2014 Winter Games News

AP Sports
Pacers rally from 25 down, beat Pistons in OT PDF Print E-mail
Written by NOAH TRISTER AP Sports Writer   
Sunday, 16 March 2014 01:49
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Down by 25 in the second quarter, the Indiana Pacers still had plenty of time.
“We needed a little reminder of what we are playing for here,” coach Frank Vogel said.
The Pacers responded with one of the most impressive comebacks of the NBA season, catching the Detroit Pistons in the fourth quarter and eventually pulling away in overtime for a 112-104 victory Saturday night. Indiana leads Miami by 3 1/2 games in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Paul George had 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers.
“We knew this was going to be a long game,” George said. “We knew we had a chance to come back and we just had to take small steps. We had to chip away and get this win.”
Josh Smith scored 23 points for the Pistons, who lost star center Andre Drummond in the first quarter to a neck injury. Drummond was able to walk off with some assistance and was a bit sore after the game.
Michigan holds off Ohio State (3-15-14) PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Saturday, 15 March 2014 16:41
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — No. 8 Michigan blew a 12-point second-half lead, then finished the game on a 7-1 run to beat archrival Ohio State 72-69 in Saturday’s Big Ten tournament semifinal.
The league’s regular-season champs will face No. 12 Wisconsin or No. 22 Michigan State in Sunday’s championship game.
Nik Stauskas had 18 points and Caris LeVert had 17 to lead the Wolverines (25-7), winners of seven straight. It will be Michigan’s first title game appearance since 1998, when it won its only tourney title, which was later vacated.
Ohio State (25-9) was led by LaQuinton Ross with 19 points and Shannon Scott with 18.
The Buckeyes rallied to take their lead at 61-60 with 7:57 to go and still led 68-65 with 4:12 to play.
But the Wolverines allowed just one free throw the rest of the way and Aaron Craft lost control of the ball on a potential tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
The Buckeyes were on the verge of pulling off a second stunning comeback in two days. After digging out of an 18-point deficit to beat Nebraska in Friday’s quarterfinals, the Buckeyes found themselves down 16 in the first half and 12 with 14:56 to play.
But Michigan rallied to fend off the Buckeyes, who lost for only the third time in their last 10 games.
The Wolverines hadn’t won back to back games in their last 15 frustrating Big Ten tourney trips, and had lost all six previous matchups against the Buckeyes.
The Wolverines opened both halves with three consecutive 3-pointers, breaking to a 15-2 lead to open the game and appeared headed toward an easy win after turning a 41-37 halftime lead into a 54-42 advantage just four minutes into the second half.
The Buckeyes used a 9-2 spurt to get within 56-51 and finished a 10-2 run with Sam Thompson’s alley-oop dunk to take their first lead, 61-60, with 7:57 to go.
That’s when last year’s national runner-up got tough.
Michigan cut the Ohio State lead to 68-67 on an 18-foot jumper from Stauskas, the Big Ten’s player of the year, and retook the lead for good when Glenn Robinson III made two free throws with 2:55 to play.
All the Buckeyes could muster after that was one free throw from Ross, but they still had a chance to tie it after Spike Albrecht missed the second of two free throws with 6.2 to seconds to go.
But the ball came right out of Craft’s hands as he leapt to take the shot from the top of the key and the Wolverines came up with the loose ball to seal it.

No. 8 MICHIGAN 72, No. 24 OHIO ST. 69
OHIO ST. (25-9)
Loving 1-1 0-0 3, Scott 7-10 0-0 18, Craft 4-7 0-2 9,  Ross 7-16 5-6 19, Thompson 5-7 0-0 11, A. Williams 2-4 2-2 6,  Smith Jr. 1-7 1-2 3, Della Valle 0-3 0-0 0, McDonald 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-56 8-12 69.
Robinson III 4-8 2-2 11, Albrecht 1-4 1-2 4, Walton Jr. 3-6 0-0 8,  Stauskas 6-12 2-3 18, Horford 0-1 0-0 0, Irvin 2-3 0-0 6,  LeVert 6-9 3-5 17, Morgan 3-4 2-7 8. Totals 25-47 10-19 72.
Halftime—Michigan 41-37. 3-Point Goals—Ohio St. 7-19 (Scott 4-6,  Loving 1-1, Thompson 1-1, Craft 1-2, Smith Jr. 0-4, Ross 0-5), Michigan  12-23 (Stauskas 4-8, Irvin 2-3, Walton Jr. 2-3, LeVert 2-4, Robinson III  1-2, Albrecht 1-3). Fouled Out—Morgan, Thompson. Rebounds—Ohio St. 31  (Craft 7), Michigan 26 (LeVert 8). Assists—Ohio St. 17 (Craft, Scott 6),  Michigan 15 (Walton Jr. 4). Total Fouls—Ohio St. 18, Michigan 11. A—NA.
No. 8 Michigan overcomes rally by Illinois 64-63 PDF Print E-mail
Written by MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer   
Saturday, 15 March 2014 02:49
INDIANAPOLIS — Tracy Abrams had the ball right where he wanted it — in his own hands with a drive to the basket.
The junior guard just came up short.
