Bears catch fire after halftime, win at Utah 72-63

By Morris Phillips

Without Matt Bradley, and after a lackluster first half, the Bears shocked Utah with a 50-point second half in their surprising 72-63 road win.

The Bears overcame a 15-point deficit and won for only the third time on an opponent’s home floor in the last three seasons. And they did it by sharing the ball, shooting from distance, and defending, three things they haven’t done well all season.

The Bears trailed 15-5 and 24-9 in the first half before exploding with 58 percent shooting after the break.

Grant Anticevich led the comeback with 10 of his 14 points durind a critical stretch that gave Cal a decisive advantage. All 10 came within three minutes in which Cal went from up two to leading 60-50 with 7:33 remaining.

“It was really uplifting for our entire team to see him make a few, and I think it took the pressure off of everybody,” said coach Mark Fox of Anticevich.

Utah got as close as down 69-63 with 2:04 remaining, but Cal held them scoreless the rest of the way. The Utes missed 11 of their 12 3-point attempts after the break while Cal buried six from distance, including consecutive threes from Anticevich.

Makale Foreman scored 12 points, Andre Kelly and Jarred Hyder had 11, and Ryan Betley nine in Cal’s balanced attack. Timmy Allen led Utah with a game-high 26.

The Cal women were also in Salt Lake City on Saturday awaiting their Sunday afternoon game against Utah when they announced that COVID issues within their team came to light in their most recent round of tests. The cancellation of their game created confusion that manifested itself with 20 text messages received by Coach Fox with people wondering if the men’s game had been postponed.

The Bears (7-8, 2-6) return home for a Thursday night meeting with first-place UCLA at 6pm.

 

 

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: Saturday night’s action saw some great offense for opening weekend

The Philadelphia Flyers Travis Konecny (11) scores his third goal for a hat trick behind Pittsburgh Penguins Marcus Pettersson (28) and goalie Casey DeSmith (1) on Fri Jan 15, 2021 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia  (AP News photo)

On the NHL podcast with Matt Harrington:

#1 The Philadelphia Flyers got a three goal win over the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. The Flyers got scoring help from Travis Konecny who scored twice in the first period and got the hat trick in the third period at 17:53.

#2  Good back and forth hockey from the Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabers in a 2-1 win for the Caps. Washington got goal scoring help from Jakub Vrana his second of the year at 1:34 in the second period. The second Caps goal came from Tom Wilson who scored his first goal of the season at 7:47 in third period.

#3 The Tampa Bay Lighting got a three goal win over the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Tampa Bay got goals from five different Bolts, Ondrej Palot, Alex Killorn and Blake Coleman scored in the second period. In the third period Yanni Gourde and Steven Stamkos each had a goal.

#4 The Toronto Maple Leafs were no match for the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night for Hockey Night in Canada. The Sens got goal scoring help in their 5-3 win from Thomas Chabot, Brody Tkachuk, Austin Watson, and Derek Stepan. Leafs goalie Frederik Anderson stopped 19 shots and allowed five goals.

#5 Talk about the NHL Champs St Louis Blues who got blown out by the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night 8-0. Talk about St Louis goaltender Ville Husso who saw a lot shots in net last night.

Matt takes a look at Friday NHL action each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Balanced Buffaloes attack sinks Cardinal 77-64

The Stanford Cardinal (13) Oscar da Silva takes a jump shot against the Colorado Buffaloes on Sat Jan 16, 2021 in Colorado (gostanford.com photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, January 16, 2021

Stanford wound up 0 for 2 on its Rocky Mountain Pac-12 men’s basketball road trip, following a 77-64 loss to Colorado Saturday at Boulder.

McKinley Wright IV led the Buffaloes’ balanced attack with 14 points and eight assists, with Evan Battey scoring 13 points to go with 12 rebounds. Jabari Walker and Jeriah Horne added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Colorado, which is 5-0 at home this season.

CU freshman Tristan da Silva – younger brother of the Cardinal’s Oscar da Silva – hit his first career 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer.

The Buffaloes (11-3 overall, 5-2 Pac-12) had nine of their players in the scoring column in the first half. Stanford never got to within eight points in the entire second half.

Oscar da Silva led Stanford with a game-high 22 points along with 12 rebounds, his fourth double-double in five games. Ziaire Williams was next for the Cardinal with 17 points and five rebounds, and Jaiden Delaire added 13 points, 11 of them in the second half.

One bright spot for the Cardinal – they were a perfect 15 of 15 at the free throw line.

