NCAA

Olynyk leads No. 14 Gonzaga past K-State 68-52

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Olynyk leads No. 14 Gonzaga past K-State 68-52

SEATTLE (AP) Kelly Olynyk dominated inside with 20 points and No. 14 Gonzaga rebounded from its first loss of the season with an impressive 68-52 win over Kansas State on Saturday night.

Making their annual trip to Seattle, Olynyk and the Bulldogs (10-1) controlled the interior and wore down the Wildcats in the second half. Olynyk's highlight was a rattling, one-handed slam with about 9 minutes left that drew a technical foul for screaming, but also gave the Bulldogs a 14-point lead.

Gonzaga outscored Kansas State 38-12 in the paint.

Angel Rodriguez led Kansas State (7-2) with 14 points, but leading scorer Rodney McGruder had a miserable night. McGruder didn't score for the first 30 minutes and finished with four points.

McGruder, who came in averaging 12.9 points, shot 1 for 9 from the floor.

Gary Bell Jr. had 11 points for Gonzaga, which played before its extensive fan base in the Puget Sound region for the 10th straight year and improved to 6-4 in the event. It was a chance for the Bulldogs to erase the disappointment of their last outing a week earlier when defensive lapses and a red-hot Brandon Paul keyed Illinois' 85-74 upset that snapped the best start to a season in Gonzaga history.

There was no lingering hangover from the Illinois loss. Olynyk made 10 of 13 shots, falling just short of matching his career high of 22 points when he fouled out with 4:56 left. Even more impressive for Gonzaga was its domination inside without getting a big game from Elias Harris, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Kansas State was trying to pick up an early signature win in Bruce Weber's first season coaching the Wildcats. They fell short in their first attempt when they lost to then-No. 4 Michigan 71-57 last month.

After using Guy Landry Edi on McGruder for most of the first half, the Bulldogs stuck Mike Hart on the Wildcats' scoring leader to start the second half. He was immediately flustered, committing turnovers on Kansas State's first two possessions and Gonzaga started the half on a 9-0 run to take a 36-26 lead with 16:28 left.

Kansas State briefly stemmed the run, but Edi's 3-pointer with 12 minutes left pushed the lead to a dozen and Olynyk's dunk that drew the technical capped another 11-2 spurt by the Bulldogs.

Gonzaga's lead reached 21 in the final minutes.

The 3-point shooting that kept Kansas State hanging around in the first half disappeared during the final 20 minutes. The Wildcats shot 1 of 6 on 3-point attempts in the second half. Rodriguez had only two points after the break.

Gonzaga tried to pull away early with a 10-0 run late in the first half to take a 23-17 lead, but led just 27-26 at the break thanks to the shooting of Rodriguez and Will Spradling. Kansas State sustained a big blow late in the half when forward Nino Williams crashed hard to the floor with an apparent right shoulder injury. He was helped to the locker room and did not return in the second half. Williams had two points and three rebounds in 6 minutes.

Virginia snaps 3-game losing streak with 63-58 win over Georgia Tech

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USA Today Sports Images

Virginia snaps 3-game losing streak with 63-58 win over Georgia Tech

ATLANTA (AP) -- Jay Huff and Mamadi Diakite scored 17 points apiece as defending national champion Virginia snapped a three-game losing streak with a 63-58 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

The Cavaliers (12-5, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) finally regained their winning touch after dropping out of The Associated Press ranking for the first time since November 2017.

Georgia Tech (8-10, 3-5) lost its fourth straight home game. The Yellow Jackets haven't won at McCamish Pavilion since a Dec. 4 victory over Nebraska. 

Diakite's dunk with 14:47 remaining gave Virginia its biggest lead, 43-29.

The Cavaliers were still up 48-37 with just over 10 minutes to go when Georgia Tech suddenly came to life offensively.

The Yellow Jackets scored on four of five possessions, stringing together a 9-0 run that cut Virginia's edge to 48-46.

That was as close as Georgia Tech would get.

Huff, a 7-foot-1 center, knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key to thwart Georgia Tech's momentum. A few minutes later, he swished another open jumper to make it 55-48. 

Georgia Tech got a basket and a defensive stop, but Braxton Key swooped on for an offensive rebound to give the Cavaliers a second chance. With just over 2 minutes to go, Diakite was left open on the wing for a jumper that made it 57-50, effectively finishing off the Yellow Jackets.

Jose Alvarado paced Georgia Tech with 20 points.

Virginia led 33-25 at halftime, taking advantage of the home team's sloppy play. The Yellow Jackets hit 11 of 18 shots (61.1%) but turned it over 13 times, wasting far too many possessions against the defensive-minded Cavaliers.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers picked up a desperately needed victory to avoid their longest losing streak since a four-game skid from Feb. 12-20, 2017. While still a far cry from their national championship squad, Virginia showed some offensive efficiency to go along with its always-tenacious defense. Key chipped in with 10 points. 

Georgia Tech: This is shaping up to be another disappointing season, raising more doubts about whether coach Josh Pastner can turn around a program that is approaching a decade since its last NCAA Tournament appearance. The Yellow Jackets continue to show flashes of promise, but Pastner has been unable to develop any sort of consistency in his fourth season. 

UP NEXT

Virginia: Returns home to play North Carolina State on Monday night. 

Georgia Tech: Hits the road for the first of two meetings against No. 11 Louisville. The teams will meet again in Atlanta on March 7, the final game of the regular season. 

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Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

The Capitals may not be participating in Stadium Series this year, but the team is embracing outdoor hockey around Washington for spirited game day fun.

The Caps are hosting Rock The Rink skates at The Wharf, Penatgon Row, Rockville Town Square and The Avenue at White Marsh on select game days from January to March 2020. Fans attending these events can wear Capitals jerseys or gear to get either $5 off admission or free skate rentals.

The Wharf

Jan. 18 at 1 p.m., Jan. 31 at 6 p.m., and Feb 17. at 1 p.m.

Transit Pier will boast a Capitals-paneled ice rink with an ice resurfacer, trivia contests, giveaways, along with a DJ. The Capitals Campire will also boast Adirondack chairs around a fire to roast marshmallows for smores in front of a 14-foot jumbotron screen to watch the Capitals games. 

Pentagon Row

Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and March 9 at 6 p.m.

These skates will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants. The Caps games will also be on at surrounding bars. 

The Avenue at White March

Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.

This event will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants.

Rockville Town Square

Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. and March 5 at 6 p.m.

In addition to the above fun, Rockville native and Capitals hockey ambassador Haley Skarupa will be there on Jan. 31. You can watch the Capitals game at local bars as well. 

Fans attending these events or using local outdoor rinks this season are encouraged to post about it on social media by tagging @capitals and using the hashtag #RockTheRink to enter themselves for a chance to win prizes.

Caps slept through the first 40 minutes, they did not give Holtby much help though he was bad in his own right and Vrana sure did show something with the game-winning goal.

As for no penalties...not so much.

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