Google+ Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Ministers from north and south of the border are meeting this morning to discuss Brexit.Enda Kenny and a number of ministers will also discuss the future of the Irish border with their northern counterparts.Despite her refusing to attend the Taoiseach’s all-island Brexit forum – the north’s First Minister Arlene Foster has agreed more meetings of the north-south council may be needed. Twitter Google+ By admin – November 18, 2016 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Facebook WhatsApp Pinterest Pinterest WhatsApp 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Previous articleRandox developing & strengthing links during US Trade MissionNext articleBrexit reignites row over ownership of Lough Foyle admin Twitter Homepage BannerNews Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Ministers from north & south meeting to discuss Brexit Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire
With two years remaining on his present contract, there is a commercial reason to sanction Rooney’s sale if it is felt he would not extend his time with the Red Devils, with his price tag set to plummet if his current deal ran down by another 12 months. Lawrenson feels certain Ferguson would have jettisoned Rooney this summer had be been remaining at Old Trafford. Soon-to-be Manchester United manager David Moyes may have an alternative view, although the feeling persists that the change in attitude must come from the player. Ferguson feels Rooney’s discontent stems from being left out of the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, and the generally minor role he has played in United’s run-in. He has completed just one full game – against Stoke – out of United’s last nine and has not scored since netting his 16th of the season against Reading on March 16. Although he has started more matches overall than both Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, following Robin van Persie’s arrival last summer, it is clear he is no longer as central a figure as he was when he publicly asked for a transfer in 2010 and questioned the club’s ambition. Whether Moyes sees the situation in quite the same way is open to interpretation. However, as Rooney’s performance levels have dipped, Ferguson has had no hesitation in reducing his role. “He is not happy at being taken off but Wayne in top form would not be taken off,” said Ferguson. Rooney is no longer a favourite of the Red Devils support and was booed by some as he went to collect his fifth title winners’ medal. Now, with United’s hierarchy deciding whether they are to mark Moyes’ arrival with a marquee signing such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale, Rooney’s influence could be diminished even further. “He is a talisman-type figure but it will be interesting to see who they buy and whether Rooney continues to be key for them,” Cardiff manager Malky Mackay also told Match of the Day 2. “But if I was him I would think long and hard about leaving before I left.” Sir Alex Ferguson surprisingly confirmed following Sunday’s 2-1 win over Swansea that Rooney had asked for a transfer. He explained it was the reason why the 27-year-old had been left out entirely from his squad for the Old Trafford encounter, declaring Rooney needed to get his head right and that he would not be sold. Mark Lawrenson told the BBC’s Match of the Day 2: “You would be reluctant to sell a player of his ability but Rooney should speak to (Paul) Scholes and (Ryan) Giggs and think about what he wants to do. Why would you want to leave a football club like that?” Wayne Rooney will be on Manchester United’s open top bus parade on Monday evening with messages of caution about his future plans getting ever louder. Press Association
Ferndale >> St. Bernard’s quarterback TJ Campbell would have been hard pressed to top last week’s 403-yard, seven-touchdown performance against Hoopa Valley — a passing performance most QBs only dream of.But on Saturday, he did just that.Campbell passed for 434 yards and eight touchdowns in a 62-23 Little 3-opening win over the Ferndale Wildcats at Ferndale High School. The 6-foot-1 senior’s eight touchdown passes tie a school record set on Sept. 13, 2014 by current College of the Redwoods …
Eureka >> A mere three games into the College of the Redwoods women’s basketball season, and their top-scorer knows exactly where she’ll be playing next year.Corsairs guard Sophie Northern signed a National Letter of Intent Tuesday afternoon to continue her hoops career at Sonoma State University next season.“It was actually a pretty quick decision,” Northern said at a signing ceremony on Tuesday at College of the Redwoods. “I just felt at home. I just felt it was the right place. … It really …
