Justin BlackmonJacksonville Jaguars first-round draft pick receiver Justin Blackmon is expected to appear in front of a judge today after he was arrested and charged with an aggravated DUI this weekend in Oklahoma, his second such charge in two years.A Stillwater police officer tried to pull Blackmon over for driving 60 mph in a 35 mph zone as well as driving left of center, according to CBS. Blackmon drove around for blocks before stopping in a gas station parking lot, where he admitted to officers that he had been drinking.Blackmon then agreed to take a Breathalyzer test and blew a .24, which is three times the legal limit of .08, and under Oklahoma law grounds to be charged with an aggravated DUI. He was released from jail on $1,000 bond.This is the second time Blackmon has been arrested for driving under the influence in the past two years. Blackmon was previously charged with a misdemeanor DUI after being caught speeding on a suburban Dallas highway.The Jacksonville Jaguars said the team is aware of the report.
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma just will not stop. Now, he is suing the NFL in federal court, claiming NFL commissioner Roger Goodell failed to make a timely appeal ruling regarding Vilma’s season-long suspension in connection with the league’s bounty investigation.The lawsuit filed Saturday night in U.S. District Court in New Orleans also asks for a temporary restraining order to allow Vilma to continue working if Goodell upholds the suspension.The suit contends Goodell has undermined “the integrity of the NFL and the Commissioner’s office” by handing down punishments to Vilma and others based on evidence that is either flawed or cannot be substantiated.It is the second lawsuit Vilma has filed in the matter. The first, filed in May and also in federal court in New Orleans, seeks unspecified damages from Goodell for defamation of character.In his latest filing, Vilma claims that the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement required Goodell to rule as soon as was practical following a June 18 appeal hearing. Because players, in protest, declined to present new evidence or argue their case in the hearing, Goodell should have been able to rule by June 25, the first business day after the record was closed in the matter, the lawsuit argues.“We have not yet had an opportunity to review Mr. Vilma’s improper effort to litigate a matter that is committed to a collectively bargained process,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “There is no basis for asking a federal court to substitute its judgment for the procedures agreed upon by the NFL and NFLPA, procedures that have been in place, and have served the game well, for decades.”In his latest attack of the NFL’s handling of the bounty probe, Vilma contends punished players have only been able to see less than 1 percent of the 18,000 documents the league said it has compiled. His suit also claims that the few key pieces of evidence the league shared are flawed, including printed reproductions of handwritten notes.“The NFL’s alteration of other documents evidences that the NFL cannot substantiate the suspension, and undermines the integrity of the process,” Vilma’s lawsuit states.The lawsuit seeks to discredit a key piece of evidence outlining bounty pledges from before the NFC Championship Game against Minnesota in January 2010, and also takes aim at fired assistant coach Mike Cerullo, who, according to Vilma, produced the document for the league.
It’s confirmed. Buffalo Bills’ wide receiver, Stevie Johnson, suffered an injury in practice Friday morning while running a route on the field.Johnson was running full speed and immediately went to the ground holding his left hamstring. He had to be helped off the field, escorted by trainers to the locker room.Johnson is the Bills’ No. 1 receiver, and although the severity of the injury remains unclear, players going down this close to the regular season is always worrisome.“He’s going to get evaluated, and it’s always tough when those situations happen,” said coach Doug Marrone. “It would be a major concern if we were talking about it during the season. Right now, a veteran player who has proved himself, we’ll just see what the doctors say, it is what it is and we’ll deal with it from there.”Watch the video above to see what the Bills will be missing this season, if Johnson doesn’t return.
*The amount of points a team outscores its opponent by over a span of 100 playsSource: NBA.com 2015-16Cleveland5.85.9 SEASONTEAMFULL SEASONAFTER ALL-STAR BREAK Love’s defense has also regressed. It had improved a bit during the first half of the season, but now looks problematic again since he returned from an injury. The Cavs, who were 4.5 points better than normal when Love and James shared the court before Love got injured, have been 24 points worse per 100 plays when that duo plays together since Love came back. And much of that decline is on the defensive end; particularly when offenses find ways to pull Tristan Thompson out of the paint in hopes of punishing Love in the middle of the floor, with no one to guard the basket.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/backdoorplay.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/cavsmiscommunication1.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Defensive rebounding is the other area that’s marked a clear difference from last year. Cleveland ranked fifth in defensive-rebounding percentage last year but now is tied for 24th; a decrease due in part to Thompson’s full-time shift to the center position, where he’s been tasked with increased rim-protection responsibility as opposed to just gobbling up misses.5Advanced tracking statistics suggest that Thompson has held his own defensively at the rim this season. The 26-year-old has held foes to 52 percent from close range, 9 points beneath their average marks, good for seventh best in the NBA among players who’ve had to defend at least four shots per game from within six feet.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/thompsonrebound.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.As such, the Cavaliers aren’t the stingy team they once were. Last season, they allowed the third-fewest second-chance points; now they’re the NBA’s sixth-weakest team in that regard. The Cavaliers have enough problems when they limit opponents to one shot, let alone two or three.But how much of the Cavs’ defensive struggles will matter come June? Knowing what we know about LeBron’s ability to flip the switch, analyzing the Cavs’ late-season struggles this closely may prove to be silly. But if the Cavs do indeed fail to reach the finals, there will have been at least some writing on the wall from earlier in the season. 