Weekday Morning Sports – Wednesday 3/15/17

95.7 & 1400 WSJM Sports     @wsjmsports     wsjmsports.com     Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NCAAMBB – Men’s College Basketball – NCAA Tournament
Last Night
First Four – University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH
(16) Mount Saint Mary’s 67, (16) New Orleans 66
(11) Kansas State 95, (11) Wake Forest 88

Mt. St. Mary’s 67, New Orleans 66
Diminutive point guard Junior Robinson scored 23 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 1:27 to play, and Mount St. Mary’s held on for a 67-66 victory over New Orleans in the opening game of the First Four. Robinson, the smallest player in Division I at 5-foot-5, carried the Mountaineers (20-15) to only their second NCAA Tournament win.

K-State 95, Wake Forest 88
Kamau Stokes scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half of a wide-open game, and Kansas State’s balance was the difference as the Wildcats pulled away to a 95-88 victory over Wake Forest in the First Four of  the NCAA Tournament. Eleventh-seeded K-State (21-13) got its first NCAA
Tournament win in five years and a trip to play No. 6 Cincinnati on Friday.

Tonight
First Four – University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH
(16) North Carolina Central vs. (16) UC Davis, 6:40 p.m.
(11) USC vs. (11) Providence, 9:10 p.m.

NCAAMBB – Tom Izzo taking Michigan State against Miami Friday night
Tom Izzo, as usual, is taking Michigan State to the NCAA Tournament.  The Hall of Fame coach extended his streak to 20 years of leading the Spartans to college basketball’s showcase event, relying on freshmen more than he ever has in his career.  Mile Bridges, Nick Ward, Cassius Winston and Joshua Langford combine to score nearly 44 points in 92-plus minutes combined every game. They’re scoring and playing much more than Chris Hill, Kelvin Torbert and Alan Anderson did during the 2001-02 season, the last time Izzo depended on multiple freshmen playing key roles for a team that lost several players from the previous year.  “It’s just been different than any year I’ve even dreamed about here,” Izzo said.  Izzo, though, insisted he is confident in his team’s chances.  Ninth-seeded Michigan State (19-14) faces eighth-seeded Miami (21-11) on Friday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The winner will likely face Kansas, the top-seeded team in the Midwest Region, on Sunday.

NCAAMBB – Central Michigan’s Keene entering NBA draft
A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that the nation’s leading scorer, Marcus Keene, is entering the NBA draft. The 5-foot-9 point guard scored 30 points per game as a redshirt junior at Central Michigan this season, the highest scoring average by a Division I player in 20 years.

NHL – National Hockey League
Last Night
Chicago Blackhawks 4, Montreal Canadiens 2

Blackhawks 4, Canadiens 2 – Kane helps Blackhawks topple Canadiens 4-2
Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists and Corey Crawford made 40 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Tuesday night. Johnny Oduya, Artemi Panarin and Jonathan Toews, into the empty net, scored for the Blackhawks, who jumped past Minnesota and lead the Central Division with 93 points. Paul Byron and Shea Weber scored for Montreal. Carey Price made 20 saves as he became the third Canadiens goaltender to reach the 500-game milestone.  Only Patrick Roy (551) and Jacques Plante (556) have played more games between the pipes for Montreal.

Tonight
Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche, 9:30 p.m.

NBA – National Basketball Association
Last Night
Cleveland Cavaliers 128, Detroit Pistons 96
New York Knicks 87, Indiana Pacers 81

Cavaliers 128, Pistons 96 – James has triple-double, Cavs beat Pistons 128-96
LeBron James got his 52nd career triple-double, Kyrie Irving scored 26 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a blazing start to overpower the Detroit Pistons 128-96 on Tuesday night. James picked up his 10th triple-double of the season and third in the last four games at the 3:45 mark of the third quarter. In only 28 minutes, the four-time MVP finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Cleveland had lost four of five, but James helped them cruise in this one. He even overpowered a teammate at one point, flattening Irving while grabbing a rebound in the third quarter. James helped Irving to his feet then dribbled the ball up the floor.   Tobias Harris led Detroit with 17 points. The Pistons are seventh in the East but are in a tight battle with several teams for a playoff spot. Up next, the Pistons host Utah on Wednesday.

Knicks 87, Pacers 81 – Knicks rally to beat Pacers 87-81
Carmelo Anthony scored 15 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, Derrick Rose added 16 points and New York overcame a 13-point third-quarter deficit to beat Indiana 87-81. Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis exited in the third quarter with a left leg injury. Rookie Willy Hernangomez entered in his place and had 13 points and 16 rebounds. New York had lost its last three games. Anthony also had 13 rebounds.  Paul George scored 22 points for the Pacers, who failed to build on their sixth-place lead in the Eastern Conference. Myles Turner had 17 points and 12 rebounds.  The Knicks trailed 59-46 with 9:07 left in the third after Turner’s basket but closed out the quarter on an 18-3 run, capped by Anthony’s 3-pointer that gave New York a 64-62 lead with 52 seconds left. The Pacers return home Wednesday night to host Charlotte.