On a dark stretch in Anupshahr, a quiet town on the banks of Ganges in western Uttar Pradesh, Manish Kumar, the 25-year-old lead vocalist of Anil Band, is making a group of young wedding revellers dance to Pallu Latke. The all-male procession swaying to the Kishore Kumar-Asha Bhosle song from Nauker (1979) had no clue it was picturised on Sanjeev Kumar-Jaya Bhaduri, but they all agree it is meant for the “occasion”.New-age Bollywood is yet to make it to wedding procession playlists in this part of the world. They are still swooning to Baharon Phool Barsao (Suraj, 1966) and Saara Zamana Haseenon Ka Deewana (Yaarana, 1981) and, of course, Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai (Aadmi Sadak Ka, 1977). For them, “new” are songs from the neighbouring Haryana, picturised on dancer Sapna Chaudhary. The hot favourite is Teri Ankhiyon Ka Yo Kajal, a number sung by a little-known Ragini-singer D.C. Madana in 2013 which soared when Chaudhary danced to it in 2017.Manish says he loves to sing sadabahar (timeless) songs, a quality he feels new Bollywood numbers lack. The cut-off decade for him is the 1990s, particularly Nadeem-Shravan songs. “It is safe to sing old gems rather than investing in learning a new tune and then being stopped midway by a baarati because he could not relate to it,” says Anil Kumar, the proprietor of the band.Tough times for bandsAnil says these are tough times for small bands spread across the region. “More than 20 weddings are solemnised on any given day during the short wedding season but we could not take more than one booking. Pandits should spread it through the season,” he laughs. DJs are also cutting into their business, he says, though the Allahabad High Court order barring them from playing songs above prescribed decibel and time limits is music to his ears.Waseem Ahmed of Popular Band in Muzaffarnagar tells a similar story. “Earlier we used to bring trained artists from Allahabad and Jaipur. It is hard to find and retain good percussionists nowadays,” he rues.Critic Ajay Brahmatmaj says songs also endure because of their association with stars. “These days such association is not there because songs mostly play in the background,” he says.“Bollywood lately has also been banking on remixes of the hits of the 1990s. It is the simple melodic structure of these songs that keep them in circulation. Complex orchestration can’t work in a wedding procession,” points out Raj Shekhar of Sadi Gali (Tanu Weds Manu, 2011) fame.Meanwhile, Manish ushers the procession into the banquet hall with Jaanewalon Zara Hoshiyar, Yahan Ke Hum Hain Raj Kumar from the 1964 Shammi Kapoor-starrer Rajkumar.
Wriddhiman Saha was forced out with a shoulder injury, but according to former captain Sourav Ganguly, he has been India’s best wicketkeeper in the last five to ten years.The 34-year-old Saha, who has been India’s first choice wicketkeeper in Test cricket since MS Dhoni’s retirement in December 2014, is undergoing rehab for his shoulder surgery.”He’s out of the team for about a year now but I think in the last five to 10 years’ he has been India’s best glovesman. Hope he recovers soon,” Ganguly said.The former captain spoke during the launch of ‘Wiki’, a sports fiction written by senior journalist Gautam Bhattacharya. The book chronicles the journey of a struggling wicketkeeper and how he makes it big.Saha, who has played 32 Tests and scored 1164 runs including three hundreds, last played in the Cape Town Test earlier this year. With India not playing any Tests after the Australia tour till July 2019, the Bengal wicketkeeper’s future remains uncertain.”Injury is not in your hands. Wicketkeeper has to dive and he got injured while diving. It takes a certain time to recover. The faster he recovers, the better it is,” said Ganguly. WRIDDHIMAN SAHA PREPING FOR RETURNSaha is confident of returning to first-class in December having completed his rehabilitation programme after a shoulder surgery in July.”I am feeling much better now. I hope to be back in action by mid-December. I am preparing and training accordingly. Hope my body recovers in time and I’m fit to play (Ranji Trophy). I’ve started net sessions but I am yet to get match-fit,” Saha said during the launch of sports fiction ‘Wiki’ by noted journalist Gautam Bhattacharya at the East Bengal Tent.advertisementIt