2011-12Miami7.23.0 After making six straight NBA Finals, LeBron James and his teams have earned the benefit of the doubt when they hit a rough patch. His Heat and Cavaliers teams have shown they can turn things around in a hurry, almost as if all they needed to do is flip a switch to revert to their dominant selves.But, my, what a rough patch they’re in. The club, which entered Thursday in a virtual tie with Boston for first place in the East, has dropped 10 of its last 17 games. Six of those defeats have been by double digits, including each of their last four1The team’s Big Three missed two of those five shellackings, while only Kyrie Irving played in a blowout loss against the Bulls back on Feb. 25.. Perhaps most troubling: The team’s defense has been the NBA’s worst throughout the month of March, which is saying a lot, given how many teams aren’t really trying to win anymore.It’s becoming harder and harder to ignore what Cleveland’s play might mean for the Cavs’ chances of repeating as champs. This may be the weakest LeBron team we’ve seen this late in a season since his finals streak began in 2011. Our NBA win prediction model gives Cleveland a 2 percent chance of winning it all, less than teams such as Boston, Washington and Toronto.2This is noteworthy since the Celtics are virtually tied for first with the Cavs, while the Wizards and Raptors are currently behind Cleveland in the standings. And while that seems surprising, it shouldn’t be: Cleveland’s recent struggles are testing the limits of how strong a team’s defense needs to be to win a championship.At the moment, the Cavaliers are tied for 22nd in defensive efficiency, a mark that would rank as the worst among any team that’s reached the finals in modern history.3The Cavs managed to reach the finals two seasons ago with the 20th-ranked defense. But they improved considerably at that end of the floor after making midseason trades for wing stopper Iman Shumpert and center Timofey Mozgov.There are several reasons the Cavs aren’t good defenders. Unlike much of the Big Three era in Miami, where players had the athleticism and smarts to fly around and cause havoc on defense, Cleveland is slow footed. Some of that is a function of the Cavs’ roster being long in the tooth; six members of the rotation are at least 31 years old. Other times, it looks as if players aren’t hustling, which partly explains why the club ranks dead last in transition defense, according to Synergy Sports. The Cavs also really struggle to keep the ball in front of them, and are tied for worst in the league at containing pick-and-roll ballhandlers.As the Cavs seek to work out their kinks, opponents have found that they can often generate fantastic looks against Cleveland with minimal effort and ball movement. Last year the club was pretty solid — 12th best in the NBA — at forcing foes to use nearly all of the shot clock. This season, Cleveland is tied for last in the NBA in terms of how often it forces clubs to use the final four seconds of the shot clock. (That lack of pressure also speaks to how seldom the Cavs force their opponents into turnovers compared with the rest of the league.)Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/loveinbetween.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/lackofattntodetail.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Still, context for the Cavs’ struggles is important. Yes, the team looks mediocre and is in real jeopardy of finishing with the No. 2 seed, or worse, in the East. But James hasn’t really needed the top seed to make the finals over these past six years; in four of those seasons, his team finished in second place before going on to win the East anyway.4Looking at this season’s contenders in the East, these teams don’t really stand out as extraordinary compared with what James has seen in the past; at least not when gauging their point-differential strength against teams the four-time MVP has faced in the playoffs before.“It matters more that we’re playing better basketball than where we’re at,” James told reporters after a 29-point loss in San Antonio this week. “If that results in us having the No. 1 seed, the No. 2 seed, 3 or whatever the hell it is, we need to play better basketball. That’s what it comes down to.”Most clubs would gladly take Cleveland’s problems, given that the Cavs — for all their struggles — have continued to boast a top-flight offense, scoring 110 points per 100 plays (eighth best) over this 17-game span. Coach Tyronn Lue, in a somewhat odd comment, said he has a potential antidote for the team’s defensive woes but that he doesn’t want to unveil it until the postseason begins. (Making the comment even odder: Lue also said he’s not necessarily confident the fix will work.)Yet there are a couple of warning signals worth noting as the Cavs hit the homestretch that simply weren’t there in years past. No James-led team the past six seasons has finished the second half of the season with a negative point differential per 100 possessions, but this one is on the cusp of doing so. Cleveland, with nine games left in its season, is getting outscored by 2.8 points per 100 plays since the All-Star break. 2016-17Cleveland2.8-2.8 2013-14Miami6.15.8 Is it time for LeBron and the Cavaliers to hit the panic button? 2010-11Miami8.57.3 2012-13Miami9.911.9 2014-15Cleveland3.76.9 POINT DIFFERENTIAL PER 100 POSSESSIONS
On Wednesday afternoon, the Oakland Raiders confirmed that history will be made in their playoff game against the Houston Texans Saturday: Rookie quarterback Connor Cook will become the first signal-caller in the Super Bowl era to make his NFL debut in a playoff game.It’s probably not the way Cook wanted to enter the record books. Things rarely go well when a team is forced to use a backup QB, particularly in the playoffs. Since 1966, there have been 86 playoff games where a team’s primary passer1i.e., the quarterback who led the team in dropbacks during the game. wasn’t the same as the team’s usual QB from the regular season;2i.e., the quarterback who led the team in dropbacks during the season. in those games, the team in question scored 21 percent fewer points than their seasonal per-game average, and their passing efficiency (as measured by adjusted net yards per attempt) was 20 percent worse than normal.Now, it being the postseason, you’d expect less offensive output anyway (since good defensive teams tend to make the playoffs). And indeed, teams who have their usual starter also see their performance decline — but only to the tune of 10 percent in points per game, and 12 percent in passing efficiency. The penalty for starting a backup is about double the typical postseason drop-off.3That the typical drop-offs for passing and overall offense are roughly equal lines up with research that shows passing efficiency is far more correlated with offensive success than how a team does in the running game. (Plus, quarterbacks do play their own role in the running game, whether by rushing themselves, by handing off or by opening up the defense with effective passing.)Things get even worse when a rookie backup — like Cook — is called into playoff action. Here’s the subset of those 86 games from above where the backup was in his first NFL season: It’s only an 11-game sample, but offenses led by rookie backups tend to collapse even harder than those directed by stand-ins with some NFL experience. Those teams’ points per game declined by 29 percent and their passing efficiency by 49 percent when compared with their regular-season averages.The good news for Oakland, however, is that the Texans are also dealing with a quarterback crisis of their own. And although the backup QBs in my dataset above tended to play horribly, they still managed to scratch out a victory more than 35 percent of the time — as did rookie backups. So although Cook may be historically inexperienced for a playoff starter, it wouldn’t exactly be inconceivable for the Raiders to pull off the win anyway.
