HOUSTON (AP) – Michael Jordan turned 50 on Sunday, giving this year’s All-Stars a chance to reflect on his illustrious career and how much he still means to the sport.
In a weekend filled with the NBA’s greatest players, Jordan was the topic no one could stop talking about. Though he hasn’t played since the 2002-03 season, Jordan’s influence still permeates the league and its players.
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade says, “everything he did was groundbreaking.”
Jordan won six titles and picked up five MVP awards during a career spent mostly with the Bulls that began in 1984.
Jordan was in Houston this weekend, and celebrated his birthday early with a private bash on Friday at the Museum of Fine Arts with guests including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
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WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) -– UNCW banged out 15 hits as Michael Bass and Hunter Ridge had three hits apiece to lead UNCW past No. 31 Kent State, 13-8, on Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader at Brooks Field. Virginia Tech topped the Seahawks in game two, 7-2.
The Seahawks saw their record move to 2-2 with the twinbill split while Virginia Tech and Kent State finished the weekend with records of 4-0 and 0-4, respectively.
UNCW plated four runs in the fourth inning against KSU to erase a 6-5 deficit and would never surrender that lead. Matt Keeler doubled to open the frame and UNCW followed with four consecutive hits off losing pitcher Nick Jensen-Clagg (0-1). Drew Farber added a RBI double and Bass, Terence Connelly and Ridge had RBI singles.
Ryan Foster (1-0) earned the win in relief, striking out four over three innings. Ricky Holden notched the save with three strikeouts over 2 and 2/3 innings.
Bass later homered leading off the seventh to make it 11-8. Luke Dunlap also belted his first round tripper of the season in the third inning. Jensen-Clagg was roughed up for seven runs on seven hits and a pair of walks in three-plus innings.
In the nightcap, Virginia Tech’s Mark Zagunis collected four hits and knocked in three runs as the Hokies built a 5-1 lead after two innings against UNCW starter Blaze Tart (0-1).
VT starter Tanner McIntyre (1-0) struck out eight and allowed just two runs on three hits and a pair of walks in earning the win. Jake Joyce retired all nine batters he faced, including four on strikeouts, to pick up the save.
The Seahawks visit Charleston Southern on Feb. 20 for a 2 p.m. start.
Notes: In game two, UNCW’s bullpen of Justin Livengood, Kelly Secrest and Nick Monroe held VT to two runs, one earned on four hits and 10 strikeouts … Livengood pitched a career-long 3 and 1/3 innings and struckout a career-high six … Secrest tossed three hitless innings … Hunter Ridge moved into a tie for third with Jonathan Batts with 245 career hits … Defensively, UNCW struggled on the day committing seven errors total … UNCW is now 8-8 all-time against Kent State and 10-10 against Virginia Tech … The Seahawks used four different lineups in the field with 30 players seeing action during the weekend.
WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW)-– Senior guard Tawanna Lee stole an inbounds pass and made a short jumper with five seconds remaining to lift UNCW over Georgia State, 84-83, in an overtime Colonial Athletic Association women’s basketball game Sunday at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks snapped a nine-game losing streak in dramatic fashion and improved to 3-20 overall and 2-10 in the CAA. The Panthers had their record evened at 12-12 on the season and stand 4-9 in their final campaign in the CAA.
Junior guard Jessica Freeman and senior forward Karneshia Garrett carried the Seahawks, combining for 49 of the team’s season-high 84 points. Freeman poured in a career-high 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-9 behind the arc, and added four rebounds and four assists.
Garrett, meanwhile, added 22 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks in a mammoth effort. The active inside player dominated play inside the paint in the second half to help the Seahawks extend the contest. Sophomore guard Kelva Atkins gave the Seahawks three players in double figures with 14 points.
Sophomore guard Ashley Watson anchored three GSU players in double digits with 16 points. Freshman guard Ashlee Cole scored 13 and senior guard Tiffany Anderson had 10 for the Panthers, who shot 37 percent on the day.
The two teams battled to a 73-all draw in regulation before the Panthers scored the first five points of the extra period. GSU still led, 81-77, with 49 seconds left when the Seahawks staged their scintillating comeback.
Garrett worked inside for a layup with 20 seconds left to close the deficit to 81-79 and after Watson made a pair of free throws to push the score back to 83-79 with 18 seconds on the clock, Freeman swished a key triple on the left wing with 10 ticks remaining.
Lee, who had made just one basket to that point, then swiped the inbounds pass and connected on a short jumper with five seconds left, drawing a timeout from GSU Head Coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener. The Panthers inbounded the ball to Cody Paulk who passed it to Kayla Nolan and the sophomore guard’s 35-foot heave was ruled after the horn.
After taking a 38-34 lead at halftime, the Panthers increased their lead to 10 points midway through the second period before UNCW rallied down the stretch to force overtime.
Clinging to a 57-51 advantage, GSU pushed the margin to 10 points by converting four straight free throws with 9:41 remaining. Watson made a pair free throws when the UNCW bench was assessed a technical foul and Anderson added two more charity tosses to push the score to 61-51.
UNCW scored 13 of the next 16 points, however, to narrow the deficit to 66-64. Garrett did most of the damage, scoring 10 points in the spurt to help the Seahawk pull within two points at 4:19.
But GSU reeled off seven unanswered points and Watson’s jumper at the free throw line helped the Panthers get the score back to 73-64 with 2:26 left to play.
The Seahawks took advantage of some sloppy play by the Panthers to force overtime by scoring the final nine points of regulation. Freeman scored on a layup to start the rally and then added a three-pointer to keep the rally going. Atkins and Lee then made two free throws each to tie the score.