has been an extremely disappointing year for Saha, who was sent home with a hamstring injury after playing the fist Test of the year against South Africa in Cape Town.During the IPL he had injured his thumb, which was believed to be the reason for his missing the Afghanistan Test in June.But later it was revealed that he had a more serious shoulder injury (posterosuperior labral tear) for which he underwent a surgery in the United Kingdom.India have picked Rishabh Pant along with Parthiv Patel for the upcoming Test series in Australia.With no Test series lined up in near future, Saha said he has to start from scratch by doing well at the domestic level.”Everyone goes through the same cycle — of performing well at the domestic level. You have to be match-fit there and then wait for selection,” Saha said eyeing a return for Bengal in the ongoing Ranji Trophy.Saha admitted that going through rehab was a boring affair but he’s mentally motivated.”I always counting on the positives from childhood. Rehab obviously is a boring affair,” he admitted.But he added,”If you are dedicated, you don’t get bored. Training schedule is same, but it’s about breaking it and keeping yourself motivated,” Saha said.(With inputs from PTI)
Welcome to Full Count, our weekly baseball column. Have anything you want me to write about? Email or tweet me at [email protected] or @Neil_Paine.The last time the Arizona Diamondbacks won this many games this early in a season, the team was in the midst of defending a world championship, powered by a group of talented veterans taking one of the their last shots at glory before parting ways. That Arizona team was a bit different from its modern-day descendants, but if you strip away the star power and hideous jerseys, the old-school Dbacks also had a lot in common with today’s version (to the surprise of many analysts, including yours truly). Is it possible the franchise is finally set up for its first truly sustained run of success since that championship era?The 2001 Diamondbacks team remains the oldest one ever to win a World Series, and the follow-up edition was (unsurprisingly) even older. Mainly propelled by a stable of power arms — Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in the rotation, plus Byung-Hyun Kim in the bullpen with a host of other deceptive relievers — Arizona ranked second in pitching wins above replacement1As always, averaging together the versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com. (WAR) that year, second in strikeouts per nine innings and second in fewest walks per nine. Feeding opponents a healthy dose of nasty sliders all season long, the Dbacks allowed the league’s second-fewest park-adjusted earned runs, cruising to 98 wins and the NL West crown in the process.This year’s version cuts a similar profile on the mound, albeit with more youth and much less star power. No. 1 starter Zack Greinke is by far Arizona’s most experienced and decorated pitcher; going into the season, he had over 40 more career WAR than anyone else on the roster. And Greinke has certainly been doing his best Big Unit impression in the early going — Johnson was the last qualified D-Back pitcher with a better K/BB ratio than Greinke’s current 6.0 mark. But the rest of the staff is pulling its weight as well. After adjusting for park effects, seven of Arizona’s top nine pitchers carries an ERA better than league average. As a result, Arizona ranks second in pitching WAR this season — just like it did back in 2002. 28Braves501467.122Best since 2015 24Twins481480.434Best since 2015 26Rockies484245 9Cubs584552 16Angels551501.355Best since 2015 21Pirates531490.531Worst since 2012 5Yankees7.32.7 3Nationals511554.5100Best ever! 3Dodgers8.13.0 18Tigers521496.330Best since 2015 TEAMGAMESELOFRANCHISE PERCENTILEMILESTONE 22White Sox511488.122Worst since 2015 27Royals511467.210Worst since 2007 15Rangers504949 10Blue Jays515252 Each team’s 2017 season, in context 4Indians501548.091Best since 1996 23Pirates474747 8Blue Jays521520.963Worst since 2015 Which teams have the platoon advantage most?Show more rows* A team has platoon advantage when its hitters face an opposite-handed pitcher or its pitchers face a same-handed batter.Through May 29.Source: Baseball-Reference.com 20Brewers521492.752Best since 2014 6Dodgers624252 1Astros531573.9100thBest ever! 27Royals504045 14Mets501509.565Worst since 2015 26Reds511472.612Best since 2015 15Cardinals491505.739Worst since 2008 18Nationals504749 19Giants541494.216Worst since 2009 16White Sox554349 PITCHING 4Red Sox7.72.7 