Capitals

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario both scored 14 points Wednesday night and No. 6 Florida romped to a 72-47 victory over Florida State.

It took the Gators just 5 minutes to take a 12-2 lead and the rout was on. Boynton's layup with 8:57 left gave Florida its largest lead, 62-25.

Florida (7-0) has held five opponents to less than 50 points this season while taking its fourth straight win over the Seminoles (4-4) who have lost three straight home games. This is their most lopsided defeat to Florida since a 96-61 loss in 1999.

Michael Frazier added 12 points and Patric Young finished with 10 points and eight rebounds for the Gators, who cruised to a 35-15 halftime lead in their first road game of the season.

Michael Snaer led Florida State with 10 points, all in the second half.

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No. 10 GONZAGA 71, WASHINGTON ST. 69

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - Kevin Pangos' layup with 2 seconds left gave Gonzaga its best start as a Division I team.

Elias Harris scored 23 points and Kelly Olynyk had 22, all in the second half, for Gonzaga (9-0). The Bulldogs had been tied with the 1994-95 team for best start.

Brock Motum had 23 points and DaVonte Lacy added 22 for Washington State (5-4), which saw its three-game winning streak snapped.

Motum hit a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to bring WSU within 68-67.

Gary Bell Jr. made a free throw for Gonzaga, and Lacy made a layup to tie the score at 69.

That set up Pangos' game-winning drive that gave him eight points.

Olynyk had 10 points in the first 8 minutes of the second half.

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No. 18 NEW MEXICO 75, USC 67

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Hugh Greenwood hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points to help New Mexico recover from an early double-digit deficit.

Alex Kirk added a double-double for the Lobos (9-0) with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Kendall Williams had 13 points and a season-high nine assists.

Five Trojans scored in double figures, led by 14 from Eric Wise, but USC (3-5) still lost its fourth straight.

New Mexico's biggest lead was 59-42. The Trojans closed the gap behind a 13-2 run that made it 70-65 with 2:13 left. But Williams followed with a 3-pointer to break the streak.

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No. 19 MICHIGAN ST. 76, ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 44

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Garry Harris scored 13 points, Travis Trice had 12 and Branden Dawson added 10 for Michigan State which held Arkansas-Pine Bluff scoreless for almost 10 minutes at the start of the game.

Michigan State (7-2) started the game with a 14-0 run, led 38-12 at halftime and kept a comfortable lead in the second half.

The Golden Lions (1-7) missed their first 13 shots and didn't score until 9:48 into the game.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff's DaVon Haynes scored a season-high 20 points - all after halftime.

The Golden Lions had seven points over the last 2:20 of the first half to finish with 12, the fifth-lowest total at halftime by a Division I team this season, according to STATS LLC.

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No. 23 OKLAHOMA ST. 61, SOUTH FLORIDA 49

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Marcus Smart scored 15 points and Markel Brown added 13 for Oklahoma State which bounced back from its first loss of the season.

Smart, the Cowboys' playmaking freshman, nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing to launch a 16-5 run that put Oklahoma State (6-1) in control in the second half. He finished it off by hitting another 3, then making a quick steal in the backcourt before setting up Brown's layup for a 48-34 lead with 7:29 remaining.

The Bulls (5-3) couldn't get closer than nine points after that.

Victor Rudd had 14 points for South Florida, and Anthony Collins scored 12. The Bulls were held to a season-worst 34 percent shooting and had their lowest scoring game of the season.

Philip Jurick grabbed a career-best 14 rebounds as Oklahoma State held a 41-28 edge on the boards.

Oklahoma State lost to Virginia Tech on Saturday.

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Alex Ovechkin goes for gold before a needed break from hockey

Alex Ovechkin goes for gold before a needed break from hockey

The Capitals’ season ended a month ago, but Alex Ovechkin has yet to take his break.

That will happen soon enough, but for now Washington’s captain is leading Russia at the IIHF World Hockey Championships in Slovakia. After that, he gets his first real rest since the end of the 2016-17 season. He has played in 194 NHL games, including the postseason, in 18 months.  

Ovechkin will turn 34 on Sept. 17 and the questions now start in earnest: How long can one of the world’s greatest goal scorers keep up his pace? Ovechkin recorded his eighth 50-goal season this past season. And while it ended in disappointment with a first-round loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Ovechkin deserved little blame after adding four goals and five assists in the series.

