Record-breaking Aussies thump Sri Lanka in opening T20I

first_imgAUSTRALIA set a new Twenty20 international run record on their way to a comfortable 85-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first T20I clash between the sides yesterday.The tourists posted a score of 263-3 in Pallekele, surpassing the previous record of 260 set by Sri Lanka in 2007, with Glenn Maxwell playing the starring role.The 27-year-old, who was left out of the recent one-day international series against the same opponents, produced an unbeaten 145 to fall just 11 runs short of Aaron Finch’s individual T20I record.Sri Lanka struggled to make any headway in their daunting chase, despite the best efforts of Dinesh Chandimal (58), as Mitchell Starc (3-26) and Scott Boland (also 3-26) stifled the hosts, who fell to their heaviest T20I defeat.Maxwell, who played without a helmet for a short spell as he attempted to cope with the heat, was making his first appearance as an opener in a T20I and wasted little time in putting Sri Lanka to the sword.It took Maxwell just 49 deliveries to chalk up his maiden century in this form of the game, dropped by Tillakaratne Dilshan as he brought up the 100.He eventually finished with 14 fours and nine maximums in a barnstorming display, firing three sixes in a row in a stunning 17th over.Travis Head (45) proved an able batting partner following the earlier dismissals of David Warner (28) and Usman Khawaja (36) – the pair combined for a 109-run partnership that saw the tourists make history.Sri Lanka’s response got off to a poor start as Dilshan (4) fell to Starc in the opening over, before the same man took the catch that saw off Kusal Perera (4) five deliveries later.Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera (43) put up admirable resistance, but they were a departure from the norm as the rest of the team managed just 58 between them.Sri Lanka did last the full 20 overs but they were no match for a superb Australia side, finishing on 178-9.The second and final T20I takes place in Colombo on Friday.(Omnisport)last_img read more