28D-Backs484145 23Marlins501483.842Worst since 2015 In just two months, the Dbacks have gone from merely hoping Greinke could bounce back from his disastrous 2016 season to counting up the pitching riches beyond their ace. “Pitching depth” is a nebulous thing to measure, but if we give more weight to the contributions of pitchers deeper into a team’s staff,2Specifically, giving 100 percent credit to its 10th-best pitcher’s WAR, 90 percent to its ninth-best pitcher’s WAR, 80 percent to its 8th-best and so forth. the Dbacks have enjoyed the second-deepest well of pitching value in baseball this season, trailing only the division-rival Colorado Rockies.So Arizona’s pitching is doing its best job to recall the glory days. And the team currently ranks eighth in position-player WAR, roughly where its championship precursor placed 16 years ago.3And better than the team’s 14th-place finish in 2002.But not everything is a carbon copy of the past. The 2017 Snakes have achieved their offensive success in a very different way than the Diamondbacks of yesteryear did. Those teams walked a lot, but they didn’t burn up the basepaths or mash opponents into submission with homers, no matter how many memories you harbor of Luis Gonzalez crushing fastballs deep into the Arizona night. This offense might be the opposite: It has more glaring weaknesses (with the league’s seventh-worst strikeout rate and its 10th-worst strikeout-to-walk ratio), but also a unique combination of strengths, the likes of which has seldom been seen in baseball history. Not only does Arizona rank second in the majors in Bill James’s power-speed number,4Which measures how well a team combines hitting home runs and stealing bases. but pro-rated over a full schedule, the Dbacks’ number would rank 31st-best since MLB’s expansion era began in 1961. They’re an all-or-nothing lineup in the mold of, say, Buck Showalter’s Orioles, but with the added twist of stolen bases and opportunistic baserunning.The surprising catalyst for all this is 6-foot-3 first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.5Who’s already just 1.6 WAR shy of passing Gonzalez as Arizona’s greatest-ever position player by WAR. As the Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg recently pointed out, Goldschmidt steals an incredible number of bases (65 in 77 attempts over the past three seasons) for a player so, well, slow. Instead of using pure speed, he’s been able to strike on the basepaths with a combination of smarts and sneaky lead-taking. And he’s not alone — a handful of Arizona’s regulars are positive baserunners (according to FanGraphs’ measurement, which includes steals, extra bases and double-play avoidance) despite dubious foot speed.6The team’s second-best baserunner (behind Goldschmidt) is the 250-pound Yasmany Tomas, he of the seven career steals. Then, throw in some hitters who do have wheels to go with their pop — such as Chris Owings, A.J. Pollock and even Jake Lamb — and Arizona has an offense that can hurt you with its power and its speed, sort of like a lineup full of Junior Spiveys would have done a generation ago.Of course, for a team coming off a 69-win season, the usual caveats apply to Arizona’s early record. Our Elo ratings, for instance, remain unconvinced that the Diamondbacks are much more than a .500 team that has won a few extra games to start the season, an assessment echoed by other forecasts. Despite the similar statistical profile so far, this year’s Dbacks are probably nowhere near as good as the early-2000s version was. But they’re much younger, playing a style that might be more entertaining (if not as effective).It’s also worth noting that Arizona made its big splash the offseason before last, gearing up for a run just like the one they’re currently on, only to be wrecked by more injuries than almost any team in recent memory. Although the flurry of deals made by former GM Dave Stewart were roundly derided (and not without cause) it’s hard to deny that the Diamondbacks are now living out the future he envisioned — even if it came a year too late to save Stewart’s job.In other words, there is real talent blooming in the desert. What remains to be seen is whether this is merely another one-year blip, like so many before in the franchise’s post-championship era, or the start of something more long-lasting.Trout outAmid the fallout from Mike Trout’s injury Sunday (which will shelve the L.A. Angels star for 6 to 8 weeks), one of the least-pressing concerns was what it will potentially do to his place in the all-time WAR pantheon. But