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Experienced Panthers eager to carry momentum forward

Sports

March 20th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Northern Iowa took center stage at the NCAA Tournament late Friday night when Paul Jesperson’s buzzer-beating shot from half court ousted Texas in the opening round. Now the 11th-seeded Panthers (23-12) must quickly regroup if they hope to reach the Sweet 16 for the second time in school history when they face third-seeded Texas A and M tonight (Sunday).

Northern Iowa enters the second round having won 13 of its last 14 games since falling to 10-11 after four straight losses in January. Awaiting the Panthers are the Aggies (27-8), who defeated Green Bay in the opening round and have won nine of their last 10 games.

Niang leads Iowa State past Little Rock 78-61

Sports

March 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

DENVER (AP) — Georges Niang scored 28 points and Iowa State kept Josh Hagins from any more second-half heroics in a 78-61 win over Little Rock in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. The Cyclones (23-11) advanced to their second Sweet 16 in three years. They will play the Virginia-Butler winner in Chicago next weekend.

Niang, the winningest player (97) in Cyclones history and Iowa State’s only two-time All-American, was simply too much for the 12th-seeded Trojans (30-5) of the Sun Belt. For the second straight game, Hagins had just two points at halftime. Unlike last time, when he went off for 29 more in a double-overtime win against Purdue, Hagins added just six after the break.

Betts, Sandoval homer as Red Sox beat Cardinals in rain

Sports

March 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – Mookie Betts hit his fourth home run of the spring and Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run shot as the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 on Saturday. The game was called after five innings because of rain. Joe Kelly pitched 4 2/3 innings for the Red Sox, giving up five hits and striking out five. Carlos Peguero homered for the Cardinals with two outs in the fourth.

Michael Wacha went four innings for the Cardinals, allowing seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Of Wacha’s 30 starts in 2015, eight had weather-related delays totaling 7 hours and 15 minutes.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning Sports report, 3/19/2016

Podcasts, Sports

March 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The 7:20-a.m. Sportscast w/Ric Hanson.

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Jesperson’s halfcourt shot puts Northern Iowa past Texas

Sports

March 19th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul Jesperson banked in a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to give 11th seeded Northern Iowa a 75-72 win over Number 6 seed Texas Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament’s West Region. Northern Iowa passed the ball in under its basket after Isaiah Taylor tied the game on a layup with 2.7 seconds to play. Jesperson caught the ball, took a few dribbles and heaved.

Wes Washpun scored 17 points, Jeremy Morgan scored 16 and Jesperson added 14 for the Panthers (23-12), who claimed their fifth NCAA Tournament win in school history. Taylor scored 22 points, Eric Davis Junior scored 13 and Javan Felix added 12 for the Longhorns (20-13).

Jesperson’s shot came in the same building where Golden State’s Stephen Curry hit a dramatic game-winner against the Oklahoma City Thunder last month.

Chiefs sign Mississippi State track standout to deal

Sports

March 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Kansas City Chiefs signed Mississippi State track and field standout Tautvydas Kieras on Friday, even though the projected linebacker never played football for the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-3, 271-pound Lithuanian set the school record in the discus and was accomplished in the shot put. But with his college career wrapping up, Kieras decided to give football a try.

After training in Las Vegas for Mississippi State’s pro day, he pushed 225 pounds 24 times on the bench press, jumped 35 inches in the vertical and posted a sub-4.7-second 40-yard dash.

The Chiefs have a history of signing players without much football experience. Tight end Demetrius Harris played basketball for Wisconsin-Milwaukee before catching on with the team.

Woodberry’s rebound gives Iowa 72-70 OT win over Temple

Sports

March 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Woodberry put back a missed shot at the overtime buzzer to give Iowa a 72-70 victory over Temple on Friday in the first round of the South Regional at Barclays Center. With the game tied at 70, Mike Gesell worked his way to the baseline and put up about a 10-foot jumper that missed the rim and went right to Woodberry, who put it in as the red lights around the backboard lit up.

Iowa (22-10) will play second-seeded Villanova in the second round on Sunday. The Wildcats beat UNC-Asheville 86-56. The Hawkeyes got the chance at the game-winner when Daniel Dingle of Temple, who played just 6 minutes and was in the game because Devin Coleman had fouled out a minute earlier, missed the front end of a 1-and-1.

Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa with 23 points, while Peter Jok had 16 and Woodberry finished with 10. Quenton DeCosey, who made three free throws with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game, had 26 points for the Owls (21-12).

Molina takes first full swings in Cardinals’ loss to Tigers

Sports

March 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Cardinals star Yadier Molina took his first full swings of spring training, going 0 for 3 Friday as St. Louis lost to the Detroit Tigers 2-0. Working his way back from two offseason thumb surgeries, the eight-time Gold Glove catcher had four previous exhibition at-bats, but the team didn’t let him swing. Molina bunted once.

Calling his swing timing “terrible,” Molina saw 17 pitches and swung at 14. He twice grounded out before lofting a flyball to left field that was caught a step shy of the warning track. Making his third spring start, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright gave up two runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Tigers starter Matt Boyd pitched five shutout innings, allowing only two hits while striking out seven.

 

(Podcast) KJAN Morning Sports report, 3/18/2016

Podcasts, Sports

March 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

The 7:20-a.m. Sportscast w/Jim Field.

Play

UNI faces Texas in Round 1

Sports

March 18th, 2016 by Ric Hanson

Northern Iowa plays in the late game in Oklahoma City tonight (Friday) at 8:50 against Texas in the N-C-A-A Tournament. Panther coach Ben Jacobson expects Longhorns coach Shaka Smart to use a lot of pressure defense. “I watched their game at Iowa State…in that game they pressed quite a bit. They don’t press nearly as much as they did when he was at V-C-U,” Jacobson says. “Now in saying that, in the Iowa State game they full court pressed, did some trapping, we’ve seen that as well, so that is going to be part of their game.”

He says the pressure will come in both the full court and half court. Jacobson says Smart likes an up-tempo game. “They are going to get the ball — made shot or missed shot — they are going to push it at you, so your transition defense has to be good. They go hard and to the boards and rebound. That system, his personality, you see it. Everything they do is coming at you,” Jacobson says.

The Panthers like to control the tempo of games and Jacobson says they haven’t tried add anything new as they’ve prepared. “I don’t know that either team is going to change much. We are both going to work hard to get our team to do what we do,”according to Jacobson. That philosophy is based on past tourney experience.

“”I guess what I’ve learned is, now is not the time to be messing around. The key is that your guys play with a lot of confidence and that they play loose,” Jacobson explains. “And the only way to do that is to do the things that you’ve been doing awhile. And that’s really become our approach.” The 11th seeded Panthers come into the game with a 22-12 record, while the sixth seeded Longhorns are 20-12.

(Learfield Sports)