Nationals

Sullivan scores 26 to lead Auburn past IPFW 61-50

Sullivan scores 26 to lead Auburn past IPFW 61-50

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Auburn guard Frankie Sullivan scored 26 points to lead the Tigers to a 61-50 win against IPFW on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

Tigers senior center Robb Chubb added 10 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Forward Allen Payne finished with 12 points for Auburn.

IPFW senior guard Frank Gaines picked up where he left off last year, scoring 32 points to lead the Mastadons. He averaged 21.2 points per game last season, ninth in the country.

Auburn used an 18-4 run late in the second half to turn a five-point deficit into a 55-46 lead with less than two minutes left. Sullivan put an exclamation point on the rally, dunking an offensive rebound- much to the delight of the packed student section.

IPFW led throughout the first half, its largest lead 24-15. Auburn closed the half on an 8-3 spurt and trailed 27-23 at halftime.

In the early going, Auburn couldn't get anything going.

The Tigers had nine turnovers and 10 points in the first 10 minutes. IPFW shut off passing lanes to the post and used its speed to get out on the fast break.

Auburn also wasn't able to take advantage of its size advantage over IPFW. The Tigers only held a 22-19 edge on the boards in the first half.

In the second half, the Tigers turned to Sullivan.

Auburn kept going to its guard throughout the second half, and the senior answered most of the time. Sullivan had 16 of his points in the second. He shot 11 of 20 from the field.

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Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

The Nationals welcomed 10-year-old cancer patient Parker Staples as the newest addition to their team on Friday, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Foundation.

While battling lymphoma, Staples learned he would receive a wish and didn’t hesitate about what he wanted to choose. After being sidelined for two years during treatment, Parker couldn’t wait to celebrate his remission by becoming part of his favorite baseball team. 

Staples was introduced to his new teammates and got signed autographs from Matt Adams, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, and Yan Gomes. He also got to spend time hitting and playing catch with his new teammates, as well as being interviewed as the newest member of the team. It gets even better than that, Staples threw the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park leading up to the Marlins-Nationals game Staples 

"My favorite moment was throwing the first pitch. It was really cool," Staples said.

"Probably the biggest day of my life."

The Nationals are hosted the Miami Marlins in the series opener Friday.

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Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Washington Spirit Aussies Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison have NBC Sports Washington’s Anna Witte try Australian staples Vegemite and Bundaberg ginger beer.

According to Logarzo, before each game with the Australian National team, all of the players would eat vegemite on toast with poached eggs and avocado. 

Witte rated the Vegemite a four out of ten, her immediate response was that it tastes "Super salty."

"Not awful, but I don't think I would buy it for myself....it's awful."

Both Logarzo and Harrison joined the Spirit this season. Harrison has appeared in ten games for the Australian national team and Logarzo has appeared in 37. 

After two straight wins the Washington Spirit are looking to continue their winning streak this weekend against the Chicago Red Stars.

Washington will face off against Chicago at the SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois on Sunday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

In the NWSL standings, the Red Stars are in first place with a 3-1-2 record and the Spirit are in fourth with a 3-1-1 record. In 2018, Chicago took the series over Washington with two wins and a draw.

Despite missing U.S. National players Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh, the Spirit defeated Portland Thorns FC last weekend 3-1. 

Amy Harrison scored the first goal during the 16th minute followed by Portland scoring on their own goal in the 47th minute to put Washington ahead 2-0. Finally, in the 71st minute, Jordan Diabasi scored an olimpico. 

Spirit Midfielder Jordan DiBiasi won the NWSL Goal of the Week for her goal against the Portland Thorns last weekend. 

Spirit Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe continues to lead the NWSL with 19 saves.