since that’s a topic I’ve covered ad nauseum here, let’s dive right into it.According to Baseball-Reference’s version of the stat, Trout has never ended a full season without being the all-time WAR leader for a given age. (Let that sink in for a moment.)7This isn’t quite true if you use FanGraphs’ WAR, which considers Mel Ott better through age 20. And regular readers will know that I prefer to average B-R and FG’s WAR numbers together anyway, to smooth out discrepancies between the two methods. But for the purposes of this exercise, let’s stick with B-R, just to see whether Trout can keep up the feat in the eyes of at least one WAR system. Before he got hurt, Trout already had 3.5 WAR this year, so he just needed to produce 3.7 over the remainder of the season to keep pace with Ty Cobb as the all-time leader through age 25.Even a conservative estimate would have called for Trout to generate something like 5.5 WAR in the last four months of the season, which would have enabled him to clear Cobb with ease. However, losing half of that remaining time would put Trout’s G.O.A.T. trajectory in real jeopardy. He’d have to return from injury without a hitch (no guarantee) and play slightly better down the stretch than he’d done over the season’s first two months — when he posted new career highs in virtually every hitting category. That’s a tall order!However, Trout could also come back in only five weeks if he follows the accelerated recovery path of teammate Andrelton Simmons, who suffered the same injury last season. If so, Trout would “only” need to play at an 8.3-full-season-WAR pace (which, comical as it sounds, is something he’s done in four of his five full MLB seasons) to catch up to Cobb.That’s the best-case scenario; in reality, Trout will probably face a real struggle to keep his title as G.O.A.T. at every age. But there’s still a chance.Franchise milestonesIn the day-to-day grind of a baseball season, it can be tough sometimes to zoom out and see the bigger picture of where a team stands in the context of its own history. That’s where something like the FiveThirtyEight Elo ratings come in handy, since they try to estimate how well a team was playing going into (and coming out of) every game in franchise history. I tracked where each team’s current Elo8Using the version from our interactive, which accounts for the starting pitcher in each game, rather than the version from our Complete History of MLB interactive. ranks relative to past seasons9Starting in 1901, the first season of the American League. for the team (measuring that using its percentile ranking) through the same number of games, as well as an Elo “milestone” — how deep in history we have to dig to find a season where it had a higher or lower Elo rating, depending on which number takes us further back in time: Some teams — like the Astros and Nationals/Expos — are playing the best they ever have at the third-of-a-season mark. Others are in down cycles: amazingly, the Phillies haven’t had an Elo lower than their current rating through 54 games of a season since 1962!Platoon power!I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of platooning, using the natural benefit of facing an opposite-handed pitcher (or a same-handed batter) to help a team become greater than the sum of its parts. Granted, different teams are constructed to use it better than others, so it’s not always up to the manager to play for the platoon advantage. Nevertheless, here are the teams who’ve had the lefty-righty edge in the highest percentage of their plate appearances (both batting and pitching), according to Baseball-Reference.com: 5Cubs511544.789Worst since 2015 6Red Sox511537.978Worst since 2015 13Yankees534650 9Rays551515.268Best since 2015 4Phillies635056 17Orioles501498.259Worst since 2011 11Diamondbacks541512.168Best since 2013 20Angels445248 12Mariners531511.988Worst since 2015 TEAMHITTINGPITCHINGOVERALL SHARE OF PLATE APPEARANCES WITH PLATOON ADVANTAGE* 2Diamondbacks8.33.3 3Twins664857 Percentiles are calculated from franchise seasons since 1901, including the same number of games the team has played so far in the 2017 season. Milestones are determined by finding the last time the team had a higher or lower Elo rating through the same number of games as in 2017. Stats are through May 31.Sources: ESPN, Retrosheet * We derived a team’s WAR depth by giving more weight to the WAR contribution of pitchers ranked deeper into a team’s top 10.Through May 29.Source: FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference.com 8Rays535152 2017′s deepest pitching staffs 30Padres541438.96Worst since 2003 5Athletics545353 22Orioles454947 11Brewers495251 29Red Sox454344 12Padres534850 14Astros504950 25Athletics511474.033Worst since 1998 29Phillies501442.712Worst since 1962 17Cardinals465249 10Rangers531513.271Worst since 2015 2Mets675661 TEAMWARDEPTH* 21Giants514447 30Tigers474144 7Yankees491531.740Best since 2013 25Mariners464747 13Rockies541511.783Best since 2010 19Braves484848 7Reds554952 24Marlins484647 1Indians73%53%63 2Dodgers531571.198Best since 1974 1Rockies9.34.0
