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A Super Sunday Indeed !

Drew Brees Saints (NFL)

By Richard G. Mason

MSN Staff Writer

The New Orleans Saints 31-17 upset win over Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV fit a familiar pattern in recent games of the NFL’s jewel game. For the third straight season, the Super Bowl came down to the final minutes with the trailing team within a touchdown of the lead and in possession of the ball. And for the third consecutive year, a signature play sealed the game.

Two years ago, it was David Tyree’s “helmet catch” for the New York Giants which upset New England. Last year, Pittsburgh’s Santonio Holmes made a toe-tapping touchdown reception while surrounded by Arizona defenders. And this year, with the Colts driving to tie the game, Saints cornerback Tracy Porter raced 74 yards for the game-sealing interception-return touchdown.

The MVP, Saints QB Drew Brees tied a Super Bowl record 32 completions as he finished with 288 yards and two touchdowns without a single turnover. He completed 82.1 percent of his passes (32 of 39), the second-highest mark in a Super Bowl. Brees, who set the NFL single-season completion percentage mark (70.60) in the regular season, finished the game with 10 completions in a row.

There was another record set during the Super Bowl. viewing audience. It was simply, the most-viewed television program of all time. Super Bowl XLIV reached a total audience of 153.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched show in U.S. television history, according to Nielsen Media Research. The game topped the previous mark of 151.6 million viewers set last year (Arizona-Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII). Super Bowls account for the 19 most-watched programs in history in terms of total audience. In addition, a record average of 106.5 million viewers watched Super Bowl XLIV, topping the previous mark of 106.0 million for the series-finale of M*A*S*H in 1983 and an eight percent increase over last year’s Super Bowl (98.7 million

Dayton’s bench, 19-0 run too much for undermanned La Salle

Dayton's Chris Wright skies over La Salle (UD)

By Stuart Mason

MSN Beat Reporter

Dayton, O.- When your average basketball fan saw that La Salle, 11-13 was playing the Dayton Flyers, 17-7 on Thursday evening, in the always tough University of Dayton Arena, they probably thought, the Flyers in a rout. You probably would agree with them considering Dayton was leading the series, 21-13; and 12-2 at the arena and most of all, La Salle was missing three of their top scorers from the starting lineup. Kimmani Barrett (13.3 ppg), Ruben Guillandreaux (9.5 ppg) and Yves Mekongo (11.1 ppg) who have combined for 2,839 career points and are seniors.

The game turned out to be anything but a rout. The Flyers would eventually win the game, 68-54 but it took every ounce of energy and all of the players in their 10-man rotation to beat the Explorers. La Salle playing with five starters and three reserves, led the Flyers 5-0 before you could blink an eye. Then the Flyers regrouped to lead 32-25 at the half.

In the second half, Dayton opened a 37-29 lead before La Salle  caught them at 45-45 as a Chris Johnson turnover was converted into a layup with 10:49 left in regulation. The two teams traded baskets and were still tied at 49-49 at the media timeout with 7:58 left to go. The fans at UD Arena were nervous and wondering what happened to the team that routed Xavier and took St. Louis into double overtime last week.

After the media timeout, Dayton kicked it into another gear called a 19-0 run. Marcus Johnson scored on a layup; Mickey Perry scored on a 3-point goal and Marcus Johnson scored on a jump shot, that made the score 56-49 with LaSalle calling a timeout with 5:42 remaining.

The Flyers kept the throttle down and La Salle was starting to feel fatigued. Devin Searcy scored on a layup to make it 58-49 and Explorers head coach Dr. John Giannini, seeing the game slipping away, called his second timeout in a span of thirty-three seconds and 5:09 to go. The Flyers run didn’t stop until the score reached 68-49 at the 2:02 mark and the game was over to the delight of the announced crowd of 12,664.

The Flyers outplayed the Explorers in several key stats: Field Goal pct. 47.4 %, 50% in the second half; bench points 42-15; steals 11-5. The Dayton defense caused La Salle to turn the ball over 21 times which led to 19 points.

The La Salle showed why they are one of the top rebounding teams in the Atlantic 10 conference winning that battle 44-34, 19 were on the offensive boards. Steve Weingarten had 12 and Jerrell Williams pulled down 11. Rodney Green was the only Explorer to reach double figures in scoring with 16.