Female referees for boxing championships

first_imgTHREE female referee/judges from the Caribbean and North America will be in Guyana shortly to officiate in the second edition of the Caribbean Schoolboys and Juniors boxingLeyla JacksonChampionships.The three officials hail from St Lucia, the United States of America and the Cayman Islands. On Tuesday afternoon AIBA One Star,Julie Bonnet,will arrive from St Lucia.Bonnet just finished rubbing shoulders with fellow One Star Guyanese Richard Braithwaite and Ramona Agard at the recently concluded OECS Championships in St Lucia.The St Lucian would be joined later in the week by Kelly Pope from the United States and Leyla Jackson, an Attorney-at-Law from the Cayman Islands,Guyana Boxing Association president Steve Ninvalle confirmed yesterday.While here, the three females will team-up with two Trinidadians and several Guyanese officials. AIBA Three Star referee James Beckles is scheduled to be in Guyana on Tuesday and will commence a three-day seminar the same day.The Schoolboys and Juniors Championship will kick off this Friday at the National Gymnasium and conclude on Sunday.Six countries including Guyana have registered to participate. Suriname, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados make up the group.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgNBA RESTART-TRAVEL PARTIESNBA teams at Disney had tough travel-party decisions to makeUNDATED (AP) — The 22 teams participating in the NBA restart were all at the Disney campus together for the first time Friday.None of them, however, made it to the Orlando, Florida area with their usual travel party. Posey opts to skip the seasonUNDATED (AP) — San Francisco Giants star catcher Buster Posey is the latest big-name player to skip this season because of concerns over the coronavirus. Posey says his family finalized the adoption of identical twin girls this week. The babies were born prematurely and Posey said after consultations with his wife and doctor he decided to opt out of the season.The babies born last Friday were about eight weeks premature. They are healthy but will need to spend time in neonatal intensive care and will have weakened immune systems for the next few months.Posey joins other top players such as Dodgers pitcher David Price, Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Colorado’s Ian Desmond in opting out this season. In other MLB news: Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-NHLNHL, players approve plan to resume season, extend CBAUNDATED (AP) — Hockey became the latest sport to finalize a return during a global pandemic after NHL owners and players approved an agreement Friday to resume the season — and with it an assurance of labor peace through September 2026. Associated Press — The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, a conference of historically black colleges, is suspending all fall sports out of concern over the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference says several of its schools are in states experiencing dramatic increases in new COVID-19 cases. It says the recent rise in cases has led to a pause in phased reopening plans in many of those states, resulting in uncertainty as to whether students will return to campus this fall at several CIAA institutions. The conference said it will explore the possibility of a modified schedule for football, volleyball and men’s and women’s cross-country next spring.— The University of Virginia says two football players have tested positive for COVID-19 and will self-isolate for at least 10 days. The school says other members of the program found to have come into close contact with them will also go into quarantine. The school tested 110 players when they began returning to campus for voluntary workouts on July 5. The players with positive test results will self-isolate for 10 days, or until they have been fever-free for at least three days, whichever is longer. Those determined to have come into close contact with those infected also will self-quarantine for 14 days. — The University of Michigan says two athletes tested positive during a second round of COVID-19 testing, bringing the total to four out of the 375 who have been tested. The school says none of the 139 staff members have tested positive.— The Jacksonville Jaguars are planning to play home games in front of a significantly reduced capacity this fall. Fans in attendance will be required to wear face coverings. The team released details in an email to season-ticket holders Friday. Jacksonville expects about 25% capacity at TIAA Bank Field in 2020 “in compliance with state and local authorities and following CDC social distancing guidelines.” The stadium’s capacity is listed at over 67,000. Baltimore was the first team to announced plans for reduced capacity. The Ravens plan to allow fewer than 14,000 fans at home game at M&T Bank Stadium in 2020.— Japan’s professional baseball league opened the delayed season three weeks ago. Now fans are back, too. After playing in empty stadiums to get started, Japan began allowing up to 5,000 fans into the games on Friday, or 50% of the stadium capacity — whichever is smaller. Officials hope to allow stadiums to be filled to 50% capacity beginning on Aug. 1. Japan’s soccer J-League is also allowing fans to return, beginning on Friday, under the same guidelines. Fans are required to use hand disinfectant and have their temperatures taken when they entered the stadium. Shops were open and food and drinks were for sale, but alcohol was not allowed. Restrictions were also put on the amount of cheering permitted, a staple at games in Japan. SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Syracuse University has added an athletic director of diversity, culture and climate in a new position within the department of athletics. Salatha Willis is charged with developing and implementing new ways to create an equitable culture for the university’s student-athletes, administrators, coaches and staff in the athletic department. The move is a response to the racial tension that has wracked the country, including a period of social unrest on campus last fall. There were more than a dozen reports last November of racist graffiti and vandalism targeting Blacks, Jews, Asians and Native Americans. — All-Star slugger Joey Gallo has worked out with the Texas Rangers for the first time during their summer camp. Gallo was cleared and at workouts Friday after missing the first week following positive tests for coronavirus. The 26-year-old outfielder said he never felt any symptoms but had two positive tests that sandwiched a negative result during intake testing. His return to the field comes two weeks before the scheduled start of the season against Colorado. He had 22 homers in 70 games and made his first All-Star appearance last year before wrist surgery ended his season.— The Toronto Blue Jays are shifting Vladimir Guerrero Jr. across the diamond, moving the slugger to first base from third. Blue Jays Manager Charlie Montoyo said Guerrero feels comfortable at first and the team has Travis Shaw ready to play third. Montoyo also said Guerrero will see time as a designated hitter. He didn’t rule out that he will play some third in the future. — Blue Jays infielder Travis Shaw says he’s not interested in confining himself to the hotel attached to the Rogers Centre for the summer if Major League Baseball is granted an exemption from the Canadian government to play baseball in Toronto amid the pandemic. MLB needs an exemption as anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days. The U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel until at least July 21 and that is widely expected to be extended. Any exemption likely means the Blue Jays would not be allowed to leave the hotel attached to the Rogers Center when they play home games in the city. The Blue Jays have created a quarantine environment at Rogers Centre and the adjoining Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel during training camp. — The Red Sox and Blue Jays will play two exhibition games at Fenway Park before baseball’s delayed regular-season opener. Toronto will visit Boston on July 21 and 22 before heading down to Tampa Bay for its opener. The Red Sox are scheduled to open at home against the Baltimore Orioles on July 24.