Venus Williams Ousted From Olympics

Venus Williams was in control, or so it seemed. She led in each set of her match Wednesday against Germany’s Angelique Kerber. But Williams did not close, and, instead, was closed out, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5).Williams was classy in defeat, giving credit to Kerber and not use fatigue from playing twice a day as an excuse.“I made a few errors and she hit a few winners, and things can go quickly in tennis,” Williams said. ” “She had a lot of answers. She’s having a great year, and I have to give her credit for playing well.”Three times in the first set Williams had a chance to take it. But she did not. Then, in the tiebreaker, she had a 5-1 lead and blew that, too.In the second set, Williams raced out to a 3-1 lead in the set. But again she floundered and Kerber rallied for the comeback and, ultimately, the victory.In the first set Williams failed to convert three set points, then blew a 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker. She was up 3-1 in the second set, but Kerber again charged back.Kerber, a semifinalist at Wimbledon last month and at the U.S. Open last year, is ranked a career-high No. 7. Knocking off Williams advances her to the quarterfinals against top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.Wiliams suffers from an autoimmune disease that saps her energy. She has been playing through it, which was a challenge because she was playing singles and doubles with her sister, Serena, in the same day. The loss leaves her at three Olympic gold medals. She and Serena, who has not won a singles title in Olympic competition, continue their quest for doubles gold on Thursday.She marched on easily before her sister’s defeat, rocketing  12 in a 6-1, 6-0 domination of Vera Zvonareva of Russia in just 51 minutes.“I was just playing unbelievable,” Williams said. “I was nervous going into the match and I didn’t speak to anyone and I had a bad practice. I had no idea I would play like this.” read more

What If The National League Had A DH

PiratesJose OsunaJose Osuna557 PhilliesNick WilliamsDylan Cozens282 Pitchers are already batting less often That pitchers bat in the NL is always going to handicap teams’ ability to score, given how bad pitchers are. But pitchers are getting fewer opportunities to be automatic outs. The innings logged by starting pitchers continue to decline, and NL pitchers combined for a record low total of plate appearances last season. DodgersMax MuncyAlex Verdugo400 CubsKyle SchwarberAlbert Almora395 Interestingly, the top would-be gainers in plate appearances on eight of 15 NL teams were below average (wRC+ 100) in offensive production in 2018. In the AL last season, 13 of 15 teams enjoyed above league-average production from the DH position. That means a number of NL teams could benefit from adding effective hitters, which could lead to more free-agent spending. Projected NationalsRyan ZimmermanRyan Zimmerman400 MarlinsPedro AlvarezPedro Alvarez280 For a brief moment this winter, it seemed like the designated hitter might finally come to the National League. The MLB players union proposed the idea to the commissioner’s office as part of broader negotiations, but last month Rob Manfred pumped the brakes. Adding the universal DH was not part of the agreement between the union and owners reportedly reached Wednesday. The leagues will keep their different rules for now, even if there is a growing sense that the DH’s arrival in the NL is inevitable.As MLB continues to debate its rules, we wanted to quantify what a universal DH would mean for the game. So we looked to the American League, where they’ve been playing with a DH since 1973, not entertaining double-switches and skipping the added layer of decision-making regarding when to pull the starting pitcher. When we rummaged through the data, something surprising emerged: The NL already looks a whole lot like the AL.What would a universal DH mean for offensive production?The DH’s most obvious effect is that with it, pitchers don’t have to bat. It’s a baseball truism that pitchers are terrible at the plate, but throughout baseball history, they’ve gradually gotten worse. They are now historically bad.We can measure pitchers’ offensive production using a stat called weighted runs created plus, or wRC+.1The metric adjusts for ballpark and league scoring environments, allowing for an individual’s offensive value to be understood in context and across eras. A 100 wRC+ represents league average ability for a season. While most positions have been producing more or less the same amount of offense over the course of major league history,2Factoring in an era’s number of runs scored and ballpark environments. pitchers keep declining. Last season, pitchers broke the previous year’s mark for offensive ineptness, combining for a record-low wRC+ of -25, meaning they were 125 percent worse than a league-average hitter. MetsJeff McNeilKeon Broxton488 BrewersEric ThamesEric Thames359 RockiesRyan McMahonRyan McMahon396 GiantsAnthony GarciaCameron Maybin541 So, what does all this mean for the never-ending debate about what a universal DH would do to baseball? Proponents could look at all this and say, “What’s the big deal? The game would barely change! Why not officially standardize it?” Opponents, meanwhile, could look at all this and say, “What’s the big deal? The game is practically the same already! Why change it?” And perhaps that shows what the debate over the DH is really about: the culture of baseball. While the underlying evidence shows that the leagues are increasingly the same, the identities of them aren’t. Change the DH and a style of baseball would be gone forever. Even if the game itself might barely change. Source: Out of the Park Baseball TeamPrimary DHTop gainerNo. Plate Appearances Unsurprisingly, DHs are better at the plate. Over the past three years, DHs have averaged a wRC+ of 109. So it’s natural to assume that the league that employs a designated hitter would score more than the league that instead uses pitchers as batters. And the AL has historically seen more runs per game. But recently, the difference in run scoring between the two leagues has shrunk.Overall, AL teams have combined to average 4.59 runs per game over the past three years, while NL teams have averaged 4.46 runs per game. From 1994 to 2003, the peak of the so-called Steroids Era, the AL advantage in runs per game averaged 0.37. Over the past four years, the advantage has been 0.12 runs. How would NL teams fill the DH position? In adding the DH, NL teams would be presented with essentially two choices: Fill the spot with an offense-first player who fits in the lineup daily, or use the spot to rotate and rest players, enhancing roster versatility and building a deeper bench.In the AL, teams largely employ players whose prime responsibility is to be DH. In each of the past three seasons, there were at least 12 AL teams with a player who made at least 50 percent of his 350-plus plate appearances as a DH.One factor that could be a part of the union’s eagerness to add the DH to the NL is the hope for additional higher-paying jobs. The designated hitter is, per player, the highest-paid positional group in baseball. Adding a full-time DH, as many AL teams employ, might mean better-paying jobs if the DH could replace a cheaper-salaried, end-of-the-bench position.Moreover, the DH would likely help some 30-and-older free agents find jobs — an issue in recent offseasons. If an aging player is losing defensive ability but can still hit, the DH offers another way to get in the lineup.As for the trickle-down effect on the rest of the roster, AL teams have combined to average 387.7 pitchers used per season over the past six years. NL teams? 383.7. So while adding the DH might eliminate an end-of-bench utility position, it may not have much effect on the number of pitchers used throughout a season.What would the universal DH mean for pace of play?Of course, any rule change can bring unintended consequences. Manfred has made hastening pace of play a focus, including reducing the number of trips to the mound and experimenting with a pitch clock this spring. But it’s unclear what kind of effect adding the DH would have on pace. The average number of seconds between pitches last year was 24.1, the second greatest lull of the pitch-tracking era.3That goes back to 2008. The two leagues weren’t that different: Pitchers in the NL took 23.9 seconds between pitches, while the AL pitchers took 24.3 seconds. But when pitchers batted, the game sped up. The time between pitches was 20.1 seconds last season when NL pitchers hit but 24.2 seconds when all other NL hitters were at bat. BravesJohan CamargoJohan Camargo343 PadresFranmil ReyesHunter Renfroe333 RedsJesse WinkerJesse Winker264 CardinalsJose MartinezJose Martinez230 Which NL players would benefit from a DH in 2019?Projected NL designated hitters and the players that would gain the most in plate appearances based on 100 simulations of the 2019 season by Out of the Park Baseball DiamondbacksChristian WalkerChristian Walker295 But given what we know about how often pitchers bat, that doesn’t amount to much. There were 18,344 pitches thrown to pitchers last season, for a total of 20.9 hours saved between pitches over the course of a season compared with the pace of league-average pitcher-batter encounters. Nearly a full day of baseball! Except baseball is played on too many days for that time savings be noticeable. Spread over the course of an entire season, replacing pitcher at-bats with those from a DH would lead to a relatively small slowing of about a minute per game.But adding the DH could add time savings if it were to reduce midinning pitching changes.According to data provided to FiveThirtyEight by David Smith of Retrosheet, midinning changes added about 3 minutes and 15 seconds per game in 2018. But the NL had fewer midinning pitching changes last season (2,213) than the AL did (2,452).Still, the overall net effect might be modest: The average length of a nine-inning game in the NL over the past three years was 181.7 minutes. In the AL, it was 182 minutes.Would pitchers’ jobs get more difficult?NL pitchers may have to work a bit harder if the DH arrives in the league. When a pitcher faces another pitcher, the velocity of his fastball tends to decline, which suggests that pitchers give themselves a bit of a breather. The average fastball velocity in the NL last season was 93.7 mph, but when pitchers batted, it was 92.8 mph. Moreover, the NL average for four-seam fastball usage was 39.1 percent last season, but when pitchers were batting, that share jumped to 51.8 percent — a record during the pitch-tracking era. That suggests pitchers are saving their breaking balls for tougher hitters.Which NL players would benefit the most? A DH would mean all sorts of possibilities for NL rosters — but what might they look like if teams could use the DH this season? We asked our friends at Out of the Park Baseball, a strategic simulation game, to run a simulation based on 2019 NL teams playing with and without the DH to find out which teams and players would most benefit. (The simulation was run before Bryce Harper agreed to terms with the Phillies.)In the table below, you can see which player on each team would become the primary DH under the OOTP simulations and which player would gain the most plate appearances. Sometimes that player would be the DH, and sometimes he would be someone else because of the trickle-down effect of opportunity gained from adding the DH. Would NL starters pitch more if there were a DH?It’s easy to assume that because starting pitchers in the NL are sometimes pulled so pinch hitters can bat, they’d pitch for shorter stints than AL pitchers do. Yet starting pitchers in the NL actually worked deeper into games last season, and the leagues have been almost even in innings per start since 2000. Perhaps the predominant factors are the starting pitcher’s pitch count and how many times he’s worked through the opposing order. read more

Ohio State water polo looks for championship 3peat after 110 season

Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State Water PoloThe Ohio State water polo team will be looking for its third straight Great Lakes Division Championship on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.The team, which competes within the Collegiate Water Polo Association, finished the regular season undefeated in 11 matches. Along with two straight Great Lake championships, it finished fifth at the National Collegiate Club Championships in 2014. Coach James Dauphinee, president and senior goalie Michael Smith and vice president and junior center Drace Penley are working to prepare the team together. “I structure this out so everything we do is building toward those championships,” Dauphinee said. “There’s a lot of preparation that goes in before practice, but really it’s these guys’ dedication and hard work that pushes us.”Smith, who puts together the team’s scheduling, said midseason CWPA polls that ranked the Buckeyes first in the nation puts a target on their backs.“We have a lot more training to do if we want to compete on a national level,” Smith said. “Teams know that we’re coming to play. We’re working really hard to make sure we’re the best team in the pool conditioning-wise and (the) best team in the pool mentally and ready to play water polo.”Penley, whose duty as vice president is to work with fundraising and the community, said extra practice both in and out of the pool has been part of their preparation.“We’ve been lucky on Monday and Wednesdays to come in at 7:30 a.m. and get conditioning out the way early so that we can get into more water polo,” Penley said. “We’ve also put together an out-of-practice lifting cycle, so we all signed up for a time sheet.”Dauphinee said he thinks the team’s hard work can help it ascend to new heights.“Placing fifth last year, we lost to the eventual national champions, and this year we’re expecting to place first, if not top three,” Dauphinee said. “I think that’s reflective of the work these guys have put in, not just last year, but the previous years to really build a name for the program nationwide.”There has been a shift in the competitiveness of the program from when Dauphinee took over five years ago. Senior center Ben McClurg has witnessed the transition.“We’ve pretty much done a full 180. When I started, the team was probably like 20 guys total and only 10 showed up for practice,” McClurg said. “We had a lot of good incoming classes, and now we’ve got almost 40 guys who will come in four times a week and multiple weekends every single semester.”Smith cites Dauphinee as a large reason for the turnaround.“My freshman year we got fourth in our conference, and now we’re going for the three-peat this year,” Smith said. “It’s just been an unbelievable change, and a lot of that has to do with our coaching. James has been an unbelievable part of that.”Dauphinee has been named the Great Lakes Division Coach of the Year the past three seasons, but the achievements of the team are what he hangs his hat on.“The thing that I personally get the most from is not the individual accolade, but when I first started coaching the team, they asked me to come on board and we had seven guys in the water,” he said. “This is the return on the investment I put in here, getting an opportunity to help build a program.”Dauphinee is not the only member of the team who has experienced personal success. McClurg and Smith have both been recognized within the CWPA.McClurg was named the 2014 Great Lakes Division MVP and a second team All-American. He said he is honored to obtain those awards, but he enjoys team success over individual.“I like being honored, but I’d like to see the team do well rather than myself,” McClurg said. “But, obviously, I like being able to say that I was the best in the conference and somewhat of the best of the nation, which is kind of cool to see.”Smith, as a goalie, attributes his success to the team defense and coaching.“I’ve had an unbelievable defense, and I’ve been lucky enough to have that for three years now,” Smith said. “I came in playing in high school a little bit, but I wasn’t very good. I’ve had great tutelage, great coaching and it all goes down to that team defense.”Penley, however, said he thinks Smith is too modest.“Team defense can only work if you got someone who you know is only going to let seven goals max in a game behind you,” Penley said. “Pretty much every game at nationals, except for maybe one, he’s been named our MVP of the game.”Despite a strong commitment to the program, the team emphasizes that school comes first.Penley, a chemical engineering major, said a good balance is important.“Since we are a club sport, we’re always making sure that everyone knows that school comes first, family comes first,” Penley said. “If you need a day off mentally, that comes first because if you aren’t prepared mentally in the pool, you’re not going to play physically well.”Smith echoed Penley’s notion.“We’re not scholarship athletes, we’re all here to get an education,” Smith said. “We’re lucky enough to have guys on the team who are able to balance that and (Penley) is a great example.”Freshman Andy Damschroder said the cohesion of the club has contributed to his positive experience so far.“We hang out together, we train together, we win together,” Damschroder said. “It’s probably one of the best clubs on campus, one of the most competitive, one of the most cohesive. Everybody is academically smart, we’re all physically talented. It’s a great group to be a part of.”The Buckeyes will host the Great Lake Championships at the McCorkle Pavilion Halloween weekend beginning at 9 a.m. on Oct. 31. read more

