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George Washington stuns UD women in A-10 tourney semifinals

Published: Saturday, March 03, 2018 @ 3:41 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 03, 2018 @ 3:42 PM


            Dayton’s Shauna Green watches the action during a game against Duquesne on Jan. 31, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Dayton’s Shauna Green watches the action during a game against Duquesne on Jan. 31, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

The entry pass from Dayton guard Jenna Burdette was low to the ground and slipped through the hands of Alex Harris, a post player for the Flyers.

The ball rolled out of bounds with 18 seconds left in the game Saturday, and with it most likely the chance for UD to repeat as Atlantic 10 Conference tournament champions.

Burdette would score a few seconds later after a GW free throw, but the No. 5 seed Colonials made 11 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter to stun the top-seeded Flyers 58-53 in the tournament semifinals at the Richmond Coliseum.

The game had eight lead changes and GW had just one turnover, while UD trailed at halftime for the first time since a Dec. 6 loss to Green Bay.

GW advances to the title game while UD will wait to see if it gains an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

“Our body of work has to speak for itself. I think we deserve to be in,” said UD’s Shauna Green, who won the title in 2017 in her first year as the Flyers head coach.

The turnover in the final seconds culminated a tough day for Burdette, the all-conference guard who missed 10 of her first 12 shots and finished with 11 points on 5 of 18 shots from the field. She combined for 29 points in a pair of regular-season wins over GW.

“They are really physical with her,” Green said of Burdette. “I have to step back and realize we are so use to her making those shots. … The girl has played 40 minutes a game all year and nearly her entire career.”

Jayla Scaife had 12 points and eight rebounds for UD, JaVonna Layfield had 10 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out in the final minute and Lauren Cannatelli had 10 points.

UD made just 32.7 percent of its shots from the field, including just 4 of 16 from 3-point range. The Flyers had 11 turnovers.

“I think we just had a couple of lapses” on defense, Harris said.

“Energy is something we always talk about,” Burdette said. “Today was just not that day. We just didn’t execute.”

Kelsi Mahoney made a 3-pointer as GW built the lead to 47-40 with 4:05 remaining. She made another 3-pointer with 2:00 left as the Colonials took a 50-44 advantage.

Scaife made one free throw with 56.4 seconds to go to trim the margin to 50-47.

GW’s Mei-Lyn Bautista hit two free throws to push the lead to five with 38.6 seconds to go.

Burdette hit a driving, lefty layup in traffic to trim the margin to 53-51 with 23.2 seconds remaining. But the Colonials hit five free downs the rest of the way to ice the win.

Brianna Cummings had 10 of her 15 points in the first half to lead GW.

GW head coach Jennifer Rizzotti, a former All-American at UConn, said UD deserves an at-large bid.

“We had to play well to beat Dayton today,” she said.

The Flyers won the conference tourney title last year under Green, in her first season. Green said the feeling in the locker rom Saturday eminded her of 2015, when as an assistant coach with UD the Flyers lost in the tourney title game to George Washington.

“It was back and forth the entire game. We couldn’t hit shots we normally hit,” Green said of the Saturday loss. “We wanted to be playing tomorrow. It is really, really hard to win this thing. We are going to regroup and get back at it.”

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Landon Donovan's support for Mexico sparks pitched battle off the pitch

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 2:03 PM

Landon Donovan Causes Controversy With Mexico Fandom

Landon Donovan’s support for Mexico at the World Cup has sparked a pitched battle between the most recognizable name in American soccer and his peers, ESPN reported Sunday.

>> Read more trending news 

Donovan has been part of an advertising campaign for Wells Fargo to support Mexico, which opened its World Cup play in Russia with a stunning 1-0 victory against defending champion Germany on Sunday. Critics of the promotion have criticized Landon, calling his cheerleading inappropriate.

Donovan posted a photo on Twitter on Saturday holding a scarf that read “My other team is Mexico.”

Donovan played this spring for León, which is part of Mexico’s Primera Division. Still, some questioned Donovan’s motives.

“Watering it down for beer/banks won’t enrich the rivalry,” ESPN announcer Sebastian Salazar tweeted.

Carlos Bocanegra, the former captain of the U.S. national team, tweeted “Really?” 

Donovan tweeted back that Bocanegra should “remember where you came from.”

“Look around our country, are you happy with how we are treating Mexicans?” Donovan answered. “Open your mind, stand for something and remember where you came from.”

Donovan’s former teammate, Herculez Gomez, an ESPN analyst, criticized that exchange, ESPN reported, tweeting that it was “an incredibly terrible take.”

