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Maryland online sports betting finally going live Wednesday, Gov. Hogan declares [Baltimore Sun]

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Gov. Larry Hogan has declared that online, or mobile, sports betting finally will become available Wednesday morning, nearly three years after Marylanders voted to make it constitutional.

At nine a.m., seven online sportsbooks are expected to go live.

“This process took longer than it should have, but we are excited that this launch is in time for fans to place their bets on all the Thanksgiving Day NFL action, college football rivalry weekend, this week’s slate of NBA games, the 2022 World Cup and this Sunday’s Ravens and Commanders games,” Hogan said Tuesday morning.

The companies preapproved by Maryland officials: Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet.

in 2020, Marylanders voted in favor of a ballot referendum legalizing sports betting following changes to a federal law in 2018. Hogan signed the bill officially allowing the practice in the state in 2021. Per Maryland law, 15% of sportsbook profits go toward funding the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which provides money to schools in the state. Thus far, about $5.4 million has been generated.

“Sports betting is helping us keep these critical dollars in the state, and is providing another critical revenue source for Maryland schools,” said Hogan.

The state has allowed physical sports betting since Dec. 2021 at locations including Bingo World in Brooklyn Park, Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore and Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover.

But Maryland’s gambling commission didn’t approve the first round of mobile sports gambling licenses until Nov. 16in an effort to boost racial, ethnic and gender diversity among awardees.

Baltimore Sun reporter Hayes Gardner contributed to this article.

©2022 Baltimore Sun. Visit baltimoresun.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Tammie and Robert Jordan were well aware of their son’s aspiration of becoming a college basketball head coach. So when Notre Dame of Maryland announced earlier this year a search for someone to helm its inaugural men’s basketball program, T.J. Jordan heard from his parents.

“My parents were the ones that reached out to me, like, ‘What’s up?’” he said. “So I knew it was something I was going to be interested in.”

Turns out that mother and father know best. On Nov. 14, Jordan was named head coach of a Gators program that will make its debut in the 2023-24 season. Notre Dame of Maryland, which in September announced it will admit male students to its freshman class beginning next fall, will compete in the Colonial States Athletic Conference. Jordan’s first day at the office is Monday.

For Jordan, making the leap from coaching the varsity boys basketball team at McDonogh the past five seasons to leading a fledgling NCAA Division III program in Baltimore is an example of living out one of his parents’ favorite sayings.

“I guess you could say there was some risk, but at the same time, my parents have always instilled in me, ‘Bet on yourself,’” he said. “And this was one of those situations where opportunities present themselves, and you’ve got to take advantage of them, and this was one that I could not pass up. I had the blessings of my wife [Dr. Candice Jordan] and my parents, and they knew all of the hard work and hours and dedication that I put in when I first got into coaching. The opportunity of reaching one of my goals was something I had to take a chance on.”

Jordan has been grooming himself for such a moment. After a celebrated playing career at Bel Air High and St. Mary’s that included lifting the Seahawks to a Capital Athletic Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament’s Sweet 16, he spent the 2008-09 season coaching the Bobcats boys team and then the 2009-10 campaign serving as an assistant coach at Susquehanna.

From 2010 to 2013, Jordan was the director of basketball operations at Lehigh before joining McDonogh as its JV boys basketball coach before taking over the varsity team in 2016.

At each stop and especially with the Eagles, Jordan said he grew as a coach.

“The first thing is, you can’t be stubborn as a head coach,” he said. “As a younger coach, whatever I had my mind made up on, that’s how I was going to go. But at the same time, I teach my guys about pivoting. So I really started to understand what that means — having to make adjustments. Going into a season, you can’t necessarily have your mind made up on how you’re playing and what you’re doing because you have to constantly assess what team you’re being presented with.”

Notre Dame of Maryland athletic director Ashley Hodges said Jordan was one of three finalists for the position and emerged as an appealing candidate because of his experience playing Division III basketball at St. Mary’s, his background as a local coach, his connections to the local basketball scene and his passion for the sport.

“Our staff has been really committed to training great athletes and helping them become their best persons. We really felt like T.J. demonstrated that throughout this interview process,” she said. “He came out with a recruiting plan, and we really felt like he was going to be the best person to help us shepherd through the transition and into this new era. His energy and his charisma and everything that he was bringing to the table really fit in with our department and university values.”

During the interview process, Jordan sought counsel from trusted confidants such as Chris Harney, who coached Jordan at Bel Air and St. Mary’s, and Dan Engelstad, who was Jordan’s roommate at St. Mary’s.