Jordan Morgan scored on a layup with 7.9 seconds left Friday and Abrams missed what would have been the winning shot at the buzzer, allowing No. 8 Michigan to survive a quarterfinal scare with a 64-63 win in the Big Ten tournament.
“I thought it was going to go in, and I thought we were going to win and I had the utmost confidence,” said Abrams, after staring at the rim in disbelief. “I wasn’t shocked that we lost, but shocked the shot didn’t go in.”
Abrams and Illinois (19-14) did everything they could to pull off the upset.
updated 4:45 p.m.) Akron women win MAC tourney title (3-15-14) PDF Print E-mail
Written by TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer   
Saturday, 15 March 2014 16:39
CLEVELAND (AP) — Clutching scissors in her right hand, Akron coach Jodi Kest steadied herself as she began climbing the ladder propped open underneath the basket.
Once she got high enough, Kest snipped the last strand of the dangling net, yanked it off the rim and waved the nylon souvenir above her head.
It took 40 years, but the Zips were finally on top of the Mid-American Conference.
“It’s so sweet,” Kest said. “Sweeter than I even imagined.”
Rachel Tecca scored 30 points and dominated inside, leading Akron into the NCAA tournament for the first time with a 79-68 win over Ball State in the MAC championship Saturday.
Tecca, who scored 20 in the first half, added 12 rebounds for the third-seeded Zips (23-9), who started the season 4-4 but have won 16 of 17 and will enter the NCAAs as one of the nation’s hottest teams. With their first MAC title, Akron also tied a school record for wins in the program’s 40th year.
It’s been a long ascent for Akron, which endured seven consecutive losing seasons — including a 1-27 mark in 2001-02 — before Kest arrived and turned the Zips around.
“People thought I was crazy to take this job,” Kest said. “But my kids are just like me. They love the challenge.”
The Zips led by 25 in the second half and withstood a late rally by the fifth-seeded Cardinals (18-16), who were playing their fifth game in six days.
Brittany Carter made five 3-pointers in the last eight minutes and led Ball State 23 points. Brandy Woody added 15 and Nathalie Fontaine 14 for the Cardinals.
Ball State had knocked off top-seeded Bowling Green in the semis and won four games in the tournament, but the Cardinals didn’t have nearly enough to take down Akron.
Their biggest problem was Tecca.
A three-time All-MAC selection, Tecca capped her stellar career with the tournament’s MVP award and by carrying the Zips to a long-awaited title.
The 6-foot-1 senior from Tallmadge drove past Ball State defenders whenever she wanted, and if she couldn’t find an opening, Tecca simply stepped outside and knocked down shots. She finished 13 of 19 from the floor.
“Our team set program history today,” Tecca said. “This is something no one here has ever done. This is a moment we’ll never forget. I’ll always cherish being part of this.”
The Zips were fueled by the bitterness they felt had after losing to Central Michigan in last year’s final. They didn’t want to come up short again. Other than a brief stretch of the second half when Ball State couldn’t miss, Akron was in complete control.
“I was so nervous today,” Kest said. “I wanted it so bad for them.”
When Akron’s lead reached 25, the school’s fans began celebrating when the Cardinals got hot. Carter found her stroke and made four consecutive 3-pointers, the last cutting Akron’s lead to 73-63 with 4:02 left.
With Ball State making its run, Kest said she didn’t panic, knowing she had four seniors on the floor — one of them Tecca.
“I thought, ‘We’ll be OK, and get the ball to Rachel,”’ she said.
Akron went right back inside to Tecca, who got fouled and made two free throws to make it 77-63. Ball State scored again, but this time the Zips got a basket underneath from senior reserve Carly Young, who had 15 points.
As the final seconds ticked down, Tecca and her teammates shared emotional hugs at mid-court. Moments later, they were presented with the MAC title trophy — and the NCAA spot that goes along with it — two prizes long out of reach for the Zips.
Now, the Zips want more.
“They think they can go farther in the NCAA tournament,” Kest said. “People laughed when some of our kids said that. But they believe.”
Akron senior guard Hanna Luburgh scored just 6 points — 17 under her average — but chipped in with 12 rebounds.
The Zips never stopped pushing the tempo, convinced the Cardinals would crumble.
“The fatigue no question was a factor,” Ball State coach Brady Sallee said. “As talented as Akron is, if you show just a little bit of that, they’re flying down the floor for layups. They never let up. They did what they had to do. That’s what championship teams do.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 March 2014 16:49
No. 24 Ohio State comes back to beat Nebraska PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Saturday, 15 March 2014 02:49
INDIANAPOLIS — After watching his team turn the ball over nine times and fall behind by three points at halftime, Ohio State coach Thad Matta had some choice words for the No. 24 Buckeyes.
“I told our guys at halftime, I said, ‘Look, with the nine turnovers we had, why don’t we just go out and give them the ball nine times and let them try to score,” Matta said. “And they took me literally, so we were down 18 points.”
The fifth-seeded Buckeyes (25-8) found themselves in a deep hole, but rallied to beat fourth-seeded Nebraska 71-67 on Friday in the Big Ten quarterfinals.
Ohio State led for almost the entire first half, but the Cornhuskers (19-12) stuck around. Playing after a first-round bye for the first time since joining the Big Ten in 2012, Nebraska finally took its first lead on Shavon Shields’ layup with 48 seconds to play in the first half.
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