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“Third time is a charm” as Dublin Coffman stops Upper Arlington streak at 20

It was a challenge to pick the better cliche’ to summarize the game-”Third time is a charm” or “You live by the 3, You die by the 3″-but the bottom line was that the Dublin Coffman boys out-fought Upper Arlington, 50-48 in the Division I district semifinal, advancing in the tournament and handing the Golden Bears their first loss after 20 straight wins.

Upper Arlington had won the 2 regular season games against the Shamrocks by nearly identical scores of 64-58 and 65-62, each time building a big lead and surviving Coffman rallies. This time, it was almost the reverse, as the Bears rallied from down 40-33 in the 3rd quarter to force a 46-46 tie with 1:35 to go. Michael Green then scored the last 4 points for the Rocks, who watched a potential game-tying shot by the Bears Carter Smith, with a foot on the 3-point arc line, clang off the rim in the closing seconds. Green had converted an old fashioned 3 point play with 1:09 to go, and after a basket by the Bears’ Jeff Vaughn, hit the first of 2 free throws for the last of his 14 points. The Bears looked to be on the ropes with 2:30 left and trailing 46-40, but Oliver McGlade and Brian Sullivan-who had been a combined 1 for 12 on 3-pointers to that point-each hit a shot from behind the arc for the 3rd and last tie of the game

(DCHS)

Christian Heine led the Rocks (19-3) with 16, and Kyle Molock, who sat down with 2 quick fouls in the first half, added 11. The Rocks held McGlade to 8 and Sullivan to 10; 11 points under their combined averages. Sullivan sat down in the 3rd quarter after picking up his 4th foul; the Ohio Capital Conference player of the year had posted 35 and 25 in the two regular season games against Coffman. The Bears shot only 34% from the floor (compared to 53% in their first 20 games; and only 4 of 20 3-pointers (42% coming into the game)-and couldn’t overcome their second straight sub-par tournament performance, having squeaked by Pickerington Central, 34-33. The Bears bench had one of their better performances of the year, outscoring the Rocks bench 12-0, with Chris Watson accounting for 10 of the 12 points. He earned a second half start, and recorded two, 3-point plays in the 3rd period.

Each team hit 10 of 30 shots in the first half, which saw 5 lead changes and Coffman finished with a 27-25 lead.

The Rocks’ 36% shooting wasn’t much better, but they offset a 38-27 rebounding disadvantage by winning the turnover battle, 15-8.

Wright State Raiders use 3-point shooting to beat Detroit; advance to Speedway Horizon League Title game

Todd Brown scored 10 for the Raiders (wsu file photo)

Indianapolis, IN.-  When conference tournament time comes around, most coaches want their team to have a bye. That’s the reason why winning in the regular season is so important as far as seeding goes. It became quite clear early in the season that the nationally ranked Butler Bulldogs were going to be the number 1 seed in the Horizon League tournament. All of the other teams were having a dogfight for second place.

The Wright State Raiders are without a doubt, the league’s next best team after Butler. But they had to prove it and they did. During the month of February, the Raiders won 5 of their last 8 games to wrap up the #2 seed which means a first round bye.

Ronnie Thomas' hot shooting lifted the Raiders (wsu)

Byes can be a blessing. It allows a team to rest injuries, give the players softer practices and to go over areas they need to improve upon. A bye can also be a curse. Because a team might have too much rest and then the team comes out flat and they can get blown out of their first tournament game.

Well, for the Wright State Raiders, it was a blessing. The extra time allowed players like Ronnie Thomas to work on his 3-point shooting. He had been 1 for his last 8. The Raiders beat Detroit for the third time this season, 69-50

Saturday afternoon in the Horizon League semifinal game against the Detroit Titans, it became the Troy Tabler and Ronnie Thomas show as they were draining three after three after three.

Detroit started out going up 7-3 early by getting the ball inside which is their forte’. However, the Raiders are a finesse team and they’ll spread the court in their motion offense and shoot 3′s. The strategy was to have Ronnie Thomas pull Eli Holman, the Titans 6’10, 255-pound center who is shot-blocking, rebounding, physical machine, away from the basket. The Raiders behind Thomas and Tabler scored 15 points all 3-point baskets as the Wright State led, 15-9 at the first media timeout, with 14:09 to go in the first half.

