Orioles

Len, Wells lead Maryland over Stony Brook 76-69

Len, Wells lead Maryland over Stony Brook 76-69

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Alex Len and Dez Wells each scored 19 points, and Maryland squeezed past Stony Brook 76-69 Friday night for its 10th straight victory.

Freshman guard Seth Allen contributed nine points and Pe'Shon Howard had eight points and seven assists for the Terrapins (10-1), who haven't lost since dropping the season opener to Kentucky on Nov. 9. The 10-game run is Maryland's longest since the 2000-01 season and four short of the school record.

After the Terrapins let a 20-point lead dwindle to 69-66, Len missed two free throws with 54 seconds left. The 7-foot-1 center grabbed the rebound of the second misfire, though, and dunked it.

Anthony Jackson answered with a 3-pointer for the Seawolves (8-3) to shave the margin to two points before Howard and Nick Faust each made a pair of foul shots to seal the win.

Jameel Warney led Stony Brook with 17 points and Eric McAlister had 12. The Seawolves had won four straight since losing at Connecticut by 11.

Len scored five points in the opening two minutes of the second half to fuel an 11-4 run that put the Terrapins up 56-36. Faust capped the spree by lofting a 60-foot pass that Wells collected on one bounce before dropping in a layup.

Maryland then went cold while the Seawolves rattled off 11 straight points. Allen ended the Terrapins' 4 1/2-minute drought with a 3-pointer, and Logan Aronhalt followed with a buzzer-beating 3 to make it 62-47 with 12:27 left.

The Seawolves rallied but could not complete the comeback.

Wells scored 12, Len had 11 and the Terrapins shot 64 percent - going 7 for 12 beyond the arc - to take a 45-32 halftime lead. Howard contributed six points and five assists.

After Warney opened the scoring with a layup for the Seawolves, Len had three baskets in a nine-point run that put Maryland ahead for good. It was 12-8 before Wells made a layup, a 3-pointer and a three-point play to launch a 16-7 spree.

Maryland hit 11 of its first 13 shots from the floor, including a 4 for 4 performance by Len.

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Orioles catcher Bryan Holaday finishes game as pitcher as Orioles blown out by Nationals 15-3

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Orioles catcher Bryan Holaday finishes game as pitcher as Orioles blown out by Nationals 15-3

After six straight wins led by their offense, the Orioles seemed due for an off night. And they finished it off with catcher Bryan Holaday on the mound.

Holaday was the 17th position player in Orioles history to pitch in a game, and the last since Stevie Wilkerson recorded a save last year against the Angels. But he only entered the game when the score was out of hand. 

The Orioles suffered a blowout loss in the first game of a three-game set against the Nationals on Friday at Camden Yards in a 15-3 loss, the first loss where the team was never in the game in a few weeks. 

Holaday’s finish wasn’t the only unique part of Friday’s game, as Keegan Akin made his major league debut. Akin threw three innings, allowed two hits and three earned runs with one home run allowed. He was sent to the team’s alternate training site at Double-A Bowie after the game.

“I thought he threw the ball really well,” manager Brandon Hyde said of Akin’s debut. “I was really encouraged by how he threw the ball. Really nice life to his fastball, good tempo, he flashed some decent breaking balls. He went out and attacked hitters and I was really impressed with him making his debut tonight and facing a lot of tough hitters for the Washington Nationals and he did a nice job.”

As was a problem throughout the night, however, the Orioles didn’t play good defense. They were credited with just one error, but the defense was more shoddy than that would suggest.

Starting pitcher Tommy Milone threw four innings, allowed nine hits and six runs — but three were unearned as the Orioles fell behind in the second inning and never came back. The Nationals scored in six of their nine offensive innings, including a six run outburst in the eighth inning.

The offense wasn’t much help, as they recorded just six hits compared to the Nationals 19 in a disappointing performance across the board. Anthony Santander slugged a home run in the first inning off Stephen Strasburg, who left with an injury in the inning, but the Orioles were quiet the rest of the night in a dominating defeat.

“I just didn’t think we played well defensively,” Hyde said. “I think we’ve been pretty good for the most part, especially in the infield. Tonight just wasn’t our best night defensively. We just didn’t play very well. So we just chalk this up, try to put this one behind us.”

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Brent Johnson calls for rookie Vitek Vanecek to replace Braden Holtby in goal for struggling Capitals

Brent Johnson calls for rookie Vitek Vanecek to replace Braden Holtby in goal for struggling Capitals

After the 5-2 Game 2 loss to the New York Islanders Friday night in a Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series, Rob Carlin asked the Caps Postgame Live crew how they would fix Washington's error-ridden performances seen in the first round so far. 

Brent Johnson knows the pressures that comes with playing in net during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but that doesn't mean he'll sympathize with the end results. As a goaltender for the Capitals for four seasons in the mid-2000s, Johnson has vast experience with the ups and downs that come with the position. But he had a pretty radical answer to Carlin's question: Bench veteran goalie Braden Holtby, the man who helped Washington win a Stanley Cup in 2018, for a rookie who has never played in a regular-season NHL game: Vitek Vanecek. 

"I know how they can shake it up. I know how they can shake it up. Right?" Johnson said. "Vitek Vanecek. Right there. That’s it. Hey. You know what? Bold decision. Bold decision. Do something bold. You never know. I’ve seen it happen in the playoffs thus far."

To call for Washington's veteran netminder to take a seat on the bench for a rookie who hasn't even played in the NHL yet is more than bold. Johnson's proclamation left Carlin yelling "Whoa!" and fellow panelist Al Koken saying he didn't know how to top that one. Alan May simply smiled and shook his head. 

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The Capitals wouldn't be in this position at all had rookie Ilya Samsonov never gotten injured during the long NHL break back home in Russia in an off-ice incident. The 23-year-old had a breakout season for Washington to get in the rotation in what's been an up-and-down year for Holtby. Samsonov had a .913 save percentage and won 16 of his 26 games in net this season. Vanecek, on the other hand, just got called up for the postseason after playing all season for the AHL's Hersey Bears.  

Nonetheless, the Caps have to figure out something to get a spark going for Game 3 against the Isles at noon Sunday. Johnson's solution was by far the most radical suggested, but everyone agreed changes needed to be made or the season could end far sooner than anyone anticipated. 

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