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS Dutch short-track world champion Van Ruijven dies at age 27THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — World champion short-track speed skater Lara van Ruijven died on Friday as a result of complications from an autoimmune reaction, the Netherlands skating association said. Van Ruijven was 27.She died in a hospital in France, where she had been in a critical condition for days.She last year became the first Dutch short-track skater to win a world title when she won the 500-meter title in Sofia, Bulgaria. Herman de Haan, director of the national skating body, added: “It’s incomprehensible that she has been taken from us while in the prime of her life.” WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Wimbledon will pay out $12.5 million in prize money to 620 players despite the tournament’s cancellation because of the coronavirus pandemic, the All England Club said Friday.After consulting with its insurance provider, club officials said 256 players who would have competed in the main draw will each receive 25,000 pounds ($31,000), while 224 players who would have competed in qualifying will each receive 12,500 pounds ($15,600).In addition, 120 players who would have competed in doubles will each receive 6,250 pounds ($7,800); 16 players who would have competed in the wheelchair events will each receive 6,000 pounds ($7,500); and four players who would have competed in the quad wheelchair events will each receive 5,000 pounds ($6,200).All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis said “we are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognize the impact of the cancellation on the players.”OBIT-VAN RUIJVEN Update on the latest sports GYMMNASTICS-BRITAIN-ABUSE COMPLAINTSBritish Olympic gymnasts decry ‘abusive behavior’LONDON (AP) — British Olympians Becky and Ellie Downie say they’ve suffered from abusive behavior in gymnastics training for many years, adding their voices to a growing number of gymnasts coming forward with similar complaints.The sisters said coaches pressured them to lose weight and overtrain, which took mental and physical tolls. They were inspired to tell their story after former teammates did the same.In a letter posted Thursday on their respective Twitter accounts, they said: “Speaking out is something we’ve both felt we really needed to do for a long time now, but in truth, we’ve been afraid to do so.” DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Collin Morikawa looks as if he’ll be tough to catch at the Workday Charity Open. He made nine birdies Friday for a 66 and had a six-shot lead among those who finished the second round. Storms twice halted play at Muirfield Village in Ohio. Ian Poulter had a 69 and was six shots behind. Two others had a few holes remaining when play resumed. Morikawa’s 13-under 131 was one off the Muirfield Village 36-hole record.Morikawa ran off four straight birdies after making the turn Friday, finished with another birdie and shot 6-under 66 to build a six-shot lead when thunderstorms arrived in Ohio. His 13-under 131 was one shot off the course record set by Jason Dufner in 2017 at the Memorial. WIMBLEDON-PRIZE MONEYWimbledon to allocate prize money despite cancellation Games are scheduled to begin Aug. 1 in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, with coronavirus cases in the U.S. pushing the league into Canada for the summer and fall until the Stanley Cup is awarded in late September or early October. Training camps open across North America on Monday, which is also the deadline for players to opt out of participating with no penalty.The return-to-play plan, tentatively approved by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association on Monday, was ratified by the league’s board of governors and with majority approval from players following a three-day voting period, ending Friday. Along with it, the two sides also formally approved a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.The NHL is back with an expanded 24-team playoff format, but things will be much different from the norm: There will be no fans. There will be between five and six games a day at the start — up to three at each site, which will be heavily cordoned off from the public. MLB-NEWS Leaving families behind for several weeks — or maybe even three months, depending on how deep a team goes in the playoffs — during a pandemic isn’t the only hardship that teams are dealing with during this restart. Space limitations within the quasi-bubble at Disney also meant that teams had to cut their official traveling parties down to 37 personnel, including players, so many people who usually travel with a club aren’t on this trip.It’s expected that as the bubble population shrinks after six teams are eliminated from playoff contention and then eight more are ousted in the first postseason round, teams will be allowed to bring in more staff.But until then, while teams are playing games on-site at Disney, there will be plenty of work done back in home markets and home arenas as well. Some teams left player development coaches behind, some even left assistant coaches, and all teams traveled with only one media relations staffer and one equipment manager. PGA-WORKDAY OPENMorikawa builds big lead at Muirfield Village before storms July 10, 2020 ACC expects fall decision in late JulyUNDATED (AP) — Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford says the league expects to make its decision on fall sports in late July. The league put out Swofford’s statement Friday afternoon, saying the league has prepared “numerous scenarios” for fall competition over the last few months. The decision would come from the league’s board of directors.Earlier this week, the ACC delayed the start of fall competition until at least Sept. 1. That move impacts non-revenue programs like soccer, volleyball, field hockey and cross country, but not football for now. The first football game involving an ACC team is North Carolina State’s trip to Louisville on Sept. 2.In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic: Both women represented Britain in the 2016 Olympic Games but they say their success has come at a high price.Twenty-eight-year-old Becky said she was called “mentally weak” for questioning her training regimen in 2018. She then injured her ankle in “a direct consequence of the unsafe training.” Her 20-year-old sister said a nutritionist required her to send daily pictures of herself wearing just underwear to prove she wasn’t gaining weight. She was 14 years old at that time.British Gymnastics CEO Jane Allen this week announced an independent review of claims of mistreatment. She said the British Gymnastics Integrity Unit already exists to investigate allegations and that there are welfare officers around the country.SYRACUSE-DIVERSITY DIRECTORSyracuse University appoints diversity director for sportslast_img read more