From there, the Raiders would never give up the lead the rest of the game. They were able to get good looks and Detroit was so rattled by Ronnie Thomas’ scoring binge that they went five minutes without a point and saw WSU go up 23-13 at the 7:30 mark as Detroit head coach Ray McCallum had to call a timeout.

The scoring onslaught continued with Thomas and Tabler continuing to shoot 3′s but then the best players on the team, Todd Brown and Vaughn Duggins started to get in on the act and they helped push the lead out to 39-18 at the half.

The stat sheet at halftime had some gaudy numbers for Wright State: 16-2 on points off turnovers, 12-6 in bench points, 15 for 27 from the floor for 55.6%, 9 of 14 from 3-point land for 64.3%, Ronnie Thomas led the way with 14 points followed by Troy Tabler adding 12.

Detroit could’nt get untracked at all. At the half, the Titans were led in scoring by Thomas Kennedy with 9 points, they committed 13 turnovers, shot 38.1 % from the floor, only 1 of 6 from 3-point land and looked more like the team that went 7-23 in Ray McCallum’s first season, than the team that won 20 games this year.

In the 2nd half, Detroit played better but couldn’t cut the deficit any closer than 14 points, 41-27. The hot-shooting Raiders just kept stretching the lead out: 51-29 (21 points), 54-29 (25 points).

The Raiders with the win became the fifth Horizon League team to notch their 2oth victory. They join Butler, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Detroit. Also, the 20 wins mean that it’s four years in a row that head coach Brad Brownell has led the Raiders to 20 or more victories.

The 20-11 Raiders had a nice distribution of scoring: Ronnie Thomas led the way with 18, Troy Tabler scored 16, Vaughn Duggins had 12 and Todd Brown scored 10. They outrebounded Detroit, 30-27, shot 12 of 23 from 3-point land for 52.2% and only committed 9 turnovers.

Center Eli Holman got untracked in the 2nd half to led his team with 12 points but just wasn’t enough as Detroit fell to 20-14.

The Raiders advance to Tuesday’s championship game against host Butler, the number 1 seed at Hinkle Fieldhouse at 9:00 p.m.

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

44 438 Brad Brownell On how well Troy Tabler gets open very well to get his shot….44 446 Brad Brownell With Detroit’s size inside did the 3-point shot become the alternative….44 448 Ronnie Thomas He’s from Indiana did he ever play in Hinkle in high school….44 450 Brad Brownell On Wright State having another 20 win season his fourth in a row….44 451 Brad Brownell In a title game in a mid-major league NCAA is next….44 452 Brad Brownell No doubt his Raiders came to play from the opening tip….44 455 Ray McCallum Detroit Coach Was it an advantage for WSU having a bye….44 456 Ray McCallum Did WSU Center Ronnie Thomas surprise him with his 18 points….44 458 Ray McCallum Will 20 wins get them into a postseason tournament….44 459 Ray McCallum In his 2nd year as coach is UDM ahead of schedule win wise

Game Notes

* During the recently completed regular season, Wright State had three, 4 game winning streaks.

*WSU head coach Brad Brownell has average 12.5 wins in the Horizon League in his four years at Wright State.

* Furthermore on Wright State’s 20-wins for a fourth straight year under coach Brad Brownell. Priot to his arrival in 2006, WSU only had two 20-win seasons since moving to Division  I in 187-88, and none since 1992-93.

* The Raiders won its only Horizon League championship in 2007, defeating Butler 60-55 in the Ervin J. Nutter Center. The Raiders and Bulldogs shared the regular- season title that year. WSU also reached the final in 1995, losing 73-59 to Green Bay–also on the Raiders home floor.

* The Raiders are 20-19 against Detroit all-time but is 3-4 in conference tournament games. Wright State has won 10 in a row and 11 of the last 12 games.

* The star players on the Wright State team, Vaughn Duggins and Todd Brown are 1,000-point scorers.

* With this 20-win season, the Raiders now have 15 in 40 years of basketball.

* The Titans have their first winning season in six years (18-13) in 2003-04. And have 20-wins for the first time since going 25-12 in 200-01.

