Ivey scores 22 as Purdue beats Yale 78-56 in NCAA tourney

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — Jaden Ivey dashed up the court, and Zach Edey towered over the lane.

Purdue’s speed and size were just too much for Yale.

Ivey raced his way to 22 points and Edey controlled the action inside, helping the Boilermakers shut down the Bulldogs for a 78-56 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Ivey, one of the fastest players in college basketball, went 3 for 6 from 3-point range and 7 for 9 at the free-throw line in 27 minutes. The 7-foot-4 Edey made the most of his size advantage against the Ivy League champions, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes.

“On the rebounds, I felt like I could just kind of get it over them,” Edey said.

No kidding. Yale coach James Jones inserted 6-8 EJ Jarvis into his starting lineup, looking for a bigger body to help with Purdue’s size. But it had little effect.

“Have you seen anybody in your life as big as (Edey) is?” Jones said. “Other than Yao Ming, I’ve seen nobody as big as he is. He is the second-largest man I’ve ever seen.”

Led by Ivey and Edey, No. 3 seed Purdue (28-7) won its NCAA opener for the fourth time in its last five tournaments. The lone exception occurred last year, when Purdue was upset by 13th-seeded North Texas in the first round.

The overtime loss to the Mean Green seemed like a distant memory as the Boilermakers pulled away from the 14th-seededn Bulldogs at the beginning of the second half. Next up is sixth-seeded Texas – an 81-73 winner against Virginia Tech – in the second round of the East Region on Sunday.

“We all felt the feeling of losing last year, first round, so I felt like all of our guys were motivated,” Ivey said, “and so was I.”

Azar Swain scored 18 points for Yale (19-12), which had won 11 of 13. The Bulldogs shot just 36.5% from the field.

It was the first NCAA Tournament game for the Bulldogs since 2019. They won the Ivy’s regular-season title in 2020, but the postseason was canceled because of the pandemic. They didn’t play at all last season because the league canceled all sports due to COVID-19.

“We were an undersized team playing against one of the biggest teams in the country,” Yale guard Jalen Gabbidon said. “I thought we played tough, and it didn’t go our way.”

Led by Swain, who made each of his first five shots, Yale led 16-15 with 13:06 left in the first half. That’s when Ivey and the Boilermakers started to take over.

Ivey made two foul shots and a 3-pointer during a 10-0 spurt that put Purdue ahead to stay. Gabbidon’s driving layup got Yale within nine early in the second half, but the Boilermakers responded with a 17-2 run.

Sasha Stefanovic held his arms out in delight after his second straight 3-pointer rolled in for a 59-39 lead with 15:46 remaining. Mason Gillis scored and Caleb Furst connected on two foul shots to increase the advantage to 24 with 11:27 to go.

“They made some plays to start the second half,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We were able to answer and then be able to push it out. I thought that was the key to the game right there.”

Furst finished with 10 points for Purdue, which improved to 25-0 this year when it scores at least 70 points.

BIG PICTURE

Yale: The size disparity hurt the Bulldogs in a variety of ways. They were outrebounded 42-33 and outscored 26-12 in the paint. They also shot just 8 for 32 from the field in the second half.

Purdue: The physical advantage for the Boilermakers also showed at the line, where they went 27 for 33, compared with 6 for 11 for the Bulldogs. Painter got a chance to rest several key players in the final minutes, which could help in the next round.

WORTH NOTING

Purdue is one of five teams nationally whose only losses this year were to NCAA Tournament teams, joining Gonzaga, Kentucky, Tennessee and Villanova.

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.