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Young helps No. 6 Kansas turn back Temple, 69-62

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Young helps No. 6 Kansas turn back Temple, 69-62

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Kevin Young had 16 points, hitting four critical free throws down the stretch, and sixth-ranked Kansas fended off pesky Temple 69-62 on Sunday for the Jayhawks' 11th straight win.

Travis Releford added 14 points on 5 for 5 shooting, none of his baskets bigger than a 3-pointer from the wing with 34.9 seconds left. With the shot-clock winding down, Releford's shot gave Kansas a 65-58 lead, essentially turning away its Atlantic 10 foe.

Ben McLemore added 13 points and Jeff Withey had eight points, 11 rebounds and nine blocked shots for the Jayhawks (12-1), who enter Big 12 play having won 30 consecutive games at Allen Fieldhouse and 63 in a row against non-conference opponents.

Khalif Wyatt finished with 26 points for the Owls (10-3), who nearly had their second win over a top-10 team this season. Wyatt scored 33 in an upset of then-No. 3 Syracuse on Dec. 22.

Anthony Lee and Will Cummings added 11 each for Temple, which seemed to have the recipe for winning in the Phog down pat. The Owls only committed three turnovers - though the third one late in the game proved critical - and prevented the high-flying Jayhawks from getting in transition.

After trailing the entire first half, Temple managed to build a 54-50 lead with just under 7 minutes to go. But the Jayhawks finally got going on offense, and then held on down the stretch to start 12-1 for the third time in the last four seasons.

Temple looked as if it'd be trouble before the opening tip, when the Owls were huddling after their introduction and started watching the Jayhawks' intimidating pregame video montage.

It was little surprise that the Jayhawks raced out to a 22-10 lead by the midway point of the first half, clamping down with their intense man-to-man defense and throwing in some token press to put pressure on the Owls' backcourt, which committed a pair of early turnovers.

Temple coach Fran Dunphy eventually got a veteran group that starts three seniors to settle down, and the result was an 8-1 spurt that got the Owls right back in the game.

Wyatt led the charge by banking in a 3-pointer, and a basket by Lee - who had eight points and five boards by halftime - forced Kansas coach Bill Self to call a timeout.

Self was only starting to simmer, though. He really boiled over a few minutes later, when Elijah Johnson committed his third turnover of the half. The Jayhawks' coach slapped his hand against the video marquee at the scorer's table so hard that it knocked out a bank of lights.

Those two early turnovers by Temple? They were their only two in the first half, and Kansas - one of the nation's top defensive teams - failed to produce a steal in forging a 33-27 lead.

Kansas scored the first five points of the second half to push its lead to double-figures, but then Temple scored on its next nine possessions. Along the way, Wyatt outscored the Jayhawks 11-2 by himself, and his free throws with 14:13 left gave the Owls their first lead at 43-44.

Releford, the Jayhawks' top defender, also picked up his fourth foul during the Owls' run and spent much of the second half on the bench. That allowed Temple's talented backcourt to keep answering every time that Kansas tried to make a charge.

Releford eventually checked back into the game, and so did the Jayhawks' defense.

After pulling ahead 54-50, the Owls failed to score on five of their next six possessions, and Johnson's two drives to the basket tied the game. Moments later, McLemore stepped in front of a pass from the Owls' Cummings and went the other way for a dunk and a 58-57 lead.

Young added four consecutive free throws, and then Releford hit his big 3-pointer from the wing, allowing Self and another capacity crowd to finally start relaxing.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was — Under pressure, run game woes

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was — Under pressure, run game woes

Here is what you need to know on Saturday, September 22, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers  .

Talking points

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Skins add receiver Michael Floyd after signing Perriman — They aren’t looking for these guys to perform like first-round receivers. The Redskins are hoping that one or the other of them is an upgrade over Jehu Chesson, who is back on the practice squad. It is unlikely that both of them will be on the roster after the bye week. One or the other is likely to be cut to make room for another running back or possibly at another position that needs help. My money is on Floyd to stay but we will see.

Five observations from the Redskins Week 2 loss — The closest thing to a "hot take" here is that the Redskins defense did not have a bad day. They did, however, give up three scoring drives. While that’s not ideal, the Washington offense should be able to outscore a team that puts up 21 points especially when the defense also gets two takeaways, both in good field position. It wasn’t a dominant defensive performance, but it was good enough to win. 

Five Redskins under pressure vs. Packers — There is a lot of heat on Josh Doctson and deservedly so. But Jamison Crowder has been marginally less productive, and he is the one who they count on to be the volume receiver. Regardless of what Doctson does, they need more out of Crowder, who has five receptions for 40 yards. 