DAYTON, Ohio – Lamont “Momo” Jones walked off the University of Dayton Arena floor Friday night with a towel draped over his head, sheltering himself from an array of insults raining down from the sea of Ohio State fans in attendance. Thursday, the outspoken senior guard said he and No. 15-seeded Iona expected to beat the No. 2-seeded Buckeyes. Friday evening, Jones and the Gaels were shellacked, 95-70, by OSU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Dayton. With the win, OSU is set to take on No. 10 seed Iowa State, who beat No. 7 seed Notre Dame, Sunday at 12:15 p.m. Jones, who said he didn’t expect to have a problem with the Buckeyes’ pressure defense, finished with nine points on 3 of 14 shooting. “I mean, give credit where credit is due. I think (junior guard Aaron Craft) played good defense. I think I took some bad shots. Things just didn’t fall tonight,” Jones said. OSU held the nation’s second-leading scoring team to 35 percent shooting and a 6 of 28 mark from the 3-point line. Iona, which likes to get out and run, was outscored in transition, 34-11. A significant portion of the Gaels points came with the game already in hand and OSU’s starters sitting on the bench. “We played our defense. These guys are known to get out and run and put up a lot of points, but they’re not playing nobody. They played against us, a real defense, and obviously nothing happened for them,” said junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. Craft had six steals for OSU, including one that forced the rosy-cheeked floor leader to jump out of bounds, slam into a media table, and tap the ball back in-bounds to sophomore forward Sam Thompson. Redshirt senior forward Evan Ravenel and Thompson also recorded steals in the win. Iona’s two leading scorers, Jones and junior guard Sean Armand, were a combined 8-for-31 from the field. “Their two top players, I don’t know what they finished with, they shot a lot of times and they didn’t make much. Our defensive pressure frustrated them the whole game,” Smith said. OSU’s physicality on the defensive end seemed to frustrate a smaller Gaels squad. “Those guys, they looked like they workout every day. They’re a lot more physical than us. They just played hard throughout the whole game,” said sophomore guard Tavon Sledge. Iona’s coach, Tim Cluess, thought Craft might have gotten away with things his players didn’t. “I think he gets away with body blocking you, grabbing you, holding you, but he’s in very good position to do that, and he plays great angles,” Cluess said. “He has a passion to stop people, which most players today don’t have.” Iona got out to a solid start, taking a 6-5 lead early, before OSU raced to a 27-8 lead. The Gaels didn’t go away quietly, cutting the Buckeyes’ lead to 37-33 near the end of the first half. OSU ended the game’s opening act on a 6-0 run, highlighted by a one-handed alley-oop jam from Thompson, and pulled away in the second half. Junior forward Deshaun Thomas, who led OSU with 24 points on 8 of 12 shooting, said the defense his team displayed Friday could carry them deep into the tournament. To continue on their trek back to the Final Four, the Buckeyes will have get past the Cyclones Sunday. Iowa State dispatched the Fighting Irish easily, 76-58, in their opening NCAA Tournament game. Freshman forward Georges Niang had 19 points in the win. The Cyclones made nine 3-pointers and shot nearly 50 percent from the field. OSU’s defense will be tested by a potent Iowa State attack that is fourth in the country in scoring at 79.6 points per game. Saturday, OSU coach Thad Matta said the Cyclones style of play reminds him of Michigan, Duke and Kansas, all of which are high seeds in the NCAA Tournament and still alive. As long as the Buckeyes have a similar defensive effort Sunday to the one put forth against Iona Friday, however, Thomas is confident OSU will advance to the Sweet 16. “If we keep playing our defense like we’re supposed to, we’re going to make it to the promised land,” Thomas said.
