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Boise State wins Vegas Bowl, beating Washington

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Boise State wins Vegas Bowl, beating Washington

LAS VEGAS (AP) The last two times Boise State played in the Las Vegas Bowl, there were other places the Broncos wanted to be. Not so on Saturday, when the smallest player on the team came up big in a 28-26 victory over Washington.

After two straight blowouts in the Las Vegas Bowl, the Broncos had to work hard for a win sealed by a 27-yard field goal by 5-foot-5 Michael Frisina with 1:16 left. It left them feeling good about a game and a season when, unlike the last two years, there was hardly any talk about Boise State being in a BCS game.

``The most satisfying thing about this season was each week you'd see us get just a little bit better,'' Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. ``These guys, they don't go through the motions. They have a chip on their shoulder.''

The win capped another strong year for the No. 20 Broncos (11-2), who had to overcome a 205-yard rushing game by Bishop Sankey against their normally stingy defense. Sankey also had 74 yards receiving, giving him 279 of Washington's 447 yards from scrimmage.

But it was Frisina who came up with the biggest game of his career in his final game. He kicked three field goals, including the first game winner he could ever recall booting.

``It's every kicker's dream to win a big game with a field goal,'' Frisina said. ``For this one to come on the last game of my career, you couldn't ask for anything more.'

Washington (7-6) had taken the lead for the first time on a 38-yard field goal by Travis Coons with 4:09 left when No. 20 Boise State got a big kickoff return by freshman Shane Williams-Rhodes to the Washington 42. Joe Southwick guided the team to the 12 before Frisina hit the winning kick.

``I was just focused on what I had to do,'' Frisina said. ``I'm there as the insurance guy, I guess you'd say.''

Boise State sealed the win when Jeremy Ioane intercepted Keith Price's pass as the Huskies neared midfield.

``To their credit they found a way to win the game in the end,'' said Washington coach Steve Sarkisian. ``Our inability to finish is pretty blaring.''

Sankey, who was third on the depth list when fall practice began, rushed 30 times and caught six passes in the biggest game of his career. He scored one touchdown and was the MVP of the game, despite being on the losing side.

``There's a lot of mixed emotions going on,'' Sankey said. ``The MVP doesn't mean so much when you come out a loser.''

Frisina was only 12 for 17 on field goals coming into the game, but kicked three of them, including a 34-yarder to open the scoring that was his first field goal over 30 yards for the year.

Southwick, meanwhile, had another efficient game, completing 26 of 38 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns for a Boise State team that struggled offensively through much of the season before improving over its last three games.

``All year I knew I could play at this level,'' he said. ``It's just a lot of work, a lot of moving parts to put the puzzle together. The last three games it's really showed. We've just been executing at a high level in the offense.''

Southwick, a junior who took over from the departing Kellen Moore, also ran for 39 yards and had a punt that pinned Washington by its goal line in the fourth quarter.

Boise State, which outscored Utah and Arizona State 82-24 in its two previous Las Vegas Bowl wins, looked headed for a third straight blowout when Holden Huff scored on a 34-yard pass with 5:25 left in the second quarter for an 18-3 lead. But Sankey scored on a 26-yard run on Washington's next possession, and Price scrambled for another score with 3 seconds left to make it 18-17 at halftime.

The teams traded long drives in the third quarter, with Boise going 74 yards in 15 plays to open the second half, and Washington responding with a 75 yard, 12 play drive. The Huskies went for a 2-point conversion that would have tied it, but the pass was incomplete

Sankey kept Washington in the game almost by himself in the first half, scoring the first touchdown for the Huskies and gaining huge chunks of yardage against the normally stingy Bronco defense.

Of the 238 yards Washington gained in the half, Sankey had 178 of them. He ran 16 times for 130 yards and stretched out two short passes for another 48 yards.

Boise State was playing without starting defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, the team's sack leader. Lawrence was sent home Thursday for violating unspecified team rules, his second suspension of the season.

The two teams had met only once before, but they won't have to wait long to meet again. They will play in the opener of Washington's new stadium next August.

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Emma Meesseman posts an incredibly efficient game in the Euroleague, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes

Emma Meesseman posts an incredibly efficient game in the Euroleague, scoring 20 points in 21 minutes

Emma Meesseman is a walking bucket. She proved it in the WNBA Finals and is continuing to score in bunches in the EuroLeague. 

Playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg, Meesseman went off again. Shooting an incredible 9-for-11 from the field (82%), she posted 20 points in 21 minutes during their win over ZVVZ USK Praha.

Just take a glimpse of Meesseman's highlights from that game. She got her shot to go from every corner of the court. 

The win moved UMMC Ekaterinburg (10-1) to the top of Pool A of the EuroLeague and Meesseman has been a huge part of it. Throughout the season, she's averaged 15 points, shooting 67% from the field and 64% from 3-point range. 

Meesseman just recently won the WNBA Finals MVP award for the Washington Mystics last season. In the WNBA Finals, she posted nearly 18 points a game coming off the bench to lead the team. 

Other WNBA stars Courtney Vandersloot, Brittney Griner and Jonquel Jones also play with Meesseman on the same team. 

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Davey Martinez on electronic sign stealing: 'This just didn't happen overnight'

Davey Martinez on electronic sign stealing: 'This just didn't happen overnight'

When the Nationals faced the Houston Astros last World Series, they took extra precautions to ensure their opponents couldn’t steal their signs even if they were using illegal means to do it.

Less than two weeks later, news broke that the Astros were being investigated by MLB for using electronic devices to steal signs during the 2017 season—a season in which they went on to win their first World Series in franchise history.

The investigation, which concluded last week and resulted in severe penalties for the Astros and the firings of both manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, didn’t find any evidence that Houston used such means against Washington.

But that didn’t stop Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart from taking precautions, instructing each of his pitchers to have their own sets of signs and laminating cards for them to keep in their caps. Washington also reportedly used some nontraditional signs that were harder to decipher even with the help of technology.

Speaking with MLB Network Radio’s Chuck Todd, Nationals manager Davey Martinez admitted that he’s fine with sign stealing being a part of the game. It’s once outside devices get involved where he thinks teams begin to cross a line.

The league has “been doing this for years,” Martinez said. “A guy on second base steals signs. They try to relay it to the hitters. They’re looking for an edge. You’re at first base and you’re taking a lead and then you’re picking up the signs of the catcher ’cause you want to steal the base and you’re hoping that you could see a breaking ball—whatever. I get it.

“For me, I blame—if that’s happening—I blame us for not controlling that…the things that are controllable, we should be able to control. The other things that we can’t see—I think that’s the issue.”

The game of stealing signs is as old as the sport itself. While some critics have said it hurts the integrity of the game, the implementation of cameras and electronic devices gives one side a much more significant advantage than the level playing ground that teams have operated on for decades.

“This goes back a while,” Martinez said. “I remember in 2017 [when I was with the Chicago Cubs], we were in the playoffs and got a memo about Fitbit watches and all that stuff and not being able to wear them—”

“So people were worried about this for a while?” Todd asked.

“Yeah. I mean, this just didn’t happen overnight. There are rules and the game has changed. There’s so many different wats now that you can do things. But you’ve gotta understand there are rules and that’s the bottom line.”

The Nationals and Astros will continue to be intertwined, not only as reigning pennant winners but as co-hosts of their Spring Training Facility in West Palm Beach as well. While Martinez wasn’t willing to comment on the findings of the investigation into the Astros, he left a frank assessment for whether Houston should’ve expected such significant penalties.

“MLB has made it known that they were going to intervene if they thought there was any foul play, and they did,” Martinez said.

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