Ohio State baseball hopes to carry 4game winning streak into series with

OSU senior first baseman Zach Ratcliff (32) takes a cut during a game against Hofstra on March 18. OSU won 12-1.Credit: Giustino Bovenzi | Lantern reporterAfter winning its first Big Ten series, the Ohio State baseball team (16-7-1, 2-1) took care of business against two nonconference opponents: Ohio University and Toledo. Now, the Buckeyes are looking ahead to a weekend series against Bethune-Cookman (11-15).The Buckeyes, winners of 16 consecutive midweek games, have done an excellent job protecting the home turf against these teams. For OSU coach Greg Beals, part of what makes those wins so special is that they have come against teams from Ohio.“Well the thing I like about that midweek streak is the fact that we’re playing a lot of other schools,” Beals said. “They come in here and it’s a really big game and we’re defending the T-H-E and a lot of places don’t like the T-H-E on The Ohio State University, but it’s something that it’s our responsibility to defend it.”Scouting Bethune-CookmanThe 2016 season has not been so terrible for Bethune-Cookman, but it certainly could have started better. The Wildcats are 6-4 in their past 10 games, a span that has included a one-run loss to No. 4 Miami (Fla.), but also a 21-8 throttling courtesy of Florida International (13-15).The pitching has been the Achilles’ heel for the Wildcats this season. They do not have a starting pitcher with an ERA below 4.50 and own a miserable team ERA of 5.62. While Bethune-Cookman has struggled on the mound, hitting has not been nearly as much of a concern. The Wildcats are batting .260 with 19 home runs as a team. The major force in their lineup is junior catcher Michael Cruz, who through 90 at-bats has a .333 batting average with nine home runs. Up and down the lineup, the Wildcats have players who can hit the ball with some authority, but Beals said he believes OSU can keep up its winning ways of late.“I think our pitchers need to stick to the gameplan and execute the gameplan, and that’s pitch the bottom of the zone,” Beals said. “I’d like to see us click a little more (on offense) and have a 12-, 13- or 14-hit night where we get contributions from up and down the lineup and a little more steady than we’ve been.”Fearsome foursomeOne would be hard pressed to find a more dangerous top four hitters in college baseball than the quartet starting things off for the Buckeyes. The table-setter, junior center fielder Troy Montgomery, currently has the most walks in the Big Ten with 26 and is sixth in on-base percentage (.490). The No. 2 hitter, redshirt junior right fielder Jacob Bosiokovic, is second in home runs with eight already; the No. 3 hitter, junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson, owns a .557 slugging percentage, good for 10th in the Big Ten. The cleanup hitter, senior third baseman Nick Sergakis, is first in hits with 40 and second in batting average (.417). Even with the recent success, Bosiokovic, who has hit a home run in three straight games, said he still wants to keep his approach simple.“I’m seeing it pretty well right now, but it’s just baseball,” Bosiokovic said. “The first weekend I had those home runs and then next week, I had one hit so it’s really just taking each at-bat and each pitch for what it is and tracking the ball and just trying to put a good swing on it.”Part of what has made this team so successful has not only been the outstanding hitting at the top of the lineup, but steady contributions from every player on the team. Against Toledo, senior shortstop Craig Nennig (batting ninth) went 2-for-5 with a home run. Junior left-handed pitcher Joe Stoll came in and provided the Buckeyes with four lockdown innings in relief.When looking at the past couple of wins for the Buckeyes, Beals said he knows that the bench, bullpen and bottom of the order have been crucial to the success of this team.“It’s the bullpen, it’s the bench guys, it’s the fact that we’ve got talent up and down the line,” Beals said. “We pinch hit twice last night, pinch ran twice last night, had a defensive switch, and we were able to do some things and the talent on our ball club is what allows (me) to make those decisions.”Staying hotNow riding a four-game winning streak, it will be important for the Buckeyes to keep things rolling against the Wildcats. Despite his team having played two games already this week, Beals said he is certain that his team will be ready to go against Bethune-Cookman.“These guys all have the ambition of playing professionally, and when you play professionally, you play every day,” Beals said. “I think this is what they train for, and I think this is what we train them for, and this is what they’re expectation is and when players get going in the sport of baseball, more than any other sports, it’s a rhythm, so once they get going and get feeling good, they want to play and they want to play almost every day.”The series against Bethune-Cookman is scheduled to begin Friday at 6:35 p.m. with junior lefty Tanner Tully set to take the bump for the Buckeyes. Redshirt sophomore right-hander Adam Niemeyer and senior left-hander John Havird are set to follow him up on Saturday and Sunday. read more

