PUC CLINCHES CCAC TITLE: No. 15 Purdue Calumet held off rival Calumet College on Wednesday, 87-80, to clinch its first Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season title in 10 years.
The Peregrines (21-6, 15-2 CCAC) entered the game as the NAIA Div. II’s top free-throw shooting team and were 22-of-22 from the line. Brooklyn Short poured in a team-high 24 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists. Tierra Turner added 22 points, while Cassidy Deno drained 5-of-7 from long range en route to a 21-point performance.
RAILCATS RE-SIGN THREE PLAYERS: The defending American Association champion RailCats have re-signed three players for the upcoming season. The list includes catchers Craig Maddox and Ryan Babineau and starting pitcher Morgan Coombs.
Maddox returns for his fourth season. In 68 games, he hit .261 with five home runs and 29 RBIs. He hit .429 in the postseason.
Babineau returns for his third season. In 61 games, he hit .251 with three home runs and 24 RBIs. He hit .331 in the postseason.
Coombs was 6-3 with a 4.95 ERA, including a 2-0 mark in the postseason with a 1.25 ERA in 14 1/3 innings.
MICHIGAN CITY’S RAY SIGNS WITH NWI OILMEN: Northern Illinois freshman Andrew Ray (Michigan City) has signed with the NWI Oilmen. Ray was an All-Duneland Athletic Conference selection in 2013.
LIGETY DOMINATES FOR GOLD IN GIANT SLALOM: Ted Ligety won the giant slalom at the Sochi Games with a dominating performance Wednesday, becoming the first American man to win two Olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing.
Leading after the first run, Ligety sped down the Rosa Khutor course in a two-leg combined time of 2 minutes, 45.29 seconds.
Steve Missillier of France finished second, 0.48 behind, and Alexis Pinturault, also of France, was third, 0.64 behind.
Ligety's first gold came in combined at the 2006 Turin Games as a 21-year-old — before he had ever won a World Cup race.
The only other American to win two Olympic golds in Alpine skiing was Andrea Mead Lawrence, who took both the slalom and giant slalom at the 1952 Oslo Games.
In men's hockey, defending Olympic champion Canada had a scare from upstart Latvia before a late goal sealed a 2-1 win. The U.S. advanced easily with a 5-2 win over the Czech Republic. The U.S. will meet Canada and Sweden will take on Finland in Friday's semifinals.
In bobsledding, the Canadian team of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse won their second straight Olympic women's bobsled gold. Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams of the U.S. took silver, and teammates Jamie Greubel and Chicagoan Aja Evans the bronze. Williams became the fifth Olympian to medal at both the Summer and Winter Games. She has gold and silver medals from three Olympic appearances as a sprinter.
In the women's figure skating short program, Yuna Kim of South Korea scored 74.92 points, ahead of Adelina Sotnikova of Russia by 0.28. American champion Gracie Gold was fourth. The competition concludes today.
NORTHWESTERN LOSES BATTLE WITH NO. 24 OHIO STATE: LaQuinton Ross scored 16 points before being ejected because of a scuffle, leading No. 24 Ohio State (21-6, 8-6 Big Ten) to a 76-60 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.
Northwestern's Nikola Cerina also was ejected from the game.
The victory was Ohio State's 33rd consecutive win over Northwestern in Columbus, dating to an 83-72 loss on Feb. 24, 1977, at old St. John Arena.
Drew Crawford scored 22 points for the Wildcats (12-15, 5-9), who have lost four in a row.
BALL STATE FALLS IN TRIPLE OT: Braylon Rayson scored a career-high 30 points, including the first 11 for Central Michigan (9-16, 2-12 Mid-American) in the third overtime as the Chippewas defeated Ball State 101-95. Ball State's Chris Bond (Bowman Academy) had the last baskets in the first two overtimes. Bond led four Cardinals with 21 points and had 12 rebounds.
ODUM LEADS INDIANA STATE PAST EVANSVILLE: Jake Odum scored 22 points as Indiana State held off Evansville for a 59-54 win.