Ohio State’s 14th-ranked rowing team will compete in its 11th consecutive NCAA championship this weekend.OSU will be one of 16 teams in the competition, which Washington State University will host at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif., Friday through Sunday.OSU coach Andy Teitelbaum said the journey to the NCAA championships is “the same every year.”“You fight your way to get to the NCAAs throughout the regular season and when you get there, you’re just really looking to fight your way as far up the ladder as you can in terms of standings,” Teitelbaum said. “I think our first goal is to win the heat or come in the top three in our heat and we’ll start setting our goals from there, one race at a time.”Teitelbaum coached the previous 10 teams that made NCAA championship appearances.“It’s obviously a credit to this team to have kept the string going, but it’s also a credit to the 10 teams before us,” he said. “We’ve really achieved a very high level of performance on the national scene. I know it’s something that the current athletes are proud of and, from what we hear from the alumni, it’s something they’re proud of too, being a part of that over the past decade and seeing that level of performance continue.”Teitelbaum said the 11 consecutive championship appearances can be attributed to consistently recruiting great rowers and continuously seeking the best competition to measure up against.“I think that those two things that we’ve done have served us well in terms of a consistent level of performance over the years,” he said.Teitelbaum said that although OSU is one of the lower seeds in the event and they will be facing several crews that have beaten them previously in the season, they hope to exceed expectations and even avenge some of their early-season losses.Jill Mohr, a junior member of the Second Varsity Eight crew, said the team’s ultimate goal is for all three boats to make it to the grand finals.“We’re not going to be doing anything too differently,” Mohr said. “We’ve made some line-up changes so hopefully our boats can go faster, but we’re just going to race our race plan and row cleanly. We’ve been working together in the boats the past two weeks since regionals, so hopefully we’re more prepared with our lineups. That should make a difference.”Teitelbaum said the lineup changes should give the team speed in all three events, but that the Second Varsity Eight looks the most promising.“The Second Varsity Eight has been one of the top performers in its event throughout the year and I think that boat has seeded the highest out of the three crews, so I think I would probably look for them in terms of a top performer out of our team,” he said.Mohr said this year’s championships will be a fierce competition and that doing well will be no easy feat. “It’s the top 16 teams in the nation so everybody is looking to bring in the win and is going to give it their all, so you can’t look past anyone,” she said.
Junior back Emma Royce (27) plays defense during a game against Ball State on Sept. 14 at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU won, 3-2, in overtime.Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographerOhio State field hockey is set to embark into unknown territory.OSU (3-6, 0-2) is scheduled to begin a three-game road trip Friday at 3:30 p.m. in College Park, Md., against the No. 2 Maryland Terrapins before a matchup with another top-three team on Sunday.OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said she’s excited about going on the road with her young team and bonding with her athletes.“I’m looking forward to it actually,” Wilkinson said Sunday. “I’m looking forward to getting on the road with this team.”Maryland (7-2, 2-1) has been ranked in the top five of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Coaches’ Poll in 16 consecutive weeks dating back to 2013. And Maryland has appeared in the top five nationally in 158 of 163 rankings since 1999, according to a Maryland release.The Terrapins bring an elite level of field hockey to the Big Ten in their first season in the conference.“I am really excited to have Maryland in the Big Ten,” junior forward Peanut Johnson said in an email. “They are an excellent program and I think they will make the conference stronger and more competitive.”Maryland is coming off back-to-back conference wins last weekend against Michigan and Michigan State. Senior midfielder Maxine Fluharty — who is tied for second on the team in points — led the way Sunday in East Lansing, Mich., with two goals in Maryland’s 4-2 victory against Michigan State.Maryland freshman forward Moira Putsch tallied three points on a goal and an assist over the weekend and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Tuesday.After its matchup with Maryland, OSU is scheduled to travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face the No. 3 Virginia Cavaliers. In all, the Buckeyes have played, or are scheduled to play 11 ranked opponents in 2014.The schedule could seem daunting, but junior back Emma Royce said OSU takes pride in playing the best teams in the country day in and day out.“It is not easy playing ranked teams consistently, however we take it is as a positive challenge,” Royce said via email. “Every battle we face, we know we are improving. The team goal is to use all these challenges to help us peak for the Big Ten Tournament.”Midfielder Tara Vittese was the first Virginia freshman to earn preseason All-ACC honors and has tallied 31 points in 11 games this season.The Buckeyes’ defense must be ready for a high-powered group with four players scoring eight or more goals on the season.“The defensive mindset will be one of strength,” Royce said. “It is crucial that we play with more physicality and that we are decisive in our defensive strategy.“Commitment to a strong defense will make or break us against the best teams.”OSU’s matchup with Virginia is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Buckeyes are scheduled for one more road game after the weekend, against Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J., on Oct. 10, before playing at home again against Kent State Oct. 12.