Ohio State basketball avenges loss trounces Hoosiers

Ohio State sophomore forward Jared Sullinger said he was out for revenge against Indiana. In front of new football coach Urban Meyer and his staff, Sullinger and his team got just that. Meyer introduced his coaching staff to the crowd at the Schottenstein Center at halftime, but the basketball team kept the focus squarely on themselves. The Buckeyes attacked the Hoosiers on both ends of the floor and avenged their Dec. 31 road loss, beating Indiana, 80-63. “This is exactly what we wanted,” Sullinger said. “We just wanted to come out and play our game and give the crowd a good show.” Sullinger may have pledged revenge, but it was Lenzelle Smith Jr.  who got the Buckeyes started. The sophomore guard, who said he was coming off a case of strep throat, connected on his first five shots from the field. Smith Jr. hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game just before the first half buzzer sounded and walked into the locker room with 18 points, four more than the entire Indiana team. “Throughout the game, I just saw my man leave me every single time,” Smith Jr. said. “This game we capitalized off that and we were able to get some easy buckets.” Along with Smith Jr., OSU’s recipe for success was its defense. The Buckeyes forced 12 first-half turnovers and held Indiana to 27.3 percent shooting while holding the Hoosiers to 14 points. “Pressure, pressure, pressure,” Sullinger said. “We just wanted to get up in their jock strap according to coach Matta and just stop them from turning the ball from side to side.” OSU head coach Thad Matta said he was pleased with his team’s defensive effort. “The defense today is what I dream about,” Matta said. “We’ve shown signs of five players coming together and playing defense, but today we did a good job of playing total team defense.” Sullinger was held to just two points in the first half, but got things rolling after intermission. Sullinger said in the first half Indiana was double teaming him, but after Smith Jr. caught fire, he found more open space. Sullinger found position inside and tallied six quick points in under five minutes for OSU in the second half. With over 15 minutes remaining, the Buckeye big man grabbed a rebound and lost his balance, but as he was falling backward, threw a long pass to senior guard William Buford, who caught the ball in stride streaking down the sideline. Buford dumped it off to a trailing Smith Jr. who finished with a two-handed dunk. The duo of Sullinger and Smith Jr. kept Indiana at bay for rest of the game as the Hoosiers never cut the Buckeye lead below 16 points. “They stopped leaving Lenzelle,” Sullinger said. “It works both ways with me and Lenzelle. If I kick it out to Lenzelle, Lenzelle is wide open in the first half. Then all the sudden they start sticking to Lenzelle … It was a two-way street which worked perfectly for our game plan.” Indiana coach Tom Crean said Sullinger’s ability to move the ball out of the post was essential to Smith Jr.’s success and that skill played a big role for the Buckeyes. “If you don’t take the ball from Sullinger, he is so good at not having to score it for his team to score,” Crean said. Sullinger finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Smith Jr. finished with a career-high 28 points and added 7 rebounds. Buford and sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas also finished in double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively. The Buckeye victory brings their record to 16-3 on the season and 4-2 in Big Ten play. OSU will have five days off before traveling to Nebraska for the team’s second matchup with the Cornhuskers. OSU won the first contest, 71-40. Tip for the rematch will be Saturday at 8 p.m. read more