Ohio State redshirt senior guard Linnae Harper (15) looks to pass to a teammate in the third quarter of the Buckeyes’ semifinal game against Rutgers on March 2 at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Ohio State beat Rutgers 82-57. Credit: Alyssia Graves | Assistant Sports DirectorINDIANAPOLIS — The top-seeded Ohio State women’s basketball team is in familiar territory yet again. Following its second victory of the season against Rutgers, the Buckeyes have a chance to claim a second victory versus fourth-seeded Minnesota. Ohio State (25-6, 13-3 Big Ten) will play Minnesota (23-7, 11-5 Big Ten) at 6 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a shot to play in the conference championship game on the line. This matchup will be the second time these teams meet this season. When the two teams played on Jan. 4, the Buckeyes beat the Golden Gophers 91-75.Minnesota has a core four of productive players who average at least 13 points per game. One of the core four, freshman guard Destiny Pita, scored 38 points in the team’s earlier matchup against the Buckeyes.Her presence will pose a problem for Ohio State if senior guard Asia Doss, who is the Buckeyes’ best perimeter defender, is not available to play due to a sprained ankle. Doss suffered the injury in her final regular-season game against Penn State.Doss was not cleared to play against Rutgers in the quarterfinals, ending her streak of 134-straight games played. She is considered day-to-day and will need medical clearance in order to return. Doss said her ankle felt 95 percent healthy, but she was being held out for precautionary reasons.“It’s day-by-day, they don’t wanna risk anything crazy,” Doss said. “Especially with the NCAA Tournament coming up. I’m a senior, they wanna make sure I’m still there. We still wanna win this and I feel like we can, for sure.” In the previous meeting between the two teams, Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell had 21 points, but went just 7-of-22. Redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga shot 11-for-15 and racked up 25 points in Ohio State’s victory.With Doss out of the lineup, Mitchell has even more of a control of the ball than usual.“She did the same thing she always does, she’s Kelsey Mitchell,” Doss said. “I think she did it really well. I feel like they did really well as a group honestly, because they were still getting assists, moving the ball, they played good defense too.”The Golden Gophers outlasted Iowa forward Megan Gustafson’s 48 points in a 90-89 victory against the Hawkeyes in the quarterfinals. Minnesota’s two leading scorers, redshirt junior guard Kenisha Bell and senior guard Carlie Wagner, combined for 53 points in the game.Minnesota has won six of its past seven games. Two of those wins came against teams that were ranked at the time — then-No. 23 Michigan and then-No. 10 Maryland.If Ohio State beats the Golden Gophers, it will get its shot a chance for the Big Ten Tournament championship. The Buckeyes would play the winner of Saturday night’s game between second-seeded Maryland and third-seeded Nebraska.
The coach of the smallest country to reach the 2018 World Cup final, Zlatko Dalic is confident of his national side as they plan to defeat France at World Cup final on Sunday.Having led his national team to the finals of the World Cup, the coach has outdone his mentor Miroslav Blazevic, who led Croatia to a third-place finish in the country’s World Cup debut back in 1998.“We are still living our dreams, we are so close,” he said calmly from the team’s hotel in the centre of Moscow via FIFA.“Through my life and career, I went the hard way. I did not want to be just an average coach in Croatia. I had to start from the lowest club,” he said. “Within a year in Asia, I became the best coach, and for three years, I was coach of Al Ain [in the United Arab Emirates], who are like Real [Madrid] in Europe. That was a tremendous experience for me. I coached two of the biggest clubs in Asia, so when Croatia’s call arrived, I did not hesitate.” Euro 2020 Qualifiers Betting: 06/09/19 Stuart Heath – September 6, 2019 With the international break in full-swing, here at Ronaldo.com we are going to take a look at Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifiers match-betting odds.With a…???#BeProud #WorldCupFinal pic.twitter.com/qEHuiLrKWY— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) July 13, 2018“With this great result [of reaching the Final], we have definitely entered history as one of the smallest countries ever in the World Cup finals,” Dalic said. “When we look at the conditions in which we work, we are a world wonder and phenomenon. We do not have the appropriate environment with big teams [in Croatia], but we have great players, who have brought us such joy. This is a planetary success.”