Saturday, April 01, 2017

Wyoming: 2017 College Basketball Invitational Champions



LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Hayden Dalton scored 19 points with 11 rebounds and Justin James added 17 points to carry Wyoming to an 83-59 win over Coastal Carolina to claim the CBI championship on Friday.

Dalton sank 5 of 9 from long range in notching his 12th double-double of the season. Wyoming (23-15) won the last two games -- at home -- by 24 points each in the best-of-three College Basketball Invitational finals series after dropping the opener by 10 on the road.

It was Wyoming's first major postseason title since winning the 1943 NCAA championship.

Coastal Carolina (20-19) was led by Demario Beck with 17 points, while Jaylen Shaw had 10.

Dalton, who was scoring 12.1 per game, had only 27 combined in the previous four games in the CBI but tallied his highest total since garnering 21 against Fresno State on Feb. 8.

"I took the same shots last game and they were falling this game," he said. "My teammates had confidence in me. They just said, `Keep shooting."

Wyoming was outshot and outrebounded in the first game, a 91-81 loss, but turned the tables in both categories at home and also reduced its turnovers to seven after 15 giveaways in each of the first two contests.

"Taking care of the ball, rebounding and guarding. That's what we did for these last two games," James said.

Bringing a national championship to Laramie for the first time in 74 years is special, he said.

"Feels amazing," James said. "Not a lot of people get to end their season off with a win. For us to do that is amazing." And with all but two seniors returning next year? "We'll be ready to play, just know that."

One senior, Jason McManamen, finished with two more 3s to put his school record at 210. His 1,034 career points is fourth-most for a Wyoming product.

Wyoming coach Allen Edwards said the difference in elevation was a factor: Laramie is 7,220 feet above sea level. Coastal Carolina's home in Conway, S.C. is 33 feet. With that in mind, he pushed the tempo.

"We wanted to fatigue them a little bit," he said. "And throughout the game you saw Coach (Cliff) Ellis take a few timeouts just to give his guys some rest."

Ellis was without injured starter Colton Ray-St Cyr for the second straight game. Shivaughn Wiggins, the point guard all season, played for the first time in three weeks but was ineffective. Beck and Shaw had nagging injuries as well.

"We didn't shoot the ball well. We weren't patient enough," Ellis said. "(Wyoming) played extremely well. This is a tough out, here. We had some injuries. We're not going to use that as an excuse. Their 3-point shooting is just immaculate. "

Wyoming shot 35 percent from the arc (13 of 37) while Coastal Carolina sank only 19 percent (4 of 21).


The Chanticleers, who never led, closed within 44-34 after a 3-pointer by Joseph Williams-Powell from the top of the key with 15:37 to play. But James' layup and a trey by Dalton ignited an 18-7 roll that left the Cowboys ahead 62-41.

The Chanticleers never got closer than 18 after that, and the lead eventually reached 81-51 late.

Wyoming closed the first half on a 22-4 surge as Dalton hit a trio of 3s, snared five rebounds and dished out an assist during the run, which left the Cowboys up 42-23.

A flagrant 1 foul by Williams-Powell on Wyoming's Louis Adams seemed to spark the Cowboys. It came moments after Williams-Powell's jumper drew the Chanticleers within 20-19.

Coastal Carolina will lose four seniors.

TCU: 2017 National Invitation Tournament Champions



NEW YORK -- Brandon Parrish sat at the podium, wearing a commemorative t-shirt and a net draped around his neck. To his right was coach Jamie Dixon. On his left was Kenrich Williams.

Parrish made sure to savor the moment.

"We have something that's forever," he said. "Nobody can ever take this away from us."

Williams had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and TCU routed Georgia Tech 88-56 in the NIT championship on Thursday night. The junior guard, who missed last season because of a knee injury, went 8 for 14 from the field and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

"We knew he was a good player," Dixon said. "We've found better ways to use him in even better situations where we're even more comfortable and to be honest, he was out of about a year and a half. He's just now getting his legs under him and getting game-like conditions. You're seeing the numbers that he's putting up. His play down the stretch has been unbelievable."

