Rushville Republican

March 18, 2014

Sports Briefs

Rushville Republican

---- — Pirates win regional title

The Greensburg (26-1) boys basketball team returned to Washington Saturday for a third straight season and brought its second straight regional championship back to Decatur County. The Pirates, ranked No. 1 in the Class 3A the entire season, defeated Silver Creek 70-60 in the semifinal and Evansville Memorial 73-50 in the title game.

The Pirates will take on No. 2 Guerin Catholic (22-3) at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Richmond Semistate.

Arkansas headed to NIT to face Indiana State

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas will return to the postseason for the first time since 2008 when it faces Indiana State in the National Invitation Tournament.

The Razorbacks (21-11), who last played in the NIT in 1997, are a No. 3 seed in the tournament and will host the sixth-seeded Sycamores (23-10) on Tuesday night.

Arkansas appeared on track to earn the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008 when it went on a six-game winning streak late in the season — winning eight of nine games in the Southeastern Conference.

However, the Razorbacks faltered badly in their final two games — losing at Alabama to close out the regular season and to South Carolina in their opening game of the SEC tournament.

Still, any postseason berth at all is progress under third-year coach Mike Anderson.

“We didn’t do what we need to do in order to be in the NCAA (tournament),” Anderson said. “That’s going to be a lesson to learn. It’s another step in the right direction ... and we’re taking the right steps.”

Arkansas’ last trip to the NIT came under former coach Nolan Richardson in 1997.

Bowling Green no-hits Bucknell

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Bowling Green’s Brett Fitzwater and Chris Miller combined to throw the ninth no-hitter in school history, striking out eight in a 7-0 victory over Bucknell on Friday.

Fitzwater (1-1) fanned a career-high six in five innings, while Miller pitched the final three innings for his first save to complete the Falcons’ first no-hitter since 1995.

The game, originally scheduled for seven innings, was ruled official after eight. Bowling Green (6-8-1) said on its website that there was a miscommunication between the Russ Matt Tournament committee and the umpires extended the game an extra inning.

Brian Bien had three hits and three RBIs, and Jeremy Shay drove in two runs for Bowling Green.

Dan Weigel (0-3) took the loss for Bucknell (6-11), which won the first game of the doubleheader 7-3.

Purdue starter Ronnie Johnson decides to transfer

WEST LAFAYETTE (AP) — Purdue starting point guard Ronnie Johnson has decided to transfer.

Coach Matt Painter made the announcement in a statement issued Saturday. Painter said Johnson has been granted his release.

The 6-foot Indianapolis native appeared in 66 games, starting 59. He averaged 10.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his two-year career. This past season, Johnson averaged 10.8 points, shot 41.8 percent from the field and 30.4 percent on 3-pointers. Johnson’s older brother, Terone, was a senior this season and is graduating.

It’s unclear where Ronnie Johnson may end up next season.

Purdue (15-17) lost in the first round of the Big Ten tournament Thursday. It is not eligible for the NIT and is not planning to compete in one of the smaller postseason tourneys.