraska is now 25-6 overall while the Hawkeyes drop to 26-8.

Sarah Nelson scored 21 points, including four three-pointers, to lead the third seeded Creighton women's basketball team to a 61-52 win over sixth-seeded Butler in the Big East women's tournament quarterfinals yesterday.  The Bluejays will now face two seed St. John's in today's semifinal.  MC McGrory finished the game with twelve points while Marissa Janning and McKenzie Fujan had ten points apiece.  Creighton is now 19-12 overall while Butler falls to 15-15.

Reigning All-Americans James Green (157) and Robert Kokesh (174) each won their weight class titles at the Big Ten Championships to lead Nebraska to a fifth-place finish on Sunday at the Kohl Center.  Green and Kokesh become the first two Big Ten champions for Nebraska since the Huskers joined the conference in 2011.  The Huskers earned 79 points for the tournament as Penn State (140.5) won the team title.

The Wayne State College women's basketball team received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II basketball tournament in pairings that were announced yesterday.  The 27-4 Wildcats are the four seed in the Central Region and will face five seed Pittsburg State of Kansas in the first round on Friday in Searcy, Ark.  The winner of that matchup will play the winner of top seed 28-3 Emporia State and eight seed 19-10 Southwestern Oklahoma State.

The Omaha World Herald has updated its high school boys basketball rankings.  Omaha South remains first and Norfolk High stays at number ten in the 'Nebraska Top 10'.  The Panthers are ninth in Class 'A'.  Elkhorn South is once again first in Class 'B'.  In Class 'C-1', Bishop Neumann is the new number one, Wayne jumps from fourth to second, Columbus Scotus moves up from fifth to third, Boone Central/Newman Grove falls from first to sixth, and Columbus Lakeview stays at number nine.  In Class 'C-2', Archbishop Bergan remains first, Hartington Cedar Catholic slips from third to fourth, and Winnebago drops out of the rankings.  In Class 'D-1', North Platte St. Patrick's is the new number one, Randolph moves up from seventh to fourth, Clearwater/Orchard jumps from eighth to fifth, Howells/Dodge slips from second to sixth, and O'Neill St. Mary's falls from third to eighth.  In Class 'D-2', Exeter/Milligan stays at number one, Bancroft/Rosalie remains fifth, Wynot slips from fourth to sixth, and Wausa moves up from tenth to ninth.

The Omaha World Herald & Lincoln Journal Star has posted their final high school girls basketball rankings.  In the Omaha World Herald, Class 'A' Champion Omaha Benson remains first, Class 'C-2' Three-time Defending State Champion Crofton moves up from fifth to fourth, Class 'C-1' Two-time Defending State Champion Pierce enters the rankings at number nine in the 'Nebraska Top 10'.  Omaha Benson stays at number one in Class 'A' while Class 'B' Two-time Defending State Champion Grand Island Northwest is the new number one in their class.  In Class 'C-1', Pierce is the new number one after moving up from eighth.  In Class 'C-2', Crofton remains first, Pender stays at number three, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family jumps from fifth to fourth, West Point Guardian Angels slips from fourth to fifth, and Homer is once again sixth.  In Class 'D-1', champion Friend remains first, Humphrey St. Francis jumps from fourth to second, Emerson/Hubbard enters the rankings at number four, O'Neill St. Mary's drops from second to fifth, and Chambers/Wheeler Central slips from eighth to ninth.  In Class 'D-2', four-time Defending State Champion Wynot is the new number one after moving up from fourth, Bancroft/Rosalie remains fifth, Stuart is once again sixth.  In the Lincoln Journal Star, champion Omaha Benson stays at number one in Class 'A' while Class 'B' Two-time Defending State Champion Grand Island Northwest remains first in their class.  In Class 'C-1', Two-time Defending State Champion Pierce is the new number one after moving up from seventh, Norfolk Catholic slips from sixth to seventh, Boone Central/Newman Grove is once again ninth, and Wayne enters the rankings at number ten.  In Class 'C-2', Three-time Defending State Champion Crofton remains first, Pender slips from second to third, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family moves up from fifth to fourth, West Point Guardian Angels slips from third to fifth, and Homer improves from ninth to seventh.  In Class 'D-1', champion Friend is the new number one, Humphrey St. Francis jumps from third to second, Emerson/Hubbard enters the rankings at number five, O'Neill St. Mary's drops from first to sixth, and Chambers/Wheeler Central slips from fifth to seventh.  In Class 'D-2', four-time Defending State Champion Wynot is the new number one after moving up from third, Bancroft/Rosalie moves up from sixth to fifth, Stuart falls from fifth to seventh, and Ewing drops out of the rankings.