OSU field hockey senior midfielder Kaitlyn Wagner (13) is accompanied by members of her family as part of Senior Day before a game against Michigan on Nov. 2 at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU lost, 2-1. Credit: Grant Miller / Copy chiefA late goal from Ainsley McCallister with 1:33 left on the clock boosted No. 14 Michigan to a 2-1 victory against Ohio State field hockey on senior day at Buckeye Varsity Field.The redshirt-senior midfielder from Ann Arbor, Mich., struck on a penalty corner for her fifth goal of the season to stun OSU (6-11, 1-7) late in the game Sunday.“Michigan was able to execute their (penalty) corners,” OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said after the game. “They were able to sniff out where our weakness was and they capitalized on it.”Despite the loss, OSU’s season is set to continue in the Big Ten Tournament.The Buckeyes and Wolverines played to a stalemate early in the contest as neither team could muster much offense in the first half with the teams combining for just one shot on goal.Senior midfielder Kaitlyn Wagner credited the team’s ability to stay in tune with each other on defense as key to stopping Michigan’s attack early.“We were just constantly communicating,” Wagner said. “Even if you thought someone was gonna back door your teammate, (we) straight up told them where everyone was at.”In the second half, Michigan (12-6, 6-2) came out with more aggression and effort toward getting the ball to the net.A little more than five minutes into the second frame, the Wolverines were able to force a penalty corner against the stout OSU defense. McCallister took the penalty corner and set up redshirt-senior back Leslie Smith for an errant shot, but a scramble ensued in front of the net.McCallister snuck into the scrum and tip the ball into the back of the net to give Michigan the first goal of the game.OSU struggled to find an attack for most of the game, but with 19 minutes left junior forward Peanut Johnson tallied an equalizer.After two Buckeyes were denied at the front of the net, Johnson crept in behind and put the ball home to tie the game at one.The game appeared to be headed to overtime late when neither team was able to find space for its offense to maneuver. But Michigan’s ability to draw penalty corners was the difference in the end as McAllister’s goal sent OSU’s seniors away with a loss in their final home game.Senior back Carly Mackessy said win or lose, she was happy to give her all against OSU’s biggest rival.“I had a lot of supporters today and today I really just wanted to go out and play for them,” Mackessy said. “Whether we would have won or lost wouldn’t have advanced us, but it was more about the heart and how we were gonna go out against tradition and beat Michigan.”The Buckeyes advanced to the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 8 seed because of a head-to-head tiebreaker with Indiana (9-8, 1-7).Wagner said she was excited to be able to continue her career at OSU for at least one more game and reflected on her time as four-year starter in Columbus.“It felt great just to say, ‘Hey, I was on that field for four years,’” Wagner said. “The amount of playing time, the amount of minutes, the amount of teams I’ve played, the amount of people I’ve played with, is awesome.”Wilkinson said it was great to see her seniors able to control themselves in such an emotional game and give everything one last time for their fans.“I didn’t think they got too caught up in it even though I know inside they were,” Wilkinson said. “I think it was great to see them show up and compete and stay focused.”The Buckeyes are set to face No. 1 seed Maryland in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday in Ann Arbor, Mich., at 10 a.m.
Senior center Trey McDonald is awarded a framed jersey during a Senior Night ceremony prior to a game against Wisconsin on March 8 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 72-48. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThis wasn’t how the regular season was supposed to end.It wasn’t how the Ohio State men’s basketball team wanted to send out its five seniors.But when the clock hit zero on Sunday at the Schottenstein Center, the Buckeyes were on the wrong end of a 72-48 blowout against the No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers on senior day.“You don’t want to go out this way,” senior guard Shannon Scott said. “But we have got to put it behind us now. We know they’re a great team, we knew they were going to come here ready to play, but it’s a new season now.”OSU coach Thad Matta said the loss came as a slight shock to him, as he thought the Buckeyes had perhaps the best practice he had seen in his 11 years as a coach in Columbus the day before the game.“Honest to God, we had maybe the greatest practice I have ever had in March,” Matta said. “I actually went home and slept pretty well. For whatever reason, it didn’t happen.”Scott, who finished his final game at the Schottenstein Center with 10 points, four rebounds and three assists, said the Buckeyes need to put the loss behind them and set their sights on the Big Ten Tournament, scheduled to start in Chicago on Wednesday.“We have no choice but to shake it off,” he said. “If we don’t shake it off right now, we’re gonna lose our very next game.”Despite the shellacking handed down by the Badgers, the Buckeyes earned a first-round bye in the conference tournament, and are set to take on the winner of Minnesota vs. Rutgers in the final Thursday night matchup.OSU, which holds a perfect 2-0 record against those teams this season, would face Michigan State if it could pull out a victory in its first game.With the conference table set, OSU coach Thad Matta said he hopes to get better production from his seniors, who shot just 6-of-24 collectively from the field in their final home game.“I think that experience is huge in March,” Matta said. “I want to get those guys playing their best basketball down this stretch and playing with a chip on their shoulder.”Not only will Matta need better production from his seniors, but also from his freshman guard D’Angelo Russell, who said after the loss that he is not sure what to expect now that tournament play is here.“I don’t know anything about March, but I know anything can happen,” Russell said. “So I know just keeping the right attitude as a team and as a unit and a collective group, just keeping it free and an open mind that anything can happen, I feel like we’ll be successful.”Matta said although Russell hasn’t appeared in a post-season game in college, the Louisville, Ky., native has plenty of experience playing in big games.“I think he will be fine,” Matta said. “The guy has won two high school national championships before he got here. He knows what’s at stake and he will be ready to go.”What’s at stake for the Buckeyes is not only an opportunity to impress the voters for seeding in the NCAA Tournament, but also a chance at Big Ten supremacy. OSU has not won the Big Ten regular season title outright since 2011, and has not won a share since 2012.The Buckeyes did, however, take home the Big Ten Tournament hardware in 2013, the last time the conference tournament was played in Chicago.Four of OSU’s current five seniors were on that championship team, and three contributed to the title win two years ago.Matta said because of that experience, he still has faith in the Buckeyes and the senior class.“We’ve had great success in the Big Ten Tournament over our years here,” he said. “We have had great success in the NCAA Tournament. We need them.”
