Rob Dauster

Cornell University men’s basketball player faces rape charge

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney angry with a call in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. Syracuse won 67-46. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
(AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
Leave a comment

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) A member of the Cornell University men’s basketball team has been arrested on rape charges.

The Ivy League school’s police department said Tuesday that 19-year-old Xavier Eaglin was arrested Sunday as part of an ongoing investigation. He’s charged with first-degree rape and first-degree criminal sex act. Police didn’t provide details on what led up to the arrest.

The freshman from Raywood, Texas, was arraigned Monday in Ithaca City Court and was being held Wednesday in the Tompkins County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

It’s unclear if Eaglin has an attorney who could comment on the charges.

There was no immediate comment Wednesday from university officials.

The 6-foot-7 forward played in just seven of Cornell’s 28 games and didn’t score any points. Cornell played its season finale at home Saturday.

NEW PODCAST: Mid-Major bubble teams and power conference tourney previews

Leave a comment

We welcomed Brian Snow back onto the podcast to talk about the mid-major bubble teams and why he hates them, KenPom.com and why he hates Ken Pomeroy and the power conference tournaments and why he hates all of those teams.

In other words, listen to find out why no one should be allowed in the tournament, no one is a one seed and why no one is winning any league.

As always, you can listen to the podcast by clicking “play” on the Soundcloud player embedded below. Or you can do so through either iTunes or Stitcher if you so choose. Thanks for listening!

Gonzaga beats Saint Mary’s 85-75 in WCC title game

Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer celebrates after receiving the tournament MVP prize following the team's NCAA college basketball game against Saint Mary's for the West Coast Conference men's tournament championship Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Las Vegas. Gonzaga won 85-75. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)
Leave a comment

LAS VEGAS (AP) Gonzaga reached the NCAA Tournament the previous 17 times by building its resume over the course of the season.

The Zags didn’t have that luxury this year. Lose in the West Coast Conference title game and there was a chance one of the nation’s longest NCAA streaks would come to an end.

Gonzaga took the guesswork out of its postseason fate with a dominating offensive performance, shooting its way past Saint Mary’s 85-75 Tuesday night in the WCC championship game to earn its 18th straight NCAA Tournament berth.

“All is well in Zagville!” Gonzaga coach Mark Few told the crowd inside Orleans Arena after the game. “The streak is alive!”

It certainly was in jeopardy heading into the WCC tournament.

Despite sharing the WCC regular-season crown, Gonzaga (26-7) had a few smudges on its resume and was not a lock to make the NCAA Tournament.

The Zags took the suspense out of Selection Sunday with a balanced attack and by shooting 61 percent in the latest installment of their rivalry with Saint Mary’s.

Eric McClellan scored 20 points, Kyle Wiltjer 17 and Josh Perkins added 16 for Gonzaga, which helped seal its 15th WCC title by hitting 21 of 22 free throws.

Domantas Sabonis added 15 points and eight rebounds, helping the Zags establish an early inside-out game that set the stage for the rest of the hot-shooting night.

Gonzaga’s guards, supposedly the weak link on this team, closed it out by scoring 19 of the Bulldogs’ final 21 points.

“It was huge for us because nothing’s guaranteed,” said Wiltjer, who made 6 of 10 shots and all four of his free throws.

“We didn’t want to be on the outside looking in on Selection Sunday and I’m proud of these guys for these past couple games, just having the will to win.”

Saint Mary’s (27-5) tried to keep up with the Bulldogs’ shooting and did most of the way through, making 12 of 25 from 3-point range.

The Gaels were hurt by turnovers to fall into a big early hole and ran out of steam after tracking the Bulldogs down in the second half.

Saint Mary’s must wait for Selection Sunday to see if it has a spot in the NCAA bracket, though it should be in good shape. Emmett Naar had 25 points and Joe Rahon added 16 for the Gaels.

“It was a heck of a game,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said. “We played well enough to win offensively and we weren’t close defensively.”

Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are no strangers to the WCC title game, meeting for the eighth time since 2004.

The difference this time was the favorite.

In the past, it was always Gonzaga. The Zags have been the dominant force in the WCC and beat Saint Mary’s five times in seven games with the tournament title on the line.

This season, the Gaels had the edge heading into Las Vegas. They swept Gonzaga during the regular season for the first time since 1995 and entered the WCC tournament as the No. 1 seed.

The third leg of this season’s rivalry was an offensive showcase, the teams combining to hit 13 of their first 14 shots, revving up the already-amped atmosphere inside Orleans Arena even more.

“The coaches preach for us to come out and let it rip and it’s fun to play like that,” McClellan said.

The Zags gained some separation with a bit of defense.