Three Norfolk Catholic wrestlers competed in the AAU State Wrestling tournament in Kearney yesterday.  All three wrestlers placed.  Freshman Jonah Heng finished 4th in the 126 lb. weight class.  Sophomores Aaron Hoff at 220 lb. and Aidan Burroughs at 285 lb. finished second in their divisions.  By virtue of their placing at this meet, all three qualify to represent Nebraska on one of the three AAU Freshman/Sophomore Teams that Nebraska is sending to the National Duals Challenge in Castle Rock, Colorado.

The Norfolk Catholic boys basketball team's season reached the end of the road a week ago today after a 71-46 loss to Wayne in the C-1-4 District Final from Wisner/Pilger High School.  Their final record was 14-11 but won six games against opponents that were ranked number one at the time in Boone Central/Newman Grove twice, Columbus Scotus, Wahoo High, and Hartington Cedar Catholic twice.  The Knights outscored their opponents on average through the 25 games 59.8-58.2.  Their opponents have a record of 407-206 for a win percentage of .664. Norfolk Catholic will lose Dylan Borer, Blake Uhing, and Zach Pospisil to graduation but return starters Matt Miller, Beau Schommer, David Engelhaupt.  

The NJCAA 24th ranked in Division I Northeast Hawks women's basketball team's season reached conclusion yesterday after not receiving an at large berth to the National Tournament.  They lost their most recent game nine days ago 80-62 at Iowa Western Community College in the Region XI Championship Game.  Their final record was 26-4 and recorded the best start in program history at 14-0.  Northeast outscored their opponents on average through the 30 games 80.4-62.4.  They will lose Debinique Knowles, Emily Gamble, Lexi Murphy, Alison Klostergaard, and Amelia Allington after their two-year service.  

Local Schedule:  Creighton Vs. St. John's at Rosemont, IL (MVC WBB Tourn. Semifinals-3:00); WSC Vs. Queens, NY-4:00; Vs. Tiffin, OH-6:00 (SB at Clermont, FL).

Local Scores:  (16) Nebraska 72 (23) Iowa 65 (Big Ten WBB Tourn. Championship Game); Creighton 61 Butler 52 (MVC WBB Tourn. Quarterfinals); Nebraska 14 St. John's 7 (Bsbl); Creighton 5 Arkansas St. 4 (Bsbl).

      Final  OT    Chicago                95    Miami                      88
      Final          L-A  Lakers        114    Oklahoma  City    110
      Final  OT    New  Orleans      111    Denver                  107
      Final          Boston                118    Detroit                111
      Final          Brooklyn            104    Sacramento            89
      Final  OT    Houston              118    Portland              113
      Final          Toronto              111    Minnesota            104
      Final          Dallas                105    Indiana                  94
      Final          Golden  State    113    Phoenix                107
      Final            Boston                5    Florida          2
      Final            Chicago              2    Buffalo          1
      Final            N-Y  Rangers      3    Detroit          0
      Final            Los  Angeles      4    Edmonton        2
      Final  2OT    St.  Louis          3    Minnesota      2  (SO  St.  Louis  2-0)
      Final          (  2)  Wichita  St.      83              Indiana  St.        69
      Final  OT              Maryland            75    (  5)  Virginia              69
      Final          (  7)  Syracuse            74              Florida  St.        58
      Final                    Nebraska            77    (  9)  Wisconsin            68
      Final          (17)  Saint  Louis      64              UMass                    62
      Final                    Ohio  St.            69    (22)  Michigan  St.      67
      Final    (  1)  UConn                      83    (24)  Rutgers                  57
      Final    (  2)  Notre  Dame            69    (10)  Duke                        53
      Final    (  3)  Louisville            60              South  Florida      56
      Final    (  6)  Tennessee              71    (12)  Kentucky                70
      Final    (  7)  West  Virginia      67              Texas                      60
      Final    (  9)  Baylor                    65    (18)  Oklahoma  St.        61
      Final    (16)  Nebraska                72    (23)  Iowa                        65
      Final    (25)  DePaul                    78              Georgetown            54

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