By GARY SCHATZ Associated Press
GOODYEAR, Ariz (AP) — Luis Castillo accomplished two of his goals last year: He was the Reds’ opening day starter and made the All-Star team. He’s aiming higher in 2020.
With an upgraded offense behind him, Cincinnati’s best starter thinks he’s capable of winning the Cy Young Award.
“I try to set goals every year,” Castillo said. “Even though I got those two goals, I want to get three goals. I want to get three goals and add the Cy Young and make the playoff.”
“I think with this team filled with veterans, it is something we can do together,” he said.
Castillo, 27, had a breakout season in every way last year. He was 11-4 with a 2.63 ERA in early August before fading down the stretch of his most challenging season. He finished 15-8 with a 3.40 and 226 strikeouts in 190 2/3 innings.
The first-time All-Star had career highs in wins, innings and strikeouts, relying on a changeup that former Cubs manager Joe Maddon likened to a “Bugs Bunny change-up” because of the way it complements his fastball.
“He had a phenomenal year,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Just staying hungry and continuing to get better will help him reach his potential, which is through the roof. We saw a lot last year and there’s more in there for sure.”
Over the last three seasons, Castillo leads the Reds’ staff with 28 wins, 78 starts, 449 2/3 innings and 489 strikeouts. He’ll be eligible for arbitration next year.
Castillo got attention with his impressive beginning to last season. Bell chose him for the opening day start, and he allowed only two hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 5-3 win over Pittsburgh. After 10 starts, he was 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA, allowing only three homers overall.
Castillo struggled near the end of the season as his innings piled up. He had a 4.40 ERA in his last eight starts, giving up at least five runs three times.
He’s trying to use his changeup more strategically this season.
“The small little things are what we are focusing on this year,” Castillo said. “The mistakes from last year. We will learn from this year.”
The Reds finished near the bottom of the National League in runs scored last season despite playing in one of its most hitter-friendly ballparks. The additions of infielder Mike Moustakas and outfielders Nick Castellanos and Shogo Akiyama are expected to provide a significant upgrade,
The Reds also added to an already impressive rotation by signing left-hander Wade Miley. Castillo leads a rotation that includes All-Star Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani.
“I gives me such confidence,” Castillo said.
NOTES: Reds star 1B Joey Votto, from Canada, paid tribute to late Blue Jays star Tony Fernandez by writing on his cap: “RIP Tony. My dad and I loved you.”
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — NFL offensive tackle Greg Robinson remained in a West Texas jail without bond Wednesday after federal agents said they found 157 pounds (71.21 kilograms) of marijuana in a rented vehicle in which he and two other people were riding.
Robinson, 27, of Thibodeaux, Louisiana, and Jaquan Tyreke Bray, 26, of La Grange, Georgia, were in the El Paso County Detention Center after federal authorities charged them with conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute it. Both were held without bond pending an initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge.
If convicted, both could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison.It was unclear from jail and federal court records if they had attorneys.
According to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Robinson, Bray and an unidentified third person were driving from Los Angeles to Louisiana in a rented sport utility vehicle on Interstate 10 through a remote section of West Texas. When they passed a Border Patrol agent with a drug-sniffing dog, the dog detected the scent of marijuana. The agent radioed ahead to the patrol’s checkpoint in near Sierra Blanca, Texas, 83 miles (134 kilometers) southeast of El Paso.
There, the patrol stopped and inspected the vehicle, finding several large duffel bags containing vacuum-sealed black bags containing what tested positive as marijuana, the complaint stated. Also found were glass jars and packaging equipment, along with $3,100 in cash.
Agents said the unidentified passenger was an Uber driver who also drove and ran errands for Robinson and his family and friends. The passenger showed agents cellphone texts that showed Robinson had offered to pay the passenger to claim ownership of the marijuana, according to the complaint. The texts showed the passenger, who is a legally resident immigrant but not a U.S. citizen, refused and would not have made the trip if aware of the drugs in the vehicle. The person was not charged.