TCU opened with a 20-3 run on its way to the program's first NIT title. Vlad Brodziansky scored 18 points for the Horned Frogs (24-15), and Alex Robinson had 10 points and 11 assists.

Tadric Jackson led Georgia Tech (21-16) with 19 points. Josh Okogie had 12 points and six rebounds.

"We played to the last buzzer," Georgia Tech senior Quinton Stephens said. "We stuck together. We stayed with the way we need to play.

"It was bigger than us. We knew bigger things were coming and this is only the beginning."

It was the first meeting between the programs since Dec. 21, 1967, and No. 3 overall. And it mostly belonged to TCU, which never trailed.

The Horned Frogs led 38-27 at halftime, and it was more of the same in the second half. Williams and Brodziansky threw down thunderous dunks, and Williams knocked down a 3 to help push the advantage to 54-39.

"They punched us first," Stephens said. "We put ourselves in a little bit of a hole."

TCU shot 51 percent (35 for 68) from the field and held Georgia Tech to 35.7 percent (20 for 56) shooting. The Yellow Jackets also committed 17 turnovers, leading to 28 points for TCU, and the Horned Frogs also had 21 second-chance points.

"In a high-level game you can't do that," said Josh Pastner, who took over as Georgia Tech's coach last April. "We had too many turnovers and they gave up too many second chances."

The lead grew to 69-49 on Williams' breakaway jam with 6:44 left. Desmond Bane tacked on a 3 from in front of the TCU bench, helping kick off the celebration for the Horned Frogs.

Dixon emptied his bench in the final minutes, and reserve Josh Parrish had a breakaway windmill jam in the final seconds.

"I've always known my brother was so bouncy," Brandon Parrish said with a laugh. "To be able to see him come off the bench after 39 minutes and be able to jump up there and do a windmill, it was just phenomenal for us to be able to share this moment."

WORTH NOTING

The 32-point win matches the largest margin of victory in NIT championship game history. Bradley set the record in 1964 with an 86-54 rout of New Mexico.

BIG PICTURE


Georgia Tech: Despite the loss, it was a successful season for the Yellow Jackets. A program Pastner referred to as a "major rebuild job" as recently as Tuesday won 21 games and competed in a national postseason tournament. "I promise you," Pastner said after the game. "To be playing in this final game, it's miraculous."

TCU: Dixon improved to 28-15 all-time at Madison Square Garden.

SLOW START

The Yellow Jackets did not have a field goal until Ben Lammers' jumper 5:03 into the game. Prior to Lammers' basket, Georgia Tech was 0 for 6 from the field and had committed four turnovers.

"We dug ourselves a hole and we totally were trying to climb out of it the entire evening," Pastner said. "It just made it hard on us and we just could never really get over that hump or get it close enough."

ISML 2017: Winter Seasonal Nominational List

Toyama Kasumi @ Bang Dream!
Yukimi Koume @ Urara Meirochou
Tenma Gabriel White @ Gabriel Dropout
Adagaki Aki @ Masamune-kun no Revenge
Tsukinose Vignette April @ Gabriel Dropout
Chisaki Taplis Sugarbell @ Gabriel Dropout
Yamabuki Saaya @ Bang Dream
Tatsumi Kon @ Urara Meirochou

Adelaide Crows: 2017 AFL Women's Premiers



ADELAIDE has defied the odds to create history as the first NAB AFLW premier.

The Crows fought off a late challenge to upset previously unbeaten favourites the Brisbane Lions by six points in a tense Grand Final at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.

Adelaide won 4.11 (35) to 4.5 (29).



Brilliantly led by co-captains Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall, the visitors controlled the contest for three quarters before the Lions crept within five points in a desperate last-quarter fling at victory.

After being outplayed for most of the contest, the Lions threw everything into the final term and a mark and goal from Tayla Harris cut the margin to inside a goal. But the Crows stood firm, limiting the home team's scoring chances with an extra player behind the ball for most of the game.