* Detroit has won two Horizon League titles (1994, 1999), which is tied for third among current conference members.

* Coming into Saturday’s contest, the Titans had won 5 in a row against conference opponents, all on the road.

* Head coach Ray McCallum seems to have the recipe for improving teams in his second season. In his other two head coaching  jobs at Ball State and Houston, his second-year teams increased their win totals and advanced to post-season play. At Ball State, he took his alma mater from a 16-12 mark to a 19-11 finish, advancing to the NCAA Tournament. While at Houston, he led Cougars to a nine-win increase (9-20 to 18-15) and a trip to the NIT.

* Woody Payne and Eulis Stephens have played in over 100 games in a Detroit uniform. Payne, 115 and Stephens with 111.

Ohio State men’s hockey go up 1-0 on Notre Dame in CCHA Playoffs

Courtesy of Ohio State

Goalie Dustin Carlson (osu)

Forward Mathieu Picard (osu)

Two goals from senior Mathieu Picard, two assists from Patrick Schafer and a goal from Zac Dalpe, along with 34 saves from goalie Dustin Carlson, the Ohio State men’s hockey team (13-16-6) took a 3-1 victory over Notre Dame in the first of a best-of three CCHA playoff series Friday in the historic OSU Ice Rink.

The teams will meet in game two at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. The game is sold out.

The Buckeyes were outshot in the game, 35-28. Dustin Carlson stopped 11 shots from six Notre Dame power plays in 60 minutes of action.

POST GAME NOTES

* Mathieu Picard had the second two-goal game of his career and his first since January 5, 2008 against Alaska. It was the 10th two-goal game for a Buckeye this year.

* Zac Dalpe has a team-best 20 goals and 38 points this season and is a team-high plus 13.

* Peter Boyd now has 24 assists and 30 points to rank first on the team in assists and second in points.

Charlie Coles and Miami earn 4th seed in upcoming MAC Tourney

Courtesy of Miami University

Charlie Coles all-time leader in MAC coaching wins (DDN)

With Kent State’s win at Akron on Friday evening in the final regular season Mid-American Conference game, Miami University’s men’s basketball team earned the number 4 seed in the 2010 FirstEnergy MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament. They’ll face the winner of the game between the 5th seeded Buffalo Bulls and 12th seed Toledo at 9 p.m. on Thursday March 11 in the quarterfinals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Miami and Buffalo finished MAC play tied at 9-7, splitting the regular season home-and-home series. Both teams also split regular-season series with number 1 seed Kent State, taking the tiebreaker to number 2 seed Central Michigan. Miami defeated the Chippewas in the lone meeting between the two teams, and the Bulls lost to CMU during the regular season.

Miami earns a first-round bye in the MAC Tournament for the seventh time in the last eight years, having earned five-straight first-round byes from 2003-2007. Miami is the number 4 seed for just the fourth time in its 29 MAC Tournament appearances and is the number 4 seed for the second straight season. Miami was the number 4 seed in 2007 and won the MAC Tournament during a thrilling run.

In 20 seasons as a head coach in the Mid-American Conference, Charlie Coles’ coached squads have never missed a conference tournament and have at least advanced to the quarterfinals since the league expanded to the all-inclusive format in 1999-2000.

The RedHawks are (13-17) are fresh from a 73-62 win over Buffalo on Thursday evening in the final game at Millett Hall for seniors Kenny Hayes, Adam Fletcher and Michael Aluise.

Miami Dolphins shores up defense; signs Karlos Dansby

The Miami Dolphins knew that they had to upgrade their defense after three straight losses ended their season at 7-9. They brought in Mike Nolan from Denver to be defensive coordinator. Then they looked at the middle of their 3-4 defense and felt they needed a leader.

Karlos Dansby will anchor Miami's defense (SI)

The problem has been solved. Entering stage left is former Arizona Cardinals star, Karlos Dansby. They signed him to  five-year, $43 million contract with $22 million guarenteed. Dansby has had the franchise tag the past two years  and a third time would’ve been financially prohibitive for Arizona.

Dansby is a big-time hitter on defense who cover receivers quite well for a 3-4 inside defender. Arizona lined him up in the center of the field. at nickel back and even at safety.

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