Gonzaga didn’t exactly keep the Gaels from making shots – they went 13 of 26 in the first half – but did harass them into turnovers that set up shots in transition.

The Zags outscored Saint Mary’s 15-4 on points off turnovers and hit 18 of 26 shots to lead 43-35 at halftime.

“We didn’t do a lot of things right defensively, but turnovers that lead to easy baskets at the other end is hard to defend,” said Rahon, who was 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

The torrid shooting continued in the second half and the Gaels cut down on the turnovers, allowing them to keep up with the Zags in an entertaining second half.

Gonzaga used a mini spurt capped by McClellan’s straightaway 3-pointer to push the lead to 75-67 with just over 2 minutes left and kept its cushion from there to leave no doubt about extending its streak.

TIP INS

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs lead the all-time series against Saint Mary’s 63-29 … Gonzaga has not missed the NCAAs since 1998. … McClellan made all nine of his free throws.

St. Mary’s: The Gaels had eight total turnovers, leading to 20 points for Gonzaga. … Evan Fitzner had 11 points. … Dane Pineau finished with 10 rebounds, including six of Saint Mary’s 11 on the offensive glass.

WHAT’S NEXT

Gonzaga will play in the NCAA Tournament.

St. Mary’s must wait to see if it gets an NCAA at-large bid on Sunday.

Introducing Cinderella: Meet the South Dakota State Jackrabbits

North Dakota State's Dexter Werner (40) looks around South Dakota State's Mike Daum (24) on his way to the net during an NCAA college basketball game for the Summit League men's tournament championship, Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Sioux Falls, S.D. (Elisha Page/The Argus Leader via AP)
(Elisha Page/The Argus Leader via AP)
Leave a comment

Conference: Summit League

Coach: Scott Nagy

Record: 26-7, 12-4

Ratings and Rankings

Kenpom: 78
RPI: 37
AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding: The Jackrabbits are currently projected to be a No. 14 seed in our latest bracket. With the strength of their RPI, there’s a chance they can climb higher.

Names you need to know: The Jacks have a big three. George Marshall, who began his career at Wisconsin, is the point guard, Deondre Parks is the scorer and Mike Daum is the workhorse in the paint. Daum may be the best sixth-man in the country, averaging 15.1 points and 6.0 boards in just 20 minutes.

Stats you need to know: Other than the fact that the 6-foot-9, 230 pound redshirt freshman Daum averages 15.1 points and 6.0 boards off the bench?

Big wins, bad losses: SDSU did beat TCU and Minnesota this season, although neither of those wins are all that impressive this year. They also picked off FGCU, who advanced to the NCAA tournament out of the Atlantic Sun.

How’d they get here?: The Jackrabbits won a share of the league’s regular season title before storming through the Summit League tournament. They beat North Dakota State in the title game.

Outlook: SDSU is a good team with a terrific mid-major back court and a big man that has been a perfect replacement for Cody Larson. They’re good for a mid-major and certainly won’t be an easy out for anyone in the first round. Good enough to pick off a No. 3 or a No. 4 seed? I’m not sure about that.

How do I know you?: Former mid-major star Nate Wolters is an alumnus of SDSU.

Introducing Cinderella: Meet the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights

Fairleigh Dickinson's Darian Anderson (2) reacts as Wagner's Aaren Edmead (1) looks away after Anders scored during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Northeast Conference tournament, Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Leave a comment

Conference: NEC

Coach: Greg Herenda

Record: 18-14, 11-7

Ratings and Rankings:

Kenpom: 272
RPI: 223
AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding: FDU is almost guaranteed to be a No. 16 seed in the tournament. There a decent chance that they’ll end up in the play-in game.

Names you need to know: Darion Anderson is the big name for FDU, and he played like it on Tuesday night, scoring 28 points in the bid-clinching win. Anderson averaged 15.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Earl Potts Jr. has also been good this season.

Stats you need to know: FDU is awful defensively. Terrible. They are, quite literally, one of the 15 worst defensive teams in college basketball, according to KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric.

Big wins, bad losses: The Knights didn’t beat a single team ranked in the top 150 of the RPI. Their best win on the season? Towson.

How’d they get here?: FDU advanced to the NCAA tournament on Tuesday night with an 87-79 win at top-seeded Wagner. That came after the Knights finished tied for second in the NEC regular season.

Outlook: FDU has a chance to win a game in the NCAA tournament this season … because there is a good chance that they could end up playing in the play-in game. I can’t see FDU being the team that picks off a No. 1 seed.

How do I know you?: This is the fifth time since 1985 that the Knights have reached the NCAA tournament, but just the second time they’ve gone dancing since 1998.