“As a captain and as a leader, I thought he took another step this year from how he showed up to training camp to how he played all year long two-way hockey, commitment and when the games mattered the most,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said last month. “He scored big goals and showed fantastic playmaking ability. A physical force. I'm excited to see what he comes back with now after a little extended time away because he was tremendous this year.”

Washington won the Stanley Cup on June 7 in Las Vegas last year and after a hectic summer of celebrating and, eventually, training, players were back less than three months later for another grind of a season that ended after 89 more regular-season and playoff games. Ovechkin missed just one of them. 

Next year could be another one filled with milestones for Ovechkin. He doesn’t even need 50 to reach them. With 42 goals he reaches 700 for his career. Only seven players have ever hit that mark.  

Ovechkin passes Mario Lemieux (690) with 32 goals and moves into the top 10 all time. He has a reasonable chance to catch Brett Hull for second-most power-play goals (265) in NHL history. Ovechkin has 247 right now and has averaged 17 per year each of the past four seasons.     

At some point, even for Ovechkin, scoring 50 goals will be too much. Only Johnny Bucyk (36) and Jaromir Jagr (34) have ever topped 50 goals at an older age. But if he could just do it one more time he would tie Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for most 50-goal seasons ever (nine). We’re at the point where nothing should surprise, but we’ve gone off the known map. 

“That's the best I've seen him play in my three years here,” teammate Lars Eller said. “He just took some games over. It was impressive. He was our best player. Him and Nick, but especially O, he just took it to another level. Physicality-wise, he enforced his will out there and when he decides to do that, he's almost unstoppable. That was exciting to see."

Almost everything Ovechkin does now is unprecedented. In the past 20 NHL seasons dating to 1998-99, there have been 28 different 50-goal seasons as scoring has become harder thanks to better goalie play, equipment and more tactical defensive systems. And yet Ovechkin owns 29 percent of those 50-goal seasons. His 89 points (51 goals, 38 assists) were his most since 2009-10.  

For now, Ovechkin will settle for another IIHF World Championship. He has helped Russia win gold at the event three times (2008, 2010 and 2014). 

But Russia was 6-0 heading into the matchup with Sweden on Tuesday night and had outscored its opponents 29-3 in Group B despite just a goal and an assist from Ovechkin. 

There can be wild fluctuations in the competition level during the group stage at Worlds. The Russians beat Italy 10-0 last week. And the United States, Canada and Finland are all formidable opponents in Group A. 

Russia will likely play one of those teams in the quarterfinals on Thursday so nothing is guaranteed. The semifinals would be Saturday if they do win and then the gold-medal game - or the bronze-medal game - would be Sunday. Then, finally, Ovechkin can rest and get ready for his 15th NHL season with two years left on his contract with the Capitals. 

“[Ovechkin] elevated his game in the first round. He's just got a hunger to him to contribute and to score goals,” teammate Brett Connolly said. “You could tell that he was committed and that he was going to give everything he had to win it again. He was great last year and arguably even better this year….This fan base is very lucky to watch what he does on a consistent basis. You're not going to see that ever again. So, enjoy it while it's here.” 

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Tim Connelly explains his interview with Wizards, decision to stay with Nuggets

Tim Connelly explains his interview with Wizards, decision to stay with Nuggets

Tim Connelly sat down with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis about the head front-office opening on Friday.

On Monday, NBC Sports Washington confirmed that he decided to stick with his role as president of basketball operations for the Denver Nuggets

A day later, he spoke to the media at a press conference and answered questions about his meeting with Washington.

Clear in Connelly's comments were his respect for Leonsis, but commitment to continuity in Denver. 

"I had a really nice conversation with Mr. Leonsis and his staff. He's a fantastic owner, I think a real visionary. I was really impressed by who he was and his thoughts for the team. That team's going to be special quickly under his leadership. We just had a conversation and not much more than that."

As for the reason for the discussion with Leonsis, Connelly said it came down to his love for the franchise. 

"I spent 14 years there. Certainly it's where I'm from, it's where my wife's from, so I just wanted to have the conversation because I care about the organization," he said.

"I'd never had an audience with [Leonsis], so to have that conversation and exchange of ideas, you know, it's flattering." 

Ultimately, however, the Baltimore native emphasized that Washington couldn't entice him away from the franchise he'd spent the last six years building. 

"Loyalty and patience is such a rarity in professional sports and that's here in spades. Those things matter to me," he said. "I had a hard time envisioning myself elsewhere."

With Connelly out of the picture, the list of candidates for the Wizards front-office opening is narrowing. Currently, Tommy Sheppard, Danny Ferry and Troy Weaver remain in the conversation. 

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