Former Aussie captain Horwill to hang up boots

first_imgThe 62-time capped lock, who turns 34 next month, could yet bow out on a high note by skippering his English Premiership side Harlequins to the title.Horwill — who led out Australia 16 times including during the 2011 World Cup campaign — said his body had reached its limit after 13 years of top level rugby.“I have given this great game everything I have, and I feel I can no longer give what is needed to play at this elite level,” he said in a club statement.“Rugby has been a big part of my life for many years; never in my wildest dreams would I have envisaged the incredible journey it has taken me on.“Winning the Super Rugby title (2011) at the Queensland Reds and being asked to captain my country are just some of the moments I will look back and cherish for a lifetime.”Paul Gustard, Harlequins head of rugby, hailed Horwill as a “warrior”.“James is a true warrior of our great game; the ultimate professional and someone you always want on your side,” said Gustard.“It’s been an honour and a pleasure to work alongside him at Harlequins.“His resilience and character have made him the role model he is today and will continue to be long after his retirement.”Horwill made his professional debut in 2006 for the Queensland Reds and earned international recognition in 2007, making his Test debut against Fiji.Despite his youth, Horwill was handed the Reds captaincy in 2008 and the second-row forward led the franchise to its first professional title, beating the Crusaders in the then-Super 15 final.Horwill joined Harlequins in 2015 and was named club captain ahead of the 2017/18 season. His final home appearance will be on May 3 against Leicester although he will hope his side make it to the play-offs.They are presently in the fourth and final spot, three points better off than Wasps with three matches of the regular season remaining.last_img read more

‘Bursting with pride’ – Springboks win prestigious Laureus award

first_imgThe Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok team of 2019 added another fantastic award to their impressive list of recent accolades when they scooped the prestigious Laureus Team of the Year award in Berlin on Monday evening.The South African national rugby team pipped an illustrious list of top international sporting teams to lift the award in the German capital.It’s the second time the Springboks have won the Laureus accolade – the team that lifted the 2007 Rugby World Cup were awarded the prize in early 2008.English football giants Liverpool were also in the running after clinching the Champions League crown, as well as the US Women’s Football Team (Women’s World Cup winners), Mercedes-AMG Petronas (for winning the Formula One constructors’ title), the Toronto Raptors (first Canadian team to claim the NBA Championship) and the Spanish Men’s Basketball team (World Cup winners).The memory of Siya Kolisi lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in Yokohama last November was an iconic moment in sport and the audience in the Verti Halle in Berlin applauded the emotional moment when Kolisi led six of the team members on stage to receive the Laureus Statuette.The team’s victory united communities in South Africa and was proof of sport’s ability to change the world.With Rassie Erasmus at the coaching helm and Kolisi’s inspirational captaincy, the Springboks won the 2019 RWC title convincingly and also cleaned up at the World Rugby Awards in Japan shortly thereafter.“We are absolutely bursting with pride and would like to congratulate Rassie, Siya and the Springbok team, as well as the management for receiving this fantastic award,” said SA Rugby president, Mark Alexander.“They were so heroic on the field and through their excellent off-field conduct, they were true examples of excellent South African ambassadors.“Our country can be very proud of this team and what they have accomplished in such a short space of time. They made an amazing turn-around to establish the Springboks once more as a major force in world sport.“On behalf of SA Rugby, I would like to congratulate the entire Springbok team and management on this fantastic accomplishment. We saw how powerful a successful Springbok team can be, uniting South Africans from all walks of life, and we are immensely proud of their achievements.”For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.last_img read more