“The one thing that T.J. does well is, he doesn’t have an ego where he just tries to do it all himself,” said Harney, now in his 18th year with the Seahawks and an assistant athletic director for staff development. “He’s already been reaching out to a lot of people to get advice and feedback. He’s taking his time and being very methodical in his approach to this. I think that’s an early indication of how he’s going about this. So I think they’re going to have a lot of success.”

In agreeing to take over the Gators, Jordan inherits a program that must start from the bottom. But rather than be concerned, he said he is excited about the possibilities.

“There’s no senior veteran that has been there the year before or things of that nature,” he said. “But the biggest things I talk about are communication and accountability. So we’re going to talk through it and work through it together, and we’re going to grow day by day. I tell my guys when you’re part of a team, we’re going to have our ups, and we’re going to have our downs, and we’re going to do it together, and we’re going to be successful doing it.”

One of the more significant challenges awaiting Jordan is finding players to fill out the roster. But Engelstad, the coach at Mount St. Mary’s, said his former roommate will have little difficulty recruiting players because of his “dynamic personality.”

“Players will want to play for him, parents will trust him, and students will come out and support him,” Engelstad wrote via text. “T.J. will bring the energy.”

Without predicting the number of wins in his first season, Jordan said he would like for the Gators to be competitive in their debut. Hodges, the Notre Dame athletic director, said she and the university are prepared to help him and the team reach that goal.

“This is new for the university and new for athletics. So on that aspect, I think it’s a key hire,” she said. “But I also think we have all the support in place that are going to make T.J. successful at this. So I personally think that although this is a momentous hiring, he’s going to do great.”

©2022 Baltimore Sun. Visit baltimoresun.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Nov. 20—IOWA CITY — That ankle, which caused so much angst through the past 60 hours, was good to go.

Caitlin Clark played — and played extremely well — in fourth-ranked Iowa's 73-62 non-conference women's basketball win over Belmont on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"We have the best medical facility in the country," Clark said after dropping 33 points on the Bruins. "I had the normal swelling and bruising, but not a lot of pain, so I knew I could go."

The Hawkeyes' All-American point guard, Clark sprained her left ankle in the season-opening win over Southern University, then aggravated it on the final play of their one-point loss at Kansas State on Thursday.

"It definitely shakes you up a little bit," she said. "It's going to be the same stuff, and every time you do it, it weakens the ankle."

The only player in double-figures for the Hawkeyes (4-1), Clark connected on 10 of 18 shots from the floor (3 of 7 from 3-point range) and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line. She also registered five assists and committed only one turnover.

Monika Czinano added nine points and 10 rebounds. Molly Davis and Hannah Stuelke contributed seven points apiece off the bench.

"This was a good way to bounce back," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. "Belmont is a good team. We have nothing but respect for them."

The Bruins (1-3) cut a 12-point deficit to 47-44 late in the third quarter, setting the stage from an electrifying 45-second sequence by Clark.

She hit an off-balance 3-pointer from the left wing, then nailed another trey from the top of the key in transition. She followed with a steal and layup to make it 55-44 as the Carver crowd of 8,227 got vocal.

"Any time we can use the crowd to the best of our ability, it's really, really good," Clark said. "When we go on little runs, it's Iowa basketball at its finest."

An NCAA tournament second-round team last year and this year's preseason favorite in the Missouri Valley Conference, Belmont had one more surge in it, getting within four points on two occasions in the fourth quarter.

But Czinano scored inside, then Gabbie Marshall drilled a 3-pointer, and the Hawkeyes pulled away.

The first half, simply put, was a grind. The Hawkeyes led 32-25 at intermission despite shooting 36 percent from the floor. The reason, they went to the line (making 11 of 13), and the Bruins didn't, at all.

Iowa finished 18 of 23 from the line, Belmont 8 of 11, and Czinano staked the Hawkeyes to a 42-33 rebounding advantage.

"One through 5, we all did a good job of finding our player and boxing them out," Czinano said.

McKenna Warnock added six points and eight boards.

Nikki Baird paced Belmont with 13 points. Madison Bartley and Sydni Harvey scored 11 apiece.

The Hawkeyes head to Portland, Ore., later this week for the Phil Knight Classic. They'll face Oregon State in the first round at 7:30 p.m. (Iowa time) Friday.

Iowa 73, Belmont 62

AT IOWA CITY

BELMONT (62): Madison Bartley 4-8 3-3 11, Tuti Jones 3-10 2-2 9, Sydni Harvey 4-7 0-0 11, Destinee Wells 4-17 1-2 9, Nikki Baird 5-6 0-0 13, Blair Schoenwald 0-3 0-0 0, Tessa Miller 1-3 2-4 4, Kilyn McGuff 2-3 0-0 5, Kendal Cheesman 0-4 0-0 0, Kate Hollifield 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-62 8-11 62.