The Latest: Detroit latest city to cancel marathon

first_imgJohnson averaged 7.3 points per game for Dallas in 2019, her seventh season in the WNBA.Brown says she has battled “challenging” symptoms include headache, sore throat, chills, body aches, fatigue, loss of the sense of taste and shortness of breath.Brown says she is feeling better but won’t be able to play when the Dream opens its season on Sunday against Dallas.Atlanta acquired Brown from the Los Angeles Sparks on Feb. 10 in exchange for guard Brittney Sykes and center Marie Gülich.___ July 24, 2020 Formula One races in Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic and three others have been added.F1 says the Eifel Grand Prix will host a race at the iconic Nürburgring in Germany on Oct. 11. That will be followed by the Portuguese GP in Portimão two weeks later and the Emilia-Romagna GP in Italy on Nov. 1.The U.S. GP was initially scheduled for late October. Brazil and Mexico were then to host races in November. Canada was already postponed from its mid-June date.The three new races take this season’s total to 13. All of them are in Europe.___ Associated Press ___Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe practiced with his teammates Friday for the first time since learning he had tested positive for the coronavirus.Bledsoe had arrived at Walt Disney World for the relaunch of the NBA season on Wednesday, about two weeks after the team got to Florida. Bledsoe said after Friday’s practice that he savored getting “back to my sanctuary.”“I got up and down the court,” Bledsoe said while wearing a mask throughout his Zoom session. “Just touching the basketball, getting a feel for it again, it was pretty fun.’’The Bucks play the second of their three scrimmages Saturday against the Sacramento Kings as they prepare for the resumption of the season after a 4 ½-month layoff. Donte DiVincenzo replaced Bledsoe in the starting lineup for the Bucks’ first scrimmage, a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Thursday. “In March, when our world as we knew it seemed to change, we were hopeful that we would be able to run together in October. As time has gone on, it has become clear to us that this will not be the case,” organizers said Friday.It would have been the event’s 43rd year. It offers a 26.2-mile race that takes runners over the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Ontario, and back to the United States through the Detroit River tunnel.There are also two half-marathons, one that follows the international route and another that stays in Detroit.Runners who had registered can participate in a virtual event, roll their registration to 2021 or 2022 at no cost, or get a 50% refund. Details on the virtual races will be announced July 30.The Chicago Marathon, New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon were also canceled. The next Premier League soccer season will begin on Sept. 12 and finish on May 23.This season will end on Sunday. That is two months later than originally scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.The dates for next season were agreed to by the clubs during a conference call.___Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora says fans will be allowed back into stadiums in September if the virus is kept under control. Senior Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho also says fans will be allowed at professional soccer games starting on Aug. 1. But professional golf tournaments will continue without galleries at least until late August.Both baseball and soccer teams will be initially allowed to sell only 10% of the seats for each game as officials plan to control the level of attendance based on the progress of anti-virus efforts.Spectators will continue to be banned in the city of Gwangju and nearby South Jeolla Province towns.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said the team would be patient in working Bledsoe back into action and that they’d see how he progresses over the next several days. The 30-year-old Bledsoe said he never felt sick during his quarantine. ___Atlanta Dream forward Glory Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss the start of the season.Earlier Friday, the team said center Kalani Brown tested positive for the coronavirus on July 9 and remains under quarantine as the team prepares to play in the WNBA bubble.In a statement released by the team, Johnson says she tested positive two weeks ago following several negative tests. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon in Detroit is joining other large cities in canceling its fall event because of the coronavirus. Spadafora says “obviously the stadium can’t be filled like before but rather a series of measures currently being studied will need to be respected.”The Serie A soccer season is being completed without fans and is scheduled end on Aug. 2. Next season should start in mid-September.___The Chinese basketball league is set to allow limited numbers of spectators into games this Sunday before being fully open to fans from July 31 for playoff games in Qingdao.The Chinese Basketball Association says medical professionals, teachers and police and public security officers will be eligible in the first intake of fans since the league resumed last month following a lockdown for the coronavirus pandemic. The league says fans older than 12 “who have missed the stadium will have the opportunity to enter the Qingdao Guoxin Sports Center Diamond Stadium to cheer for their favorite teams and players” from July 31.Fans will have to buy tickets through an online registration system on a “one ticket, one certificate” basis within 48 hours of testing negative for COVID-19.Physical distancing measures will be in place inside the stadium and spectators will have to show identification, wear face masks and undergo body temperature testing before entry.___South Korea says it will allow baseball fans to return to the stands beginning Sunday as health authorities outlined a phased process to bring back spectators in professional sports amid the COVID-19 epidemic. The Latest: Detroit latest city to cancel marathonlast_img read more