Dayton was led by sixth man Marcus Johnson with 16 points and NBA prospect Chris Wright had 12. The Flyers move to 18-7, 7-4 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

SOUNDS OF THE GAME44 290 Mickey Perry Dayton Guard Did the Flyers feel sluggish in the play44 292 Mickey Perry Dayton Guard Dayton and its bench would wear LaSalle down44 293 Mickey Perry Dayton Guard The keys to the 19-0 run to end the game44 297 Chris Wright Dayton Forward Any NCAA talk for 18-7 Dayton

GAME NOTEBOOK

La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini in his sixth season at the Philadelphia school, is one of three men’s basketball coaches with doctorates, joining Lehigh’s Brett Reed and Valparaiso’s Homer Drew. Giannini’s doctorate is in kinesiology with a specialization is sports psychology. Coach Reed’s is in instructional technology and Coach Drew earned his in educational administration.

According to kenpom.com, La Salle boasts the third tallest team in the country with an average height of 6’7. Florida State is 6’7.2 is first followed by North Carolina at 6’7.1.

La Salle has three 1,000-point scorers on the roster. Rodney Green has scored 1,803 points, Kimmani Brown has 1,057 career points, followed by Yves Mekongo 1,006. The Class of 1980 (Michael Brooks, Kurt Kanaskie and Mo Connolly) also had three 1,000-point scorers.

William “Speedy” Morris, La Salle’s winningest coach with 238 victories was inducted into the LaSalle Hall of Athlete on January 23 and the Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Fame on January 29. He entered the Big 5 all with fellow coaches John Chaney (Temple) and Rollie Massimino (Villanova).

The 1989-90 La Salle University men’s basketball team, which won a school record 30 games, was honored recently. The Explorers went 30-2 that season, including a perfect 16-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association (MAAC). Led by National Player of the Year Lionel Simmons and future NBA players Doug Overton and Randy Woods, La Salle won 22 straight games before losing to Clemson, 79-75, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Dayton Flyers has four Top-50 RPI victories this season, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Old Dominion and Charlotte.

The Flyers have the 31st toughest strength of schedule in the NCAA.

Dayton is 12-0 this season when holding opponents to less than 60 points.

Dayton’s seven losses are by a total of 25 points. UD’s three non-conference losses are all by single-digit  margins to #3 Villanova, #11 Kansas State and #19 New Mexico. The Flyers’ four league losses are by a total of nine points. Each loss was a one-possession game in the final minute.

The Flyers celebrated their 500th win at UD Arena earlier this season. The Arena opened in 1969. UD Arena is one of just 27 active facilities to have hosted at least 500 wins for its home team, and only one of two built in 1969. The  others are Cameron Indoor Stadium, The Palestra, Pauley Pavilion, Freedom Hall, Allen Fieldhouse, The Pit at the University of New Mexico and Hinkle Fieldhouse. Only four facilities, Pauley Pavilion, The Pit, Freedom Hall and the Huntsman Center, had 500 wins faster than UD Arena.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced preliminary round sites for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championships, and the tournament is returning to the University of Dayton Arena in each of those years. The NCAA First and Second Rounds will come back to Dayton in 2013. Additionally, the NCAA Opening Round Game.

Purdue deals Buckeyes key Big Ten loss

AP

When Ohio State looks back on their most recent loss, 60-57 to number 4 Purdue, several elements of the game will stick out: down 7-0 early, only nine field goals in the first half, 23 total points, 1 assist, 10 turnovers and most of all, a poorly played first 10 minutes of the game.

A sellout crowd of 19,049 knew that if it weren’t for Evan Turner’s 13 first half points, the halftime score would’ve been 36-10 instead of the actual 36-23.

The game started at an usual time of 6:30 pm, not the usual 7:00 start and it showed as Purdue dominated the first half, shooting 60 percent and were led by JaJuan Johnson with 15 points and reserve Keaton Grant scoring 11. Nowhere to be found was star forward Robbie Hummel, who blistered the Buckeyes in West Lafayette on January 12 for 35 points; he had O points and was in foul trouble with two.

Anyone who follows the Big Ten, knows that Purdue is very strong defensively. They hold opponents to 61.3 ppg and have forced several teams into long field goal droughts: Central Michigan into three droughts of 5 minutes each; held Alabama without a field goal the final 8:45 of regulation; Tennessee 7:58 of the second half; Penn State for a span of seven minutes and Wisconsin 6:51 of the second half. Ohio State felt the defensive pressure last night as well because they didn’t score a basket the first 3:19 of the game. The Buckeyes had three turnovers in a row and four of the first seven possessions.

In the second half, it was evident that Ohio State head coach Thad Matta had made key adjustments on offense as Evan Turner took control of the game and the defense employed a fullcourt press which made the Boilermakers very uncomfortable. Turner during the second scored on almost every possession and in the process, passed up Clark Kellogg on the OSU all-time scoring list and into 24th place.

William Buford, who took only two shots and scored no points in the first half, came out in the second and got open enough to score 5 straight points to cut the Purdue lead to 48-46 at the 9:44 mark.