IOWA (73): McKenna Warnock 1-5 3-4 6, Kate Martin 2-6 1-2 6, Caitlin Clark 10-18 10-11 33, Gabbie Marshall 2-5 0-0 5, Monika Czinano 4-7 1-2 9, Molly Davis 3-5 0-0 7, Taylor McCabe 0-2 0-0 0, Sydney Affolter 0-3 0-0 0, Addison O'Grady 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Stuelke 2-5 3-4 7. Totals 24-57 18-23 73.

Belmont 18 7 21 16 — 62

Iowa 18 14 23 18 — 73

3-point goals: Belmont 8-29 (Bartley 0-1, Jones 1-5, Harvey 3-6, Wells 0-4, Baird 3-4, Schoenwald 0-3, McGuff 1-2, Cheesman 0-3, Hollifield 0-1), Iowa 7-24 (Warnock 1-4, Martin 1-3, Clark 3-7, Marshall 1-4, Davis 1-2, Affolter 0-2, McCabe 0-1, Stuelke 0-1). Team fouls: Belmont 21, Iowa 9. Fouled out: Harvey. Rebounds: Belmont 34 (Jones, Wells 6), Iowa 42 (Czinano 10). Assists: Belmont 14 (Wells 5), Iowa 11 (Clark 5). Steals: Belmont 2 (Jones, Baird), Iowa 4 (Clark 2). Turnovers: Belmont 6, Iowa 6.

Attendance: 8,227.

Comments: jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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Nov. 23—IOWA CITY — Hannah Stuelke is making the most of her playing time.

And, Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said, the freshman is earning more of it.

"We need to get Hannah more minutes," Bluder said at a press conference Monday. "We're trying to be creative, have her back up both the 4 and the 5."

The Cedar Rapids native — and Miss Iowa Basketball 2022 — is averaging 8.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She has played 68 minutes in five games.

Prorate her numbers, and she is averaging 24.5 points and 16.4 rebounds per 40 minutes. That rate ranks her third in points per minute among the Hawkeyes, and first in rebounds per minute.

Bluder probably wouldn't subtract minutes from Monika Czinano in the paint for accommodate Stuelke. Same with McKenna Warnock at the "4."

There's another option.

"We might need to move McKenna to the '3' sometimes, and she can do that," Bluder said.

No. 9 Iowa (4-1) heads west this week for the Phil Knight Legacy tournament. They'll face Oregon State (4-0) in a first-round game Friday at 7:30 p.m. (Iowa time) at the Chiles Center in Portland, Ore.

"Our opponent is very, very good," Bluder said. "(Oregon State Coach) Scott (Rueck) was my assistant at the Pan-Am games, and he game-plans very well.

"They haven't been tested like we have. I think we can be up-tempo with them."

The Beavers are intriguing because of their size. Jelena Mitrovic, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, considered the Hawkeyes before choosing Oregon State.

You don't face that every day.

"(Assistant Coach) Jan (Jensen) was looking for a footstool (at practice so they would have to shoot over the top," Bluder said.

Mitrovic averages 8.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. A 6-2 freshman, Raegan Beers posts 17.0 points and 8.8 boards per game and shoots 68 percent from the floor.

That duo will provide a test for Czinano (19.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, .684 FG%).

"(Oregon State is) definitely an NCAA team. There's a reason they're at this tournament," Warnock said.

No. 3 Connecticut (3-0) faces Duke (5-0) in the other semifinal game. The championship and third-place games are Sunday.

The requisites for invitation to this event are, according to Bluder, "You've got to be a Nike school, a highly ranked Nike school."

Iowa fits both criteria, especially with the star power of Caitlin Clark.

Bluder said the Hawkeyes already are penciled into the Florida Gulf Coast tournament next year.

"I try to schedule the best competition that I can beat. That changes from year to year," she said.

Comments: jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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On top of everything else, the Gophers’ 13-10 loss to Iowa on Saturday damaged Minnesota’s bowl projections.

Besides losing the Floyd of Rosedale rivalry trophy and their outside chance of winning the Big Ten West Division, the Gophers (7-4) can all but forget about going to the Music City Bowl in Nashville or the former Outback Bowl (now named ReliaQuest) in Tampa.

Of 10 national projections tracked by the Pioneer Press, no outlet picked Minnesota for the Music City or ReliaQuest bowls.

