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USC women’s basketball looks to continue streak

first_imgAlthough the Pac-12 tournament begins in exactly one week, the USC women’s basketball team have to tackle one final road trip before they can begin their looming postseason journey.USC (16-11, 10-6) will carry four straight wins into Seattle and take on Washington (15-11, 7-9) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the first contest of a two-game road trip.After their recent 59-53 victory over Arizona State (18-10, 9-8) on USC’s Senior Day, the Women of Troy maintained their third-place standing in the Pac-12 with a one-and-a-half-game cushion over the Sun Devils.Oregon State (18-9, 9-7) and UCLA (14-13, 9-7) are still hot on USC’s heels, however, trailing by only one game in conference standings. No. 2 Stanford (26-1, 17-0) and California (22-7, 13-4) have already secured first and second place, respectively.The top four conference teams receive a bye in the first round, and USC can lock their position at third place with wins over Washington and Washington State in their concluding road trip.“We know these next two games will be very difficult games,” USC coach Michael Cooper said. “We have to come out and continue this streak we’re on, and see if we can finish out the season with six straight wins.”The last time USC squared off against Washington, the Huskies pulled away 67-61 at the Galen Center on Feb. 5. The Women of Troy were led by 19 points from senior guard Ashley Corral and a double-double from sophomore forward Cassie Harberts.It was the Huskies’ freshman guard Jazmine Davis, however, who controlled the court by leading a trio of Washington women in double-digits with a game-high 26 points.“We’re going to lock [Davis] up,” senior guard Briana Gilbreath said. “She got some really good shots down here, and she really went off on us, so if we can contain her and stick to our defensive schemes, we’ll be OK.”With a combined 44.1 points per game from top scorers Corral, Gilbreath, Harberts and junior forward Christina Marinacci, the Women of Troy are poised to snap the Huskies’ two-game winning streak.In the contest against the Sun Devils, Marinacci led the Women of Troy with 12 points and 10 rebounds. USC has had five different leading scorers in each of their last five games.Despite USC’s offensive potential, Gilbreath contends that defense will be the key to the team’s victory.“If we can play defense and get stops, and we can run in transition, the more better for us,” Gilbreath said.With the postseason just around the corner, the Women of Troy look to enter this year’s Pac-12 tournament with six straight wins and push for a conference title after falling to Arizona 61-72 in the second round of last year’s Pac-10 competition.“We’re in a good position, but the road is still tough ahead,” Cooper said. “When the Pac-12 tournament starts, we’ll be ready for that. I’m excited about it, and I’m looking forward to it.”last_img read more

D-II LB Connor Harris leads nation in tackles following shoulder injury

first_img Published on October 14, 2015 at 1:05 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR At the moment Connor Harris jumped and intercepted the ball, the receiver hit him low and Harris fell on his shoulder. He played a few more snaps, but soon lost feeling in his right arm. What he thought was a cramp turned out to be a separated shoulder. It required season-ending surgery.It was the third game of Harris’ sophomore season for Lindenwood University, a Division II school in St. Charles, Missouri. The Lions were 2-0 and beating a rival school at halftime. After Harris’ injury, the Lions lost the lead and six of its last seven games.For the first time in Harris’ life, injury forced him to the sideline. It was almost a full year until he could play football again.“I thought, ‘Oh man, can I compete at the level I was at?’” Harris said. “’Can I get my strength back? Is this going to affect my future?’”Two years later, Harris has answers. The redshirt junior linebacker leads Division II in tackles with 107 in six games, 17 more than second place. On Oct. 10, before head coach Patrick Ross sat his starters in a lopsided loss, Harris recorded 23 tackles in three quarters. Yet Harris, on pace for 196 tackles this season, didn’t play linebacker before college, turned down a Division I offer and couldn’t work out his right arm for a full year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It was unfortunate to get that injury, but it showed me how to lead,” Harris said. “I learned a lot about myself.”Harris prepared as usual following his injury, watching hours of film on Hudl. He relayed reports to his replacement, freshman Clint Koons. Koons led the team in tackles that year.Harris maintained his strict diet of lean meats, chicken breast and fish. He couldn’t use his right shoulder, so he did leg presses, sled pulls, hamstring raises and left arm workouts. Harris’ friend and former Lindenwood slot receiver Chase Stewart remembered Harris’ workouts as painful cycles of adding another 10 pounds each rep followed by only 30-second breathers.“You leave (the gym) needing to hit an ice bath as soon as possible,” Stewart said. “… (That’s why) he looks like a created player in Madden.”The injury was Harris’ second college adjustment. He played safety and quarterback in high school, which is why he didn’t initially attract Football Bowl Subdivision offers, Ross said. Bigger schools had to project where the 6-foot, 240-pounder could play. (Harris told Kansas it was too late when, the day after he committed to Lindenwood, the Jayhawks offered him a scholarship.)Ross, who compares recruiting to darts, saw Harris’ high school state championship game when he scored touchdowns on a pass, rush and pick-six.“This guy was a bullseye,” he said. “I saw him play live one time and he became a must-have.”Harris arrived on campus in 2012 and converted to linebacker. During an intrasquad scrimmage at the end of camp, Stewart caught a screen and turned to run upfield. Harris introduced himself.“Probably the hardest hit of my collegiate career,” Stewart said.Ross and Stewart said Harris is the best football player they’ve ever been around. Ross has coached 10 NFL players. Stewart grew up playing Texas high school football.“Connor’s not the only great player I’ve played with,” Stewart said, “but the diet, nutrition, training and study sets him apart. (You know) what you see on the field and in the stat column? That’s seven days a week.”As Harris’ transition continued at middle linebacker, he became more vocal, acting like the defense’s quarterback — a position he found himself in on the other side of the ball.In Lindenwood’s last game of 2014, Stewart said, the struggling Lions offense put Harris at quarterback to run zone reads. On 11 carries, Harris rushed for 188 yards and four touchdowns — more rushing scores than any other player had all season.“We’re in Division II and he looks like he’s playing a bunch of high schoolers,” Stewart said.Ross doesn’t like to use Harris on offense, preferring to let him focus on defense, where Harris has been the team-leading tackler since he started as a true freshman.But before his 107 tackles this season, he had to make his first with a healed right shoulder. In his return from injury last season, he tensed as he saw the running back coming. He felt doubt.“I wouldn’t say scared of contact, but I was uneasy,” Harris said. “I was expecting pain, but (at the hit) I didn’t feel anything. I thought, ‘Wow. This feels fine.’“So it slipped my mind and I kept playing.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Miley Cyrus sued by Jamaican entertainer for “We Can’t Stop”

