Marist stuns No. 3 Curie


Marist stuns No. 3 Curie

By Tim O'Brien
Marists Lexus Williams smiled and showed no signs of stopping.On this night, the junior guard had good reason.Williams three-pointer with two seconds left from the wing in Fridays 4A Marist Regional Final lifted the host RedHawks to the most improbable of comebacks in a 63-62 thriller over Curie.We just wanted to stay aggressive coming out of the half, Williams said. It worked out for us offensively and defensively. (Curie) double-teamed L.J. (McIntosh) who found Nic (Weishar), and he found me.Tyler Oden (20 points), McIntosh (15), Weishar (11) and Williams (10) paced Marist (25-5) who won its first regional title since 2007. The win was the teams ninth in a row. The RedHawks will play Bogan Wednesday at the Argo sectional.Having led 50-45 early in the fourth, Marist saw a furious Curie comeback turn the tide. The Condors went up five points at 62-57 with 50 seconds remaining when Malcom Hill-Bey split two free throws.McIntosh drilled a three-pointer from the wing to cut the deficit to two, and after Hill-Bey missed the front end of a one-and-one, the RedHawks had their chance.With the clock winding down, Weishar drove from the top of the key after receiving a pass from McIntosh. Weishar found Williams on the wing, the junior guard hitting a contested three that proved to be the game winner.Curies Devin Foster (17 points) missed a running 35-foot three-pointer at the buzzer after a timeout.For Marist, Oden drilled five three-pointers, including three in the second quarter as the RedHawks came back from an early deficit.We put in the hard work each day in practice, Oden said. When were down, we cant get down. We have to come together as a team. For me, Ill do whatever it takes to help the team.Cliff Alexander (17 points, 13 rebounds) and Hill-Bey (18 points, six assists) contributed for Curie (25-3). The loss was the first for the Condors against a team other than Simeon this season.Marist came up and hit shots, Curie coach Michael Oliver said. If we hit free throws, we probably win, but that wasnt the whole game. We ran into a buzzsaw.

Bulls' Taj Gibson a late scratch with ankle injury vs. Mavericks

Bulls' Taj Gibson a late scratch with ankle injury vs. Mavericks

Just when you think the Bulls are back at full strength for one of the few times this season and able to hit the reset button halfway through the year, someone goes down with an injury.

Taj Gibson will miss Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks with a left ankle injury that he apparently suffered Sunday night in the Bulls’ win against Memphis.

This comes on the day Nikola Mirotic has recovered from his strep throat and apparently the flu bug that made its way through the locker room has finally run its course.

Paul Zipser, the Bulls’ rookie second-round pick, will start in Gibson’s place. Zipser has played in 12 games so far, starting in two of them.

"It's something that kind of popped up,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I don't know exactly the time. He did have a little bit of soreness in the game. Again, it's not to the point where you're saying this is something that holds him out a while.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Gibson did have ankle surgery on his left ankle in June 2015, but he’s been an iron man this year, starting every game to this point and averaging 12 points with 7.3 rebounds.

Hoiberg said he’s not sure if Gibson will need an MRI or if this injury is somehow related to the ankle surgery that cost Gibson several months in the 2015 offseason.

It seems Hoiberg will start off with Zipser and then use Mirotic and Bobby Portis as reserves against the Mavericks team that gave the Bulls a 25-point whipping in Dallas on Dec. 3, their second-worst loss of the year.

“Again, we hope to sit him tonight, have a couple days off to rest and get him back in the lineup in the next one,” Hoiberg said. “We felt it was best to hold him out tonight."

Janarion Grant will return to Rutgers for fifth season in 2017


Janarion Grant will return to Rutgers for fifth season in 2017

One of the most explosive players in the Big Ten will be back for the 2017 season.

Rutgers announced Tuesday that do-it-all man Janarion Grant will be back on the field for the Scarlet Knights this fall. Grant suffered a leg injury in the team's fourth game of the season and missed the last eight games of the campaign.

"Fifth year, here I come! I'm excited about what I have been able to accomplish so far, but I look forward to getting out there and competing with my teammates again," Grant said in the announcement. "I thank coach (Chris) Ash and the staff as well as my family for their support through this process. Let's make this season special. Go Knights!"

Grant is tied for the all-time NCAA lead in kick-return touchdowns with eight. He's got five kickoff-return touchdowns and three punt-return touchdowns.

This past season, Grant got off to a lightning-quick start, scoring six total touchdowns. In just four games, he totaled 210 receiving yards, 195 kickoff-return yards and a kickoff-return touchdown, 138 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns, 21 passing yards and a passing touchdown and 112 punt-return yards and a punt-return touchdown.

Grant is Rutgers' all-time leader in kickoff-return yards with 2,606, and he ranks fourth in program history in all-purpose yards with 4,251.

The Knights were offensively challenged in Ash's first season as head coach, dead last in the conference with an average of 15.7 points per game and 283.2 yards per game. Former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill was hired earlier this offseason as the team's new offensive coordinator.