For Minnesota, the Duke’s Mayo Bowl was the most-popular destination picked with a total of four educated guesses this week. The game is against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent and will be played on Friday, Dec. 30 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

The second most popular destination was the too-familiar Quick Lane Bowl on Monday, Dec. 26 at Ford Field in Detroit. The Gophers know this spot well after visits there in 2015 and 2018. The matchup is with a Mid-American Conference team.

The Pinstripe Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 29 at Yankee Stadium in New York City had been the most-popular pick for two straight weeks. After being previously forecast as Minnesota’s destination by five different outlets, only two of them this week picked the U to go to the Bronx and play against an ACC foe.

In a curveball, 247 Sports picked the Armed Forces Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 22 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. This was not on the radar for Minnesota across the previous month.

Similar to last week, the Gophers’ rivalry game on Saturday against Wisconsin (6-5) will have more than Paul Bunyan’s Axe on the line. With both teams 4-4 in the Big Ten, a higher spot in the bowl-game pecking order would likely go to the winner.

Gophers’ Week-By-Week Bowl Projections

The number of national projections over the last five weeks where for Minnesota might go bowling (from left: the first roundup in late October, though November and into this week):

Pinstripe Bowl: 4, 2, 5, 5, 2

Mayo Bowl: 4, 3, 2, 1, 4

Music City Bowl: 0, 3, 2, 2, 0

ReliaQuest Bowl: 1, 1, 1, 1, 0

Quick Lane Bowl: 1, 1, 0, 1, 3

Armed Forces Bowl: 0, 0, 0, 0, 1

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Nov. 22—Friday's Iowa-Nebraska game will feature two teams that have relied on much different ways of building a roster.

Iowa has continued to lean heavily on high school recruiting and trusted its developmental process. Nebraska, in contrast, has turned to the pool of talent in the transfer portal as a way to quickly retool.

Here are five Nebraska players to watch as the teams from neighboring states with opposite strategies clash:

QB Casey Thompson

Casey Thompson, after four years at Texas, has stepped into the starting role in his first year at Nebraska.

The transfer quarterback has completed 62.7 percent of his passes while throwing 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Thompson missed time earlier in the season with an arm injury, but he returned for the first time in Nebraska's 15-14 loss to Wisconsin last weekend. He was 12-for-20 with two touchdowns.

He hit a snag earlier in the season, throwing multiple interceptions in three consecutive games in October.

Thompson was a four-star recruit in the 2018 class and had offers from some college football blue-bloods, including Ohio State and Oregon, before choosing Texas.

He played in seven games combined in his first three years on Texas' campus, but earned the starting job early in the 2021 season. He finished the year with 24 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a completion percentage of 63.2.

Thompson's departure from Austin happened after Texas lured former five-star recruit Quinn Ewers to the Longhorns via the transfer portal.

DB Malcolm Hartzog

Malcolm Hartzog has made a quick impact on the Nebraska secondary as a true freshman.

He became the first true freshman at Nebraska to start at cornerback since 2016 after getting the starting nod against Indiana on Oct. 1. He grabbed his first career interception a week later.

Hartzog's three interceptions this season are as many as the two next-best Nebraska defensive backs combined.

Opposing quarterbacks have only completed 46.4 percent of passes when throwing to the receiver Hartzog is covering, per Pro Football Focus.

WR Trey Palmer

Trey Palmer transferred from LSU to Nebraska and is putting up the best numbers of his career in 2022.

The Kentwood, La., native has 62 receptions for 878 yards and seven touchdowns — more than his first three years in Baton Rouge combined.

Palmer showed what he's capable of in Nebraska's 43-37 loss to Purdue earlier this season. The 6-foot-1 wideout had seven catches for 237 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 13 targets.

He has not exceeded 50 receiving yards in a game since the Oct. 15 trip to Purdue, though.

Edge Garrett Nelson

On a team with a lot of turnover from the transfer portal, Garrett Nelson has been a constant on Nebraska's defense.

The last time Nebraska played a game without Nelson starting in it, Nate Stanley was Iowa's quarterback, "Circles" by Post Malone was the Billboard top song and the person writing this article was still in college.

Nelson has started the last 31 games for the Huskers.

The Scottsbluff, Neb., native has been quite effective in those 31 games. He leads the Huskers with nine tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2022. He also led the team in those categories in 2021.

But just like the rest of the Huskers, Nelson has yet to defeat the Hawkeyes.

"They are Iowa," Nelson said about this week's game. "We obviously have a chip on our shoulder with those guys."

Edge Ochaun Mathis

Ochaun Mathis was among the higher-profile additions Nebraska had via the transfer portal over the offseason.

