Nationals

Kentucky beats No. 16 Mississippi 87-74

201301292128773034255-p2.jpeg

Kentucky beats No. 16 Mississippi 87-74

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Kyle Wiltjer scored a career-high 26 points and Nerlens Noel set a school record with 12 blocked shots as Kentucky beat No. 16 Mississippi 87-74 on Tuesday night.

Kentucky (14-6, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) looked like it might run away with the win, taking a 73-56 lead with 10 minutes remaining. But the Rebels roared back with 16 straight points, cutting the deficit to 73-72 with 4:22 left.

Ryan Harrow nailed a 3-pointer to stop Ole Miss' run and Kentucky was able to hold on and win for the fifth time in seven games. Archie Goodwin scored 24 points and Alex Poythress added 15.

Ole Miss (17-3, 6-1) had its nine-game winning streak snapped. LaDarius White led the Rebels with 22 points while Marshall Henderson added 21. Henderson made 5 of 19 shots from the field, including just 2 of 11 from 3-point range.

Ole Miss had almost no production in the paint thanks to Noel, who was the game's most important player despite an off night on offense. The 6-foot-10 freshman was everywhere, blocking the 12 shots and altering countless more.

The Rebels' Murphy Holloway is the only player in the SEC averaging a double-double with 14.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, but he was held to 10 points and eight rebounds.

With Noel awesome on defense, Wiltjer provided the offense. The 6-10 sophomore made 10 of 19 shots from the field and 5 of 12 from 3-point range.

Ole Miss led 38-37 at halftime despite making just 13 of 44 shots (29.5 percent) from the field. Henderson led the Rebels with 16 points and White had 15.

Kentucky stayed close thanks to Wiltjer's 17 points while Goodwin added 10, but the Wildcats struggled at the free throw line, making just 10 of 20.

Both teams struggled with foul trouble for almost the entire first half and had to dig deep on the bench for bodies.

But once the second half started, the Wildcats were back at full strength and their offense exploded. Wiltjer hit two early 3s to push Kentucky ahead and the lead grew to 71-56 with 11:27 remaining.

Kentucky's offense was good during that stretch, but the Ole Miss defense was just as bad. The Wildcats made several easy baskets in transition and off offensive rebounds.

And with Ole Miss needing points, Henderson was mostly silent in the second half. The Rebels came back anyway, with a stunning 16-point run that cut the deficit to 73-72 with 4:22 left.

Once again, the Rebels were let down by their defense. Harrow hit the wide open 3-pointer and the Wildcats were able to slowly put the game away.

Holloway became Ole Miss' all-time leading rebounder on Tuesday, passing Walter Actwood's record with his 946th rebound in the second half.

-----

Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

Quick Links

Wild-card tracker: Nationals thankful for Marlins, Cubs slide back

Wild-card tracker: Nationals thankful for Marlins, Cubs slide back

Back before all this mania, Miami, as putrid as its season would be, loomed as a factor.

Handling the Marlins would be key for any contender. It wasn’t a question of winning, but of how much winning would occur against one of the league’s worst teams.

Following Friday’s 6-4 win in a sparsely attended Marlins Park, the Nationals moved to 14-3 against Miami this season. They are 16 games over. 500 for the year. They are plus-11 against Miami alone.

Asdrúbal Cabrera homered again, Trea Turner hit two homers, and Daniel Hudson pitched two innings to earn the save. So, the Nationals, 84-68, hold a one-game lead for the top wild-card spot. Milwaukee won again, joining a long list of teams to beat up on the Pittsburgh Pirates since the post-All-Star-break portion of the schedule began. Pittsburgh may be the league’s worst team, at the moment, and the Brewers host it for two more this weekend.

Trouble is brewing for Chicago. It lost again to St. Louis -- this time a 2-1 mid-day defeat in Wrigley Field. The Cubs have lost four in a row. They are three games behind the Nationals and two behind the Brewers. Their path to 90 wins, which may ultimately be the threshold for postseason entrance, is narrowing.

The Mets won their third consecutive game. They are hanging around, 3 ½ games behind the Brewers with nine remaining on the schedule. Their wild-card elimination number is six.