The former Auburn University standout was drafted second overall in 2014, by the St. Louis Rams. He signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2018. The Browns recently informed Robinson’s representatives they did not intend to re-sign him as a free agent.
Robinson battled inconsistency while starting 14 games last season for the Browns, who had a disappointing 6-10 season. He was benched for one game and missed another with a concussion.
This story has been corrected to show Greg Robinson is an offensive tackle, not a lineman.
By MARK SCHMETZER Associated Press
CINCINNATI (AP) — Central Florida turned to Tony Johnson Jr. in the second half. The freshman didn’t let the Knights down.
Johnson scored four of his career-high 21 points in the second overtime and Central Florida upset first-place Cincinnati 89-87 in an American Athletic Conference game on Wednesday night.
Johnson, who didn’t start the game before coach Johnny Dawkins sent him out to start the second half, shook off the roars from the Cincinnati crowd of 10,874 to convert two free throws before scoring on a layup with a 1:03 left to give Central Florida (14-11, 5-8) an 86-85 lead. Matt Milon added two free throws with 11.7 seconds left to give UCF a 3-point cushion.
“I was comfortable,” Johnson Jr. said. “We’ve played in front of big crowds before. Coach always tells me to be ready. It was my time.”
Jarron Cumberland’s half court 3-pointer was ruled to have come after the buzzer after a brief video review, clinching the Knights’ third win in their last four games.
Brandon Mahan scored eight of his season-high 20 points in the first overtime. He got free for three layups before sinking two free throws with 24 seconds left in the first overtime to match his single-game career high and give Central Florida an 80-77 lead, but Jaevon Cumberland connected on a long 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds left to force a second overtime.
Trevon Scott gave Cincinnati (17-9, 10-4) a 70-68 lead on an off-balance layup with 31.3 seconds left in regulation, but Mahan answered with a game-tying layup of his own with 13 seconds left, sending Cincinnati to its fourth consecutive overtime game, tying an NCAA record.
Taking advantage of a leaky Cincinnati defense, Johnson Jr. scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half. Collin Smith scored 17 points in the game before fouling out in the first minute of overtime. Milon and Darin Green Jr. each added 12.
Scott logged his 11th double-double of the season, ninth in conference play, for Cincinnati. He set a single-game career high with 21 rebounds while scoring a team-high 22 points. Keith Williams chipped in 17 points and Jaevon Cumberland added 12 for the Bearcats, who went into the game tied with No. 22 Houston for first place.
The Bearcats didn’t handle Central Florida’s ball screens well, creating a never-ending series of wide-open layups.
“We got beat,” Bearcats coach John Brannen said. “I was really disappointed with our effort in the first half and our rebounding. We haven’t guarded in a month. I don’t know if we’ve fallen in love with offense, but we’ve got to get tougher guarding. It felt like we were not connected defensively.”
“I don’t think it was anything they were doing defensively,” Dawkins said. “We were fortunate that we had guys step up and make plays. We wanted to come out in the atmosphere and play a tough 40 minutes – well 50 minutes. That was a really good effort.”
Scott almost pulled off a first-half double-double, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds, helping Cincinnati lead by as many as 10 points before Central Florida finished the half with a 5-0 run capped by Mahan’s putback with six seconds left before halftime. Mahan scored 10 points in the first half.
Central Florida: The Knights went into the game 2-12 all-time against the Bearcats, including 0-5 in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati: The overtime was a school- and AAC-record seventh of the season for the Bearcats, who had never played in four straight overtime games.
The Bearcats are 4-3 in their overtime games and 3-3 in their six games decided by one possession — two or three points.
Scott is averaging 10.4 rebounds per game as he tries to become the first Bearcat to average in double figures in rebounds for an entire season since Dwight “Jelly” Jones averaged 10.1 during the 1982-1983 season.
Brannen, in his first season with the Bearcats, missed on his first shot at posting his 100th career win. He won 81 games in four seasons as coach at Northern Kentucky before coming to Cincinnati.
Central Florida: The Knights play their only home game in a stretch of four on Saturday against Tulane. Central Florida beat the Green Wave 74-55 on January 14 in New Orleans.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats stay home to play Wichita State on Sunday. Cincinnati knocked off the Shockers 80-79 on February 6 in Kansas.
