NCAA Roundup: Wildcats suffer first loss

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NCAA Roundup: Wildcats suffer first loss

EVANSTON -- Dez Wells set a career high with 23 points as Maryland blew out Northwestern in the second half en route to a 77-57 win on Tuesday night.

A week after Maryland announced it would leave the ACC and join the Big Ten in 2014, the Terrapins and Wildcats faced off in a preview of future conference foes and one of 12 contests in the annual ACCBig Ten Challenge.

Maryland (5-1) led 28-26 at halftime but broke the game open in the second half, scoring on its first 10 possessions. The run stretched the lead to 47-34.

Wells finished the spurt by hitting a 3-pointer and going coast-to-coast for a layup after a Northwestern turnover.

Wells hurt the Wildcats (6-1) from all spots on the floor, slashing to the basket and stepping back to hit jumpers. He was 9 for 11 from the field with three assists.

Reggie Hearn had 19 points and Dave Sobolewski 14 for Northwestern, which was denied a fifth straight ACCBig Ten Challenge victory.

Complete Recap Box Score

Melvin's big night lifts DePaul

Cleveland Melvin matched a career high with 30 points and Brandon Young added 20 as DePaul held off a late Fairfield rally to secure an 85-78 victory Tuesday night.
Melvin scored 24 first-half points - including 13 points in the opening 4 minutes - as DePaul (3-3) snapped a two-game losing streak.

Derek Needham paced Fairfield (3-4) with a career-high 29 points.

The Blue Demons quickly pushed their lead to 16 points early in the second half, then held off a late Stags rally capped by a Needham 3-pointer that cut the lead to 78-73 with 2:03 left in regulation.

Charles McKinney and Donnavan Kirk had 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Blue Demons. Amadou Sidibe had 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for Fairfield.

Complete Recap Box Score

UIC rolls past Northern Illinois
DeKALB -- Hayden Humes scored 18 points and Daniel Barnes added 11 points and eight rebounds to lead Illinois-Chicago to a 58-46 victory against Northern Illinois 58-46 on Tuesday night.

Gary Talton and Josh Crittle had 10 points each for the Flames (5-1), who have won five of the last six games between the teams.

Sam Mader scored 15 points for the Huskies (1-4), who shot just 32.7 percent (16 of 49) from the floor.

Northern Illinois trailed 27-19 at the break but cut the deficit to five points midway through the second half. But Humes scored five points and Talton four during a 10-2 run that gave Illinois-Chicago a 48-35 cushion with 6:52 remaining, and the Huskies got no closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Humes shot 7 of 8 from the field, with two 3-pointers.

Complete Recap Box Score

Wake-up Call: Miggy gets the boot; Rodon's rocky debut; More bad news for Cubs?

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AP

Wake-up Call: Miggy gets the boot; Rodon's rocky debut; More bad news for Cubs?

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Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: What's next for Blackhawks as free agency looms?

Preview: Cubs wrap up series with Nationals today on CSN

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Bulls Talk Podcast: An NBA gone wild and Zach LaVine sit down interview

How Rick Renteria has tried to help White Sox players combat travel fatigue

What pushed Theo Epstein over the edge in making Miguel Montero decision: ‘It screamed out’

 

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

The two fastballs that soared to the backstop on Wednesday night should give you a strong indication that Carlos Rodon was far from perfect.

But in making his first start of the 2017 season, the White Sox pitcher also offered his team plenty of signals that his health isn’t going to be an issue.

Rodon returned to the mound for the first time since last September and brought the goods that made him one of baseball’s top pitching prospects several years ago. Given he’d missed three months with bursitis in the left shoulder and the potential value he offers to a franchise only half a season into its first rebuild in 20 years, that was plenty for the White Sox to overlook the rust Rodon showed in a 12-3 White Sox loss to the New York Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“He started a little rough early obviously, got some high pitch counts,” manager Rick Renteria said. “And then he kind of settled down.

“Having him back in the rotation and getting him back out there on the big league field, coming out of there feeling good, healthy. I'm sure he will continue to get better as he continues to get out there and move forward.”

Renteria said he wasn’t surprised that Rodon struggled with his command as much as he did against the Yankees. The issues the pitcher displayed in uncorking a pair of wild pitches, walking six batters and throwing strikes on only 41 of 94 pitches were also present during Rodon’s four rehab starts in the minors.

But as long as the stuff was there, the White Sox would be OK with any issues that accompanied the performance. Rodon began to alleviate those concerns immediately when he earned a called strike on the game’s first pitch with a 93-mph fastball to Brett Gardner. Featuring a four-seamer with an absurd amount of movement and a nasty slider he struggled to control, Rodon checked all the boxes the White Sox hoped for from a pitcher they believe will be a frontline starter for years to come. Rodon also was pleased by how he felt before, during and after the contest.

“I was pretty excited,” Rodon said. “I was going a little fast in the first. But it was good to be out there. Next time out, it’ll hopefully be a little better. Arm feels good, body feels good, all you can ask for.”

Well, it’s not ALL you can ask for, but it’s pretty damn good out of the gate given how slow Rodon’s return took. His four-seam fastball averaged 94.9 mph according to BrooksBaseball.Net and touched 97 mph. His two-seamer averaged 94.4 mph and touched 95. And his slider, though he couldn’t control it, nor locate it for a strike, averaged 86 mph.

“You could see (Omar Narvaez) going over to try to catch some balls that were having tremendous run,” Renteria said. “That's (Rodon). He's got some tremendous life, he's just trying to harness it the best that he can and being able to execute where he wants to get as many strikes as possible.”

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The strikes were about the only thing Rodon didn’t bring with him. He walked Gardner to start the game and issued two more free passes after a Tim Anderson error allowed a run to score and extended the first inning. Rodon threw 37 pitches in the first, only 15 for strikes.

He also reached a full count to each of the batters he faced in the second inning. Rodon walked two more with two outs in the third inning after he’d retired six batters in a row.

And there were those pesky first-inning wild pitches that resembled something out of ‘Bull Durham.’

But all in all, Rodon and the White Sox ultimately saw enough in the first outing to be pleased.

“Great stuff, great life, but the goal is to put it in the zone and let them swing it to get guys out early,” Rodon said. “That’s not what happened. I’ll get back to that.”

“It’s a tough loss, but it’s better to be with the guys out on the field grinding than sitting on the couch and watching, for sure.”