Ohio State mens tennis rides NCAA Tournament triumphs to Sweet 16

The Ohio State men’s tennis team didn’t drop a single match in the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16. OSU, which hosted NCAA Tournament action for the seventh consecutive season, used the home-court advantage to their benefit and defeated East Tennessee State, 4-0, and Notre Dame, 4-0, in the first and second rounds. OSU redshirt sophomore Peter Kobelt and junior Connor Smith won the first match of the afternoon with an 8-4 doubles match win against Notre Dame sophomore Billy Pecor and senior Sam Keeton. The Buckeye duo of Kobelt and Smith is 26-5 in the current campaign. Senior Chase Buchanan and sophomore Blaz Rola, the nation’s top-ranked doubles duo, won their first match of the postseason and 30th of the season after in an 8-3 victory against senior Niall Fitzgerald and senior Casey Watt. Rola also earned a team-high 32nd singles victory en route to winning the fourth point of the match and clutched the OSU win. Rola, ranked ninth nationally, beat the Fighting Irish’s sophomore Greg Andrews (No. 54) 7-5, 6-3. Buchanan carried the doubles success to the singles competition as well. The co-captain downed Watt, 6-3, 6-2, to push the Buckeye lead to 2-0. Buchanan, ranked 10th-nationally, is now 28-6 overall. Sophomore Ille Van Engelen won for the 27th time this season and 16th time at the No. 4 position after beating Pecor, 6-4, 6-2. On Day 1 of the tournament, OSU defeated East Tennessee State. Junior Devin McCarthy and Van Engelen won the first match of the day, defeating senior Jeremy Bonnevalle and junior Juan Ramirez, 8-3. The duo, ranked 32nd nationwide, moved to 33-9 on the season. After Kobelt and Smith earned a doubles point with an 8-4 win against freshman Rogerio Ribeiro and junior Jesus Bandres, OSU took a 1-0 lead and the Buckeye duo improved to 17-2 at the third position and 26-5 overall. OSU’s No. 2 singles player Rola improved to 14-2 on the season Rola after his team high 31st singles win in a 6-3, 6-2 victory against ETSU senior Sander Gille. The Buckeyes came within one point of winning after Kobelt’s 6-4, 6-2, win against Ramirez. He improved to 25-10 overall with a third-position mark at 16-7. McCarthy won, 6-3, against Ribeiro to secure the shutout for OSU. McCarthy improved to 27-6 overall with a 17-3 mark at the fifth position for the Buckeyes. OSU will continue NCAA Tournament play Thursday on University of Georgia’s campus in Athens, Ga. read more

Second half surge propels Ohio State womens basketball to win over Winthrop

OSU junior guard Ameryst Alston (14) attempts to dribble past Winthrop redshirt-sophomore guard Aliyah Kilpatrick (1) during a Dec. 7 game at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 66-52. Credit: Ed Momot / For The LanternAfter a lackluster first half, the Ohio State women’s basketball team swung the momentum to defeat visiting Winthrop (S.C.), 66-52, on Sunday.Coach Kevin McGuff said a renewed intensity allowed OSU to take control of the second half.“We really attacked a lot better in the second half,” McGuff said. “We got more stops, more turnovers (that) allowed us to play in transition a little bit more, and overall generated more quality shots.”The Buckeyes (5-4) opened the game with a 9-3 run in the first five minutes of the half. Winthrop (4-3, 1-0) rallied back, though, and score 10 unanswered points to take the lead. The Eagles continued to roll on a 14-2 run to take its largest lead of the game with the score at 17-11. OSU fought back and was able to retake the lead following an 11-4 run led by freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell. Both teams traded baskets until the end of the half as Winthrop took a 27-26 lead into halftime.Mitchell scored 17 of OSU’s 26 points in the first half. As a team, the Buckeyes shot 42.9 percent from the field while Winthrop shot 40 percent, but OSU was out-rebounded by the Eagles, 19-12.OSU took the lead at the beginning of the second half off a 3-pointer from junior guard Cait Craft. The Eagles tied the game on their next possession, but the Buckeyes went on an 18-7 run to take control.Winthrop continued to push, though, and was able to cut the OSU lead down to five with less than 10 minutes to play. OSU closed the game out, tough, as they scored 12 unanswered points while forcing six turnovers over a seven-minute span.Mitchell led all scorers with 26 points to go along with three rebounds, four assists and four steals. After a scoreless first half, junior guard Ameryst Alston bounced back with 12 points and five rebounds. Craft ended up with eight points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.Alston said the team came out in the second half with more energy compared to the first.“I think we adjusted very well today,” Alston said. “I would say the first half, collectively, intensity could’ve been a little better but we stayed focused and picked it up the second half.”Mitchell said the lack of team offense in the first half was just a case of things not turning out for the Buckeyes. She added that she trusts her teammates to be productive and saw more of that in the second half.“I just think things didn’t go the way we wanted,” Mitchell said. “I know my teammates can make plays just like anybody else out here. For them to score like that in the second half was a great thing.”OSU is next scheduled to play Arkansas State on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Buckeye Brief Notes from the B1G Teleconference Week 2