UNCW had a chance to win it in regulation, but had a shot blocked and missed a desperation three-ball with three seconds left. GSU failed to get off a shot as time expired.
No more than five points separated the two teams in the opening half and the lead changed 12 times before the Panthers took a three-point lead into the half.
GSU opened the game by scoring the first five points before the Seahawks used Freeman’s hot hand to get untracked. The junior guard from Charlotte scored 14 points, including 3-of-4 from long distance, in the opening period for UNCW.
Garrett converted a layup with 2:59 left to give the Seahawks a 34-33 edge, but the Panthers scored the last four points of the half for a 38-34 advantage at the break.
The Seahawks travel to Philadelphia on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. clash at Drexel, while the Panthers visit Northeastern on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tilt.
GAME NOTES: It was UNCW’s first overtime game since a 68-64 win over VCU on Feb. 3, 2011, at Trask Coliseum…Freeman’s 27 points was a season-high for a UNCW player this season…The Seahawks had two players score more than 20 points for the first time since Kristen Hanzer and Martha White turned the trick on Nov. 19, 2010 against rival East Carolina…The Seahawks shot 42.2 percent from the floor…UNCW outscored GSU, 11-10, in overtime…The Seahawks overcame 16 turnovers…The two teams combined for 33-of-40 at the free throw line, including 20-of-24 by the Seahawks…Only seven players saw action for UNCW…The Seahawks are now 2-9 at home…Garrett’s 20-20 performance was the first since Sharon McDowell scored 20 points and grabbed 20 rebounds vs. East Carolina on Feb. 27, 1988.
WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) -– Senior forward Keith Rendleman racked up his 16th double-double of the season with 23 points and 11 rebounds to power UNCW to a 73-67 upset of first place Northeastern in Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball action Saturday at Trask Coliseum.
The Seahawks snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 10-16 overall and 5-9 in the CAA and gained a split in the regular season series with the Huskies.
NU lost for only the third time in conference play and stands 17-10 and 12-3. It was NU’s first conference road loss in eight games this season and only its second road loss in 11 outings in 2012-13.
“Northeastern runs a very good half-court offense and we wanted to try different things to take them out of it,” said third-year UNCW Head Coach Buzz Peterson. “We tried to give them different looks. We took the lead with about eight minutes left and I thought we did a good job of finishing the game.”
Rendleman, UNCW’s leading scorer and rebounder, put the Seahawks on his back again and recorded the 38th double-double of his career on 7-of-11 shooting. Sophomore forward Cedrick Williams added 12 points and nine boards for the Seahawks, who shot 56.5 percent in the second half and 52.0 percent for the game.
Sophomore forward Quincy Ford made 9-of-11 shots and closed with 23 points and nine rebounds for the Huskies. Senior guard Jonathan Lee added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Joel Smith, NU’s leading scorer at 17.0 ppg, was hobbled with an ankle injury and did not score in 16 minutes.
In the annual Homecoming game that featured 15 lead changes, the Seahawks forged out to a three-point lead at halftime, withstood several NU rallies and finished strong to avenge a 68-64 loss on Jan. 5 in Boston.
NU appeared in control with just under nine minutes remaining when freshman guard David Walker’s three-pointer gave the Huskies a 54-48 advantage. But the Seahawks responded with eight consecutive points over a three-minute stretch to get back into it. Williams started the spurt with a bucket in the paint at 7:57 and Freddie Jackson’s layup off a steal with 4:56 remaining gave the Seahawks a 56-54 edge
The Huskies took the lead again briefly, 58-56, on a layup by Ford before the Seahawks took the lead for good on a conventional three-point play by Rendleman and a key jumper by Jackson on the right wing that pushed the advantage to 61-58 with 2:43 on the clock.
UNCW went 10-of-14 at the free throw over the final 1:54 to nail down the upset. Williams and junior guard Chris Dixon, who finished with a career-high nine assists, each had four free throws in the critical stretch.
NU scored the first seven points of the second half and Lee’s three-pointer from the left corner staked the league-leaders to a 35-31 advantage with 17:19 left to play. After UNCW junior guard Tanner Milson scored five straight points to knot the score at 48-all, the Huskies reeled off six unanswered points to gain some breathing room.
.UNCW opened up an early six point lead, 16-10, behind three consecutive slams by Rendleman and still led, 23-19, with 3:31 remaining in the opening period when Williams scored on a tip-in.
The lead changed hands three more times in the final three minutes before reserve forward Dylan Sherwood swished a triple from the top of the key with 23 seconds left in the period to give the Seahawks a 31-28 advantage at intermission.
The Seahawks travel to Old Dominion on Wednesday for their next contest in a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Ted Constant Center in Norfolk. The Huskies return to Boston to entertain James Madison on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: The game was only NU’s fifth appearance at Trask Coliseum…NU leads the all-time series by a 7-5 margin…The Seahawks defeated the Huskies for the second time in three games…UNCW scored 38 points in the paint…NU went 7-of-26 from long distance…The Huskies had 10 steals…The Seahawks won the battle on the glass, 34-31…UNCW outscored NU, 16-8, at the free throw line, including 15-5 after intermission…Rendleman’s 11 rebounds leaves him four shy of tying Brian Rowsom’s all-time record of 1,015 rebounds…Junior center Dinko Marshavelski, who averages 3.2 ppg and 1.3 rpg, did not make the trip…It was UNCW’s first win over NU in February…Peterson used the same lineup for the third straight game…Peterson moved to 14-13 at home with the Seahawks.