More AP college basketball: http://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians are already dealing with adversity before taking the field for their first full-squad workout.
Starter Mike Clevinger was undergoing surgery Friday to repair torn meniscus in his left knee after the right-hander hurt it while working out at the team’s training complex in Goodyear, Arizona.
“He was doing some drills a couple days ago,” manager Terry Francona said. “He felt something. We took him to the training room. Then we let him go home to see how he feels. I think our trainers were a little nervous at the outset that this has meniscus written all over it. He was pretty sore so they got him an MRI.”
The Indians won’t have a timetable for Clevinger’s return until after the operation, but it’s safe to assume he will miss at least several weeks.
If there’s a bright spot, it’s that the injury happened early in camp and not closer to the season’s start.
“It’s not doomsday,” Francona said. “One, we know he’s a quick healer. And two, he will be able to keep his arm in condition the entire time. I’d prefer it didn’t happen, but he’s going to be OK.”
Clevinger went 13-4 last season and the Indians are counting on him to help fill some of the void after they traded two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers this winter.
The 29-year-old Clevinger has become a vital part of the team’s rotation, winning 38 games over the past three seasons. He made 21 starts in 2019, but missed time early in the year with a strained back muscle. Clevinger had a 2.71 ERA last season.
Clevinger avoided arbitration by signing a $4.1 million contract for this season. He’s recently been outspoken about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
Also, the Indians and outfielder Domingo Santana agreed to a $1.5 million contract that includes a $5 million club option for 2021. He played for Seattle last season, batting .253 with 21 homers and 69 RBIs in 121 games. The 27-year-old Santana missed 24 games in August and September with an injured right elbow.
He’ll enter a crowded competition to win one of the open starting spots in Cleveland’s outfield. Only center fielder Oscar Mercado seems to have a job locked up.
“It’s an offensive bat with right handed power that isn’t easy to find,” Francona said of Santana. “Where it ends up fitting, we don’t know all of that yet. With (Franmil) Reyes, with (Jordan) Luplow, with Domingo, it’s enough of a bat, a pretty potent bat at times. We thought it was worth signing him. We don’t know where it all fits together but we’ll figure that out.”
Santana is excited about the new opportunity.
“This is a great organization. I’m really glad that I’m part of it,” he said. “They didn’t talk to me about how I would fit here. They really just talked to my agent so I don’t know that part yet. I’m just glad I’m here. I’m comfortable with which ever role they put me in. I just want to prepare myself and be healthy.”
More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana State University’s Hesiman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow has a new honor to add to his long list of awards and achievements. He inspired the name of the newest male giraffe at Louisiana’s capital city zoo.
A public naming competition selected the name Burreaux — a Cajun-inspired spelling of Burrow’s last name — for the giraffe calf born Dec. 26.
The Baton Rouge Zoo announced the selection Friday, saying the public chose the winning name from three options: Romeo, Burreaux and Kiume, a Swahili word meaning masculine and strong.
Zoo staff took nominations for the names and narrowed them to the finalists. The public voted with donations, which the zoo said raised more than $2,000 that will go to its conservation efforts.
Burrow is LSU’s most decorated quarterback, leading the Tigers to a national championship victory earlier this year. He’s widely expected to be the top player taken in the 2020 NFL draft.
By JOHN WAWROW AP Hockey Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Look out NHL, Victor “”Goal-ofsson” is back.
Taking two periods to shake off the rust after missing six weeks with a sprained left ankle, Buffalo forward Victor Olofsson quickly rediscovered his scoring touch in the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime win over the depleted Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Olofsson’s one-timer for his rookie-leading 10th power-play goal tied it at 2 early in the third. He then scored his 18th goal 2:44 into overtime
“It’s big for my confidence,” Olofsson said. “I didn’t feel great the first couple periods, so I needed some time to find my game. But right now, it feels great.”
The 24-year-old from Sweden is a late bloomer, picking up the nickname “Goal-ofsson” after leading Buffalo’s minor league affiliate with 30 goals as an AHL rookie last year.