The Cardinal (8-5, 4-3) returns home this week to host Southern California on Thursday and UCLA next Saturday. Both games will be played in Santa Cruz, each with a 2 p.m. Pacific Time tipoff.

Sharks Lose 5-3 to Coyotes Despite 3 Point Game for Meier

The San Jose Sharks Timo Meier (28) stick handling the puck, the Arizona Coyotes Christian Fischer (28), and the Sharks Logan Couture (39) in pursuit at Glendale Arena on Sat Jan 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-3 to the Coyotes in Arizona Saturday afternoon. Arizona goals came from Phil Kessel (2), Barrett Hayton, Jakob Chychrun and Clayton Keller scored for Arizona. Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Ryan Donato scored for San Jose. Antti Raanta made 31 saves for the win Martin Jones made 19 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

We spent a lot more time in their end in the O-zone, we played a little faster I thought. You know, they got a little bit of puck luck tonight. They were the better team in the first game. I thought we played a lot harder and a lot more structured in this game.

The Sharks led the game in many respects but not on the scoresheet. They outshot the Coyotes 34-26, they had four power plays to Arizona’s 3. San Jose scored in two of four power plays and killed two of three penalties. The glaring bad stat was in the faceoff circle. They won just 40% of them. The only Sharks skater to win more than half of his draws was Patrick Marleau, who took five draws and won four. Tomas Hertl won 7 of 18, and Logan Couture won 5 of 11. No one else took more than three or won more than one.

On the subject of faceoffs, Boughner said:

It’s something we gotta get way better at. I think that we struggled in the faceoff circle even in the first game. You know, it’s an important part of the game and I thought our puck movement was better off of won faceoffs. But we lost too many, and you’re chasing the puck all night.

The Sharks scored first at 3:34, with a power play goal from Ryan Donato. Conor Garland was in the box for tripping Marc-Edouard Vlasic. High in the slot, Timo Meier bobbled a shot but got it right back and sent it through traffic and off of Ryan Donato. Assists went to Meier and Mario Ferraro.

Arizona responded with their own power play goal at 12:31. Evander Kane was in the box for tripping Tyler Pitlick. Phil Kessel tried to send the puck in and it went off of Nikolai Knyzhov. It came right back to Kessel and he moved around the Sharks defense to make a backhand shot that went through before slipping past Martin Jones. An assist went to Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Barrett Hayton gave the Coyotes a lead at 14:41. After a lot of play behind the net, Conor Garland made a quick pass to the Hayton in the slot. Assists went to Garland and Nick Schmaltz.

Timo Meier tied it back up less than a minute later. Meier was moving down the wall with the puck, while Kevin Labanc skated down the slot with Jakob Chychrun defending. Meier made the pass and it hit Chychrun and bounced into the net.

Arizona scored twice in the second period, the first a shot from the blue line from Ekman-Larsson. His shot went right through four skaters before hitting Phil Kessel on its way into the net. It was Kessel’s second of the game, with assists to Ekman-Larsson and Christian Dvorak.

Jakob Chychrun scored at 8:56. A clean face-off win in the offensive zone gave Chychrun a shot with lots of traffic as the face-off broke up. Derick Brassard got the assist.

Clayton Keller added to the Coyotes lead just 2:39 into the third period. After Brassard won another offensive zone faceoff, Ekman-Larsson held the puck at the blue line before trying for a tip from Keller in the slot. Martin Jones stopped that but Keller came right down for the rebound and put that one in. Assists went to Ekman-Larsson and Brassard.

Midway through the third, Boughner pulled Martin Jones and put Devan Dubnyk in. After the game, the coach explained that that was only to give Dubnyk sme ice tine before their next game. Since it did not come right after the fifth goal, it did not look like a reaction to Jones’ play in particular.

The Sharks had a power play start in the final minute of play, and scored their own goal right off of an O-zone faceoff. Just eight seconds into the power play, Tomas Hertl tipped Timo Meier’s shot from the top of the circle. Assists went to Meier and Erik Karlsson.

Roster changes: Jacob Middleton was in for Nick Meloche on the blue line.

The Sharks now travel to St. Louis for their next game at 5:00 PM PT on Monday, against the Blues.

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Here comes Yoelkis

The half brother of former New York Met Yoenis Cespedes, Yoelkis will be swinging the bats for the Chicago White Sox for the next three seasons. Yoelkis used to play for Cuba as their centerfielder. (New York Times file photo)

Here comes Yoelkis

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

On June 25, 2019 Yoelkis Céspedes deserted the Cuban National Team while participating in the Can-Am games. On January 15, 2021, the Chicago White Sox signed the 23 year-old, half brother of Yoenis Céspedes, Yoelkis for $2,050,000.

