Davison, Happ, No. 24 Wisconsin beat No. 21 Maryland 69-61

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MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin is used to getting production out of Ethan Happ and Brad Davison.

Lately, role players such as Aleem Ford have been coming up big, too.

Davison scored 21 points and Happ added 18 points and 11 rebounds as the 24th-ranked Badgers beat No. 21 Maryland 69-61 on Friday night.

Ford came off the bench to score 10 points after he was held scoreless in Wisconsin’s three previous games. He went 0 for 7 on 3-pointers over that stretch but was 2 of 4 from beyond the arc Friday night.

Given his recent struggles, Ford looked over at Wisconsin coach Greg Gard after missing an early shot.

“I said, `Stop looking at me. I’m not shooting it for you,” Gard said. “`Keep firing `em if they’re good ones.”

Outside shooting proved to be the deciding factor as Wisconsin (16-6, 8-3 Big Ten) pulled away in the second half after failing to capitalize while Maryland’s best post players were in foul trouble.

Maryland (17-6, 8-4) was forced to go deep into its bench in the second half with Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith whistled for their third fouls. Fernando came out after he was called for a charge less than three minutes into the period. Eight seconds later, Smith was whistled for a foul on a layup by Happ.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon first put Ivan Bender — who averages less than four minutes a game — on Happ, but he was whistled for a foul on Wisconsin’s first possession with him on the floor. Turgeon then turned to Joshua Tomaic, who averages less than three minutes, and switched to a zone defense.

But Wisconsin couldn’t take control with both Fernando and Smith on the bench for almost six minutes, and Smith’s layup on his first possession back gave the Terrapins a 48-42 lead with less than 12 minutes to go.

Wisconsin, which leads the Big Ten in 3-point percentage, then knocked down six of its next eight from behind the arc to take control and pull away.

The Badgers finished the game 9 of 18 on 3s, while Davison was 4 of 6.

Maryland, meanwhile, started 6 of 10 from 3-point range but hit just 2 of 10 in the second half.

Ford said he never lost confidence during his dry spell, thanks in part to his teammates.

“They were always in my ear saying the next one will fall,” he said.

Turgeon said he was forced to go to a zone with Fernando and Smith in foul trouble.

“I thought our defense was terrific at times,” Turgeon said. “But when both of your big guys are in trouble and you’ve got an All-American in Happ, they’re hard to guard.”

Eric Ayala led Maryland with 18 points. Fernando finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Smith scored five, less than half his 12-point average.

FREE-THROW DISPARITY

The Terps came in having taken 114 more free throws than their opponents on the season, while the Badgers had attempted 23 fewer than their opponents. But Wisconsin went 14 of 23 from the line, compared to Maryland’s 3 of 8, and Turgeon clearly wasn’t happy about it.

“Are you serious out there? Twenty-three to eight? My guys battled out there,” Turgeon said.

Maryland was called for 18 fouls compared to 14 whistled on the Badgers.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terps have lost three of four after a seven-game winning streak.

Wisconsin: Less than two weeks ago, Wisconsin trailed Maryland by as many as 21 in the second half before mounting a furious rally and falling 64-60. The Badgers have won five straight since then.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

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SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.

South Carolina, Staley cancel BYU games over racial incident

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley have canceled a home-and-home series with BYU over a recent racial incident where a Cougars fan yelled slurs at a Duke volleyball player.

The Gamecocks were scheduled to start the season at home against BYU on Nov. 7, then play at the Utah campus during the 2023-24 season.

But Staley cited BYU’s home volleyball match last month as reason for calling off the series.

“As a head coach, my job is to do what’s best for my players and staff,” Staley said in a statement released by South Carolina on Friday. “The incident at BYU has led me to reevaluate our home-and-home, and I don’t feel that this is the right time for us to engage in this series.”

Duke sophomore Rachel Richardson, a Black member of the school’s volleyball team, said she heard racial slurs from the stands during the match.

BYU apologized for the incident and Richardson said the school’s volleyball players reached out to her in support.

South Carolina said it was searching for another home opponent to start the season.

Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner spoke with Staley about the series and supported the decision to call off the games.