Capitals

McKie leads Wake Forest past Xavier, 66-59

McKie leads Wake Forest past Xavier, 66-59

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Travis McKie scored 19 points and Wake Forest beat Xavier 66-59 on Wednesday night for its third straight win.

Codi Miller-McIntyre had 16 points, C.J. Harris added 15 and the Demon Deacons (7-5) erased their only deficit of the second half by scoring 12 straight points. They matched their longest winning streak under third-year coach Jeff Bzdelik.

Travis Taylor had 18 points - but just two in the second half - and 10 rebounds for the Musketeers (7-6).

They rallied from 11 points down and took a 49-48 lead on Jeff Robinson's jumper with just under seven minutes left.

But Xavier came up empty on eight straight possessions and went scoreless for 4 1/2 critical minutes, and the Demon Deacons took over.

Freshman Devin Thomas gave Wake Forest the lead back with a reverse layup on the next trip down court. Miller-McIntyre delivered the dagger with just under four minutes left when he rattled in a long 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down to make it 57-49.

Xavier didn't get closer than seven the rest of the way, and Wake Forest made five of eight free throws in the final two minutes to seal it.

Thomas finished with a season-high 14 rebounds and drew a key charge that prolonged Xavier's untimely drought. Miller-McIntyre, considered the centerpiece of the Demon Deacons' highly regarded seven-man freshman class, had just his fourth double-figure game and first since Nov. 27 against Nebraska.

He helped the Demon Deacons claim their fourth three-game winning streak in two-plus seasons under Bzdelik. They haven't won four in a row since 2009-10, when Dino Gaudio was still in charge.

Xavier freshman Semaj Christon, who entered averaging 13.4 points, finished with 14 on 3-of-11 shooting but was 8 of 10 from the free-throw line.

Taylor had 16 points and seven rebounds in the first half and scored 14 of Xavier's first 20 points, but managed just one shot in the second half.

Neither team led by more than eight until the Demon Deacons assembled a 16-5 run that started in the first half and ended early in the second. Freshman Tyler Cavanaugh's open 3 a minute later made it 42-31.

But Wake Forest managed just one basket during the next 8 1/2 minutes while the Musketeers reeled off eight straight points during an 18-6 spurt. They took their first lead of the half at 49-48 on Robinson's long jumper with just under seven minutes left but managed just two field goals the rest of the way.

Robinson finished with 10 points for Xavier.

Wake Forest took a 2-1 lead in the series that resumed after year's hiatus. It began in 2010 as a tribute to Prosser, who took both schools to four NCAA tournaments apiece before his death in 2007 of a heart attack at age 56.

Quick Links

5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

5 reasons the Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime

The Caps gave up a 2-1 and 3-2 lead, but ultimately came away victorious on Wednesday in a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers thanks to an overtime goal from Matt Niskanen.

Here are five reasons why the Caps won.

1. Djoos saves a goal

With the Caps already trailing 1-0 in the first period, they were about an inch away from going down by two. Luckily, Christian Djoos was there to make the save.

Yes, Djoos, not Braden Holtby.

A diving Jesper Fast got to a loose puck before any of the Caps defenders and beat Holtby with the shot. Djoos, however, was there to sweep the puck off the goal line and out, saving a goal.

That play turned out to be a two-goal swing as less than two minutes later, the Caps scored to tie the game at 1.

2. Carlson off the faceoff

The Caps emphasized the importance of the faceoff this week and worked on it specifically in practice on Tuesday. That practice turned out to be very prescient as Washington’s first goal of the night came right off the faceoff.

Nicklas Backstrom beat Ryan Spooner on the draw cleanly in the offensive zone, feeding the puck back to John Carlson. With the players all bunched up off the draw, Carlson benefitted from Brady Skjei standing right in front of Henrik Lundqvist. Carlson teed up the slap shot and beat Lundqvist who never saw the puck.

Of the five combined goals scored in the game, three were directly set up off a faceoff.

3. Hand-eye coordination

With the Caps on the power play, Fast tipped a pass meant for Carlson that looked like it was headed out of the offensive zone. Carlson reacted to the puck then stretched the stick and somehow managed to control the bouncing puck and keep it in the zone.

Fast charged Carlson at the blue line so he chipped the puck to Ovechkin in the office. Ovechkin managed to hit the puck just as it hit the ice and somehow beat Lundqvist with the shot.

Ovechkin was by the boards at the very edge of the circle. It was an amazing shot and it was set up by the great hustle play from Carlson. Both showed tremendous hand-eye coordination to control that puck.

4. Braden Holtby

Lundqvist entered this game with a 1.99 GAA and .939 save percentage, but he was outplayed by his counterpart from Washington.

Holtby had himself a night. He was particularly strong down low with the pads as he made a number of key pad saves throughout the game, particularly in the second period when he recorded 17 saves including a shorthanded breakaway save on Kevin Hayes as time expired.

Of the three goals Holtby allowed, the first he made a great save on Chris Kreider who looked like he had an empty net to shoot at. Mike Zibanejad would score on the rebound. The second goal came as a shot deflected off Devante Smith-Pelly and went right to Jimmy Vesey for an easy tap-in. The third was a deflection goal from Kreider to redirect a shot that was going wide.

Can’t blame Holtby for those.

5. Working from the office

The Caps had three power play opportunities on the night. They scored on two of them and those two goals looked pretty darn similar.

There was the one described above in which a hustle play by Carlson at the point kept the puck alive and he fed to Ovechkin in the office. The second goal came with Carlson on the point feeding Ovechkin in the office.

Those two goals give Ovechkin 232 power play goals for his career, tying him with Dino Ciccarelli for ninth on the NHL’s all-time list.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Wayne Rooney converts ridiculous free-kick marking 10th MLS goal

rooneystrike.png
USA Today Sports

Wayne Rooney converts ridiculous free-kick marking 10th MLS goal

When England's all-time goalscorer signed on with D.C. United in June, the soccer community in the nation's capital was ignited. 

Shortly after the excitement came the questions. How much does he have left in the tank? Can he actually carry a struggling D.C. United squad? Is he up for the task? 

Wayne Rooney has responded. 

Through 18 MLS matches, the 32-year-old now has 10 goals. 

In the first half of Wednesday night's game against Toronto FC, Rooney broke a scoreless tie with this free-kick strike. 

DC United currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, on 44 points.

 

MORE WAYNE ROONEY NEWS: