Nationals

No. 25 Arkansas women top Coppin State 71-57

No. 25 Arkansas women top Coppin State 71-57

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Sarah Watkins had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots Friday night to lead No. 25 Arkansas to a 71-57 victory over Coppin State.

Watkins scored 18 of her points in the second half. Arkansas trailed most of the first half before putting together a 16-0 run and leading 32-23 at halftime.

Quistelle Williams had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Razorbacks (12-1), who have won nine in a row. Dominique Robinson scored 11 points for Arkansas and Calli Berna had 12 assists.

Shawntae Payne scored 14 points to lead Coppin State (4-8). Leola Spotwood had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Kyra Coleman scored 11 points for the Eagles.

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Max Scherzer received cortisone shot for back and won't pitch against Braves

Max Scherzer received cortisone shot for back and won't pitch against Braves

Max Scherzer will not pitch this weekend against the Braves, the pitcher confirmed to reporters in Atlanta.

Scherzer has been diagnosed with Scapulothoracic bursitis.

Before the game on Friday night, he joked that he had to Google what the term means. He described the pain as "like having a rock in your shoe and trying to run."

On Tuesday, Scherzer was given a cortisone shot to help with inflammation. He is hopeful he will be able to throw a bullpen session in four or five days. 

Former teammate Shawn Kelley was able to advise Scherzer, having just dealt with this issue. 

Austin Voth is confirmed to start on Sunday in place of Scherzer.

Scherzer was placed on 10-day injured list on July 13, retroactive to July 10. This is just the third time in his career that his name has appeared on the injured list.

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Jay Gruden deserves praise for keeping Redskins 'out of the ditches'

Jay Gruden deserves praise for keeping Redskins 'out of the ditches'

On paper, Jay Gruden's tenor with the Redskins is nothing to write home about. Through five seasons he holds a 35-44-1 record, good enough for a .444 winning percentage. Looking at that, some may draw the conclusion that Gruden hasn't been what the Redskins need at the helm.

But according to Pro Football Talk's Darin Gantt, that's not exactly the case. Taking into account the variables Gruden has dealt with throughout the five years, Gantt actually sees him as a "really good" coach.

"I have always come down of the side, maybe, of guys who are doing more with less," Gantt said recently on a Redskins Talk Podcast. "I think Jay has done a pretty good job keeping things in the middle."

Doing more with less and working in the middle essentially defines Jay Gruden's career with the Redskins. Besides his opening year in 2014 in which Washington went 4-12, Gruden's teams have consistently finished right around the middle of the pack.

In the last four seasons, the Redskins have not won more than nine games, but they also haven't lost more than nine. Hovering right around .500, they've always been around league average.

Part of the reason Gantt is willing to give Gruden praise for records that some coaches would get scolded for revolves around what he's had to work with. Gruden's time as head coach has been filled with injuries and other dilemmas both on and off the field. 

In those circumstances, it wouldn't be surprising to see a team completely flounder and spiral out of control. But, that hasn't really been the case with Gruden. Dealing with what he has, the head coach has kept the team competitive for the most part. The team hasn't been a perennial playoff contender, but it also hasn't been at the bottom of the league.

For that ability to keep the Redskins out of the basement despite all the problems he's encountered, Gruden is someone Gantt respects.

"They're able to keep it out of the ditches," Gantt said about Gruden and former NFL head coach John Fox, who Gantt followed during his time in Carolina.

"I think again in the NFL there's something to be said for that," Gantt added. "When things get sideways a Jim Zorn can lose control in a hurry. I feel like Jay just got sort of a steady hand on the wheel."

Until Gruden takes Washington back to the postseason, the critiques will continue to come, as they would for almost all head coaches in similar situations. But when looking at Gruden's time in Washington with a wide view of everything that has happened, Gantt believes the head coach deserves at least a little praise for keeping things afloat.

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