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February 2019
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Cavaliers rally from 21 down, beat Detroit, 99-92 on ‘Snuggie Night’

The evening started at Quicken Loans Arena with more than 20,000 people wearing their Snuggies and having fun. But  then a serious medical emergency interrupted the game with reality setting in about life is more important than setting a record for the most people wearing a Snuggie, winning a basketball game or about a winning streak.

Cleveland won their sixth game in a row, 99-92 over their arch-rivals, the Detroit Pistons Friday, coming back from a 21-point deficit. The organization set a new world record for a promotion involving fleece blankets. But everything was pushed to the back-burner when Detroit guard Rodney Stuckey collapsed with 2:30 left in the third quarter after apparently suffering from a seizure on the team bench.

Detroit media relations officials said that Stuckey became unconcious after falling into a coach’s arms after sitting on the bench after a timeout. He was shaking uncontrollably for several minutes as the sellout crowd became silent as medical personnel rushed to his side.

Stuckey was given oxygen and an electrocardiogram before leaving Quicken Loans Arena. He was taken to the Cleveland Clinic. The Pistons said his vital signs were stable and he was kept overnight for treatment and observation.

After the emergency, players from both teams huddled together and prayed. They teams also had a group prayer after the game.

LeBron James, who had 40 points, 13 rebounds and six assists while fighting through a mild ankle sprain, “said the game was between the Cavaliers and the Pistons, but when there is an emergency, everyone becomes one family”.

Delonte West keyed comeback win (nba)

The 21-41 Pistons, losers of six straight, were struggling to hold onto the shockingly large lead. The cavs were in the middle of a run that cut the lead down to six, when Detroit coach John Kuester called timeout and spoke briefly to Stuckey who had eight points and 10 assists in the game.

After the medical emergency, which lasted 12 minutes, Detroit obviously wasn’t the same team.Cleveland scored 20 of the games next 26 points and pulled into the lead for good.

Cleveland, one of the NBA’s best defensive teams, were burned by the Pistons, who have become one of league’s worst offensive teams, early in the game. Detroit behind Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton, quickly raced to a huge lead.

After the Pistons scored 55 points on 52 percent shooting, the Cavs defense became more intense led by LeBron James, Anderson Verejao and Delonte West. The Cavaliers are 49-14 on the season.

Prahalis, Lavender lead Buckeyes to Big Ten Tourney Semifinals

Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis sets assists record (espn)

The Ohio State women’s basketball team has come to rely on their tag-team duo of Jantel Lavender and Samantha Prahalis.  With Jantel being strong and physical in the post and Samantha controlling the point, opponents have their hands full.

Those two had to be on their game because the Buckeyes couldn’t “shake” from Illinois until the final minute of the game for a 66-55 win in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Ohio State is now 24-8.

Lavender didn’t post her usual double-double, but she did score 19 points with 6 rebounds. Her defense was superb against Illinois’ top scorer, Jenna Smith,  forcing her to receive the ball farther away from the basket than Smith is accustomed to.

Lavender’s partner, Samantha Prahalis added 13 points and eight assists followed by Brittany Johnson scoring 13 points with three, 3-point baskets.

The Buckeyes had an out-of-the-norm bad shooting night, 40 percent, including 6 of 22 from 3-point land and were outrebounded 45-34.

It was the third straight season the ninth-seeded Illini team met the top-seeded Buckeyes in the quarterfinals, with Ililinois winning two years and Ohio State getting revenge in 2009. Fourth-seeded Wisconsin is next for Ohio State in Saturday’s semifinals, game time is 7:15.

Illinois’ Jenna Smith, the senior forward, had 13 points and 11 rebounds in her final conference game, enough rebounds to break Lynnette Robinson’s nearly 30-year old single season record at Illinois. But Smith fell three points short of becoming the school’s career scoring leader. Ashley Berggren scored 2,089 points in her Illinois career, Smith has 2,087, a record she could still achieve if the 16-14 Illini earn a postseason bid.


* In Big Ten Tournament action, the Buckeyes are 24-13.

* Ohio State leads the series with Illinois, 42-17, and have won the last six meetings.

* Seniors Shavelle Littel, Andrea Walker, Maria Moeller and Cherise Daniel have 107 wins in their careers, two shy of tying the program record of 109 set by the class of 2008.