On3 rated the former TCU defensive lineman as Nebraska's top transfer portal addition of the 2022 offseason.

Mathis earned all-Big 12 second-team honors in 2020 and 2021.

He started 34 consecutive games for the Horned Frogs before transferring. The only games he did not start at TCU were during his redshirt season.

Now as a Husker, Mathis has five tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in 2022. Both numbers are among the top three on the team.

Comments: john.steppe@thegazette.com

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Anthony Hockett intercepted two passes in the end zone, and receiver Joey Kidder scored a career-high three touchdowns to lift Bethel to a 30-13 victory over previously unbeaten Linfield (Ore.) in a Division III second-round playoff game Saturday in McMinnville, Ore.

Kidders touchdowns, all on passes from Jaran Roste, covered five yards in the first quarter, 11 in the third and 65 in the fourth. Roste also ran for a touchdown.

The Royals (10-2) outgained the Wildcats (11-1) 373 yards to 261, doing it with a balanced offense that produced 159 rushing yards and 214 passing yards.

Bethel’s defense held Linfield scoreless in the second half, when Hockett came up with his interceptions in the end zone. The Royals also sacked Linfield quarterback Joey Valadez six times.

Roste’s three touchdowns to Kidder made him the Royals’ all-time leader for passing touchdowns with 67, breaking Scott Kirchoff’s school record.

Bethel will play third-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor of Texas in next Saturday’s quarterfinal round at a site to be determined.

Wartburg 23, St. John’s 20

A season-high five turnovers sunk the Johnnies (10-2) in a Division III second-round playoff game against the unbeaten Knights (12-0) in Collegeville, Minn.

The turnovers started on the very first play from scrimmage for St. John’s and led to a 23-6 Wartburg (Iowa) lead.

“When you turn the ball over five times, it makes it tough to win any game,” said Alex Larson, the Johnnies’ tight end from East Ridge High School in Woodbury. “That certainly wasn’t what we had planned, and we still had a chance to win this game at the end. But, when it was all said and done, we just didn’t make the plays we needed to make to get the win.”

St. John’s quarterback Aaron Syverson threw four interceptions, but also competed 22 of 36 passes for 244 yards.

DIVISION II

Colorado School of Mines 48, Minnesota State 45

Offense was the name of the game in Golden, Colo., and the host Orediggers (11-2) had just enough of it to hold off the Mavericks (10-3) in the second round of the Division II playoffs.

Playing from behind all game, Mankato kept it close thanks to Hayden Ekern’s career-high 377 yards passing for four touchdowns. D.J. Barber posted a career-high 108 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and Isaiah Emanuel had 117 receiving yards and one touchdown. Shen Butler-Lawson rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns.

Trent Carpenter led the Mavericks defense with 10 tackles, while Jacob Daulton had nine, including a sack.

Angelo State 33, Bemidji State 7

Second-ranked Angelo State (12-0) exploded for 20 points in the fourth quarter to break open a close Division II second-round playoff game and beat the host Beavers (10-3) in Bemidji, Minn.

Bemidji State got off to a quick start, taking advantage of a muffed punt return in the first quarter to get the ball at the Rams’ 8-yard line, setting up Brandon Alt’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Brendan Beaulieu for a 7-0 lead. It was Beaulieu’s 19th TD reception of the season, a school record.

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Nov. 21—The "controlled chaos" of the wrestling season is about hit terminal velocity.

The first wrestling season sanctioned by the IGHSAU is underway. College men and women are taking the mat. Here is a look at the Wrestling Weekend That Was.

Kevin Dresser goes home again

In what has turned into a cool tradition, Iowa State has held a home dual at Humboldt High School, the alma mater of Cyclones head coach Kevin Dresser. Last year, Iowa State hosted Purdue, which is coached by former Humboldt two-time state champion and Iowa wrestler Tony Ersland.

The opponent was more local this time. Iowa State welcomed NAIA power Grand View to the event. The Vikings have been the quintessential powerhouse since Nick Mitchell started the program for the 2008-09 season. They have won 20 national team titles (10 traditional tournament and 10 duals) since 2012.

The Cyclones continued their hot start that has seen them climb to No. 8 in the national dual rankings with wins over Wisconsin, Arkansas-Little Rock, Campbell, California Baptist and now Grand View. They won all 10 matches Sunday for a 40-0 victory.

"It felt great to be back in Humboldt," Dresser said. "This place is home and they have always treated me and our program well. We wrestled well but this team has to get better in the next couple of weeks. We're still making technical mistakes that needs to be cleaned up. Our guys had to come out and wrestle as heavy favorites today which can be hard to do when they're coming after you with everything they have."

