NCAA

No. 13 Butler steals 64-63 win over No. 8 Gonzaga

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No. 13 Butler steals 64-63 win over No. 8 Gonzaga

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Roosevelt Jones stole an inbound pass with 3.5 seconds left and hit a floater from just inside the foul line right before the buzzer to help No. 13 Butler upset No. 8 Gonzaga 64-63 on Saturday night.

Jones finished with 20 points and the Bulldogs have now won 13 in a row including two straight without their top scorer, Rotnei Clarke. It's the first time Butler (16-2, 3-0 Atlantic 10) has ever beaten three top 10 teams in one season. They also defeated No. 9 North Carolina in November and No. 1 Indiana in December.

Gonzaga (17-2, 4-0 West Coast Conference) was led by Saw Dower and Elias Harris who each had 20 points. The loss ended the Zags eight-game winning streak.

After starting the second half in a 33-32 deficit, Butler scored the first five points of the second half and never trailed again. But the Bulldogs also never trailed until Elias Harris' layup made it 59-58 with 1:24 left in the game.

Jones answered 18 seconds later with his own layup to give the Bulldogs the lead, and the team traded the lead on the next four possessions until Butler's Alex Barlow was called for a travel with 3.5 seconds left. But on the inbound play, the Zags overthrew 7-foot center Kelly Olynyk and Jones looped around, caught the ball and drove from midcourt for the winning shot setting off a wild celebration.

It was a game that came with all the trimmings, and it lived up to every bit of the hype.

In the morning, Butler's most famous player, Bobby Plump, took two shots from the same spot in the same gym where he made the winning shot for the 1954 Milan team that became the basis for the movie ``Hoosiers.'' He missed both.

Some fans rekindled memories of past eras with jerseys bearing the names of former Butler players such as Matt Howard and Duane Lightfoot. Every seat was filled 10 minutes before tip-off, and the students who were standing in line more than 2 1/2 before the game's scheduled starting time literally ran into Hinkle to get a precious seat behind one of the baskets to see the first game at Hinkle between two Top 15 teams.

And afterward, those fans rushed the floor.

A win’s a win: Virginia improves to 4-0 after escaping a scare by ODU

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A win’s a win: Virginia improves to 4-0 after escaping a scare by ODU

The Virginia Cavaliers were given quite a scare on Saturday but managed to battle back from a 17-0 deficit for the hard-fought 28-17 win over Old Dominion.

In the last 15 seasons, the Cavaliers have trailed by double digits going into halftime in 38 games. Before Saturday, they came back to win only one of those games. Virginia improved to 2-37 after rallying to defeat the Monarchs and are 4-0 on the season for the first time since 2004.

The good: The defensive recovery

It’s hard to win when you spot the other team 17 points. UVA needed its defense to step up after a horrific start and they did, not allowing a single point the rest of the game after the Monarchs took a 17-0 lead.

After the first three drives, Virginia forced six punts, two turnovers on downs and a pick-six and allowed only 94 total yards of offense.

That’s one hell of an adjustment by the defense and it saved the game as the offense sputtered for most of the night.

The bad: The start

As good as the defense was for most of the game, they sure were terrible at the star. Virginia dug themselves a 17-0 hole as ODU marched down the field in each of their first three possessions. The Monarchs got the ball to start and went 74 yards in 11 plays before settling for a field goal. The next drive they sent 48 yards in five plays for a touchdown and they recorded a second touchdown after than it nine plays and 89 yards.

That’s three drives, 17 points and 211 yards of offense.  Yikes.

The ugly: Bryce Perkins’ injury scare

After a fantastic 15 yard run in which Perkins turned what looked like a sure loss into a nice gain, the very next play was almost a disaster. The snap took Perkins by surprise and he scrambled back after the ball. As he tried to get on top of it, he was obliterated by Keion White. Virginia eventually was able to pounce on the loose ball and the play was negated by an offside penalty, but Perkins stayed down on the field.

After several minutes that felt like an absolute eternity to all Cavalier fans, Perkins was able to get up and trot off the field. He sat out the one required play before returning to the game, thus disaster was averted for UVA.

Perkins was the Cavaliers’ most dynamic player yet again on the night as he led the team in rushing with 35 yards, threw for an additional 175 yards and recorded two touchdowns.

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3 players who stood out in playoff rematch against the Hurricanes: Samsonov gets the full game and the win

3 players who stood out in playoff rematch against the Hurricanes: Samsonov gets the full game and the win

WASHINGTON -- In a reversal of last season’s playoff, the Capitals dominant forecheck suffocated the Carolina Hurricanes for much of the game on Friday in a 3-2 preseason win. The game was the final preseason game in Washington as the Caps’ three remaining contests all will come on the road.

Here are three players who impressed in the home preseason finale.

Ilya Samsonov

Samsonov faced only 15 shots from a clearly outmatched Hurricanes roster, but he looked impressive in the few times he was tested. The save of the night came in the second period when he denied Julien Gauthier on a breakaway.

Gauthier attempted the old Peter Forsberg move and skated to his right while trying to craftily tuck the puck in to the left. Samsonov slid with Gauthier, but stuck out his stick to deny the shot and make the tremendous save.

Samsonov continued to demonstrate his comfort playing the puck with his stick as he also denied a scoring opportunity with a well-timed poke check and was always quick to play the puck when it came behind the goal line.

One area in which he was not comfortable was the glove. There were multiple occasions in which he was able to get a glove on the puck, but was not able to catch it creating dangerous opportunities for Carolina’s offense.

The Hurricanes managed only seven shots on goal through the first two periods, but managed some more pressure in the third. The shutout bid was ended in the third when Brock McGinn followed up his own rebound to score Carolina’s first goal of the game. The second goal came on a fluky bounce off the backboards that Janne Kuokkanen was able to whack behind Samsonov before he could get a glove to it.

While Todd Reirden likely hoped Samsonov would be more tested than he was, he was up to the task with 13 saves.

Brian Pinho

The Caps recorded three goals on the night and Pinho had two of them.  In the first period, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby created a turnover on the forecheck. Feeling the pressure, Fredrik Claesson tried a hopeful clear that was cut off at the blue line by Pinho who skated in and tucked the puck through the 5-hole of goalie Anton Forsberg. He scored again in the third period on the power play when his shot deflected off of Jake Bean and took a favorable bounce up before dropping into the net.

Pinho led the Capitals with five points in three games at the 2019 Prospect Showcase, but at 24 years old, he would be expected to play well. He faced slightly better competition on Saturday and still was able to produce with two goals on the night.

Richard Panik

One of the newest Caps, Panik has looked extremely comfortable in both of his preseason games thus far. He was again strong on the penalty kill where he logged 1:35 of ice time. He also looked strong offensively.

Panik played very heavy below the goal line which suits the Caps’ offensive cycle the team likes to utilize. He also showed good vision as, in the third period, he was able to fight off a check and literally kicked the puck out to a wide-open Tavis Boyd in the slot.

With Panik and Carl Hagelin together, the Caps should have a much more formidable penalty kill this season.

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