And to think, coach Ralph Krueger had to coax Olofsson back into the lineup.
“We had to convince him yesterday he was good to go,” Krueger said. “He wanted to be 100%, and we told him that if he would’ve had some fatigue we could have injected people. But that never showed up.”
Olofsson certainly didn’t look tired on the decisive goal.
Catching the Blue Jackets on a line change, Jack Eichel gained the Columbus zone by driving up the left wing. He then headed below the goal line before dropping a pass to Olofsson, who converted a one-timer from the slot.
Eichel had a goal and two assists on a night when the Sabres honored members of their 2000 decade teams as part of the franchise’s season-long 50th anniversary celebration. Evan Rodrigues also scored, and Carter Hutton stopped 28 shots to improve to 4-1 in his past five starts.
The Blue Jackets dropped to 0-1-2 in their past three games in their worst skid since losing four straight from Nov. 30 to Dec. 7.
Columbus squandered a 2-0 lead, but salvaged a point on Markus Nutivaara’s tap-in goal with 1:13 remaining in regulation.
Nathan Gerbe and Boone Jenner also scored for the Blue Jackets, who lost 2-1 to Buffalo in overtime on Feb. 1. Matiss Kivlenieks stopped 23 shots.
Columbus coach John Tortorella said the game changed when Eichel cut the lead to 2-1 by scoring on an odd-man rush with 1:13 remaining in the second.
“The play at the end of the second period is just stupid, just stupid,” Tortorella said, noting how three veteran forwards, including captain Nick Foligno, got caught in the Sabres end.
“You know that goal gives them life. They’re dead in the water after two periods if we’re up 2-0,” he added. “It’s just stupid and quite honestly selfish. And that put us in a jam.”
The four goals allowed were the most given up by the defensive-minded Blue Jackets since a 4-3 overtime loss at Ottawa on Dec. 14. Columbus also lost a game when leading through two periods for just the sixth time this season, dropping to 13-2-4.
The Blue Jackets can’t afford many missteps in what’s setting up to be a tightly contested Eastern Conference playoff race. They are tied with Philadelphia in holding the conference’s final two wild-card spots.
Columbus played its second game since losing top defenseman Seth Jones and one of their top scorers, Cam Atkinson, to injuries.
Jones, who is fourth on the team with 30 points, will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury, while Atkinson will be sidelined for two to three weeks with a lower-body injury.
Columbus was already without Brandon Dubinsky, who has missed the entire season with a wrist injury, and starting goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who has resumed practicing, but missed his 19th game with a knee injury.
REMEMBERING THE 2000s
The Sabres honored members of their teams from the 2000s during a pregame ceremony.
Among the former players in attendance were co-captain Daniel Briere, Jason Pominville, Jay McKee and Rhett Warrener, who was a member of the Sabres team that lost to Dallas in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final.
Also on hand was former owner Thomas Golisano, who prevented the franchise from relocating by purchasing it out of bankruptcy in the spring of 2003. The Sabres were forced into bankruptcy after the NHL took control of the team from John Rigas, who was eventually convicted of looting his television cable system, Adelphia.
The Sabres produced a video broadcast on the scoreboard personally thanking Golisano for preserving the team in Buffalo.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman attended the game to be with Golisano, and both were presented golden Sabres pucks for their stewardship of the team.
NOTES: Blue Jackets Liam Foudy picked up his first NHL point in his second game with an assist on Jenner’s goal. The 2018 first-round draft pick was called up on an emergency basis from his Ontario Hockey League team in London. NHL rules required Columbus to return Foudy to the juniors for London’s game Friday. … The Sabres sent F Scott Wilson to the minors, with Olofsson and Kyle Okposo (upper body) activated off injured reserve. … Sabres LW Marcus Johansson did not play and is day to day with an upper-body injury.
Blue Jackets: Host the New York Rangers on Friday night.
Sabres: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night for the finale of a four-game homestand.