first_imgEntertainer Miley Cyrus has been sued for US$ 300 million by a Jamaican songwriter who said the pop singer’s 2013 smash “We Can’t Stop” closely resembles a song he recorded 25 years earlier, and that she is infringing his copyright.Michael May, who performs as Flourgon, said his 1988 song “We Run Things” has been a favorite for lovers of  reggae music worldwide since reaching number one in his home country, and that about 50 percent of  We Can’t Stop comes from him.He accused Cyrus and her label RCA Records, owned by Sony Corporation, of misappropriating his material, including the phrase “We run things. Things no run we,” which she sings as “We run things. Things don’t run we.” Representatives for Cyrus and Sony have not responded to requests for comment. According to his complaint filed with the US District Court in Manhattan, Flourgon is also seeking a halt to further sales and performances of  We Can’t Stop.last_img read more

Yohan Blake out of World Championships with injury

first_imgReigning 100m champion Yohan Blake has withdrawn from August’s World Athletics Championships in Moscow with a hamstring injury.The 23-year-old Jamaican pulled out of his country’s national championships last month having been troubled by the injury since April.Blake won the 2011 title in Daegu when compatriot Usain Bolt false-started.Team-mate Asafa Powell and American Tyson Gay have withdrawn from the event in Moscow after positive dope tests.Gay’s A sample from an out-of-competition test in May was positive, while Powell tested positive for a banned stimulant at June’s Jamaican Championships. Both athletes are awaiting the results of their B samples.As defending champion, Blake did not have to qualify for the 100 metres at this year’s World Championships, but he would not have competed in the 200 metres after pulling out of the Jamaican trials.Blake has not run in a competitive 100m this year, but he recorded 20.72 in the 200m in Kingston, Jamaica, on 8 June.last_img read more

