Sports Digest: VU trio named to Horizon League preseason baseball team

2014-02-12T22:00:00Z 2014-02-15T21:09:09Z Sports Digest: VU trio named to Horizon League preseason baseball team nwitimes.com
February 12, 2014 10:00 pm

Men's basketball

PENN STATE RALLIES TO BEAT IU: Tim Frazier scored on a driving layup with 6.1 seconds to go Wednesday night, capping a remarkable rally to give Penn State a 66-65 victory at Indiana.

Frazier finished with 14 points as the Nittany Lions (13-12, 4-8 Big Ten) defeated Indiana for the first time since March 2011.

Indiana led 64-53 with 3:19 to go, but on a night Indiana (14-10, 4-7) committed 20 turnovers and struggled to inbound the ball late, Penn State closed the game on a 13-1 run.

EASTERN MICHIGAN EARNS WIN OVER BALL STATE: Ray Lee led Eastern Michigan with 24 points as the Eagles (14-10, 6-5 Mid-American) cruised to a 73-62 victory over Ball State on Wednesday night.

Jesse Berry made five 3-pointers and led the Cardinals (4-18, 1-10) with 17 points. Zavier Turner added 15, and Chris Bond (Bowman Academy) chipped in 12. Ball State is on a six-game losing streak after getting its lone conference win, a 71-68 victory over Buffalo, on Jan. 23.

SHIELDS SCORES 33 IN NEBRASKA'S WIN OVER ILLINOIS: Shavon Shields scored a career-high 33 points, making all 15 of his free throws for Nebraska's best performance at the line in 32 years, and the Cornhuskers defeated Illinois 67-58 on Wednesday night.

The Huskers (13-10, 5-6 Big Ten) pulled away with the help of a defense that held Illinois to two field goals over the last 6:57.

Terran Petteway added 16 points as the Huskers raised their record to 11-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Shields bettered his previous high of 29 points against Penn State last season. He made 8 of 12 shots from the field, and his 15-for-15 night at the line was the best for Nebraska since Jack Moore made all 15 of his against Oklahoma State in 1982. The Huskers were 24 of 27 from the line, 14 of 17 in the second half.

Rayvonte Rice scored 23 points to lead the Illini (14-11, 3-9).

MICHIGAN, MSU JOUST FOR LEAD IN BALANCED BIG TEN: Now the ball's in your court, Sparty.

No. 15 Michigan did its part by upending No. 22 Ohio State 70-60 on Tuesday night, giving the Wolverines a half-game edge in the Big Ten race. Now ninth-ranked Michigan State gets a chance to pull even again when it hosts Northwestern tonight.

Outsiders might look at the conference and say this isn't a vintage year. After all, there is no single, dominant team hailed as a national contender.

But the Big Ten's depth might be as good as ever. Everybody's taking their lumps in a season in which even the bottom teams have pulled off upsets, road wins have come more frequently than ever and it seems there's another major surprise every night of the week.

College baseball

VU TRIO NAMED TO PRESEASON TEAM: Valparaiso seniors Chris Manning (outfielder), Bryce Hara (utility) and Karch Kowalczyk (pitcher) have been named to the 12-player Horizon League preseason team.

VU was chosen to finish fourth of six teams in a poll of the head coaches, with defending champion Milwaukee chosen to win the title. The Panthers received 33 rating points and three first-place votes, followed by Wright State (28-1), Illinois-Chicago (27-2), Valpo (19), league newcomer Oakland (11) and Youngstown State (8).

Pro basketball

ELLIS, NOWITZKI HELP MAVS TOP PACERS: Monta Ellis had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points as the Dallas Mavericks handed the Pacers their third home loss of the season, 81-73 on Wednesday night.

George Hill had 14 points, and Lance Stephenson and Danny Granger both scored 13 points for the Pacers (40-12), who have lost two of three.

Pro football

BEARS MAKE COACHING MOVES: The Bears promoted Pat Meyer to offensive line coach Wednesday and added martial arts expert Joe Kim to their coaching staff.

Meyer served as assistant line coach last season, with Aaron Kromer serving as offensive line coach and offensive coordinator. Kromer will still be heavily involved with the line. But Meyer gets a loftier title.

Kim, a Taekwondo expert, was hired as assistant strength/skill development coach. He has 21 years of experience as a consultant and assistant strength coach. He most recently worked in the NFL as a pass rush consultant with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2010-12 and figures to help the Bears in that area after they tied Jacksonville with a league-low 31 sacks.

Winter Olympics

FARRINGTON EDGES BRIGHT FOR WOMEN'S HALFPIPE GOLD: American Kaitlyn Farrington won gold in the women's Olympic snowboarding halfpipe final on Wednesday, edging defending champion Torah Bright of Australia and American teammate Kelly Clark.

Farrington posted a score of 91.75 during her second run, just good enough to beat Bright's 91.50. Clark, who smacked the wall during her first run of the finals, recovered to earn bronze and win her third Olympic medal.

Farrington, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, had spent most of the run-up to the games playing second-fiddle to Clark, the 2002 Olympic champion.

Around the horn

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he will retire after this season, ending one of the greatest careers in the history of baseball's most storied franchise.

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