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Thomas scores 25 to lead No. 11 Buckeyes, 58-49

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Thomas scores 25 to lead No. 11 Buckeyes, 58-49

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Deshaun Thomas scored 25 points, including 10 during a game-breaking 15-0 second-half run, to lead No. 11 Ohio State past Wisconsin 58-49 on Tuesday night.

The leading scorer in the Big Ten, Thomas took over the game as both teams tried to gain leverage in a typically physical matchup between them.

The victory moved Ohio State (16-4, 6-2 Big Ten) into third place in the Big Ten and dropped Wisconsin (14-7, 5-3) two games off the pace set by co-leaders Indiana and Michigan (6-1).

Traevon Jackson, the son of Buckeyes great Jimmy Jackson, led the Badgers with 12 points in the arena where his dad's jersey hangs from the rafters.

Jared Berggren added 11 points for Wisconsin.

Aaron Craft had 13 points and six assists for the Buckeyes.

Both teams were shooting well to start the second half, the Buckeyes hitting seven of their first eight from the field and Wisconsin making 6 of 11. Thomas' fake and 10-foot jumper over Ryan Evans tied it at 41, with Thomas then giving the Buckeyes the lead on a drive through the lane and finger roll after Evans had charged into Craft at the other end.

It didn't stop there, as the Buckeyes' defense stepped up the pressure to force bad shots while the offense started clicking.

During the 15-0 run that went from the 13:01 mark to under 6 minutes left, the Badgers were 0 for 7 from the field with three turnovers as everything went Ohio State's way.

Thomas hit another basket, this time on a drive, before LaQuinton Ross popped in a 3 from the left wing. Thomas then took a pass from Shannon Scott on the fast break and scissored in for a layup. While Wisconsin continued to misfire at the other end, Thomas then jousted with Evans, forcing him to step back and then hit a soft, fall-away 16-footer to push the lead to 52-41 and bringing the crowd to its feet.

Ben Brust finally ended the 7:11 drought with a 3 from the top of the circle.

After Wisconsin narrowed the gap to five points on a 3 by Berggren, Scott stole the ball and went the length of the court for a three-point play.

The Badgers never got closer than six points again.

The Badgers led 26-24 at halftime, playing at a pace that fit in perfectly with their game plan. They would distribute the ball around the perimeter, occasionally getting it inside, before settling for a 3 with the shot clock winding down.

They took 16 shots behind the arc, only 10 inside it. They picked up 12 points in that one stat, making 6 of 16 3-pointers to Ohio State's 1 of 2.

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Former Wizard Marcin Gortat announces retirement

Former Wizard Marcin Gortat announces retirement

Long-time NBA veteran, and former Wizard, Marcin Gortat is retiring from the NBA, the center announced in a video via the Polish news station TVP.

At 35-years old, the big man had been out of the league this season following spending 2018-19 with the Los Angeles Clippers. In the video, Gortat mentioned that he gave himself the year off to weigh his options, and he now realizes it is the right time to hang it up.

A 12-year career, the "Polish Hammer" was a consistent and reliable force down low for the four teams he played for. Some of his best years came in D.C. with the Wizards. In five seasons with Washington from 2013-18, Gortat averaged at least 10 points in four seasons and played in at least 75 games in all five campaigns. 

His time with the Wizards also included three trips to the postseason. Gortat was traded to the Clippers for Austin Rivers following the 2018 season and was waived in February of 2019. 

An intense competitor, some NBA players have already begun to share their appreciation for Gortat, and more are sure to chime in.

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Kurt Suzuki finds himself in surprising spot of headline maker

Kurt Suzuki finds himself in surprising spot of headline maker

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Kurt Suzuki will turn 37 years old while in a major-league uniform if the Nationals play October baseball again this season. This is year 14 and the second stop with one of four teams he’s played for. Suzuki spent time in the American League,
 then the National League, then back to the AL before a return to the NL. He’s well-traveled.

Which makes the headlines cooking with his name all the stranger to him. Following comments to The Washington Post that the Houston Astros were using a whistling system to steal signs in the 2019 World Series, Suzuki’s name was hurled to the front of the cross-player sniping currently pervasive in Major League Baseball. Houston’s Carlos Correa transitioned to specifically talk about Suzuki on Saturday when he rumbled through a session with Astros writers. Sunday, Suzuki conducted his own group session, something he was partly in disbelief about, and something he doesn’t want to keep occurring. 

“Honestly, I’m too old to get in the middle,” Suzuki said. “I really don’t associate myself with this kind of stuff. I just kind of go about my business and try to stay out of everything and get ready to play baseball. That’s what it’s about -- playing baseball.”

Suzuki’s steady answers Sunday inside the Nationals’ clubhouse focused on two ideas: he’s enjoying the World Series and preparing for 2020. Suzuki stopped short of saying “I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” but that was the general tenor after he politely agreed to talk with reporters despite being self-aware enough to realize the topic.

“I thought you guys were going to talk about the 1-for-20 in the World Series,” Suzuki joked.

He made the same joke with teammates before heading to meet the media. He was asked where that “one” landed.

“Train tracks.”

Suzuki joined Yan Gomes, pitching coach Paul Menhart, Davey Martinez and others in devising a multi-tiered system to protect signs against the Astros in the World Series. Suzuki did not say Sunday he knew the Astros were cheating in the World Series. 

“You hear stuff around the league,” Suzuki said. “All you do is you do your due diligence and you try to prepare yourself to not get into that situation. We just did our homework on our end and did everything we possibly can to combat the rumors going around and we just prepared ourselves. That was the bottom line: just getting ready for it if it did happen.”

His session of diffusement ended with a nod to Max Scherzer’s comments from when spring training began. Scherzer bounced back questions about the Astros by advising reporters to go talk to them. 

“That’s their situation,” Suzuki said. “I think Scherzer said it best. They are the ones that have to do the answering. We’re just getting ready for the 2020 season to defend the title. That’s it. We’re getting ready, enjoying our teammates, enjoying the World Series and getting ready for the season.”

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