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Northern Iowa meets Bradley in MVC finals today (3/10)


March 10th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

The Northern Iowa Panther (16-17, 11-9) take on the Bradley Braves (19-14, 11-9) at Noon today (Sunday) in St. Louis, during the Missouri Valley Conference Tourney Championship at the Enterprise Center. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last played on Feb. 6, when the Braves shot 54.9 percent from the field while holding Northern Iowa to just 44.6 percent en route to the eight-point victory.

Bradley’s Elijah Childs has averaged 12.1 points and 7.9 rebounds while Darrell Brown has put up 14.9 points. For the Panthers, AJ Green has averaged 14.7 points while Wyatt Lohaus has put up 10.5 points. Green has connected on 34.3 percent of the 198 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 9 of 25 over his last five games. He’s also made 85.7 percent of his foul shots this season.

Northern Iowa is a perfect 13-0 when its defense holds opponents to a field goal percentage of 43.8 percent or less. The Panthers are 3-17 when allowing the opposition to shoot any better than that. The Braves have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Panthers. Bradley has an assist on 41 of 63 field goals (65.1 percent) over its past three matchups while Northern Iowa has assists on 29 of 67 field goals (43.3 percent) during its past three games.

Bradley is ranked second among MVC teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 28.1 percent. The Braves have averaged 9.4 offensive boards per game.

Northern Iowa upsets Drake 60-58 in MVC tourney semis


March 10th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Wyatt Lohaus had a career-high 27 points as Northern Iowa narrowly defeated Drake 60-58 in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Saturday.

Trae Berhow had 12 points and six rebounds for Northern Iowa (16-17). Anthony Murphy had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (24-9). Tremell Murphy added 13 points.

No. 10 Iowa women fight off Rutgers 72-67


March 10th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Iowa’s Megan Gustafson flicked the ball away one last time Saturday night then pumped her fists and shouted with glee. Yes, the two-time Big Ten player of the year can finally forget about all those early exits and disappointing finishes and focus on becoming a conference champion. Gustafson scored 20 points and had 12 rebounds to help the 10th-ranked Hawkeyes fend off Rutgers’ frantic fourth-quarter charge and hold on for a 72-67 victory. Iowa will face No. 8 Maryland on Sunday in the title game. “It feels pretty great,” Gustafson said after posting her second double-double in two days. “Right now, this is kind of all we’ve got and we just have to keep it going. I’m just really excited to put it all out there tomorrow.”

While the Hawkeyes (25-6) have been in this situation before, Gustafson has not. Iowa last played for the tourney crown in 2014 and won its second and most recent title in 2001. In previous three trips to Indianapolis, though, Gustafson won only two games and never made it past the quarterfinal round. The postseason has been equally problematic with three wins in two trips to the WNIT and a first-round loss in her first NCAA Tournament appearance last season.

Now, if the Hawkeyes take down Maryland for the second time in a month, Gustafson will finally have the line she so desperately wants on an already stellar resume. The Hawkeyes are one win away from that elusive the conference crown. All that stands in their way is a rematch with No. 8 Maryland. Iowa won the only other meeting this season, 86-73 on its home court. But on a neutral court will be a more difficult challenge.
UP NEXT for Iowa: The conference’s regular-season runner-up will face regular-season champion Maryland in today’s (Sunday’s) title game. Pre-game at 4:45 on KJAN, with the tip-off at 5.

No. 19 Iowa St women drop Kansas 75-58 in Big 12 quarters


March 10th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Bridget Carleton scored 18 points, Madison Wise had 15 with 10 rebounds and second-seeded Iowa State defeated 10th-seeded Kansas 75-58 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Conference tournament on Saturday night.

Kristin Scott also had 15 points for the Cyclones (24-7), who play third-seeded and No. 21 Texas game in Sunday’s semifinals. It is the first semifinal appearance for Iowa State since 2013.

Iowa State, which opened league play with a 38-point win over Kansas and closed it with a 20-point win, shot 52 percent in the second half and 46 percent for the game. The Cyclones knocked down 10 3-pointers. Wise had her first double-double of the season.

No. 22 Drake women win another regular-season title


March 9th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Becca Hittner scored 21 points and No. 22 Drake rolled by Bradley 95-63 on Saturday to wrap up its third consecutive outright Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title. Up next is the conference tournament in Moline, Illinois, beginning Thursday. Drake and Bradley have first-round byes. The Bulldogs (25-5, 17-1) won their 10th straight game after shooting 58 percent, making 9 of 20 from the arc and 26 of 31 free throws. Drake outrebounded the Braves 47-26.

Sara Rhine added 12 points and nine rebounds and Maddy Dean also had 12 points. Drake led by 13 after one quarter, 22 at halftime and 32 heading into the final period. Shunseere Kent led Bradley (20-9, 10-8) with a career-high 25 points. Gabi Haack added 13 points. The Braves shot 31 percent and made only 5 of 24 3-point attempts. Drake swept the season series, having won at Bradley 92-63 on Jan. 4.