Then-sophomore attackman Jack Jasinski heads for the goal in the fourth quarter during the first round of the NCAA tournament against Loyola Maryland on May 14, 2017. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThe No. 7 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team remained undefeated at home with its 15-9 victory against No. 20 Boston University Saturday afternoon.The Buckeyes (2-0) showed exactly why their ranked seventh in the country is deserved during the first half, scoring 10 goals while holding the Terriers (1-1) to just one.The first Ohio State two goals came within the first two minutes of the game. Freshman attackman J.T. Bugliosi scooped up a ground ball and fired a shot past Terrier goalie Joe McSorely to put the Buckeyes ahead early.Ohio State sophomore midfielder Christian Feliziani won the ensuing face-off seconds later and ran through an unprepared Boston defense to score his team’s second goal.An illegal procedure penalty on Ohio State in the second period resulted in a man-up advantage for the Terriers, who capitalized on the opportunity to record their first goal of the game.The Buckeyes, however, remained focused and continued their first-half dominance. They won 12-of-13 face-offs and picked up 23 ground balls compared to Boston’s 14 in the first half.“Both offensively and defensively we were clicking. I think we were moving the ball super good on offense and we were getting good chances,” Ohio State sophomore attackman Tre Leclaire said.At halftime, senior goalie Matthew Smidt said head coach Nick Myers told the Buckeyes to remain focused and to not get complacent with a nine-goal lead during the second half.“He said it’s a new ball game,” Smidt said. “You got one half and you got another half, and you’ve got to take care of business in the second half.”The Terriers came out swinging after halftime and quickly scored four unanswered goals during the third period. But junior attackman Jack Jasinski, assisted by midfielder John Kelly, scored for the Buckeyes to stop Boston’s momentum with 6:19 left in the third period.“After they had a couple goals on us I think we just took a deep breath and relied on our game plan and executed that plan,” said Leclaire.Boston outscored Ohio State 5–3 in the third period and 3–2 in the fourth, but could not overcome the first-half deficit.“We came out a little slow in the second half — partially on me — but we took a step back and we did our thing and we came out with the W,” Smidt said.Nine different Buckeyes recorded goals, with four coming from freshman midfielder Jackson Reid and three contributed by Leclaire.Smidt said the team’s goal going into the match was to keep their heads down, focus on the job that needed to be done and do it — but to have fun playing in the process.“We’re here to do a job. That’s to keep the record in here and to keep grinding,” Smidt said. “We have all our parents here and all that stuff – it’s more fun than anything. Playing in front of your home crowd is something unbelievable.”The Buckeyes will look for another home win when they face Hofstra at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Feb. 17.
Ohio State junior outfielder Dominic Canzone (33) rounds second base after a hit in the Ohio State-Michigan game on April 12.Ohio State defeated Michigan 10-5. Photo: Braden Moles | Senior ReporterThe Ohio State baseball team pulled off the upset. Ohio State (19-16, 3-4, Big Ten) opened its three-game series against its rival No. 24 Michigan (23-10, 4-2, Big Ten) with a 10-5 win at Bill Davis Stadium.Coming off of two midweek wins against Ohio and Dayton, the Buckeyes kept the momentum going into Friday’s matchup against the Wolverines. A homer in the top of the first from Michigan center fielder Jesse Franklin left Ohio State fired up after he stomped on home plate after running the bases.“There’s something that we believe in in our locker room, and it’s called karma,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “We believe in karma. Take care of the game, do what you’re supposed to do, play with respect.” After that, the Buckeyes took the reins of the game and didn’t look back. Ohio State junior right fielder Dominic Canzone recorded a triple in the bottom of the third inning, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by senior second baseman Kobie Foppe. After taking a 2-1 lead in the third inning, Ohio State held the lead for the rest of the game. Canzone was a major part of that offensive explosion. He recorded four hits in five at bats, hitting a solo home run, eighth of the season, in the eighth inning. Errors and ball mishandlings hurt Michigan throughout the game, recording two errors against the Buckeyes. In his first rival matchup of his career, Ohio State freshman pitcher Garrett Burhenn pitched 6.2innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks, striking out seven “Garrett Burhenn the rookie, takes the ball on his first rivalry game and was up to the challenge,” Beals said.Ohio State sophomore designated hitter Brent Todys proved to be a factor with his bat, hitting his fourth home run of the season in the fifth inning, scoring three. With the offense Ohio State showed, Canzone was confident in the way the Buckeyes played in the first game of the series. “We just played the best game of the year and we need to continue to build off that because that’s Buckeye baseball right there,” Canzone said. The Buckeyes will continue the series at Bill Davis Stadium against Michigan on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 2:05 p.m.
