Capitals

Tapley, Franklin lead No. 20 SDSU over Tritons

Tapley, Franklin lead No. 20 SDSU over Tritons

SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego State Aztecs had some fun late in an exhibition game against Division II UC San Diego, leaping and bumping hips after consecutive dunks by Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley gave them a 30-point lead.

Tapley scored 15 points, Franklin had 13 and transfer JJ O'Brien added 10 as the Aztecs beat the Tritons 80-56 on Monday night.

It won't be anywhere as easy on Friday night, when the 20th-ranked Aztecs open the season against No. 9 Syracuse in the Battle on the Midway on San Diego Bay.

Now comes a game on the flight deck of a decommissioned aircraft carrier, against a tough opponent and whatever Mother Nature throws at the teams.

``Syracuse is obviously a formidable challenge,'' SDSU coach Steve Fisher said. ``We talked about their length and size and their 2-3 defense that makes it hard to get inside. We'll have our hands full from that standpoint but we're going to come out and play very, very hard. We have a good team.''

The Aztecs outrebounded the Tritons only 35-33.

``The thing we must get better on is defensive rebounding,'' Fisher said. ``We have to rebound the ball. If we don't do that on Friday, we're in big trouble.''

The Aztecs got some looks against the 2-3 zone

``Again, it's a whole different animal when they're 6 inches taller,'' Fisher said. ``We've got a handful of set plays, quick-hitting set plays against the zone. ... I know they'll create some opportunities for us and then we'll have to make some shots.''

After reaching the NCAA tournament for the third straight season, the Aztecs return four starters and welcome a highly touted recruiting class that includes three Division I transfers and three freshmen.

Drew Dyer led UCSD with 13 points.

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Tarik's 3 stars: Ovechkin said Caps would even the series, on Thursday, he helped them do it

Tarik's 3 stars: Ovechkin said Caps would even the series, on Thursday, he helped them do it

COLUMBUS — Alex Ovechkin confidently predicted earlier this week that the Caps were going to win twice at Nationwide Arena and take their first round series back to Washington knotted, two games apiece.

And, on Thursday night, that’s exactly what Ovechkin made sure his team did.

No. 8, who was playing in his franchise-record 101st playoff game, scored his third goal of the playoffs early in the final frame and the Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 in Game 4.

Tarik’s Three Stars of Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 4

1. Tom Wilson, Capitals

After a slow (and penalty plagued) start to this series, Wilson has become a force. Yes, he took another minor.

But the good is far outweighing the bad these days. Big Willy recorded a goal, an assist and a team-high seven shots.  

2. Braden Holtby, Capitals

Holtby had his best game in, well, a long time. He stopped 23 shots, including all eight he saw in a contentious second period.

The goal he surrendered was a nearly unstoppable tip-in by Boone Jenner.

3. T.J. Oshie, Capitals

Osh just plays the game so dang hard.

So it should come as no surprise that he delivered in his team’s biggest game of the season to this point. Oshie, of course, scored the game-winning goal on the power play midway through the second period. It was No. 77’s second tally of the series.

Agree? Disagree?

Let us know what you think in the comments. 

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and everybody will predict the team’s season-long record. 

It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing.

Myself included. 

But don’t read much, if anything, into the schedule right now. 

Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season. 

Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. 

What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week. 

Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak. 

Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.

But remember, once the games start, anything can happen. 

(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)

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