Mysterious ‘Suzie’ and other 1995 Rugby World Cup headline makers

first_imgA couple of days before the showdown between decades-old rivals the Springboks and the New Zealand All Blacks, a mysterious waitress named ‘Suzie’ became the centre of attention.Up to 31 of the 36-strong New Zealand party became ill 48 hours before the four-yearly rugby showpiece at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.All Blacks coach Laurie Mains believed ‘Suzie’ was behind a food-poisoning plot while many South Africans are convinced the waitress was invented as an excuse for losing the final.Here, AFP Sport recalls ‘Suzie’ and others who featured in the build-up and the aftermath of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.‘Suzie’After the pre-final food poisoning outbreak, Mains hired a private detective to probe what might have caused many in his team to fall ill.An investigation established that a lady was employed by the hotel in an upscale Johannesburg suburb a couple of days before the New Zealanders arrived to prepare for the big match.Mains was told that ‘Suzie’ disappeared, never to be seen again, a day after many All Blacks suffered diarrhoea and vomiting.Rory Steyn, a South African responsible for the security of the New Zealanders, believed betting syndicates were behind the food poisoning.Laurie KayThe South African Airways pilot flew a Boeing 747 Jumbo jet over Ellis Park less than an hour before the final kicked off.Kay, who died in 2013, and three other crew members spent a week planning and practising for the pre-final highlight that was so secret not even Mandela knew about it.“The idea was to release maximum vibrations, noise and power with a view to energising the crowd and players,” wrote John Carlin in a book about the 1995 Rugby World Cup.“Laurie got the plane very near to stalling in order to get that maximum power effect when he was over the stadium. It was pretty outrageous.”Kitch ChristieA reserved coach of British descent who never played for the Springboks led South Africa to World Cup glory at the first attempt and quit a year later boasting a perfect record.Given what he called an “ambulance job” a year before the final after Ian McIntosh was fired, Christie was a master analyst who won all 14 Tests in charge ahead of his death in 1998.Fearing French strength at the back of line-outs in the semi-finals, he moved lock Mark Andrews to No. 8, and kept him there for the final to expose a lack of New Zealand height.Unsure whether to play excellent goal-kicker Joel Stransky or inventive Hennie le Roux at fly-half at the World Cup, he chose both with Le Roux starting at inside centre.Man in the streetThe majority of South Africans are black and their favourite sport is football. They shunned rugby for decades with the Springboks considered a symbol of the racist apartheid system.But as the mid-winter sun set over Johannesburg on June 24, the streets around Ellis Park were packed with ecstatic blacks celebrating the World Cup triumph.Gone was the hatred of a national rugby team once reserved for whites. Instead, 14 whites and black winger Chester Williams were now national heroes admired by most South Africans.The chaotic street scenes meant many attendees at a post-final banquet between Johannesburg and Pretoria were delayed as traffic crept forward snail-like for many kilometres.Louis Luyt“That bastard,” snapped All Blacks legend and then team manager Colin Meads as he led his team out of the banquet after being upset by South African rugby supremo Louis Luyt.In his speech, Luyt said New Zealand (1987) and Australia (1991) were not real world champions as apartheid had prevented South Africa competing in the first two editions.A bad night got worse for the South African official when he offered a gold watch to Welsh match official Derek Bevan, calling him “the most wonderful referee in the world”.Bevan, who opted to walk out, had denied France a last-minute try in a rain-soaked semi-final in Durban which would have taken Les Bleus to the final.last_img read more

College football picks, Week 6: Auburn, Florida will flex defensive muscles in SEC showdown