News for Philadelphia is more dire. The Phillies dropped to 78-74 Friday night following a 5-2 loss in Cleveland. They are now five behind Milwaukee. Their wild-card elimination number is a mere five. 

Which brings us to the more detailed math portion of this program. Here are the postseason chances for each team, according to fivethirtyeight.com:

Nationals, 96 percent

Brewers, 84 percent

Cubs, 15 percent

Mets, 5 percent

Phillies, less than one percent

Coming up Saturday:

St. Louis at Chicago, 2:20 p.m., Hudson (16-7, 3.35 ERA) vs. Quintana (13-8, 4.37)

New York at Cincinnati, 4:10 p.m., Wheeler (11-7, 4.09) vs. DeSclafani (9-9, 3.93)

Washington at Miami, 6:10 p.m., Strasburg (17-6, 3.49) vs. Yamamoto (4-5, 4.87)

Philadelphia at Cleveland, 7:10 p.m., Vargas (6-8, 4.48) vs. Plesac (8-6, 3.64)

Pittsburgh at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m., Marvel (0-2, 9.00) vs. Davies (10-7, 3.70)

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

 

Beyond the Scoreboard: NLL changes and social responsibility

usatsi_12490990.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Scoreboard: NLL changes and social responsibility

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST

  1. SportsBusiness Journal lauds corporate social responsibility. Amidst a recent roundup of sports CSR initiatives, SportsBusiness Journal noted that the first project on which educational platform developer EverFi collaborated with a sports property was “a financial literacy program that regional bank BBVA offered for use by elementary school students in a handful of NBA markets, including Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix.” When Houston hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 2013, league sponsor BBVA arranged for Rockets star James Harden to appear at a participating school. “While it’s cool to have a BBVA banker come into the classroom, it’s even cooler if James Harden shows up,” said Jon Chapman, co-founder and president of global partnerships for EverFi, which has developed online educational modules on topics ranging from financial literacy to STEM to anti-bullying, branded for presentation by teams, leagues, and sponsors. After Houston, EverFi developed educational modules for the NHL and NHLPA around science, technology, engineering and math; for the NFL and the United Way around character development and African American history; for MLB focusing on learning loss during summer vacation; and with MLS around anti-bullying. We look forward to celebrating a Sport Business Handbook event with EverFi at their Washington, DC headquarters on October 2
  2. The National Lacrosse League announces details for the 2019-2020 season, which include divisional realignment, playoff format and schedule type after the addition of two expansion teams and new market Halifax. The league will feature 13 teams in the upcoming season after fielding 11 last year. To accommodate the addition of expansion teams, the New York Riptide, Rochester Knighthawks, and new market Halifax Thunderbirds, as well as maintaining an eye towards continued expansion, the NLL will shift to a three-division format in 2019-2020. “The league has had unprecedented expansion over the last three years. With two more teams coming in this year along with a new market in Halifax, we felt the need to reexamine conference alignments, schedule and playoff formats to prepare for future expansion. We also wanted to create exciting rivalries for the fans, the best travel scenarios for teams and players and competitive match-ups for our 13 franchises,“ said NLL Commissioner and Sport Business Handbook contributor Nick Sakiewicz. Along with unprecedented expansion, the NLL is clearly looking at unprecedented success.
  3. Cal Ripken, Jr.’s celebrity golf tournament draws in legendary athletes across major U.S. sports leagues. According to the Patriot News, the event, featuring such legends as Julius Erving, Lawrence Taylor, Ozzie Smith, and Jim McMahon, was held to benefit the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. The inaugural golf outing was held in 2011, and since then, the event has raised several million dollars for the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. The principal goals of the foundation are to utilize baseball- and softball-themed programs in an effort to build character and teach life lessons to underprivileged children. Founded in 2001, the Foundation has served kids in all 50 states and in other countries such as Canada and Nicaragua. With over 20 Hall of Famers across the NFL and MLB, the event has an impressive amount of star power to help draw attention to giving back to those less privileged through baseball and softball.