Ohio State freshman infielder Marcus Ernst (28) makes contact with the pitch during the March 24 contest against Hawaii at Nick Swisher Field. The Buckeyes lost 15-3. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternDespite trailing 7-3 heading into the eighth inning, Ohio State was able to rally to end its five-game skid.In the ninth inning, the Buckeyes (17-16, 2-4 Big Ten) scored three runs to complete the comeback Tuesday, edging out Ohio (8-22, 3-6 MAC) 10-8.Sophomore catcher Dillon Dingler was able to deliver a two-run double to left-center field to give the Buckeyes a 10-8 lead in the ninth inning. With a four-run deficit through seven innings, freshman outfielder Nolan Clegg scored on a passed ball, cutting the Bobcats’ lead to 7-4. Redshirt sophomore catcher Brent Todys then tied the game on one swing, launching a three-run home run to tie the game at 7.The Buckeyes tallied three more runs in the ninth inning on an RBI single from junior first baseman Conner Pohl and Dingler’s two-RBI double to win their first game since March 30. Todys finished with three hits and four RBI. Clegg also hit his second home run of the season, finishing the game with three RBI. For the Bobcats, redshirt freshman designated hitter Cole Revels tallied five RBI in the game. On the mound, Ohio State freshman pitcher Will Pfenning struggled, allowing five earned runs on five hits and two walks in three innings of work. After allowing three runs in the next 4.2 innings of work, junior left-handed pitcher Andrew Magno was able to keep the Bobcats off the scoreboard for the remaining 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Ohio State will take on Dayton at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium.
“We will all be thinking about the 144 people who died – most of them children between the ages of seven and ten – and the hundreds more who have lived with the shock and grief of that day, summed up by one poet who said simply, ‘All the elements of tragedy are here’.”I well remember my own visit with Prince Philip after the disaster, and the posy I was given by a young girl, which bore the heart-breaking inscription, “From the remaining children of Aberfan.””Since then, we have returned on several occasions and have always been deeply impressed by the remarkable fortitude, dignity and indomitable spirit that characterises the people of this village and the surrounding valleys.”On this saddest of anniversaries, I send my renewed good wishes to you all.’ Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “I was at school in Scotland, having just returned from a period at school in Australia and I can never forget the feeling of utter despair as I heard of the unspeakable tragedy that had befallen your community.”Over the years, I have learned more of the heartbreak and the hardships you experienced, and of the extraordinary dignity with which you faced them.”Aberfan showed the world the darkest sorrow, but also the most shining selflessness: a spirit which endured not just for the time of crisis, but for a lifetime.”No-one should have to bear the losses you suffered. But no-one could have borne those losses with greater strength or greater courage.”The motto of Merthyr Tydfil is ‘nid cadarn ond brodyrdde’, sometimes translated as ‘not force, but fellowship’. In that spirit, through all you have endured, you have borne witness to the world that even the greatest loss cannot triumph over love.” Prince Charles attended a reception with the families of some of those who lost their lives in the disaster.During the reception, he watched performances by Ynysowen Male Voice Choir and Ynysowen and Ysgol Rhyd y Grug school choirs.Eve Price, a harpist from Ysgol Gyfun Rgydywaun in Aberfan also performed, accompanied by Anne Denholm, the Royal harpist.In a speech, the Prince of Wales said: “Foneddigion a boneddigesau. Anyone who is old enough can remember where they were when they heard the appalling news about the Aberfan disaster. The Queen asked to send a personal message to the community of Aberfan, which Charles read on her behalf.Her message read: “As you come together as a community today to mark 50 years since the dreadful events of Friday 21st October 1966, I want you to know that you are in my own and my family’s thoughts, as well as the thoughts of the nation. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales meets local people outside the Aberfan school memorial gardenCredit:Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The trust said there was evidence of poor processes and recording but no evidence staff were deliberately “gaming” the four hour target.But a whistle blower from the trust told Health Service Journal that staff recorded patient as having been admitted to “EDU” to avoid being “harassed” over breaches of the four hour target.Such patients were not moved from A&E at all, the member of staff said. Minutes from a senior managers’ meeting obtained by HSJ show the term was in use as early as 2013.A former staff member who worked in the trust’s A&E department said the virtual EDU was nicknamed a “breach avoidance unit”. There is a four-hour target for patients visiting A&ECredit:Chris Radburn/PA In November 2016, the committee looked into “a small number of cases” where the times entered for admission in computer notes “did not tally” with the time in paper notes.The audit concluded that these cases were administration errors rather than an attempt to present the trust in a better light.The trust came under scrutiny last month for long A&E waits, after the death of a woman from cardiac arrest after 35 hours on trolley at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. A trust where a woman died after a 35 hour wait on a trolley has been accused of fiddling previous Accident & Emergency figures.A national four hour A&E target means 95 per cent of patients should be seen within four hours or admitted to a ward. But a whistleblower from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust said staff counted some patients as hitting the target by claiming they were being treated in a “virtual” ward – even though they were physically still in A&E.The trust’s own records show patients at Alexandra Hospital in Redditch were logged as being admitted to a ward called an “Emergency Decisions Unit” (EDU) even though they actually stayed in A&E. In other cases, the times that patients were logged as being moved were at odds with reality, the records showed. The source also said staff felt under pressure from managers to “falsify records for the four hour target”, and nurses did not want trust managers “harassing” them over four hour breaches.A trust spokesman said the trust did not recognise these claims and refuted them.The whistleblower, who wished to remain anonymous, said staff would “pretend” a patient had moved into an EDU but would not physically move the patient out of A&E.This would enable A&E nurses to continue to care for the “admitted” patient without having to spread themselves more thinly by working in both the A&E and actual EDU wards.“Very often it was at night or weekends, where there were very few staff,” the source said.In February 2015, the trust asked its audit committee to look into the allegations but found “no evidence on the manipulation of data”.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. 20,000 people arrived at Trafalgar Square today to watch an actor play Jesus for who has been doing it for 20 years.