After a Purdue time out at the 9:44 mark, the Buckeyes got too anxious and kept shooting threes the next four trips down the floor ended with no points. Purdue on the other hand, ran their offense and upped the lead to 60-52. They had a chance to tie the game at 60, but John Diebler’s 21-foot three-point shot hit high off the back of the rim and the Buckeyes lost their chance to take a half game lead on Michigan State and full game over Purdue. Instead, they’re trailing Purdue and Michigan State who are 10-3.

Purdue was led by center JaJuan Johnson with 24 points followed by E’twaum Moore with 15 and Keaton Grant adding 13. Ohio State was led by NBA prospect Evan Turner with a game-high 29.

Purdue now leads the series 82-81 and with the win, their first ever at Value City Arena (1-9) and the first in Columbus since February 7, 1998. The Boilermakers have won eight games in a row.

SOUNDS OF THE GAME

44245-EVAN-TURNER-OSU-GUARD

 44,250 JOHN DIEBLER OSU FORWARD44,251 JOHN DIEBLER OSU FORWARD44,262 MATT PAINTER PURDUE COACH44, 263 MATT PAINTER PURDUE COACH

GAME NOTEBOOK
Purdue’s Junior class trio of E’twaum Moore, JaJuan Johnson and Robbie Hummel are all 1,000 point scorers for the first time in a decade at the school. The trio are also team captains.

This is Purdue’s fourth straight 20-win season. In the Big Ten, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin join them in that group.

The senior tandem of Keaton Grant and Chris Kramer have the potential to rank among Purdue’s all-time leaders in terms of playing in Boilermaker victories. Currently they’ve won 96. The 1996 and 1997 classes lead the way with 98 wins.

Now in its 43rd year as the home of the Boilermakers, Mackey Arena has provided Purdue with one of the top home-court advantages in all of college basketball. Purdue won their 500th game there on January 5, beating Minnesota. The all-time record at Mackey is 504-115 (.814).

Ohio State sports in brief

compiled from staff and wire reports

WRESTLING

For the second time in four weeks, Lance Palmer, a senior wrestler, was named Big Ten wrestler of the week. The Buckeye from Columbia Station, Ohio. earned his first-career honor Jan 26.

This past weekend, the 149-pounder posted back-to-back pins against Top 20 opponents. Palmer downed number 18 Eric Terrazas of Illinois in 2:54 February 12 before pinning number 12 David Cheza of Michigan in 4:54 February 14 in St. John Arena on Senior Day.

Palmer enters his final regular-season match at Iowa with a 24-1 overall record and 7-0 ledger in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes and Hawkeyes will wrestle at 8 p.m. ET Friday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

BASEBALL

The preseason awards keep piling up for Ohio State junior catcher Dan Burkhart. This time it is first-team 2010 preseason All-America  from Rivals.com’s 2010 Baseball Team.

Rivals.com referred to Burkhart, last year’s Big Ten Conference Player of the Year after hitting .354 with 10 home runs and 62 RBI’s, as the “heart and soul of the Buckeyes” and “he is solid behind the plate and an excellent hitter.”

Burkhart had previously been named second-team preseason All-America by Ping! Baseball and by the National Baseball Writers Association of America.

Ohio State opens the 2010 season Friday in Jacksonville, Fla., at the University of North Florida. The Buckeyes will also play Florida  A& M and Richmond at North Florida’s home park, Harmon State over the weekend.

Defiance College voted 31st in country; hosts Bluffton Wednesday

By “Joe Big Head” Coopersmith

MSN Staff Writer

Wednesday night will be a “Black Out” for host Defiance College against Bluffton on Wednesday. On Monday, the men’s basketball college netted eight points in the latest national poll from www.D3hoops.com. It marked the sixth time this season that DC has earned votes in the national poll.

Defiance, 18-5 on the season after an 83-64 win over Mount St. Joseph. That win also allowed the team to move up one spot in the poll. The Yellow Jackets was one of only 36 teams from around the nation to receive points in the week 11 poll, logging eight for the 31-st highest total.

The Wednesday meeting between Defiance and Bluffton will be thee 184th all-time between the long-time rivals on the hardwood, the Jackets owning a 122-61 record.

“Black Out” night  will be the final home regular season game for Defiance’s six-man senior class that has gone 72-31 in its four years with the program. Heath Armstrong, Nate Conley, Mike Floyd, Nick Sales, Eric Stolly and Josh Stucke have led DC to a .699 winning percentage during the last four years for the best record since the class of 1987 posted a .711 clip on an 84-34 mark. The 2010 senior class, which will be honored prior to the start of Wednesday’s game, has won at least 17 games in four seasons, qualified for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament in each of the four campaigns and is the first class to graduate with more than 70 wins at Defiance in over 20 years.

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