Jason Kraisser (157) won by fall, 165-pounder David Carr posted a technical fall and Marcus Cole and Yonger Bastida added major decisions at 184 and 197, respectively, for Iowa State. The Cyclones' next competition is the Cyclone Open Saturday in Ames.

Cael Happel's huge win

Northern Iowa collected four individual titles at South Dakota State's Daktronics Open Sunday in Brookings, S.D. Cael Happel (141), Collin Realbuto (149), 157-pounder Derek Holschlag and Austin Yant at 165 all won crowns.

Happel, a sophomore, was impressive in his run to a 4-0 start. He opened with two pins, needing just 1:44 to deck Northern State's Cory St. Martin and less than a minute to pin Iowa State's Jacob Frost. Happel posted a 16-6 major decision over the Jackrabbits' Caleb Gross to advance to the final against SDSU's sixth-ranked Clay Carlson.

The back-and-forth affair saw Carlson lead 3-2 after one with Happel responding with an escape and takedown for 5-3 lead after two. With the scored tied, Happel converted a low-single attack for the decisive takedown late.

Hawkeyes dominate in Missouri Valley Open

Iowa women's wrestling is on campus, but athletes won't be able to officially compete for the Hawkeyes until the 2023-24 season. They are, however, allowed to compete in open tournaments on their own.

Five Hawkeyes won titles and two more were second at the Missouri Valley Open on Saturday in Marshall, Mo. Sterling Dias (101), Nyla Valencia (109), Felicity Taylor (116), Nanea Estrella (136) and Reese Larramendy at 145 were champions.

Dias and Valencia beat teammates in the finals. Dias beat Emilie Gonzalez, 3-1, for gold. Valencia edged Brianna Gonzalez, 6-5, for the championship.

Former South Winneshiek prep Taylor went 6-0 overall, recording three major decisions and two pins. Taylor, who will be wrestling for Team USA in the United World Wrestling World Cup on Dec. 10-11 in Coralville, decked University of Providence's Ashley Gooman in the final.

Iowa dominated, combining to outscore opponents, 284-24, over the two-day event. The Hawkeyes posted a 24-0 mark on Friday. Expect much of the same as anticipation swells for next year.

IGHSAU season starts strong

The first sanctioned wrestling season by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union is off to a strong start. Hundreds of competitors and teams from across the state are filling gyms for tournaments, duals and scrambles. Pictures of the competitors are filling social media feeds, recording the inaugural events.

The Independence Invitational on Saturday was a perfect example of the excitement that has accompanied this long-awaited season. There was standing room only in the gym with six mats for 549 total matches in 5 1/2 hours, which equates to about 100 matches an hour.

"I think it went smooth," Independence assistant and tournament operator Matt Shannon said between announcements. "It was controlled chaos."

Parents, grandparents and siblings were in the packed venue that had spectators cramming in rows with an overflow into the aisles.

The field consisted of 348 competitors after about 370 originally registered. Each athlete were assigned three to four matches.

Wrestlers were grouped by weight and skill, but no official brackets were set. You saw a wide arrange of skill, including Union Community IWCOA state champion and nationally ranked Jillian Worthen, who rolled with three pins. Independence's Rachel Eddy, a 2020 IWCOA champ, went 3-0, overcoming a 4-0 deficit with a reversal and pin to top Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Preseason Nationals runner-up and IWCOA medalist Ella Brown in a rematch of last season's IWCOA quarterfinal. Brown went 2-0 with two pins, including one in 10 seconds.

You had some beginners like Benton Community's Jessa Demoss, a standout softball player who is also a member of the Bobcats' varsity basketball team. Demoss went 3-0 with three pins as well.

The season is just getting started and this type of competition will be the norm.

"It was well run," Linn-Mar Coach Mike Geers said of the event. "It was pretty impressive."

Coe trio wins titles

Will Esmoil (165), Tristin Westphal at 184 and 197-pounder Jared Voss claimed championships at the Coe College Invitational on Saturday. Esmoil and Voss both recorded pins in the finals. Esmoil decked St. Ambrose's Jayden Terronez in 3:25 for the title. Voss pinned Dubuque's Tyler Thurston in 1:32 for gold. Westphal dropped Graceland's Cam Cornman, 11-3, in the final.

Austin Gomez shocks Yianni

Wisconsin's Austin Gomez suffered an upset loss to Iowa State's Paniro Johnson earlier this season. The former Cyclone dished out his own stunning victory with a 9-3 victory over Cornell University's three-time NCAA champion Yianni Diakomihalis Saturday at Ithaca, N.Y. It was only the second loss for Diakomihalis in his college career and first since a loss to Jaydin Eierman (then with Missouri) his freshman season.