first_imgSporting News rolls right along into Week 6 of the college football season with an interesting slate of games that feature standout defenses, chances at redemption … and the opportunity for one or two blowouts.The headliners this week include top-25 matchups between No. 25 Michigan State at No. 5 Ohio State, No. 14 Iowa and No. 19 Michigan and No. 7 Auburn and No. 10 Florida. Other games to key in on include an AAC matchup between one-loss UCF and Cincinnati and Utah State at LSU (seriously). MORE: SN’s Week 6 college football rankingsSporting News is 25-7 through four weeks of picks this season, including a cool 7-1 mark in Week 5. We’ll look to keep that rolling with another solid week.SN’s picks ahead of the Week 6 slate of games (odds provided courtesy of Sportsbook Review as of 4 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 30):No. 18 UCF (-4.5) at CincinnatiThis game might not have Playoff implications, but the loser will fall behind in the AAC race and almost certainly be eliminated from New Year’s Day 6 consideration; expect both teams to play accordingly. It’ll be strength against strength as UCF’s second-ranked offense (569 yards per game) goes against the Bearcats’ 23rd-ranked defense (297 ypg). Knights quarterback Dillon Gabriel (1,338 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, two interceptions) will face a defense that only allows 167 yards per game through the air; he’ll need to pick his spots, but if he can limit mistakes against a defense with only five turnovers this season, he should lead the Knights to a big conference win.Pick: UCF 34, Cincinnati 28No. 11 Texas (-11) at West VirginiaThe prospect of Oklahoma transfer quarterback Austin Kendall facing a suspect Texas secondary is more than enough to tune in for this game, but the matchup is hard to unpack. The Longhorns rank 102nd nationally in yards allowed per game (498), but had several key stops against offensive juggernaut Oklahoma State. And Kendall hasn’t exactly been a world-beater either, throwing for 871 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. Neal Brown’s team will play above its head for a quarter (or two) before Texas uses its better overall talent to put the game away after halftime.Pick: Texas 40, West Virginia 24MORE: Week 6 bowl projectionsUtah State at No. 5 LSU (-26)LSU comes into this game with a high-flying offense and a lot of confidence after rolling to a 4-0 start behind an offense that averages a nation-leading 57.8 points per game. It should be more of the same with Joe Burrow and that talented host of receivers against an Aggies team that ranks 103rd nationally in passing defense (263.5 ypg). Crazy as it sounds, this is more a test for LSU’s defense, which has twice given up 38 points this season and faces a talented Utah State team that ranks ninth nationally with 533 yards of production per game. Quarterback Jordan Love has struggled somewhat, but has the tools to make plays. The Aggies also have a pair of talented 300-yard rushers in Jaylen Warren and Gerold Bright to test LSU. The Tigers should win, and handily, but this will be a good tune-up for better competition down the road.Pick: LSU 56, Utah State 28No. 3 Georgia (-25.5) at TennesseeIf the Volunteers are going to turn their season around, now would be the time to do it. Tennessee comes into this game reeling after a 1-3 loss, including a 34-3 drubbing by rival Florida. In order to win this one, Tennessee will need to hold the line of scrimmage against an offense with several talented backs, including D’Andre Swift, Brien Herrien, Zamir White and Kenny McIntosh. Unfortunately for the Vols, they haven’t shown an ability to do that so far this season, ranking 66th nationally in rush defense (149.8 ypg). Look for Georgia’s running game to dominate and for Jake Fromm to turn in a quick, efficient day at the office.Pick: Georgia 42, Tennessee 14MORE: Week 6 Playoff pictureCal at No. 13 Oregon (-18)A matchup that many may have dismissed at the start of the season suddenly looks like a season-impacting game for the Pac-12. Justin Herbert and Oregon have rebounded nicely since the loss to Auburn, and now face a 4-1 Cal team that has played well against tough competition. Herbert will have to beware a secondary that has limited quarterbacks, and Chase Garbers could be a big X-factor if he’s able to suit up. That said, we still think Herbert and Co. will be able to make enough plays to keep the Ducks’ Playoff hopes alive.Pick: Oregon 28, Cal 20No. 14 Iowa at No. 19 Michigan (-4)Michigan has a chance for a significant rebound win against a good Iowa team on Saturday. The Hawkeyes have earned their 4-0 record with mistake-free football, committing only one turnover through a third of the season; Nate Stanley isn’t flashy, but has eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Hawkeyes defense is stout as well, ranking fifth in total defense (251 ypg) and third in scoring defense (8.5 ppg). This game really depends on whether Shea Patterson can build off his big game against Rutgers and continue developing in Josh Gattis’ offense. Iowa has won each of the last two meetings against the Wolverines by a combined four points. We think it’s another one-possession game, but we’ll go with a Wolverines team that’s out to prove something after its humiliating loss to Wisconsin.Pick: Michigan 24, Iowa 20MORE: Top storylines to look for in OctoberNo. 25 Michigan State at No. 4 Ohio State (-20)The Buckeyes face their first real test of the season against a Michigan State defense that ranks among the nation’s best. The Spartans rank seventh in total defense (254 ypg), fourth in rush defense (55.8 ypg) and 14th in scoring defense (15 ppg). If there’s one area this Buckeyes offense can exploit, however, it’s Michigan State’s pass defense, which has allowed 198 yards through the air per game and six touchdowns on the season. The Spartans will play tough against the run to limit J.K. Dobbins and Justin Fields’ big-play ability, so it’s on Fields (1,092 yards, 16 touchdowns, no interceptions) to make plays through the air. He’s more than capable of doing that. The real question is whether Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke (1,325 yards, 10 touchdowns, one interception), Elijah Collins (413 yards, three touchdowns) and Darrell Stewart Jr. (556 yards, three touchdowns) can score enough points against an Ohio State defense that looks better than it has in years. Pick: Ohio State 34, Michigan State 17No. 7 Auburn (-3) at No. 10 FloridaThe “College GameDay” game of the week features a pair of top-10 SEC opponents with fantastic defenses. Florida boasts seven players (headlined by Jabari Zuniga and Jonathan Greenard) with multiple sacks, and another 10 with at least a share of another to tally 24 for the season (good for second nationally). The Tigers might not get to the quarterback as often, but they have a defensive front to rival any in college football. The lineup of Tyrone Truesdell, Marlon Davidson, Derrick Brown and Big Kat Bryant and Nick Coe have combined for nine sacks and 16 tackles for loss. This one should come down to which offense can make more plays — and fewer mistakes — against the opposing defense. In that, we will have to go with Gus Malzahn and Auburn, whose domination of Kent State, Texas A&M and Mississippi State the last three weeks have us thinking of them as true Playoff contenders.Pick: Auburn 35, Florida 24last_img read more

Utes looking to pick up road win

first_imgSAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — In Monday night’s 66-37 win over Coppin State, the Utah basketball team learned a few positive lessons, particularly on the defensive end.Tonight, the Utes hope to learn how to win on the road when they take on Cal Poly at Mott Gymnasium at 8 p.m. MST.The Utes have lost their two true road games this year, at Utah State on Dec. 4 and at Arizona on Dec. 11. They also lost one of their three games at the Great Alaska Shootout in late November.The Mustangs (2-4) will be the third straight two-win team the Utes have faced, but judging by their last game, they shouldn’t be a team the Utes can overlook.After losing their first four games, they’ve won two straight. Ten days ago, the Mustangs knocked off Santa Clara 98-89, the same Santa Clara team that upset North Carolina earlier this year. The Mustangs’ other win came last week against a team called Domincan, 86-63.Cal Poly has a balanced lineup, led by freshman guard Dawin Whiten, who averages 10.3 points per game, and senior forward Mike Titchenal, who averages 9.2 points and 4.7 rebounds. The center who must contend with Utah’s Andrew Bogut (18.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg) is Vladimir Lisinac, a 6-foot-9, 240-pounder from Serbia, who averages 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds.Ute coach Ray Giacoletti isn’t concerned with the specifics of his opponent as much has he is with his own team. He was pleased with the defensive effort in the second half vs. Coppin State — the best of the year, he said — and hopes his team keeps its focus for the pre-Christmas road game.”It’s a quick turnaround, but we have one more job before we spend Christmas with our families,” he said. “It’s one more piece for us. The L.A. guys should be excited because all of their families are going to be able to come up and watch the game.”The four “L.A. guys” are Richard Chaney (Los Angeles), Tim Drisdom (Artesia), Justin Hawkins (Anaheim) and Bryant Markson (Monrovia). They will get a longer than usual Christmas holiday.They’ll be able to go home after tonight’s game and spend three days before returning Dec. 26 for practice. The past two years, the Utes had games on Dec. 23 and the players had to be back home by Christmas evening for practice. UTE NOTES: After tonight’s game, the Utes will have five straight home games beginning Dec. 28 against Weber State. They also play Colorado on Dec. 30, LSU on Jan 3 and Whitworth on Jan. 5 before opening Mountain West Conference play Jan. 10 against UNLV . . . Johnnie Bryant, a 6-foot guard from Oakland who signed a letter of intent last month, will enroll at the university in January for the next semester and immediately start practicing with the team. However, per NCAA rules, he won’t be eligible to play in games. He will have three years of eligibility left beginning in 2005-06. Utes on the air Utah (7-3) atCal Poly (2-4)Today, 8 p.m.TV: NoneRadio: KALL 700AM E-mail: sor@desnews.comlast_img read more