Aussies reviewing DRS process after Headingley howler – Paine

first_img(REUTERS) – Australia are reviewing the way they use cricket’s Decision Review System after blowing their last referral late in the Headingley cliffhanger against England, captain Tim Paine has said.Paine wasted Australia’s last review on a leg-side lbw appeal against tailender Jack Leach, denying spinner Nathan Lyon a referral for a much stronger leg before shout soon after against Ben Stokes.Stokes, who scored an unbeaten century, guided England to a rousing one-wicket win that levelled the series 1-1 ahead of the fourth test at Old Trafford.Paine, who has worn plenty of criticism for his ambitious review, said the team were looking to come up with a better plan for the rest of the series.“We’re trying our best to come up with a system that’s better,” he told Melbourne radio station SEN.“And we can, I suppose, gather information on what different people are seeing on the field at the time and in that 15 seconds try to make a better decision than what we have been doing, but it’s a little bit of trial and error.”The wasted review was one of a slew of mishaps in the final hour as Australia gave up a seemingly impregnable position to allow England back into the series.Paine said his team were “obviously really dejected” in the immediate aftermath at Headingley on Sunday but he was proud at how they had banded together in the days since.“Losses like that can wear groups down and break groups apart,” he said.“Really proud of the fact we’ve moved on quickly. We certainly didn’t paper over the cracks.“We know we made some pretty obvious mistakes particularly in that last hour. We’ve had some pretty honest chats about that.”Stokes proved a game-changer at Headingley and Paine came in for criticism for his field positions as the all-rounder blasted Australia’s attack to all parts of the ground.Paine said there was little he would have changed, though, barring asking his team to take their chances when offered.“(Stokes) can literally hit the ball anywhere he likes on the field, so when he’s in and going, he’s extremely hard to stop,” said Paine.“In the last two  Test matches alone, I think Nathan Lyon’s got him out about six or seven times. We’ve either dropped him or the lbws have been given not out and we haven’t referred them.“So, Lyon’s always had some success against him. We’ve just got to back him up and grab those chances or learn how to use the DRS a little better.”last_img read more

TENNIS : Syracuse earns 1st win of season over St. John’s

first_imgAfter its first two matches this season, Syracuse wasn’t satisfied. It felt it could have won both, but let good opportunities slip away. Head coach Luke Jensen even said his players were embarrassed to tell family and friends they were 0-2.Syracuse needed to find a way to break out of its slump quickly.The Orange took out this resentment on St. John’s on Friday night, jumping all over the Red Storm in a 7-0 victory in front of 121 at Drumlins Tennis Center. Aggressive play proved to be the perfect antidote for the team’s struggles, and this up-tempo style existed across all matches. The Red Storm (0-1, 0-1 Big East) never managed to take control, with the Orange (2-2, 1-1) refusing to allow easy points, and rarely made any easy returns. Syracuse completed the weekend with a 7-0 sweep at Buffalo (1-2) on Sunday, reaching the .500 mark on the season.After those season-opening losses, SU made a complete reversal of its play.‘We try to play fast,’ Jensen said. ‘We try to play up-tempo as fast as possible. The aggressiveness of our style really landed a lot of punches and did all the damage.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAgainst St. John’s, freshman Komal Safdar doggedly chased balls around the court and refused to let her opponent outwork her on any single point. Safdar earned her first collegiate victory after she was humbled in straight sets last week. Safdar said she knows putting heat on the ball was important, especially at the collegiate level, where all players are proficient at returning serves.‘Anyone can hit a ball a hundred times in the court,’ Safdar said. ‘We try to dictate the play. We try to control the ball. That’s how we win in the end.’While Safdar took control of her match on her court, sophomore Maddie Kobelt did the same on another. Kobelt won her first set 6-0 and produced hard returns that kept her opponent, Ece Firat, in a defensive mindset. The Orange controlled the tempo on all courts and kept St. John’s players from gaining momentum.At times, the Red Storm could barely return serves aside from weak lobs that the Orange could easily spike. By staying aggressive, the Orange stayed in control and won all of its matches in straight sets.After not being able to gain control in those first two matches, Syracuse entered this weekend intent on doing so through aggression against St. John’s. Sophomore Aleah Marrow won her match 6-0, 6-2, generating the same hard returns that made it difficult for her opponent to pose much of a challenge.‘With a team like St. John’s that plays at a slower pace, we try to keep the energy up,’ Marrow said. ‘That’s intensity, and that’s what we came out here and did.’ Walking off the court after her easy victory, Marrow had a clear bounce in her step.Kobelt’s match was a microcosm of the Orange’s efforts. All match long, Kobelt was driving the ball into the backcourt, forcing Firat to use significantly more energy. By the end of the match, it was clear Firat could not match the power that Kobelt was generating, and Kobelt won 6-0, 6-2.Kobelt, Marrow and senior Alessondra Parra all won their first sets 6-0, setting the tone quickly.  Parra’s returns were consistent, and her sense of control allowed her to stay aggressive without making pivotal mistakes.Jensen talked about confidence being a team strength despite the early setbacks. This confidence translated into the intensity on the court, and Jensen feels that the effort shown in practice carried over to the match.By staying aggressive and playing at an up-tempo pace, the Orange made sure the losing streak ended at two.‘I like the way we responded after two straight losses,’ Jensen said.  ‘It’s hard to tell our own fans that we’re 0-2.  Now our fans see that we’re a good team, and we’re landing punches.’kmprisei@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Kevin: kmprisei@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more