For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
By JOE KAY AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — Coach Luke Fickell informed Michigan State on Monday that he’s decided to stay at Cincinnati, leaving the Spartans to resume their search to find Mark Dantonio’s replacement.
Fickell has rebuilt Cincinnati into a Top 25 program in his three seasons. Dantonio, who stepped down from the job this month, also coached at Cincinnati.
After considering the Michigan State job over the weekend, Fickell announced he was staying because his family is comfortable in Cincinnati.
“I know at some point in time things always come to an end, whether they get rid of you, kids leave — there’s all kinds of things,” Fickell said in a video posted on the team’s website. “But the bottom line is first and foremost family. Obviously my family loves it here.”
Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman focused on Fickell with the advice of Dantonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo, who was also part of the search that landed Dantonio from Cincinnati.
Fickell has led the Bearcats back into the national spotlight. They were in the Top 25 most of last season, going 11-3 with a 38-6 victory over Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl.
The Bearcats lost their final game of the regular season at Memphis 34-24, then returned to Memphis for the American Athletic championship game and lost again, 29-24.
Replacing Dantonio is the biggest decision so far for Beekman. He replaced Mark Hollis, who retired early in 2018 amid the fallout from the sexual abuse scandal involving Larry Nassar, a former Michigan State sports doctor who also worked for USA Gymnastics.
The Spartans lost their all-time winningest coach when Dantonio unexpectedly announced his retirement on Feb. 4. He went 114-57 over 13 years, with three Big Ten titles and a College Football Playoff in a six-season span from 2010 to 2015. Michigan State slipped to 7-6 each of the past two seasons.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
By MITCH STACY AP Sports Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The extra incentive to win was evident in the amped-up intensity, extra pushing and shoving, and scattered punches exchanged between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets.
In the end, a major gaffe by Columbus’ Zach Werenski led to the overtime goal that gave the Lightning a 2-1 win in the first meeting of the teams since the Blue Jackets swept Tampa Bay in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs for their first-ever postseason series victory.
Werenski turned the puck over behind his own net and Victor Hedman fed it out to Kucherov, who beat Elvis Merzlikins 31 seconds into overtime for the 2-1 win on Monday night, the seventh straight for the hot Lightning.
“I (screwed) that one up,” a dejected Werenski said. “That’s about it pretty much.”
The game was close-checking and chippy, not unlike the playoff series between the two teams last spring. But Kucherov, who also scored in the first period, downplayed the revenge factor.
“We got two points and we’re happy with that,” he said. “What happened in the past stays there, and we’re trying not to think about it. But I guess those guys are trying to say something about last year on the ice, but who cares.”
Former Blue Jackets backup Curtis McElhinney, starting ahead of Andrei Vasilevskiy on the first night of a back-to-back, had 31 saves to extend the Lightning’s point streak to nine games (8-0-1).
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored for Columbus. Merzlikins — who finished with 28 saves — and the Blue Jackets lost their second straight after a 10-game point streak helped move them up the table in the Metropolitan Division. Coupled with the New York Islanders’ win at Washington, Columbus dropped from third place into the first wild card slot.
Tampa Bay, chasing first-place Boston in the Atlantic Division, is 19-2-1 in the last 22 games.
“There was a lot of anticipation coming into this game,” Lightning forward Alex Killhorn said. “It was a game we wanted to win. We’ve been playing well. I think they have as well.”
The Lightning were missing prolific scorer Steven Stamkos because of an injury, and the Blue Jackets were without star defenseman Seth Jones (ankle injury) and forward Cam Atkinson (lower-body injury).
Kucherov started it for the Lightning at 2:29 of the first when he redirected Mikhail Sergachev’s shot from the point.
The Blue Jackets tied it in the second. Shortly after Columbus missed on a 2-on-1 rush, Bjorkstrand got a breakaway, deked McElhinney and backhanded a shot over his right pad 3:44 into the middle period.
Columbus coach John Tortorella was not unhappy with the team’s play.
“I thought we showed them way too much respect in the first period,” he said. “We caught hold of ourselves, and then I thought we played a really good hockey game.