The History of the FIFA World Cup

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Middletown’s Kayla Harrison on winning MMA debut: ‘What a rush!’

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 1:33 PM

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28: Olympic gold medal Judoka Kayla Harrison is introduced before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28: Olympic gold medal Judoka Kayla Harrison is introduced before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Middletown native Kayla Harrison was understandably exhuberant after winning her professional mixed-martial arts debut Thursday night.

“Yeah, man what a rush, huh? Crazy,” she said in a post-fight press conference.

Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, submitted Brittney Elkin in a Professional Fighters League 155-pound lightweight bout in Chicago.

She got Elkin on the ground early and dominated the fight, finishing it off with an armbar 3 minutes, 18 seconds into round one.

>>MORE: Kayla Harrison shares inspiring message with Middletown crowd | Middletown cheers Harrison to another Olympic gold

“Have you ever stepped in the cage and let them lock the door behind you?” she asked a reporter, who replied he has not.

“I highly suggest it,” she said with a huge smile and a laugh.

Although she made fairly quick work of the more experienced Elkin (3-5), Harrison said she was far from being in a comfort zone in her first competition since she won her second Olympic gold medal almost two years ago.

“Obviously my judo and my instincts from years of doing the same thing over and over again took over, but I don’t want to just be a judo player who gets in the cage,” she said. “I want to be the best MMA fighter in the world. I have a lot to work on. I already told my boxing coach, ‘We’re working every day. That’s it.’ I don’t care if he’s got plans. Forget about ‘em!

“It was a lot of fun. I”m just grateful to my team and everyone who has supported me along the way.”

She was also happy to have supporters in the Windy City from Middletown.

“I grew up in Ohio, so there were a lot of people here from my hometown,” Harrison said. “They like rented a bus or something from Middletown and drove over so this is awesome to fight here.”

As for when she might fight again, she replied, “The sooner the better.”

The Professional Fighters League is a new MMA promotion that held its first event earlier this month.

While a full season of competition is scheduled for men in the PFL, the promotion is still accumulating female fighters and Harrison is their marquee name.

“I think it’s in my contract to fight every four months so maybe October?” she said. “I’m ready. I don’t have time to mess around. I think the more I fight, the more experience I get the more comfortable I’m going to get inside that cage.”

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NBA Draft: Where 3 locals landed and what’s next for them

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:19 AM

Who is Kostas Antetokounmpo? Facts about the former Dayton forward

Following the NBA draft live doesn’t appeal to me much because so much changes from moment to moment. 

Of course there’s a great drama factor involved, but these days i don’t have much trouble finding that anywhere so I spent more time watching the Reds beat the Cubs and Kayla Harrison win her first MMA fight

Even if you watched the NBA draft for a while last night, there’s a decent chance some things changed after you went to bed. 

Here’s a look at what went down for Kostas Antetokounmpo (University of Dayton), Vincent Edwards (Middletown High School) and Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State), all of whom were taken in the second round. 

Kostas Antetokounmpo, forward, Dayton 

The former Flyers reserve was the last pick in the draft, taken 60th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, who traded his rights to the Dallas Mavericks. 

Dallas has fallen on hard times in the Late Nowitzkian Period, missing the playoffs the last two seasons and failing to win a playoff series since upsetting LeBron James’ Miami Heat in the 2011 Finals. 

The Mavs got their point guard of the future last year in Dennis Smith Jr., acquired European star wing Luka Doncic on Thursday night (and picked another heady lead guard in Villanova’s Jalen Brunson) so athletic big guys like Antetokounmpo would seem to be a need. 

Conclusion: Anyone who watch UD last season knows Antetokounmpo has potential but is far from being ready to contribute to an NBA team. 

However, this is probably as good a situation as he could have landed in because the Mavs are considered an up-and-coming team with a winning coach (Rick Carlisle). 

Keita Bates-Diop, guard/forward, Ohio State 

The Big Ten Player of the Year was taken 48th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

After years of struggling following the Kevin Garnett era, the T-Wolves made the playoffs last season with a roster built around young stars Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins and stalwart Jimmy Butler. 

NBA.com noted before the draft Minnesota badly needed to upgrade its bench, even suggesting Bates-Diop could be a good fit. 

He can back up both Butler and Wiggins as a “3 and D” wing now coveted throughout the league. 

Conclusion: This looks like a very good situation for KDB, who has an NBA-ready game and joins a good team in need of what he can do. He should not have too much put on his plate too soon, but there figure to be plenty of opportunities for him to do his thing. 