Phillips was inspirational and ran herself to exhaustion, finishing with an impressive 28 possessions and two vital third-quarter goals that set up the scoreboard buffer.

And Randall did a crucial stopper job at full-back on the dangerous Harris, keeping the high-leaping Lion kickless in the first half.

Harris even moved to the wing at the start of the second half to try to get into the contests and she had a spell on the interchange bench early in the third quarter.

It was a stunning triumph for Crows coach Bec Goddard, who has all the players at her disposal only on game-day, with a large group of the list based in Darwin during the week.

Adelaide grabbed the early lead with two freakish goals in the opening term, unlikely snapshots from tight angles that were gold in a low-scoring contest.

It was virtually the first play of the game when Crow Kellie Gibson ran onto a loose ball and snapped around the body on the run from 35m for the perfect start.

And Deni Varnhagen added another from the opposite pocket, this time a left-foot snapshot from near the boundary line for only her second goal of the season.

Considering the Crows' inside 50 domination, they should have taken a far greater advantage than six points into the main break.

Their system was superior in the first half, based on the midfield grunt of Phillips and the ability to get numbers back when the Lions started a surge out of the backline.


But Adelaide squandered the second-term control, managing only 0.6 from so many chances inside their forward half. The lopsided inside 50 count, with the Crows' leading 26-11 in the first half, emphasised their impressive work-rate but poor return.

It was a goal against the run of play from Jessica Wuetschner in the second quarter that kept Brisbane in touch in a defence-dominated contest.

The Lions finally found their share of the contested ball in the last quarter and threatened to send the match into overtime. But the determined Crows were not going to let their earlier hard work go to waste and held on until the final siren.



Blink and you missed it
The Crows couldn't have scripted a more perfect start to their Grand Final campaign. From the opening bounce, Courtney Cramey fired a long clearing kick from the congestion inside the 50m arc. Kellie Gibson outsprinted her opponent to grab the loose ball and threw it onto the right boot from 35m on a tight angle for a superb team-lifting goal.

Got the job done
Defenders often get overlooked for their diligent shutdown work and Crow Chelsea Randall and Lions counterpart Leah Kaslar certainly earned high praise. Randall didn't give Lions high-flyer Tayla Harris a sniff of the ball for three quarters, condemning her to a spell on the interchange bench in the third term. And Kaslar was equally gallant, keeping Crows cult forward Sarah Perkins goalless.


Marquee magic
Lions ruckman Sabrina Frederick-Traub did everything in her power to get her team over the line. The West Australian marquee pick underlined her skills with a brilliant mark against the flight of the ball in the second quarter. She spun around and broke free, took two bounces and was crunched after firing a long kick forward. Teammate Jessica Wuetschner benefited from the relayed free kick to boot her second goal to keep the Lions in touch.

History repeats
The romance of Adelaide's women's team winning a premiership on the 20-year anniversary of the same feat by the male counterparts wasn't lost on defender Tailia Radan. Radan remembers, as an eight-year-old, having her Crows jumper signed by forward Matthew Robran after training at Football Park during the 1997 AFL Grand Final week. To fly to the Gold Coast to seek the first premiership flag was no chore for nine of the 27-woman squad based in Darwin who travelled every week of the inaugural NAB AFLW season. The Darwin girls are estimated to have flown more than 45,000km during the seven-week home-and-away season, including two induction camps.


BRISBANE LIONS     1.0     2.1     3.3     4.5 (29)
ADELAIDE     2.1     2.7     4.9     4.11 (35)

GOALS

Brisbane Lions: Wuetschner 2, Frederick-Traub, Harris
Adelaide: Phillips 2, Gibson, Varnhagen

BEST
Brisbane Lions: Bates, Frederick-Traub, Virgo, Kaslar, Hunt, Ashmore
Adelaide: Phillips, Randall, Marinoff, Cramey, Gibson, Bevan

INJURIES
Brisbane Lions: Koenen (ankle)
Adelaide: Anderson (shoulder)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Rodger, Bryce and Cheeve

Official crowd: 15,610 at Metricon Stadium