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Davidson takes down College of Charleston 77-68

Davidson takes down College of Charleston 77-68

DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP) De'Mon Brooks scored 17 points, and JP Kuhlman and Nik Cochran had 15 each to lead Davidson to a 77-68 victory over the College of Charleston in Southern Conference play on Saturday night.

Tom Droney had 12 points, and Jake Cohen chipped in nine points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats (11-7, 6-1), who have won four of their past five games.

Andrew Lawrence scored 18 points, and Adjehi Baru and Anthony Thomas had 13 each for the College of Charleston (12-7, 4-3). Lawrence made a 3-pointer 56 seconds into the game for his 1,000th career point.

Davidson was 21 of 24 from the line, Charleston 10 of 14.

Davidson trailed 23-21 when Cochran made a 3-pointer that helped propel the Wildcats to a 44-34 halftime lead.

The Cougars closed to 64-59 on Matt Sundberg's 3-pointer with 6:12 to go, but that's as close as they got.

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John Wall overcomes injury scare for solid return, albeit in a loss to the Celtics

John Wall overcomes injury scare for solid return, albeit in a loss to the Celtics

With two minutes remaining in overtime, and in the midst of a late-game scoring barrage, John Wall drove to his right and gained a step on Kyrie Irving. He finished off the glass with his left hand as Irving jumped and twisted midair under the rim.

The two landed at nearly the exact same time, on the baseline and not far from the Wizards' bench. Irving, though, was a split-second later and came down right on Wall's right ankle.

As play continued on the other end of the floor, Wall remained on the ground, writhing in pain. He slapped the hardwood and yelled as trainers rushed to his aid. 

Though he was able to return soon after, the fall was a serious injury scare in what has been a tumultuous week for Wall. He missed their last game due to bone spurs in his left heel and was listed as questionable before tip-off against the Celtics. That is all on top of the fact he was sick and also dealing with off-court matters that made him miss a game last week.

The Wizards lost to Boston, but Wall managed to return with one of his best games of the season. He had 34 points, 13 assists, six rebounds, two steals and a block. He shot 53.8 percent from the field and had 12 points in the fourth quarter to help force overtime after the Wizards were outscored by 16 in the third.

After his ankle injury, Wall was replaced by Tomas Satoransky. Only 45 seconds of gametime later, he returned.

"If it ain't broke, play," Wall said.

Teammate Bradley Beal had a similar view of the situation.

"I was just hoping he was okay. He said he couldn't go," Beal said. "But he ended up checking right back in. He's a warrior. If it ain't broke, he's playing."

The ankle injury may need to be monitored in the coming days, but Wall appears to be somewhat out of the woods with his heel. It's an injury he has battled on and off for nearly four years. This week, it just happened to get to a point where it was as painful as its ever been. 

A few days of treatment and one game off seemed to do the trick. Wall believes it isn't much of a concern anymore.

"The heel is great," he said. "Between today and the Cleveland game, it was night and day. I was moving. It felt a lot better so give a lot of credit to the training staff.”

Wall scored 19 points from the start of the fourth quarter on. He went 9-for-13 to finish the game and all of his makes were right at the rim.

If anything positive can be taken from a tough loss to the Celtics, it's that Wall got back to what he does best. Whatever burst he was lacking against the Cavaliers on Saturday, arguably the worst game of his career, seemed to have returned in this one. Whether it was Irving, Marcus Smart or Jayson Tatum, no Celtics player had luck stopping Wall off the dribble.

Wall is clearly nicked up and playing through pain, now with injuries to both of his legs. But if Wednesday's game was any indication, he still has enough to be effective. Whether that's enough to start leading the Wizards to wins remains to be seen.

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Five things to know about new Nationals prospect Tanner Rainey

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Five things to know about new Nationals prospect Tanner Rainey

In what may be a Major League Baseball first, two players named Tanner R. were traded for each other Wednesday at the Winter Meetings.

It’s a fun (unconfirmed) fact, but what really makes it interesting for Nationals fans is the fact that one of the Tanners’ last name is Roark, which means Washington now has a hole to fill in their rotation. They’ve already added Patrick Corbin, but expect the team to search for other options now.

Roark had been a staple in the Nats rotation for the last few years, and often provided a steadying presence at the back end of the rotation. He was never as talented or awe-inspiring as Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg, but he never needed to be.

Let’s focus on the newest addition to the organization though: the one named Rainey.

Here are five things to know about Tanner Rainey.

1. He went to two small schools, but still has pedigree

Rainey was born in Louisiana, and played collegiate ball at Southeastern Louisiana University and the University of West Alabama.

He was both a first baseman and a pitcher, but was drafted as a pitcher in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.

2.  His career got off on the wrong foot

Rainey made his Major League debut in April 2018, and it could have gone better. He allowed a grand slam to Scott Kingery of the Phillies, and he finished the season with a 24.43 ERA.

Of course, the caveat is sample size. He pitched just seven innings at the big league level in 2018, and while he struck out an impressive seven batters in those innings, his WAR was -1.0.

3. He was born on Christmas Day

This, of course, allows for many fun puns, especially considering he once played for the Reds. Rudolph The Red(s)-Nosed Rainey-deer? Okay, we’ll try to come up with something better.

The Christmas Day he was born on was in 1992, so he’ll be 26 in a few weeks. It’s a little old for someone without much Major League experience, but he’s got some arm talent, and relievers regularly develop into reliable options later in their careers.

4. He has an electric arm

Rainey may struggle with command at this point in his career, but he can really whip a fastball.

While we live in the era of velocity and relievers boasting ridiculous radar gun totals seemingly every day, it’s interesting to note that 100 mph is still an impressive mark to reach. As Simon mentions, only 36 pitchers hit triple digits in 2018, and Rainey was one of them. That’s something any bullpen can use.

When taking a chance on unproven minor leaguers, you might as well take a chance on somebody with a very valuable, very elite skill.

5. He may never end up working out, but that doesn't mean it was a bad trade if he doesn't

Most minor leaguers don’t pan out. The fact that Rainey has thrown a pitch in the Majors makes his career more impressive than millions of players before him. He was ranked in the top 30 (no. 23 to be exact) of the Reds’ prospects according to MLB Pipeline, so he’s clearly talented enough for the Nats to think they can tap into his potential.

If it doesn't happen, however, losing Roark won’t be the difference for this roster in competing or not. With the rotation they have, even as top-heavy as it looks, they can certainly still compete in the division, and if it works out, they’ve acquired a dynamic piece for the back end of the bullpen.

You have to give up something to get something, and this trade could end up looking good for both teams down the road. If the Nats were set on moving Roark, which it appears they were, they could have done worse than a hard-throwing reliever in an era when hard-throwing relievers are more coveted than ever before.

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