Gomez broke open a scoreless match in the second with an escape and throw for four points and a 5-0 lead entering the third. Gomez added a takedown in the third for the notable win.

Comments: kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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(c)2022 The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

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KeyWords:: CR-Iowa-Wrestling-Weekend-That-Was-Kevin-Dresser-brin CR Iowa Wrestling Weekend That Was Kevin Dresser brin

Nov. 25—This Black Friday football thing between Iowa and Nebraska has never really caught on, has it?

In fact, Nebraska itself has never taken off in the Big Ten. Will it ever stop being a foot wipe for the rest of the league? Of course. Sooner or later, the ball will bounce its way a couple times. Or the school will hire a coach who assembles a solid program.

But while the Huskers got a slab of the cash cow known as the Big Ten, what did the conference get in return?

The prestige of the Nebraska football program? That was already fading glory when the Huskers jumped into its lifeboat, seeking to flee the Big 12 in general and the University of Texas in particular.

Nebraska was good in football when it joined the Big Ten, but its days as a national powerhouse were done, and it hadn't even won a Big 12 title since 1999.

However, Huskers football still had some aura about it. The Big Ten snapped it up to give it 12 schools and allow it to split in two divisions and have a league-championship game.

The Huskers were 22-10 in the Big Ten over their first four years, and won three of their first four games against Iowa as league brothers. But they lost 70-31 to Wisconsin in the 2012 Big Ten title game, and haven't been back since.

When Wisconsin rushed for 539 yards against the Huskers in Indianapolis 10 years ago, we should have had an inkling that the old Nebraska was never coming back.

In fact, the Huskers have kept going backward. If they lose at Iowa Friday, they'll have their second-straight 3-9 season. They will have fallen for the eighth-straight time to the Hawkeyes.

What is Nebraska bringing to the Big Ten's table? It certainly doesn't have a TV footprint, unless Wahoo and Ogallala have had recent growth spurts. The school has great volleyball, but so does Waikiki Beach. Which doesn't have a prominent football team, either.

Since adding the Huskers, the Big Ten annexed Maryland, Rutgers, UCLA and USC. All those moves were met with questions, but there are people on top of people in New Jersey-New York and Baltimore-Washington, and people on top of people on top of people in southern California.

The Huskers' Black Friday football appearance used to get big TV ratings, thanks to Nebraska being a marquee name and the opponent being Oklahoma for many years. Now, no one at a Bed Bath & Beyond in Santa Fe or Santa Ana Friday will say "I must get my Christmas shopping done quickly so I can get home and watch Big Red play football."

The plight of Nebraska football has been comical to many Iowans, but come on. Wouldn't this game be a lot more fun if both teams were meeting for a division title when they clashed?

You know, have the nation look at Iowa-Nebraska as something other than the Big Ten's version of Arkansas-Missouri.

Friday's game is big, big, big for Iowa, but the opponents are bumblers playing out the string. Yet again, that makes this just another Friday game as Michigan-Ohio State on Saturday draws nearer.

The fact Nebraska is about to become the only Power Five team without a bowl appearance since 2016 is borderline stunning, and not just for the fact Kansas has left the Huskers behind with its six wins this season.

Teams schedule themselves bowls. Maryland is 3-5 in the Big Ten and going to a bowl, thanks to playing Buffalo, Charlotte and SMU. The latter is 6-5 and bowl-eligible because it played Lamar.

Oklahoma will go to a bowl, though it's 3-5 in the Big 12. That's because it played UTEP and Kent State. Oh, and Nebraska.

The Huskers, however, can't even rig the system. They paid Georgia Southern $1.423 million to come to Lincoln and didn't even get a win out it. Before that game, Nebraska went all the way to Ireland to lose to Northwestern, something no one has done in the Wildcats' last 16 games on American soil.

Jim Delany, the Big Ten commissioner in 2010, said he had his eye on grabbing Nebraska for 21 years before he acted. He shouldn't have been so impulsive.

Delany said he wanted to only add new members that were "home runs." Maybe he should have gone for touchdowns instead. His successor, Kevin Warren, landed USC and UCLA. They play football.

Comments: (319) 398-8440; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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KeyWords:: CR-Another-year-another-Black-Friday-game-with-3-8-N CR Another year another Black Friday game with 3 8 N

Nov. 19—IOWA CITY — Molly Davis' role on the University of Iowa women's basketball roster is thus:

Backup to Caitlin Clark at point guard. A depth provider at off guard.