* With eight assists, Samantha Prahalis set an Ohio State single-season record with 259 assists, breaking the old record of 257 set by Jamie Lewis in 2000-01.

* Jantel Lavender now has 1,942 points, which is third all-time on the Ohio State scoring list.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on NASCAR pole for Kobalt Tools 500 race

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has captured the pole  for the first time since 2008 after Friday’s qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Earnhardt claimed the pole for Sunday’s race with a eye-opening speed of  192.8 mph. The last time he headed the field was in April 2008 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Says Earnhardt, “Our team is so hungry to do well”.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. no wins in 2009 (wfe)

Junior is coming off a terrible 2009 season in which he failed to win a race, cracked the top 10 only 5 times and finished in 25th place in the overall standings eventhough he was racing for Hendrick Motorsports, the best on the NASCAR curcuit.

During the offseason, a major shakeup in his group has given Earnhardt new optimism for 2010. “We got beat down last year. We have a chance to start fresh this year. We have a better team”.

Kyle Busch will start on the outside of the front row, with Juan Pablo Montoya in third. Jeff Gordon qualified fifth  giving  Hendrick Motorsports three of the top five spots. 2009 pole-sitter Mark Martin qualified fourth.

Series leader Kevin Harvick  will start 35th in his Chevrolet.

Byrd set to help Cubs climb new heights in NL Central title chase

Dan Hock is a staff writer for but this week he is filling in as The Guest Writer of the Week

marlon byrd will bat fifth in the Cubs batting order this season

The 2010 Chicago Cubs, coming off an 83 win season after back to back NL Central Division titles in 2007 and 2008, will be banking on a new face to help them rise again to the top.

Marlon Byrd, a 32 year old veteran outfielder who signed a 3-year free agent contract after having his best year with the Texas Rangers in 2009. Byrd, who will be penciled in as the Cubs everyday center fielder, drove in 89 runs while hitting 20 homers for Texas, both career highs.

Chicago, looking to return to having a dominant offense similar to the 2008 divisional champions, hope Byrd will be a big part of the puzzle.

“I look at this as a great opportunity to help this club reach its goal of a World Series,” said Byrd. He continues, “the fans of this team are something special and I want to be able to bring them special memories”.

Byrd, who will be entering his ninth major league season, will man center field by Alfonso Soriano in left field and Kosuke Fukudome in right field.  Cubs manager Lou Piniella says that Marlon Byrd will hit fifth in the batting order.

The Chicago Cubs will open the 2010 major league season in Atlanta, Monday April 5th, in a 3 game series and will conclude their first regular season road trip in Cincinnati with a three game series from April 9 through April 11th.

Miami RedHawks surprise Buffalo on Senior Night, 73-62

Kenny Hayes scored 17 points (mu)

Adam Fletcher "heart and soul" of the team (mu)

Oxford, O.- The Miami RedHawks honored their senior class Thursday night at Millett Hall. Kenny Hayes, Adam Fletcher and walk-on Michael Aluise were honored before the game with their families by their side in a very emotional moment. At this time of the year across college basketball, teams are saying ” goodbye and thank you ” to their seniors for all of the greatest moments good and bad. After all, for four and five years, these players are a part of a community and a fans life.

Usually on senior night, every team wants to go out and post a win so those players can have pleasant memories for playing in the final home game of their college careers. But sometimes the opponent will not cooperate because they are better than the home team or they want to spoil the celebration and win the game for themselves.

Thursday night, Miami had a tough opponent to overcome. The Buffalo Bulls, a fellow member of the Mid-American Conference, East Division. The Bulls are athletic, physical, quick, explosive and deep on their bench. They throttled Miami up on Lake Erie, January 9, 73-55. The Bulls had beaten Miami three games in a row, eventhough the RedHawks led the overall series at 17-7. Also, the Bulls have an experienced and talented senior class of five, Sean Smiley, Rodney Pierce, John Boyer, Calvin Betts and Max Boudreau. That quintet of players have been responsible for the rebirth of Buffalo basketball by winning in order: 23, 19, and 21 games in 3 of the past 5 years.

Miami ended up winning the basketball game, 73-62, but early on, they had their hands full trying to slow down Buffalo who started off shooting 66.7% in the first 5:13 of the game.