He was the #1 prospect in this year’s International Players list. Scouts have him as a five-tool player and believe he could be ready to play this year in the major leagues. The White Sox also selected the #15 International prospects on the list, a right-handed pitcher by the name of Norge Vera, also from Cuba.

In 2017 the Chicago White Sox signed Cuban center-fielder Luis Robert who was also ranked “Número Uno” in the International Players list. Last season Robert was a finalist for the Rookie of the Year in the American League.

The Chicago White Sox have the Cuban Pipeline which is good and alive. Last season their first baseman Cuban-born All Star José Abreu, won the American League Most Valuable Player. Aside from these players, the White Sox already have Yusmani Grandal, Yoan Moncada, already established players also born in the largest island in the Caribbean and probably more on the way.

Some of what the scouts that have seen Yoelkis Céspedes have said: He has added 15 pounds of muscle and now has more power and explosive bat speed. He is a “plus runner” a “solid defender” and a line-drive hitter who spray the ball across the outfield. He has revamped his swing since defection and today looks almost exactly like his older brother Yoenis in the batter’s box.

The Oakland Athletics selected #13 Pedro Pineda from the Dominican Republic, while the San Francisco Giants selected the #22 prospect Diego Velásquez, a shortstop from Venezuela. Stay well and stay tuned.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Museum Hall of Fame and does News and Commentary podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Yadier Molina to the Gigantes, in Puerto Rico

The St Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina has reached out the Cardinals for a two year contract but says it’s God’s will if he does or doesn’t get an offer from the Cards and if not plans to retire (AP file photo)

Yadier Molina to the Gigantes, in Puerto Rico

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

Yadier Molina, future Hall of Fame catcher of the St Louis Cardinals was approved by Carlos Berroa, Director of the Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League in Puerto Rico to play in the island. Molina belongs to the reserves of the Gigantes de Carolina.

According to the bylaws of the league, Yadier Molina, according to Section 1.06 of the league as stated by their Director Carlos Berroa announced the catcher is eligible to play during the postseason in Puerto Rico because he is a Major League player and native of Puerto Rico.

Such players, born in Puerto Rico who are currently in rosters in the Major League are eligible to play in the Puerto Rican League during the postseason, even if they have not played during their regular season. The spirit of this Section 1.06 “allows these Puerto Rican-born players to play in front of their fans in their homeland” according to Director Berroa.

With roughly a month left before the Cardinals are scheduled to have pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter, Florida for spring training, Molina remains unsigned. The team has been in touch with Molina’s representative and both sides expect the dialogue to continue and increase in the near future.

Molina, a free-agent, now 38 years of age, has made it clear he wants to stay in St Louis and is seeking a two-year contract, but acknowledged that if an appealing offer is not there, he will consider retiring. “Getting ready as always and God will tell” Molina said in an interview with Cardinals broadcaster Polo Ascensio. Molina added “If God wants me to come back, then I’ll come back. And if not I will retire with my head held high”.

Yadier Molina has played for the St Louis Cardinals his whole career from 2004 to 2020, 17 years. One of the greatest defensive catchers of all time has won nine Rawlings Gold Gloves and six Fielding Bible Awards. Two-time World Series champion with eleven playoff appearances and four National League pennant winners. Molina’s compatriot, Iván Rodríguez has won the most Gold Gloves at catcher, with 13. Rodríguez was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2017.

Puerto Rico is the land of catchers. José Molina, Bengie Molina and Yadier Molina all from the “Isla del Encanto”(The Enchanted Island) are the only three brothers in Major League Baseball history to all win World Series rings. And of course, all catchers.

Stay well and stay tuned.

Catch Amaury each Tuesday morning for That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Jokic paces Nuggets to victory over Warriors 114-104

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) gets a reverse slam on Golden State Warrior center James Wiseman (33) during Thu Jan 14, 2021 game at Denver (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors’ three-game road trip started with a thud Thursday night as they fell to the Denver Nuggets 114-104. Eric Paschall rejoined the club after he tested negative for Covid-19. He missed Tuesday’s game due to a false-positive test. While the Warriors were happy to have him back, his presence didn’t affect the game’s outcome.

The Nuggets, although they didn’t know it at the time, won the game in the first quarter. The Nuggets finished the first 12 minutes of action with a 37-24 advantage. From that point on, the Warriors were playing catch up. No matter what they did, they could not get any closer. They trailed 65-54 at the end of the first half. 

