College Football

Celtics-Bucks: What we saw . . .

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Celtics-Bucks: What we saw . . .

MILWAUKEE After giving his players a couple days off, Doc Rivers had no idea what to expect when the Boston Celtics took to the floor against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Celtics looked alive and refreshed, and clearly had a little more bounce than normal as they pulled away in the fourth for a 100-91 win that snapped a six-game winning streak for the Bucks (21-25).

With the win, Boston (25-21) is guaranteed to do no worst than .500 on their eight game road trip that ends Friday night at Philadelphia.

But for the C's, there's no time to think about how good this trip has been, until it's over.

For Boston, it's their second straight win over a team that they could potentially see in the playoffs.

"These last two wins have been big," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "We'll be ready tomorrow."

Strong defensive play in the second half, great help-side defense and an active bench all factored into the Celtics' win on Thursday. Here we look back at a few keys identified prior to the game, and how they actually played out.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: A big part of Milwaukee's run of late has been their ball movement. The most telling barometer for that is assists. And the Bucks have been racking them up in bunches lately. Milwaukee has had at least 30 assists in each of their last four games, something that hasn't happened in the NBA since Phoenix did in during the 2007-2008 season. And a five-game assist binge of 30 or more hasn't happened since Orlando did it during the 1994-1995 season. That ball distribution success will be put to the ultimate test by Boston, which allows a league-low 18.5 assists per game.

WHAT WE SAW: Milwaukee had another good game in terms of assists, but the Celtics really took them out of what they wanted to do, in the second half. The Bucks finished with 23 assists (snapping a four game run of 30 or more assists), but only six came in the second half.

"We were struggling to even handle the ball," said Bucks coach Scott Skiles. "We weren't sharp in any area of the game."

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Kevin Garnett vs. Drew Gooden: Like Garnett, Gooden is also a power forward playing center. And like Garnett, Gooden has the ability to score facing the basket although he doesn't have Garnett's range on his shot. This is going to be one of the few games that Garnett will play at the center position where he doesn't have a clear-cut advantage over his matchup. And when you throw in the fact that Gooden is playing the best basketball of his career (he was Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier this month), it makes for what should be a great duel.

WHAT WE SAW: This matchup wasn't even close. Garnett ratcheted up the defensively intensity all game on Gooden, who had six points after missing 10 of his 12 shots from the field. Meanwhile, Garnett had his team-leading 15th double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, in addition tallying six assists and three blocked shots as yet another example of how he's one of the most versatile players in NBA history.

PLAYER TO WATCH: It has to be Paul Pierce, who has been in foul trouble each of the last two games for the Celtics. He didn't fare so well when the two teams met on Feb. 29, scoring just 10 points on 5-for-12 shooting. He'll be defended by Carlos Delfino, which is one of the few matchups that clearly favors Boston. Don't be surprised if the C's try to get the Captain going early and often.

WHAT WE SAW: The Truth delivered the kind of big-game performance fans have come to expect from him in games like Thursday night's tilt. He came out attacking, and scored 11 points in the first quarter. After a quite second quarter, he erupted for another 14 in the second half before finishing with a game-high 25 points.
"That's what a couple days off will do to you, give you some fresh legs," Pierce said. "I had a little zip in my step tonight."

STAT TO TRACK: If Boston emerges with a win, the turning point will most likely be the third quarter. This season, Boston averages 24.3 points per game in the third, the 10th-best scoring mark for that quarter, in the NBA. The Bucks' third-quarter scoring defense ranks 19th in the league, with opponents averaging 24.1 points scored. But complicating matters some for Milwaukee in the third is that they average just 23.2 points scored in the third which ranks No. 23 in the NBA in third quarter scoring which, as you might expect, is their worst scoring quarter.

WHAT WE SAW: True to form, Boston's ability to close out the third quarter playing well positioned them for a strong fourth quarter push. After Milwaukee went on a 5-0 spurt to lead, 71-70 in the third, a pair of baskets by Kevin Garnett gave the C's a 74-71 lead going into the fourth. From there, they opened with a 14-6 run and never looked back. Although Boston only scored 18 points in the third, they were still plus-5 in the quarter by limiting the Bucks to 13 points on 6-for-21 shooting in the quarter.