Miami had trouble getting the ball inside and if it wasn’t for Julian Mavunga’s play early on, they might’ve been blown out. The RedHawks had trouble guarding Mitchell Watt who had 11 points and was one of the reasons why Miami had 7 team fouls to only 2 for Buffalo at the 4:09 mark of the first half. And Buffalo showed why they are one of the top rebounding teams in the MAC; pounding out an 18-9 advantage at that point of the game.

After a media timeout at the 3:12 mark, Miami came and took control of the game the rest of the first half. Led by Kenny Hayes, Julian Mavunga and backup point guard Kramer Soderberg turned the score from 23-22 Buffalo to a halftime score of 33-29, a run of 11-6 where they played solid defense and forced Buffalo into some quick shooting.

The halftime stats favored Buffalo across the board: Mitchell Watt with 11 points and Max Boudreau scoring 8 off the bench; outrebounding the RedHawks, 18-13.

In the second half, Miami showed why they’re 9-3 at home and 6-1 in MAC play at home this season. The RedHawks started to get good ball movement on offense and their bench started outshining Buffalo’s bench, which is one of the best in the MAC. Miami rolled up a 49-40 advantage at the 11:15 media timeout. Buffalo was still controlling the backboards at 24-14, but Miami was shooting 59% from the floor and pushed the lead 16, 58-42 and the 13th win of the season was secured as long as the RedHawks made their free throws and took care of the ball which they did. Buffalo did manage to cut the lead down to a three possession game but the RedHawks were just so resilient on this special night, that they weren’t going to be denied a hard-fought win.

A small, but raucous crowd of 1,486 at Millett Hall witnessed Miami outscore  Buffalo 34-26 in the paint, 23-12 off the bench, shoot 16 of 22 on free throws and shoot the ball well, 50% from the field and take a good selection of 3 point field goals, 5 of 10 for 50%.

Leading the way was senior point guard Kenny Hayes with 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting; Julian Mavunga 17 points on 6 of 10 shooting and Antonio Ballard 13 points and 9 rebounds. The RedHawks improve to 13-17, 9-7 in the MAC East.

The Bulls, despite not shooting well in the game, 36.1%, was kept in the game by grabbing 40 rebounds, 20 on the offensive and 20 defensive and 16 of 21 from the free throw line. Mitchell Watt led the way with 17 points, Rodney Pierce added 16, but he was 3 of 13 from the floor and Calvin Betts led the way on the boards, pulling down 12. The Bulls dropped to 17-11 and 9-7 in the MAC East.

Both teams will now turn their attention to the MAC tournament which will start on campus sites on Sunday March 7.

SOUNDS FROM THE POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE(to listen to audio file, click the number)

44 431 Kenny Hayes Miami Guard They had to win this game heading to MAC tourney….44 432 Kenny Hayes The difference in the two games with Buffalo splitting series….44 434 Julian Mavunga Miami Forward On his aggressiveness on offense tonight….44 435 Julian Mavunga On teammate Adam Fletcher playing hurt a quad contusion….44 410 Kenny Hayes It was Senior Night at Millett Hall an emotional event for him….44 411 Kenny Hayes It is unusual that he may never play another game at Millett Hall….44 412 Kenny Hayes Miami has made strides this season after a tough early schedule….44 415 Kenny Hayes Playing against Kentucky and UCLA in his career


* Buffalo’s Rodney Pierce has over 500 points this season. He is the seventh player in school history to do so. He is also a 1,000 point scorer, 16th in school history.

* Calvin Betts played in his 120th game last night, ranking him fourth in school history.

* The Bulls have 8 road wins this season, tying a school record. Kent State also has 8 wins on the road.

* Another winning season for the Bulls, 5th time in the 7 years that they’ve won 17 or more games. Before 2003-04, they won 17 games only nine times in the first 85 years of the program.

* Buffalo is getting good production off the bench, averaging 23,8 ppg. They’ve scored at least 21 points in 13 of their 15 Mid-American Conference games. The highest point total off the bench is 30 vs. Bowling Green.

* Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon has 143 career wins at the school which is 3rd all-time, with 119 of those coming in the last seven years.

* Miami leads the MAC in blocked shots at 4.33, 3.72 in all games.

* Miami leads the MAC in scoring defense, giving up 61 ppg.

* Miami ends up 10-3 at home in all games, 7-1 in MAC games.

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