OSU then-redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Burrow (10) scores a touchdown during the second half of the Buckeyes game against Nebraska on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes won 62-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorUrban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes square off with the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners in the prime-time matchup at 7:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium on ABC. During Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference, Meyer listed three main areas of concern — pass coverage from corners and linebackers, blocking by the interior offensive line and downfield passing accuracy — he plans to address during practice this week.Meyer unsurprisingly announced Monday that running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber will both play against Oklahoma. On Tuesday, he still did not know in what capacity the two would see the field.“They’ll both certainly play and I think they’re good complements to each other,” Meyer said. “Kind of remains to be seen on how we use it. But they’ll both play.”Meyer also provided an update on quarterback Joe Burrow’s recovery from surgery on a broken hand. hand. He said Burrow has begun throwing the ball and is “pretty close” to returning.Here are some more updates from Meyer’s teleconference session. On Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield: “Well, we studied them all in the offseason. He’s just a — he’s one of the best players in America. So, no, I think he’s carrying on what he does and that’s playing that position very uniquely and very aggressively. He’s a heck of a player.”On Oklahoma first-year coach Lincoln Riley: “I talked to [former Oklahoma] coach [Bob] Stoops who is a friend of mine. We just were talking and he [said], ‘It was the right time, we had the right guy in place.’ When Bob Stoops says that, that tells you all I need to know about their new coach. You don’t make it to that level and have a guy like Bob Stoops put his name on you without being excellent. And that’s what he is.”On where Mike Weber has improved from last year to this year: “His seriousness. Him and [strength and conditioning coach Mick Marotti] have worked very hard as he’s faster than he’s ever been. He’s in the best shape of his life. He re-made his body. He used to be kind of a chunky player, now he’s lost some weight. He’s strong, fast. He’s had a great offseason, that’s why he was so disappointed when he got the hamstring injury. He looks fantastic.”On Jerome Baker’s growth as a player: “Maturity is probably the key word. He’s very much matured. Just little things like his academics, his performance off the field. Obviously, his performance on the field last year was excellent. This year, his performance on the field, but it’s just his attention to detail from little things like his body weight to his academic performance and seriousness. So he’s just grown up and that’s nice to see.” read more