The Scotland-England World Cup match this Saturday will witness Scotland’s biggest police operation since the Commonwealth Games in 2014.The number of armed officers on the street will more than double for major public events over the next few days in response to the London terror attack.Police Scotland said officers “overtly” carrying guns would be at the game in Glasgow and at a Robbie Williams concert in Edinburgh, while armed response vehicles would patrol election venues on Thursday.Senior officers said there was no intelligence that a terrorist attack was planned but they wanted to provide public reassurance.Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: ”There’s nervousness about the potential to disrupt the democratic process but while we are still operating at UK severe (threat level), there’s no intelligence that any election event, location or venue is going to be the target of any sort of action or terrorist activity.”We will be maintaining a visible presence at certain locations and we will be maintaining a static presence at all the counting venues.”To support this operation and all the events over the next couple of days, we have maintained our armed policing response at a level which is approximately just slightly more than double our normal business as usual and the intention is to maintain that right the way through to around Sunday and then review it.” Police believe that “risk” supporters, possibly with links to the far right, may be planning to travel to Glasgow to cause disorder. Mr Higgins is authorising extra powers allowing officers to ask people to remove items of clothing such as hoodies, or scarves masking their faces.Police will also carry out a “spotter” operation, with officers from England and Wales helping to identify individuals known to be a risk.The stadium open at 3pm, ahead of the 5pm kick-off, half an hour earlier than usual to give time for security searches of a crowd of more than 50,000.At the Robbie Williams concert at Murrayfield on Friday, the 57,000-strong crowd will be searched before entering the stadium and anyone with a large bag will be asked to leave it at a drop-off zone.Meanwhile, police said a suspicious letter sent to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, posed no risk to the public.Emergency services were called to the palace just after midday on Wednesday and the road outside the building was cordoned off. Armed officers will be on patrol at Hamden Park for the World Cup qualifier and will meet supporters as they leave the stadium. Armed police will be in evidence at major eventsCredit:Getty Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
A police officer who starred in television series Road Wars has been killed in a crash while on duty.Pc James Dixon, from Thames Valley Police, died after a collision involving his force motorcycle and a car in Berkshire.A 91-year-old passenger in the car also died in the crash at about 1.50pm on Tuesday, police confirmed.Tributes have been paid to Pc Dixon, who was known by his nickname “Dixie” on the Sky 1 programme that followed the work of Thames Valley Police officers.Dozens of people posted on the force’s Facebook page to describe Pc Dixon as “one of the best”, with many saying they had watched him on Road Wars. Pc Dixon was based at Loddon Valley police station. His next of kin have been informed.The driver of the car, a woman, was also injured in the crash on Bath Road, in Wargrave, and was taken to hospital for treatment.Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, police said. Such sad news. On behalf of all @EssexPoliceUK our love, solidarity and support are with Pc Dixon’s family, friends and colleagues. https://t.co/9O5M7l8uhY— Stephen Kavanagh (@CCEssexPolice) December 5, 2017 IPCC associate commissioner Guido Liguori said: “We have been notified by Thames Valley Police of a collision on the A4 near Reading, in which, tragically, a 91-year-old woman and a police officer have died.”My thoughts and sympathies are with their families and friends and the colleagues of the officer at this very difficult time.”IPCC investigators are attending the scene as part of an independent investigation to determine the circumstances which led to the collision.” A police spokesman said: “As is standard procedure, due to the fact that the incident resulted in the deaths of a member of the public and an on-duty police officer Thames Valley Police has made a mandatory referral to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) who have begun an investigation.” Thames Valley Police Federation is sad to announce the death on duty of PC 4814 James Dixon following an RTC this afternoon. Our thoughts and Prayers are with his wife, family, friends and colleagues at this desperately sad time. pic.twitter.com/L2fPrbue5d— Craig O’Leary (@TVPFedChair) December 5, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Tributes were also paid on the social media accounts of police forces across the country. James Dixon on his wedding day in February 2016Credit:Nicholas Razzell Stephen Kavanagh, chief constable of Essex Police, said the force’s “love, solidarity and support are with Pc Dixon’s family”. Our thoughts tonight are with our Thames Valley colleagues who have lost a friend. PC James Dixon tragically killed alongside a member of the public when his motorcycle was involved in a collision. Together we stand. #ThinBlueLine. PS 578— OPU Worcestershire (@OPUWorcs) December 5, 2017