And a major insurance policy, just in case.

The Hawkeyes have reached a "just-in-case" juncture.

Clark aggravated a sprained left ankle on the final play of fourth-ranked Iowa's 84-83 loss at Kansas State on Thursday. According to a Friday email to The Gazette from UI sports information, Clark is "day-to-day, but the plan is a go" on Sunday, when the Hawkeyes (3-1) host Belmont (1-2).

Tipoff is 2 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes' senior All-American point guard, Clark hurt her ankle about three minutes into the opener against Southern University.

"I just stepped on somebody's foot and turned my ankle a little bit," she said at the time. "I'll be perfectly fine. I'm all good."

It wasn't all good Thursday.

Clark appeared to get tangled with a K-State player on the inbounds pass with 3.8 seconds left. She passed to McKenna Warnock, then writhed on the court in pain.

She left the arena without crutches, but with ice and discomfort. Her status for Sunday? We'll see.

If Clark is a no-go, the most likely scenario is for Davis to start at point guard, creating an all-senior starting lineup.

Davis transferred from Central Michigan last spring.

"We did recruit her as the backup to Caitlin," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said at Media Day in late October. "We told her right up front, this is your No. 1 role, but you're also going to compete for off-guard minutes.

"I've been impressed with how well she plays away from the basketball. She's crafty. She's deceiving. She's a smart basketball player. I think that's going to be an X factor that people haven't figured out with our team yet."

Davis is logging 24.9 minutes per game (fifth on the team) and is averaging 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds. Through four games, she has 12 assists and 13 turnovers.

Iowa had a seven-point lead on four occasions in the fourth quarter Thursday, but couldn't close it out.

"We're not running our offense well," Bluder said. "We had some untimely turnovers, they scored 22 points off our turnovers. They made us pay."

A newcomer to the Missouri Valley Conference, Belmont was the preseason MVC favorite. The Bruins took No. 6 Louisville to the wire a week ago, but followed that with a disappointing 80-62 home loss to Middle Tennessee.

Detinee Wells, a 5-foot-6 junior guard, paces the Bruins at 15.0 points per game.

Comments: jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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KeyWords:: CR-Caitlin-Clarks-status-Day-to-day-heading-into-Sund CR Caitlin Clarks status Day to day heading into Sund

The Johnnies are off and running in the NCAA Division III football playoffs.

St. John’s got right down to business on Saturday, overwhelming Northwestern of St. Paul 49-0 in 14-degree temperatures and 18-mph winds on Saturday at Clemens Stadium in Collegeville, Minn.

Quarterback Aaron Syverson led the way for the Johnnies with four touchdown passes in the first half — 41 yards to Nick VanErp in the first quarter, then nine and 11 yards to Jimmy Buck and six yards to Alex Larson in the second for a 35-0 halftime lead.

Syverson finished the day completing 19 of 23 passes for 204 yards.

Northwestern quarterback Caden Cantrell kept the Eagles’ offense moving on 23 of 32 passing for 207 yards. He was intercepted twice.

St. John’s finished with 388 yards offense to Northwestern’s 213.

Northwestern finished 6-5 on the season after putting together a 6-0 record to win the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championship.

St. John’s improved to 10-1 and moves into the second round of the Division III playoffs, where the Johnnies will play host to a tough foe in unbeaten Wartburg (Iowa), which improved to 11-0 with a 14-6 victory over Wisconsin-La Crosse on Saturday in Waverly, Iowa.

DIVISION II PLAYOFFS

Minn. State Mankato 26, Wayne State 9

The Mavericks (10-2) held the Wildcats (9-3) to just 216 yards of offense at Blakeslee Stadium in the opening round of the Division II playoffs for their sixth straight win.

Shen Butler-Lawson led the Mankato State offense with 113 yards rushing, the sixth time this season he has rushed for more than 100 yards in a game. The Mavericks rushed for a total of 287 yards.

Bemidji State 31, Winona State 7

With a stiff breeze blowing off Lake Bemidji and a game-time temperature of 12 degrees, the Beavers (10-2) found a way around the difficult playing conditions to beat the Warriors (8-4) in the first round of the Division II playoffs at Chet Anderson Stadium in Bemidji, Minn.

Bemidji State used a quick-strike third-quarter offense to pull away, with Brandon Alt connecting with Brendan Beaulieu for three touchdown passes in the space of nine minutes to stake the home team a 24-0 lead, with Beavers kicker Connor Cusick also connecting on a 22-yard field goal during that stretch.

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