Archers bully Rob pictured for first time as court artist sketches fictional

first_imgNew sketches by Quenzler will be published on the Archers website and on social media after episodes during the trial week.The artist, who has worked on real cases for 30 years and supplies drawings to the British press, said: “In this case, having to work from a script, I was working from imagination. I was given a few photographs of the actors but I was reminded that obviously many listeners have conjured up their own image of how each character looks.“I was also told that the trial would be held in a typical 19th century court building so I drew the sort of panelling they might have had.””Normally I will leave the court room after fifteen minutes, then I take my notes off to a press room where I can work on my drawing. I usually have about an hour to work on it, and then it will be ready to be filmed for the lunch time news.“These took quite a lot long longer because of the research and referring back to the script.”Having illustrated many real domestic violence cases, she added: “I’m often asked if I make the accused look evil. Generally murderers don’t look like murderers. “I can’t presume anyone’s guilt, it’s not for me to do that. I’m not judging the case, I’m going strictly by what I see, and what the jury see.“Somebody might look completely benign when they may have been accused of the most awful crimes. They just look like the guy next door.”The trial of Helen Titchener begins at 7pm on Sunday, September 4 on BBC Radio 4.Charge SheetAccused: Helen Titchener (nee Archer)Charge: Attempted Murder and Wounding with Intent. Both charges relate to the night of 4 April 2016, when she stabbed her husband Rob twice in the presence of her five-year-old son Henry.Pleads: Not guilty to both charges on grounds of self-defenceMaximum sentence: Life imprisonmentVenue: Borchester Crown CourtStart of trial: Sunday, September 4**The Archers, BBC Radio 4, 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. Taking the stand later this week will be Helen’s mother Pat Archer and Rob’s mother Ursula.Perhaps the most moving moment will come when the couple’s five-year-old son Henry is called to give evidence in a case that has seen his father grievously ill in hospital and his mother thrown into a prison cell awaiting trial.But this, as listeners of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers will know, is not the latest case to appear at the Old Bailey, but the culmination of one of the most compelling storylines in the history of the long-running drama seriesIn a bid to inject further realism into the storyline, which has been both praised and criticised for its handling of the troubling question of domestic abuse, the BBC commissioned Quenzler to make a visual record of the trial.She has covered some of the most high profile court cases of recent times, including the trial of Harold Shipman, the Soham murders and General Pinochet’s extradition hearing. Taking the stand later this week will be Helen’s mother Pat Archer and Rob’s mother Ursula This is the dramatic moment abusive husband Rob Titchener faces his estranged wife Helen across the court during her trial for his attempted murder.The long-anticipated confrontation was captured by court artist Julia Quenzler as Titchener gave evidence against his wife, who stands accused of stabbing him in a domestic violence case that has gripped the nation.She is charged with attempted murder and wounding with intent after stabbing Rob in their kitchen during a heated argument. Helen Archer is played by Louiza Patikas and Rob Tichener by Timothy WatsonCredit: Pete Daddscenter_img While Rob and Helen appear in court along with key witnesses, Quenzler will produce sketches of them just as she would in a real hearing, documenting a day-by-day account of what is happening.After 60 years on air, it is believed to be the first time the Archers team has approved a visual depiction of what is happening in Borsetshire, generally preferring to leave the action to listeners’ imaginations.Fans will have a view into the courtroom just as they would in a real trial, opening with Rob Titchener taking the stand on Sunday night.The first picture, based on the appearance of Timothy Watson and Louiza Patikas, the actors who play Rob and Helen, show the couple in court during the opening of the trial. In the witness box stands Rob, smartly dressed in a suit and blue tie, being led thorugh the evidence by a barrister, while Helen, gaunt after months in custody awaiting the start of the trial, sits in the dockOther witnesses due to appear this week include PC Harrison Burns, Ian Craig, Neil Carter and surgeon Mr Ellis.The trial is expected to include some of the most dramatic scenes in the history of The Archers, with editor Sean O’Connor promising it will be “both shocking and deeply moving”.Listeners who have eavesdropped over years of sustained coercive control and abuse will be on tenterhooks to see how much the jury will hear, and whether justice is done. In this case, having to work from a script, I was working from imagination. I was given a few photographs of the actors but I was reminded that obviously many listeners have conjured up their own image of how each character looksJulia Quenzler Helen Archer is played by Louiza Patikas and Rob Tichener by Timothy Watson Taking the stand later this week will be Helen’s mother Pat Archer and Rob’s mother UrsulaCredit:Pete Daddslast_img read more

Tomato prices rocket 37pc as bad weather hits growing regions

first_imgBritain’s tomato lovers could soon face a hike in the price of their salad favourite, according to a new report.For bad weather across key European tomato growing regions has led to wholesale prices rocketing to a level which is 36 per cent higher than this time last year, the latest research shows.Data from commodity analysts Mintec says that average tomato prices rose to £1,247 a tonne last week – an increase of 9.5 per cent compared with late July and a hefty 36.8 per cent than this time last year. In Italy, a combination of torrential rains, below-average temperatures and strong winds hit tomato production during June. As a result, both Italy and Spain are expecting delays in harvest and a decline in tomato yields this year.Andy Weir, head of marketing at fruit and vegetable supplier Reynolds said that bad weather has also affected crops in the world’s second largest tomato exporter, the Netherlands.Mr Weir told The Grocer: “Plum tomatoes and plum on the wine tomatoes have all been affected by the well publicised hail storms in Holland recently.”This saw giant hailstones the size of tennis balls causing chaos in June and leading to millions of euros worth of damage to cars and property in the South.As a result of the freak storms, companies supplying tomatoes to Reynolds are reporting an estimated loss of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of their crop, added Mr Weir. Trade magazine The Grocer reported that adverse weather conditions across Europe during the spring have led to a tightening in tomato supplies from key growing regions and resulted in soaring wholesale prices.As with many imported commodities following the Uk’s vote to leave the EU, the depreciation of the pound has had a significant effect on wholesale prices in sterling, according to Mintec fruit and vegetable analyst Jara Zicha.He told the magazine that bad weather conditions across the EU have further exacerbated this problem with torrential rains across Spain and Portugal during April and May delaying the planting of crops.The wet weather has meant some of the crop was planted under very difficult conditions while in some areas planting was abandoned altogether, said Mr Zicha. Andy Weir 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.last_img read more