The Warriors cut the deficit to five 79-74 when Kelly Oubre, Jr. hit a three. Denver finished the quarter with an 11-2 run to lead 90-76 at the end of three. Denver’s Nikola Jokic led the run for the Nuggets.

The Warriors won the fourth quarter 28-24, but it was not enough to win. Stephen Curry, James Wiseman, Kelly Oubre, and Andrew Wiggins tried, but Denver had an answer to thwart the Warriors offense. Denver holds on to win 114-104.

Game Notes and Stats: With the loss, the Warriors are now 6-6 for the year. The Nuggets improved to 6-6.

 Curry had a big note for Golden State. Curry scored more than 30 points for the sixth time this year. The Warriors won the first five. Steph had a double-double with 35 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists.

He was 14-for-23 from the floor and 5-for-11 from beyond the three-point arc. Rookie sensation James Wiseman knocked down 18, and he had five boards. Andrew Wiggins had 16, Kelly Oubre 14. Oubre had three threes. Eric Paschall had eight. The Nuggets’ bench outscored the Warriors bench 41-20.

Denver’s Nikola Jokic finished the night with a triple-double. Nokic tallied 23 points, 14 rebounds, and ten assists. Will Barton and Jamal Murray each had 17 for the Nuggets. 

The Warriors turned the ball over 19 times. Head coach Steve Kerr has to have the team improve in that department.

The Warriors’ game with  the Phoenix Suns Friday night was postponed as the Suns do not have enough players to perform due to contact tracing after a game with the Washington Wizards. The Warriors meet the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night at the Staples Center in LA.

Sharks Start Season with 4-3 Shootout Win Over Coyotes

The San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl (48) jubilant after scoring against the Arizona Coyotes he is joined by Evander Kane (9), John Leonard (right of Kane), and Nilolai Knyzhov (71) in the first period (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks started the 2021 season with a 4-3 shoot-out win in Arizona against the Coyotes. Tomas Hertl scored twice, John Leonard got two assists in his first NHL game. Evander Kane scored the Sharks’ third goal and Logan Couture scored the game-winner in the shootout. Conor Garland, Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel scored for Arizona. Martin Jones made 34 saves for the win, while Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves in the loss.

After the game, Logan Couture said: “I thought we were sloppy at times but I thought we did a lot of things really well. We had some speed through the neutral zone and that one line, Tommy Hertl’s line, created some nice goals. And Joner made some big-time saves when we had those breakdowns.”

Martin Jones did a lot of work during the long layoff and looked good Thursday. After the game, he said: “I think I took full advantage of the time and I put in a lot of work. So, it was nice to be able to play well in the first game but, you know, it’s one game, we gotta keep working at it here. There’s a lot of things that we can clean up.”

Couture gave a post-game nod to the rookie Sharks, saying: “Some guys played their first NHL game tonight, I thought they were terrific tonight.” Those first-timers were John Leonard and Nicholas Meloche. Leonard had two assists in his 13:14 of ice time. Meloche was a +1 in his 5:43 on the blue line.

Tomas Hertl scored twice in the first period for the Sharks, the first a power play goal at 12:43. Logan Couture took a shot from the boards, which bounced arond in the crease before Hertl put it away. Assists went to Evander Kane and Couture.

The second goal came with just over three minutes left in the period. John Leonard had just thrown the puck to the net, creating a rebound for Hertl to put away. Assists went to Leonard and Kane.

The Coyotes rallied in the second, Conor Garland scored for the Coyotes on a power play at 16:51 of the second period. Joel Kellman was in the box for tripping Derick Brassard. It was the Sharks’ third penalty in a row. The Coyotes were able to move the puck cross-ice several ties before Christian Dvorak’s shot found Garland’s tick for a tip in front of the net. Assists went to Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun.

Going into the third period, Evander Kane had two assists. With an aggressive charge to the net, and a Coyote on one arm, he scored the Sharks’ third goal a little past the midway point of the third period. Assists went to John Leonard and Tomas Hertl.

The 3-1 lead held up well into the third period.

Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes’ with just 3:30 left in the third. Finding himself alone in the high slot, he caught the puck as it came out of a skirmish in front of the net and put it over Jones’ right shoulder before the goalie could get across. Assists went to Garland and Chychrun.

Phil Kessel tied the game up with just four seconds left in regulation. Under a lot of pressure with the Coyotes net empty, Martin Jones made a couple of good saves before it got by him. The Coyotes had three skaters in front of him and they all got a shot before Kessel’s went in. Assists went to Alex Goligoski and Clayton Keller.

