Nationals

No. 11 Cincinnati beats Wright State 68-58

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No. 11 Cincinnati beats Wright State 68-58

CINCINNATI (AP) JaQuon Parker scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half Saturday, and No. 11 Cincinnati remained unbeaten by overcoming another poor start for a 68-58 victory over Wright State.

The Bearcats improved to 12-0 for the eighth time in school history and the second time in three seasons. Cincinnati won its first 15 games in 2010-11.

For the second game in a row, the Bearcats struggled in half-court offense and scored only 22 points in the first half. Parker scored Cincinnati's first eight in the second half, sparking a 23-6 run that put the Bearcats in control for the first time. The 21 points matched his season high.

Titus Rubles added 11 points and nine rebounds. Justin Jackson had nine points, seven rebounds and two of Cincinnati's 10 blocked shots.

Wright State (8-4) got 14 points from Jerran Young and 13 from J.T. Yoho.

The Bearcats have won all nine games in the series, including a 78-58 victory at Wright State last season.

Cincinnati was coming off a 60-45 win over crosstown rival Xavier on Wednesday, an emotional game that often leaves both teams a little flat for the next one. On Xavier's campus 2 1/2 miles away, the Musketeers lost to Wofford 56-55 on Saturday afternoon. Cincinnati came out flat and found itself trailing 5-4 after 5 1/2 minutes.

The Bearcats opened only 2 for 10 from the field with a pair of turnovers. Wright State missed its first 10 shots, getting its first five points off free throws. The Raiders' first field goal came off Cole Darling's 3-pointer with 13 minutes left in the half.

The Raiders led 15-11 after the first 11 minutes despite going 3 of 17 from the field. They didn't turn the ball over against Cincinnati's defense, which applied little pressure on the perimeter. At one point, coach Mick Cronin stomped his right foot on the floor and yelled at a player, ``Wake up!''

Young's driving layup put Wright State ahead 28-22 at halftime, another poor start for Cincinnati. The Bearcats trailed Xavier 24-22 at halftime on Wednesday, part of a recent trend of struggling to make shots in the opening 20 minutes.

Leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick went 1 of 5 from behind the arc and had only five points at the break, with Cincinnati shooting 24 percent from the field.

Tavares Sledge opened the second half with a driving basket that gave Wright State a 30-22 lead, the Raiders' biggest of the game. Parker asserted himself and took control at that point, sending Cincinnati ahead to stay.

Parker had a three-point play, a 3-pointer and a fast-break layup for an eight-point run that tied it. He scored 15 points overall during the 23-6 spurt that opened the second half and gave the Bearcats a 45-34 lead.

Wright State never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.

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How to entice Bryce Harper in to re-signing with the Nationals? With food, of course!

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How to entice Bryce Harper in to re-signing with the Nationals? With food, of course!

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach… and if that leads us to Bryce Harper’s potential landing spot, then I present to you the yummiest reasons he should stay with the Washington Nationals.

In a video from TMZ, a paparazzi follows Harper to baggage claim and implores him for any hints toward where he is signing this offseason. The only true answer he got was that Harper likes a place called Steak 48 in Chicago. This surf-and-turf hot spot in the River North neighborhood of downtown Chicago has the audacity to serve “Maryland STYLE lump crab cakes.” Really, Bryce? Will the real thing convince you?!

On that note, let’s start off with the seafood we have to offer. This is the Mid-Atlantic, after all.

How can you work here April-September without eating local crabs in some form? I think that’s impossible. You can choose from hard shell or soft shell, but no shame in either game.

Live Chesapeake blue crabs can be bought at Captain White’s Seafood and other vendors on The Wharf off Maine Avenue. Otherwise, you can sit down and have them steamed for you at Quarterdeck, Ivy City Smokehouse, Bethesda Crab House or Captain Pell’s.

If Harper is more of a soft shell guy, all of those places also serve out-of-the-park crab cakes, but you can’t go wrong with Hank’s Oyster Bar, Old Ebbitt Grill, Chris’ Marketplace, or Clyde’s.

If the star really wants to dive in to local taste, he should eat Chesapeake Bay oysters from the largest estuary in America. My personal favorite selection is at Whaley’s (seafood tower on me, Bryce), but Rapphanock Oyster Bar, The Dabney, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black’s Bar & Kitchen can’t be beat.

I find it hard to believe the team hasn't had an outing at The Salt Line, the lively seafood spot just a short throw from Nats Park where teammate Ryan Zimmerman is an investor and co-owner.

Now that we’ve satisfied Harper’s iron intake, let’s break down his protein. In order to keep the superstar here, I want to make sure he knows that D.C. cares about providing a well-rounded diet.

Barbecued meats in general around here are delectable. Sitting in juxtaposition between the north and south, D.C. restaurants bring a mash-up of styles of smoked and sauced meats. Favorites are Federalist Pig, Hill Country, Fat Pete’s and Hardy’s BBQ truck.

However, if Bryce Harper show he’s as invested in authentic Nationals fans as our season tickets are in him, he should really pick up a half-smoke, the district’s original recipe for a spicy, thicker pork and beef dog that’s aggressively seasoned and sometimes served with chili sauce.

Could you imagine Harper making his announcement to stay over a half-smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl? I think even the panda statue would cry tears of joy.

Another hyper-local taste is mumbo sauce. While proven not originally from here, D.C. natives are enthusiastic about the special sauce. Yum’s is pretty well-known for carrying it.

Time for dessert! I think we can all agree that in the past 10 years, cupcakes have become iconic in the district with Georgetown Cupcakes, Baked & Wired and Sprinkles all having a home in Georgetown. To settle the debate, Baked & Wired is best. They are ranked #1 on Yelp if you don’t believe my own palette.

But what if it’s game night, you ask? D.C. has it’s hearty share of restaurants that are open even after extra innings. The Diner, Kramerbooks, Mandu, New Big Wong, Old Ebbitt Grill, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Amsterdam Falafelshop and Jumbo Slice are all here to keep you warm at night no matter what you’re craving post-victory. Need I go on?

Bryce reassured Nats fans and TMZ that he is “still a National right now.” Better eat these while you can, Bryce, or you’ll be sorry you didn't sign in one of the best food cities in the MLB.

Do you have any local food or restaurants you think will convince Bryce Harper to stay with the Washington Nationals this offseason? Send them to @NBCNationals or @rmhopmayer. Maybe we can throw together a friends-giving or holiday dinner for those that want him to stay our beloved Guest of Honor.

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Josh Norman wants to play 'early Santa,' will give away Redskins tickets

Josh Norman wants to play 'early Santa,' will give away Redskins tickets

Josh Norman caused quite a stir with his comments Sunday about the atmosphere at FedEx Field, and the Redskins cornerback made it clear he plans to do his part in making sure the stadium is packed for Sunday's game against the Texans. 

Norman told reporters Thursday he's going to be giving away "40 or 50" free tickets for the Houston game, online and perhaps even in person.

"Yes, I will be giving out free tickets," he said. "I'll be doing it on my socials as well, I think I'll probably post tonight or something about it."

"Who knows, you may see me coming out and being an early Santa somewhere in the mall or something, just handing out tickets."

And if you are one of the lucky fans who gets a ticket from "Santa Norman," he has specific instructions on how you should behave at Sunday's game:

"Whoever get(s) them, we want them loud and just obnoxious. Just really obnoxious."

Norman joins several Redskins players who have promised to give away tickets to the Texans game.

It may be November, but the Christmas spirit is alive and well at Redskins Park. 

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