Sloppy Utes finally pull away from Idaho State

first_imgE-mail: sor@desnews.com For much of Thursday night’s game against Idaho State, it looked like the Utah basketball team perhaps had a little too much figgy pudding for Christmas.The Utes were making silly turnovers, getting beat to loose balls and were hanging on for dear life against a Bengal team that had won only two of 10 games this year and had lost its last three by an average of 34 points.Then midway through the second half, the Utes suddenly came alive with 11 straight points over a two-minute stretch, which led to a closer-than-it-looks 68-51 victory at the Huntsman Center.Usually after games, Ute coach Jim Boylen will give a rambling account of his team’s performance to start the post-game interview.After this one he said, “I’m thankful for (the) win and we’re practicing at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning … that’s all I’ve got.”Eventually Boylen warmed up, but he didn’t hide the fact that he wasn’t happy with his team’s performance, four days after a stunning road victory over a 7-1 Cal team.”Not making any excuses, but I don’t think we came ready to play,” Boylen said. “No disrespect to Idaho State, they did a nice job. I just don’t think we came ready to play.”So what was the matter with the Utes Thursday night?”I thought we got selfish, I thought we weren’t tough, I thought we missed every loose ball,” Boylen said. “I don’t like a team that doesn’t get loose balls, I don’t like a team that doesn’t battle and scrap. We didn’t do that. Don’t worry, we’ll be getting some loose balls tomorrow morning.”Boylen said the Utes were getting beat to loose balls early in the game when the Bengals set the tone with a quick 9-3 lead.Then the Utes suddenly warmed up with a barrage of 3-pointers and seemed to be cruising at 18-13. But like Johnnie Bryant said later, “It was fool’s gold. We kept on shooting.”For the next 20 minutes of the game, the Utes missed 12 straight 3-pointers. With 10:30 left, they found themselves with a tenuous one-point lead at 38-37 and a restless holiday crowd that expected to see the walk-ons play a good portion of the second half.Then Bryant hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to break the 3-point drought, Luka Drca made a steal and layup and Lawrence Borha and Shaun Green hit back-to-back 3-pointers and just like that it was 49-37.The biggest lead of the game was the 17-point final margin when Chris Grant scored in the final half minute.”In the second half, I thought Johnnie Bryant was great, Shaun Green was great and Luka Drca, when he settled down, was good,” Boylen said.Bryant finished with a game-high 17 off the bench, while Green had a solid game with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Luke Nevill scored 14 points, but only made 3 of 9 from the field.Drca led the team with six assists and added five points, four rebounds and three steals, but he also had five turnovers.”We didn’t take them for granted or anything,” said Green. “We came out tonight really soft and were getting beat to everything. So we need to work on coming out and being ready from the get-go.”Idaho State was led by Amorrow Morgan with 17 points and Matt Stucki with 10 points”We finally got their 3-point jump shooters under control and for 20 to 24 minutes we didn’t let them have those good looks from the perimeter,” said ISU coach Joe O’Brien. “And then they made that little run when they got a couple of threes down when it went from a one-point lead and it jumped up to 12 and that was it.”GAME NOTES: Backup forward Kim Tillie didn’t play and won’t for the next four to six weeks because of stress fracture in his leg. “It’s a big blow,” said Boylen … Both teams made 19 field goals, but the Utes hit 10 3-pointers to four for ISU. The Utes also had a big advantage at the foul line with 20 of 26 compared to 9 of 13 for the Bengals … Bryant made a four-point play after being fouled on a 3-pointer. He said it was the first of his life … The Bengals had lost their last three games by an average of 34 points, including losses to No. 8 UCLA by 40 and No. 6 Washington State by 30 at home … The all-time series now stands 21-3 in favor of Utah … The Utes head back out on the road for a New Year’s Eve game against Gonzaga Monday night in Spokane. last_img read more

