Archive for the ‘Other Sports’ Category
Irish shock UConn, reach final against Aggies
After Notre Dame was finished with his top-seeded Huskies, Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma couldn’t list the reasons fast enough.
The Irish are impossible to play defense against. Things fell apart when his pedigreed Huskies started fouling. They let the other team’s great players take control of the game.
All good reasons why Connecticut won’t be playing in the NCAA championship game for the first time in three years. But four other words muttered by Auriemma in a solemn press conference summed things up better.
“Things just went awry,” the coach said.
Skylar Diggins scored 28 points, Natalie Novosel had 22 and Notre Dame survived a furious rally by Huskies senior Maya Moore for a 72-63 victory in the Final Four, moving on to face Texas A&M in Tuesday’s title game.
The second-seeded Irish (31-7) knocked off another No. 1 seed after making it past Tennessee to win the Dayton region, shooting better than 51 percent from the floor against UConn and outscoring the two-time defending champion Huskies 46-31 in the second half.
Moore finished her sparkling career with a loss, but didn’t go down without a fight, pouring in 36 points while playing all but a second of the game.
With the Huskies (36-2) reeling, she scored 16 straight points for her team to keep them in it, including a three-pointer that got them within 63-60 after they had been down by 12.
“She’s a great player and tonight she was hitting everything,” said teammate Kelly Faris. “She came out with the mentality that this was not going to be her last game and she carried us.”
Momentum shifted back into Notre Dame’s favor, however, after Novosel knocked down a straightaway jumper and Diggins stole the ball from Faris at the other end.
Diggins drove down for a layup that gave the Irish a 67-60 lead with 1:35 remaining — a crushing turn for the Huskies.
And as much as Moore kept her team in the game, she couldn’t red-line it to the end. She went just 1-for-3 at the foul line after Diggins’ bucket and missed her last two shots from the field, finishing 14-for-30 for the game.
Moore led Connecticut to back-to-back national championships the last two years and was part of the team’s NCAA-record 90-game winning streak, but was at a loss for words to name the pinnacle of her college career.
“I loved my whole time here,” she said. “I can’t really pinpoint a moment.”
The Irish, meanwhile, moved on to play for the national championship for the first time since they captured it in 2001. They snapped a 12-game losing streak against their Big East rivals that included three defeats this season.
Earlier on Sunday, second-seeded Texas A&M knocked off Stanford in a thriller, 63-62, to reach the title game for the first time. The Aggies beat two No. 1 seeds to reach the final, also toppling Baylor in the Elite Eight.
Aggies top Stanford in thriller to reach title game
Texas A&M has toppled another No. 1.
Sydney Colson dribbled the length of the court and dished to Tyra White for the go-ahead layup with 3.3 seconds left, and the Aggies knocked off Stanford, 63-62, in the Final Four on Sunday to reach the NCAA championship game for the first time.
“I pushed it as fast as I could,” said Colson.
Coming off a win over top-seeded Baylor to win the Dallas region, the Aggies ended the game on a 19-8 run that included an 8-0 burst after they had fallen behind by 10.
“This is what women’s basketball needs,” said Aggies head coach Gary Blair. “It needs regional final games and semifinal games and final games like this to be able to sometimes wake up America, to be able to give us credit when credit is due.”
White finished with 18 points, Danielle Adams added 16 and Sydney Carter had 14 for Texas A&M (32-5), which will meet Notre Dame in the national championship game on Tuesday after the Irish toppled Connecticut later Sunday.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike poured in 31 points to lead Stanford (33-3), including a bucket that gave the Cardinal a one-point lead before Colson made her final- seconds dash down the court.
After winning the Spokane region, Stanford was looking to reach the title game for the third time in four years. Instead, a spectacular season that saw them snap Connecticut’s 90-game winning streak came to an end.
The Aggies’ 8-0 spurt got them within 54-52. They drew within 58-57 when Carter dribbled right and buried a three-pointer over two defenders near the top of the arc.
Colson’s free throws gave them a 59-58 lead with 52 seconds left, but Ogwumike made a pair at the other end to put Stanford ahead. The see-sawing continued when White drove for a layup on the left side to make it 61-60 Texas A&M.
But that was nothing like the final moments.
Ogwumike took an inbounds pass on the left side, drove through the paint and scored on a scoop shot to make it 62-61 with 9.2 seconds remaining.