No answers for Redskins run game trouble — The Colts were set up to stop the deep pass, which means that the Redskins should have been able to run the ball against what often were six-man boxes. The Indy defense did run some unusual alignments, but it will be a long year if they can’t get the running game working consistently, especially against defenses inviting you to run.

Tweet of the week

This is a rare case of the tweet about an article generating a lot of buzz and discussion and the article itself not ranking very high on the popularity list. Many agreed with my take that over the past 18 games, Jay Gruden has called running plays on first down more often than he should have. The Redskins simply haven’t been successful enough to warrant such a heavy dose of running. 

But some complained that “the media” bash Gruden for not running enough at times and then in this post he gets criticized for running too much. Many of those are ones who reacted to the tweet but didn’t read the article, which said nothing about overall run-pass ratio. I’m not complaining at all, happy to have anyone join in on the conversation. But reading the article does make it a more informed exchange. 

Injury report

Game status

Out: Apke (hamstring), Lauvao (calf)
Questionable: Harris (concussion), Richardson (shoulder), Brown (oblique)

Full injury report here

The agenda

Today: No media availability

Upcoming: Packers @ Redskins (Sept. 23) 1; Redskins @ Saints (October 8) 16; Cowboys @ Redskins 29

In case you missed it

 

REDSKINS TALK PODCAST:

 

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Nationals fall to Mets as postseason chances continue to slip away

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USA Today Sports

Nationals fall to Mets as postseason chances continue to slip away

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jacob deGrom turned in a record 23rd consecutive quality start, lowered his ERA to 1.77 and boosted his record to .500 as he bids to earn the NL Cy Young Award, allowing one run in seven innings to help the New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 Friday night.

Throwing fastballs in the 97-99 mph range, deGrom (9-9) struck out eight and walked one while allowing just one run and three hits, all singles. Bob Gibson (in 1968) and Chris Carpenter (2005) each had single-season runs of 22 quality starts, the previous major league mark.

The right-handed deGrom has given up as many as four earned runs in only one of his 31 starts in 2018, back on April 10 against Miami. He's now up to 28 in a row allowing three runs or fewer, the longest single-season streak in major league history.

So this game was pretty much wrapped up by the third inning, which ended with the Mets ahead 4-1. Jay Bruce had two run-scoring hits, and Devin Mesoraco and Dominic Smith also delivered RBIs, all off Joe Ross (0-1).

Robert Gsellman worked around Anthony Rendon's RBI single in the ninth for his 12th save.

Washington began the day in danger of being officially eliminated from contention in the NL East, which it won the past two seasons under then-manager Dusty Baker. A loss by the Nationals plus a victory by the Braves would end any chance Washington has of catching Atlanta.

DeGrom is locked in what's considered a tight race for Cy Young honors -- and perhaps league MVP consideration, too -- with Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who is 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA and 290 strikeouts. Scherzer has won the past two Cy Young Awards in the NL, plus one in the AL when he played for the Detroit Tigers.

In the Mets' 5-4 victory in 12 innings Thursday, Scherzer gave up three runs in seven innings and struck out 13.

Entering Friday, deGrom boasted a majors-leading 1.78 ERA, 251 Ks and 45 walks, and ranked No. 1 in various other categories.

"I think that it says a lot about who he is as a worker. I think it says a lot about who he is as a competitor," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "He tends to step it up when it matters the most, and this is probably mattering the most out of all his starts, and he continues to pitch just as dominant as he was before. That's the definition of a true ace."

DeGrom looked good from the outset, striking out leadoff hitter Victor Robles with a 98 mph fastball, then getting Bryce Harper to swing through a 99 mph offering to end the first inning. Harper missed a 93 mph slider to strike out again in the fourth, then grounded out on a chopper fielded by deGrom in the sixth.

Washington's only run off deGrom came on Ryan Zimmerman's sacrifice fly on a ball hit to the warning track in deep center field in the second.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: Mesoraco hadn't played since leaving a game Sept. 3 because of a bulging disk in his back. He was 3 for 3 with a walk.

Nationals: OF Adam Eaton was out of the starting lineup for the fourth time in five games, because of what manager Dave Martinez said was a sore and stiff left knee, the one surgically repaired last season.

WE'RE GOING STREAKING!

Nationals 3B Rendon's second-inning walk extended his streak of reaching base safely to a career-best 29 games; he came around to score.

UP NEXT

RHP Corey Oswalt (3-2, 6.31 ERA) will start for the Mets on Saturday, while the Nationals wouldn't commit to a starting pitcher before Friday's game.

 

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