Utes basketball team looking for consistency with roster full of newcomers

first_imgThe guys are competing and there’s no set lineup right now where anybody’s thinking they’re on the first team or the second team and there’s a lot of playing time left to be discussed. – Utah coach Larry KrystkowiakSALT LAKE CITY — The Utah basketball team is just a couple of weeks away from its first game — an exhibition against Northwest Nazarene on Nov. 12 — but according to coach Larry Krystkowiak, the Utes are a long way from determining who will be seeing time on the floor.“We’re still trying to sort it all out and I’m hesitant to put anybody’s name in something they read and think that they’re ahead,” Krystkowiak said this week. “The guys are competing and there’s no set lineup right now where anybody’s thinking they’re on the first team or the second team and there’s a lot of playing time left to be discussed.”The Utes have just two starters back from last year in guard Lorenzo Bonam and forward Kyle Kuzma, who are the only returners with much significant playing time. But even those guys don’t have the inside track over a bunch of talented newcomers, according to coach K.“Sometimes when guys are returners and they’re being labeled with some expectations and they’re supposed to be the guy that carries us forward, there needs to be a lot more energy and focus like ‘I’m ready to go’ instead of thinking ‘I’m back and this is going to be easy,’” he said.Krystkowiak wants better consistency from players like Bonam and Kuzma. He was unhappy with Bonam’s play in the red-white scrimmage last week and of Kuzma, he said, “Kuz had a great practice today and a really bad one yesterday.”“So those are a couple of guys we’re leaning on and the consistency’s got to be a lot better than it has been for us to start reaching some of our goals, and that goes for everybody,” Krystkowiak said. “Right now the consistency’s been hard for a lot of us.”NEW GUYS: Among the new players, Krystkowiak said centers Jayce Johnson and David Collette, who both redshirted last year, are battling inside, that Parker Van Dyke, a returned missionary from East High who played in 2013-14, “is doing a nice job,” and that freshman Devon Daniels is playing well defensively.Other players expected to be a big part of the Ute team this year are transfer guards JoJo Zamora and Sedrick Barefield, Tyler Rawson, a forward who played for Salt Lake Community College last year, senior swingman Gabe Bealer and freshman center Jakub Jokl. Barefield, a transfer from SMU, and Collette, a transfer from Utah State, will not be eligible until after the first semester ends in mid-December.“With the newness of a lot of the guys, we have to let that process take place, but we’re starting to get a sense of it,” said Krystkowiak. “We’ve got eight games without Dave and Cedric, and then our team will change a little bit before Christmas and that will throw a curveball into it.”RUNNIN’ UTES: The Utah basketball team has not exactly been an up-and-down the court team under Krystkowiak, who stresses defense, while utilizing post players such as Jakob Poeltl, the past two seasons.That could change this year, at least according to one of the team’s two seniors.“We’re getting into shape so we can be the Runnin’ Utes,” said Bonam. “We’re going to run a lot more.”UTE NOTES: After the exhibition game on Nov. 12, the Utes will officially open the season on Nov. 15 against Concordia (Ore.) followed by a game against Coppin State on Nov. 18 … The Utes will play in the Diamond Head Classic Dec. 22-25 with an opening game against San Francisco … Utah has just one other road game in the preseason, at Xavier on Dec. 10 … The Utes were picked for eighth place in the Pac-12 this year, but Bonam said, “I like to be the underdog so we can come in and shock the Pac-12.”last_img read more

Utah State Aggies overcome sluggish start to blow past Colorado State in MWC tourney first-round game