Indiana State (21-6, 12-2 Missouri Valley) scored the game's first 10 points and held onto the lead until an Egidiju Mockevicius layup gave Evansville a 47-46 advantage with 9:29 left in the game.
After a Manny Arop layup — his only points of the game — with 2:27 remaining pushed the Sycamores' lead to 55-52, Mockevicius made a layup of his own.
Dawson Cummings hit a pair of free throw to make it 57-54 before Arop blocked a Mockevicius shot 47 seconds to play.
ISU then turned the ball over, but D.J. Balentine missed two 3s on the ensuing possession, with Arop corralling the second, before Odum sealed the win with two free throws.
Balentine led Evansville (11-17, 4-11) with 19 points. Mockevicius added 17 and 12 rebounds.
NUNN HELPS ILLINI SHOOT DOWN MINNESOTA: Freshman guard Kendrick Nunn hit five 3-pointers and led Illinois with 19 points as the last-place Illini beat Minnesota 62-49, putting a damper on the Gophers' hopes for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.
The Illini won for only the second time in their last 12 games thanks to some uncharacteristically good 3-point shooting and solid defense that helped them overcome a poor start. Nunn went 5-for-7 from 3-point range, and the Illini hit eight shots from behind the arc — their most so far in conference play.
Nnanna Egwu had 14 points and Tracy Abrams added 13 for Illinois (14-12, 3-10 Big Ten), which entered the game ranking next-to-last in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (.308).
Andre Hollins led Minnesota (17-9, 6-7) with 15 points, and Austin Hollins and Mo Walker each added 10. The Gophers have lost six of their last nine games.
BROWN LEADS MIAMI PAST IRISH: Rion Brown scored 21 points to lead Miami to a 71-64 victory over Notre Dame.
The Hurricanes (13-13, 4-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) built a 15-point lead early in the second half and withstood a late Irish rally in the final 5 minutes.
Notre Dame twice got to within a one-point deficit, the second on Demetrius Jackson's layup with 22 seconds remaining that cut Miami's lead to 65-64.
Brown's two free throws with 21 seconds left put Miami ahead, 67-64. Raphael Akpejiori added two throws with 11 seconds remaining after he was fouled rebounding Demetrius Jackson's missed shot.
Pat Connaughton scored 22 points for Notre Dame (14-13, 5-9).
BOOZER SCORES 20 AS BULLS BEAT RAPTORS: Carlos Boozer scored 20 points; D.J. Augustin had 19 against his former team, and the Bulls won their fourth straight game Wednesday night, beating the Toronto Raptors 94-92.
Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points; Jimmy Butler had 16, and Taj Gibson fouled out with 10 as the Bulls won for the fifth time in six games and halted Toronto's winning streak at three.
LOVE, WOLVES DOWN PACERS: Kevin Love had 42 points and 16 rebounds; Ricky Rubio added a career-high 17 assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat Paul George and the Pacers 104-91. George led Indiana with 35 points.
ECONOMIST SAYS COLLEGE FOOTBALL LIKE NFL BUT FOR PAY: Major colleges run their football teams just like those in the NFL, relying on players to generate millions of dollars in revenue, an economist testified Wednesday before a federal agency that will decide whether Northwestern's football players can form the nation's first union for college athletes.
"The difference would be ... the NFL pays their players," Southern Utah University sports economist David Berri told the National Labor Relations Board on the second day of a three-day hearing in Chicago.
The NLRB is deciding whether Wildcats' football players can be categorized under U.S. law as employees, which would give them the right to unionize. The university, the Big Ten Conference and NCAA have all maintained that college players are student-athletes, not employees.
Around the horn
Defensive back Cody Riggs, who started all 12 games for Florida last season, is transferring to Notre Dame for his final year of eligibility. Riggs can play immediately because he is scheduled to graduate from Florida this spring. ... Miami Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner and longtime head athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill have been fired for their roles in the team's bullying scandal. The firings Wednesday were the first punitive steps taken by the Dolphins since a report on the NFL's investigation into the scandal was released last week.