USC men’s basketball takes down Providence in First Four

first_imgIt almost felt like revisionist history. After suffering heartbreak at the buzzer against Providence at last season’s NCAA Tournament, USC once again opened its tourney bid against the Friars in 2017, this time in the First Four. The Trojans met their opponents in Dayton, Ohio on Wednesday in a rematch of 2016’s first-round contest for the right to officially enter the bracket of this year’s Big Dance, and head coach Andy Enfield’s squad exacted revenge on the Friars, advancing with a 75-71 victory.Sophomore Bennie Boatwright led the Trojans early on, draining two 3-pointers in the opening five minutes and scoring 10 of USC’s first 12 points. Though the initial surge allowed the Trojans to maintain a 5- to 6-point lead for parts of the first half, Providence hit back. Two quick threes from Jalen Lindsey put the Friars on top by 1 point with 12:50 left in the period.USC responded in turn and reestablished its 5-point advantage. The Trojans ran into trouble from that point, however, missing their next six shots. The Friars ran over a suddenly stagnant USC, going on a 15-0 run to grab a double-digit lead. A 3-pointer from junior guard Jordan McLaughlin snapped the Trojans’ dry streak coming out of a timeout, but Providence was already in rhythm. A 7-0 run padded the Friar lead to 13 as halftime loomed, and Providence led 44-29 by the time Enfield led his squad into the locker room, having been outscored 29-9 to close out the period.USC chipped away at the deficit to open the second half. A 4-point play from freshman guard Jonah Mathews sparked the Trojans, with McLaughlin following up with a three to cut it down to an 11-point game, and another Boatwright triple pulled USC back within single digits with 12:38 left to play. Freshman forward Nick Rakocevic then drew two fouls and scored 5 quick points to lead the Trojan rally. Enfield’s squad found itself down by just 5 entering the final quarter of the game as Providence head coach Ed Cooley called timeout after a Metu tip-in.Two free throws from Rakocevic put USC within one possession of the Friars, and the Trojans completed their 17-point turnaround with 6:48 left in the game, taking a 61-60 edge thanks to a pair of jump shots from McLaughlin and Metu. A two-handed slam from Metu extended the lead to 5 in style with less than five minutes remaining, and USC maintained the advantage until Providence was forced to foul. The Trojans executed at the free-throw line to seal the win and the biggest comeback from a Pac-12 school in NCAA Tournament history.SMU is next up for Enfield and company, as USC takes on the Mustangs in the first round for another rematch — this time from the regular season. The Trojans beat SMU 78-75 at the Galen Center in November, but since then, head coach Tim Jankovich’s side has won the AAC Championship, last losing to Cincinnati on Jan. 12. The Mustangs then beat the Bearcats in their two subsequent rematches — a trend USC will look to reverse on Friday.USC and SMU tip off in Tulsa, Okla. on Friday at 12:10 p.m.last_img read more