Boston College beats UConn 39-16 in wind and rain at Fenway Park

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Boston College beats UConn 39-16 in wind and rain at Fenway Park

BOSTON - AJ Dillon rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns, breaking free on a 48-yard run and a 53-yard score on Saturday night to lead Boston College to a 39-16 victory over UConn on the wet and worn-out turf at Fenway Park.

Playing most of the game in a heavy rain, with groundskeepers patching the field most every timeout, the Eagles (6-5) qualified for a bowl game for the fourth time in five seasons. UConn (3-8) showed little offense until two late touchdowns cut into a 36-point deficit.

One week after BC quarterback Anthony Brown sustained a season-ending knee injury, Darius Wade completed 7 of 15 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. He was helped by Dillon's running, another 107 yards rushing from Jon Hilliman and two long interception returns, including a 65-yard pick-six by Taj-Amir Torres.

Hilliman scored on 38- and 3-yard runs for BC, and Lukas Denis picked off David Pindell at the goal line and ran it back 56 yards to set up Dillon's second score.

BC led 39-3 in the fourth before Kevin Mensah ran 70 yards for a touchdown. Pindell followed by hitting Hergy Mayala for 43 yards with 4:15 left to make it 39-16.

Pindell finished with a career-high 241 yards on 14-for-33 passing, with three interceptions.

Although the century-old ballpark is less than four miles from BC's Chestnut Hill campus, UConn was officially the home team. But the opportunity to use the Red Sox clubhouse didn't help the Huskies avoid falling to 0-12-2 all-time against BC.

A 21-point favorite, BC trailed 3-0 after one quarter before Wade rolled to his left toward the Red Sox dugout and evaded tacklers long enough to find Chris Garrison in the end zone, right in front of where home plate would usually be.

Dillon dragged four defenders into the end zone - with another standing by and watching - on his 53-yard score in the second quarter, then added a 20-yard TD run in the third to make it 33-3. It was his second career 200-yard game and the first 200-yard rusher against UConn since Ray Rice did it for Rutgers in 2005.

THE TAKEAWAY

Boston College: The Eagles are bowl-eligible for the fourth time in coach Steve Addazio's five seasons in Chestnut Hill. He's the first BC coach to go to five bowl games in his first five seasons.

UConn: The Huskies picked up a nice check - $1.25 million - and some players got the thrill of playing in Fenway Park.

OUT FOR THE SEASON

Boston College announced before the game that defensive back Kamrin Moore will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury he sustained last week against North Carolina State. Moore, a captain, had started 23 consecutive games before missing Saturday night's game against UConn.

Moore finished with 140 tackles, six for a loss, and two interceptions.

KICKING WOES

Boston College missed three extra points and had a field goal blocked.

UP NEXT

Boston College: Wraps up the regular season against Syracuse on Saturday.

UConn: Finishes its season against Cincinnati next Saturday.

UMass wins a game on the road, hands BYU its 9th loss, 16-10

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UMass wins a game on the road, hands BYU its 9th loss, 16-10

PROVO, Utah - Andrew Ford fired a 40-yard touchdown pass to Andy Isabella and Logan Laurent kicked three field goals to stake UMass to a 16-0 lead at BYU and the Minutemen held on to post a 16-10 victory Saturday - earning a fourth win for the first time as an FBS school.

UMass (4-7) started playing FBS football in 2012 and never won more than three games nor won a road game against a team outside of the Mid-American Conference.

The victory ended both streaks.

The loss gives BYU nine losses for the third time in school history, matching 1949 and 1955. The Cougars have one game remaining next week in Honolulu against Hawaii with the prospect of their first 10-loss season looming.

Rhett Almond got BYU on the board with a 40-yard field goal with 1:35 left in the third quarter and Joe Critchlow hit Matt Bushman with a 6-yard TD pass in the final minute.

Critchlow was 21 of 45 passing for 257 yards, but the Cougars managed just 42 net rushing yards.