“The thing that frustrates me is, I want us to have a chance to win the overtime. And if they’re going to beat us, I want them to beat us, not us beat ourselves. That’s what’s frustrating to me. I want to see it play out. Let it play out, not have it end that way.”
NOTES: Columbus F Liam Foudy was recalled from London of the Ontario Hockey League on an emergency basis and made his NHL debut. … Merzlikins was named the NHL No. 1 Star for the week ending Feb. 9. … Lightning D Ryan McDonagh (lower body) missed his second game with injury and D Jan Rutta (lower body) missed his third. … Stamkos could return Tuesday night against Pittsburgh. … Sergachev’s assist was his 100th career point. … Markus Nutivaara replaced Jones on the Blue Jackets’ first defensive pairing alongside Zach Weresnki.
Lightning: At Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Blue Jackets: At Buffalo on Thursday.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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By GENARO C. ARMAS Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin guard Brevin Pritzl was looking down at the final boxscore from a podium when Trevor Anderson leaned in from a few seats over to give his teammate a compliment.
It might have been the only time that Pritzl was caught off guard on Sunday following the Badgers’ easy 70-57 win over Ohio State.
Pritzl scored 19 points, shooting 5 of 6 from 3-point territory, while Anderson added eight points. They led a stellar effort by Wisconsin’s bench, which outscored Ohio State’s reserves 30-16.
“Shout out to my man,” Anderson said as he looked down at Pritzl. “Heck of a day for him!”
Wisconsin (14-10, 7-6 Big Ten Conference) responded to another tough week off the court with another home win in the rough-and-tumble league to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume.
Strength and conditioning coach Erik Helland resigned Thursday after being placed on leave for allegedly using a racial epithet in front of Badgers players as he recounted a story from his days in the NBA. The school said it had no evidence Helland had directed racially insensitive language toward any player.
On Sunday, the Badgers regrouped with their fourth straight win at the Kohl Center, closing the final 4:08 of the first half with a 16-0 run to seize control with a 38-20 halftime lead.
“Definitely getting stops was the biggest thing. The biggest key was just locking down,” Pritzl said.
Andre Wesson had 11 points to lead Ohio State (15-8, 5-7), which committed nine of its 14 turnovers in the first half and had trouble getting good shots in the paint.
Six-foot-9 center Kaleb Wesson, the team’s leading scorer at 14.3 points per game, spent much of the final 7 minutes of the first half on the bench with foul trouble. He finished with eight points on 2-of-11 shooting.
D’Mitrik Trice, who scored eight, sandwiched two 3s around a Pritzl trey in a span of 1:08 late in the first half to give Wisconsin a 36-20 lead.
“That was a big momentum turn,” Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann said. “Our closeouts weren’t very good. But give them credit – they hit a lot of shots.”
Helland, in a statement last week to reporters, said that he apologized to players after repeating what he called a “repugnant word” in recounting the story, and that he had voiced his disapproval. Helland said that he made a mistake in a “moment of inattentiveness and for that I have the deepest regret.”
Swingman Kobe King, the team’s second-leading scorer, left the program about two weeks ago to seek a transfer. Wisconsin beat Michigan State on Feb. 1 in its first home game since King left the team.
Each of the last two home wins also followed tough road losses.
“The one thing is they’re resilient, they learn and they’re always ready for the next challenge,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes shot just 32% in the first half and 37% overall on the afternoon. They couldn’t keep up with Wisconsin’s perimeter attack after shooting just 6 of 19 (31%) from the 3-point line.
Wisconsin: Gard started the 6-11 Nate Reuvers and 6-10 Micah Potter, an Ohio State transfer, in the frontcourt together for the first time this season. The lineup change worked with Reuvers (three blocks) and Potter (two blocks) leading an inspiring effort on the defensive end near the bucket in the first half.
ON THE RUN
After falling behind by 18 at the half, the sloppy Buckeyes never got closer than 11 the rest of the way. “I thought we had a lot of balls knocked loose from us,” Holtmann said. “We did not challenge and contest enough on their threes.”
Ohio State: The Buckeyes open a stretch of three of four games at home by hosting Rutgers on Wednesday.