Football looks ahead to next season’s schedule

first_imgComing off a Rose Bowl win that Trojan fans won’t soon forget, the hype for the 2017 season has already begun. The Pac-12 released the slate of games for next season Wednesday, and the Trojans now know what lies ahead in their mission to the conference championship and potentially the College Football Playoff. Despite losing stars such as junior cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and junior wide receiver Juju Smith Schuster, the Trojans return with talent on both sides of the ball. Redshirt sophomore Sam Darnold, an early Heisman Trophy frontrunner, will have a steady stable of weapons to choose from, and the defense returns most of their starters.This season, USC will be tested by playing 12 games straight without a bye week. The last time the Trojans’ schedule didn’t have a bye was in 1995. Forced to go through the gauntlet without a break, the team’s depth will be tested. Compared to the 2016 slate, 2017 looks to be a more balanced schedule. Though a schedule without a bye week is less than ideal, the Trojans’ schedule at first glance appears manageable. Sept. 2 – Western MichiganWestern Michigan and their “Row the Boat” mantra helped them to the Cotton Bowl in an incredible 13-1 season. But now that former head coach PJ Fleck jumped ship, this team has lost a lot of the appeal it once had. However, of all the Group-of-5 teams to play right now, Western Michigan should be a solid opening game for a USC team with a lot of hype entering the season. In comparison with the 2016 opener against powerhouse Alabama, this game should allow the Trojans to play a fairly competitive team, but one that won’t give them too tough of a time.Sept. 9 – StanfordThe Trojans open conference play at home against a rival. This game will be a good gauge of how well this USC team can perform in a competitive Pac-12 conference. Former star running back Christian McCaffrey is NFL Draft-bound, but freshman running back Bryce Love is more than ready to step up in his place. Unlike last year’s matchup, USC gets this game at the Coliseum, which helps the Trojans out. Sept. 16 – TexasTexas is a program in flux. After Charlie Strong failed at UT, highly coveted coach Tom Herman will look to bring the Longhorns back to relevance in the college football picture. Getting Texas early in the season may be good for USC, as Texas will have to learn Herman’s system on the go. A convincing win here against a non-conference opponent would help USC’s resume with the College Football Playoff Committee. Sept. 23 – at Cal A familiar face is at the head of Cal’s program this year. Former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox will get his opportunity to upset his former team. This will make for a fun storyline and should be a winnable first road game for the Trojans against a football program that hasn’t had much success in the past decade.Sept. 29 – at Washington State USC lucks out this year and gets Washington State instead of Washington. But a shorter week, redshirt junior quarterback Luke Falk’s return and an unpredictable Mike Leach offense all add up to make this USC’s first road test. This game has “high scoring shootout” written all over it.Oct. 7 – Oregon State The Trojans get the better draw in the state of Oregon. The Beavers went 4-8 last season and missed out on a bowl game. USC should enter this game confident which means that a slip-up would be costly. With two tough games on the horizon, USC can’t get caught looking past the Beavers.Oct. 14 – Utah Under head coach Kyle Wittingham, Utah has turned itself into a consistent threat in the Pac-12 South. After last year’s disappointing loss, USC will be relieved that this game is at home instead of a difficult road stadium. This could be one of USC’s bigger matchups, but that will depend on how the Pac-12 South shakes out the first several weeks.Oct. 21 – at Notre Dame Notre Dame suffered a down season in 2016, missing out on a bowl game and finishing with a underwhelming record of 4-8. Even though the program appears to be reeling, the Fighting Irish have nothing to lose. A hungry rival on the road will always make for a big challenge for USC.Oct. 28 – at Arizona State Decimated by injuries last year, ASU looks to bounce back from its 5-7 performance in 2016. Redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins is set to return for his final season, but Arizona State doesn’t look to be much of a threat on paper. Nov. 4 – Arizona Like its in-state rival, Arizona had a disappointing season in 2016. Though teams can’t go to sleep on head coach Rich Rodriguez, the Trojans’ recipe of getting up early and coasting to victory will come into play against both Arizona and Arizona State. Nov. 11 – at Colorado A road game against the defending Pac-12 South Champion will have huge implications in the Pac-12 South. In USC’s toughest road game of the year, head coach Clay Helton will lead his team into Folsom Field against the AP Coach of the Year Mike MacIntyre and his Buffaloes. This game could be the Trojans’ biggest matchup of the regular season.Nov. 18 – UCLANext year will save the Trojans’ biggest rival, the UCLA Bruins, for last. In addition to being the Trojans’ biggest rivalry game, this game will be the first time we see redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold and freshman Josh Rosen matched up against each other, setting the stage for Heisman Trophy voters to judge Darnold. If both quarterbacks are healthy, this game could come down to the last possession.A look aheadThough the 12-week marathon of the regular season will be brutal, USC lucked out when it comes to the balance of its schedule. The fact that USC opens with three games at home, including Stanford and Texas, could be a great way to build momentum, something the Trojans lacked at the beginning of the 2016 season. While it won’t be easy, USC is in a good position to make the preseason hype a postseason reality.last_img read more

Nigeria implicated in fresh match-fixing scandal

first_imgNigeria has been implicated in yet another football match-fixing scandal, with the revelation that the friendly match between the Super Eagles and North Korea on the eve of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was doctored.The allegation, published by the New York Times, opens a fresh can of worms in a series of claims that Nigeria has featured prominently for years in the dubious art of match-rigging.Nigeria won the friendly against the North Korean side by 3-1.Besides the result, that match also grabbed the headlines over a stampede that occurred before the commencement of the exhibition game, as hundreds of South Africans and other fans trooped to the stadium to catch a glimpse of the Eagles.It now turns out they were served a script worked out by a gambling syndicate.The New York Times said South African officials allowed a notorious Singaporean syndicate, Football 4U, to pick the referee for that match.Fixing games has serious profit implications for Asia’s largely unregulated but lucrative betting market.Most fixed bets are placed on which team will win against the spread and on the total number of expected goals. By some estimates, the illegal betting market in Asia amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars annually, the report said.The investigators said they were however certain that the referee who officiated was not the Portuguese who had been assigned.Such replacements are part of the trick, and do happen in fixed games presumably without FIFA’s knowledge. The referee took “a very harsh stance” in giving a red card for a seemingly lesser infraction, and he later took “a very liberal stance” in awarding a suspicious penalty kick, the report was quoted by the New York Times as saying.Mr. Chaibou had his hands soiled in many other matches adjudged to have been fixed including the South Africa Vs Guatemala game in which South Africa won 5-0. The referee was said to have received $60, 000 for his role.It was also Mr. Chaibou who officiated the Nigeria – Argentina friendly in Abuja, also adjudged to have been fixed as the Eagles triumphed 4-1.It is not clear what role Nigerian officials played in fixing the North Korea match.But in recent months, Nigeria has been mentioned as a beneficiary of fixed matches.One notorious Singaporean gambler cum match fixer, Wilson Raj Pemural, said in a personal memoir published this year that he aided the Super Eagles qualify for the South Africa 2010 Mundial.Mr. Pemural played significant role in all of the Times findings.Even Nigeria’s friendly with Scotland last week which ended in a two goal draw is under investigation for suspected fixing.Officials of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, have consistently denied all the allegations.last_img read more