Tonight
Charlotte Hornets at Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m.
Utah Jazz at Detroit Pistons, 7:30 p.m.
Memphis Grizzlies at Chicago Bulls, 8 p.m.

MLB – Major League Baseball – Spring Training
Yesterday
Detroit 7, Miami 1
Milwaukee 7, Chicago Cubs 7
Seattle 7, Chicago White Sox 6

Today
Atlanta vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.
Kansas City vs. Chicago White Sox at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.
Arizona vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 10:05 p.m.

NFL – Bears reach one-year deal with kicker Connor Barth
The Chicago Bears have agreed to terms with placekicker Connor Barth on a one-year contract.  Barth made 18 of 23 field-goal attempts last season and missed only one of 32 extra-point tries in 16 games. Barth has appeared in 99 games over nine NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs (2008), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009-13, 2015), Denver Broncos (2014) and Chicago Bears (2016). He has made 157 of 187 field goal attempts (84 percent) and 205 of 207 extra points (99 percent).

NFL – Lacy’s agent says running back will join Seahawks
Eddie Lacy’s agent says the former Green Bay running back is joining the Seattle Seahawks. Lacy’s management group, Sports Trust Advisors, said Tuesday on Twitter that the four-year veteran has agreed to terms with the Seahawks. Seattle has been plagued by injuries at the position in recent years. Lacy was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2013, when he rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also ran for more than 1,100 yards in 2014, but has since been slowed by injuries and lost favor with Packers coach Mike McCarthy at times.  Last season, Lacy played in only five games, sidelined by ankle problems.

AHL – American Hockey League
Tonight
Texas Stars at Chicago Wolves, 8:00 p.m.

ECHL – East Coast Hockey League
Tonight
Brampton Beast at Toledo Walleye, 7:15 p.m.
Kalamazoo Wings at Quad City Mallards, 7:35 p.m.

MHSAA – Cofield, Wyman named AP Class C co-Players of the Year
Flint Hamady’s Deajah Cofield and Blissfield’s Kelsey Wyman have been named The Associated Press’ Class C co-Players of the Year for 2017. Cofield averaged 15 points, five rebounds, four steals and five assists a game, including a career-high 32 points vs. Harbor Beach in the regional semifinals. Wyman averaged 23.1 points, 7.3 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 4.2 steals and one block per game, while shooting 61 percent from the field and 43 percent on 3-pointers. The seniors were selected as the top players in Class C by a panel of nine Michigan sportswriters. Monique Brown of Detroit Edison was named AP Class C Coach of the Year.

MHSAA – Muskegon Mona Shores’ Walker wins Miss Basketball award
Jordan Walker is Miss Basketball.   The award honoring Michigan’s top senior on a girls’ basketball team was announced Monday by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan and the Detroit Free Press. The Muskegon Mona Shores guard has signed with Western Michigan. Walker received 375 first-place votes and totaled 2,482 points.  Warren Cousino’s Kierra Fletcher was second with 291 first-place votes and 2,382 points. Birmingham Detroit Country Day’s Destiny Pitts finished third and was followed by Southfield Academy of the Arts and Technology’s Deja Church and Dearborn Heights Robichaud’s Kamaria McDaniel.

MHSAA – High School Sports
Last Night
Girls Basketball – Quarterfinals
Class D at Battle Creek Harper Creek
Pittsford 62, Michigan Lutheran 19

  • Michigan Lutheran’s playoff run ended last night with a 62-19 loss to defending state champion Pittsford in the Class D State Quarterfinals.  The Wildcats took control early, running out to a 15-2 lead after the first quarter.  Pittsford’s aggressive defense prevented the Titans from making any sort of a comeback.  Emily Witkowski scored ten points in the loss for Lutheran.  The Wildcats got a game high 15 points from Madelyn Clark.  The Titans end the season at 23-3.

Class A at Lansing Everett
East Kentwood 78, Kalamazoo Central 51

Class C at Portage Northern
Pewamo-Westphalia 43, Schoolcraft 19

MHSAA – High School Sports
Tonight
Boys Basketball – Regional Finals
Class B at Allegan
Benton Harbor vs. Wayland, 7:00 p.m.                     95.7 & 1400 WSJM Sports

Class D at Bellevue
DREAM Academy vs. Bellevue, 7:00 p.m.

Class A at Gull Lake
Kalamazoo Central vs. East Lansing, 7:00 p.m.

Class C at Bangor
Kalamazoo Christian vs. Quincy, 7:00 p.m.