Sports News-March 15, 2013

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The United States will have to win today to advance to the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic for the first time.  The Dominican Republic scored twice in the top of the ninth to beat the Americans 3-1 and reach the semis in San Francisco.  Erick Aybar snapped a 1-1 tie with an RBI single before scoring on a Jose Reyes single.  The U.S. failed to score after Eric Hosmer walked with the bases loaded in the first inning.  Team USA third baseman David Wright missed the game due to an injured ribcage after collecting a tournament-leading ten RBIs in four games.  Manager Joe Torre doesn't expect him to rejoin the lineup.

Shavon Shields scored 19 points, Brandon Ubel added 16 points and eight rebounds and Nebraska beat Purdue 57-55 yesterday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.  The Cornhuskers hung on after the Boilermakers’ Terone Johnson missed two shots in the closing seconds and will meet tenth ranked 23-7 Ohio State in the quarterfinals this evening at 5:30.  Shields also added six rebounds and two steals.  Nebraska started the second half on a 9-0 run to turn a two-point lead into a 39-28 advantage and withstood a late push by Purdue to come away with a surprising victory.  It was 54-53 after the Boilermakers’ D.J. Byrd made a three-pointer with 40 seconds left.  N-U's Ray Gallegos then made the first free throw and missed the second, but the Cornhuskers recovered the ball.  Ubel then hit the second foul shot after missing the first to make it 56-53 with 28 seconds left.  Byrd put back a missed three-pointer by Ronnie Johnson to pull Purdue within one with 13 seconds left.  Gallegos then made one of two free throws to make it a two-point game.  The Boilermakers had one last chance but Johnson missed two shots in the lane and Gallegos grabbed the rebound to secure the win.  Nebraska is now 15-17 while Purdue’s season ends at 15-17.  Other scores in the tournament yesterday had Illinois edging Minnesota 51-49, Michigan beat Penn State 83-66, and Iowa defeated Northwestern 73-59.

Creighton men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott says he isn't sure how the layoff between the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and NCAA tournament will affect his team.  He's hoping it works to his team’s advantage.  The 23rd-ranked 27-7 Bluejays won the Valley tournament title last Sunday and were among the first five teams to earn one of the 31 automatic NCAA bids.  Valley player of the year Doug McDermott said he senses a different vibe on the team.  Last year, Creighton was making their first NCAA appearance since 2007, and he said there was anxiety.  He said he and his teammates are more "laid back" and know what to expect.  The NCAA bracket will be announced Sunday.

The Nebraska sand volleyball team ended its first day of competition with two losses, falling 4-1 to Florida State and then 5-0 to Pepperdine yesterday at the Chula Vista tournament.  The No. 1 team of Kelsey Robinson and Alexa Strange got the Huskers’ only match win of the day, edging Florida State’s Fatma Yildirim and Aurora Davis 19-21, 21-19, 15-7.  The Huskers will return to action today at the tournament, which also features CSU Bakersfield and Grand Canyon.

The Wayne State softball team split a non-conference doubleheader at Washburn University yesterday in Topeka, Kansas as the host Lady Blue scored four runs in the seventh inning to rally for a 5-3 win in the opener while WSC came back in the second game to post a 13-5 win.  WSC is now 8-4 on the season while Washburn sports a 4-10 mark.   

Wayne State College placed 24 student-athletes on the 2013 Northern Sun Conference Winter All-Academic Team.  To be eligible for the NSIC Winter All-Academic Team, a student-athlete must be a member of the varsity traveling team and have a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 or better.  The student-athlete must also have reached sophomore academic and athletic standing at the institution represented with one full year completed at that particular institution.  The WSC men’s indoor track and field team had seven athletes named All-Academic followed by women’s indoor track and field and women’s basketball with six selections each while men’s basketball had five athletes selected.  Among the honored were Wayne’s Zach Thomsen, Winside’s Matt Peter Jr., and Howells’ Sidney Blum & Megan Svitak from the Indoor Track & Field team.

The Mid States Conference has announced its all-conference girls basketball team.  Reaching the squad from Norfolk Catholic were Michaela Barry & Amy Miller. Also on the team were West Point Guardian Angels’ Abby Ortmeier, Madison’s Alayna Daberkow, Hartington Cedar Catholic’s Katelyn Dickes, Boone Central/Newman Grove’s Jade Gottier, and Rachel Wiedenfeld from the Class “C-1” Champion Pierce Bluejays.  Also, honored on the team from the Class “C-2” Two-time State Champion Crofton Lady Warriors were Allison Arens, Bridget Arens, and Quinn Wragge.

The Lincoln Journal Star has announced its preseason high school baseball rankings.  Class “A” Defending State Champion Omaha Creighton Prep is ranked first in their class while Norris is number one in Class “B”

Local Schedule:  Columbus at Nfk High (Bsbl-4:30); Nebraska Vs. Ohio St. At Chicago, IL (Big 10 MBB Tourn. Quarterfinal-5:30); Creighton Vs. Southern Illinois at St. Charles, MO (MVC WBB Tourn. Quarterfinal-6:05); Nebraska at UC Irvine at Irvine, CA (Bsbl-8:30); Pacific at Creighton (Bsbl-6:00); Nebraska-Omaha at Minnesota St.-Mankato (WCHA Hockey Playoffs-7:05).

Saturday Morning:  Sportstalk on 106 KIX & 106KIX.com from 9:00-10:00 AM from Hy-Vee East.  This week we’ll hear from boys basketball coaches Ben Ries from Norfolk High, Boone Central/Newman Grove’s Dan Zoucha, and Cole Fischer from Howells/Dodge.  Also, girls basketball coaches Tim Kassmeier from Norfolk Catholic, Pender’s Larry Ballinger, and Northeast Hawks women’s coach Matt Svehla.

Local Scores:  Nebraska 57 Purdue 55 (MBB Big Ten Tourn.); Creighton 4 North Dakota 1 (Bsbl); Washburn 5-5 WSC 3-13 (SB DH).

     NATIONAL  BASKETBALL  ASSOCIATION
    
      Final    San  Antonio      92    Dallas          91
      Final    Portland          105    New  York      90
    
    
          NATIONAL  HOCKEY  LEAGUE
    
      Final  2OT    Chicago                  2    Columbus            1  (SO  Chicago  2-1)
      Final            Boston                    4    Florida              1
      Final            Pittsburgh            3    Toronto              1
      Final            Washington            3    Carolina            2
      Final            N-Y  Islanders      2    Tampa  Bay          0
      Final            Minnesota              5    Colorado            3
      Final            Winnipeg                3    N-Y  Rangers      1
      Final            St.  Louis              3    Phoenix              0
      Final  2OT    Anaheim                  2    Dallas                1  (SO  Anaheim  2-0)
      Final            Vancouver              7    Nashville          4
      Final            San  Jose                4    Los  Angeles      3
    
    
          TOP-25  COLLEGE  BASKETBALL
    
      Final    (  4)  Louisville          74              Villanova          55
      Final    (  5)  Georgetown          62              Cincinnati        43
      Final    (  6)  Michigan              83              Penn  St.            66
      Final    (  7)  Kansas                  91              Texas  Tech        63
      Final    (11)  Kansas  St.          66              Texas                  49
      Final    (24)  Notre  Dame          73    (12)  Marquette          65
      Final    (14)  Oklahoma  St.      74              Baylor                72
      Final    (19)  Syracuse              62    (17)  Pittsburgh        59
      Final    (18)  Arizona                79              Colorado            69
      Final    (20)  Memphis                81              Tulane                68
      Final    (21)  UCLA                      80              Arizona  St.      75

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