AP source: Chiefs sign RB Hyde to $2.8M contract for 2019


March 9th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

The Kansas City Chiefs bolstered their young, relatively unproven backfield Saturday by signing veteran running back Carlos Hyde to a $2.8 million contract for the 2019 season. The deal includes $1.6 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms were not disclosed. The 28-year-old Hyde was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday, and the Chiefs moved swiftly in inviting him for a visit. They were seeking help behind Damien Williams and Darrel Williams, who became their top two running backs when Kareem Hunt was released last season.

“We certainly like a bigger back,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said during last week’s scouting combine. “I certainly have a thing for 220-pound backs that can run and catch and block.” The 6-foot, 229-pound Hyde certainly fits that mold. He was a second-round pick of the 49ers in 2014, and he came within 50 yards of eclipsing 1,000 twice during his four-year stay in San Francisco. Hyde signed a $15 million, three-year deal with the Browns last season, but he appeared in just six games before a midseason trade to Jacksonville. Hyde wound up making two starts and appearing in eight games for the Jaguars, though he never made much of an impact. He finished with 58 carries for 189 yards and never reached the end zone, and the Jaguars decided Friday to release him when no trade opportunities materialized.

Still, he represents a low-risk, high-upside addition to a dynamic Chiefs offense. With league MVP Patrick Mahomes under center, the Chiefs shattered just about every franchise record — and quite a few NFL marks — while reaching the AFC title game last season. And while most of their pressing issues lie on defense, Veach and Chiefs coach Andy Reid said they’d be open to any offseason moves that could potentially put them over the hump. Damien Williams is expected to remain the starter after he assumed Hunt’s job, and he gouged Indianapolis for 129 yards rushing in the playoffs. In fact, Williams was so steady that Kansas City signed him in December to a two-year extension worth up to $8.1 million.

“He just needed an opportunity. And when the opportunity presented itself, he kind of took it and ran with it. That is why we extended him,” Veach said. “He’s always been a talented player. He can run, catch and block. He can really do everything. He was great on special teams. I would say going into the offseason and going into the 2019 season, it’s Damien’s job to lose.”
He’ll have a little more competition now, though.

No. 8 Texas Tech beats Iowa State 80-73, clinches Big 12


March 9th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Jarrett Culver scored a career-high 31 points, Davide Moretti added 20 and No. 8 Texas Tech clinched its first Big 12 regular-season title Saturday by beating Iowa State 80-73.

Matt Mooney added 13 points for the Red Raiders (26-5, 14-4 Big 12), winners of nine straight heading into the postseason. Their last league crown came in the defunct Southwestern Conference in 1996.

Lindell Wigginton and Marial Shayok each scored 17 points for the Cyclones (20-11, 9-9), who have lost six of eight. The Cyclones tweaked their lineup after a 90-75 loss at West Virginia on Wednesday. Freshman George Conditt got the rotational front court minutes typically given to sophomore Cam Lard, and senior Zoran Talley was a much bigger part of the game plan.

Coach Steve Prohm likes to settle on a rotation in December and stick with it, so it’ll be interesting to see if those changes remain in the Big 12 tournament.
The league tournament starts Wednesday in Kansas City.

(Podcast) KJAN Morning Sports report, 3/9/19

Podcasts, Sports

March 9th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

The 7:20-a.m. Sportscast with Ric Hanson.


Northern Iowa, Drake meet in MVC semis


March 9th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

A spot in the MVC championship game is up for grabs as Northern Iowa and Drake are set to face off this (Saturday) evening, in St. Louis. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last met on Feb. 9, when Northern Iowa made only four foul shots on six attempts while the Bulldogs hit 17 of 18 en route to a six-point victory. Tip-off at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis is at 5:05 p.m. CST

Drake’s Nick McGlynn has averaged 15.2 points and 8.3 rebounds while Tremell Murphy has put up 10.3 points and 6.1 rebounds. For the Panthers, AJ Green has averaged 14.9 points while Wyatt Lohaus has put up 9.9 points. Green has connected on 34.2 percent of the 193 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 7 of 21 over his last five games. He’s also made 85.7 percent of his foul shots this season.

The Bulldogs have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Panthers. Drake has 41 assists on 75 field goals (54.7 percent) across its previous three contests while Northern Iowa has assists on 30 of 63 field goals (47.6 percent) during its past three games. Drake is rated first among MVC teams with an average of 76 points per game.

Murphy leads Drake past Illinois St. 78-62 in MVC tourney


March 9th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tremell Murphy had a season-high 26 points as Drake got past Illinois State 78-62 in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tourney on Friday night. Anthony Murphy had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Drake (24-8). Noah Thomas added 13 points. Liam Robbins had three blocks for the hosts. Illinois State put up 17 points in the first half, a season low for the team. Phil Fayne had 18 points for the Redbirds (17-16). Milik Yarbrough added 11 points and seven rebounds.