Vincent Edwards, forward, Purdue (Middletown High School) 

The second-team All-Big Ten pick was taken by the Utah Jazz with the No. 52 pick but traded to the Houston Rockets. 

Houston had the best record in the league last season and had the Warriors on the ropes in the Western Conference finals but couldn’t finish the job. With All-Star Chris Paul sidelined by injury, the Rockets saw Golden State rally to win the series before taking down Cleveland in the finals. 

They play a unique style that relies heavily on putting James Harden and Paul in pick-and-rolls that let them drive the basket, find a big guy for a lob or dish it out for 3-pointers. 

Conclusion: Edwards has a good face-up game and was a 39.2-percent 3-point shooter in college. If he can continue to stroke it from behind the pro line, he could be a valuable bench player right away for Houston, which needs depth to maintain a high pace of play. 

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Kostas Antetokounmpo: Five things to know about Mavericks draft pick

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

Who is Kostas Antetokounmpo? Facts about the former Dayton forward

Kostas Antetokounmpo has heard the word potential attached to his name for years. That comes with the territory when your brother is one of the best players in the world and you have similar height and wingspan.

“A lot of people tell me I have potential,” Antetokounmpo said last November after the second game of his short Dayton Flyers career, “but I have to keep working.”

» KOSTAS STORIES: High ceilingTrying to live up to his nameA star in victory over Saint Louis

That was true then and true now. After being selected with the last pick of the 2018 NBA Draft — the Dallas Mavericks chose him with the 60th pick Thursday night — he’ll have to get to work to make it at the pro level.

Here are five things to know about Antetokounmpo as he chases that dream:

1. Special name: The Antetokounmpo family emigrated from Lagos, Nigeria, to Athens, Greece, in 1991. There are five brothers. Each received a Greek name and a Nigerian name from their parents, Veronica and Charles.

“My Nigerian name is Ndubuisi and it has a special meaning, but I can’t remember it right now,” Antetokounmpo said. “It has something to do, I believe, about a gift. Like a gift from God.”

2. Close bond: The five brothers are close and often use the hashtag “Antetokounbros” on social media.

Francis is the oldest and the only one born in Nigeria. Thanasis, 25, was drafted by the New York Knicks and now plays in Europe.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, 23, stars for the Milwaukee Bucks. Sports Illustrated ranked him the ninth-best player in the NBA in 2019.

Then there’s Kostas, 20, and Alex, a junior at Dominican High School in Milwaukee who received a scholarship offer from DePaul this spring.

When Kostas first enrolled at Dayton in 2016, it was Giannis who drove him to campus from Milwaukee.

“Giannis is really big on family,” Kostas said. “He takes us everywhere with him. They might say, ‘Oh no. You can’t really have your family here,’ and he says, ‘No, my brothers are coming with me.’ That’s how it was at the All-Star Game last year. He took us to press conferences, workouts, everything. I talk to each of my brothers two or three times a day. I call Thanasis and it might be 4 or 5 a.m. over there, but he never says, ‘Hey, I got to sleep.’ He talks to me about classes, the team, everything. And Giannis calls me all the time. We’re really close.”

3. Highlight machine: Antetokounmpo was inconsistent in his one season on the court in Dayton. His final numbers (5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game), didn’t stand out. Early in the season, he was on pace to challenge the school’s single-season blocks record. He finished with 31, the most on the team but far short of Steve McElvene’s mark of 55.

Even in games in which he made only one field goal — and there were 11 of those — he often made the most memorable play of the night.

In a Dec. 23 game against Wagner, Antetokounmpo grabbed an alley-oop pass from Jalen Crutcher high above the rim and slammed it through the hoop in the first half of a 79-67 victory. ESPN’s SportsCenter ranked it the No. 6 play of the day. It was the only shot taken by Antetokounmpo, who played 11 minutes.

4. Limited minutes: Antetokounmpo had a hard time staying on the court early in the season because of foul trouble. Giannis helped him improve in that area as the season progressed with a little advice.

“He said when I get my first foul I gotta lay low,” Antetokounpo said. “I got to play as hard as I can, but as clean as I can. He said, ‘Don’t get those fouls back to back to back.’”

5. Miller recruit: Antetokounmpo committed to Dayton three days after visiting campus in June of 2016. He was the 89th-ranked recruit in the nation that year and one of the top recruits in Archie Miller’s six seasons at Dayton.

“(Signing him) means a lot,” Miller said at the time. “As we’re recruiting, we’re trying to be as good as we can be. We’re trying to continue to sustain the great success. To do that, you need good players. Adding him gives us more credibility that this is a place where guys can see themselves being successful.”

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