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Thomas scores 22 points in No. 7 OSU's 85-45 win

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Thomas scores 22 points in No. 7 OSU's 85-45 win

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Deshaun Thomas scored all but one of his 22 points in the first half and No. 7 Ohio State showed its firepower inside and out in beating Savannah State 85-45 on Wednesday night.

LaQuinton Ross added 13 points, Shannon Scott had 12 and Evan Ravenel 11 for the Buckeyes (7-1), who are three games into an eight-game homestand that will carry them all the way through the Big Ten opener against Nebraska on Jan. 2.

Arnold Louis led Savannah State (5-5) with 14 points.

The Tigers came in relying on their stingy defense. They were allowing only 53.0 points a game, with their opponents shooting 37.1 percent from the field.

But the Buckeyes, averaging 78 points, dominated at both ends and scored in transition to pile up a big lead. They hit 10 of 19 shots behind the arc while shooting 48 percent from the field for the game.

The Buckeyes made 7 of 10 3-pointers in the opening half to pull away to an 18-point lead. Thomas led the way, hitting 4 of 6 while scoring an almost effortless 21 points - three more than the Tigers accumulated in the half.

At one point, the Buckeyes had a 15-1 advantage on the boards.

Ahead 5-4, Ohio State held Savannah State without a point for more than 5 minutes while running off nine points in a row. Lenzelle Smith Jr. got it started with a 3, Amir Williams came in and flipped in a hook, Thomas hit a short jumper and Williams added two free throws.

On the heels of that spurt, however, the Buckeyes took off again, scoring 13 of the next 17 points. Thomas tossed in a couple of quick-draw 3s with Ravenel scoring two buckets inside.

Down 42-18 at the break, Savannah State scored seven of the first nine points of the second half but Ohio State started picking up points in transition to stretch the lead, which gradually grew to the final margin.

Scott's 3 with 12:01 left gave the Buckeyes a 64-31 lead - and also surpassed the most points given up by Savannah State this season. The Tigers gave up 62 points in an 84-62 win over Trinity Baptist. They had limited No. 5 Florida to just 58 points in a 58-40 loss on Nov. 20.

The game served as another tuneup for the Buckeyes who are three games into an eight-game homestand that stretches all the way through the Big Ten opener against Nebraska on Jan. 2. They played three of their first five games on the road, including their only loss - a 73-68 loss at No. 2 Duke on Nov. 28.

The next big target game for the Buckeyes is a showdown on Dec. 22 against No. 9 Kansas, the team that beat Ohio State 64-62 in the national semifinals last spring.

Ohio State improved to 80-2 in non-conference home games in coach Thad Matta's 10 seasons, winning the last 37.

The game was played before 13,848 at Value City Arena. In Savannah State's six home games, the total attendance was 6,071.

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Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.

But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.

“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”

The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.  

“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”

Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.   

“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”

Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.

“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”

Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.

As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.

Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.

“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”

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A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

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Daniel Duffy on Twitter/@RealArtOfWords

A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

How do you make a photo of Alex Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time even more memorable?

You make it out of all the Capitals' game scores this year, of course.

Capitals fan and artist Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) posted a phenomenal finished piece commemorating the Cup win on Wednesday, June 20. It's a little meta and astounding to look at, but very fun to try and read. If you want to relive the glory that was the parts of the 2017-18 Capitals season, check out the piece.

The piece, which appears to be done in a traditional medium like pen or marker, holds the team faced, arena played at, and final score of every game. It uses six colors and over sixty lines of text. Ovechkin roars as he holds the Stanley Cup overhead, the white away jersey shaded with bits of grey text. It takes a skilled eye to sort text and colors into shapes and shading, but Daniel did a fantastic job! It's awesome to see a fanbase create different interpretations of iconic moments. We'll surely see more of Ovechkin in this moment.

Just as we thought we were going to get tired of the celebration, fans find new ways to surprise us. Stay creative, Caps fans!

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