The Sharks got a power play at 3:13 of overtime, when Clayton Keller was called for tripping Kevin Labanc. The Sharks OT power play started with Logan Couture, Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl. After a shot went over the glass, Kane came onto the ice with Timo Meier and Ryan Donato, with Karlsson staying on. Neither unit scored before time ran out, in the power play and the period.

Each team scored on their first shot in the shootout, first Arizona’s Nick Schmaltz and the San Jose’s Ryan Donato. After that, Martin Jones stopped Clayton Keller and Conor Garland missed. Logan Couture scored to close it out.

The modified season has the Sharks playing against the Coyotes again on Saturday before moving on to St. Louis.

Utes snap four game skid at Cardinal expense 79-65

The Stanford Cardinal guard Daejon Davis (1) drives on the Utah Utes in Thu Jan 14, 2021’s game at Jon M. Huntsman Arena in Salt Lake City (gostanford.com photo)

By Daniel Dullum

Sports Radio Service

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Stanford’s Thursday matinee at Salt Lake City didn’t go well, as Utah snapped a four-game losing streak with a 79-65 Pac-12 men’s basketball win over the Cardinal.

Timmy Allen led the Utes with 22 points and eight rebounds. Alfonso Plummer was next with 16 points for Utah (5-5 overall, 2-4 Pac-12), which had two games postponed since mid-December. Brandon Carlson added 12 points and four blocks, and Mikael Jantunen had 11 points and seven rebounds.

Daejon Davis was back in the Cardinal lineup after missing five games with an injury and scored a season-high 19 points. In the process, Davis became the 49th for Stanford (8-4, 4-2) to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Ziaire Williams scored 17 points, and Oscar da Silva was held to 11 points and two boards.

Utah used a 14-2 run at the end of the first half to surge ahead and spent most of the second half with a double-digit lead. The closest Stanford got was within nine points with less than four minutes remaining.

A 7-0 run, including five straight points by Jantunen, solidified Utah’s lead with 3 ½ minutes to play. The Utes shot 49 percent from the field, including 4 of 17 behind the arc and 25 of 30 free throws. Utah also outrebounded the Cardinal 37-26 and outscored Stanford 34-16 in the paint.

The Cardinal were 9 of 18 on 3-pointers, but shot only 29 percent (8 of 30) on 2-pointers.

Stanford’s Rocky Mountain road trip continues Saturday, when it travels to Boulder to face Colorado. Tipoff is scheduled for noon Pacific Time.

 

 

Sacramento Kings game wrap: Lilliard is lights out with 40 pt game defeats Kings 132-126

The Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox (5) goes up against the Portland Trailblazers Damian Lilliard (0) at Golden One Center in Sacramento on Wed Jan 13, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The Sacramento Kings are having an interesting season. Yes, I know the word “interesting” is about as descriptive as it sounds. However, I’m not sure how else to chalk it up. They have played great games, and they have played terrible games. They have looked like a group of all-stars, and they have looked like a group of misfits.

In the Kings last game, they faced the Indiana Pacers. It was a tough test for the Kings that they were able to pass. The Kings were able to beat the Pacers by a final of 127-122. Domantas Sabonis tried his best to keep his team in the game but was outpaced by Harrison Barnes of the Kings. This was one game the Kings looked like a team that could go places.

On Wednesday, the Kings were set to welcome the Portland Trailblazers. Portland has also had an up and down season. They entered the game on Wednesday with a record of 6-4. The Blazers would look to improve against the Kings getting a 132-126 victory on Wednesday night.

The Kings were looking to continue their upward trend after beating the Pacers two days prior. Then disappointment for Kings head coach Luke Walton and company would set in.

In the first half, the Kings played great! They had flashes of greatness and flashes of weakness. However, all in all, they were able to outscore the Trailblazers 68-65 in the first half. Damian Lillard had 23 points in the first half and De’Aaron Fox had 16 points. The Kings were looking to channel the good parts of the first half to put together a win against a formidable opponent.

In the second half, things started out strong for the Kings. They outscored the Blazers 37-35 in the third quarter to remain in control 105-100 heading into the final 12 minutes. In the fourth, the Kings weren’t able to keep the offensive pace up. The Kings were only able to score 21 points in the quarter compared to the Blazers 32 points.

It was an underwhelming final quarter in an otherwise solid game for the Kings. They had moments in the game to put the Blazers away but weren’t able to do it. Damian Lillard finished the game with 40 points to lead the Blazers in scoring. De’Aaron Fox led the Kings in defeat with 29 points. The Kings will look to Friday’s game to get their next win.

Up Next: The Kings stay home at Golden One Center and welcome in the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night at 7 PM PST.