first_img Related Highlights from Game 2 of the 2018 @MountainWest Men’s Basketball Tournament as No. 7 @USUBasketball defeats No. 10 @CSUMensBball, 76-65 #MWMadness https://t.co/AYX2LlyNu9 @MW_MBB pic.twitter.com/TZFwOEGFzH— Mountain West (@MountainWest) March 8, 2018 Utah State notebook: Pearre’s four first-half 3-pointers help Aggies break out of shooting slump in win 3 keys in the Utah State Aggies’ 76-65 win in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournamentcenter_img The Aggies had lost to Colorado State 84-75 at home back in early January in their only regular-season meeting with the Rams. But things went south from there for the Rams, who won only two more games the rest of the season.Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy, who coached at Utah State for five seasons (1994-98), was placed on administrative leave in early February for abusive behavior towards players and eventually resigned on Feb. 26.Assistant coach Steve Barnes took over for Eustachy as interim coach, but was suspended with pay for “behavior mimicking Eustachy’s.” Then it was left to another assistant, Jase Herl, to pick up the pieces and he’s been trying to hold the ship together.He seemed to have done a pretty good job Wednesday as the Rams came out with energy and outplayed a flat Aggie squad over the first 10 minutes, racing out to a 20-5 lead as the Aggies missed nine of their first 10 shots and committed five turnovers.“It was a rough start — you don’t get away with that too often,” said Duryea.Despite the poor start, the players weren’t overly concerned.“I wasn’t worried in terms of making baskets because that’s going to happen in games,” said McEwen. “We were getting good shots . . . we just couldn’t make any.”“I wasn’t worried either because basketball is a game of runs,” said Dwayne Brown, who finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.Suddenly the shots started to fall. Senior guard Julion Pearre led the way, sinking four straight 3-pointers from the 5:40 mark to the 1:10 mark to bring the Aggies to a tie at 33 before the Rams took a 35-33 lead into the locker room.The Aggies went ahead for good early in the second half on back-to-back jumpers by Sam Merrill, who had been shut out in the first half. The Rams stayed close and only trailed 66-62 with under five minutes left when Merrill made two more baskets, both on drives to the basket.Colorado State, which finished its season at 11-21, was led by Anthony Bonner with 15 points, Prentiss Nixon with 14 and Che Bob with 12 points. Both Deion James and Nico Carvacho each had 10 rebounds.AGGIE NOTES: With the victory, the Aggies evened their season record at 16-16. They need a win Thursday to avoid their second straight losing season after 22 straight winning seasons . . . This marks the third straight year the Aggies have won their first-round game at the MWC tourney. They knocked off Wyoming in 2016 as the No. 8 seed and defeated San Jose State as the No. 8 seed last year . . . USU shot 50 percent from the field after starting the game 2 for 12 . . . The Rams were hurt by poor free throw shooting as they made just 7 of 14 on the night . . . With the win, USU leads the all-time series over CSU 58-40 . . . If the Aggies win Thursday, they’ll take on the winner of the New Mexico-Wyoming game Friday at 9:30 p.m. . . . The Aggies defeated Boise State 71-65 at home in mid-February and lost just 71-67 at Boise in mid-January . . . In the first game Wednesday, UNLV had to go to overtime to defeat Air Force 97-90. The Rebels will take on No. 1 seed Nevada Thursday at noon. I wasn’t worried in terms of making baskets because that’s going to happen in games. We were getting good shots . . . we just couldn’t make any. – Utah State’s Koby McEwenLAS VEGAS — It shouldn’t have been much of a problem for Utah State in its first-round game of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament. The Aggies were going against a troubled Colorado State team that had lost not one, but two coaches during the past month not to mention 11 of its last 12 games.Yet there the Aggies found themselves, down by 15 points in the early stages of the Wednesday afternoon game at the Thomas & Mack Center, clanging their shots, throwing the ball away and not doing much of anything well.“I don’t know if it was nerves or what it was, but we were flat,” said Utah State coach Tim Duryea. “We were sluggish, no energy on either end of the floor and they took advantage of that.”The Aggies didn’t panic, however, and slowly got back in the game closing the gap to two by halftime. Once they took the lead in the second half, they never gave it up on their way to a 76-65 victory over the Rams as Koby McEwen led the way with 25 points.The win keeps the Aggies’ season alive for at least another day as they’ll take on No. 2 seed Boise State Thursday at 7 p.m. MT.last_img read more

