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Clarke leads No. 9 Butler past Temple 83-71

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Clarke leads No. 9 Butler past Temple 83-71

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Rotnei Clarke returned in the nick of time for No. 9 Butler.

The sharp-shooting guard scored 25 points in his first game back in two weeks, and Khyle Marshall added 19, leading the Bulldogs past Temple 83-71 Saturday. Butler has won 14 of its last 15, the only blemish being Wednesday's 54-53 loss at La Salle.

Clarke had missed the previous three games with a severely sprained neck, the result of a head-first collision with a padded basket support at Dayton on Jan. 12. And though the Bulldogs went 2-1 in his absence, they needed every point Clarke could must Saturday -- and every opening he could create for his teammates, too.

Temple (13-6, 2-3) was led by Khalif Wyatt, who scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half, and Scootie Randall who had 13 points as another Philadelphia team was looking to upset a Top 10 foe. In addition to the La Salle win, Villanova took down Louisville and Syracuse this week. But the Owls couldn't join the party, falling to 1-3 this season against the Top 10.

Clarke was the biggest reason for Temple's failures Saturday, and it wasn't just because of his scoring. He made three 3-pointers and was 13 of 14 from the free-throw line.

While Clarke continually confounded Temple's defense by taking and making contested shots and the Owls adjusted, Clarke was content to let his teammates do their part. Marshall took care of the dirty work inside, and with Temple paying so much attention to Clarke outside, freshman Kellen Dunham knocked down five 3s and finished with 17 points. And Clarke had a career-high nine assists.

The combination was too much for Temple, which played all but three minutes without starting guard T.J. DiLeo because of what appeared to be a right ankle injury.

Temple controlled the first nine minutes of the game, then it was all Butler.

The Bulldogs used a 12-0 first-half run to take a 34-26 lead. The Owls cut that deficit to 37-34 at the half.

But Butler opened the second half on a 7-0 run and led by as much as 51-38 with 13:50 left in the game.

Again, Temple charged back, using an 18-5 spurt to tie the score at 56 when Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson completed a three-point play.

The Bulldogs answered again with a dunk from Marshall and a 3 from Dunham, then went on a decisive 8-0 run to make it 72-60 with 3:32 to go.

Temple couldn't get closer than seven the rest of the way.

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Panthers honor Florida shooting victims before game against Capitals

Panthers honor Florida shooting victims before game against Capitals

Prior to their matchup against the Capitals, the Panthers honored the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Thursday night's game was the Panthers' first game on home ice since the shooting last week. BB&T Center, the home of the Panthers, is located about 20 minutes south of Parkland.

Both teams wore the school’s hat during warmups, and the Panthers will wear the school’s logo on their helmets and “MSD” patches on their jerseys for the rest of the season.

There was a was a moment of silence and ceremony prior to the game, during which the video board showed the pictures and names of all 17 victims.

Following the video Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, who lives in Parkland, took the ice to give his own moving tribute. 

"It's time for us, as a community, to take action. Enough is enough." Luongo commended the school's teachers and said of the students, "You guys are an inspiration for all of us. You guys are giving us hope for the future." 

"When I'm done playing hockey, I want to spend the rest of my life in Parkland," Luongo said. "I love that city."

In addition to the ceremony and uniform tributes, the Panthers hosted a blood drive beginning at today noon and lasting through the second intermission of the game in an effort to replenish local blood banks.

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5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

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Associated Press

5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

The Washington Wizards signed point guard Ramon Sessions to a 10-day free agent contract on Thursday. Here are five things to know about the newest Wizards player...

**Sessions has played for Washington before. He was acquired by the Wizards at the trade deadline in 2015 and played out the 2014-15 season, appearing in 28 regular season games and 10 more in the playoffs. Sessions then spent the whole 2015-16 season with the team before leaving the following summer to sign a free agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets. In 1 1/2 seasons with the Wizards, Sessions averaged 9.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He shot 46 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three.

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**Sessions played one season for the Hornets and spent part of this year with the New York Knicks. The Knicks waived Sessions on Jan. 13. Over the past two seasons in Charlotte and New York, Sessions has averaged 5.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 37 percent.

**This is Sessions' 11th NBA season. In addition to the Wizards, Hornets and Knicks, he has spent time with the Bucks, Cavs, Lakers and Kings. He began his career in Milwaukee after getting selected in the second round of the 2007 draft.

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**Sessions went to the University of Nevada from 2004 through 2007 and left an impressive legacy as one of the best players in the program's history. The school's practice facility is, in fact, named after Sessions. It is called the 'Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center' and Sessions donated $1 million towards construction costs.

**Sessions overlapped with former Wizards player JaVale McGee at Nevada. Sessions was in his final season as a junior when McGee was a freshman. The Wolfpack were quite good that year. They peaked at No. 10 in the nation, the highest ranking in school history, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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