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Mississippi State gets revenge against the Buckeyes, 87-67

info compiled from Ohio State and Mississippi State Athletic Communications and wire reports

During the 2009 NCAA Tournament, Ohio State scored the final 10 points of the game while holding Mississippi State scoreless for the final 6:43 in Columbus, Ohio to win 64-58 in the second round.

The Lady Bulldogs remembered that game the past 365 days and hoped they’d get another chance at Ohio State.

The NCAA selected the two to be in the same region this year and the Lady Bulldogs couldn’t wait to play.

Alexis Rack torched the Buckeyes (MSU)

Alexis Rack drove through and around Ohio State’s slow-to-react defense for 30 points and the 7th-seeded Lady Bulldogs upset the second-seeded Buckeyes, 87-67  Tuesday night to reach the NCAA women’s tournament Sweet 16 round for the first time ever.

Mississippi State trailed by as many as eight points in the first half, only to use their quickness, precision ball movement and outside shooting to take control with an 18-0 run that turned a 32-26 deficit into a 44-32 lead. They never looked back.

The Buckeyes end up the season at 31-5 and continue to have trouble getting deep into the NCAA tournament. They say goodbye to four seniors, Cheriese Daniel, Shavelle Little, Maria Moeller and Andrea Walker.

Cavaliers welcome Zydrunas Ilgauskas back to Cleveland

compiled from staff and wire reports

Zydrunas Ilgauskas returns to Cavs (NBA)

Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry got the call he was waiting on. It was from him former Cavaliers teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas saying that he would be signing to rejoin the team.

Says Ilgauskas, “If I would’ve left and the team won a championship without me, I don’t think I could’ve ever forgave myself.”

The 34-year-old center signed with the Cavs for the rest of the season in Cleveland and left with the team on Tuesday to play in New Orleans on Wednesday. To make room on the roster, Cleveland waived second-year forward Darnell Jackson.

It’s been a difficult season for the veteran center. He became a bench player for the first time in his career when the Cavs acquired Shaquille O’Neal last summer, then he was visibly upset the night head coach Mike Brown didn’t play him the night he was expected to break the franchise’s record for most games played.

It took Zydrunas a few days to gather his emotions after his former teammate Danny Ferry traded him to Washington in the three-team deal that brought Antawn Jamison and Sebastian Telfair to Cleveland.

Washington quickly bought out his contract before he ever played a game, making him a free agent. While several teams around the league wanted his services, Ilgauskas only wanted to play in Cleveland but had to wait 30 days under NBA rules to resign. He used that time to keep in shape, work on his game and spend time with his family, which is rare during an NBA season.

The most important reason Ilgauskas is back in Cleveland is that the fans and media were so angry that they made a point to daily fill-up Danny Ferry’s e-mail and voice mail to force the team into bringing “Z” back to the Lake Erie city.

Ilgauskas was so overwhelmed and humbled that he says he’ll never forget it.

Jeff Lebo hired to rebuild East Carolina University basketball program

compiled from staff and wire reports

Jeff Lebo introduced at East Carolina (ECU)

Recently fired Auburn head basketball coach Jeff Lebo didn’t waste any time getting another head job. He was introduced Tuesday as the new head men’s basketball coach at East Carolina University. Located in Greenville, the Pirates have had a struggling program for years.

The school decided on Lebo to replace Mack McCarthy, who spent three seasons on the sideline for the Pirates before resigning to take a fundraising job in the school’s athletics department. Lebo spent the last six seasons at Auburn, going 96-93 overall before he was fired earlier in March.

The 43-year-old Lebo played at North Carolina under the legendary Dean Smith in the late 80′s and had coached at Tennessee Tech and Chattanooga before Auburn.  He is a very popular figure in the state of North Carolina.

Lebo inherits a difficult job at East Carolina, a Conference USA school located in the shadows of instate Atlantic Coast Conference programs Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State. The program hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since making a surprise run to win the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in 1993 and hasn’t had a winning record since 1996-97. In the years since, East Carolina has reached .500 once and compiled a 141-230 record.

Lebo had a strong start to his head coaching career, taking over Tennessee Tech program in 1998 that was coming off four straight losing seasons. Two years later, Tennessee Tech had its first 20-win season in a half-century, then won 27 games and reached the NIT in 2002.

Lebo then was hired at Chattanooga and won 40 games in two seasons before taking over at Auburn for the 2004-05 season. However, Lebo discovered that the Southeastern Conference was tougher to coach and recruit in than any league he’d been associated with. He went 35-61 at Auburn in SEC play while the team’s 2009 NIT appearance was his only postseason trip there.

Harvest Prep: David Dennis is top coach, Shicole Watts is top player

compiled from staff and wire reports

World Harvest Church (megasportsnews.com)

World Harvest congratulates the champs (megasportsnews.com)

Harvest Prep keeps getting awards. Head coach David Dennis was named Division IV co-coach of the year and Shicole Watts was honored as the co-player of the year for the same division. The honors were handed out by the Associated Press.

Coach Dennis shared the coaching award with Dean Sanford of DeGraff Riverside and Dave Kleman of Ottoville.

Watts, a 6’1 junior, averaged 14.9 points,10.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 52 percent from the floor for the Division IV State Champions, Harvest Prep.

Sony Ericsson WTA TOUR: Jankovic dominates Wozniacki at Indian Wells

compiled by the megasportsnews.com staff

Jelena Jankovic WTA (Creative Commons/wfe photo)

Jelena Jankovic handily defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the women’s final at Indian Wells, California, 6-2,6-4. It was her first title in seven months.

Jankovic is two years removed from being the world’s number 1 player, is projected to move up in the player rankings as high as 8. She hadn’t won a tournament title since August 2009 in Cincinnati. Indian Wells is her 12th career title.

Jankovic, who is from Serbia, dictated the flow of the matches from baseline to baseline the entire hour and a half match by keeping her opponent constantly on the run.

Jankovic broke Wozniacki three times in the first set and again in the first game of the second set. Wozniacki brought her coach, who is her father on the court several times to help figure out Jankovic’s gameplan. They could never figure the Serbian out or couldn’t counteract anything she did.

The 19-year-old Wozniacki was a 2009 U.S. Open finalist. 2009 was he best year to date as she reached eight finals and winning three.  She should reach the number ranking, a career high.

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