Shohei Ohtani still ticketed for majors with Angels

first_imgOhtani’s next start is not yet scheduled, but his previous two starts have been on six days rest. If he stays on six days rest, he would pitch on Friday. He may not pitch in a major league game, because the Angels want to make sure he can get up to 90-plus pitches. He threw about 80 pitches on Friday, including 30 in the bullpen following his early exit from the game. It’s also possible Ohtani’s next outing could be his final one before the start of the regular season.As for Ohtani’s hitting, Eppler said there is reason to believe that he’ll be better than his 2-for-20 performance so far in major league exhibition games.“We evaluate decision-making on pitches, the swing-no swing relationship, how hitters make certain decisions, and he’s checking a lot of boxes there,” Eppler said. “I know he doesn’t have the results he would want to have or people outside would want to see, like batting average. There have been some at-bats that have been more difficult for him and he’s faced some pretty good pitchers. He’s struck the ball hard. He doesn’t chase pitches outside the strike zone. He does some things we value. I would say he’s been better than his slash line.”Eppler also said definitively that the Angels aren’t planning to have him abandon hitting.“The track record gives us the confidence to move forward with him as a two-way player,” he said.Ohtani is scheduled to hit in a minor league game on Sunday, perhaps returning to the batter’s box in a major league game as soon as Monday.Stock risingDavid Fletcher remained in big league camp on Saturday, after infielders Colin Walsh and José Fernandez were sent out over the previous 24 hours.Although still a dark horse to win a spot on the Angels’ opening day roster, Fletcher has opened eyes by leading the team with a .378 average, prior to Saturday’s game.“He continues to do things easier and understands the game more and he’s having a terrific spring,” Scioscia said. “He’s worked his way onto our depth chart, not only the way he played last summer but what he showed this spring.”Fletcher, a product of Cypress High and Loyola Marymount, was the Angels’ sixth-round pick in 2016. He has hit .282 with a .696 OPS in the minors, earning a spot in the Arizona Fall League and rising to Triple-A.Despite his solid performance this spring, Fletcher still seems likely ticketed to start the season at Triple-A, so he can play every day.Kaleb Cowart and Jefry Marte are the top candidates to win the final bench spot, with Fernandez and Walsh being sent out and Nolan Fontana having lost time with a shoulder injury. If Marte makes the team, Zack Cozart would have to serve as the Angels’ backup second baseman.AlsoGarrett Richards got an extra day of rest, so he is now scheduled to start in a minor league game on Sunday, with Nick Tropeano starting the big league game against the Texas Rangers. The Angels are expected to have several of their starters work in minor league games this time through the rotation, to build up their pitch-count. Richards remains in line to start on opening day, although the Angels’ have not announced their season-opening rotation.Matt Thaiss, the Angels’ first-round pick in 2016, was sent to minor league camp on Saturday morning. It was a rough couple days for Thaiss, who played at Virginia. A day earlier, Virginia became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 in the NCAA basketball tournament. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error TEMPE, Ariz. — While Shohei Ohtani has struggled to put up the spring training numbers to match his talent, it seems the Angels are still prepared to give him a shot to show what he can do in the majors.Despite the results he’s gotten as a pitcher and hitter, the Angels are still planning to start Ohtani in the major leagues, according to a source.General manager Billy Eppler and manager Mike Scioscia have both been noncommittal about Ohtani’s place on the major league roster, but each has expressed confidence in Ohtani’s talent.Both said on Saturday they are evaluating him based on elements of his performance — on the mound and at the plate — that go beyond outs and hits.center_img “Pitching wise, absent a couple pitches each outing completely getting away from him, losing grip or feel, he’s been around the strike zone with the majority of his pitches,” Eppler said Saturday. “We look at walk rate and strike throwing and the ability to get hitters to swing and miss. As we look at those things, those are the foundation of our evaluative methodologies, and those things are in place.”Ohtani has pitched in four games this spring, most recently a performance on Friday in which he allowed seven runs on seven hits in 1-1/3 innings against the Colorado Rockies. Overall, he’s allowed 15 earned runs and recorded 25 outs in four games, three of them against mostly minor league opposition.His velocity has reached 98 mph, and he’s got 19 strikeouts and three walks, all of which has bolstered the Angels’ confidence.“I think Shohei is very close,” Scioscia said Saturday. “I thought you saw the stuff, especially getting out of the first inning (no runs and two strikeouts). There are some things he’s very close on.”Scioscia said Ohtani spent some time on Saturday morning going over video with pitching coach Charlie Nagy.last_img read more