Joel Embiid gets the better of Rudy Gobert in battle of NBA premier centers

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — They are considered two of the top centers in the NBA, but before Thursday night, Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid had only gone head-to-head twice, even though their teams played five times over the past three seasons since Embiid entered the league.That’s because twice Embiid didn’t play a couple of games against Utah because of injury, while Gobert also missed one last year because of an injury.Each player had a win to their credit — Embiid last month in Philadelphia and Gobert in 2016, while Embiid had slightly better numbers with more points, although the two 7-footers had the same number of rebounds and blocked shots.Prior to Thursday’s game, Gobert was keeping quiet about the impending matchup only saying, “it’s a team game — I’m worried about the Sixers.”Jazz coach Quin Snyder agreed, saying, “That’s the right mentality,” adding “They’re two of the best centers but it can’t be an individual matchup. It’s us against the Sixers.”Both Gobert and Embiid were coming off good games on Christmas Day, Gobert an 18-point, 14-rebound, 7-block effort against Portland, while Embiid poured in 34 points and 16 rebounds in an overtime loss at Boston.As it turned out, Embiid won the battle and the war Thursday night as Philadelphia improved to 23-13 with a 114-97 victory as the Jazz fell to 17-19.Embiid, who leads the NBA with 31 double-doubles, finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds, while Gobert, who is second in the league with 30 double-doubles, scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Gobert also had five assists and Embiid handed out six assists before fouling out with 4:23 left.The two centers only went head-to-head for about half the game as Embiid scored seven of his points against Derrick Favors late in the first quarter and early in the second with Gobert out of the game.Embiid scored 15 of his points in the first half but was quiet until late in the third quarter when he scored eight points in the final three minutes just after Gobert had re-entered the game. He made 3-of-4 free throws, then sank a 3-pointer from out front before tipping in a miss by T.J. McConnell. He didn’t score in the fourth quarter.The other marquee matchup, although it wasn’t a head-to-head matchup, was between Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons, last year’s two best rookies. Simmons ended up winning Rookie of the Year honors despite sitting out the previous year with an injury and many thought Mitchell was more deserving because he was a “true” rookie.The two didn’t end up guarding each other, since the 6-3 Mitchell guarded Wes Chandler and the 6-10 Simmons was guarded by Derrick Favors or Jae Crowder.Mitchell won the stat battle in Philadelphia last month with 31 points to 10 for Simmons, who was on the winning side.Thursday night, Mitchell scored more points with 23, but Simmons had a better overall game with a triple-double: 13 points, 12 assists and 14 rebounds.Utah’s best player Thursday night was Dante Exum, who scored a season-high 20 points, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range. Donovan Mitchell’s Jazz fall to Ben Simmons’ Sixers in first game at Utah since rookie beef Donovan Mitchell expects pressure after becoming first Utah Jazz player with signature shoe since Karl Malonecenter_img Relatedlast_img read more

Wellington Police Notes: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

first_imgWellington Police note: Wednesday, February 22, 2017:•7:38 a.m. Timothy H. Nash, WM, 20, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for  seatbelt violation.•7:50 a.m. Joshua G. Arebalo, 25, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for seatbelt violation and drivers’ license not in possession.•7:50 a.m. Shalene R. Funderburk, 25, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for seatbelt violation.•7:55 a.m. Ashley D. Helton, 29, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for  seatbelt violation.•10:58 a.m. Officers investigated a theft of a purse and contents in the 400  block N. Jefferson, Wellington.•11:19 a.m. Officers investigated criminal damage to property in the 300  block E. Mill, Wellington.•11:35 a.m. Officers took a miscellaneous report in the 1800  block W. 18th, Wellington.•3:05 p.m. Caraol D. Alicea, 50, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for seatbelt violation.•3:22 p.m. Officers investigated a theft by known suspect in the 2000  block E. 16th, Wellington. Items were recovered.•4:18 p.m. Officers took a report of miscellaneous report in the 800  block Homestead, Wellington.•5:35 p.m. Officers took a courtesy motor vehicle accident report in the 700  block W. 16th, Wellington involving an unknown vehicle and a vehicle operated by a juvenile female, 17, Wellington.•7:21 p.m. Officers took an animal call in the 400 block E. Walnut, Wellington.•7:30 p.m. Non-injury, hit and run accident in the 300 block S. Fair, Wellington involving a vehicle operated by Andrew R. Ahlstedt, 30, Wellington and a fixed objects/mailbox and retaining wall owned by Donald E. Arrendondo, Wellington.•7:30 p.m. Andrew R. Ahlstedt, 30, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for inattentive driving, leaving the scene of an accident and fail to report an accident.•7:38 p.m. Officers investigated failure to stop at accident, duty of driver to report, accident and inattentive driving.•8:08 p.m. Officers took a report of lost cell phone in the 200 block S. High, Wellington.last_img read more