Goodman leads Oregon State to 71-64 upset of No. 8 UCLA

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LOS ANGELES — Oregon State coach Scott Rueck has known he has a good team, but that it needed time and experience to develop. After having two long stretches of their season paused due to COVID-19, it appears as if the Beavers are starting to hit their stride at the right time.

Aleah Goodman scored 20 points and Taylor Jones posted her fifth double-double of the season in a 71-64 upset of eighth-ranked UCLA on Sunday. Most had Oregon State as one of the first four teams out of the NCAA Tournament, but this win provides a huge boost to their resume.

“Everybody in this program is used to going to the tournament, That’s the expectation, but the way this season has played out it has been in doubt,” Rueck said. “The confidence and belief with this team is growing. We can be a good team and this weekend was all that we hoped.”

Oregon State led for most of the final three quarters. The game was tied at 57 with 5:57 remaining but the Beavers (8-6, 6-6 Pac-12) outscored the Bruins 14-7 the rest of the way. Talia von Oelhoffen’s jumper from beyond the arc put Oregon State on top for good.

UCLA (13-4, 11-4) was within two late in the fourth quarter, but Goodman hit a 3-pointer with 1:32 remaining to extend Oregon State’s lead to 66-61.

“We executed down the stretch and played defense. To see everything come together I was extremely proud of them,” Goodman said.

Jones had 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Beavers controlled the inside with a 38-24 advantage in points in the paint and 45-39 edge in rebounding.

Michaela Onyenwere led UCLA with 21 points and Lauryn Miller added 13. The Bruins, who posted a 27-point win over No. 13 Oregon on Friday, shot a season-low 27.6% from the field (21 of 76) but made all 17 of their free-throw attempts

“There was a lack of focus and we have to learn from this game,” Onyenwere said.

UCLA trailed 49-42 late in the third quarter before going on a 10-2 run over the final 2:32 to take a 52-51 lead going into the final 10 minutes. Onyenwere and Natalie Chou each had four points during the rally and Charisma Osbourne hit a jumper in the lane with a second remaining to put the Bruins on top for the first time since early in the second quarter.

Oregon State trailed 18-13 at the end of the first quarter, but took control in the second outscoring the Bruins by 10 to grab a 36-31 advantage at halftime. The Beavers started the second quarter with an 11-2 run and led by eight at various points in the period.

“Oregon State is an NCAA Tournament-level team,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “I am disappointed we couldn’t focus on the things under our control. We were not nearly as focused and tough as we have been.”

LONG-DISTANCE STRUGGLES

Oregon State came into the game first in the nation in 3-point percentage (41.3%) but was 3 of 11 from beyond the arc for the first three quarters before going 3 of 5 in the fourth. UCLA made 10 3-pointers against Oregon on Friday but was 5 of 22 on Sunday.

OFF NIGHT

Osborne came into the game second in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.6 points per game). She finished with 11 points but was 4 of 21 from the field.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon State: The Beavers started the season 3-5, but have won five of their last six. This is their 11th win over a top 10-team since the start of the 2014-15 season.

UCLA: The Bruins will likely need to win the Pac-12 Conference tournament in order to have a shot at a second seed in the NCAA Tournament.

UP NEXT

Both teams wrap up the regular season next Sunday with games against their rivals. Oregon State travels to Oregon while UCLA hosts Southern California.

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.