Wisconsin: The Badgers get a five-day break before visiting Nebraska on Saturday.
More AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) ‘ Twitter
STEVE HERRICK Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — The presence of Andre Drummond began the night with optimism for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That positive feeling was quickly dashed by a 133-92 loss Sunday to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cavaliers’ worst home defeat in franchise history.
“Tonight was pretty ugly, so show ’em your worst first and you only can go up from there,” Kevin Love said.
Drummond started in his first game with Cleveland after being acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline. He scored 19 points, had 14 rebounds and even hit a pair of 3-pointers in 29 minutes.
Drummond’s numbers weren’t nearly enough as the Clippers led wire-to-wire without star forward Kawhi Leonard. Cleveland’s previous worst was a 39-point loss to Chicago in 2012.
Lou Williams scored 25 points, Paul George had 22 and Marcus Morris added 10 in his first game with the Clippers.
Los Angeles’ biggest lead was 45 points in the fourth quarter after coach Doc Rivers had given his starters the rest of the night off.
Drummond stressed patience after Cleveland’s 12th straight loss at home. The Cavaliers have dropped 13 of 14 overall.
“We’re not looking at the scoreboard,” he said. “I said it when I first got here in the locker room. I don’t care about the record. I don’t care about the scoreboard. I just care about, did we get better today? My goal is to push these guys and keep them positive, continue to work hard and show no quit on this season.”
The Clippers didn’t miss Leonard, who was out because of a sore left knee. Morris, acquired from New York at the trade deadline, started in Leonard’s spot at power forward and played 22 minutes.
The Clippers were obviously angry following an embarrassing 142-115 loss in Minnesota on Saturday. Los Angeles shot 70% percent in the first quarter, making 14 of 20 from the field.
“There are nights for whatever reason, it’s the perfect storm,” Rivers said. “Last night was one of those. You just move on from it.”
Morris knocked Drummond to the floor with a hard foul as Cleveland’s center tried to score in the third quarter. The play was upgraded to a flagrant foul after a review.
Morris’ final game with the Knicks came in Cleveland on Feb. 3. He scored 26 points in New York’s overtime win.
“That was cool, man,” Morris said of his debut. “The guys made the game easy. I asked them before the game where they liked the ball and they asked me where I wanted it.”
Drummond replaced Tristan Thompson, who has started 48 games. Thompson came off the bench and scored seven points in 19 minutes. Love had 10 points in 26 minutes.
Drummond ran through some drills during a Saturday workout to get familiarized with the team’s system.
“We had no practice time, so it was expected for us to come out and look lost, obviously because we were trying to figure out plays,” he said. “I didn’t really know many plays yet.”
Clippers: Leonard missed his 13th game of the season. … G Patrick Beverley (strained right groin) was out for second straight game. … Los Angeles wore throwback Buffalo Braves uniforms. The franchise played in Buffalo from 1970-78.
Cavaliers: Drummond is 3 for 24 on 3-pointers this season. …. Thompson hit his fourth career 3-pointer in the second quarter. … Kevin Porter Jr. had 17 points.
The Cavaliers’ celebration of their 50th season in the NBA has seen the team have the worst record in the Eastern Conference.
“We were not good and way out of sync in so many ways,” coach John Beilein said of the latest loss. “While it’s not acceptable to us, it’s understandable given the new dynamic of our team. So coaches will meet again tomorrow and we will try to get some better symmetry on it.”
Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue was the Cavaliers’ coach during their 2016 NBA championship season. He returned to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for the first time since being fired by Cleveland after six games last season.
Lue was given a standing ovation and waved to the crowd when he was introduced during a timeout.
“This is the house that Jim Brewer and Ty Lue built,” Rivers said. “It’s a great feeling when you return to a place you won a championship. Heck, he had a parade in the streets here. That’s a pretty good memory.”
Brewer, who played for the Cavaliers and several other teams in a 10-year NBA career, is Rivers’ uncle.
Clippers: Visit Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Cavaliers: Host Atlanta on Wednesday. Cleveland’s last win at home came over the Hawks on Dec. 23.