“We ran a play that got me open on the block, and so I knew I had to produce somehow,” said Ogwumike.
But Stanford couldn’t stop Colson, who dribbled all the way into the paint before finding White on the right side of the basket for the game-winner.
“When she passed it to me, I just heard Coach Blair’s voice in my head saying pin the ball,” said White. “So that’s what I did.”
Stanford’s Mikaela Ruef attempted a one-handed inbounds pass the length of the court, but Colson intercepted it near the Cardinal basket and threw the ball in the air to run off the final seconds.
Connecticut senior Maya Moore was named the winner of the Wade Trophy on Saturday, becoming the first player to receive the award three times.
The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and National Association for Girls and Women in Sport present the award annually to the Division I player of the year.
Moore has put together a stellar career for the Huskies, during which she led them to an NCAA-record 90-game winning streak and two national titles. UConn has also won the Big East and reached the Final Four every year she has been at the school. UConn plays Notre Dame on Sunday in a national semifinal.
Moore has averaged 22.5 points per game this season, when she became the Huskies’ all-time leading scorer. She is also the seventh player in Division I women’s basketball history to net at least 3,000 points.
37 of the 39 votes were given to Moore, the other two votes were received by Brittney Griner of Baylor.
Rowley throws for nine TDs as Shock down Storm in ArenaBowl XXIII
Kyle Rowley threw for nine touchdowns, leading Spokane over Tampa Bay, 69-57, in ArenaBowl XXIII.
Rowley completed 24-of-32 passes for 237 yards for the Shock. Markee White caught nine passes for 99 yards and four scores, while Huey Whittaker also had four TD catches.
The Shock played their first four seasons in the now-defunct af2 league. Championships are nothing new to the team, as the Shock won ArenaCups in 2006 and 2009 before joining the new version of the AFL.
Brett Dietz finished 29-of-40 for 306 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions for the Storm, five-time Arena Bowl winners.
– Stephen (DS LLC.)
FIBA to act after fight between Greece and Serbia
Just a week before the start of the 2010 World Championship, FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, will launch an investigation into the fight between Greece and Serbia in the final of the Acropolis Tournament in Athens.
With just over 2 1/2 minutes remaining in Thursday’s contest, an incident between Serbia’s Milos Teodosic and Greece’s Antonis Fotsis escalated with players from both teams exchanging punches. Teodosic had fouled Fotsis moments earlier.
Serbia’s Nenad Krstic, who plays for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, was taken into police custody following the brawl.
Officials decided to stop the game after the fracas and Greece was awarded the title with a 74-73 victory.
FIBA issued a statement Friday, saying the scene that took place was unacceptable.
“FIBA, as the sport’s world governing body, is now urgently reviewing last night’s game and the circumstances leading to the violence,” the statement read. “FIBA will not be commenting on the actions of any individual player ahead of that review being completed. However, FIBA wishes to make it clear that it will not hesitate from taking the strongest possible action against any individual found to have brought the sport of basketball into disrepute.”
The World Championship begins next Saturday in Turkey.
– Stephen (DS LLC.)
Former NFL QB Garcia signs with UFL
Former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia has signed with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.
The UFL is in its second season and the Omaha franchise is in its first year.
Garcia was a four-time Pro Bowl selection during his NFL career with San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.
“I am so ready and excited to be heading to the great city of Omaha to represent the Nighthawks of the United Football League,” said Garcia in a statement. “I know that the state of Nebraska has a great passion for football and I can already see that the people of Omaha have fully embraced the Nighthawks. I still have the drive, commitment, and ability to play this game at the highest level and one thing that I definitely share with the people of Omaha is a passion for the game. I look forward to sharing these future experiences with the Nighthawks’ great fans.”
Garcia appeared in one game with the Eagles last season and also played for Philadelphia in 2006.
The 40-year-old San Jose State product had his best years with the 49ers from 1999 through 2003. He then spent one year with Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia before a two-year run with Tampa Bay and returned to the Eagles.
In 125 NFL games, he has thrown for 25,537 yards with 161 touchdowns and 83 interceptions while completing 61.6 percent of his passes.
Garcia also spent time in the CFL and was the MVP of the 1998 Grey Cup.
– Stephen (DS LLC.)