A country manor house that inspired Thomas Hardy is at the centre of a planning row as the local council recommended 120 houses be built next door.The development near Dorchester in Dorset would “ruin the environs” of Elizabethan Grade I listed Wolfeton House which the great novelist frequently visited, according to the Hardy Society.It was owned for 400 years by the Trenchard family whose name provided the inspiration the main character in Hardy’s classic 1886 novel The Mayor of Casterbridge. The writer also used the house in the short story The Lady Penelope, in which he described it as “an ivied manor-house, flanked by battlemented towers”.Wolfeton House was also visited by Sir Walter Raleigh and King George III during his stays to nearby Weymouth. Katharine Thimbleby does not approve of the plans Credit:BNPS Wolfeton House is currently owned by Captain Nigel Thimbleby, a retired army officer and relative of the Trenchards, and his wife Katharine.Capt Thimbleby, 82, said: “The parish council had voted unanimously against this development and we all thought it was unlikely to proceed. It was only recently that we realised we were being taken for a ride.”We have got three weeks to sharpen our pencils and do battle and oppose these plans with vigour.”Thomas Hardy was very committed to the Dorset countryside and he was a great walker.”He used to walk to the house from his house just the other side of Dorchester and I have absolutely no doubt that he would be appalled at what is going on.” The planned housing estate will be 200 yards from Wolfeton and within sight of Prince Charles’ Poundbury development.It will be the first time in 400 years the surrounding landscape would change.Tony Fincham, of the Hardy Society, said: “This proposed development is within 200 yards of Wolfeton House and it will damage the environs of the 16th century house, which remains in appearance exactly as described by Hardy.”He added: “It’s not good news for those concerned about preserving Thomas Hardy’s landscape, which is an integral part of his literary heritage.” Capt Nigel Thimbleby with his wife Katharine currently own at Wolfeton House Credit:BNPS Despite the of opposition against the housing estate planners at West Dorset District Council have recommended it be built. A committee meeting to decide the matter will be held in three weeks time. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have arrested six people – four men aged 18, 19, 23 and 58 and two teenagers aged 17 – on suspicion of robbery.A post on Littlerock’s Facebook page said staff and customers had been left “traumatised” by the incident. Dane is the brother of Manchester United’s Marcus, rightCredit:@marcusrashford on Instagram Tyler’s brother is Liverpool full-back Trent, rightCredit:@94tylerarnold on Twitter GMP Superintendent Mark Dexter said: “Thankfully no-one was seriously injured, but the victims have been left understandably shaken following this incident.”It is thanks to the swift action of our officers that we now have six men in custody, but this investigation is still very much ongoing and officers will be in the area continuing with inquiries.” The brothers of two England footballers were beaten and robbed at gunpoint while eating breakfast at a cafe in Manchester.Dane Rashford, brother of Manchester United striker Marcus, and Tyler Alexander-Arnold, sibling of Liverpool defender Trent, were at the Littlerock cafe in the Moss Side area when three men armed with a shotgun, machete and baseball bats swooped on the premises on Saturday morning, according to police sources.Mr Rashford and Mr Alexander-Arnold were taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary after the attack. A third man, said to be their friend, was injured.The assailants stole a white Range Rover after taking keys and a wallet from Mr Alexander-Arnold, a white BMW 3 series and a watch that belonged to Mr Rashford.The Range Rover was later found abandoned around two miles away in Fallowfield. Two guns were found in a nearby bush and seized by police as part of their investigation. The Littlerock cafe in ManchesterCredit:MEN Media “From the Littlerock staff, we thank you for supporting us through this difficult time.” “We send our deepest sympathies to the customers that got injured in the incident that took place, we hope they have a speedy recovery. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The father of climber Tom Ballard, who went missing in the Himalayas five days ago, has said his son’s disappearance is bringing back painful memories of his wife’s death on K2 in 1995.Helicopters have been scouring Pakistan’s perilous Nanga Parbat for Tom, 30, and his Italian climbing partner Daniele Nardi, 42, who have not been heard from since Sunday.The pair had been scaling the so-called “Killer Mountain”, the ninth highest in the world, but disappeared at about 6,300 metres during fog, sleet and heavy winds.Tom’s father Jim Ballard said today that he still holds out hope that his son will return home, even though finding him will be “like finding a green beer mat on the pitch at Twickenham”.His wife, Alison Hargreaves, was the first woman to reach the top of Everest unaided. She died in 1995 aged just 33 during a descent from the peak of K2 in the Himalayas and her body has never been found.“This takes me back to those days,” Mr Ballard told The Times.“When the news broke there was no helicopter and we couldn’t get one to the base camp at K2. But the same day the Pakistani military became interested and said they could do send one and did.” Ian Sykes, a friend of the Ballard family, told BBC Scotland that Tom was a talented and experienced climber, adding: “It must have been very tough for the kids growing up without their mum and I hope to God things are going to be ok in this case. It is very worrying.”Plans to use a helicopter to sweep the mountain face for Tom and Daniele were initially scuppered by the sudden escalation of tensions between Pakistan and India this week, which caused airspace to close.The Foreign Office have confirmed that staff are in contact with the Pakistani authorities in relation to the disappearance. The British climber had been an avid mountaineer since he was a child Tom at the summit of the Matterhorn during a challenge in the AlpsCredit:Tom Ballard/Tom Ballard Tom Ballard has gone missing while scaling a mountain in Pakistan In 2015, Tom became the first person to ever complete a solo climb of all six major north faces of the Alps in one winter.He has previously said that he is “following in the family footsteps” by attempting many of the climbs his mother had completed before her death and that mountaineering is “in his DNA”. On Thursday “traces of an avalanche” and a “tent invaded by snow” were spotted by search teams doing a sweep of the mountain in a helicopter. It has not been confirmed that the tent belongs to Tom and Daniele. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.