Lakers keeping options open with addressing backcourt needs

first_imgThe Lakers are holding out hope they will have the right ingredients that make this a destination spot once again.Account for Magic Johnson’s stature. Calculate Rob Pelinka’s smarts. Mix their collective vision in assembling a roster by maximizing cap space and aiding Luke Walton’s coaching staff to develop their young players. Then, perhaps LeBron James, Paul George and Russell Westbrook will want to sign a contract with the Lakers in the 2018 offseason when they become free agents.The Lakers deliberate attempt to preserve cap space has made it difficult to make moves in the first few days of free agency. After the Lakers met with veteran guard George Hill on Monday with hopes to sign him to a one-year deal, Hill agreed to a reported three-year, $57 million deal in Sacramento.Nonetheless, the Lakers are being patient trying to fulfill their needs in their backcourt, shooting and veteran leadership without compromising cap space. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe Lakers met with free-agent guard Dion Waiters on Sunday, while also having extensive conversations in recent days about free-agent guard Rajon Rondo. The Lakers have expressed interest in retaining 22-year-old guard Tyler Ennis. Should the Clippers follow through on a proposed three-team trade that would send veteran guard Jamal Crawford to the Atlanta Hawks, he has “strong interest” in negotiating a buyout on his two-year contract and signing with the Lakers, according to a league source. Such possibilities could hinge on the subsequent fallout with Gordon Hayward choosing to sign with the Boston Celtics after playing for Utah Jazz for seven seasons since being drafted by them in 2010.The 25-year-old Waiters seems like a natural replacement for Nick Young, who opted out of his $5.7 million player option and has sparked interest from Golden State, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Minnesota. But the Lakers’ possible partnership with Rondo has evoked some uneasiness around their fan base for reasons that have little to do with Rondo once playing for the rival Boston Celtics (2006-15) and winning an NBA championship at the Lakers’ expense. Instead, it has more to do whether Rondo would help the Lakers with outside shooting and a positive locker room influence.center_img Rondo’s credentials are well-established as he has averaged 10.7 points on 46.3 percent shooting, 8.5 assists and 4.9 rebounds in a 10-year NBA career. During and after the two competed against each other in the 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals, former Lakers star Kobe Bryant often praised Rondo for his basketball intellect, passing ability and competitiveness. But after joining his fourth team in the past four seasons, Rondo has faced questions on his willingness to handle a reduced role and how he gets along with coaches.After the Mavericks made a mid-season trade for Rondo in 2015, he eventually clashed with Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, including having an in-game disagreement over play calling that drew a team-imposed one-game suspension. Rondo then had short stints in Sacramento (2015-16) and Chicago (2016-17), which waived him last week. Yet, numerous publications quoted teammates that also characterized Rondo as a willing and supportive mentor.As for the Lakers, they had inquired about Rondo with numerous former teammates and coaches in recent days, according to a league source familiar with the situation. After Rondo’s representatives initiated talks shortly after free agency began on Friday, the Lakers viewed Rondo as someone that could play both as a reserve and in a starting role along with rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. The Lakers also see Rondo as someone who could become a positive mentor for Lonzo.Staff writer Bill Oram contributed to this reportlast_img read more

Hachimura and Watanabe spearhead constellation of rising stars set to carry Japanese hopes at World Cup

first_imgSeiya AndoShuto AndoYudai BabaNick FazekasRui HachimuraTenketsu HarimotoMakoto HiejimaAtsuya OtaAvi Koki SchaferRyusei ShinoyamaJoji TakeuchiKosuke TakeuchiDaiki TanakaLeo Vendrame Hiyu WatanabeYuta WatanabeThe biggest name on the preliminary squad is, of course, Rui Hachimura, who played in four Asian Qualifiers games. The 2.03m (6ft 8in) forward was among the top players in the NCAA for the 2018-2019 season and is expected to be a major impact player for the Washington Wizards in his rookie NBA season.In the World Cup, Hachimura is projected to be Japan’s most dangerous weapon as he has a polished offensive arsenal from inside stretching to the perimeter. His partner in crime will likely be Yuta Watanabe, who saw action for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2018-2019 NBA regular season and was a nightmare matchup for Japan’s foes in the Asian Qualifiers. #AkatsukiFive #バスケットボール #日本代表 待望のBIG3が揃った『ジャパンドリームチーム』始動 🏀日本代表国際試合 International Basketball Games 2019 8/12🇳🇿・22🇦🇷・24🇩🇪・25🇹🇳 #FIBAWCA post shared by 日本バスケットボール協会(JBA) (@japan_basketball) on Jul 30, 2019 at 5:03am PDTAlso in the mix are top-shelf talents from the B.League, led by wonderful wingmen Makoto Hiejima and Daiki Tanaka, high-flying Yudai Baba, who’s also another rising star, and naturalized player Nick Fazekas.This will be Japan’s first appearance at the World Cup since hosting the competition in 2006, where they ended up among the 17th to 20th place teams. Curiously enough, there will be two holdovers from that World Cup squad from 13 years ago, the vaunted Takeuchi twins – Kosuke and Joji.In 2006, both Takeuchi boys were fresh from finishing their university playing years (Kosuke at Keio University and Joji at Tokai University) and were Japan’s own rising stars. View this post on Instagram Rui Hachimura, Yuta Watanabe and Yudai Baba lead a troop of rising stars ready to carry Japan’s World Cup hopes in China next month.The Japan Basketball Association (JBA) unveiled today their 16-man pool for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, and the noticeable presence of young talents is a clear message that the Akatuski Five are laying the foundations for a potentially bright future.center_img Now they have come full circle, serving as the seasoned veterans on a team where Hachimura, Watanabe, Baba and Co. have inherited the mantle of stardom.Rising from Japan’s national training team, which just finished their tour of duty at the William Jones Cup 2019, are Seiya Ando, Shuto Ando, Avi Koki Schafer, Tenketsu Harimoto and the pool’s youngest player, 2.07m (6ft 10in) center Hiyu Watanabe, who will turn 21 in December. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/b/c3/hachimura-trophy_116rkr1xs78kd1nkvk0otc5o4b.jpg?t=1201114620&w=500&quality=80last_img read more